Did you know?

Did you know that the 2018 Arkadelphia Badger’s have EIGHT Captains?

When Ben first told me, I thought that sounded a little funny…but what do I know? The players voted before the season (after summer workouts) for the captains. Usually there are four, this year they doubled up.

During the season four would walk up, do the coin flip and shake hands while the other four would stand guard on the sideline. I thought it looked pretty cool. I also think it says a lot about this years group of Badger’s.

There are about 50 kids on the roster (before some freshmen moved up) and the votes were so close for the eight that are captains that they couldn’t decide which to give it to so it became a group effort. Which is exactly what this season has been…there is no ONE-MAN SHOW like there are at other schools. We have a team of players who do whatever they can to help their brothers and improve their lives.

For those that don’t know them:

Victor Tademy: He’s a smart, smart kid. He’s signed to play for Harvard next year. He’s pretty versatile being in all the phases of the game. He’s also looked up to by all the boys…my favorite is that he rolls up his shorts super short and a lot of the younger guys do it too…cracked me up every time I was out at practice. Obviously he’s a role model and a great football player. 46482392_1781699965285982_8280351257655246848_o.jpg

Zion Hatley: He used to be my neighbor, so there’s that. Really though, he is an excellent runner and kid. He went from being on almost every play last year to sharing the RB role this year and it has only improved our offense. I think it says a lot about a kid to keep coming to work, especially starting out 0-5. He’s going to do great next year at UCA. 46330650_1781699741952671_1040917304512086016_o.jpg

Josh Wallace: Probably comes as a surprise to no one that I would pick a picture of Josh that included my husband, Ben. Josh is the vocal leader for the defense. I kind of call him the QB of the defense, maybe you’ve noticed he’ll put kids in the right spot during plays. He is very football smart and I can’t wait to see what his future holds. 44112914_1739628296159816_3316813396556382208_o.jpg

Alec Ruble: He’s a work horse. He’s not going out on a play unless he’s forced to. He comes off as quiet then cracks a joke when you aren’t expecting it. He leads by example.46334301_1781748131947832_6362377068381995008_o.jpg

Gabe Goodman: Best kicker in the state. I’m not sure if that is just my opinion because it might actually be true. We don’t call him The Weapon for nothing, having a kicker/punter like him has given the Badgers an advantage. 45494990_1770048933117752_3707106330398425088_o.jpg

Carlos (CJ) Haynie: He has the most charisma of anyone that I’ve ever met. He is the personality of the team, he is loud and funny. He is fun to watch. 46312938_1781757555280223_7826702728653963264_o.jpg

Cannon Turner: He’s the quarterback, he holds for the kicker, he punts some, he plays safety, he plays linebacker and for all I know he fills up water bottles. He is a true role player, he’s going to do what he can do make the team better. Also, he’s a junior. 46457954_1781711005284878_8952798434465677312_o.jpg

Kyren Harrison: He’s quiet but a killer. He’s an incredible athlete and leads by example. He works hard every down and it is kind of scary watching him hit people. I don’t know how they get back up. He leads the team in tackles but he’s got several TD’s too. He’s only a junior too. 44270144_1739614672827845_8584074727599898624_o.jpg

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This pic has at least four of them in it. ^^

There have been one man shows this year and their ships sank. I’m so thankful that we have a true team. Every player, regardless if they are a captain or not, has their role. The Badgers would not be in the State Championship game if they practiced against scrubs every day. They are practicing against guys that one unnamed #1 ranked school only scored 14 points on. Every player is so important. I’m thankful to be a tiny, praying, part of this year’s Badger squad.

 

 

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A Thank You Letter to my Friends:

Dear Friend(s):

I just wanted to write you a little note thanking you for being my friend. I know that I can be so busy and sometimes (all the times) forgetful. When I miss an event that is important and you still text me and invite me to lunch, I just want you to know that I appreciate the effort that you are giving me (the person who adores you and is struggling to keep her head above water).

You’ll never know how important our friendship means to me. When you stick by me, send me funny texts and come to the games on Thursday or Friday nights and offer me congratulations, even though I have no bearing on the outcome, THAT support carries me to the next week, to the next season.

