Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's a....

We got to see Santa's newest helper at our ultrasound today... hint... Pretty in Pink!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


So, looks like we'll have a new addition to the family somewhere around May 24, 2009. Should be interesting. I'm sure there will be many more posts to follow :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Where The Light Is

I watched this DVD today. You may not care for John Mayer. However, if you care about artistry... it's DEFINITELY worth watching. I found it inspiring. Here's why. It's not a formula. I never know quite what to expect. He's constantly changing the melody, rhythm, and guitar riffs from the way they were recorded. Everything is outside of the box. I love it.

It makes me happy the same way I feel when I listen to Mindy Smith,Nickel Creek, or Diana Krall. Truly creative. It will make you never want to touch an instrument again!

Check out the trailer, and if it peaks your interest... pick it up soon!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

2000 pennies for your thoughts

A pretty place for your thoughts...

A friend of ours makes these amazing journals. She has a new one coming out soon. Makes a great treat for yourself or gift for someone else $20 and shipping is free if you pre-order now from www.joydeeann.com Here's a sneak peak...



















Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Konner & Jesus

I wish I was posting a different kind of update... but, this one is with heartache.

Konner passed away yesterday around 5p. I don't have any details, but wanted to let you all know.

Please pray for Konner's family - John (dad), Amanda (mom) Brooklyn (big sister), and Morgan (big brother).

The only comfort is in knowing that Jesus has restored Konner completely now. Even if it's not it the way we all had hoped and prayed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tenth Avenue North

In the midst of all of the updates, I neglected to blog about one thing I've been very excited to announce! The band I've been working with has their first national cd in stores.

Look for Tenth Avenue North's cd "Over and Underneath" wherever you buy music.

I know I'm partial, but I LOVE every track on the cd (a rare occurrence these days). There is so much truth and hope contained in the words of the songs. And the music is amazing! What a combo :)

If you've been reading along previous to Konner's posts... you know that I've been in a rough season of life. God's been speaking in different ways. It's been a hard transition for me, yet full of discovery. I've really been forced to face myself in many areas I'd rather leave in a dusty corner. I can truly say this music has encouraged me, echoed the cries of my heart, and taught me many truths. I can't help but recommend it to as many people as possible.

They style is intellectual, melodic, pop rock. Somewhere in the vein of the lighter side of switchfoot meets snow patrol with the mass appeal of a casting crowns or chris tomlin.

But don't take my word for it. Listen to it for yourself : www.myspace.com/tenthavenuenorth

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Update & Letter from Konner's Mom


Konner’s angiogram has been postponed until next week sometime. He spiked another fever yesterday, and they didn’t want to go ahead with the procedure. They put him on antibiotics again, and the fever was better at the end of the day yesterday. He does have a touch of pneumonia, so they put him back on the oxygen mask so he can breath deeper to help with that. Amanda didn’t get to hold him again yesterday because of the mask. Please pray for healing and strength for all of them.



From: Amanda Sykes
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 9:15 PM
Subject: Thank you from the Sykes family

I just wanted to touch base with everyone who has been so wonderful to me and my family before everyone leaves for the summer. It is really hard for me to know exactly what to say (which is why I am grateful to Mrs. Joyce and April for taking care of this for me normally). I wish I could tell everyone things are wonderful and all of our prayers had been answered. Unfortunatley, we are not there yet. I have not given up by any means, but as I watch children come and go from the unit, I get a little more frightend every day that my Konner may not leave here the way I want him to. The doctors are wonderful here, but sometimes their frankness hurts. I have never felt emotions the way I have the last 31 days.

I did not mean to ramble like this-let me get to the point. John and I have been absolutley blown away by the support from the redwater community. It has been absolutley amazing what you have done for us. Your thoughts and prayers have helped carry us through this so far. You just can not imagine what that means to someone going through this kind of situation. I can't believe that it would have been the same if we were anywhere else. We are truley blessed to have friends like all of you.

As I try to stay focused on what is best for Konner, I ask that you would pray that God will do just that-what is best for Konner. This is very hard for me to ask, but John and I don't want to be selfish and put him through unessessay pain. So I am still desperatley praying for him to be healed, but IF God is not going to grant our miracle, I ask that he go ahead and take him home. I ask that you pray for the same thing for Konner.

