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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Break Favorites...

We are in the final hours of our Spring Break and I will be sad to see it go! Not because we took a fabulous vacation {or any vacation for that matter} but because life was a slower pace for one week. And now I am officially declaring myself as getting old! While Koby complained about being bored and actually counted down the days until going back to school {or AKA Social Hour in Koby's world} I enjoyed a less structured week. If that makes me old then so be it!

Please don't be mistaken though. While there were all of 14 things I wanted to accomplish over a 10 day period I will openly confess to marking off only 2 things from my list. One of those was cleaning our bedroom which I accomplished Monday. It was desperately needed, complete with dusting and moving things around and it is good to know I can accomplish something. However, those other 12 things - not so much! Good thing I have never been too much of a high achiever, or an OCD person.

I thought I would share a few of my favorite things with y'all, which I discovered mostly over Spring Break.




These two snack items are now at the top of my list!!! I have enjoyed both of them over the last week and so has our family.

My sister got me a new book for Christmas from one of my favorite bloggers and I have finished the book over Spring Break!! If you have not read this please pick it up because it will truly make you laugh out loud.


I enjoy reading Melanie's blog and this book just had so many funny but true things for marriage. I also have been reading this book, which talks about evangelism.


It has really impacted me in looking at the way I see people around me and how I view the Great Commission. This book is straight forward in challenging you to share your faith through building relationships. I got it from our church library but I will be buying my own copy soon!

Speaking of the Great Commission, Koby's girlfriend spent Spring Break in Haiti...


....and can I just say how sweet this picture is?! It is definitely one of my favorites! Anna's family went with their church to work at a newly built compound in Haiti. She went knowing she would have no wifi and no hot water which are both huge sacrifices for a 16 year old {or me!}. Koby and I prayed for her trip the whole time she was gone and she came home telling us all kinds of stories and how the Lord worked. She was responsible to go with her translator each day and teach about 50 kids Bible stories and make crafts with them. She also brought something back for us, which is sure to be one of my new favorites...


...COFFEE from the Dominican Republic, which is where they flew in and out of. I can't wait to try it!

I also wanted to share my new favorite version of Jesus Loves Me, which we shared in our local mission project last Saturday. It's very catchy and the kids love keeping the beat!

video

For the record I am the one recording not the one singing!!

I came across this blog post by a new blogger and had to share it here because it was one of my favorites I read this week:

http://motherhoodandmuffintops.blogspot.com/2014/03/weve-been-so-busy-around-here-with-all.html

If you have two minutes click on it and read it! If you are a mother you will understand my deep appreciation for her post.

Here is what is NOT my favorite:


This is the parking ticket we got when we took Brendan to visit the Alabama campus Thursday. While we were most impressed with the campus and dorms and College of Engineering, I was not happy about getting this ticket. However, I think the fact that our van is covered with Texas ATM decals could possibly cause our van to stand out in a crowd of vehicles. Oh, and we also parked in the faculty parking lot!!

I also don't know about the time I spent with Kamdyn at the mall looking for a swimsuit. Shopping is fun! Shopping with your 15 year old daughter for a swim suit and new shorts is not so fun but that's for another blog post.

I do hope you enjoyed your Spring Break if you had one. God provided us with great weather for the most part and I was so thankful to spend some time outside! I hope you are finding some favorites in this new season...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

That time I was wrong....

In my last post I eluded to more stability in my future posts because basketball season was over. I may have mentioned I would have more time on my hands and how I couldn't wait to do some things around the house - like cooking for starters. In full disclosure, I did have the greatest of intentions! I also intended to be ready to run my first 5K this month but sadly that didn't work out either.

I could never have anticipated the flurry of activities that would soon surround us. While in my mind I pictured quiet, sunny afternoons with our family all together eating a supper that consisted of something other than nachos or chicken fingers I have decided the Lord had other plans. I have been involved with some committee meetings at church and some difficult days at school. We were a host home for our DNOW weekend, housing 8 girls and a college student. Koby had surgery, Brendan played his final game {for real this time} and Kamdyn started softball practice!

So here are a few snapshots of what we have been up to {which clearly will not include blogging!}...


We were a host home for DNOW at our church last weekend. Brian and I have opened our home for the past few years and we have had all ages. The last two years I have gotten wise and hosted the oldest group of girls. It has worked wonderfully because they don't want to stay up all night and they are passed the age of girl drama. I have decided they can be a bit messier than boys but tend to take home everything they bring unlike boys! I was thrilled to host this particular group of girls this year because I knew it would be their final DNOW and also because I knew I was going to have the BEST college leader, who was a former student of mine. It has been amazing to see how God has worked in her life and I was so glad to hear her be able to relate some of that to the girls we hosted.

