Thursday, October 31, 2013

Papa and The Monster Elk

Check out this huge elk my dad got last week! After 28 years of hunting in this area, he finally got, "The Big One!" A six point, and a mighty big six point at that. My dad lives to hunt elk, so this was a real dream come true for him. He's gotten other elk, before, but never one this majestic. My mom was with him - she's gone elk hunting with him for the past couple of years. She couldn't believe it when he called her on the walkie-talkie and said he'd killed a six point! It is incredible the two of them were able to load this elk and get it to camp. Look at what good shape my dad is in, though. Can you believe he is 69? It is a special story and achievement and a well-deserved trophy. Congratulations, Papa!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Brailey's Turn for the Autzen Experience

Last Saturday was Brailey Shaye's turn to go to the Duck game. She and Brady had a wonderful time! They met some really nice UCLA fans, and she even got her picture with the Oregon Basketball team! The ears from her Halloween costume had green rings in them, so she decided to use them for her Duck attire. She loved everything about the game and was the cutest Duck fan there! (Hey, I'm her mother - mothers get to think that if they want to, remember?)
Before the game, ready to cheer on the Ducks!
 At the game with the nice UCLA fans they met. We have the best seats in the house (we feel), because we are right on the aisle next to the visiting team. It makes for a lot of fun and excitement!
The Oregon Mens Basketball Team and Brailey Shaye. She said they were BIG! And TALL! Somehow, she doesn't look that short standing next to them.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Beloved Grandma Diggy Comes to Town

Finally, we got to see our Beloved Grandma Diggy! And ironically, our time with her started with a swim meet and ended with a swim meet. Above, we picked her up the day after she arrived and zipped her off to Britt's "Mini Meet." She loved watching him and every other swimmer, too! 
We got to spend two weekends with her - it was perfect! The first weekend, the two B's put on a "show" for her. Back in August, we discovered a really cute new Merry Melody, which I will try to share in my next post. It is a western about eating right, so they performed to it while it played on Brailey's iPod in the background. Above, you see them showing her the actual video they performed to. She loved it as much as we do! Needless to say, it was a big hit. 
Before she even arrived, Brady and I dropped off the Roughie for her to have some wheels while she was in town. She stayed with her son, Boone, during the week. Of COURSE we had to get a picture of her driving it.
Our last weekend with her, she took the kids to Lone Pine Farms. Brady's brother (and her son) runs the farm and is one of the owners, as well, so it is always a treat for the B's to go there for their pumpkin fun. Grandma Diggy and little B's had the time of their life! They spent the entire day there, on Saturday. Britt's Swim Team met there to go through the famous Corn Maze, and they had a big time! Brailey took pictures for me, and she got a lot of really good ones! As I was looking at them after I downloaded them, I started laughing out loud at how much fun they had. It is easy to see everything they described. Brailey did a great job capturing the special moments! And Diana (Grandma Diggy's real name) said they were perfectly behaved children and she was so impressed with how well they take care of one another. Brady and I were working while they were having all this fun, and even if we had taken them, we would have rushed them through it in a couple of hours, so it is a huge blessing and the most special of memories for Grandma Diggy to have taken them to the farm for the entire day. Uncle Boone treated them like royalty, and they loved every second of it!
 They LOVE this sluice box. They came home with some real gems! 
 The World Famous Corn Maze...
 Britt and his swim teammate and classmate, as well, Keahana. The three of them had a great time going through the maze together!
 Britt wore my pink Duck hat in honor of the pink helmets for the game that night, which you can see in my previous post (Date Night at Autzen Stadium), and were able to attend thanks to Grandma Diggy being in town to watch the little B's (thanks, Beloved Mother-in-Law!). Britt is definitely "tough enough to wear pink!" Believe it or not, it was Brady's idea. So cute!
The beloved grandmother and granddaughter. Gorgeous, aren't they? (If you have found yourself wondering, "beloved" is our special term we use with Diana - she calls me "Beloved Daughter-in-Law" and I call her "Beloved Mother-in-Law." BDIL and BMIL for short. And now, Brailey is calling me "Beloved Mother!" I like this new tradition a lot!)
 The ice cream they enjoyed was one of the highlights of the day. They weren't kidding when they said it was a lot of ice cream!
 And then came Sunday, our last day with Grandma Diggy, and another swim meet. This one was at Sheldon Pool and was more like a "real" meet, which was Britt's first experience, and included the entire Swim Team, Blue vs. Yellow. His mini meets have been only the 10 and Unders, so there were a lot more people, this time. The entire TEAM got new swim caps, Team Yellow vs. Team Blue with pink "TEAM" lettering. Britt is on Team Blue. He loves his new swim cap!
 And after it was all over, we managed to get at least one family picture. We had so much fun together! Every second was fun and will be treasured forever in our hearts.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Date Night at Autzen Stadium

