Tag Archives: music

My Dreamer is 8.

me jett

Jett: “I see the future sometimes.”

Me: “What do you see?”

Jett: “I see myself on a stage, playing guitar and singing.”

Me: “I see it with you, bud. Hold on to that picture.”

I’m so glad I’ve learned to not downplay these conversations. I’m glad I know to not only allow my children to dream dreams but to dream them myself. I’m thankful I know the power of imagination. And, if anyone has taught me the beauty and power of it, it is Jett.

Today, my sweet, funny, sensitive, creative, smart, imaginative boy is 8. I know. I can hardly believe it myself. But I can tell you that I have soaked in every single second along the way. Because, no one has ever made me pause and be in the moment more than Jett Takle.

I love conversations with him. Some of his stories can take a LONG time to tell. But, many of his conversations, where he seeks truth or shares his own truth, well, those are pretty remarkable. Many times, they are so heartfelt and rich that he blows us all away.

Earlier this week, he and Anna were outside. Anna, my resident philosopher, began sharing with Jett how amazing everything in nature is and how it is connected to everything. “God is in nature. Isn’t everything out here just beautiful and amazing? It is so important we honor the beauty of everything around us.”

Jett responded, “Do you know what the most important thing in the world is? You.”

anna jett

I’m sure later that day he was aggravating her like any little brother can do. But, I can’t tell you how many of those conversations just win us all the time.

Last night he said, “This is my first birthday without Noodles.” (This is our dear friend Mike Thompson who transitioned last September.) He said he’d like to go to his grave and Big Mama’s grave and just hang out there sometime. I reminded him that Noodles and Big Mama aren’t there, and he can talk to them any time. I told him I talk to Big Mama often. “Oh, I get that. I talk to Noodles a lot.”

He is my deep feeler. He is my big dreamer. He is my constant reminder that life is precious and is meant to be FELT. It is meant to be FUN. And, we are meant to take it ALL in.

Jett Takle, I love you so. I love how you say that Saturdays make you “feel lucky.” I love how we can just go to the movies and you will say “this is the best day ever.” I love how you always tell me that you love me. How you always tell all of us that you love us. I love how you love to learn. I love how blown away you get at things in history and science that the rest of us can take for granted. I love how you ask the hard questions, because, you’re not afraid to feel the hard emotions. I love how you love to dress nice. You wouldn’t turn down a good hat or tie ever. I love how you love music. And, how nobody, NOBODY, can hold a candle to Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars. I love how you have legit studied their dance moves and learned the lyrics to every song you can. I love how you look up to your big brother.

jett jh

And, I love how you’re not afraid to be you. You are proud to be you and let other people be who they are. You find your lane, and you enjoy it. And, you make us all want to hop in the same lane with you.

You are fun and amazing and make ALL of us imagine more. I’m so glad you were born. The world needed you. 8 is the number of new beginnings. I can’t wait to see all of the new things you do this year. All of the new things that inspire you. That challenge you. That grow you. That amaze you. I can’t wait to see all of the new things you open us up to. It’s going to be your best year ever, bud. I just know it.

Happy Birthday, Jett. Thank you for being my greatest showman.

I love you so very much,


“Men suffer more from imagining too little than too much.” -P.T. Barnum (The Greatest Showman)

Jett - hat

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Filed under Big Mama, Chasing Dreams, imagination, Kid Stuff, Motherhood, Uncategorized

A New Journey.

Me Jh

John Henry Landreth. How is it possible to love you more with every passing year? How is it possible you embark on a new journey with this birthday? DRIVING. BECAUSE, YOU’RE 15 YEARS OLD. FIFTEEN. DEAR JESUS, HOW? I promise not to be a control freak in the passenger seat making sounds and freaking out over tires touching a line or anything like that. I lie. You and I both know I will. You will get irritated with me over-stating concerns, and you’ll tell dad. Dad will talk to me about it. I will try to do better. You will forgive me. We will get in the car again, and I will be a good mom filled with the spirit and self-control.

Truth is….you know me better than I know myself sometimes. And, although my belaboring of points can drive you crazy, you always forgive, overlook, and still choose to love me and enjoy time with me. This is one of the most remarkable things about you, John Henry. You have the most amazing tolerance and acceptance of everyone’s quirks. You always choose to find the good in everything and everyone. You are truly one of the most positive people I know, and I get to you call you my son and my friend.