Koby had surgery this past Wednesday to repair some torn cartilage in his shoulder. He actually hurt it last summer but toughed it out through football and basketball. We knew if he could survive both sport seasons he would have to have the surgery done as soon as possible.


So, we took this "selfie" before they wheeled him back Wednesday morning! The procedure itself took less than an hour and it was an outpatient surgery so we were home before noon. I think the first 24 hours were pretty rough but by Friday morning his humor was returning. He has stayed in the recliner since coming home and he has watched more movies than I care to admit. Finally, we got him up and outside for some fresh air...


It's not exactly spring break at the beach but close! I can't thank you enough for your prayers because I believe the Lord has answered them. Brian and I actually anticipated much worse and have been thankful that Koby has done so well. We will be going to the doctor Tuesday to have his stitches out and he can't wait! The other side of that will be starting therapy and I'm not so sure it will be that fun for any of us.

Brendan was selected as an All Star for the north half of the state in 1A schools. He was one of 12 on the north team and left for Jackson Wednesday to get checked in. He participated in the three point contest Thursday and came in 7th out of all 40 contestants for 1A-3A schools. I picked Ellie up in Birmingham Thursday night and she and Kamdyn and I drove down to Jackson Friday for the game. It was a little bittersweet watching him play because I knew this was in fact it. Everything he had worked on all those years in the drive way was rewarded in this All Star experience and we are all thankful he had the opportunity to compete.


 
 
 

Yesterday we served in our monthly mission project with the church. This is something that sometimes sneaks up quickly and this month was one of those times. However, I always leave our time spent there thankful, grateful and with a full heart. I think Kamdyn does too because I saw that she posted this picture on her Instagram...


She has the biggest heart to pick up any child and share love with them. The kids climb on her, fix her hair, chase her around and she still keeps smiling. To see her in action never fails to make me stop and say a prayer of thanksgiving for how the Lord will use her for the Kingdom!

So, that is about it from here. We did remember to spring forward and I realize at some point I will be grateful for the extra sun in the evening. However, it was not today because I really am trying to recover from lost sleep over the last week. We are officially on Spring Break and I am not sure what that means for us other than no school, which at this point is good enough for me! I hope to be checking in with you sooner rather than later but no promises this time...I've been known to be wrong before!

HAPPY SPRING BREAK!

Friday, February 21, 2014

The End of a Chapter....

As you all know we have been playing basketball since late October. Not we to include me in the physical part of the game but we that includes time and money spent on the road, in the bleachers and washing uniforms! It is my favorite of all the sport seasons, and we have certainly been on both ends of the win-loss column with our kids this year.

The boys have had a great season and I believe they have been part of a rare team experience. There is no selfishness, no fighting, no playing for the number on the jersey. They made a decision from game one to play with one theme - "one body, many parts" - and they have had a season where we have seen teenage boys live that out better than many churches!

I grew up going to the State Tournament, both as a spectator and as a part of a team. God did not see fit to bless me with a talent for the game, but a love for it was put deep into my heart because I had parents who have gave me great exposure. I knew I would want my kids to have similar experiences and all three of them have been dribbling a ball as long as I can remember. So, this year our boys reached one of their goals which was going to the State Tournament. While I understand our small, private 1A school version is a far cry from the Texas State Tournament I grew up with I also know for our boys this was as big of an accomplishment as any I had seen or been a part of. And last night we played in the second round of the tournament as one of the top 8 teams in the state!



The boys had every opportunity to be intimidated, scared or uncertain as they took the court. To be honest I was all of that and more in the stands!! The team we played included a 6'7" post in addition to some quick guards. However, true to their team motto the boys came out as one body using their many talents to play a tough game. A win seemed well within reach until the final 3 minutes of the game and in the end we came up short.

There are things I want to protect our kids from, when I would choose to be the one to feel the hurt feelings or face the disappointment or rejection. I know this is part of life but it doesn't make it any easier for me as their mother. When Kamdyn experienced loss after loss this season, when other girls called her names, when her boyfriend broke up with her because another girl in her class was "prettier" I wanted to take it all away. When the clock hit 0:00 last night, I wanted to be the one to feel that pain and disappointment instead of our boys. I wanted the them to win, to continue on their journey making school history, to make memories that would last forever but it wasn't going to happen.

