Thursday, December 27, 2007

Some Christmas Pics

Christmas is here. Yesssssssssssssssssssssss.

My dad (grandkids call him Cuz) spent Christmas with us. I am not sure if he was ready for the noise that is us. But even Flash couldn't contain his joy for Cuz being here.

Me and my Christmas babe. And my new scarf.

I am raising my kids with Jesus in their hearts...and Macs on their laps.

Christmas faces.

This girl woke me up at 6:30am looking just like this.

This boy had to be woken up. And he looked just like this.

Fun times.

Cuz got a stocking, too.

Flash was the happiest of all with his stocking goodies.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Movies

Hey! I hope everyone is having a great Christmas. I am sitting here watching on of my top 5 movies ever...and I thought I would take this quiet moment to say hello. My dad is on the couch over to my left. the kids are in the basement playing their new Wii (this game could be bad for me...I have a very addictive personality...and I am feling the draw to go play the bowling game even as I type). Angela is running around all over the house...wrapping a little, picking up a little, cooking a lot. Fear not...I am not leaving all of that to her. I am just taking a few moments to chill.

OK...I hate to even say this because I know the reaction I am setting myself up for. But, as I prepare to list my favorite Christmas movies, I must make a confession. I have never seen a black and white movie in its entirety. Well, that's a lie...I saw one ("Stranger On A Train"). I saw part of "It's a Wonderful Life" about 10 years ago. And of course I have seen "The Wizard Of Oz" a thousand times, but only part of it is black and white. That's it. I have not seen any of the Christmas classics. Truthfully, U haven't seen some of the current Christmas movies either. I never saw any of those Tim Allen Santa Clause movies. I have not seen either of the "Miracle On 34th Street" versions - new or old.

There. I've confessed my Christmas cinema depravity. Now that that's over, I will tell you my favorites (in no particular order). And be forewarned...this is an uneventful, unoriginal list. I am not breaking any rules or originality records here...

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
2. Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the original AND the Jim Carrey one)
3. Elf - I am currently watching on TBS...I can't tell you how much I love this movie. Will Farrell is beyond funny.
4. Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
6. While You Were Sleeping - Angela says this counts as a Christmas I'm counting it.
7. Does "Die Hard" count?
8. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

What's yours?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Hey, everybody! Merry Christmas to you. I hope your Christmas eve weekend is off to a good start. We are in Boone, NC with my family. We have a short visit here before we head home for Christmas on Sunday. My dad is riding back with us to Franklin to spend Christmas with us. We are so excited to have him with us in our home. It has been 6 years since he has been able to come to our house (he wasn't able to travel for years when my mom was sick and still with us). Woo hoo! Cuz is coming to town!

I have had some friends from my past lurking around this blog this year. And I just got an email from one of my favorite teachers ever - my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Surber, this past week. You people need to let me know you are out there!

My sister is frying bacon as I type. Just the smell of bacon frying makes me happy. I mean really happy. Is it wrong to enjoy this bacon while my kids are watching Charlotte's Web?

I am so mad that I missed the "Clash of the Choirs' show on NBC. Yes, I read Beth's blog about it. I even made the mistake of calling them during the last 5 minutes of the final show. She was all out of sorts because she thought I was calling about the show (which I wasn't). She loved the show. Rats! Will they re-run it? Somebody let me know if you hear anything about that.

I did watch Duel a couple of times. Did anybody else watch it? I watched because the host - Mike Greenberg - is one of my favorite sports journalists. I listen to him every morning on talk radio. The game was hard to figure out at first. But I liked it. I don't know if it will last, though. Any thoughts? I love game shows, and it's a life goal of mine to be on the Wheel one day. I am a master of the Wheel. Bring it on, Pat and Vanna.

I hope you all saw my best buddy, Denver, take 3rd place on "The Next Great American Band." I am so proud of him. They did a great job. I would have to see him win, of course. But I am glad he is free of having to be bound to all of the contracts that the winner finds themselves tied to. So he is free to do whatever he feels led to do. Yippee...we are proud of you, Denver!

I will close with some Christmas pics of my kids. I hope your Christmas is filled to overflowing with the love and peace that Jesus came to give us all. Blessings to you!

