Levi Update

Levi Update

Thanks for your prayers for our boy. He is doing better. He is still not able to run or play, but he is not experiencing any pain, which is good. He will get his stitches out on September 17, so we are hoping for him to be back to normal by then.

You can continue to pray for his neck, though. It’s so strange, because he has been the picture of health his whole life, and now he has these two things right at the same time. His neck is very swollen and tender just below his left ear. His range of motion with his neck is very limited. The docs aren’t sure what it is, but they (and we) are monitoring it very carefully. Thanks for your prayers.

One sign he might be feeling better:

This came home with him yesterday. Umm…yeah. There you go. A little unusual for Levi. Not so unusual being the child of Angela Cottrell. HAHA Just kidding. Yes. No. Yes.

Levi’s teacher brought a stack of get well cards from the whole kindergarten class Friday afternoon after his surgery. He was ECSTATIC. He looked at them a million times. Plus, he loves his teacher, Ms. S. So, he decided to write Ms. S a thank you note. We sent the note with him to school yesterday. Then, we got a call from Ms. S yesterday afternoon. Guess what Levi snuck in the card?


One hundred and one dollars. Seriously.

Angela had just been to the bank. And she had that cash stashed in her purse. Apparently, Levi’s love language is GIFTS. Because that is quite a thank you gift for some get well cards from kindergarteners. I guess he is more fond of Ms. S than we realized. : >)


  1. Valerie aka Mamalovelock on September 9, 2008 at 10:49 am

    LOL!!! That is so funny. Bet that was a huge shock for Ms. Souers.

    Glad Levi is feeling better.

  2. Cindy on September 9, 2008 at 10:54 am


    We will definitely keep Levi in our prayers!

    The rest of your story is hilarious! Kids are so funny.

    I have a question about your schedule. You have listed that you will be at LPL in Greensboro, NC next year but I can’t seem to find that on Beth’s schedule. Is that something different than Living Proof Live?

    Thanks a bunch!
    Cindy in Weaverville

  3. Melinda on September 9, 2008 at 10:56 am


    I’ll be praying about his neck, but it doesn’t seem to be holding him back much! :o)

  4. Dori on September 9, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Wow! $101? Really?!?

    Hmmmm….I’m going to go make a bunch of cards for Levi this very minute!

    Seriously…still praying for him. Thanks for keeping us posted. Tell Angela I said hi!


  5. Kelli on September 9, 2008 at 11:07 am

    OH my goodness – too funny! I bet that for a second she was REALLY excited and then realized she needed to call you guys! So glad he is feeling better! 🙂

  6. Mel Black on September 9, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Maybe “hush” money for the playground incident? I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin. Love you guys.

  7. ForHisGlory on September 9, 2008 at 11:39 am

    I’m dieing. that is so funny! Ah children.
    Sorry to hear about his neck. I;ll be praying. Tiff

  8. Kelly S. on September 9, 2008 at 11:45 am

    That is hilarious!!! He must have a tremendous heart!
    My daughter,(7yrs.) let me borrow her new Vera Bradly bag she bought with her own money to take my Bible in to Louisville. When I got there she had slipped a $20 in the pocket for me. just in case

  9. Holly on September 9, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    The note that he brought home sounds like the Smith home and our Kylie…aye…keepin me on my toes and knees, that girl is!

    And, I want to be on Levi’s mailing list 🙂 Ha! Ha! That is hilarious!

    Just got back from Stepping up…and “My Passion” was awesome! I love to go for a walk here in the Springs with my mp3 player and my hands go up every time for the ending of that! Mmmm..He is Life, yes!

    God Bless you, Cottrells!

  10. Daniel Semsen on September 9, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    OH MY GOSH!!!

    Your kids are hilarious.

    I don’t think I would have called you. Good for Ms. Souers…


  11. Tara on September 9, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Oh my goodness! You all must be in stitches all the time- That boy is hilarious!