Again thank you for everything!


Amanda Sykes

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My heart breaks for the Chapman's

I found out earlier this evening that one of Steven Curtis Chapman's younger daughters was accidentally hit by a car driven by her brother. She passed away after being airlifted to Vanderbilt Children's hopsital.

My heart is broken for them all.

They are so passionate about their work with the orphans in China. She is one of their adopted daughters. Along with the release of his new album and the success of the song "Cinderella" he had just finished a book about the relationship between a dad and his daughter.

If you have been reading my posts lately, you know I've been passionate about praying for Konner and his family . I TRULY believe God has been preparing me to pray for these two families. Please join me in praying for Konner's full recovery and for comfort and healing for the Chapman's.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My favorite adjective for God is...


I know, maybe it sounds a little ireverant... but I seriously can't explain the way He moves in any other way. It's the crazy that's kind of shocking, thrilling, wild crazy.

As you may have noticed, I've been extremely passionate about spreading the word about Konner. Strange because I don't know him or his family. But I was immediately committed to share the story with everyone possible.

So many amazing reports have come back about people being similarly passionate about sharing Konner's story. It's encouraging to see the body of Christ "e-unite." Who knew the internet could be used for so much good.

I've truly been blown away by everyone diving into this with me. And imagine my surprise when I found out that my husband's band is now apart of a benefit in Texas for Konner! I was giddy today when I found out. God is just crazy like that. If you care to be humored with the details, read below:

We are from Texarkana, TX. We moved here to Nashville, TN about 2.5 years ago when Pocket Full of Rocks signed with Word Records. In the time we've been away Texas they have started a semi pro baseball team. Pocket has been scheduled for a few months to perform at the opening day game. God of course knew the timing of all of this, but how ironic that this would fall around the same time as Konner's accident. And now, we physically get to go back to TX and be apart of blessing his family. I can't really explain why this means so much to me. I don't even know the Sykes, but I'm so excited. God is crazy in how he orchestrates things so beautifully. It's quite amazing.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Keep Praying for Konner

UPDATE 5.7.08

Konner had a good day Wednesday. His pressure stayed low & the results of the body scan showed no additional injuries! He is in a medically induced coma because they know he would not be able to bear the pain if he were awake. I heard he did try to wake up night before last, but they want to give his body time to rest & heal without him feeling the pain.

Please continue to pray for Konner, John, Amanda, Brooklyn & Morgan.



Konner's pressure was at an 8 this morning which is good...it went up this afternoon & they were not able to get it down with medication. They took him in for another brain scan.

He still has good vitals & his liver is healing on its own. Continue to pray...although this is great news, he is still in critical condition.

Monetary donations can be made at any Capital One Branch in Konner Sykes name Account #3312108592 or by contacting Rebekah Minter 903.276.3081/ 903.671.2220/ bekah310@valornet.com


UPDATE 5.9.08

Just found out that the scan yesterday afternoon revealed no bleeding & a little fluid, but not enough to drain. The pressure was still high because of the swelling of the brain & the medication was not working as they had hoped. They will continue to give him the medication in hopes it will do some good.

Thank you for your concern & prayers! Amanda & John have asked that we pass on their appreciation for all of the support!


Konner's pressure (from the brain swelling) stayed high through the night, so this morning they put a probe on the left side to measure the pressure. It was the same as when it was on the right, so they are just waiting for it to come down on its own. The medication is still not working as they would like. His vitals are still good.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Konner Sykes

This is VERY strange for me to ask... but, I had a very weird thought when I was backing out of the drive way this morning... I'm not a parent, but this exact scenario popped in my head and I wondered what I would do in this situation. I guess God was wanting me to be prepared to pray for this family today.

Please join me!!!


* Copied bulletin *
Redwater, TX family

I just got some news that one of our 2nd grade teacher's little boys was accidentally run over by her husband (his dad). He is being air-lifted to Little Rock with extensive head injuries, bad facial damage, a broken collar bone, a broken rib, a collapsed lung, and his arm is broken in 2 places. The doctors are giving him a 50/50 chance right now. His name is Konner Sykes. He's almost three years old. His dad was on his way to go buy his birthday present when he hit him. Please pray. This is a precious, sweet family.



