Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

I hosted my first annual Turkey basketball clinic in Ruston and it went fantastic! The number of kids was ideal for the lesson plan I had for them. The kids were great listeners and I feel very confident that each of them walked away with more basketball knowledge and smile on their face. Mission accomplished!

Now, it's time to focus on some turkey and then our trip to Disney!!! We haven't told the kids yet and to be honest, I don't even know when or how we will do it. All I know is I can't wait! 4 more days!!! Tomorrow for Thanksgiving, we plan on eating lunch at Squire Creek with lance's parents and then we may meet up with my family out at Bodcau for some turkey games and eating!

Big congrats to Shelley Parker and her family for their new addition to their family. John Cole Parker was born yesterday, 7 pounds 1 ounce. So glad to hear they are both doing great. Although, I may have to wait until we get back to meet the sweet lil man! :(

Our sweet friend, Jake Tyler, had his 5th birthday party this past Sunday and they kids loved visiting Papa Simpson's farm. It was a beautiful day and great to get outside and eat some yummy cake! Big thanks to Jake for inviting us!

My boy, Budke

This has been a rough week and I really didn't feel like blogging about it, but what better way to honor someone who I worked closely with for 5 years. I lost my former boss and coworker to a tragic plane crash last Thursday evening. Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna were aboard a private plane that went down while traveling to go recruiting. It spiraled out of control and crashed into the hills of Arkansas on a cloudless day. There wasn't a distress call so it's hard to say what happened and it pains me to think about those last moments and what went through their minds. We may not ever know, but hopefully they will shed some light on it 9-12 months from now when they will learn more about why it crashed.

Kurt and I worked under Coach Barmore at La tech for 2 years and then when Kurt got the head job, he promoted me to recruiting coordinator for 3 years. When you are coaching any sport on the college level, you become closer to your coworkers than most anyone in your life, including your family. You spend countless hours together in the office and then there are the numerous trips for games and recruiting. You learn a lot about each other (more than you care too) especially when things don't go as planned (losing games, delayed flights, long 18 hour WAC travel days or losing recruits because of the weather that weekend on their visit...yes, all the above really happened!!!)

Kurt and I immediately hit it off as soon as we met. And who wouldn't!? His personality was warm, friendly, and inviting. We may have had some rough days while he was the head coach but probably more so because we were so close. But who doesn't, right? At least it never affected our friendship. We remained close, even after his departure to Oklahoma State. I loved seeing him on the road recruiting and at the final four. He always took the time to call or hang out with me.

I know this entire post is mostly about Kurt, but I can't forget Miranda. Her poor mom. She was very close to her mom and nephew and I can't imagine what they are going through. Miranda and I only worked together for a year, but she was very pleasant to be around. She had the biggest heart. I have never seen anyone work as hard as she did and oh how she loved her players. I only wish we had more time together.

My favorite memories of Kurt:
1. watching him scare anyone that entered the office with his plastic snakes

2. video taping him while I hid a real python snake (small) in his filing cabinet. Someone had to get him back and boy did I! He wanted to have me arrested for attempted murder!! lol Wow, i really wish i could find that video....

3. staking signs into his yard on his 40th birthday and all the pranks I pulled on him that day

4. team dinners at his house with his wife and kids. He taught me the importance of family and that they always come first

5. playing the fishing slot machines with his parents on all the Reno visits. His parents were his biggest supporters and came to most games even though they lived in Kansas

6. listening to all his stories over a few beers on the recruiting trails

7. His prayers before each game

8. His weird thing with his one can look at his papers until after he has and he always kept them. His favorite paper was the Dallas Morning news

9. the big kahuna burger joint in hawaii that he would always treat his staff to every year.

10. his christmas gifts

They will be missed and may they never be forgotten

Father, God, may you wrap your arms around Shelley, Sara, Alex and Brett. And his sweet I pray that I will never have to bury a child. Please comfort them and look for positive memories to carry them through each day. I pray that they know it's ok to cry, laugh and get angry, but that they never turn their back on you. Give them comfort by knowing they will again see Kurt face to face and meet you when you call us all home. And I pray that his team and staff will honor him each day with their efforts on the court and throughout the season. In his glorious name I pray, Amen.

Monday, November 14, 2011

From Nashville to Oxford

I have to say that the last 7 days have been an amazing journey for me. There is not a day that goes by that I don't thank my precious Savior for all the blessings he has given to me. But this last week, I have to admit that I was counting my blessings every hour.