I know every wife and every life is busy and stressful but you know how I am, you know that I give my all to one thing and then sometimes other things suffer. Yet, YOU ARE THERE. Being a friend to someone like me must be hard, yet you are still there and for that I will be forever grateful.

Please give me an extra dose of grace the next few months and please keep me in your prayers. This season comes with extra pressure and I want to be my best for everyone including you. Please consider this letter as an invitation to every ball game (with the worst seats in the house), every football club lunch and every Saturday morning that you might want to have coffee with me before Ben wakes up. I need you as a friend and I need you in my life, even when I can’t be the one making plans.

If there is one important lesson that I have learned about friends and football it’s this: You can’t do one without the other. It’s as simple as that…ask any coach’s wife, this part of the year can be so incredibly lonely.  Again, thank you for being my friend your love is more important than you know.

 

With all my love,

Nikki

 

PS: Coach wife friends, thank you so much for putting up with me during the season and us being able to pick up where we left off. Go #badgerfam

PPS: I know I have tons of friends (which I am sooooo thankful for) I just need more pics with you 🙂

Summer is Over.

It happened again. Summer passed and I’m sitting here looking at my calendar, writing in games, practices, meals. The squares are filling up all the way until December 8th (6:30PM).

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The pre-season anxiety is filling my fingertips up with the weird feeling I get right before an anxiety attack tries to get me. I will do my best to work through it…but I am almost positive I will text Coach with something that sounds so depressing and slightly bitter before the first game happens. It has happened every year around this time, I wish I could learn from the past and be an overcomer but I’m not mature enough for that yet. The feeling is more than anxiety if I have to be honest, it is a mixture of dread, excitement, wonder, frustration and stress.

I tend to ride on the negative wave before season, I’m not sure why. I think it is okay to sit in those feelings and to really feel them and to live in them, kind of be lonely and be sad and be bitter…for a minute, but you have to find your way out of them. I don’t think one coaches wife will tell you that they’ve never felt feelings like that but the difference between the “good” ones and the “bad” ones is their ability to have the negative feelings but still face the world and your family with a righteousness that you can only get by knowing where your hope lies. We don’t need to stay in the funk because we don’t need to find our happiness in what our husbands are doing…we find it in The Lord. We can’t depend on our spouse to make us happy…that is a tough lesson but if you can figure it out sooner rather than later then you will be better off for it. If you can summon up the why…why you are called to this then it makes it easier. The why is because this is a ministry, try to remember that this season.

As much as I can I try to be involved, I think that is why this part of the year is hard. When the season starts we get to be involved: games, practices, dinners at our house, football club lunches, team pictures, festivals, all the things are happening that you fall into a rhythm of being without your coach-spouse-father-friend that the loneliness and stress doesn’t hit you as hard. Right now with camps and workouts we just miss him. We miss the players and we miss our coaching families.

As hard as it all is NOW, it won’t be long and we will be wearing long-sleeves, hats and gloves. Hopefully making arrangements for Thanksgiving dinner at the fieldhouse and having a Christmas celebration around 9PM on December 8th.

Until we are partying, follow us on Social Media with the hashtag #badgerfam.

Parenting blogs are for the birds. Here’s another.

You’ve seen them all right? There is a parenting blog for every topic under the sun: Spank, don’t spank, yell, don’t yell, make your kid do chores, drink wine, don’t drink wine, read a book, don’t play on tablets or phones. It’s almost mind numbing how much “advice” there is on the web. So I would like to throw my hat out there…here are a few guiding principles and hopefully some links (that’ll hopefully work) that we use. Let me preface all of this by saying:

“If you are doing it in love, it is probably right.”

We are not our parents or grandparents generation. If you’re like me we are some weird hybrid of knowing life before it got all tech-y yet we can still learn new things when they come out every week. Our parents made us play outside constantly and didn’t worry about anything yet now we KNOW we can’t really do a lot of free-range parenting because let’s be honest. People suck.