My job as their mom has been to pick up the pieces but what do you say to your son who has played his final game after playing for the school since 7th grade? When you see him pull the jersey over his face to hide his tears, you want to run to the court and pick him up like you could when he was 2 years old and he lost his pacifier. {Do not judge my mothering by the fact that I did in fact let Brendan have a pacifier until he was 2!} There is nothing you can say, no words that bring comfort because loosing a game in the state tournament is nothing you can fix! I wanted to stop time, to reverse time, to run out and tip the ball in as it spun around the rim and out but you know, LACK OF TALENT. A mother doesn't do well with the feeling of helplessness because it is her job to take care of things, to fix things, to protect and last night I could do none of those.

And so the Bailey's are ending a chapter. It's time for me to unpack the candy/first aid bag that I have been carrying all over this state since August. I'll get back to running and cooking and being home at night to see TV live instead of on the DVR. But then there is also the end of another chapter, the one where Brian and I have seen our boys on the court together...


...the one where they hold up trophies together and win together and even loose together and in the end that is what this has all been about. I am truly thankful God wove a love of basketball into our family story and every mile we have driven, dollar we have spent and minute in the stands has been worth every bit of it.

I should also say a HUGE thank you to Gran and Aunt Glenda for coming to see the boys play in the State Tournament!! They got to see a great game and the kids, or maybe just Koby, provided them enough comic relief to last until next time. We were so glad y'all could make the trip over!!

So maybe now I will be a more faithful blogger and to be honest I do have lots to share but first I'll adjust to being home and maybe college basketball! Talk to you soon...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Basketball

I realize that I might have a much more faithful audience of readers if I myself were more faithful in posting. However, there is something called life that continues to keep me on the go. At times, I feel like I am living in a real life comedy show - three teenagers, a husband, two dogs and a season of winter that will not stop! I even heard today that this winter rivals the winter of 1982 and while I was alive in '82 I couldn't tell you anything about that winter. If it was as cold and rainy/snowy as what we continue to witness then I think it might be best I have it out of my memory!

We have been on the road for basketball and that is why I have posted very little in the last week or so. I should tell you that Kamdyn's team is done after getting beat in the play-in game of the district tournament. It was a great game because her team scored 41 points, which was their season high! They only lost by three points but to Kamdyn that was like getting beat thirty points. She had a great game and after 24 hours she was over the loss but not over the season.

The boys are still playing out their season! We were on the road last Thursday and Saturday with them in the district tournament and I can say their hard work paid off....


...because they brought home the district championship trophy! To say these boys were excited is an understatement! And, since I haven't posted too many pictures from the end of the season I thought I would do that on the blog tonight because I am all caught up on laundry, dishes and TV since we have a had snow day!! Lucky you....



Koby and Brendan both put up double digits during the tournament. Koby ended the game on Saturday with a busted tongue and I think it was a great war wound to him. I took this picture of Brendan and his best friend seconds before the final buzzer rang...


At this point the coach had pulled them from the game and they knew they were about to win the championship, which was a goal the two of them set as seniors for the team. They went ahead and put their #1 up to practice for all the pictures that were to come! Jaelin will be going with Brendan to Guatemala later in the spring for a mission trip and I am so thankful that God has provided such a great friend for Brendan.

Brendan was also selected to the All Tournament team, which was announced after the game. I think the getting the win was important and the All Tournament selection was icing on the cake! After the boys came out of the dressing room someone snapped this family picture for us...



Earlier in the afternoon Kamdyn painted herself a shirt to wear. Through the season the boys have worn #2 and #3 and she has worn #1. It would be too much to think they had coordinated this so please know it was clearly by chance that it worked out they would be #1, #2 and #3. But she came up with a play on the numbers and painted herself a shirt. They let me take this picture before we left the house for the game...



And that's what has been going on with us! The kids enjoyed Winter Jam Sunday and we have truly been thankful for a day out of school because of this winter storm 2014 part 1, 2 AND 3!! It snowed right after we got home from school today and we canceled church. Once the boys got in from practice Koby changed into something warm and he and Johnny got by the fire...



Yes, those would be footed pajamas!!

Tomorrow we hit the road to play in the next round of the playoffs. We are praying for a win and I'll keep you updated. STAY WARM Y'ALL!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cold, cold go away...

In what might be considered the understatement of the year let me say IT. IS. COLD!!!!!! And, I am ok with cold really. I mean, I love the boots and sweaters and all of that. But today at noon it was 21 degrees with a windchill of 4 or some crazy number like that! I know this because I had dismissal duty at noon and I found myself hurrying the children into their cars because my nose literally felt frozen!

It maybe warmed up to 23 and so when 3:30 came I headed for home, warm pajamas and the crockpot of potato soup that I knew had been cooking all day! Seriously, I was in pajamas and a warm shirt at 4:00 this afternoon and I found no shame in that. Brian went with the boys to a game they played in on the base but Kamdyn and I stayed home and caught up on our TV shows.

