Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Summer of Horses

This summer, we haven't been doing too much golfing. We definitely play a few rounds every now and then, and we still hit balls at home on our own personal golf pad Brady made for us. But most of our free time has been taken up with horses. Brailey came home from her Rodeo Bible Camp in Pendleton more inspired than ever to be a cowgirl. Alvin taught her so much about riding, and the roping instructor told Brady, "If she can ride Alvin, she can ride anything!" We are super proud of her and so happy to see her enjoying her summer and doing what she wants to do with it. On that note, in order to be supportive to Brailey and because he has told her for three years now he was going to do it, Brady entered his first gaming show last weekend. He was amazing! Keep scrolling for more about that... In the meantime, here are just a few of the many moments we've had so far with our precious horses this summer. 
Britt is so funny. He tells himself (and us!) he doesn't like to ride. But he actually does like to ride. I "made" him go on a trail ride one evening, and as usual, nobody had more fun than he did. He was very upset to have to wear jeans - that was the worst part, for him. Once they got back to the house, he zipped back into his shorts. Brady, Brailey and I went on up to our little arena to rope the Hot Heels, and out of the blue, here came Britt. First, he kicked me off the 4-wheeler so he could drive the steer around. Next, he kicked Brady off Alvin and roped the dummy himself! It was fun and funny and cute all at the same time. He has a little cowboy in him, whether he likes it or not. 
I took this cool panoramic picture on my phone. We go down to a big arena near our house every day that we can and Brailey exercises her horses. She has improved so much in her riding. One day she decided to make a little barrel run on Tex. She and Tex have a rocky past - he is not a horse for a beginner. This time, much to Tex's surprise, she rode the hair off him! In fact, she rode him in all the events last weekend at the gaming show and just rode Mater in the barrels and poles. 
I love this picture of Brailey getting on Mater. I think her splits in dance have helped her riding. More flexibility in the hips, for sure! 
One night Brady and I went on a little trail ride together, just the two of us. I think it is the first time we have ever done that. (See my shadow taking his picture?) We usually have one of the kiddos with us. It was so nice! As our B's grow up and get more independent, it has been fun for Brady and I to spend quality time together. He is still my best friend, after all these years. I'm so glad he is mine! He still makes my heart skip a beat.
The gaming show was in Cottage Grove. Brady and Alvin were the stars of the day! It was the first time they had done all of the events, and they were amazing! I couldn't believe how well they did, but I shouldn't have been surprised. One of our friends, Barb Reynolds, said, "Not too bad for an old bronc rider!" It was super fun to watch him. Britt got a little nervous for him in the poles and said to me, "Man, I'm actually nervous for Dad. I hope he knows what to do!"It was also the first time for Brailey riding Tex in two years, and they did pretty darn well for not practicing. She had an incredible barrel run, but she was so excited she made it around all the barrels (Tex is famous for ducking on her), she forgot to ride him on the way home, and Tex got her at the line. But she learned from that mistake and she is excited to ride him again.
Britt was a trooper. He and I were the "film crew." He videoed all the events on his phone and really enjoyed doing it. He also enjoyed visiting with us. He's such a fun kid! It was a long, dusty day, and he made it more bearable with his humor and antics.
And once again, Britt just couldn't help himself - he got on Mater and Alvin a couple of times. Yet he doesn't like to ride. Mmmm-hmmmm. It was fun to see. I think he would have liked to have been entered in the show, truth be told. If only he and Brady could share Alvin. Brady said we could just tell them Alvin is Chipmunk. "Oh no, this isn't Alvin, this is Chipmunk!" We laughed so hard over that one!
On Sunday, we took Brailey and Mater to a barrel race. She did great! They aren't running full speed, yet, but they are getting closer to it. She is so ready to run him and has no fear. We are very proud of her for her dedication in riding every day and taking great care of her horses. Eventually, all her hard work will pay off. In the meantime, the summer of horses continues!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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 therapy. Many blog posts sit in the que, never to be shared. But then a friend of mine posted on her blog about her son being bullied, and I realized how rampant it is in today's society, and I decided to share my own post. The summer has gone a long way toward healing our hearts from what we experienced this year, and if this post makes even one person think differently about bullying, then it is worth it.

