Tag Archives: Basketball

Saturday Morning Basketball

29 Jan

Josh is back from Aus and the PI, and we’ve returned to our normal Saturday morning buzz, getting everyone to their different activities!

Caleb is involved with Upwards basketball at church and loves it! It helps that his uncle is his coach and his cousin is his teammate, and also that he gets post-game snacks.

Those 5-year-olds are adorable the entire time! The director has done an amazing job putting the program together and making each kid feel like a star. Before the game, their name is announced and they get to run out to music, smoke-machines, and lights. Super fun for everyone!

This was Caleb the entire game, whether he was on offense or defense. He was told to guard a specific person, and by golly, he was focused enough to get hired at Buckingham.


In addition to basketball, our little niece is in the cheerleading program. I could watch her all day! She knew all the motions and had loads of energy.


Over on the sidelines, Simmy and Eve chilled out together and ate all of Nana’s blueberries.


After Caleb’s game, we drove back for Bella’s game. She also gets to have a cousin on her team, which is pretty much the main reason that she likes to play.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines…


There was an awful flu bug going around our house this week. 4/5 kids got sick for a few days, so we watched a lot of kids cooking shows. Now that Kenzie is feeling better, she wanted to make a tie-dyed cake. She said, “If I had the tools, I would roll out fondant, cover it, and then air-brush it.” What?!


28 Apr

I’m awful at taking pictures during the kids’ basketball games on Saturdays! At any given moment, I am keeping an eye on Caleb, engaging Sim, chatting it up with my friends, or I’m just too into the game to think about capturing it on film!

Over the weeks and out of 20+ games, here’s what I’ve captured.

Deacon and his crew lining up for free throws.


A little of Bella’s defense.


If I photoshopped a basketball below her right hand, it would be a great ball-handling shot!


I have yet to take a picture of Mackenzie in a game! Her games are just too exciting. It’s co-ed, so it moves a lot faster and is way more exciting… (It’s ok, I played girls basketball so I can say it. You can’t.)…than her middle school girls league games.

But I did snap a photo of these two BBBFF’s (basketball best friends forever, of course)


Maybe this week. Probably not.

Us Tall Girls Gotta Stick Together!

29 Apr

Yesterday, a basketball player with too many awards to fit on here, came and ran a clinic at school. Well, I can mention a few, the biggies. NCAA Naismith College Player of the Year, WNBA MVP, and Olympic Gold Medalist!

She’s 6’5″, so that alone makes her a star in my book!

Here is her web page: www.ruthriley.com

Anyway, the clinic was officially only for high-schoolers and middle-schoolers, but Josh being Josh, got Mackenzie in. I didn’t want her not have any friends so, me being me,  I got one of her 5th grade friends in as well.

At first, they had everyone doing the same ball handling drills, so I wasn’t sure how she’d handle the fancy dribbling moves, but she did fine. One of the things I love about Mackenzie is that she’ll jump right in to new experiences! She may or may not be intimidated, but she doesn’t let that hold her back. It is a wonderful characteristic that will serve her well in the future!

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Ugh, I’ve got to stop taking pics on my phone! Action shots are always blurry and what kid picture isn’t full of activity?

After the ball-handling drills, Ruth took all the girls down to one half of the gym and worked on shooting.


Blurry, blurrryyy

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Then a little 3 on 2 action, which Ruth got in on. The girls just had to laugh when she blocked them.


They finished up with bump/knockout, which Ruth won obviously. But the final three were going for quite a while! She made shooting look so simple, like putting a marble in a dumpster.

Afterwards, Mackenzie wanted her to autograph as many things as possible! I had to put a stop to it before Mackenzie yanked off her underoos.


I considered the clinic a success when I saw Mackenzie setting the basketball in between drills. I also caught one of my volleyball players doing the same in the background of this pic.


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Bella says that taller girls read their Bible a lot. Because, as the song says, “Read your Bible, pray every day, then you’ll grow, grow, grow.” =)

Our week

26 Apr

Deacon’s class presented in chapel this week. Kindergarten productions have to be my favorite! They are too adorable. The sweetness gives me a toothache.


