Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Last One Standing....

Today I am celebrating that I am still standing! The week that was Homecoming 2012 was a whirlwind of fun and memories and I for one am glad to have it behind me!!

I haven't had time to post any pictures from Neon Day so here are a few:

Here is a picture of Kamdyn and her friend Kayla in their neon shirts with pink duct tape accents!
And here is Koby at Homecoming practice with his classmate, Bailey. Please note the use of neon green duct tape that Koby used to decorate his clothes and glasses. By the way, he doesn't wear glasses and I have NO idea where he got the ones in this picture!! But at this point I recognize Koby will always surprise me with something...
On Friday morning, our high school students participated in the annual Homecoming Chapel. This was Koby's big moment to shine as he was the escort for his Class Maid.I am still not sure that he realizes she was the one everyone was cheering for!! Here is their picture that I took after chapel was over:

After all the Homecoming Maids were introduced there was an alumni speaker who used 1 Corinthians 16:13 to go along with our Homecoming theme of "The Last One Standing". This is a great verse! Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth, "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith, be men of courage; be strong." This verse was very encouraging to me and hopefully to the students as well!!
Later in the morning we had our school wide Homecoming pep rally! Both the JV and Varsity cheerleaders worked hard to perform and here is a picture of my girls before the pep rally:

And a picture of Kamdyn and I before the pep rally:

Our team did in fact pull out a Homecoming win, which means we accomplished the theme of Homecoming 2012 - to be the last one standing! The win contributed to a lively atmosphere at the Homecoming After Party that was sponsored by the Junior class, AKA very tired parents!!!

And let me pause here to say thank you to any parent or adult who ever chaperoned a Friday night dance until midnight after a full day of work. As our kids get older I have a new appreciation for all of the parents who had me and my friends over for slumber parties or stayed with us at a dance when we were growing up. You may have desired sleep over loud music or passing out food, but now I understand the sacrifices you made to be a part of our memory making experiences.

It was entertaining to say the least to watch our boys dance around with their friends and have a good time. One highlight of the night had to have been Koby in the middle of a dance off circle!! He gets his moves from Brian without a doubt and Brendan tends to take more after me - no rhythm and no desire to be in the middle of a dance off circle!! However, neither one of our boys take themselves very seriously and I was glad to see them willing to just get out there and have a good time with their friends.

So as we got home and unloaded the car and got ready for bed last night early this morning, I realized I was the last one standing! I also realized I am not as young as I used to be because after a full day of running from chapel to pep rally to Homecoming Maid formal pictures to the football game to crowing of the queen to the after party and to home I was flat out tired!! A rainy Saturday afternoon celebrating an Aggie victory is just what I need to recover...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Marooned Out...

Today I will not win mother of the year. Allow me to explain - Our kids looked so cute before we went out the door and I failed to take their picture all together at any point today.

Now, in my defense we were running late for school this morning (which is no surprise to some of you and actually Kam and I were running late but B and Koby were ready and that's another story for another day) Remember, we had to be there extra early for See Ya At The Pole so late is a relative word when you are trying to be early.

My plan was to be kind of random about the picture opportunity with the kids right after See Ya At The Pole. I thought I might sneak it in right before they left but we had so much praying going on we missed that opportunity!

I really had the best of intentions and I can promise you the kids were not as worried about a  picture as I was! Just know our Aggie family would've been so proud today as we ALL sported our maroon. While I didn't get a picture of all three kids together, I am sharing a couple that I did manage to squeeze in this afternoon.

Kamdyn made her own Aggie hair bow last night! This is it and it is SO cute!! She is creative like this, which by the way she does not get from me!
Here are the boys right before 6th period this afternoon. I am pretty certain they love the fact that I work at the school and can call them to the hall at any time for stuff like this....or maybe not so much.
This pretty much confirms what I said about loving the fact that I work at their school! See how big they are smiling!!! Actually, it has might have more to do with the fact that I said, "Smile or give me your iphones now!" and there you go...instant cooperation.