I wanted to post a few things to share with y'all and didn't get the chance to do it in my last post.

  • I came across this recipe and I just thought it was both cute and yummy and I knew I should share it here!

http://cookinupnorth.blogspot.com/2014/01/grape-popperspinned-it-and-tried-it.html

The recipe screams summer and maybe that's why I was drawn to it!

  • I also came across this blog and in about two seconds I was hooked! It is a great story that I thought was worthy of sharing here with y'all and if you have a chance I hope you will read just a bit of Brenna's story.

http://www.blessedbybrenna.com/


  • I am the first to admit I sometimes let things pile up and this is certainly evidence here....


...BUT I have been working through some books to create a three week study for our youth girls called "Hopelessly Devoted". If you are anything like me your mind instantly went to Olivia Newton-John, a long white gown and cute front porch. This would be one of my favorite songs from Grease and as a disclaimer I did not recommend the girls see the movie!!!

In all seriousness, we have been working through this study and talking about what it means to live a life that is hopelessly devoted to God through developing a passion for His Word, being committed in prayer and focusing on worship. I teach with some of the MOST amazing women, and I have thanked God for them and their friendship! This study has been as much or more of a blessing to us than I ever could've imagined but more than that we have seen God move in the hearts of our girls.

The theme verse for our study has been Jeremiah 29:13 but as I have continued to study the Bible I have been overwhelmed at how many times I see the word ALL.

Jeremiah 29:13 says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with ALL your heart."

Matthew 22:37 says, "Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, ALL your soul and ALL your mind."

Joel 2:12 says, "Even now', declares the LORD, 'return to me with ALL your heart."

I just think God is real serious about wanting us to serve Him, follow Him and most of all love Him with ALL that we are. I know for me, this is my personal challenge for 2014 and for whatever reason I am now sharing it here with all of you. And please know at anytime I have about 30+ high school girls who could use your prayers as they try to find their way in their own journey of faith.

So, that's what is happening here right now! I can't tell you how much I have loved my night at home, in my pajamas in front of the fire with a tea cup of hot apple cider. I feel like it is safe to say I have a true appreciation for the blessings of heat and a warm bed as the wind howls all around us. I hope you are staying warm wherever you are....


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Another Milestone, Another Memory

We have survived another three-night-basketball week and have enjoyed our weekend of sunshine and somewhat warmer weather as it hit 51 degrees here today!!

I am happy to report that Kamdyn's team finally got another win this week and also had two games where they scored in the double digits. I realize to some this may not be such an accomplishment but for her and her team it most definitely was! She also had her best game of the season Friday night, scoring 20 points for her JV team in a game they lost. All in all, we counted her week a success and were thankful things took a turn for the positive!

I also knew this week of home games would bring another milestone for our family - Brendan would be playing his final game in our gym. While the season is not over, the kids are done in their regular season and have no more games at home. We knew this would be a big night for several reasons - it was senior night, Ellie was coming in to see Brendan and her friends play their final game and this was also going to be a big district game for their team.

As I was getting ready for senior night and thinking about the many, many, many pictures I have of Brendan playing basketball I found this....


...and I realized not only would Brian and I watch Brendan play his final game at home but that it would also be the last time where we would see Brendan and Koby on the home court together. Here's the thing - when I look at my boys these are the faces I see. In this picture they are most likely 7 and 8 and at this point they both had dreams of being in the NBA.

I can't even begin to tell you how many hours I have logged sitting on bleachers or miles I have driven for games and practices. But each hour and each mile made a memory deep in this mother's heart and I wouldn't trade it for a single minute! They have played all over Mississippi and in our drive way and they have lost and they have won but they have played together - Brendan always telling Koby what to do or where to go and Koby doing whatever he wanted to, getting the shot he knew he could make.

And Friday night, we reached another milestone and I tucked another memory down deep in my heart...


...as the announcer recognized #2 Senior and Team Captain Brendan Bailey and his coach presented him a ball signed by the team and I looked up at our son who daily takes another step away from childhood and into adulthood. He nodded at the crowd, shook the coach's hand and time marched on. My tears only came as they called his name for the last time in the starting line up and he ran out on the court, high-fiving his teammates down the line then gathering with his brother and the other starters to do something he started from the first game of this season...


...and I realized this is what God intended. Not awards and trophies and recognition but a heart devoted to Him, a spirit leading others to seek Him.

Before the game I was able to take this picture of Brendan and Koby with two of their "other brothers" and I had to share it here with you...