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They each had to retell a short Bible story into the microphone. Deacon told Noah’s story, did awesome, and I got it on video, but who has time for uploading?

We had basketball bright and early on Saturday. Josh is pretty fantastic with the kids! He makes it fun for them, he gets them excited about it, he encourages, he’s more focused on fundamentals than the outcome of the game. He runs the skills portion of the littles, and coaches Mackenzie’s team.


Here are some action shots from Deacon and Bella’s games. (We don’t know why his shorts are ginorm. It happened last year too!)

He’s always got that protective left arm up!



Chest pass from Bella!


I forgot to take pics of Mackenzie’s game. There’s too much excitement! Mackenzie’s team beat the 1st place team this week! They were all pretty excited, and pretty tired, as they didn’t have any subs this week.

Not too tired, though, because in between games, they played some hard core 4-square. The kids’ #1 goal was to get Josh out!


On Saturday night, I took the 3 older kids to see the high school production of Into The Woods. It was fantastic! The kids did a great job. My kids loved all the fairy tales, even the whacked-out 2nd act!

Afterwards, we took pics with some of the characters and by Rapunzel’s tower.

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3 Feb

Last weekend was the Hardeman Tournament, always a fun 3 days of basketball. The kids get giddy when they find out that we’ll spend all evening at school. They each have their favorite activities up there and there are always old friends and new friends to do them with!

They get so dirty and sweaty and stay up too late, but they have hours of fun, and my house doesn’t get dirty. Win and win.


Josh is the asst. coach for the boys varsity team again. They’ve had a pretty successful season for having graduated a number of fantastic players last year. This tournament was especially exciting because 1) they won the entire thing and 2) they beat our rival school to do it!


Sim was watching all of the excitement in the gym for a while, but then he conked out right in the middle of cheering, ref’s whistles, and squeaky sneakers.


The next day, we tried a new restaurant for lunch after church. We got an onion ring appetizer and they were so yummy. They did their job well and got us all excited about the rest of our meal. However, that’s where the yumminess ended, unfortunately!

Josh and I didn’t want the kids to hear us complaining, so we kept whispering words like, “over-seasoned….tough….too much lettuce..etc.” That last comment was in reference to the tacos that he and Bella ordered. I think they were described as “ginormous” in the menu, and Bella’s face confirmed it.


It was a fun idea, but fell short! I love that we have so many restaurants to choose from here, though. Some times we hit the jackpot, and sometimes we bust!

Dream Big Basketball Camp

21 Jun

Josh helped out with a 3-day basketball camp at CCF, a church in the Philippines, so our 3 oldest kids got to tag along. Little did we know that while it was open to both boys and girls, our two gals were the only ones in the entire camp! Thankfully, it didn’t bother them at all.

(Or maybe I shouldn’t be so thankful that they are channeling their inner-Scarlett O’hara’s and are totally cool with being the only girl surrounded by all kinds of beaux.)

The windows on the other side of the gym create a beautiful city view, but dark shadows in my pictures!

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Mackenzie was at least a head taller than all of the 9-11 aged boys in her group! I love watching her play because even though she isn’t the strongest player out there, she is very intentional about trying to get her fundamentals right!


Bella also impressed me with her multi-tasking. She walked the length of the gym, dribbling the ball and sipping her Gatorade. That’s more ball-handling skill than I ever had!


Deacon’s favorite drill was when Josh would roll the ball away and they would have to chase it down and dive on top of it.


Caleb spent every free moment just hanging out on the back of the goal.


Now today’s activities include making Mississippi Mud Cake for Josh’s birthday tomorrow! Sometimes I wish I didn’t know how much sugar and butter go into a dessert. Ignorance is bliss.

Hot Season!

8 Apr

We’re a couple of weeks into basketball and all three of the older kids are playing! Josh is in charge of the entire kindergarten through 3rd grade (ish) group and the coach of Bella and Deacon’s team. Mackenzie is in the higher division and her games are on a different court, so Josh and I have to tag team, and have to miss the other’s games. Boo. But I guess we’d better get used to it, because it’s going to be the reality for the next several years!