So, today we talked to our SEC friends about wearing the real maroon. It was so much fun! And tomorrow is neon day so things will really brighten up a bit. Tonight the kids are making all kinds of tshirts out of neon duct tape, or is it duck tape? I never can keep it straight!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Headlines and News....

I had every intention of just posting a few pictures of the kids from our homecoming dress up days today but I came across the craziest headline on yahoo when I got on my computer.....


YES! There seems to be a possible bacon shortage next summer!! Mind you I can't even plan what my family will be eating next week but no bacon next summer?! What will my family eat on Saturday mornings in mid-2013? I am already distraught over it and since I have nothing else that I could possibly worry about I'll most likely worry myself sick over this.

Now, I really did want to share those pictures of the kids with all of you. I remember the excitement of Homecoming when I was growing up and our kids are much the same still today. They love dress up days and here are some of what has gone on so far this week:

This is Kamdyn (middle) with two of her friends on  Multiplicity Day. They were the Three Musketeers and they made their shirts with good old fashioned puff paint and creativity!!
This is Koby (middle) dressed on Super Hero day. These girls are two of his best friends. They help me keep him straight with homework and he keeps a big brother eye on them since they are prone to trouble every now and then!
And this is Brendan with his girlfriend on Super Hero day. They bought matching shirts, isn't that precious? Young love........
So, that's what is going on with us so far this week. I will admit the kids get up much easier in the morning when they think they are getting to dress in something other than their normal school clothes! Tomorrow is "show your school spirit day" and they can wear their favorite team tshirt or jersey. Koby has an ATM baseball jersey and Kamdyn has out an ATM basketball jersey. Brendan is on the fence with which team he will support tomorrow!!

Wednesday is also See You at the Pole day so at some point tomorrow take a minute and say a prayer for students, teachers and staff at the local school in your community.

Monday, September 24, 2012

So this weekend I went with 13 other moms from my church to the dot MOM conference in Birmingham, AL. We left Friday morning, making a quick stop for lunch and of course a short shopping trip into Target! Can a group of women pass a Target without stopping? Anyways, our conference started at 1:00 and it was nonstop praise and worship and encouragement for moms!

I was so excited to hear the message Vicki Courtney would share (www.vickicourtney.com). She has a great ministry to mothers and I have read several of her books. Vicki is very straight forward about mothers who do too much for their children and her message this weekend was about raising "Me Monsters". She encouraged us to make our homes God-centered instead of kid-centered and she stepped all over my toes! It was a great reminder that God should be our priority then our spouse then our children.

We also heard a new speaker this year and I am now a HUGE fan of hers! Her name was Jen Hatmaker (http://www.jenhatmaker.com/blog.htm) and she and her husband pastor at a church in the Austin, TX area. Other than the fact that she is an avid Longhorn fan I absolutely loved her!! She shared a great message with us reminding us that our job is to raise up disciples that will impact the Kingdom. Here is one of my favorite quotes:

"We did not come from precious and we will not turn out precious".

Now I might not have come from precious but I did come from almost precious!!! However, Jen's point was that we are not perfect and our children will not be. I was so challenged by her direction to raise brave kids not comfortable kids and to parent the kids we have not the kids we were.

A highlight from my weekend is that I MET KORI ROBERTSON FROM DUCK DYNASTY!

(Ok it's not the best quality photo but I am hopefully getting an iPhone soon!)

Anyways, she was the most genuine person you have ever met! She sat right in front of me in one of our breakout classes and I knew it was her!!!! After our session was over I asked if she was Kori Robertson from Duck Dynasty and she said yes and so I told her my family was a HUGE fan of the show! We visited after the class about raising teen age daughters and the new book her and Willie have coming out in October and about how funny the show is!! Later that night the Lifeway people introduced her on stage...

...and everyone got out their cell phones to video her! Since I hated to ask her for a picture after our little talk (although I did meet her mother), myself and several other girls in our group found her after the night session and had our pictures made with her.