...the boys all smiles and laughing. It is one of my favorites from the night besides this last one. I mentioned earlier we had a big district game for this final home game. We had already beat this team once to earn first place but Friday night we couldn't pull out another win. With 16 seconds to go Brendan made a shot in the lane that put us within 2 points but we weren't able to score again after that. When the clock hit 0 I took this picture...


...and a second later he had his jersey over his face to wipe his tears. I have always said sports provide our kids such great life lessons and even when you loose like they did there is something you can learn. You keep going. You let it make you stronger. You never stay defeated. And after gathering with his team in the locker room he came back out on the court to do this....


...ask Ellie to Prom. In case you are wandering, she said yes! Brendan knew what he wanted to do to ask her and Koby's girlfriend helped him with the artistic details. Some of Brendan's friends brought the sign out once he came out of the locker room and those in the stands clapped when they saw it. And life went on, another milestone and another memory.

By the way, Koby has also asked his girlfriend to Prom...


...which was documented on Social Media and she said yes as well!

It is hard to believe we are arriving at the end of January this week. This month has flown by! We still have several more weeks of basketball to go as Kamdyn's JV team plays in the district tournament this week and her Varsity team and the boys' team play in the tournament the first week of February. We are also expecting another "arctic blast" from the Polar Vortex this week so my flip flops will remain in the back of the closet a little longer.

Have a great week y'all!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Life is a battle...

It's been too long since I posted but well .... basketball happened. Oh and a slight outbreak of flu. And maybe even one or two nights of catching up on TV. Let me see if I can sort it all out -

Last week, the second week back to school, I felt like I could probably battle my way through all that was coming our way. I knew we would play three nights of basketball, one of which would be a rivalry game for the boys and all of which would most likely find Kamdyn's team on the loosing end of the score board. Two at home, one on the road. So, I was ready!


We celebrated the wins, encouraged Kamdyn to battle on with her team and teammates and pushed ahead through the week. The kids worked to keep up their homework and I worked on some Sunday School material I have been writing and Brian gave his best effort to continue up the ladder on Candy Crush {a game I have not attempted because I just can't have one more thing I feel like I need to accomplish right now}.

By Wednesday we started seeing kids drop like flies with flu and strep throat at the school. Then teachers and even our administrator and on Thursday I sent Brendan on to the doctor after lunch because I knew we needed to stay on top of whatever was developing in his sinuses. He had a negative flu test but they did go ahead and treat him for a sinus infection and cough. By Friday it was my turn!

The kids played away on Friday night and Brian and I had already decided this would be our game to miss, mostly because it had been THE CRAZIEST week and we both needed to just catch our breath. Plus we also had a gift card to a local restaurant that we were eager to spend! So we had big plans to go out to eat and catch up on our TV shows but I took some kind of medicine for my cold/flu and was OUT at 7:30. Clearly I am not quite the date that I used to be!!

So Brendan and I have fought this stuff all weekend and into our holiday today. I am finally feeling better but I did have to take Brendan back to the doctor this afternoon. Thankfully, the doctor gave him some different medicine and a shot of an antibiotic! While I was thankful the doctor was going to be aggressive at treating whatever is lingering with Brendan, he was not and was willing to do battle with the poor nurse who gave him the shot. He remembered the medicine from his fight with pneumonia the summer before last and was NOT eager for a repeat of it! However, I am not eager for a repeat of the pneumonia-that-wouldn't-go-away so I told the nurse, "just go on and stick him please".

The truth is, I can't stand to get a shot myself. When the kids fuss about having to get one I instantly have a flash back to a time when I may have been held down so that a nurse could just stick me! I also take the opportunity to remind our kids of how many shots and sticks I got in order to bring them into this world. I don't think it helps them but it helps me!

So anyways, now you are all caught up on our medical woes. Hopefully Brendan will be on the road to recovery and nobody else comes down with whatever this is. The kids play three games again this week but thankfully they are all at home!

I have had some time to look for new recipes over the long weekend and came across two I wanted to share here with y'all. I will most likely make both of these - at the end of basketball when my kitchen will once again come alive!

So this is a dip recipe that I think might work for the Super Bowl party:

http://everydaycheer.com/2014/01/18/super-bowl-corn-dip/

and this is a link to a spin on ham sandwiches that I am eager to try:

http://mixandmatchmama.blogspot.com/2011/10/ham-and-swiss-pinwheels.html

Well, now you are all caught up on us! We are once again awaiting the arrival of the "Polar Vortex", or what was known in my day as an Arctic Cold Front. I was thankful for the 57 degrees and sunshine of today and will confess I am eager for flip flop weather to arrive!