    Glad that Levi is feeling better- I’ll be praying that his neck situation is resolved soon too!

  12. Wanda on September 9, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Dog……that’s funny!

    What a sweety…….loved the picture!

  13. Tiffani on September 9, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Oh My!! I used to teach school and I bet Mrs. Souers had to think about it before she called you ;)! I’m kidding, of course, but I bet she was thinking “man, those Cottrells must think a LOT of me!!”

    I will keep Mr. Levi in my prayers!!

  14. HisTreasuredPossession on September 9, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    love the note, love the money…send it on my way! Still praying.

  15. heidi on September 9, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    HAHAHA. $101. Classic. Maybe his love language is embezzlement.

    Sometimes I think punching people in the face is a better choice than telling a teacher. Yes no YES.

  16. Giana on September 9, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    That is the funniest thing I have ever read. So cute! I will keep praying for him & your family. Keep us posted.

  17. Darlene R. on September 9, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    I will continue to pray for Mr. Levi.

    It sounds as if he and Ben would be buddies if we were real-life friends! So, had Angela noticed that the money was gone before the phone call? I wouldn’t have noticed until I was in a check-out somewhere!

    I really like that little form that they have to fill out. It’s all about the choices we make!

  18. Wooten's World on September 9, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    While you are praying for Levi, please join us in praying for 8 year old John Michael Russell as well. He has a swollen growth/cyst of some sort just below his ear, too. It’s been there for over a year. John Michael’s family really loves the Lord! They are the real deal! His parents lead the Dwelling Place Student Ministries at our church, and his dad is a worship leader as well. (John Michael’s mom Rebekah was a Lindquist before she married–as in the Lindquists in Mobile, AL, as in “Integrity Music”). Anyway, please lift John Michael up, too…we’ve had corporate worship and prayer gatherings to seek the Lord for his healing, and many have even chosen to fast on his behalf, but the Lord in His Sovereignty has not chosen to remove it yet. So please join us as we pray! Thanks!

  19. cin'sforgiven on September 9, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    What a hoot! God’s great sense of humor is expressed through little boys. Maybe you can chalk these incidents up to the anesthesia. It just hasn’t cleared out of his system yet.

    Will keep all of you in my prayers.


  20. redheadcsm on September 9, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    What a little sweetie! Glad he’s feeling better and will continue to lift prayers for healing in his neck. What a hoot with the cash! And not that she wouldn’t have called regardless, but part of me wonders if it was the hundred and ONE dollars that he inserted in the card that was as big a tip off as anything. One hundred…well maybe. But a hundred and one?! Something’s up! 😉

  21. Deidre on September 9, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    $101???? THAT IS HILARIOUS!

    My girls and I REALLY want to send Levi some get well cards 🙂

    I pray he is fully recovered soon!

  22. boomama on September 9, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Funky New York style. Yes. No. YES.

    But it’s not funky New York style ENOUGH.

  23. Groovewoman on September 9, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    OH MY GOSH… $101… what a Thank You Gift! 😀

  24. Jenny Helm on September 9, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks for the update! That sweet boy.. that just cracks me up.. 🙂 Glad he’s feeling better!

  25. Big Mama on September 9, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    The $101 in the card is priceless, but I am particularly fond of the drawing and the note. Because not only do I love that he learned not to hit someone in the face at recess, but he also drew the shoes you had on Friday night at Deeper Still.

    Yes. No. YES.

  26. Heather on September 9, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    No Way!!! This made me laugh out loud….what a funny boy! I will keep him in my prayers!

  27. amyrebeccathompson on September 9, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Oh, so funny ….

  28. Profbaugh on September 9, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Hum. . sounds like I need to make friends with Levi, pronto!!! I could use $101 dollars. Too bad I’ve never received that type of thank you card from one of my students.

    Still praying,

  29. Dionna on September 9, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Oh my gosh! That is so funny! What a touching thing – and what a great story to tell back to him someday.