So, the conference far exceeded my expectations to say the least!! Please check you calendars and look on www.Lifeway.com to sign up for the dot MOM conference coming to Frisco, TX in February and to Chattanooga, TN next Sept. It will give you encouragement and direction on this crazy path of motherhood.

It is Homecoming week at our school and so there is lots of excitement in the air! Our team had a big win Friday night 42-0 so I am hopeful that will add some momentum as we go into our Homecoming game. I'll be sharing pictures this week of the kids as they participate in dress up days. Also, we finish soccer this week (insert the Hallelujah chorus!). Kamdyn's team plays just two more games and then she will trade in her cleats for her basketball shoes. This is also report card week and a little bird has told me things look good for Koby this time!!!! (say a prayer on Wednesday) So big things are happening for our bunch.

Have a great week ya'll.....and hey jack, the Aggies won!!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This time of the school year does not blend well with my exercise pattern but the change in weather had me motivated yesterday. After I got home from school I decided it was a great idea to go for a run. Now, I haven't run in a few days weeks. Honestly, I haven't really DONE any significant exercise but I have had great intentions TO exercise and intentions should count for something.

So yesterday, after the rain was over and the blue skies came out, I decided it was the day to get back into it! You know that sense of determination you get, like you can conquer anything? That was me! I don't know if it was the cooler weather or the two donuts I ate for breakfast...just saying! (for the record our Krispy Kream donut store opened yesterday so everyone brought donuts to school and I could only say no so many times!)

Anyways, I actually did it! I did my 2 1/2 mile run/walk - more walk than run - and came home tired yet refreshed.

Today I found this quote and thought it was a good one to share here with all of you:

I'm thinking it might me by new motto!! Let's just say right now I'm pretty slow and I have no big plan to run a marathon or anything. But, just getting up and moving is a step ahead of sitting on the couch watching Everybody Loves Raymond reruns.

Like I said the cooler weather has arrived in north Mississippi and I for one am most thankful! This morning it was 48 degrees when we left for school!! At noon it was only 69! I can't even tell you how many times I had to say "thank you Lord for this day". Hope you are cooling off where you are as well! And maybe the cooler weather will also have you finding some exercise time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I am determined....

Here is another one of those stories I just couldn't help but share on the blog! I came across it on yahoo today when I was reading the headlines. I was amazed by the article and the determination of the cheerleader. I hope you can take a minute and read over it because it really is a great story.

Read the story here:


Monday, September 17, 2012

Today's Top Ten....

There are lots of things I have thought about before typing out my post today. Many of them were so random and to be honest I just couldn't come up with any way to connect them all. So, here you have it....my top ten for today!

1) THE AGGIES WON!!!!!! Hey jack, a win is a win!

2) In our contemporary service Sunday morning we sang a bluegrassy (not sure if that's a word) version of 'Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus and that was just the song I needed to be reminded of!! I'm always amazed at how music can impact my soul.

3) Our home was a gathering place for all kinds of activity Saturday night! Kids were in and out, laughing and carrying on and we had THE BEST burgers for dinner!!! Brian made up some blue cheese and bacon hamburgers and I fried us some onion rings. It was a very good meal! Here is the recipe for the Onion Rings from Pioneer Woman:


4) Did I mention the Aggies won?

5) Koby is escorting the Sophomore Homecoming Maid at chapel and he has been so excited about the possibility of wearing a suit and buying a new tie! Those of you who know Koby can appreciate the excitement he has about all of this. Here is a preview of his look for chapel:

As you can tell, he is all about dressing up! Brendan snapped this picture of him tonight as he was strutting around the living room "practicing his walk". The big event is next Friday so I can only imagine how much more practicing he will do!!

6) My friend Beth Farlow has been battling cancer for four years now. She has two boys ages 5 and 8 and when this all started four years ago the doctors weren't sure she would see them grow up. This weekend she got some news that a new drug was on the market and she would be able to try it immediately. This is a huge praise for her and her family! Here is a link to her Caring Bridge site and if you have a minute today please lift this family up in prayer. It has been a long road but they are such an encouragement to me as they face the struggles that have been put before them.