So even though this is kind of like a list of things to do, I want you to read it more like: “here is how we do life, lets use what works and think they’re crazy on the ones that don’t.”

Chandler Principles:

  1. Use the bible as your guidebook. For discipline, for love, for everything. Read bible stories to your kids. We do this every night. Ben reads three bible stories then I put them to sleep with an extremely long prayer. It’s strategic but I think of it like this, do you mind when the kids fall asleep on you? Then I bet God doesn’t mind them falling asleep when I pray. YouVersion has an amazing bible app when plenty of “plans” for kids. Bible App
  2. We listen to a guy named Kirk Martin. He’s called the calm guy. It’s pretty straight forward, you have to be calm to be a good parent. If you are doing ANYTHING out of anger or stress then you aren’t doing it well. Let’s be honest, kids can suck too. So this guy lays it out on how to manage yourselves before you manage those pesky cutie pies. I’m linking to his podcasts because I listen to a lot of podcasts. Calm Guy Podcast.
  3. If you did number two and listened to Kirk you’ll already know that you have to work on yourself first. Second, make sure your marriage is golden. We have communication issues so we have to do a lot of backtracking when it comes to stuff, maybe since we know we have communication issues that will eventually correct itself…one can dream. Anyway I really value what the bible says about marriage and a good one to listen to is Marriage Today
  4. We don’t say, I can’t. Unless it’s I can’t get up today because I’m so tired…but only I can use that one.
  5. Our kids do chores. They don’t get paid to do those chores. There is no negotiating, bartering or trading off. Everyone has a job and a part of being a team is doing your assigned task.
  6. We don’t do games on week days regardless of anything. It’s raining? So what, read a book. You’re sick and at home, hope you like the VHS tapes in your quarantine time. You made all A’s? You’re welcome, I made that brain in my tummy.
  7. I don’t treat my kids the same. Yep, I said it. I’m not going to even pretend that I even like them the same. My eleven year old boy talking about smells and hairs is not going to get the same awws that my two year old gets when he says a word funny. You know what? I love them both so much, just not the same. And I tell them that. I also tell them that Ben will always be tops in my book, then them. My job as a parent is to raise them up and send them off to be good wives and husbands and all the amazing things they’ll be but living in my home forever, they won’t. But Ben will. And I’m excited about that day. I’m also excited about being a grandparent and more of a friend to my kids than I am now.
  8. BECAUSE You are the parent, not a friend. You’ll never convince me that that’s a good thing to be to your truly immature kid or teenager. Because even if they’re “mature” by some standards they’re still kids, and that’s okay. Be the mean parent until you can be the nice one 🙂
  9. We go to bed early. For us, not them. Our nighttime routine starts around 7:30 with baths…usually we are done with everything by 8 or 8:30. They get all the sleep we get time to finish the stuffs and then talk or zone out. It’s really nice.

Anyway, this list is not definitive or even comprehensive but it is a lot of what we do…and sometimes we do fine. Sometimes we do not. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things and different techniques with your kids. If you are reading a parenting blog or listening to a podcast about it then you’re probably doing better than 80% of parents out there, let’s be honest. So pat yourself on the back when no one is looking.

We have a strong-willed one who sometimes requires a whole lesson on childhood development and you need a doctorate to get through to her/him (I’m not naming names, but I bet you know already). If you have some ideas that we could implement comment me down there somewhere.

 

Side note: Today is my last baby’s second birthday. He’s really the cutest thing.

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For my Yoga lovers.

New house, Farmhouse?

This past weekend my lovely friends Amy & Sandy along with my beautiful sister, mom, aunt and cousin threw us a House Warming Party. I’ve never been to a housewarming so I wasn’t sure what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of love and gifts that we received. I couldn’t believe how much sweet stuff we got! Most of the items came from our local stores: The Farmhouse Downtown and Hardman Interiors. You should check them out if you’re ever in Arkadelphia.

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My friend Sandy made the Chandler pic.

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My friend Ashley got us the “Where two or three Gather” and Ben bought the paper reminder roll, super cute!

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My sister got us the mirror and maybe the pic too, I can’t remember

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Some of the loot!

