Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Aunt Suezy Comes to Town!

We were so thrilled to see one of our favorite people last weekend, Brady's baby sister, Aunt Suezy! And we were even more thrilled when she spent the night with us. Boomer was happy, too! He remembered her and came loping right down the hill to see his mama - he loves his Suezy! I should have taken his fly mask off for the sake of my pictures, huh? 
Maggie has ruined two fly masks so far this summer - absolutely ripped them to shreds, so I didn't have to worry about hers being on in these pictures. Ha! Mag-Doll must know Suezy is Brady's sister, because she loved Suezy just like she loves Brady! She couldn't get enough attention from Suezy - Brailey and I couldn't believe it, because Maggie isn't usually that friendly. But horses know horse people, right? And our horses love Suezy!
 She met Brailey's pride and joy, Jack. 
And then she surprised Britt and took him down, literally, into a wrestling hold. Britt didn't know what to think! But he loved every single second of it. He said he thinks he is just like his Aunt Suezy, and she was very happy to hear this and also loved the fact that her nephew is such a snuggler. They watched Lara Croft and enjoyed every second of it.
Sadly, our visit ended too soon, but she is coming back in August, and we can't wait to see her again! Suezy is such a fun person to be around - positive, happy and full of love. We adore her!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

From Camping to Camps

It has to be said - the past week has possibly been the busiest of our lives. Holy smokes! We have been on the run having fun since school got out, and so far, our summer has been amazing! The first week, the two B's went camping with Gramma and Papa - I don't have any pictures of this, yet. They even went to my niece Lexi's graduation from 8th grade - they went to their campsite, set up camp and then came back to town the next day for the graduation ceremony, then headed back up to camp. They had the time of their lives in the forest and came back with enough memories to fill a summer, let alone one week of it! The next week, we went from camping to camps - Volleyball and Swim Camp, simultaneously. And Swim Practice three times a week on top of that. And at the end of the week, a 4-H meeting, a cupcake decorating party/sleepover and the Swim-A-Thon! I truly felt like a taxi service, but it was worth every drop of gas - I sometimes made five trips to town and back. Can you believe it?! Both B's have been happy, happy, happy and have enjoyed their two weeks off from the grind of school. However, we will admit it - we are ready to stay home for a few days!
The two volleyball girls, Brailey and Isa. These two learned so much at their camp this year and can't wait for their season to start this fall. They met when they played together last season and then during City League with their mothers. They are great friends!
With the Assistant Coach for the Lady Beacons, Coach Kelly. She was really, really good, and the girls learned more at this camp than they have in the past. She has them moving their feet and getting to the ball.
Britt and Coach Britta. Yep, you read that right! His swim coach's name is Britta. She looks like a movie star and she does a great job coaching all the swimmers. I told Britt to tell her he likes her name... She said she likes his, too!
A moment with Dad after a hard week of swimming. Brady was so impressed with how far Britt has come in his swimming since he made the Swim Team. Most impressive is how hard he works at it. 110%, always!
Brailey and Mag-Doll. We gave her a bath and prettied her up, because we've had some sadness in the midst of all our fun. Brailey's "number one gunner," as we say in the cowboy world, came up lame a couple of weeks ago, and so she had to take Maggie to her 4-H meeting. Tex is so push-button and Brailey has such an extreme amount of confidence in him, it was a little tough to have to ride Maggie. But they both did well! It is great experience for both of them (Brailey and Maggie), and we are praying Tex will be well by Fair time, which is almost here already. If not, then Maggie will be going to her first fair!
And the Swim-A-Thon. Britt has been raising money for his team for the past month, and finally the big day arrived. In this picture, he is with two of his Buena Vista classmates, who are also on the team. He also made some friends during the Swim Camp, and that gave him some extra security. It is always nice to make new friends.
The "TEAM "photo. 
You cannot believe how hard Britt worked in this Swim-A-Thon! His goal was 50 laps - he did five better than that! He was very serious about his swimming the entire time. He did ten laps of breaststroke, then ten laps of backstroke, then ten laps of freestyle, and then I talked him into using a kickboard for a few laps. This was good, because his classmate from Buena Vista, Alayna, did the same thing, and the two of them talked while going back and forth. Then, he finished with three laps of freestyle, one lap of backstroke and a final lap of breaststroke. He never took a break and swam for an hour and forty minutes. On our way home, he said he wished he would have swam the entire two hours, but I think he pushed himself plenty hard enough. We are so proud of him and inspired by his dedication and determination! 
Straight out of the pool after an hour and forty minutes of swimming.
Checking his laps sheet.
Brailey and I were very proud of him! A stranger offered to take a picture of the three of us.
Remember I mentioned a cupcake decorating party and sleepover? After Brailey's 4-H meeting, she went to a birthday party at her friend Isa's house, where they decorated a ton of cupcakes and had a wonderful time! It was her first "slumber party," complete with her dad's sleeping bag. She loved every second of it! 
Celebrating the end of the Swim-A-Thon and a hard week with their favorite pizza and Orange Crush. Sadly, Brady wasn't able to come to the Swim-A-Thon, because he had to attend the funeral of one of his best friend's wives. It was sad, because we needed to be there for Brady, but we couldn't miss the Swim-A-Thon, and Brady hated to miss the fun, but he needed to be there for his friend, too. Sometimes, you just can't do it all, although we tried like the dickens and managed to fit in more than enough. What can we say? It is a great life we lead, and we are grateful! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Eleven Birthdays