A good friend of Lance's gave us tickets to the CMA's in Nashville. Lance was unable to go due to work and lack of sitters during the week. So, he convinced me (oh yeah, like that was hard!) to go without him and just meet up with a dear friend of mine that lives in Nashville. Well, come to find out, the day before the show, she can't join me and I was stuck without someone to go with me. And I should have not been surprised when another friend of mine, Shannon Roberts, booked her flight within hours of talking with me over a pedicure to fly out the next morning.

Long story short, we had an amazing time! I do believe everyone should attend the CMA's at one point of their life. Such a cool experience of watching the all-star cast of performers and legends all in one setting. My favorite part of the three hour event was seeing how things went on during the commercials, watching the wardrobe changes, and each live performance. They were all fantastic. I have two favorites of that night: 1. luke bryan singing 'Country Girl'...only because i knew every last word thanks to Landon since it is his favorite song (i also enjoyed seeing him perform at the after party too!!) and 2. Taylor Swifts new song that she talented. The setting on the stage for her was so breath taking.

Here is a picture of Shane and his wife, Sarah, who gave us the tickets

And Sarah was a HUGE Jason Aldean fan and she had to take this picture after the show (of course it's not real!)

After coming home the next day (thursday), it was time to unpack, kiss the kids, and take off again the next morning to head to Oxford, MS to watch the Tech bulldogs beat up on the Rebels. This was the first house divided game Lance and I have ever had and it was interesting to say the least! And with my connections I had in Oxford (I worked there for one season of basketball), it still holds a special place in my heart. I enjoyed seeing the changes since i was there in 2000. And even though it was a down year for the Rebels, I still enjoyed seeing the grove and listening to their Hotty Toddy song. ;) Which, by the way, lance 'claims' that he never sang while in college...blah, too-cool party pooper. I had to refrain myself from wanting to sing along!

Here is our Ole Miss group outside the house we rented: The kilpatricks, Becks and Smiths (and no, a child did not take this picture...just Hunter's handy work with the timer on the camera)
The girls: Sarah, me, Becky and Jana
And my sweet hubby...still smiling even though his rebels were getting dominated at this point (prob 2nd quarter!!!!) Ha!!!

It was great seeing former Oxford faces and familiar Ruston faces too. I especially enjoyed catching up with Hannah Lee, who i haven't seen in over a year! But to top the weekend off, the Dawgs whipped up on the Rebels and I was so proud to be a Tech fan. Let's just hope we can hold onto Coach Sonny Dykes a little longer!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween week...

This past Halloween weekend was a whirlwind and I am still paying the price! Friday night I was able to catch up with lots of my relatives in town for the visitation and funeral for my Uncle Bill. Even though he lived in Tucson for the past 20 years, he was laid to rest in Shreveport next to his parents. This also made it easy for most of our family to get together and celebrate what a wonderful, Christian man my uncle Bill was. He will be missed.

Saturday morning, landon and I got up early to head back to Shreveport for his first swim team race and he loved it! They did warm ups for about 40 minutes and when that was over, he came over to me and to ask if the race was over and to see if he won! ;)

He competed in three events: 25 freestyle, 25 butterfly and the 25 back stroke. I was most impressed with his backstroke and was proud that he stayed on his back the entire way! Who knows how long he will want to swim, but for now, it is a lot of fun and great exercise! Here is a picture of him and his buddy, Jake, before the race.
Here is a video of his backstroke:

Then we met back up with the rest of our family to spend time with all the cousins for the remainder of the day. The kids were excited about seeing all of them and spending the night with KK and Papa Kenny. I can't believe I didn't get one picture of all the relatives that were in town! :(

Monday was Halloween and the kids were geared up to go trick or treating. Kennedy wanted to be Tinkerbell for ballet class and stayed in that for the rest of the day (she had been Princess Peach for all other halloween festivities). We joined a group of friends who lived in Wedgewood subdivision and it was a CRAZY and WILD place for trick or treating. There were so many people and I can only imagine how much candy these houses went through. But I was so proud of our kids for listening and having a great time. Thank goodness they didn't get too much candy! ;)

This was taken before school
Before trick or treating

here is a picture of kennedy wearing Landon's mustache (she had been begging for one every time he wore his costume). She loved it! She also got some strange looks that I enjoyed getting a kick out of!

So, it's November! wow! The leaves are starting to turn and it's gorgeous! I do love this time of year! Happy Fall!