Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rafting Trip

A week ago today, Brady got to be a chaperon for Britt's class as they went on a rafting field trip down the Willamette River. To say they both had a blast could be the understatement of the century - they enjoyed every single second of it! Truly, I can't tell who had more fun - Brady or Britt? I was apprehensive about the trip, and so I signed Brady up to be a chaperon. He grew up on a river, so he knows how to swim in those conditions. I can't swim, period. So I was nervous about Britt going without his dad, and luckily, it all worked out, and it was the best field trip Britt has ever been on! The weather was great, and Britt's dear friend Nicholas was on the same raft, so the two of them had lots and lots of fun. The guides were excellent, and wouldn't you know, Britt's raft won the splashing contest! They drenched another raft, thanks to Big Daddy himself. They even let the kids jump in the river at the end, which Britt loved more than anything. I'm so grateful Britt and Brady were able to experience this together, and now? They want to go on a "real" rafting trip! Who knows? Stranger things have happened. Brady managed to get some great pictures on his phone. It was a fabulous adventure, no doubt about it!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Viva La Fiesta 2014!

It was that time of year again last night, FIESTA! Just Britt, this year. He looked so cute! He did a really, really nice job. They practiced so hard this week, he came home exhausted every day after school. On Thursday, he was literally weak with fatigue, and after seeing his dance, I see why! There was a lot of jumping and moving in his class dance, and I think anyone would be tired after doing so much of that. But he sang his heart out and danced with everything he had, and we were as proud as we could  be, watching him perform. As always, Fiesta is a great time for pictures, and the weather was cooperative and gorgeous. Another special evening to be remembered forever!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Looks Like WE MADE IT - Beloved Summer is HERE!

After a long, hard winter (weather-wise, you know?), all of a sudden, out of nowhere, summer has arrived! I am so thrilled! The sunshine these past few days has been amazing! I've only had to clean stalls once this week, and my darling little B's have been playing outside every day after school. It has been fabulous, and I am grateful to my toes! I think the horses are as happy as I am to be turned out for a bit. Brailey captured these beautiful pictures of our boy Alvin. Isn't he so cute?! I really, really love these pictures. Especially the one below... I can't tell you how much I love this horse!
Below, the two "old guys" enjoying their freedom. (Tex and Alvin.)
You might find these strange pictures... Two sticks in the grass and flip flops and then a volleyball. Well, this scene may seem boring to you, but to me, it is priceless. Brailey and Britt have been playing volleyball every night this week. Britt came down with a nasty (worst one he's ever had!) ear infection, and so we didn't go to swim practice on Monday and Tuesday. Instead, we've had the luxury of coming straight home after school, and Britt has been "coaching" Brailey, giving her gold stars for "perfect" passes, and then they made up their own game, which inspired the two sticks you see pictured above, their "net." Mind you, we have a volleyball net, which we need to put up. We are just waiting for the rain to REALLY go away - I know this sun is only a brief reprieve from normal early summer weather. Still, I love their creativity. In fact, it was so darling, I didn't have the heart to tell them it was a bit unsafe, and instead just said a prayer neither of them would fall on one of the sticks and poke an eye out...
Last night, we started our beach volleyball practice. It was amazing! Perfect weather, perfect location, and the girls looked really good. Everyone was so happy! Britt was even inspired to play, before and after practice, and on the way home, he confessed that he actually likes volleyball, and although he doesn't want to play it for real, he would like to hone his skills a little so he can play with the girls. Music to this mama's ears! Before he made the swim team, I was actually going to put him on a Kidsports team, but lucky for him, he found his passion before I was able to do this. However, it makes me so happy that he wants to play with the girls, and they are all super kind to him and seem to enjoy his company, so that makes it even more fun.
Bethani's husband, Neil, helped me with my camera, and showed me some settings I didn't even know I have. Thus, I got some great pictures of Brailey! I am so stoked! I can't wait to take pictures of her all summer long. As I was sitting at practice last night, watching them, I felt so happy and content and lucky. I said to Bethani, "Look at us! Here we are, completely enthralled with volleyball PRACTICE! Are we crazy or what?!" And she said, "What better sport to watch than volleyball? It's fun to watch and fun to play!" Needless to say, we love it!
Britt and Coach Rick vs. Brailey and Nikki.
The great thing about the new setting on my camera is that I can show Brailey little things about her technique that I have been telling her. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words! She is doing really well, and she had the time of her life. It was such a magical evening, and I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity. It is going to be the best summer ever! And if you know how much I love sun and summer and how I adore every single summer, then you know that is a tall order to fill. Trust me when I say I'm going to enjoy every second of it!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Oregon Volleyball Club Party Time