  30. Three Fold Cord on September 9, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    101 I would say with money and physical touch(mackin’ on mom in the van a couple of posts ago), he might be quite the ladies man.

  31. Three Fold Cord on September 9, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    I had to go back and remember what Levi had done to his mom…Words of encouragement and gifts must be his love language-hehe
    “Mom you are freaking hot”

  32. Cathy Davis on September 9, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Darn I missed out on the thank you card with cash! I love his “uh oh” note from school. Tee hee hee

    I’m glad he’s feeling a wee bit better. 🙂

  33. Fran on September 9, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Thats the funniest thing I’ve ever heard of!! She was about to get some serious shopping done at Target!!! 🙂

    Keeping Levi and all of you in my prayers.

  34. Holly on September 9, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Just read it to my Chris and he said that he believes the $101 is “hush money” for something else he did. Hee hee! Hee!

  35. Adam Owens on September 9, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    shut up.. that is stinkin awesome. way to go levi. I guess he is really trying to give his teacher a good impresssion.

    Will keep continue to pray for him.

  36. Lori Anne on September 9, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    That is the funniest thing I’ve heard in a while! What a love. Obviously always thinking of others. 🙂

    Keepin’ him in prayer.

  37. Kristi Butler on September 9, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Hey Travis!!!

    I want Levi to be in MY Kindergarten class!!!

    Love and prayers for all,

  38. The Olson's: on September 9, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    I love the Thank you note story! My family had a good chuckle!

    About your son’s neck. I have no medical experience, but those symptoms sound a lot like what my son had earlier this year. The doctor thought it was the Mumps. In the end it wasn’t, but the symptoms were the same. Don’t know if this will help or not.

    Hope he’s doing better soon!
    ~ Leanne

  39. Lindsee on September 9, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Wow! That definitely gave me a good laugh today. I would have love to be his teacher. (You know, that is what I went to school for, however, I am not doing that at the moment!) But, it’s times like this that I wish I was a teacher.

    Glad he’s feeling a teeny bit better.

    Praying for him. And prayed for everyone at Champion Forest Baptist as I drove past it on Thursday!


  40. connorcolesmom on September 9, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    I am SO thankful Levi is doing better – thank you LORD!
    And – Wow I want to be Levi’s teacher – hehe
    I love the note that got sent home the look that was drawn on the face of the one kid – hilarious!


  41. 3girlsmom on September 9, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Hilaaaaaarious. Dang, I wish that kid had been in my class when I taught school!!! We would’ve had an amazing time.
    Praying for his tummy and neck, too. He sounds like a tough little dude.

  42. WOW on September 9, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    As the mother of 3 “grown” daughters (19, 20, 24), I am here to tell you, it is only just beginning! Have fun, keep praying, and always remember,these times pass so quickly. Great stories!
    Still praying for his health. I know what it is like to deal with the health issues with your kids. You have a lot of support from family,friends, your blog buddies, and most importantly, His grace is sufficient for you!

  43. Amanda on September 9, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    That has to be the funniest blog post ever!

  44. Connie on September 9, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    That really is funny…I, too, would have liked to have seen her face when she opened that card!

  45. creative gal on September 9, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    That is too cute! I think I need to be friends with Levi- especially if he likes to give out money. :o) LOL Just kidding. Kids are always amazing me!

  46. AMENMom on September 9, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    HA! My daughter finished her first week of kindergarten two weeks ago, and the end of the week note home said, “Doing great–just remember to keep hands to yourself (no slapping bottoms)!” I just about died. She can’t just talk a lot like the other kids, noooo. Believe me when I tell you I feel your pain.


  47. rebecca jones on September 9, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    he will have a very happy wife one of these days!

  48. Christi New on September 10, 2008 at 7:40 am

    Oh my word! That is too funny! That definitely sounds like he is paying her not to say anything about punching the girl in the face. Just think – that little girl will probably be part of the family one day – haha!

