Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekend 2016 - Four Days of Family Fun

The last time I checked, it was Halloween and I couldn't believe it had come so fast, and now Thanksgiving has come and gone and we are well on our way to Christmas! Time just keeps getting away from me... We had a really nice four day weekend where we didn't really go anywhere or do much of anything but stay home, and it felt like heaven! Being home for more than one day at a time is a luxury for us, and we all enjoyed it immensely. 
I fixed a Thanksgiving meal, but first, Brady had to show Brailey how to clean the turkey out so we could cook it. Our girl is becoming more like me as she grows up - she loves to bake, but doesn't really enjoy cooking. For me, cooking is the biggest chore in my life and not something I even pretend to enjoy. It just isn't one of my talents. To be frank, I loathe it! However, Britt loves a big Thanksgiving dinner, and I was happy to spend the morning cooking my B's their favorite holiday dishes. The best reward of all was that we were able to eat leftovers for the remaining days of the weekend. That is what I call a Win-Win! Below, the sharing of a bowl of deliciousness - licking it clean!
Last year on Thanksgiving, Britt nearly died of starvation. He was quite dramatic about it, in true Britt form. This year, it was Brailey. She was so hungry, she fell on the carpet and curled up into this little ball. Our kids are seriously funny!
Our beautiful poinsettia we bought from a dear friend as a fundraiser. Isn't it gorgeous?! Even Brady said he thought it was an extra pretty one. Lucky us!
Popping the sparkling cider!
One of our traditions over the holiday season is to do a Christmas puzzle.
Below, shades of the future. I love these two B's more than words. They seriously take my breath away.
On Saturday, Brady and Britt did one small Honey Do - they cleaned the gutters. Usually I help Brady with this, but this year Britt "got" to take my place. Haha! He is a great helper, and he had a very good idea. Instead of putting the leaves and gunk in a trash bag, he said, "Why don't we just put it all in the wheel barrow to start with?" What can we say? Sometimes our kids are smarter than us!
While Brady and Britt were cleaning the gutters, Bray rode her Materbug. She exercised him and then she swung a rope on him for a while. She wants to learn how to rope so bad! I am sure 2017 is the year it will happen.
Near the end of the day, Brailey and Britt remarked they wanted to go for a small "run" together. Britt has been going with me on the days when the weather and our schedules permit it, and he is quite the jogger! His long legs carry him well and he has a fast pace. He goes much faster than I do, that is a fact. As they discussed doing this, before they knew it, Brady and I had made a bet on who we thought would win in a little footrace between the two of them. Brailey is in very good shape due to her dance team schedule, and she was sure she could beat Britt. Having seen Britt run, I thought he could probably beat her with his long stride. Brady put a dollar on Brailey, and I put a dollar on Britt.
And they're off! Brady rode the 4-wheeler down to the overpass. He is, as you may have guessed, a very protective dad.
And as you can see, Brailey won! Both of their lungs were burning when they were done. There was no "jogging" about this race. They had a fast pace and they were in pain by the end. But they did it! We all got a big laugh out of Britt, who had eaten a roll right before this race, and after he lost, he said, "I had a roll!" He meant it was harder to run with a roll so freshly eaten, but Brady thought he meant he rolled his ankle. We are still laughing about this. But no excuses allowed - Brailey won fair and square. For her part, she has had a cold the past month, and due to the exertion on her lungs, she was finally able to cough all the gunk up.
This was the day of the Civil War between the Ducks and the Beavers, and Brady temporarily put his flag up. He was very proud!
On Sunday, we took Brailey to a barrel race in Eugene. There is nothing Brady loves more than to take his baby girl to the barrel race! He loves every second of it. It wasn't the best day for Brailey and Mater. They are going through some growing pains, right now, but every experience is vital and they will become more consistent with time. The first picture in this post is from a professional photographer who was there and captured that image. She is just reaching for the horn. It is a great shot!
Below is Brailey with The Best Trainer Ever, Pasty. Sadly, only two days after this race, the horse Patsy is on, Piper, broke her leg and had to be put down. We are all devastated for Patsy. We still can't believe she is gone! As you know, horses are people to us, and even though Piper was not ours, we know how much Patsy loved her and we actually spent quite a bit of time around her. On Sunday, Piper gave me a hello sniff and I will always treasure that moment. You may remember pictures of Brailey riding Piper after a gaming show and Pasty on Petey where they were in perfect step together. We will always remember and miss Piper. She was spirited and sweet and well-loved by her owner.
Mater is a very jealous horse, and he doesn't like his people petting other horses. He could really care less about being around other horses, but he doesn't want his people enjoying any horse but him. He let me know more than once I shouldn't be petting Piper. I've never been around a horse who is so in tune with his people. He always knows where Patsy is, and on this day, he also knew where Brady and I were as Brailey was warming him up. Every loop around the arena, he would look over at us where we were sitting in the bleachers. I know I sound like a cuckoo, but even Brady noticed it. Mater loves his people!
The puzzle on Sunday night. It is coming along nicely! 
On the other side of the mountain, my brother and parents celebrated Thanksgiving together. It has been years since I have seen this family so truly happy! It is amazing the difference one person can make in a family. My brother, Shawn, met his girlfriend Rici over the summer, and she has really brought out the happiness that was lying dormant in his heart. It is heartwarming to see everyone relaxed and able to be themselves. We have spent the past several years in chaos being judged, ridiculed and frankly, lied to and about. We could not be any happier this person is gone from all our lives! It is such a relief to be done with that chapter and to be moving into a carefree, happy and honest life. These pictures made my heart swell with love and I am grateful to my toes for every one of these people. As always, we have a lot to be thankful for, and this year we are not only grateful, but full of love and hope for an amazing future. What can we say? Thanksgiving 2016 was a great success!

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