It went by so fast! Brailey's first club volleyball season ended with Regionals, and we celebrated by meeting for pizza, games, conversation and certificates at Roaring Rapids Pizza last Wednesday. It was wonderful and a good time for everyone! I made my famous sugar cookies for dessert, which were originally supposed to be decorated to look like volleyballs, but that idea didn't pan out, so I just went for simple, and although I thought they were hideous, the girls actually loved them and were thrilled to see their numbers on them, and everyone munched on cookies all evening long! I wasn't proud of them (truthfully, I was embarrassed, but decided to swallow my pride!), but they were still a hit. (Pun intended!)
Brailey and Kameron on the merry-go-round.
Britt was the only boy there, but he knows how to entertain himself, and the girls all love him, so he was fine and had a great time.
Brailey was recognized for her excellent work ethic by Coach Maren, which is so true. She worked hard all season long, and only missed four practices in five months. She loved Maren so much, and Maren was the absolute perfect role model for the girls to have. All the girls are going to miss her terribly! And so are the parents, for that matter. Maren is a special, one-in-a-million kind of girl, and we were blessed to have her!
After receiving their certificates and kind words from Maren and Rick, the girls gave them their gifts, and then we had one last team picture. We were missing two girls, but you can still see this little team had a lot of heart. And now, on to beach volleyball with Coach Rick! We can't wait - it is going to be a fantastic summer! 
From left to right: Coach Rick, Isa, Brendyl, Coach Maren, Lexi, Kamryn, Nikki and Brailey.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day and Monday

I can honestly say, this year, Mother's Day was the best ever! How could it not be? The sun was shining, I had all three B's to myself, and we didn't have any work to do. It was amazing! I felt very loved and special and was truly treated like a Queen B, which, in case you didn't know, I am! As you can see, I had a wonderful breakfast made for me. Brailey cooked her first eggs, which she looked up on Google to learn how to fix. Britt cooked my favorite chocolate chip waffles, and the finishing touch, which really made my heart smile, were the peanuts. My B's are full of sweetness! Brady made the coffee and delivered it to me and  then he sat back and enjoyed his little worker B's. I could hear them from my room, where I patiently waited, and it sounded like quite a scene to behold. Below, you see my beautiful gifts. Brailey spent so much time on them, it melts my heart! She is becoming more and more crafty and creative - I love it! And Britt has the all-boyness to his work that is every bit as precious. 
My sweet friend Renee helped them with these gifts, which she somehow did without me knowing and secretly got to the kids, complete with cards! I love these so much...!
After all my presents (which felt like Christmas or my birthday!) we went for a Mother's Day lunch at Chili's, which was delicious! And then, later in the day, Brady and Brailey rode their ponies. Brailey showed me a few things she learned at her barrel racing clinic, and then she and her dad roped the dummy. This girl LOVES to rope! Poor Britt came down with a bad ear infection on Saturday, causing him to miss his swim clinic, and so I made him stay in the house with a heat pack on his ear after we got back from lunch on Sunday. No riding for him, but as we all know, this didn't really bother him. However, having to lay low all day long did. But as you scroll through these pictures, you will see that he was out and about yesterday, once again being an awesome brother.
The weather was so nice on Monday (and is supposed to be all week long)! Brailey asked Britt to play a little volleyball with her, and of course he said yes, and they made up their own game. It was fun to watch, and I'm thrilled they got some fresh air. It feels like summer is here, and even though school is not yet out, I have decided it IS summer, and we are going to enjoy every second of it, starting yesterday!

Bullies Beware

I wrote this a couple of months ago. I wasn't going to post it, because it is very, very personal. Most of the time, writing is my th...