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Sound of High School Musical


Random Stuff

Hey, everybody...hope you all are having a great week. I am in Houston. I have been here since Wednesday. I am singing in a Christmas program at a church down here. We have two performances on Saturday and one on Sunday. I am excited about it! Nobody throws a Texas-sized Christmas program like Dick Hill. Dick is the worship pastor here at Champion Forest Baptist. Dick is also my "worship daddy." He has had, over the years, more influence on me as a worship leader than anybody else. He is THE BEST. And I love spending this time with him.

This is my second year in a row to do their Christmas program with them. And Dick does a really smart thing: after rehearsals all week, he gives everybody Friday off to rest. Smart, huh? So nobody has to sing or do anything involving the program, in order that we can all rest up.

I love coming to Houston...some of my best friends in the world live here. So it's a great chance to see them, eat some great food, and have a fun time.

Angela and the kids are coming here on Saturday to join me. And they are going to love the program. We don't have these huge production-kind-of-Christmas programs in Nashville. The kids are going to flip out when they see one of the kings ride in on an elephant. Yes I just said that.

OK...some random stuff from the past week:

- My family and I have discovered the joy that is Marble Slab Creamery. Oh, yes. Thank you, Lord. Even my no-dairy wife has developed a thing for the sweet cream flavor. Run, don't walk. Unfortunately, you will likely see the fruit of this new love the next time you see me. Ouch.

- Lily Kate prayed for Miss LaToe last week. Think about it. Say that name fast.

- I stood in the checkout line at Hobby Lobby beside Carrie Underwood last week. She bought a Christmas tree and 3 scarecrows (which were 90% off for the post-Thanksgiving Day sale). Even idols love a good bargain.

By the way, I went to Hobby Lobby 3 times that day, fighting with Christmas lights. Christmas lights are beautiful. And evil. And no man should ever have to go to Hobby Lobby 3 times in one decade, much less one day.

- Speaking of American idol...our very own Mandisa was nominated for a grammy yesterday! Can you believe it? I am so excited!! I will never get a grammy nomination myself...but I can say that my former secretary did!! Woo hoo!

- I start work on a Christmas CD in January. We are busy picking and traditional. Dang. I have TOO MANY songs I want to put on this project. Christmas music is my favorite music.

- Speaking of Christmas music, I just found another new Christmas cd that I love. It's Mel Torme, and it's called Christmas Songs. My friend Brad Day (worship pastor at a church in Mississippi where I did a Christmas concert last weekend) got me hooked on it. It's awesome. If you can, go to iTunes and download it.

I also just downloaded the soundtrack to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, featuring Burl Ives. It's awesome.

- Everybody PLEASE watch The Next Great American Band tonight on Fox (8 eastern, 7 central). My buddy Denver and his band, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra are STILL ON. They are in the top 5. We find out tonight whether or not he makes it to the final four. According to the spoilers on the web, he does (cough, cough). So please watch, and PLEASE VOTE more than usual tonight. If they make it to the top three, they are in the finale.

- My alma mater, Appalachian State University, is in the semi-finals of the Division 1-AA national tournament tonight. Go APP!

You guys have a great weekend...


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Too Much of a Good Thing

This is luxury gone wrong...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Christmas Top 5

Hey, everybody! Long time no see. I guess I sort of fell off the blogging horse again. Thanks for coming back! I have been busy with lots of travel, lots of writing (for a new CD) and lots of getting ready for the holidays. This is my favorite time of year. I can hardly stand myself when it's time to pull out the Christmas decorations and Christmas music. We have had our tree up for a week already. I know...that's ridiculous. But I am gone so much during December, we put everything up early so we have more time to enjoy it together.

I have lots of stories since we last talked. But I can't seem to remember a single one of them at the moment. EXCEPT for the fact that I am ranking myself as a top-ten husband of all-time husbands. Why, you ask? I'll tell you. My wife found some dishes she loved at Target. Of course, our Target did not have enough of them. Well, guess what I did? I drove to 5 - count 'em - F-I-V-E Targets yesterday in search of these blessed plates. And I found them, by george. You may ask, "Why didn't you call and see if they had them first." Well, maybe I did...

Did you hear me say that I went to 5 Targets in one morning? Somebody give a brother some props... what are your favorite Christmas CD's? Before you answer, let me tell you that this is the last year that you have to not have a Travis Cottrell Christmas CD on your list! I start work on it in February. Yee-ha!