Brady and I finally got to go to a game together! The last time we went was two or three years ago. This game was against the Washington Cougars and one of our favorite coaches, Mike Leach - we love him! Needless to say, the game was super fun! The "pink" helmets were a huge hit, and the pink everywhere was just awesome. Even the Harley was pink - that's my favorite part of the game. When the Duck rides out on the Harley, I just love that! Anyway, it was the absolute most perfect weather ever, and not even that many drunks, believe it or not. The only fly in the ointment was that our cell phones wouldn't send texts, so I wasn't able to hook up with my friend Renee and her son Ryan, who were also at the game. And we couldn't text pictures to anyone. But other than that, we had a blast! There's just nothing like a game in Autzen Stadium, and we love our seats. We've had them since I worked at the Law School many years ago, and they are the most perfect seats. We are so grateful to have them! Alas, it was a great date night for Queen B and Big Daddy! GO DUCKS!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Reunited, And It Feels So Good!

These two... They love each other the way best friends should - unconditionally. After not seeing each other for over four months, they were finally reunited on Saturday for a day full of birthday fun! It was Carrie's "Golden Birthday," as she turned twelve on the 12th, and they spent the day together, shopping at the mall and having the time of their lives! They came home with new "Best Friends" necklaces and a whole lot more. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking to see them together - their friendship is amazing and true. Although they have both had a rough start to the school year, they are still flourishing, and they will always be besties. They are learning how to be themselves on their own, which is so healthy and good for them, but still not easy. It was truly a joy to see them so happy together - I'm sure you can see their love for one another in their faces in these pictures. If anyone deserved a fun day together, it was the two of them. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dugan to the Rescue!

When I first moved to the valley 13 years ago, I was a little scared, a little excited and a lot in love with Brady. I still am a lot in love with Brady, but I'm no longer scared. At the time, it was a whole new world for me over here on this side of the mountain. Eugene was the "big city!" The first place Brady and I lived was in a single-wide trailer on the property of one of Brady's dearest friends, Dugan Brewer. Dugan is actually more like a brother to Brady than a friend, and Dugan and I hit it off like ducks to water. I have so many fun memories of Dugan, they are too numerous to count! One of the best things about him is the way he is always helping Brady and I when we need something. He is one of the most generous souls you will ever meet, and was one of the best bull riders in the world during his prime. That's a true story!

One night, shortly after moving to Eugene, I remember I was waiting for Brady to get home from work. He was working overtime, so it was late. The only furniture we had at this time was a hide-a-bed with a sleeping bag on it, and a teeny-tiny TV. I think the screen was 13 inches. No matter - we were thrilled to be together and happy as clams. On this particular night, as I was waiting, all of a sudden I noticed a man outside the trailer on top of the pump house roof. His hair was sticking straight up, and he looked a little crazy. This scared me a little, but just as I was about to call Brady on his cell phone, there was a knock at the door. I peeked through it and realized it was Dugan. He was the wild man I had just spied out the window on top of the pump house roof. Not only was his hair sticking straight up, it was full of shampoo. He had on a blue bath robe and his black cowboy boots with green tops. Let me tell you, he was a sight! Turns out the water had gone out during his shower, so he wanted to let me know. "What am I going to do?" he said, thinking out loud. I said, "I don't know..." I didn't laugh until Brady got home. Thankfully, Dugan figured out how to fix the water situation, and all was well. But I will never forget the sight of him with his hair, bathrobe and boots. Where I come from, men don't even have bathrobes - turns out Dugan didn't own one, either. It belonged to his wife, but I didn't know that at the time.

Over the years, Dugan has helped us so many times, I can't even count them all. If we have a problem or need help, Brady always calls Dugie, as we call him. Just last week, Dugan came to our rescue again and moved our "Pooh Pile" for us. With the winter weather moving in so early, our Pooh Pile didn't get moved, and it was a soggy mess, to say the least! At the first sign of dryness, Dugan was able to zip out here and get it cleared out. He even went the extra mile and spread some gravel for me and made a better road to my dumping site.