I want you to know that your Daddy Kris and I have frequent conversations about you. I will say things like, “It blows my mind how amazing John Henry is.” Your dad has told me, “I don’t know what I did to deserve the goodness that flows out of John Henry.” When you play guitar and worship, you blow us away. Your talent and skill is incredible. But, it’s your heart of worship that just astounds me. Because, at the very core of your heart of worship is the most grateful, thankful heart I’ve ever known.

JH worship

Being your mom is one my greatest gifts. But, being your friend is music to my soul. It is the richness in the day to day of my life. And, it is FUN. I enjoy your company so freaking much. I love it that I don’t embarrass you. But, if I’m dancing, you start dancing with me. When I sing the wrong lyrics, you shake your head and laugh. And, I love it that you call me mom most of the time….but when you want something, you call me, “Momma.” Hey, it works for you. I can’t blame you.

You are your sister’s protector. I have loved watching the two of you become closer, share the stage in worship together, and work out your issues together. You are also your little brother’s protector and his buddy. Thank you for taking the time out of your days to play with him. He wants to be just like you. Thank you for setting such an amazing for example for him.

JH siblings

I remember not being able to imagine my little blonde haired, blue-eyed boy growing up. What would I do without him being so small and snuggling next to his mom? What would I do without his small, tender arms always willing to love on his little sister?

JH young

Now, I know. I would get to watch you appreciate and enjoy things like Ga-Ga’s and Noodles’ friendship.

JH noodles dad

I would get to watch you partake in the goodness around the table and add beauty to our conversations. I would get to watch you pray over young people in your youth group. I would get to watch you notice a need and go meet it. I would get to watch you become so aware of every person in the room. I would get to watch you love even deeper. I would get to enjoy concerts with you that I would’ve never purposed to enjoy. And, I would get to become your friend. I am so excited for what else I get to watch you do and become. There is so much more ahead of you, John Henry. So much good. But, right now, I’m just happy to be in this moment with you. Enjoying every second of who you are. Because, who you are is a wonderful, kind, and fun young man who loves with intention and purpose. You are ALL of the good.

I love you more than words.

Happy Birthday 15th Birthday, JH.




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Filed under Motherhood, parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized


Is it possible for a dude to be funny, smart, generous, and cool all rolled up into one? 

Clearly, it is. 

And, tonight, you will go to bed an eight year old, and wake up tomorrow morning nine years old. 


For nine years, you have taught me how to love with more compassion, give without thinking twice, and enjoy dessert like it’s nobody’s business. 

Your love for the guitar makes my heart smile.  Your taste in music impresses me.  Your quick wit makes me laugh. 

But it’s your heart that inspires me.

John Henry Landreth, you are one AMAZING young man.

You not only make my world a better place, you make this entire world a better place.

Thank you for allowing God to mold you into a warrior for His Kingdom. 

And, thank you, Jesus, for allowing me to be the one he calls “Mom.”

Happy Birthday, JH.  I love you more and more.


Filed under Kid Stuff, Motherhood

Death On Two Wheels!

Hope your holiday was just loverly.  Ours was nothing short of pure delight.  I opted out of Black Friday shopping.  No deal is so good that it’s worth causing me to self-medicate with yet another serving of Sweet Potato Soufflé.  I had an even better treat Friday evening when Atlanta’s own Death On Two Wheels stopped in Oklahoma City on their long drive back to the South from California where they had just performed and recorded.




Band member and good friend, David Fountain, had texted me to let me know they were coming through.   A few hours later I was sitting at Redrock Canyon Grill enjoying Southwest cuisine and conversation with the five fabulous guys who make up Death On Two Wheels.

I have known two of Death’s band members since they entered the world.  When this cutie was two, he would steal my heart and another cookie by simply saying “I wuh oo Duh-tee.” 


Wow, Dusty.  This must make you feel so very old.  No.  I only feel old when I eat myself into a sick oblivion on Thanksgiving causing me to reach for the Zantac. 

Here are more pics of Death and me.  Ha.  “I’m with the band.”  I’ve always wanted to say that.  And, forgive the photo quality.  That would be David’s not so flashy flash on his nifty Blackberry.


Above on the left is Andy, the band’s drummer.  Middle is Paul Doss, guitarist and friend {and son of Jennifer – my friend who sends hand-written note cards.} 


The one with the hat is Trae Vedder, lead vocal and guitarist.  Then, you have David, bassist, and Wes, keyboardist. 

Before the fellas left in their van, they gave us a few CDs and t-shirts.  So, I listened to their new album just released last month.


