Saturday, January 29, 2011

{All About Basketball}

I'm sitting here after midnight, wide awake, and thinking about all the projects that I have looming....but this is basketball season...and life is mainly consumed by practice schedules, traveling across NE Arkansas, ballgames, and more...but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Blake has really shined this year and has been the leading scorer on many games. At 6'4" he's proving to be a force to be reckoned with. He's an incredible defensive player with arms that seem to reach for miles and pick off passes easily. It has just been amazing to watch him this year...and every game he gets a little bit better.
He's also had quite the fan base this year and most games he has at least 5 or 6 people that have come to watch him and at times as many as 15. I know that has to make him feel good to see all these people in the stands cheering him on.

The fan club.....mostly family...or those that might as well be :)

Blake getting the ball in bounds....

Blake (24), Chase (34), and Dylan (22)...going for the defensive trap. These boys do a phenomenal job of pressing the other team and trapping them.

Love his intensity.....'s about teamwork

Blake gets to go to the free throw line quite a bit...and has a decent percentage. I tell him all the time...these are the gimme shots...always the same distance...always undefended...and always should result in points on the board...{he laughs at me}

one of my favorite pictures.....
The season is quickly coming to an end....only 4 more games! I can't believe it's almost over. Right now the boys are sitting 1st in conference with an 8-1 conference record and an overall record of 17-4. Monday they face they're rival and toughest competition....and we're hoping for great things :) It will be an intense game...but I think we're ready.
So...for a few more's all about basketball!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

{Project Life 2011...Week 3}

Ahhhh...week 3 of Project Life.
I'm not as happy with my photos this week...they lack creativity...but..I'm pleased that I'm still caught up and haven't given up :)
I'm also really enjoying seeing others Project Life albums and being inspired by far this experience has been very rewarding and inspirational...Check out more Project Life inspiration at Jessica's blog.

Sunday January 16: We started a small group in our home & have been overwhelmed at the response. We thought we would start with just a few people...but God had other plans and we started with 10. These are the newlyweds of the group...The Wesleys & The Lawrences.

Monday January 17: Ugh...late for work! I'm supposed to be there at 7am, but just couldn't get motivated this morning...

Tuesday January 18: I took Bessie to the "doctor" dash instruments had quit working (again), I needed new headlight assemblies, and the driver side window decided it didn't want to roll down anymore...I am ready for a new car!

Wednesday January 19: Quentin carrying in our provisions for the "big snow storm" that is coming later that night. Blake was home sick, so we stayed in from church.

Thursday January 20: "The Big Snow Storm" got maybe 3" of snow, but that was enough to close school for 2 days. This was taken at Reynolds Park Lake late afternoon.

Friday January 21: Blake & Josh (our youth pastor) enjoying a hockey game in Memphis. This was Quentin & Blake's first time to go see a hockey game and they loved it! They sat 3rd row from the glass and were super excited when a fight broke out right in front of them. Men!

Saturday January 22: Misty & London came by to visit for a little while tonight. Isn't London just the cheesiest?! I love this family and have missed getting to hang out with them the past few months, so this was a very welcome treat.
Another exciting week in the life of the Bales' family....I have a couple posts I'm working on for later this stay tuned :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

{2011 Project Life...Week 2}

Week 2 of Project Life and so far I'm up to date with my pictures, journaling, scrapbook, and blog...woo hoo!! I'm linking up again over at Mom Creative, as a way of staying motivated and accountable to see this through to the end of the year. So, enjoy my week in pictures and go check out some of the other creativeness here at Project Life Tuesday.

January 8: I have a thing...ok, it's an OCD thing...about having an even number of glasses. I cannot stand for thier to be a mismatch. The glasses I had were very thin and kept breaking, thus driving me crazy. For Christmas I asked for glasses. My husband bought me a set. My daughter bought me a set. My sister bought me a set. They all thought this was hilarious and that there was no way I would fit them all into my cabinet. SURPRISE! I spent this morning rearranging until I got them all in the cabinet..neat...organized..just the way I like it.

January 9: Blake & I attended an informational meeting about the 2011 Nicaragua Mission Trip. We both really want to go, but it will take huge sacrifice on our budget and family. The trip is December 15-22, so we would most likely miss out on some holiday happenings, but I'm certain God has something bigger in store for us.

January 10: SNOW DAY! Living in Arkansas, we don't see many of these, and this was only 3 inches, but enough to close school for the day. I wasn't feeling very well, so I didn't play in it (just went out to take some pictures) and we didn't have our Annual Bales' Blizzard Run...maybe we'll be blessed with another snow before the winter is over.