One of the best things about Dugan are his stories. When he and Brady get together, they tell about all the wild times they've had together, and it is such a treat to hear them. They are very entertaining! Sometimes I wonder how the two of them survived and became productive citizens, you know what I mean? To be honest, some of their buddies didn't. Dugan and Brady lived in a different time, though, than today's world, and they have always been good to their cores. They might be the toughest old bull riders you'll ever meet, but they have hearts of gold.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Middle School Update

Well, it's getting better ("it" being middle school)! We survived our first month of school. Yee haw! The little B's and I are on a countdown to summer. Only 8 1/2 months to go! We can DO it! This fall has been one of the worst we've ever experienced. The weather has thrown a crink into everything - basically, we are in winter!

However, Brailey has settled into her middle school routine, and she and I are both doing much better. No more morning tears, which is a blessing. One day, she forgot to give me a hug, and as she was getting her backpack out of the car, I mentioned it to her, and she just shrugged and smiled - that's when I knew things were looking up. Her confidence is making a comeback. And she made the yearbook staff! One day during her second week, she came out of the school looking excited - turns out she had picked up the yearbook staff application and she couldn't wait to fill it out. She did a fabulous job! She had to get two signatures and emailed recommendations from previous teachers, which was a great thing for her to experience pursuing. She chose Sra. Downes from second grade and Sra. Bradley from fifth grade, her most beloved teachers, and when she told them she made the "yearbook crew," they both told her they knew she would. So cool!

She is growing up so fast, it really kills me, but at the same time, I'm so incredibly proud of her! She told me last week, "Mom, I don't mean to do it, but I think I'm putting all my eggs in one bag, again!" I thought that was the cutest thing ever (hey, bag, basket - it's all the same, right?). At least she realizes it is important to branch out, a little, and to make more than one friend. She is one wise girl, our Brailey Shaye-Shaye.

She has been making use of the resource periods before school to practice her volleyball, since she is in PE. This took some initiative and nerve - she is so shy, but she asked her PE teacher if he would help her with her serve, and he said of course! Another great sign of growth.

Britt, of course, is doing great. He loves his teacher, this year, and he really appreciates her mannerisms and kindness. Last year, his teacher traumatized him, and he still isn't over it. Mind you, he didn't get in trouble, but his teacher last year was quite a yeller and frankly, mean. He is beyond thrilled to have a nice teacher, this year! He has even compared her to Sra. Downes, which is the highest compliment a teacher can receive. For Britt, Sra. Downes is the epitome of a great teacher. We are all very happy he is no longer dreading school. And he's already experiencing middle school through his big sister, so he hopefully won't have to go through the hard transition Brailey did. And, he doesn't "put all his eggs in one bag," when it comes to friends. Britt is definitely social.

So life goes on, as they say. Things are looking up! Cut, print, take-the-cake, moving on! (Can you guess what movie that line is from?)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Shots of September

We fell in love America Ninja Warrior this summer. Imagine our surprise one day when we came out to our "park" as we call it and discovered an obstacle course made out of my wooden benches and rope and a few other miscellaneous items. Britt made his own Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course. This is him at the top of the last obstacle, complete with a button!
 Our cute little cowboy helping Big Daddy unpack from the week. Notice the shoes... He wore them all summer long! They are LACE MULES and they are mine. I've had them for years. But he loves them because they are easy to get on. Believe it or not, he has even worn these to town, before I noticed. At least he doesn't care what other people think! 
 Brailey made this heart on a cake we baked. It was delicious! She is always making and finding hearts in everything - she's a love!
 Our neighbor's new llama baby! This is Brownie and her new arrival, Double Fudge (Brailey got to name them). They are some of Boomer's best friends. This baby is only a couple of days old in this picture - we were shocked at how big they are when they're born.
 Brailey and Boom-Boom. 
 Riding lesson - one of the last in the sun, perhaps?
 Two Duck fans going to the Duck game in their Duck Commander shirts (from Duck Dynasty). Too cool!
 Before the rain - totally dry! Check out the post from a few days ago, though, and you will see that they didn't end up dry. A River Runs Through Autzen.
 Brailey has been playing volleyball every Sunday and Tuesday. My future beach volleyball girl!
 Britt had his Annual Jog-A-Thon - he was so adorable! He did a really good job. And then, after all this jogging, he went to swim practice and swam his heart out. Amazing!

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...