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!


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.


  • 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:


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


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!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

We are Back Jack...

The Bailey bunch is officially back into the routine of school, basketball and a piled high laundry basket! The break was good while it lasted and I was reminded this morning as the alarm sounded that I can no longer stay up until 11:00- not even to see the National Championship game!

It has been so cold here, which I know you will not have a hard time believing since the north pole is now anywhere above Interstate 20! It is the kind of cold that makes you want to stay inside - in comfortable pajamas with a good book and the fire going. For the record, I like to pretty much do that even if it was 45 degrees so imagine the desire of my heart when it is 9 degrees with a negative windchill.

Our time off really was a blessing! We found ourselves staying up late, watching movies or catching up on some shows on Netflix. I cooked, read, cleaned and read some more! Oh don't be jealous - I didn't get watch to near enough Hoda and Kathie Lee and I didn't spend a single whole day in my pajamas, which was one of my goals before getting out for the Christmas Break. Yes, I aim high!!

So yesterday I had dinner cooked, served, cleaned up and was in my new pink flannel pajama pants and comfy sweatshirt all before 6:30!! I was so excited and even a little bit proud of myself. I am in a TV dilemma right now because we have two nights of basketball this week plus church. Monday night was dedicated to the National Championship. However I still need to work in a two hour season premiere of Downton Abby, the season opener of the Bachelor and wrap up the final episodes of Scandal. Times are tough!!

And in a total off the wall topic dealing with tough times I have to ask WHO KNEW we would be having a Velveeta shortage in 2014? I was shocked to see this story on yahoo today. I feel like I should be stocking up on what is left on store shelves because my family uses Velveeta as a staple food! It is an essential every time I buy groceries the same as milk and bread! So if you thought your biggest problem was going to be your first credit card bill after Christmas you have another thing coming!

It really is hard to believe today is already Jan. 7 and I have found myself feeling curious and anxious about the year 2014. Brendan will graduate, Brian is most likely retiring from the Air Force, Kamdyn will turn 16 and Koby will finally figure out how to check the balance in his checking account before using his debit card. And on top of that it looks as though the Aggies will loose Johnny Football! So you can see my anxiety over 2014 is indeed legitimate!

To be honest, in January I try to spend some time praying about a verse or word that God might have for me to face the coming year. I have recently been reminded of my verse from last year out of Deut. 31 as Moses gives Joshua the "torch" to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. He tells Joshua {v.8} "Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will go before you. He will be with you; He will never leave you or forsake you." It was exactly the verse I needed in 2013 and now I am asking the Lord to go before me in 2014, through emotional parenting times and scary job security times and lead me. I haven't landed on my verse for this year, but I know that the Lord knows exactly what I need to face all that is ahead of me and without fail the scripture will be a lamp to my feet and light to my path.

So in the frigid start of this new year I hope you have given thought to how the Lord will lead you. What things does He have in store for you this year? How can you grow in your relationship with Him and what ways will you impact the Kingdom? We all want to loose weight, exercise more, run a marathon 5K but what goals do you have for your relationship with Christ?

I have to wrap this up or risk being up past bedtime yet again. Adjusting back to the 5:30 alarm is not near as exciting as it might seem. I do hope you are staying warm wherever you are and I pray the Holy Spirit leads you to just the verse you need in your heart as you dive into 2014!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

I tried and tried to think of a creative title for this post but I went for the obvious because of one reason........

The Fighting Texas Aggies won the ChickfilA bowl just minutes before the clock struck midnight! What a way to ring in 2014 - although it is highly possible my heart almost gave out at least three or four times in the fourth quarter alone!

Our family along with my parents headed to Atlanta to see the Aggies play Duke in the ChickfilA bowl at the Georgia Dome. We did some shopping on the way over and then made it to the hotel late Monday evening. After finding food and checking things out we got ready to head out for Midnight Yell along with 1500 of our closest friends!

After we took our group picture on the stage the boys found their way in front of a tv camera, being interviewed for the local College Station news.

Click here to watch the video

We had time to get a few more pictures before all the story-telling and btho yelling began!
The kids did such a great job posing for all the pictures I kept taking!! We really enjoyed yell practice and then made the long walk back to the hotel to get our rest for the game and festivities of New Year's Eve.
I found the closest Starbucks to get my New Year's Eve morning going then we had some late breakfast and took in the parade. We had several hours to kill between the parade and getting to the Dome so Brian led us down to the Marta {or train}.....
...and it only took three workers to help us figure out how to get a pass to ride and what train to take!! Indeed country had come to town! After finding us some good supper and doing a little more shopping we got back on the train and headed to the game!
We were all bundled up while we waited to get into the Dome...
....but then we were able to get inside to our seats and get comfortable!!
In my wildest dreams I would not have thought this would be such a close game and I even leaned over to Brian at one point in the second quarter and said, "if we loose this game we will be the laughing stock of the SEC". It wasn't that I didn't have faith in the Ags but I was starting to wonder if our defense realized that the game had started!
I spent a good part of the fourth quarter with one hand over my eyes, wanting to know but scared to look! At one point I thought I might even be sick...literally! Once the final minute began to tick away the boys headed down to the rail to get a good view of the trophy presentations...
I can't think of a better way for us to celebrate the start of 2014! I took this picture of Brian and I just before midnight...
...a happy new year's selfie just minutes after we won!
We had so much fun with mom and dad and the kids - cheering on the Aggies and spending time together. What a great way to end 2013 and I do look forward to what 2014 holds for the Bailey bunch!!