Wednesday, December 29, 2010

{Book Review & Giveaway}

The past few weeks I've had the privilege to work through a new Bible study geared toward military wives. Sara Horn hits the nail on the head with her new book, "Tour of Duty...Preparing Our Hearts For Deployment."

One of the things that I loved about this study was the real-life excerpts from her life that she shared at the beginning of each chapter. Seeing her life mirror aspects of mine, made me want to read more because I knew that she was speaking from experience and a place that made us kindred spirits. She wasn't afraid to tackle some of the emotions and hidden thoughts that torment military wives during deployments....but she didn't stop there. In 7 weeks, she armed me with God's truths and scripture to combat these emotions and walked me through what she calls the "7 Emotional and Spiritual Stages of Deployment."

I definitely feel more prepared to handle the next deployment that comes our way and only wish I had this in my hand a year ago. I'm grateful to add this to my arsenal to combat Satan's lies and to come through the next deployment stronger and healthier.

If you're a military need this study. If you know a military wife....get this book for her. As a matter of fact, if you'd like this book for yourself or perhaps someone you know that fights the home front war, then leave me a comment. I will randomly select someone to receive this book FREE :) So, leave a comment. Gather up your girlfriends. Start a Bible study group...and get ready to have your socks blessed off.

Be sure to check out Sara on her personal website and at the website she founded for military wives, Wives of Faith.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

{Merry Christmas 2010}

As everyone knows who reads this has been one heck of a year around here...thus I haven't even bought a Christmas card, so this shall be it :) Consider it a Christmas letter and card all rolled into one....

Quentin's unit was mobilized in 2009 and left for Afghanistan in January 2010. They did a phenomenal job clearing the roads and had the best det-to-find ratio of any unit past or present and ZERO fatalities. They ALL returned in November with a very low number of injuries. Since being home, Quentin has went deer hunting a few times, duck hunting, and numerous basketball games....he even danced his baby girl down the aisle as he gave her away on her wedding day. We took a couple's trip to Kansas City the weekend before the wedding where he got to watch his team the Denver Broncos take on the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mallorye has been a busy beaver!! She competed in the Miss Teen USA Arkansas pageant in January, graduated high school in May, started college on a full tuition scholarship in August, bought a house in September, started a new job somewhere in there, and got married (to Matt...a pretty awesome addition to the family) in December!! I've been so proud of how well she has juggled all the new roles that she has and I'm excited to see her blossom in this new chapter of life.

Blake killed yet another deer this season, keeping our freezer stocked. He's decided to focus only on basketball and has really excelled the past few games, averaging around 13 points a game. School is going well for him with all A's (with the exception of a B in Geometry) and for the first absences! and....he has a girlfriend...surprise..surprise. Actually, she's a very sweet girl and was brave enough to come hang out at our house last Friday.

I've stayed busy this year planning a wedding and sending letters to Afghanistan and running Blake here and there and everywhere. I'm still singing in the Praise Team at church and lovin' it....still writing for Army Wife Magazine and lovin' it.....still burning the candle at both ends and....oh never mind....

One things for sure....we have been very blessed this year and are looking forward to an incredible from the Bales' Family.....


Family Picture taken in January the day Quentin deployed

Friday, December 17, 2010

{Goal Setting}

With January right around the corner, I've been thinking about the areas in my life that I really want to work on. One of these is in the area of spiritual discipline. I consider myself a good person and I'm a doubt about that...however, I falter with some of the basics of spiritual discipline. This year I really desire to draw closer to God and create the habit of some of these basics...not as a way to check things off of a list...but because I know these disciplines draw me closer to God...disciplines such as; reading my Bible EVERY day, tithing, daily prayer (the real, conversation kind), and scripture memory.
Well, what do you know? One of my spiritual mentors from afar is offering a neat tool to help in scripture memory, along with accountability via her blog. I'm all about a crafty tool, that's cute and useful, so you can bet I jumped on this opportunity!! Beth Moore is an incredible godly woman that has a heart for women. Her blog is full of encouragement, challenges, and accountability...check it out here. While you're there, check out the Siesta Spiral to help memorize scripture in 2011.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

{Real Me...Inside My Purse}

I mean, really...who doesn't want to know what's inside my purse?? Ok, so actually this question was posed to someone else and I just borrowed it because I didn't have much to blog about those inquiring minds (or those who have nothing better to read) is what is inside my purse;