He is in a coma and not responding. Conner underwent surgery yesterday to his skull, lungs and liver. He has broken bones that have not yet been repaired. This is a family in great need of all the prayers and hope we can give them. Please ask everyone you know to add them to their prayer list.


Someone just talked to Amanda and they did a scan on Konner's brain and there didn't appear to be any damage just a lot of deep bruising. They said it could take a couple of days for some things to show up. He is in a coma. He has some retinal bleeding from his right eye and possibly eye damage. He is having spinal fluid coming out his eyes, nose and ears which is good because that relieves swelling on the brain.


They did a ct scan in the night, and there was a little blood in his brain. They would have liked there to be none, but they can work with a little. His liver is healing itself right now. His levels were 1000, now they are 500. They want them to be 100. His arm is in a light cast to keep it from moving. They still have not fixed it yet. Today, they are going to do a full body scan to make sure they did not miss any other kinds of internal injuries.

Ms. Joyce said Amanda sounded better. John was sleeping in the room. She wanted to make sure they're eating and getting rest, and Amanda said they are trying. Ms. Joyce told her they needed to keep themselves healthy so when he gets out, she can keep up with his fast little self. Amanda liked the sound of that.

Please continue to pray for them.

NO UPDATE AS OF 5/7/08 please keep praying, I'll keep you all updated!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Irony

So, I blogged below about my misfortune with sunglasses. To update you, the new white pair was never found. So I went and bought a black pair. The black pair broke in my purse last week. I think this blog is a curse! I'm going to buy another pair this week. I have a feeling my next ones are going to last! For now, I'm just wishing I hadn't tossed the bug eyes. That would be better than squinting!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Out With The Old

I looked through a rack of sunglasses and tried some on that I thought were cute. I really needed a new pair because I'm the kind of person that wears sunglasses until the break, get lost, or become so clouded with lens scratches they are no longer fit for driving. The latter has been my most recent problem. I'm actually pretty proud. I have had these glasses for two years. I got this cheap old pair from Target and I thought they were kind of fun, movie- star -ish.

Apparently I was wrong.

My husband quickly let me know that he thought these glasses looked like bug eyes. They were too large. Ouch... I have been wearing these eye sores for 2 years... Seriously, don't let me look terrible for that long. Tell me sooner!!!

So I bought these....

Which Ironically I have all ready lost after only 2 days of use!!!

So it's out with the old and in with the new.

More glasses coming soon...


Monday, March 3, 2008

On The Road Again

This weekend I found myself in a van for 20 out of my 48 hours off . Road Trip with Pocket. I rarely get to go on these anymore, so I jumped at the opportunity fully aware of the price. The price? 1 van, 10 people, 10 hours, 1 sitting position, 6 greasy fast food meal opportunities and luggage abounding. My body was less than thankful but, I survived.

We pulled up to the church and I was the last one out of the van. A familiar face peeked in and asked, "What's your name?" I re- introduced myself, "I'm Lani." "I'm Keith", he said. Awkward pause and he was gone as quickly as he appeared.

I tried to get back in the swing of things by helping set up the merch table. Admittedly rusty in all my previous duties... I tried to re-familiarize myself with everything.

Once that was done I went inside the auditorium and waited for sound check to end. Keith came up to me and began to tell me his story. "I had to jog my memory a little, but it's all coming back to me. When you were here last time about three years ago, Michael had everyone pray for me and you came up and prayed for me to have a wife. The funny thing was that I had just been on a first date with a girl the week before and I knew there was something different. We got married and she's here tonight."

Well, I remember the story different. I remember Michael asking everyone to gather around and pray for Keith. I remember the pounding in my chest. I remember a few phrases popped in my head that I knew weren't from me. I remember each terrified step towards the front of the church. I remember every word that came out of my mouth. Every word except... the words that seem to have made the biggest difference!

As he was thanking me for praying I couldn't have been more bewildered. I vaguely remember the wife prayer. Honestly, that's not even like me. I don't get my kicks out of match making. How in the world was he not most impacted by all the other "powerful" things that I was lead to say? It further confirms that I have no idea what I'm doing!

Being on the road again was a great reminder of my tiny, yet significant place in the grand scheme of things.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Embarrassed that I need to diet.

Want a good way to compare cultures and economies?