Here's my list (in no particular order)...and no Christmas is complete without these for us...

A Charlie Brown Christmas (definitely my very favorite)
Amy Grant - A Christmas Album (she's the queen of Christmas)
Amy Grant - Home For Christmas
Amy Grant - A Christmas to Remember
The Carpenters - Christmas Portrait
James Taylor - A Christmas Album
Big Crosby - Merry Christmas
London Symphony - Winterscapes
London Symphony - The Nutcracker
"Elf" Soundtrack
Billy Gilman - Classic Christmas (don't judge me)
Denver and the Mile High Orchestra - Timeles Christmas
First Call - An Evening In December

And of course, being the youth choir dork that I am, I STILL listen to my old youth choir musicals on cassette - Love Has Come and Welcome to the World. I think I just overshared.

I'm looking back over this list and trying to eliminate something off of it, but I can't. In fact, I just thought of about 5 more I want to add. But I am stopping myself.

Happy Thanksgiving! A grateful heart is a happy heart...


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Sugared Up

A fun time was had by all.

And we are all awaking from our sugar coma this morning.

AND I successfully confiscated all of my favorites stuff out of their bags while they were sleeping.

We all do that, right?

: >)

Blue pumpkins. Who knew.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Go Denver!

Hey, everybody! Sorry to keep you hanging so long with my teaser post last week about The Next Great American Band. I was on the road last weekend, and then came home to a busy week.

Anyway, as some of you figured out, my buddy Denver Bierman's band, "Denver and the Mile High Orchestra," is in the top 12 of this new show. Rock on. They are UNBELIEVABLE. I am in Los Angeles right now, and got to be at last night's taping of Friday's show. They killed it. I was so proud.

Everyone PLEASE WATCH and VOTE this Friday night - 8pm eastern on Fox. And get the word out if you can. You will LOVE this band. PLEASE VOTE!

I am not supposed to talk about the taping, so I will not spill any details...except to say DO NOT miss the first of the show.

I have to say that I am a little bit nervous about any possible camera time I might have gotten. All I know is that at the end of my clapping frenzy for Denver, I happened to look over to my right and see a TV monitor, and I caught a glimspe of my unbridled giddyness and excitement on camera. And it was not pretty. AND it was not unlike mine and Angela's unbridled, over-the-top Mandiva-sign-waving appearance at Idol a couple of years ago (only this time I didn't have a sign). So please go easy on me if I have again displayed reality-TV-over-cheesiness.

Denver has been my best buddy for 7 or 8 years now. In addition to his band, he has also sung on my praise team many LPL conferences in Charleston WV, Wisconsin, Montana, Nashville, Saddleback, Indianapolis, Denver and Tallahasse, just to name a few. Go Denver!

My main purpose for being in CA is to do a taping for Kirk Cameron's show on TBN. We tape tonight, and it airs tonight - 10om eastern (9pm central). I would appreciate your prayers for my is a little tired still from the weekend...and from not getting much sleep this week. Even if I sound bad, I will be so glad to be there...CeCe is singing, too. That's ALWAYS a good thing. And being the 80's pop culture freak that I am, I am really pumped about meeting Mike Seaver.

I hope you all have a great week. The weekend is almost can make it! Walk in the strength, peace and joy that Jesus bought for you. Remember this word today...

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Blessings to you -


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I love this little boy...

This was today's outfit. Just a day at home. And the backpack weighed at least 40 lbs., filled with evey action figure and Hot Wheels car within a 5 mile radius. He carried it around the house all day. If only I had gotten such a workout today.

And no outfit is complete without a Batman cape.

The Next Great American Band, remember how fun it was to have one of our praise team members on American Idol? Well, fun and excrutiating at the same time. Remember how we all got together and rooted for her and prayed for her and spread the word to everyone to vote for her?


All I am saying is WATCH the new American Idol spinoff - THE NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND. Watch it. Please watch it. This Friday night, at 8pm eastern on Fox. If you aren't going to be home, record it. You just might see someone you know.

And at next week's show, you just might see a little blogger out in the audience (minus the Mandiva sign)...

Sunday, October 14, 2007


She's tenacious. And multi-talented.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Go Mountaineers

One thing that slipped by recently without me writing about it is the fact that my alma mater - well, ONE of my alma maters - Appalachian State University - beat powerhouse Michigan the first week of the college football season. For those of you who don't follow college football, this was a huge deal. So, this put Boone, NC (my hometown) on the map (ASU is in Boone). It has been fun times for all of us App State Mountaineers (our mascot. shut up).