    Still praying for him – hope everything is okay with his neck…

    Thank Levi for making me smile today!

  49. Marc and Charity on September 10, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Wow, I bet his teachers thought she hit the jackpot! hilarious! glad he’s feeling better.

  50. stephanie on September 10, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    That is the funniest story… Your family would make a great modern day ‘Little House’ series. Thanks for sharing your lives with us. We love you guys and keep your family surrounded with prayer. He makes life worth living.

  51. twinkle on September 10, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Looking at that picture Levi drew, it looks like he was up against Goliath!
    Glad he won that round and maybe she learned a lesson she needed to learn.
    Good news that he’s on the mend! His neck may be swollen from a gland fighting off an infection. Hope it is nothing serious and will keep him in my prayers.
    And that was cute about the cash in the card for his teacher. It made me laugh out loud.
    Travis, your blog is so funny!

  52. Anonymous on September 10, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    That is so amazing! I just love Levi! “Back in the day” when I taught kindergarten, I received “avon” or coffee mugs. not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m just saying…….
    of course, praying for full recovery from all ailments!

  53. Sunni on September 10, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    LOL. This is the funniest thing ever. I love Levi. What a funny kid!

  54. Kristen on September 10, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    SO FUNNY! Levi is going to make a great boyfriend one day being a giver like that 🙂
    Glad he’s feeling better!

  55. Sue on September 10, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Don’t you wish you could’ve seen his teacher’s face when she opened that card?! Now she’s got a hilarious student story to share with all her teacher friends… and that’s almost as good as the money!

  56. Mel @ MCA Designs on September 10, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Crack me up!!! Never a dull moment with this kid, eh?

    Seriously though, I will definitely be praying for Levi’s health, healing and this neck thing.

  57. Michelle Bentham on September 10, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    I’ll be praying for Levi’s neck. Bless his heart…

    The thank you gift story is so funny, I don’t even know if I should laugh because it will be a gut laugh for sure and my whole family might wake up.

    Bless the child for his wanting to impress his teacher.

    My son went to kindergarten oh about 15 years ago… Yeah, I know. I’m getting old.

    Anyway… His teacher and I had a conference mid-year. She said, “Your son is just so helpful, I really don’t know what I would do without him.”

    Her time-worn face and platinum, foot-ball helmet hair nodded as she smiled with such a pleased look. I asked her what she meant. She said, “Oh, well I have these books the kids check out over here in the storage bin and I lost one the other day, but your son found out I was looking for it and he found it the very next day.”

    I asked her to show me the book. Yeah. He had brought it home for three weeks. They were reading books with little cassette tapes so he could listen as the story played along and turn the pages. He had brought it home and pulled it out of his backpack. I asked him if he was supposed to bring those home. He said, “Yeah. Our teacher lets us.”

    I didn’t get a phone call alerting me he had stolen something so I just went with it.

    He was five, Travis. I completely understand. I told his teacher, “Next time something comes up missing – give me a call, I have a feeling I know where it is.” Like in HIS BACKPACK or UNDER HIS BED! He never lost that mischievious side… But, I doubt he has much use for it where he is now… Good glory, God is so funny. I had not thought about that story in a while. Thanks for sharing – it will be a funny, fond memory for many years to come I imagine.

    You did talk to him about asking what an appropriate thank you gift might be, right?

  58. Suzi on September 11, 2008 at 9:53 am

    SO funny!! Oh poor little Levi!

  59. Laura on September 11, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I am going to add Mr. Levi to my Christmas Card List and my Birthday Invitation List!!!

  60. su on September 11, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    That is too funny!! But of course you can’t laugh in front of him. Isn’t that hard? You have to bite your tongue and wait til he’s gone.

    My grandson also has a lump under his ear. It’s been there for most of his life. He’s 18 months. An ultrasound last week couldn’t find it but I think that it’s there today. When I pray for Andrew I’ll pray for Levi, too.