7) It has rained here almost all day and this week we will see some night time temps in the high 40s. This is getting me excited about fall! Bring on the cooler weather and fall sweaters!!

8) In just a few days I am going to the second annual dot Mom event sponsored by Lifeway!! I can't wait!! I also want to encourage you to visit Lifeway's homepage, search for dot Mom and then look at the dates that have been set for the next two events. If you are anywhere close to these events, YOU HAVE TO GO! Get some other friends and take off!! You will receive a blessing if you attend and the one in Frisco, TX in February is already on my radar. I love all three speakers that will be leading that event. Check it out!!

9) I finally figured out Pintrest!! It wasn't as hard as I thought and already I am finding some great recipes, neat do-it-yourself crafts and lots of decorating ideas. I've enjoyed looking at all the different things but at the same time I find myself wondering if these people have teenagers who play sports and a full time job and if they clean their house or do laundry or anything fun because who comes up with this stuff?! Anyways, for now I'm enjoying "pinning" some ideas and at least I'm not hanging on to magazines or newspaper articles this way. Tell me your pintrest name in the comment section so I can follow you!!

10) Duck Dynasty is back in less than a month!!! Set your DVR for Oct. 10!

So, that's it! Hope your week is great.....


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Faith in Action....

As you can all tell by my lack of posting the last few days, our house has been BUSY!! I hate that I have dropped the ball on the blog, but I did think I would catch you all up tonight.

Kamdyn's team played soccer "in the delta" (as we say in Mississippi) and came up short in the end. We had lots of fun on the road with her and some of her friends and I think that is where memories are made! I am always thankful to be involved with the kids and their friends and I love to be a part. She also cheered at her first home game tonight and her squad just did such a great job at their halftime performance. However, early in the second quarter one of her classmates suffered a really bad broken arm and tonight our family is praying for his surgery and recovery!

The boys have stayed super busy with basketball practice and studying for tests this week. I'm happy to have algebra, geometry and biology all behind me but I am also sad to realize I can't recall much of it now to help my own kids. I do remember the DNA rap we had to write and memorize in Biology but our kids were not entertained by that!! (For the record, Hallee and Shanda kept the beat but Starla and I came up with some great rhyming lyrics. Something about a double helix and a nucleus! Again, that has no life application for me!)

I blogged about our new Wednesday night Bible study a few weeks ago and let me tell you it is really kicking in right now!!! If you have a chance to buy the book "Unglued" at Lifeway get it. It's so applicable to how react with our emotions and our faith as women. God knew just what I needed to be studying!

And then our family got a curve ball this week....we have been faithful in prayer through the summer about Brian's job situation with the military. In all honesty, this little town in Mississippi has become our home. We have raised our children here, made life long friends here and grown in our relationship with the Lord here. We thought things were all set for Brian to stay here at least three more years but now that does not look like a reality. So, this very week I am learning a lesson I just taught my Sunday School girls as we have been studying the book of James - have a faith with actions! Sure I am ready to serve the needy and help the poor and I will be the first to work at Vacation Bible School or lead a Bible study. But this week, God is teaching me that faith is trusting Him and His timing and His lead. That's my faith in action.

It kind of makes me think about the Israelites as God parted the Red Sea. Initially, they thought God brought them out of Egypt to just die at the banks of the Red Sea. They couldn't see the bigger picture God had in store for them. Oh there have been some times I wondered if God was going to part the "Red Seas" of my life but experience has taught me He is always there if I will just follow His lead. In Exodus 14:14 Moses tells the Israelites "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still". I read that and thought to myself, "OK Kristy Jane....Be still". So I am letting my worry be still, my doubt be still, my desire to be in control be still. Let me tell ya'll, IT IS HARD! But my faith in action is to trust God with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding.

So keep us in your prayers as Brian and I make some decisions and seek out what God is calling us to. I'll keep you posted! Don't forget....the Aggies play on Saturday so let out a big Gig'em as we take on SMU. And for the record, I'm all about Pioneer Woman this weekend because I'm not too happy with new girl on Gameday. She is NO Erin Andrews!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Marathon of Football....