*my wallet
*thank you tag from Mallorye's wedding cookies
*rhinestone barrettes that I purchased for Mallorye's wedding...but didn't wear
*orange highlighter x2
*yellow highlighter
*pens x7 (in red, blue, & black)
*bobby pins
*ponytail holder....a girl never knows
*cell phone charger
*Victoria Secrets Beauty Rush Juiced Berry lotion ( I borrowed this from Mal)
*paper clip
*insurance receipt of payment
*deposit receipts x3
*Bath & Body Warm Vanilla Sugar lotion
*antibacterial hand gel x2 (I'm really not a germ freak, so not sure why I have 2)
*Victoria Secrets Beauty Rush lip gloss (ok...I absolutely LOVE this stuff)
*carmex (it's winter...enough said)
*Pizza Inn coupons

I really carry a small purse, so I was amazed that all this stuff was in there!! So, what random things are in your purse??

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

{10 Days}

Oh my!! Has anyone else realized that it's only 10 days until Christmas morning?!
I am sooooooo behind...I have two presents bought...count 'em...two. One for Mallorye and one for Blake. Every year I vow to be finished by November 1st and every year it gets later and later before I'm finished...and this year, before I even began.
I would love to say that I have a plan.
But...I don't.
I have no idea what I'm getting anyone. Heck, I don't even really know who I'm buying for this year. All I know is that I'm paring down significantly this year.
I haven't sent a single Christmas card and at this point, I'm thinking that it's pointless. And...too much stress. I thought about a New Year letter, but decided that I'm just going to let it go.
I do have a tree up...thanks to my kiddos. They put the tree up the weekend Quentin & I were at Kansas City for the Chiefs vs. Bronco's game. It is literally the only hint of Christmas in my entire house. For those that know me, you know this is an oddity. This is my favorite season, but with the end of the deployment and the wedding and all the things in between...I just have not had time.
I do, however, feel very blessed and the spirit of Christmas has not been lost in the chaos.
So...there is less presents...less decorations...less stress...
there is more Christ...and that's what it's all about!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

{Meet The Wesleys}

This past Saturday was a bittersweet day for me....I thought I was ready, but I bawled like a big baby as I watched my baby girl emerge in a gown of white and transform into a beautiful woman...a bride...a wife. In spite of the freezing temps outside and the rain falling from the clouds, the day was beautiful as this amazing young couple vowed their love and commitment to one another and began their life journey...together.

One of my favorite bridal pictures of Mallorye...stunning!

I love this sweet and pure.

Introducing.... Mr. & Mrs. Matt Wesley

Mallorye had the absolute best bridesmaids...these girls always had a smile on their face...even through some pretty tough circumstances at times...and they made everyone feel special. This is one of the ring bearers, my nephew, Caleb...being kissed by Hailey and Adrienne, while Chelsea and Kathryn look on.

Chelsea and Kathryn's turn to kiss a ring bearer...Brendan...wonder if they think it will bring them good luck?? Hmmmm....

Mallorye dancing with her daddy for the last time as Mallorye Bales....yes, I totally lost it at this point, but it was definitely worth the tears. A rare tender moment shared by those two.

Cutting of the cake with a portion of their Dr. Suess vows inscribed on a layer...this was definitely not your typical wedding. The exchange of rings was probably the only traditional element. Thier vows were Dr. Suess and hilarious...much needed after that daddy/daughter dance and Mallorye came in to Butterfly Kisses. It was a unique wedding infused with their personality...the way it should be. we begin a new chapter of our lives. Mallorye as a wife. A son-in-law. Two families intertwined with a lifetime of love.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

{December 1st}

Wow...there are so many thoughts swirling around in my head.

Thoughts of .... daughter is getting married in 10 days. I need to finish the wedding programs. I need to finish paying for the cake and flowers. For Heaven's sake...I need shoes and Blake needs pants! husband has been home for almost a month! In some ways it feels like he never left and we've settled into our others, it feels like we'll never bridge the gap of time elapsed.

...Christmas is in 24 days!! I have two presents bought. TWO. tree isn't up, nor is it even out of storage. Oh my....

...although I have a ton going on and my stress level is pretty much peaked husband and I are going out of town this Yes. You can laugh. We're going to Kansas City to watch the Broncos vs. Chiefs game :) {Yes, Meredith..I'm cheering on the Broncos} We're going with another couple from our church and I'm sure it will be just the thing I need to relax before the last week before the wedding.

Ok...enough blogging. Time to get back to my ever growing "to do" list!