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Wrapped gifts for the win!

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All Farmhouse stuff 🙂

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I just love the colors of the kitchen towels.

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Swan Creek Candles are the bizness

The best part about all of this is that we OWN (well the bank does for 30 years) our home. We have spent the better part of three years praying for a new home! After several failed attempts we were able to purchase this house with help from Southern Bancorp. If you are tired of paying rent you need to look into your options of buying a home. This sucker was made for a family with a ton of kids. I’ll do a tour of the house another day 🙂

 

Check out this link (I hope it works) They have yoga mats, which I have to use since we don’t have carpet downstairs! Gaiam Yoga Mats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing a blog.

Today I took a big step…I connected my blog to my facebook.

I’ve had people tell me for years that I needed to have my own blog, not that I’m some kind of amazing writer but mostly because when I do FB posts they seem like blog post. Funnily enough I’ve had this blog page for a while and post here and there but now I’m turning away from posting to FB and posting here. It can be my open and honest journal entry and scrapbook maker 🙂

Let me know if you like this site and if you have any recommendations on how to make it easier to access or view.

For funsies here is a picture of something:

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Because a baby with a Tupperware on his head never gets old.

Thoughts from a Coach’s wife after a State Championship.

A few thoughts from our winning weekend:
1. I feel like I’m giving away a state secret but here goes…. This year I never once prayed that God would allow the Badgers to win. I prayed for good health, safe travels (Ben drives one of the buses), confidence and for them always to play ‘their’ best and with integrity. The last three minutes of Saturday’s game I also prayed for supernatural strength….I’ll let you ponder on that one.
2. My brother-in-law Josiah or (Uncle Joe Joe) flew in on Friday night with Ben’s dad Robert. He had just been in North Dakota two weeks earlier because Ben’s older brother had been in a plane crash (he’s doing okay). So he’s been a jet-setter and he did so wonderful Saturday. Joe is better than us because he deals with life a little differently and he is doing just fine.
3. I’m thankful for the head coach we have. I don’t know if, before this weekend, most of the town knew how Godly JR is, but not only is he a man of God he is also well read. One of the things he reads is called the AAA rule book.
4. My husband is the linebackers position coach & special teams coordinator. Need I say more? Those kids are the bizness.
5. Not only did this game bring back old Badgers from ages ago it also brought in new Badger fans…including family we have in California, Texas and North Dakota. I think that is so neat that we had people cheering us on from all over the country. I have a feeling if Randle Thomasson had internet wherever he is in the world he’d have watched it too. Also, Ben’s mom watched the game in the airport in Denver!!
6. I’m thankful for Mark Burnham letting Joe Joe hang out with him Saturday during the game. He didn’t have to do that but that family has been incredibly supportive to our family the last three years.
7. My mom and sister have never been into sports but you know what…they’re super supportive and have been here to help me since the playoffs started. They carried my “side of beef” son all around that stadium and press-box Saturday. I couldn’t have gotten in nearly as many prayers if I was watching him!
8. I’m thankful for Robert Chandler’s coat. I sobbed on that sucker and it absorbed all my tears and makeup.
9. I’m thankful for every text, call or FB message I’ve gotten since Saturday. I literally had no bearing on the game but it’s still cool that people say nice things 🙂
10. We went to church on Sunday and our youth led the worship and I cried like a baby, again. There is something so special about kids worshiping The Lord.
11. I’m thankful for The Carozza’s spaghetti dinners. No cooking for us after church.
12. I’m thankful for Ginger and her family. Bobby Turner was loved, you could tell.
13. I know I’ve said it plenty but this group of Badger kids will always go down as one of the most talented group of players…Well one night earlier in the season I asked the kids what their grades were and how they were doing and one of them sheepishly told me his GPA was the lowest…it was a 3.6 or something crazy. So they have to be one of the smartest too!
14. I’m proud to call Arkadelphia home. The Badger fans really stepped up. I’m sure the attendance level was high but so was the energy. Such an exciting day! #Badgerfam is a thing for a reason.
15. I’m thankful for THE COACHES WIVES! We get our husbands (and the kids get their dad’s) back (for like a week)!
Okay I think I’ve rambled enough. Also, I could probably have a list this long of people we should thank who have supported us this year especially while I had surgery THE WEEK OF PLAYOFFS (whoops)! I also want to thank everyone for words of encouragement when the Badgers hadn’t won the State Championship…sometimes being close to it can be tough, but not as bad when you know you have people in your corner.