January 11: My wonderful husband made me go to the doctor today. I'm a big baby and hate taking meds and going to the doctor. They did some bloodwork and have me on steroids for 20 days until they determine the cause of my muscle/joint pain....I think I liked it better when I was ignoring the

January 12: Lunch date with my daughter, Mallorye, at Simpkins Family Buffet. Mal has a really hectic and crazy schedule this semester, so I treasure any time I get to spend with her. I'm really loving this stage of life....seeing my daughter become my best friend and watching her as a college student and wife.

January 13: We travelled to Wynne to watch Blake's basketball game and witnessed this breathtaking sunset. I never want to take God's masterpieces for granted.

January 14: Blake took his free skip day today and hung out with dad...they also went and took the driving portion of his driver's test. He passed! Look out comes Blake.

January 15: As we do every year, me and Mallorye curled up on the couch to watch the annual Miss America Pageant....with score sheets and pens in hand, we compete to see who can come up with the winners and how close we are. We were pleased to see our home state of Arkansas come up with 1st Runner Up and was surprised that Hawaii didn't take home the crown, but what an incredible honor for Nebraska....crowned the 90th Miss America and at age 17...yes, I said 17 (she hasn't even graduated high school), she is the youngest EVER Miss America.
And there you have it....Week 2 of a life in the Bales'.

Monday, January 10, 2011

{Snow Day}

Well...I had planned to go to the doctor today (I have some unexplained edema & hip pain), however, the doctor's office was closed due to the unexpected Snow Day! It wasn't alot of snow, but when you live in the South...every inch is I took advantage of being home and snapped some pictures of my family playing in the snow...even if I couldn't play too, it was a joy to see them laughing and enjoying themselves.

1924 Hillcrest

Our home ....the vehicles stayed right there most of the day (Quentin did have to go to Wal-Mart for groceries, since I never made it over the weekend...he's a great husband)

Almost 3 inches...measured by my homemade Snow Meter I received from mom at Christmas...who knew we'd get a chance to use it this year??

The temperature never reached above freezing today and was 27 degrees when I woke up...the forecast for the week doesn't look much better and will actually dip down into the teens later this week...have I ever mentioned that I prefer temps around 70??

Luke didn't know quite what to make of the snow...he was high stepping it and running around trying to lick it all up. It was hilarious to watch and made for great entertainment.

Matt caught Mallorye off guard.....

...and threw her down to the snow, while Luke investigated ....

...then Luke decided this looked like fun and he & Matt rolled Mal around in the frigid snow...

....finally the onslaught subsided...after Mal was completely covered with snow...

....ahhh, but love covers a multitude of sins.
Matt & Mallorye and their first Snow Day as The Wesleys.

Mallorye thinking about pegging someone with a snow ball I'm sure...she had a rough night and I was so glad that she felt better this afternoon, so she could enjoy the snow before it all disappeared.

Blake peeking in the window...

....and being all boy

Me & Quentin (yes, I realize I look horrible) pausing for a brief photo op...

...and to end a wonderful afternoon...Hot Chocolate complete with marshmallows.
I couldn't think of a better afternoon. Spending time with my family is definitely the highlight of any day...especially a Snow Day!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

{It's A Faith Thing}

Our church has partnered with the Voice of Hope Ministries over the past two years in spreading the gospel to the Nicaraguan people. Both of my children, Mallorye & Blake, had the privilege to go on the initial missionary trip in 2009 and now our church is preparing for the 3rd missionary trip to this region in December 2011.
I have had a desire to participate in a foreign mission for several years, but the door has never really opened for me to be able to go. I'm earnestly praying that God open this door for the 2011 trip. I'm not so sure that it is as much about what I can bring to Nicaragua, as it is that I feel God has something to show me through this trip and the preparations of going.
It will have to be a God thing.
For one, I'm terrified of sharing the gospel. I'm always afraid that I will botch the plan of salvation somehow and leave the person with more questions than answers.
Also, I really wanted to do this as a family, but Quentin doesn't share the same desire and passion...which is fine...but I need him to be on board with me going...and Blake...because this will take HUGE sacrifices for our family.
Then there's the cost.
It's $1700 per person...that's $3400 for me & Blake to be able to go...or $300 a month. We have 3 weeks to decide...for God to reveal with complete certainty, His will regarding this trip. 3 weeks to come up with the initial deposit of $150 each. I want to follow God and not get caught up in all the things that seem impossible....
so...I'm praying...
for peace...for God's will...for faith.
That's really where it's at...
do I have the faith to be obedient...even when it doesn't make sense to me...or to those around me...when I know the only way it will happen is if God takes care of it.
It's a faith thing!
Will you pray with me?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

{Self Control}

.....I haven't had a soda in 6 days :)

...........I've limited my sugar, although I haven't eliminated it, I allowed myself one soda with dinner

........and tonight...I was craving a Blizzard

...hubby went to Dairy Queen and bought me a small

..........& guess what??