As you all know our family was most excited about the football weekend! Our school was playing the second home game of the season and then we could hardly wait to get up Saturday and watch Gameday from College Station and our Aggies debut in the SEC. The honest truth is that I was so anxious to get our high school game over with on Friday so I could get home and get my rest on before my Aggie football marathon on Saturday.

Well, let me tell you that was not to be!

My cheerleaders started Friday about 10:00 with a flash mob at break to build up school spirit. Then there was the pep rally for the whole school at 2:15.

Then came the big game, kicking off at 7:30. And just in case you wondering, IT WAS HUMID AND HOT!

But here is the real story - Our football game went into 7 overtimes! Yes, you read that right...SEVEN OVERTIMES! (our school is now tied for the 4th longest game in the nation and I'm not sure if this is a good stat to have or not)

So here is a recap: At the end of regulation (approximately 10:00), we were tied 34-34, which is a high scoring game for us. I'm so excited about overtime and so are our fans! My girls are asking me how overtime works because this is such a new experience for us. I don't even know the rules, only that we have the momentum and this overtime will be great fun despite the fact that it is so humid my hair looks like a frizz ball and I am miserably hot. By the fifth overtime, my girls are asking how much longer can this go on? I'm telling them I have NO idea but just keep cheering. Finally, we start the seventh overtime with the ball in our possession. We score and score our extra two points. They get the ball and they score. The game is 82-80. They get the ball to go for two and come up short by about a yard!! It is officially over and it is now 11:25ish. Talk about a marathon football game!

Can I just say in that moment when the official signaled the two point conversion was short I was torn between being so excited for our team and for our first win and feeling so sorry for that other team who has come up short after seven overtimes and still has to drive 2 hours home.

My excitement for our team won out!!!!! I was so proud of our boys who learned a new depth of perseverance and what it means to give 100% until the end. And I was proud of my cheerleaders, who cheered loudly and performed the fight song over and over and over!

As you know, my Aggies didn't come out quite as well. However, I do believe the nation got to see what a special place Texas ATM is. It was fun to get up Saturday morning and watch the ESPN Gameday crew be at our place. And things looked promising....

Brian and I know we will catch grief this week from our SEC friends, but I plan to answer them by saying "Missouri got it alot worse!" and "everyone gets lucky to win a season opener SEC game once every 12 years" (which applies to Mississippi State fans). I believe the road ahead will hold wins for the Aggies and we will be faithful to cheer them on.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Man's Best Friend....

It is no secret that our family loves dogs! Brian will pick up a stray in heart beat and Kamdyn is just as sympathetic. We have had three dogs since we have been married and our kids have grown up having a dog as pet (minus the 2 years we spent in Guam but even there Koby was constantly on the lookout for a crab at the beach or lizard from the yard!).

Our dogs are like an extension of our family!

So, any dog story or dog video usually compels me to click it and check it out. And that is how I came across this video today!

Yahoo had a video about two dogs welcoming home a soldier and I just had to watch. Once I watched that video and cried, then I found the link to youtube and this video below!


I just loved this video! Rocky treats Brian like that every day he comes home from work!!

Make no mistake, a dog truly is man's best friend! (And even woman by the way b/c I had my own little best friend dog) This video confirms that without a doubt!!

So, while I acknowledge not everyone thinks of dogs in the same way Brian and I do, I can't help but think that watching this video will make you smile and take note of the special relationship between dog and man.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's Almost Gameday!

We have had a busy start back to school from our holiday weekend! There is just something about that Monday holiday that makes the rest of the week seem SO long. We have a soccer game, home football game and church activities filling up our calendar this week. But, the thing our house is the most concerned about is getting in front of the TV Saturday for College Gameday!

In case you missed it, College Gameday on ESPN will be live from College Station this weekend as the Aggies get ready to make their debut into the SEC!!!!!!