What is eaten in one week

Italy : The Manzo family of Sicily
Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11

Germany : The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07

United States : The Revis family
of North Carolina
Food expenditure for one week $341.98

Mexico : The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09

Poland : The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27
Egypt : The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

Ecuador : The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55

Bhutan : The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03
Chad : The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23

Saturday, February 9, 2008



You must go.

See it in an IMAX theater if possible.

It's worth every penny.

I've never experienced a live U2 concert but I would dare to say this would be equal, maybe better. The definition is amazing. At times you're Bono. At times you're in the crowd watching the concert. You can reach out and grab a mic stand. You can read the drummers water bottle label. It's so incredible!

Even if you aren't a U2 fan I think your quality of life will be improved by this experience.

On a humorous note, Jody left his 3D glasses on the microwave. When one of my piano students asked why we had them I answered, "They are from the U23D movie." To which she immediately asked, "Is that like the Hannah Montana 3D movie?" I was and still am at a loss for words.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

History repeats itself.

It was a terrible idea. I knew it from the moment I turned the key. But my propensity to please kept my foot steady on the gas, although my decision fluctuated like a dieter's scale.

"I probably should NOT be doing this."

" Well, it's not that big of a deal."

"It's getting bad out here."

"It's not really
that bad."

Back and forth in my mind- still unsure as I took the exit. With a determination built of shear goodwill and stupidity I continued turning down the less than familiar, dark country road. Each new snowflake racing toward my windshield brought a twinge of fear. With wipers on high, I struggled to find the driveway leading to the log cabin. Halfway up the small mountain, cleverly disguised as a hill, I lost my traction. My ambition was melting. My compact car had met it's match.

Who knew teaching music lessons would require 4
wd! But, imagining these kiddos full of excitement because of the snow and their first music lessons kept me driving in that direction. I didn't want to wuss out on them. They were counting on me!!! I had made it this far... I didn't want to turn back... but, I just couldn't make it up that hill. Not by myself anyway!

My friend Tammy came down to get me. She is the petite yet fierce queen of this hill. A northern driver who can navigate this terrain with the best of them! I was so
relieved when she picked me up. My relief quickly turned to shock as her minivan masqueraded as a 4x4 pick up truck. She whizzed up the snow covered mountain barely escaping trees, throwing rocks out of the back tires, and narrowly squeezing past the corner of the house into the driveway. I never had time to be scared it all happened in such a blur.

The scene was all to familiar... only 5 years before, almost to the day, I had been in the same situation. Same hill, same weather conditions. This time a different reason, car, and rescuer. But, you get the idea. How odd! They say history repeats itself.

I guess we all get "stuck" on our own little uphill climb sometimes. Just when it seems like you're moving forward the wheels start spinning and you begin to slide back. It's frustrating. But, keep on! Just when you need it most, a Friend will be there to help you get back on the right path. Sometimes, you just have to move over and let them do it for you :)


Friday, January 4, 2008

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

On the eve of my 28th birthday... I am reflecting back over the birthday memories of years past. I've celebrated in so many different ways. Each unique and memorable... but, the one that stands out most to me is my 8th birthday. The one that, at the time, I would say was the WORST! I laugh now remembering:

We had only lived in Georgia about 6 months. I was so excited to have all of my new friends come over. Pizza, games, friends… what more could an 8 yr old want? Everything was going spectacular until table hockey became more popular than me. What’s worse is my friends didn’t want to listen to my rules about how the games should go. Worse than that my parents didn’t make everyone stop and do it my way. They were all seriously disrespecting the birthday girl!

I know you are starting to feel really sorry for me. Thank you. Yeah right… what a brat! I should have been having the time of my life. The fading 35mm pictures spell it out clearly. I am sitting on the couch while a half dozen wide eyed girls are hovering over the hockey game. I missed out on the joy of my own birthday because I got wrapped up in myself.

Twenty years later, the sad truth is my selfish nature hasn’t really changed that much. It’s just that all of the variables have changed. It’s not usually about friends and games anymore, it’s about opportunities, possessions and well, yeah… still friends and family.

The good news is... I’m learning that I have to take responsibility for myself. There’s only one person I can force to change. Her name is Lani. I’m learning the beauty of other options. I’m learning that there are many ways besides my way.

I wonder how many more of candles I'll blow out before I really get the hang of this thing. Baby steps... baby steps!