...I only ate 1/2 of it...I was able to stop and put the rest in the freezer

.....people, this is HUGE for me

...a small step in the direction of self control

{2011 Project Life...Week 1} & a winner :)

First things first...we have a winner for the giveaway!! Woo Hoo!! Going about it the old-fashioned way, names were written on a piece of paper, folded, and placed in a basket, the lucky winner that was randomly drawn is......Erika! Congratulations...message me your info and I will get the book headed your way. Enjoy!

I failed miserably at my attempt at a Picture A Day last year...I really think it had to do with me trying to start on our Anniversary in August. My brain just doesn't work that way. So...I'm trying again and this time, beginning on January 1. I'm also only going to recap on here once a week instead of trying to do that daily and my daughter is joining in on the fun and we're meeting once a week to put our layouts together for the week. Fun!!

The cabins at the Lake Norfork River Resort....we spent the weekend here for a Military Marriage Retreat sponsored by our church, Southside Community.

Quentin, Pat, Josh, Me, Joann (holding Pixie) & Karla
This was our last morning of the retreat. We had a wonderful time worshipping via YouTube...can't say I've ever done that, but it worked and it was amazing. Such an incredible weekend of fellowship & reconnecting as a couple.

We traveled to Blytheville for Blake's basketball game...the boys started slow, but ended up winning 43-21. Blake had 8 points and a bunch of assists, steals, & rebounds.

Sugar Bowl....We stayed home and watched Arkansas play Ohio in the Sugar Bowl at New Orleans. We had a few missed opportunities and couldn't quite come up with a win, but I'm still cheering on my Hogs.

Ashamedly, this was the first Wednesday night service I've attended in a while.
The church is reading through the book of Acts and on Wednesday's they're digging deeper into each chapter, each verse.

Quentin traveled with his brother, Warren, to Union City to look at guns today. He left me the sweetest note (leave the dishes and I will do them). I write him letters weekly, but getting a note from him is very rare, so I treasure everyone I get.

Date Night! I really meant to get a picture of me and Q at Olive Garden, but I brought the camera without an SD card...ugh! We had a wonderful dinner courtesy of a gift card from my Aunt Liz and then went to Barnes & Noble (our fave pastime) where I purchased The Chronicles of Narnia (I've never read these books!). Simple pleasures that I don't take for granted having been through two deployments.

There ya have it....the first week of 2011 in the life of the Bales' Pretty exciting, huh?! Seriously, I'm looking forward to capturing the everyday moments this year for my Project Life album. If you have no idea what I'm talking the link on my sidebar :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

{Update on Giveaway}

I will be drawing tomorrow (from those who have messaged me on Facebook and those that have commented here) ...if you want a FREE copy of Tour of Duty, you need to comment tonight :) and I will announce a winner tomorrow....

....don't miss your chance to win :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

{Military Marriage Retreat}

This past weekend, we had the opportunity to go to a marriage retreat for military families in our church, sponsored by our church, paid for by our church....I couldn't imagine passing up this chance for a weekend away. We left on New Years Eve at lunch...I have to tell you, that was know that I would be away from my children for the first time on the 1st day of the new year, but I also knew that Quentin and I would come back a better couple and parents for having I packed our bags and we arrived at the Norfork River Trout Resort Friday afternoon and settled into our 3 bedroom cabin (with our own bathroom in each bedroom).

Our cabin overlooked the river and was just the quaintest thing! Seriously, I did not want to leave this place!

The view from our balcony...

We had the absolute best time....studying God's word and hearing what He has to say about communication, expectations, and even how to handle our anger. There was only two other couples, so our group sessions were very intimate, which enabled us to be transparent. We also had communication building exercises that we did on our own...Quentin and I learned alot about each other in these two

Of course no church retreat is complete without some great food...and man, did we ever eat some great food. We ate like Kings & Queens and I'm pretty sure I gained a few more pounds..Pat was the Grillmaster :)

Doesn't that make you hungry??

There was also plenty of games...we played WII, Apples to Apples, and a new card game (new to us anyway) called Golf. We were quite the competitive bunch and sadly I did not win any games...ok, I take that back...I beat Karla at WII,

Me and Quentin on the last day....

Josh & Karla.....Josh served with Quentin in Iraq in 2006-07 and in this last deployment to Afghanistan in 2009-10

Our wonderful hosts...Pat & Joann...and of course Pixie. This couple really know how to make you feel like you're the only person that matters and they have a heart for God that I rarely see. They flesh out their faith every day and infuse God in every aspect of their life.
A weekend much needed...more than I realized.

A final group shot...
Quentin, Pat, Josh
Ginger, Joann (holding Pixie), Karla
Friends, Fellowship, Food, Faith....I really can't think of a better way to bring in the New Year.