Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pop Warner Football Revisited

I know, I know... More of the same! I just had to share these pictures of the little football guy in FULL PADS for the first time, though... I couldn't help it! Last night they started hitting and tackling each other instead of bags and coaches, so it was more interesting and fun. Britt did great! He is really enjoying football and is a joy to watch. Brady was able to come to last night's practice, which was a treat, because he has classes every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening, which means he has to miss most of Britt's practices. So last night and Friday prior was a special treat for Britt. Here's a video of his first hitting drill... Can you tell which one is him?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Football Season Begins! Pop Warner Style...

OH MAN! Can you  believe it?! My BABY in football pads! Last Monday marked the beginning of Pop Warner football season. They practiced for two hours every evening, and so far, Britt really likes it! The first night, they got to try on their pads and jerseys to see if they fit or not, but they only practiced with helmuts for the first 10 hours (two hours every night). Tonight is the first night of full pads, so it will be a whole new ball game (pun intended)! Britt said the only torture of the practice is the helmut, because it is hard to get used to and hurts his head. Wonder what he will think about the pads? He is doing a great job of being a good listener, and the coaches are fabulous! They keep the attention of their players focused on football at all times. In that regard, it is almost comical for a mother, because the coaches are so serious with these little 5-6 year old boys, and you can tell how passionate they are about football. But in another regard, I really appreciate their drive and discipline with the boys, especially after enduring the most ridiculous Tee Ball season ever last spring, and I have come to realize that is the kind of parent I am - my parenting style is just like a football coach! Anyway, it has been great fun, so far, and both Brady and I are proud of Britt for being a good listener and and trying his best to do what is asked of him. He is very thoughtful about what he does and makes sure he does it the correct way, which is adorable to watch. My parents were able to catch his practice this past Friday, and they were as impressed as Brady and I with the coaches and the program and Britt. So we are in full football mode at The 4 B's ranch! It is amazing how much they are learning, so hopefully Britt will have the fundamentals he will need to be a successful football player when he is Brady and my retirement. That's what we tell him, you know... That he's our retirement. All in good fun! As we head into this week and full pads/gear, we are also heading into real tackling. Should be interesting... I hope my baby doesn't get hurt! Brailey is enjoying the season, also, because she gets to go to her bestie's house to play for a couple of nights a week while Britt practices. It is really nice for her to get to go there, because two hour practices are kind of long for her to endure. But Britt has sat through hours upon hours of ice skating lessons, so it all works out. And in case you were wondering? I'm adjusting to the changes in our schedule. I just like to do my changing with a lot of drama, hence my detour into Bitchville... I'm finding my way back to Happy Land, thought, so no worries!
This is one of Britt's best friends, Brody. They met in preschool as 3 year olds and graduated from kindergarten together. This year they will be in different schools, so it will be nice for them to stay connected through football.

Brady got to help on Friday, and Britt was so thrilled he got to be in his daddy's line! It was a proud moment for our family. Special times...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer

This is how I came across Rosin one day last week... She likes to sleep on our pillows, of course, but the one on top? Brailey Shaye arranged that for her. I thought it was so cute! My "royal" doggie, you know...

And this is where Daphne has been sleeping all summer. Nevermind that she has a perfectly nice dog house with a soft, comfy bed - this has been her new spot. I took this picture through the window, believe it or not. Daphers is getting up there in years, but she keeps on plugging along. I thought this was adorable...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fall Grumpies

Oh my GOODNESS! Big Mama is G-R-U-M-P-Y! I mean! I am MEAN! I was hoping to avoid being pissy this time of year this year, but yesterday proves I am deep in the heart of Bitchville. Every single year, near the end of summer and the beginning of fall, this happens to me. And I feel really bad for my family, because they always get the brunt of it, of course. The problem is that I go into a period of grieving over the loss of summer. I am someone who LIVES for summer, and when the days start getting shorter and cooler, it just slays me. I can barely stand the thought of rain... And then you add into the mix the fact that my babies going back to school, and things get really emotional, because unlike most parents, I detest sharing my kids. We've had such a good summer just hanging out and being together, and now I have to send them back with the wolves.

Yes, WOLVES. Because we all know there are some crazy people out there and they are raising their kids to be just as crazy as they are, and it really bites that I can't protect my children from them forever. But the fact is, I CAN'T protect them, and I don't want to have a couple of socially inept homeschooled weirdos, either. So I have to send them back to the wolves and help them develop the shells they are going to need to survive this nutty world.