They are all doing terrific! Bella scores a bucket or two every game, Deacon LOVES defense and gets a huge smile when he steals the ball. They are all cuter than an Easter basket full of brand-new fuzzy chicks!

Mackenzie had a career high 5 baskets in her last game! She’s got great shooting form in warm-ups, but rushes it a smidgen in games. I had to give her a Powerade incentive to be more aggressive on rebounding. She kept hanging out on the perimeter, waiting for any ball to drop into her hands. I said, “Kenz, you’re closer than anyone to the basket! You get first dibs on those rebounds!” So I told her that if she got a rebound and put it back up for a basket, I’d buy her a Powerade. Girlfriend did it the very next play! I, of course, had no money, and had to scrape together P50 to make good on my promise!



Josh wishes that he could coach her team, but he’s having fun with the littles. He’s really good with them too. He spends the first half teaching and then they play games.


In this drill, he just had them sprint from one end to the other a few times. He did it in the name of defense, but I think he was just trying to wear them all out to make Saturday afternoon naps a strong possibility.


After basketball, the kids and I headed out to the brand-new First Love Children’s Home! It is amazing and I’m so proud of our friends for doing such a great job getting it going. Here they are after the ribbon cutting with the girls who are already in their custody.


The stories that these girls come to the children’s home with are traumatic and devastating! I’ve heard some of their stories, but when I got to the ceremony and saw their precious faces, I couldn’t hold back my emotion! (Nothing surprising there for this preggo, though. I cry at everything these days. Don’t even put me in front of a military family reunion clip!)

Anyway, these girls are beautiful and precious and so loved by God! They’ve already come so far in their time at the children’s home (in a different location), and it’s so exciting to see what God has planned for them.

AND CHECK HIM OUT! He is their only little guy and he’s pretty perfect. I think Michele said that they’ve had him since he was 13 hours old! There were witnesses to the mother literally biting off his umbilical cord and leaving him on some steps. Horrific. But look at him now! He’s happy and healthy and well-loved. We all want ‘im!


It’s exciting to see our mission and friends being obedient to the Lord by caring for the fatherless. (James 1:27) It’s hard work and emotionally and physically exhausting, but so rewarding, both on earth and for sure in Heaven!

It was about 100 degrees out, hence the lack of grass on the ground! But that didn’t stop the kids from playing on the swing set and in the bahay kubo.


The next morning, we went to a different church. It is the church of one of Josh’s basketball ministry partners. Josh went and picked up the entire church in a bus and brought them to the local ministry center for church, fellowship, and swimming.

I just took these pics for my mom, who gave the girls these dresses when she was here.

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This is Tyson and he lives at the ministry center. He sat like this for almost the entire service, and it cracked me up.


Josh grabbed some Andoks chicken for the church and we all enjoyed some chicken and rice after swimming.


I don’t think you’re supposed to eat the rice like this, but when we get it at a fast food place, it comes wrapped up in a tight wrapper, so it’s easy to just unwrap and eat  like an apple!


Lastly, our big news is that Josh and I are FINALLY taking official Tagalog lessons! 3-hour classes twice a week. I’m finding that I know a ton of words, but putting them together in a sentence CORRECTLY is a game-changer. Example: I’ve always known that cockroaches are ipis. But now I can tell you that ipis pala ang mga iyon. (Oh, those (far, not near. That would be an entirely different word) are cockroaches.) There are so many weird rules and exceptions, which I’m sure is true of English as well.

I’ve memorized a list of particles that get added to enhance sentences. There can be as many as 6 particles in a sentence, and the order of which they are added comes in this hierarchy… na, pa, man, din/rin, nga, lang, daw/raw, po, ba, naman, yata, kaya, muna, sana, kasi, pala, na naman, tuloy. Say what?! It’s going to take me 15 minutes just to figure out which particles I want to use and to arrange them in the right way! Anyway, I still think it’s fun and I’m excited to be learning a new language!