Anyway, last week was the homecoming game. Not only did we get to go, but thanks to our friends Drew, Tricia, Tori and Tristan Derrick, and their awesome Grandpa, Dr. Derrick, we got to see the game from the sidelines. Were my kids excited? I have no idea, because I WAS IN THE CLOUDS. Pure, perfect joy it was. Here are some pics.

And this was our whole tailgate crew. Those are my sisters beside me - Kathy (in sunglasses) and Vickie (with blonde hair). My niece Casey is holding her 1-year old, Trathen. Kathy's boyfriend Jon is behind her in the back. My brother-in-law Lesley is in the back-middle. And our friends Drew and Tricia who scored us the sideline view are in the back right. Their cute daughters, Tori and Tristan, are in the front middle with my kids.

It was a top-10 day.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Case Of The Missing Blogger

The case of the missing blogger has been solved!

I'm here! We are all alive and happy! Thanks so much for your patience. I can't believe you came back. You are the best blogger family ever. All is well in the Cottrell household. I just apparently turned my brain off for 2 or 3 weeks.

I haven't really been reading blogs or anything much, either. It has been a cray busy time of travel. And school, football and cheerleading has been in full gear. And, of course, the new TV season began. We aren't really big into evening TV. My only evening TV vices are American Idol (which isn't on until January), Survivor (which I am skipping this season), and The Office (which I watch and watch over and over again because I love it). The first episode of The Office this season was so funny that I about threw my back out.

Angela and I have started a new show this season: Chuck. It comes on on Monday nights. We love it. It has's stinkin' hilarious, suspenseful, full of action, and has a little love story going on, too. Perfect for both chicks and dudes.

I have had so many bloggable moments (a new and frequent phrase in our house these days)...I should have at least kept a running list, so I wouldn't forget. The senoir moments are creeping in more and more lately...and I have forgotten some of the bloggable moments. But I have remembered some, and will share them in the next few days.

Currently in my heart to share is the fact that I am ECSTATIC that the weather here in middle Tennessee is getting cool. I am sitting right now at Jack's football practice, wearing my favorite Appalachian State University hooded sweatshirt. It's actually a little cold. I couldn't be happier. I feel like there is a shaft of light glowing from the heavens straight down to me in my little fold-out chair...I am so happy...surely everyone around me sees the cool weather-bestowing favor of God on me right now...

: >)

Another cool thing happening right now is something that has been in the works for months. I have signed with a management company. What that means is I am teaming with a group of people who are going to help me and my us make decisions, like the who's, what's, where's, and how's of what we will be doing in ministry and music for the next few years. I am telling you - I can feel the weight JUMPING off of my shoulders as we speak. Thank You, Lord.

The company is called Blanton, Harrell, Cook and Corzine (is that long enough for you?). In years past, they were simply known as Blanton and Harrell. They have been managing the careers of Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith from their earliest years. And in addition to those two, they also currently work with Point of Grace, Bebo Norman, and Aaron Shust. And they just signed both Chris Sligh and Phil Stacey (from the last American Idol season).

Angela and I are giddy at the thought of having some weight lifted off of us. And we are grateful for these guys and gals, and for how they will speak into our lives and ministry. And we thank YOU for your prayers, as we are continually staying on our faces before God, seeking His will for us, for our family, and for this ministry. that I am writing, I don't want to stop. But I must...I don't want to scare you off with an entry that is obnoxiously long.

Football awaits. And then...couch time with Angela...and The Office.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Kirk Franklin's last project - "Hero."

I cannot get enough of this CD. Love it.

What are you listening to (You CAN'T say Travis Cottrell)?


Denver bound! Texas bound!

Hey, everybody! I hope you are doing well. I guess I was a little more fried after Deeper Still than I expected. I have had trouble forming coherent thoughts, much less writing them on this blog.

I am trying to imagine how in the world Beth Moore left Nashville on Sunday after Deeper Still, only to turn right around and begin teaching and filming her new study on Tuesday. What? What? The Lord does remarkable things through her. Amazing!