I’m not even going to pretend that I am qualified to write an album review.  But, I must admit that I really liked their unique sound that gives respect to classic rock and roll.  My personal favorite is Sweet Love.  It is sweet, indeed.  And, Two Dollar Bills is a download must.  It has a little Cross Canadian Ragweed flair to it.  Of course, downloading just one or two songs only gives you a part of Death’s story.  Much like a good book, you have to download the entire album to get the whole narrative.

Check out Death On Two Wheels here and download their new album on iTunes.  You won’t be disappointed.  Happy listening!




Filed under Randomness

Mix Tape

I love music.  I know a lot of music.  As a matter of fact, a lot of my friends call me for their musical needs.  Oh, no.  Not to play or sing.  Although, I do love belting out “Proud Mary” and “Bobby McGee” on the karaoke circuit.   It’s sad really.  It’s where I live out the “what if” factor.  What if I had become the Britney Spears of the eighties?   Never mind. 

Anyway, some of my friends call me when they need some ideas for a song for this or a song for that.  And, I bring it.  ‘Cause I love music.   Although, two kids and age are beginning to interfere with my musical knowledge base.  I must overcome. 

I’ll never forget my first cassette player.  It looked something like this.

I would hold it up to a radio and as soon as a favorite song came on, I simultaneously pressed the “Record” and “Play” buttons.  Memba that?  Of course, I always missed the first 10 seconds of the song, but that didn’t matter.  I still sang and danced to my mix tape like it was 1985. 

And, a single mix tape took H.O.U.R.S. to make.  You pretty much had to stay cuddled up to your radio for as long as it took.  But, once you finished, you had a flawless arrangement of Culture Club, Journey, Rick Springfield, and of course, The Police.

Fast forward a couple of years later.  My parents gave me the most darling pink boombox for my thirteenth birthday.  Yes.  I said boombox.  Not only did it have a cassette player, but it had a radio, too.  The world of making a mix tape became revolutionized.

I will still make a mix tape.  It’s an art.  Now, I just select my music from my iTunes library and burn a CD.  John Henry, my musical prodigy in the making, requests frequently for a new music CD.  And, I don’t hesitate in making him one.  Because, he has got the music in him.  Yes, he does.

Now, a mix tape is called a playlist.  Here are some songs on my most recent playlist:

“Burnin’ Up” – Jonas Brothers (I’d like to claim this one for my children.  I said I’d like to.)
“Shake It” – Metro Station
“Viva la Vida” – Coldplay
“Hosanna” – Christy Nockels
“Dead Man’s Rope” – Sting (I know.  No surprise here.)
“Hard to Say I’m Sorry” – Chicago (Don’t worry.  I have an entirely separate playlist dedicated to Peter Cetera.  ‘Cause I’m cool like that.)
“Show Me What You Got” – Jay-Z (The clean version.  ‘Cause it’s a regular request from John Henry)
“Lost Without U” – Robin Thicke (It gets me all warm and fuzzy inside.)
“Healer” – Hillsong 
“Feelin’ Alright” – Joe Cocker
“Seasons of Love” – Rent (I’m not kidding.  I just recently fell in love it.)

Your turn to shake, shake, shake, shake uh shake it.  What’s on your playlist?





Filed under Randomness

Step aside Simon and Garfunkel.

We initially assumed that John Henry was the only one with musical talent – or, at the very least, a passion for it.

Then, Anna impressed us not only with her song writing ability, but with her preference for the folk genre.

Stay tuned.  Next time, they are sure to do a remake of “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land.”

I know.  What to do with all this talent?


Filed under Kid Stuff

My brother from another mother.

I don’t just watch American Idol.  I live it.  Sort of.  I’ve decided to adopt Jason Castro as my little brother.

Sure, David Cook is great and all.  But, we already have a rocker in our family. See?

What we don’t have is an acoustic playin’, lullaby singin’, dread wearin’ little brother.  As a matter of fact, I don’t have a brother at all.  I wasn’t a fan of his dreads in his early performances, but now…would he be my little brother without them?  I don’t think so. 

When he covered Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah”, I was pretty sure he’d be coming for a Sunday family dinner.  And after this week’s “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole (holy cow…how many syllables is that?), I’m pretty sure we’ll be exchanging gifts this Christmas.  He’ll probably serenade us with “Silent Night” while we sip hot chocolate and the kids look out the window in search of dear Santa.



Filed under Randomness