Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Six Flags Over Parenting

Howdy y'all!

We are deep in the heart of Texas.  By we I mean Kendra and me. Before we get to the Texas experience I should answer the question everyone is probably asking, "where are Easton and Layla?"  No need to worry...  They are safe at our house in Chandler.  Then the next question is, "Did you leave them home alone?"  Nope!  That scenario made for a good movie, but in real life would be disastrous   We left them in the very capable hands of our Pastor, Phil, and his wife, Pam.  The two of them and their son moved into our house to take care of the twins while we are attending a conference here in Dallas.  

We have a great network of trustworthy friends who are watching over the twins.  It's almost like a village-worth of people are caring for them while we are away.  They spent an afternoon with Tam and David doing several outdoor activities like getting wet on the slip-n-slide.

and using a bucket of water with paint brushes to do art on their backyard block fencing.  Quite an ingenious idea!

Easton isn't as much into drawing and painting as Layla, but if he's given some water and told to make a mess on the wall, then he's all about it!

The other way the twins differ is their desire to be in front of a crowd.   This picture captures their personalities really well.  Easton would rather be doing anything else besides singing in front of the church.  Layla couldn't be happier if she was given a million dollars.

When my Pastor first asked Kendra and I to attend this conference I offered to fly out Kendra's Aunt Judy to take care of them.  We were excited for that possibility.  Then I threw in a half-hearted joke and said, "or you and Pam could move in our house and take care of them."  ha....  haha.  (nervous laugh as I saw his facial expression pondering the possibility).  Phil and Pam agreed to do it and I was blown away by their willingness and excitement for the idea.  There are very few people we trust alone with our twins for even one hour.  i can count them on one hand.  Phil and Pam are one of those few families we trust whole-heartedly.  Right now I'm trusting them with every asset in our entire lives.  Our kids, our cars, our house, everything... and I mean everything.

We are truly blessed to have such a great church family who we can depend on and who depends on us.  This week we are calling in several favors by asking our family to take some shifts in caring for the twins.  I've been very much at peace this week knowing they are in the best possible care.

They send pictures of the twins regularly, which we are happy to have a window into how they are doing.  Layla is fabulous as always.

It's hard to tell with Easton because his "camera smile" doesn't convey much about his emotional state.

A side benefit for the twins is how we gave full grandparent rights to Phil and Pam.  That means there are virtually no boundaries on when, how, or where they can be spoiled.  Here they are at Chik-Fil-A having a treat of late night ice cream.

Enough about the twins... Let me explain the awesomeness of our week.  On Sunday morning we left Easton and Layla at church.  I just had to get one last picture of the 4 Webbs before we headed out on our magical adventure.

We flew to Dallas and immediately after arriving we drove to Six Flags!  The cost of the afternoon was rediculously expensive, but we had an incredibly silly, fun day that I'll never forget.  Everything is bigger in Texas, even the Slurpees.  I bought the big plastic boot with unlimited refills.  I overdosed on Slurpees so much I thought I was going to puke on the rides.

Luckily I had Supergirl to save the day.  She is a rollercoaster junkie who was bent on riding every ride in the park, which we did.

It's not often we get a chance to pig out on funnel cake.  i've never seen one with ice cream and Oreo cookies on it, but then again... this IS Texas. I'm not ashamed to admit this was my dinner.  That's right.  I didn't have any vegetables or healthy protien or drink my water.  Kendra and I had guilt-free freedom to do as we please without having to be the role models for Easton and Layla.

We stayed at the park until it closed so we could squeeze every last thrill and ride from our extravegant day of excitement.  One of the most enjoyable care-free days we've had in years.

We woke up the next morning tired from sleeping in a new room on a new bed.  The hotel is nice, but you know how it goes when conditions change.  At least the breakfast is free and delicious in the hotel.  I saw the waffle iron and decided that sounded good.  Then I noticed the waffles are shaped like the state of Texas!

I still don't get why Texas pride is so strong and flamboyant, but there's no second guessing how patriotic these people are for their state.

The reason our Pastor sent us to Texas was not for a fun day at Six Flags.  That was just a bonus we threw in before attending the conference.  The real reason we are here is to be trained in Freedom Ministries.  Kendra and I as individuals found freedom from strongholds in our lives.  We teach others how to get free.  When they can respond to God fully as the person God created, that is freedom.  Almost everyone agrees there is value in praying to God. Even our Godless president who is trampling on our religious rights says to "pray for those affected by tragedy". So why is it wierd when we say we hear from God?  I'll never understand how people are OK with one-way communication where talking to God is valued, but hearing from Him is seen as lunacy.

Anyway, we've experienced incredible breakthroughs individually and in our marriage over the past 6 years.  We facilitated and witnessed others getting the breakthroughs they need as well.  Our Pastor decided to place us into a new level of leadership and get us trained for the purpose of bringing Freedom Ministries to life in Phoenix.  We are here to increase our capacity to help others and to develop a plan to implement this in our local church.

There are about 175 people attending the conference.  Being under the same roof as this many like-minded individuals is extraordinarily powerful.  We start off the morning with 30 minutes of worship to get us all in one accord.

It's difficult to explain to people who have never experienced what being "in one accord" with a group of people feels like.  Those who are spectators or loners or out-right avoiders of God-centered gatherings can't relate. Anyway, the conference is mind-blowing.  I fevorishly type on my laptop attempting to capture all the wisdom and knowledge being presented by the speakers.  Every few minutes Kendra and I look at each other and give the Keanu Reeves, "Whoa..." look.

We ate breakfast, lunch, and then dinner together.  alone.  just the two of us.  It was wonderful. Sometimes we get a date night where we have one meal alone, but this was just off-the-charts enjoyable because we have an entire week of togetherness... without the twins.    

Today for the first time we really did miss Easton and Layla.  We still don't miss the day-to-day efforts required to take care of them, but we miss being with them.  Their hugs and cuddles and smiley faces.  By the time we get home we'll be more than ready to jump into our adventuresome weeks of vacation.  Can't wait!

See you soon.

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