Here she is... Out of the first decade of her life and into the second. In the blink of an eye! I swear she was just a baby yesterday, and I was holding her on my lap, crying nonstop tears of joy over her sheer existence. And now she is more amazing than I could have ever dreamed! I have tried to appreciate every single day of my B's lives, but I still find myself wondering how the time could have passed so quickly and feeling nostalgic over memories of them as babies and toddlers. But she had a great birthday, and we celebrated the occasion  in many ways. Mainly, we let her have her best friend over for their first "sleepover." I don't think they could have had more fun - all I heard were giggles and laughter and talking. Below you see Britt working on a birthday message for her. He got up after I tucked them in the night before her birthday to write this out on our little chalkboard for a "surprise." He used an app from his Kindle. He was as excited for his sister's birthday as she was! They both woke up a half hour early, all on their own. And she loved his message board!
Zhee birthday decor... 
It was a Monster High birthday, for sure! She is out of Barbies, but loves, (and I mean LOVES!) Monster High. She got a lot of it and was thrilled, and Britt was happy for her to have it. He picked out the most perfect Monster High toy and doll for her and could not wait to see her open them!
 This year, her birthday was on the last "real" day of school. We were so happy!
Reading her bestie's card - it was a major hit! 
Playing Headbandz (thank you Aunt Nicoley for this awesome game!). First, a "thoughtful" pose, and then acting their card out. Brailey's was pizza and Carrie's was a hamburger.
 A fun owl craft they did. They both love owls! It has been a theme for the two of them this year. They even have matching owl earrings!
And playing Monster High. Britt was so happy for his sister to have all this stuff! We still have to have her cake (she wants a "Costco cheesecake," again!) and blow out candles. Brady was out of town, so we decided to wait until he was home to do the cake. Thus, the celebration has been prolonged! We did have Dairy Queen treats right after school, though. Eleven birthdays, come and gone. In seven more years, she will be graduating from high school! The first seven years of her life zipped by, so I am sure the next seven will be just as speedy. And I'm still going to do my best to enjoy every second of every minute of every hour of every day... We are so lucky to have Brailey Shaye in our lives - she is pure joy, from head to toe!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Buena Vista Fifth Grade Promotion - Class of 2013

And a sixth grader is born. Ahhhhhh... The bittersweet occasion of Brailey's Fifth Grade Promotion could not have been more special. It was a truly wonderful event, and not only was it good practice for all these kiddos as they move through their lives, it is one of the memories that will always stay with them. I apologize for posting so many pictures, but I really couldn't help myself - they all turned out so well! I have more I could have put on here, truth be told, but I tried to stick to the best of the best. 
The loves of my life, my three B's.
My baby girl and I. She is everything I ever dreamed of in a little girl... And tomorrow, she will be turning ELEVEN!
Brailey and her first grade teacher, Sra. Field. We love this lady! She took such good care of Brailey when Brady was in the hospital on life support and when both Brailey and I were having a hard time adjusting to Buena Vista. I remember Brailey  would cry every single morning when I dropped her off, and so would I! She was terrified - she didn't know anyone, didn't understand Spanish and didn't want to be at Buena Vista. I remember one day Sra. Field said to me, after a few months of the school year had passed, "I've had a lot of students cry, but never a mother cry like you. You have to be strong!' And I took her advice to heart, and I've loved Sra. Field ever since. And guess what? I didn't even cry last night during the Promotion Ceremony - I sucked those tears down!
Britt and Daniel, who will be in the Class of 2015's Promotion Ceremony.
Brailey and her bestie, Carrie. Two peas in a pod!
Sr. Cuadros, Buena Vista's Principal. We love this man - he is a wonderful principal and also a good friend!
Brailey with her beloved teacher, Sra. Bradley, and Sra. Bradley's daughter, Pearla. (You might remember her from the Fiesta post.) Brailey has loved being in Sra. Bradley's class! She had  a wonderful fifth grade year and is ready to take on middle school. 
Daddy's Girl...
Good bye, Buena Vista!

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...