It has been so wonderful to have lazy days with them at home this summer, and I am mourning the loss of those, as well. Britt started his Pop Warner football season last night, and so we are going through some schedule changes, and I have to admit it stresses me out. I am wondering when I can take them riding, especially now that they are both riding so well - I hate for Britt to lose that. I at least want to make sure Brailey Shaye gets to ride, since she is no longer able to ice skate (they tripled the prices, and we just can't afford it). I don't see a window of opportunity anywhere for both of them to ride. Sure, I can take Brailey riding, just her and I, on the a couple of nights a week if Brady takes Britt to practice on his own, which is probably what we'll do, but I like it when we are all together. All 4 B's together is how I prefer to live my life, and when it doesn't work out that way, I take it hard. And then the grumpies come out. Which is ironic, because they turn me into the last person anyone would want to spend time with, so my family is probably thrilled to get away from me.

I have a tendency to be heavy on the serious side of things, anyway, so it is something I definitley have to work on on a regular basis. I need to be more F-U-N! So that is one of my goals for this fall. I am going to try to step back from my pain and be more supportive of all this change that is occuring and not take our lives so seriously. I have no idea how I am going to accomplish this, but at least I am aware that I have issues, which takes me back to the fact that I do know I'm crazy (see earlier posts), and I believe that is a step in the right direction. Hopefully now that I've written it out, I can take a deep breath and move on from the sadness and be happy and embrace the season of change that is rolling in. Because I don't like being in Bitchville - it sucks.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Last Rodeo of the Summer - Tygh Valley

The 4 B's made their way to Tygh Valley this past weekend for our last rodeo of the summer, and it was wonderful! It was a little lonesome this year, because my parents were unable to come. Last year they met us there and camped for the weekend, and we all had a big time. Still, we managed to have a great time - it just would have been "even better" with Grammy and Papa there...
See our tattoos?! Brady and I SPLURGED and got airbrushed tattoos! It was so fun. They are lasting pretty well! Brailey Shaye took this picture for us - she has gotten to be a great photographer this summer.

We entered the local horse show on Saturday, which was Britt's first time and Brailey's second, so we are true beginners. They did great! Here you see them leaving the trailer, going to the track to warm up the boys. They were too cute for words, and yes I am their mother, but it is oh-so-TRUE!

"Drink a little drink, smoke a little smoke..." Brady and I love Eric Church's new song, "Smoke," and this picture reminds me of it! Brady is drinking his morning coffee and our good friend Kedo Olson is smoking a morning cigar. We don't get to see Kedo that often, but we got to catch up with him the morning of the horse show, and it was wonderful to visit with him. He's a rodeo announcer, (he was there to announce Tygh Valley) so we've known him for years upon years. It was a beautiful morning, not too hot, not too cold - perfect for visiting and watching the B's ride in a horse show.

Here I am, leading Britt out of the 6 and under lead line class, his first ever! He did really well, and of course they ALL won  first place. He won a medal and a little prize, so he was thrilled.

See his medal? He had to put it on straight away!

This is Brailey Shaye riding in her class. Of course Brady and I are prejudiced, but she absolutely was the best rider in the class. However, western pleasure is something we are still learning, so she didn't win the class. But she rode perfectly, and we are prouder than proud of her! Unfortunatley, she is JUST LIKE her mother, and she gets nervous for things like this. So it was great for her to experience it and to get through those butterflies. Hopefully they will go away with some more experience... Of course it breaks my heart, because I know just how she feels.

Brailey and Tex leaving the arena with their ribbon! She won 4th... Yay Brailey!

Brady was the perfect supportive horse show dad, and he was right there to congratulate her as she left the arena. I, of course, was capturing it all with my camera.

Brailey and Rosin hanging out before the barrel race.

And here we are, waiting for the barrel race to start. They each did so well, and made it though the pattern. Both kids had to really cowboy up and make their horses do what they wanted them to, so it was great for them! Usually, Tex does something onery to Brailey, so it was great for her to get through the pattern for the first time. Britt doesn't get nerves like Brailey, so he just rolled on through, but it was his first time and he had to make Quickity go on his own, so it was great experience for him. Brady and I were proud parents, to say the least!

This is in Maupin on the Deschutes River, which is about 10 miles from Tygh Valley, and is a town famous in Oregon for rafting trips. I captured Brady waving to the rafters as they floated by - completely by accident, too! Maupin is actually my mother's maiden name, and the town was named after one of our ancestors. Brady wants to go rafting, someday - I'm not so sure about it, since I can't swim. It did look like fun, though, I have to admit. So maybe someday?