Last week, all 5 of use got sick with a cold and virus. Ugh. I took the boys to the doctor last week (before Angela, Lily and I got it), and he said they just had a virus, and it might take them 7 to 10 days to shake it. Fun times. Then, I got it the next day, and had to sing this past weekend on top of a sick throat. I was so glad to have Seth, Julie and Lici there with me to lean on (we had an AMZING time with the folks at First Baptist Church Mareitta, SC, by the way).

By Monday, I could not even croak out a single word. So yesterday, I went to the doctor, who loaded me up on some good stuff to help me be ready for this big weekend. I am feeling better already. A little loopy, but better. I hope to be singing by the Women Of Faith conference, which begins Friday morning.

So Beth and I will be at the Women Of Faith in Denver on Friday. Can't wait! I am asking the Lord to let me be totally healthy at this event. I had strep throat two Women Of Faiths ago (in DC), and was still recovering from it at the last one (in Atlanta). I will serve Him however He wants me to. And if he wants be to be sick as a dog and operating on about 20% of my voice, I WILL DO IT! But, I just don't want to be whining again this weekend to the poor WOF team, who have endured me hobbling in sickness for the past two events. Please pray for me...thanks!

Sick or well - we are going to have a great time in the Word. Can't wait.

Then after Denver, I meet my singers in Corpus Christi, TX for a Sunday with Yorktown Baptist Church. We are looking forward to worshipping with them! their choir is going to join us for some stuff. We love that. If you are in the area, I hope you will join us. Check the calendar on my website for details.

It will be two Texas weekends in a row for me - I am at Houston's First Baptist Church next weekend, the 30th. I love going to Texas.

Gotta go now. Levi just requested some boyish time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

2 Much 2 Say

I have so much to blog about. But I only have a second, and wanted to let you know that I am leading worship at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN (just north of Nashville) this Wednesday night. The service is at 6:15.

While I am at it, I will let you know that I have a concert this Sunday night, September 16, at First Baptist Church, Marietta, SC (just outside of Greenville, SC). The concert is at 6pm.

Hope to see you there!

I will post tonight about the amazing weekend.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I Have One Ticket

Hey, everybody!

I bought a ticket for our babysitter's mom, and she is sick and can't make it. If you know anyone still looking to buy a ticket for Deeper Still this weekend (in the Sommet - the main arena), I have one. Comment on this post if you or someone you know wants it.

I can't wait until tomorrow night! I will be there..with an ever-improving toe...



ps - here is a family pic from the beach last week...ahhh...wish I was still there...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Fun Friday

Hey, friends. Friday was another great day here at the beach. We spent a lot of time at the ocean...

and in the ocean...

Again today there were no jellyfish! We were so happy. They all must be deeper still...


We built a sand castle.

And posed.

Then we went to the bay side of the island and went for a ride on a jet ski. We started out with Jack, Levi and myself.

Then, it was Lily's turn.

As Levi watched us drive off...

...he realized that his turn was over...and he was left on the shore...

...and that's not a good thing.

But he quickly recovered, and began flirting with his mom.

It was a fun day!

A lot of you have been asking at what beach we are staying. We are at Pensacola Beach, FL. We love it here. It is not too fancy or expensive, and it is a little less crowded than some of the other beaches that are typical stops for Tennesseans. We are crazy about it.

Have a great weekend!


Friday, August 31, 2007

Top Ten Day

Today was a banner day at the beach. We had so much fun all day long. I'm talking one of the best days I have ever spent at the beach. And I have spent countless days at the beach in my life. We rested. We played. We ate. We rested some more. We played some more. And we ate even more. The best part was that all of the jellyfish were gone. We never saw even one. This after seeing dozens every trip to the ocean this week. I think the Lord must have summoned them all to the deep, just for us.

: >)

And the water was perfectly clear. Like, bath water clear. We spent lots of time just riding the easy waves. I grew up loving being in the ocean. And I used to dream of the days when I would sit out on the waves with my kids. And today was one of those days. I will never forget it.

We ate dinner at a fun restaurant called Peg Let Pete's. I forgot to take my camera to Pete's...I wish I would is a fun place.

Here are my loves today on the shore...

I must confess there were not pointing at anything in particular in the ocean. They were posing for the pic. Cute? Possibly. Scary? Maybe. Handy for the picture-taking dad? Absolutely.

Have a great to you soon...