This is Kyle Field and come 2:30 Saturday this place will be rocking, literally! As Aggie fans get ready to saw 'em off, my family will be marooned out in front of our TV. I will be on texags on my laptop b/c nothing is funnier than reading a continuous post of plays people think we should run, players people think we should pull and pictures of totally random things relating to the Aggies. We will get our towels out and wave them proudly when the Aggies do anything at all that seems exciting! Yes, thankfully it will finally be game day!

The link below is from Southern Living, which has rated ATM as one of the best places to tailgate. I have not ever tailgated on campus because if our family is coming down for a game we are eating at only one place - Wings and More!!!!! If I could only be there now! (Our family loves wings by the way) (And I mean really LOVES wings!!)

Anyways, I am faithful to reading my Southern Living and was thrilled with the positive write up they did on ATM. I hope you can take a second to read it. It will get you even more excited about Saturday!!


So, the countdown is on starting now! Wish I could be at First Yell, Midnight Yell and the game. But our family will be representing over here in Mississippi, eating wings and yelling at the TV! As friends of ours cheer "War Eagle" or "Roll Tide", we will proudly say Gig'em Aggies and be praying that things go well down in God's country on Saturday.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Summer...

I am now at the end of the Labor Day weekend!

Please don't mistake that comment as any kind of excitement. I do love a holiday... not so much for being off work because let's face it, in this house there is always work to be done! But I love a holiday because you can stay in your pjs and do your "work".

This has me thinking of the things I enjoyed most about the summer, which is an extended holiday for me. So, I thought I would share a few with you!

I always enjoy time at home in Texas with our family in the summer!! This summer our trip home  turned into trips to the doctor and pharmacy among other things. Brendan had pneumonia and who knew that could happen in the summer?! However, he was such a trooper and tried to make the best of it. Seeing my family is always the highlight of my summer and I was thankful for the time with them this year! It is never long enough, but the memories we make always last.

This picture is of our youth group! They took a mission trip to Cleveland, Ohio this summer and Koby Bailey enjoyed himself!! (that's him sporting the UAB shirt, our other favorite college) It was a long 10 days without his smiling face and clever humor around our house, but I know the eternal reward will be worth it. My prayer for Koby is that God uses that big personality in a mighty way and the mission trip is one way Koby can do that. He loves meeting new people and seeing the sights in a new place.

While Kamdyn and I were at cheerleader camp this summer, Brian took the boys on a much needed "MANcation". I was all for this because I love nothing more than our family making memories. I believe the boys will remember this time with Brian forever and I am so thankful for the kind of dad he is to them. They are growing up so fast and any time we can spend with them is a treasure. The picture of them above was after they came out of their "cave dive", or something like that. Let's just say this trip was best taken without me!! Dark, dirt and tight spaces are not something I would have enjoyed.

And what would summer be without Vacation Bible School? This is one of the things I look forward to the most each summer. I am thankful our kids are so good to help out at VBS. In this picture Brendan has one of our friends with him before worship rally starts. This year at VBS, we cooked breakfast for over 45 kids each morning so they could be at VBS with the Housing Authority. Kamdyn was such a help each morning, going in early to help me cook. The boys did their fair share too by helping serve and clean up each day. VBS is such an awesome ministry opportunity, and every year I am thankful for the chance to meet new kids, share the love of Christ and watch them learn about His Word.

So, these are just a few of the things I found myself thinking about as I officially realized it was time to say good bye to summer. I could have written lots more- about our new love of Fried Green Tomatoes fresh from our garden or about the many jars of pickles I helped Brian make this summer (of which only a few are left). Cheer camp deserves its very own post as does the list of all the things I intended to get done but never got around to. This season of the year holds a special place in my heart!

 I eagerly anticipate what fall will bring, especially the low humidity and cute closed-toe shoes! I am looking forward to what God has in store for our family in this next season. Soccer games, football season in the SEC and a fire in the backyard firepit will be the way our family spends fall. I hope your family will also find a way to make memories, making the most of each moment God grants you.