  61. Georgia Jan on September 12, 2008 at 9:27 am

    I am glad Levi is better and will pray for his neck too.

    Y’all save that note! I saved a note from my son – he was in 2nd grade and had to write a “similar” note and it is so precious to read now – he is 27!

    Y’all are a blessing!

    Georgia Jan

  62. Tina on September 12, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    I am laughing out loud and after the crazy week I’ve had it feels good!!!

    Still laughing.


  63. conwaymom on September 12, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    That was about the cutest, sweetest and funniest thing I’ve heard in a while. Kids. Levi must have a great big heart! I hope the neck is doing better and he is on the mend. HE has lots of friends praying for him.

  64. Cindy on September 12, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Hey there,

    Welcome back to Asheville! Hope you brought lots of gas money, lol! I will be praying for ya’ll this weekend up at The Cove.

    Cindy in Weaverville (just 20 short miles away)

  65. HIS Child on September 13, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Your boy is precious! What a shocker for Mrs. S. I am sure a life lesson came from this one for Levi. I will be praying for him and asking that the Lord would reveal to his doctors the cause of swelling in his neck. Thank you for sharing your family with us.
    God bless and keep all of you.
    In HIS Grace,

  66. Sherry on September 13, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Am so glad Levi is feeling better. I will join with you guys about prayers concerning the swelling. (please keep us posted :-)Girls are already pestering him? poor thing. I love his generous heart, even with Mom’s money. Big uh oh there. I have a little one that has done that recently, although it was his money he had been saving. He gave all of his $15 to God because he thought God had a LOT to do and really needed it.
    I love how God keeps using these little guys to remind me of His greatest lessons.

  67. jennyhope on September 13, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    oh my goodness…did she keep the gift? Hey what’s a $101 anyway? Hysterical!!! I actually have bad neck problems. My spine instead of a c curve is opposite which gives me little range of motion and causes a lot of pain. I am sure they have already x-rayed him though.

  68. Jeff Bumgardner on September 15, 2008 at 12:17 am

    wow. I’ve got to get closer to Levi. All I got was him kissing on my jacket. Keep the kisses, I want the cash!

  69. Bev Brandon on September 15, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Wonder what Cameron did to him??
    What a precious honest heart Levi has to tell about hitting the girl. We prayed that our children would be found out so that they and WE could deal with our hearts. And they were…I do love that he wanted to give something back to his teacher/class. Levi is learning the meaning of grace from his parents! So concerned for his neck—will continue to pray!

  70. Brian Crisman on September 15, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Glad to hear that Levi is doing so well. Will continue to pray for him.

    Does each card he receive get the same thank you? What is our address? I could send several.

  71. Cole Forehand on September 16, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    oh lordie how my mom and dad laughed at this one

    we NEED 2 c u guys

    mom wanted 2 know how beth was with Ike and things…give us a call or email if you guys get the chance…AWW HECK just come down here haha

  72. Cindy- My Life HIS Story on September 16, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    What a cutie pie! And I’m with Bev…what did this Courtney girl do…Are we completely sure it wasn’t self-defense? I know, I know, hitting is never okay, but, gee, can’t we give the little guy a break? Who knows she might’ve been trying to kiss him or something!! YUUUUCK!!!! She might have been trying to help him with his “owie” or score some cash…the news already may be out among the girls that the boy knows how to gift!

    I’m praying for him…and ya’ll. It’s hard to keep a five year old little boy slowed down!

  73. Timothy Hill on September 17, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    I just put my get well card in the mail! Hey, I’ve got to get to college somehow. I’m expecting some money from your son pretty soon…. LOL! J/K.

  74. Lopsided Halo on September 19, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    OMG….too funny 🙂 Can I get a thank you card from Levi????

    Love it…that boy is too precious for words!!!!

Leave a Comment