We had breakfast in Madras on our way home at the Black Bear Diner, which was filled with Black Bears! The little B's wanted me to take their picture with these carved bears. We were STARVING, and the food was to die for! All four of us ate every single morsel. It was a wonderful weekend, and now Britt's football practice starts, and life gets a little crazier after a low key summer. More on that and my resulting emotions later! Stay tuned...

Monday, August 16, 2010

The B's with JJ and G

Here they are, the cutest, nicest, most wonderful kids in the world! We got to go to our favorite Lambert family's house at the end of last week for some fun in the sun. They have this perfect-sized pool, and the kiddos had a blast in it! It was super hot, so they enjoyed every second of playing in the H2O. And I enjoyed every second of "my time" with my twin, Little Mama. It had been over a couple of weeks since we had seen each other, and if felt like months! Brady stopped by after work and ate delicous burgers Brian grilled for us, so it was a family affair, for sure. Now Brady has decided that our kids are old enough to have a little pool like this... So next summer, once we get our lawn in (I'm praying that happens this fall), we'll have to start shopping around for a fun pool like this one.

It has been such a fun summer! I've been getting those back-to-school blues that I usually get around this time of year, though. I've loved every second spent with my babies, and I can't even wrap my mind around the fact that we only have a little over three weeks left. I think my B's feel it, too, because I've been getting lots and lots of extra hugs, lately, and they've been following me around more than usual, just like puppy dogs... What can I say? My children and I love each other! I am devastated to be sending Brittster Man into first grade. He'll be at school ALL DAY LONG! It was hard enough sending Brailey for that long, but I used to have Britt to tide me over until she got out of school, and now it will be all up to me to entertain myself without them. I know, I know! I'll manage! Still, just the mere thought sends me down My Kids Are Growing Up Too Damn Fast Road. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Scares me senseless! And we all know I barely have any sense as it is... Yikes! WHAT WILL I DO?! Poor Big Mama... Send prayers my way, please! I need em'.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Our Favorite, Corvallis!

Did you miss us? Big Mama's computer locked up and crashed last week, so I was unable to post all our exciting summer adventures for a few days. But now I have it back, thanks to my spectacularly smart boss, and I'm back in Blogging Business! Our latest adventure took us to Corvallis last week to the fair and rodeo. This is always a favorite for The 4 B's, and this year was the best time we've ever had! While Brady worked the rodeo, I took the kids through all the 4-H animals, which was hysterical to watch - Brailey is so gentle and sweet to them, and Britt was just fascinated. He didn't think he wanted to see the animals, but once we were there, he was overjoyed! I have to say, my son is a hoot to be around and to watch. We ate lots of corn on the cob, kettle corn and pizza, we went through the reptile and exotic animals exhibit, which had way too many snakes for Brailey and I, and even sat through a nice little religious sermon in order to get our "free" face paintings (just the kiddos). A magician performed coin and card tricks just for us on the last day while we ate our food, and I have to say he was really, really good! We saw hundreds of bunnies and poultry, and when the rodeo was over on Saturday, we went with Big Daddy to the carnival. It was a blast for the little B's and hard on the big B's backs, but worth ever second! Needless to say, we love the Corvallis rodeo...!

Here they are, ready to ride! I couldn't resist one quick shot with my camera before we took to the pen for a quick ride at home before the Corvallis rodeo.

And here they are in the Corvallis rodeo arena. As you can see, Britt is happy as a clam, and Brailey is a bit nervous. Her horse has done some onery things with her in the past, so she is a little leery of him in new places. However, before this weekend was over, she was even happier than Britt and got her confidence level up higher than ever.

Hanging out with Daddy on the fence before the rodeo. The kids loved sitting here during the rodeo, also, because we could see so much more action - they were thrilled! Britt has decided to be a bull dogger, now that he's seen what happens behind the chutes, which is music to his mother's ears, because I would much rather have him be a steer wrestler than a bull rider. Much safer option! And Brailey has been practicing her roping since we've been home, because she wants to be a breakaway roper, now. And guess what? She's got a great swing!

My little cowboy and cowgirl on the last day of the rodeo. See? Brailey is much more confident and happy, at this point.

They got to help bring the cattle down the arena, and they couldn't have been happier! When they were done, the girl on the horse told them they were "hired!" Britt said, "Great! How much money did we make?" A wonderful older gentlemen who was helping heard him say that and paid them each a dollar, which they couldn't have been more happy with. It was a one of those priceless moments Brady and I will never forget...

April - Here and Gone in the Blink of an Eye

It seems crazy to think Easter Sunday was on April Fool's Day this year, but it totally was. We started our Easter at mass with our fa...