Side note: I do these little spiels mainly because my memory is terrible and I like seeing these pop up year after year.

Summer is over and it’s only July

Do you ever feel like that as a Coach’s wife? Or I guess Coach’s husband…

Dead weeks are almost up, for those not in the sports world, that is the few weeks at the end of June beginning of July where no athletic events can happen. No practice, no working out, no camps. Well those end this week and with that that means our fun little summer break is officially over. I hope we can sneak in some stuff here and there but it stinks knowing that football is back…it will be “fun” football when school starts and you can see the games and the boys growth but right now it just seems like a downer.

We went to Hot Springs to a lake house that our friend’s own. They let us stay there for FREE! It was so beautiful and right on the water, it was amazing. We swam, ate God’s chicken (Chick-fil-A) and went to Magic Springs. It was an amazing few days. That was our summer vacation and I will cherish every memory! Including the scary snake, but I’m not talking about scary snakes today.

This was the view from the upper balcony. IMG_6074[1]

I’m sad our little summer is over but I like how it isn’t crazy yet. It is like we can slowly add the events until school starts…then by then we will ready and firing.

Today is June 21st. It’s the first day of summer, it’s the day my brother in law was born (23 years ago) and it’s a day I’m very proud of my husband. It’s only been 10 months or so since I’ve blogged anything but I figured I’d post this so I can look back on it in another 10 months.

There has been some work drama for him. Coaches coming and coaches leaving, transfers, promotions etc. This is probably normal for most coaches’ families but there actually hasn’t been much change since we have been Badgers. This is our third season and the first two everyone stayed…this year we have had three or four leave. Some have gotten better opportunities at our school and some had the ability to be head coaches in other schools. With all the changes my hubby requested to be transferred to the middle school campus, he teaches History at the high school and wanted to try it on the middle school level.  Several of the coaches that were hired are only certified for 5-8th grades whereas he is that and secondary level. He did that to make himself more marketable to be hired and it is a good idea, but it didn’t work out for him this time. He is still at the high school. I was disappointed because the lady who is Principal at the other campus is so lovely. The lady who would’ve been his department head is who I wanna be when I grow up. The schedule would have been a little more flexible for his coaching duties. But alas, a no.

Now, I am not one to be told no. Luckily this happened to him and not me. BECAUSE he has been so great. He didn’t go down the tank or get angry or get prideful or get snooty. He just knows that The Lord is watching out for him and guiding him. A no for this means a yes for something else. Now isn’t that great? Shouldn’t we all take a page from that book?

In all the change there have been people who have not been happy. It is so easy to look at someone else and see their sin. To see the pride or anger. To see the fit that they are throwing. But we have to remember to be a spiritual contributor, we have to pray for them through this. They are probably hurting more than just because they were told no. There is a lot to every situation and we have to use this opportunity to pray for people when they can’t see past this problem in front of them.

 

Oh to be a man.

This morning my ever loving, fall asleep as fast as lightning, snore louder than Godzilla hubby says, “Man, that baby slept like a rock last night.” Oh really? Surprise to me, considering that HE fed the baby at midnight and again at 2:30. I was up pumping so I saw him do it. We even talked to each other. We didn’t say anything of consequence but I think from now on I am going to do all my big asks then…this big baby of ours is 4.5 months old but really trying to prove himself. He’s almost got holding his bottle down!

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This week school started up and we had some family drama but it was all handled so well. I don’t know how people have a life without God. We have been so blessed. We have felt His presence more in the last week than we have ever before, and He has shown out before! I am so thankful for my family…the ones that live with me and the ones that just pray for me from afar!  I know they probably won’t ever know it, but we truly love them all!

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Here is our best Back-to-School picture!