Bullying. There is such an extreme amount of it today. Just look at the news. Frankly, I think it has always been around. But the truth is, today, there is so much of it going on, it boggles the mind. Especially with girls. Girls are the worst, aren't they? Of course boys are bullies, too, but they are usually more obvious about it. Girls are sneaky and conniving and unforgiving. Girls can pretend to be sweet when they aren't. Either way, girl or boy, I cannot stand bullies.

To the girl who bullied my daughter this year, know this:

Know that my daughter isn't a victim. She's stronger than you, smarter than you and frankly, much nicer than you. She purposely didn't engage in your twisted little game. She didn't stick up for herself. She isn't the kind of girl to participate in the drama of tit for tat and who was right or wrong. In other words, you just weren't worth her time. You didn't matter that much.

But know that I saw you hurting her. Yes. I personally witnessed an incident. And it took everything I had not to go after you and ask you what you thought you were doing. But I restrained myself, knowing how innocent you portray yourself to be. You aren't one to be trusted. You are dishonest, which makes you dangerous.

Know that your lies will catch up to you someday.

And to the girls who jumped on your bandwagon without getting the real story, know this:

Know there are two sides to every story. Did you really believe the lies degrading my daughter's character? Did you truly think it was like her to do the things that were being said? Or were you just so jealous of her that you eagerly believed such garbage? Why would you turn your back on a friend based on someone else's testimony? How could you forget what a good friend my daughter has been to you?

Know that there will be a next time, because bullying isn't exclusive to high school, and you will come across this exact scenario again. Next time, you should investigate. Don't always take one person's word over another person's without talking to both parties. Draw your own conclusions. Research. Seek the truth. Don't be so quick to judge.

Know that you were the victims in this charade of friendship. You fell prey to a controlling, conniving personality. And you lost out on a great, loyal, mature, sweet, fun friend. You are under a bully's control. And you are a bully in a group of bullies.

To all of you, to the group of bullies, know this:

Know when it comes to my daughter? She's okay. She's more than okay. But you did hurt her. You hurt her deeply. If that was your intention, then pat yourself on the back. Yay you! You succeeded. But she's stronger because of your treatment of her. You taught her one of life's biggest lessons - the only people you can really trust in life are immediate family. Friendship is fickle, and true friends are hard to come by.

Know you missed out on a great friend, someone who was true and who was always good to you. And now you are stuck with your same old comfortable tribe. Good luck with that. And thank you for showing your true colors. Better to learn sooner than later you aren't to be trusted.

Oh, and one more thing. When someone bullies my kids? I take it personally. You are bullying me, too. I wanted to tell your parents, but I knew you would lie about it.

To all the parents out there, I say this:

For the love of God, check in with your kids. If you think something is strange, ask them about it. Investigate. Don't always assume your kid is perfect and right. Don't think your kid doesn't need advice. If something seems strange in their story, don't always believe they are telling the truth. Help them come to the real truth. Human brains are not done growing until the age of 25. Don't bury your head in the sand. Talk, really talk, to your kids. Check in with them. DAILY. Bug them. And if you think something weird is going on, look into it. Life is tricky, and none of us are perfect. But bullying is preventable. A little parental guidance goes a long way.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

BSM Kustom Kanz - Expanding into New Territory

Brailey has been having so much fun with her custom painting business. She has some orders she needs to complete, but she wanted to spread her wings a little and do some designs of her own. So, we checked out the local St. Vinny's and found a couple of pairs of shoes. These moccasins, I will admit, I spied myself. For some reason, I knew they would fit Grandma Diggy so perfectly. And so Brailey painted them with these darling bucking horses and we shipped them to Sacramento, where they have been reported to fit like they were made for Grandma Diggy's feet! Diana (Brady's mother, aka Grandma Diggy) was so thrilled to get them! It was a wonderful surprise for her. She said she had always wanted a pair of moccasins, and although she thought they would be too narrow when she first saw them, they fit her feet like they were custom made just for her. She never imagined a pair of moccasins with bucking horses on them, but she is awfully fond of bucking horses, she said. Brailey was very happy they made her beloved grandmother so happy.
We also found these super cute wedges! The tag says they are an 8.5. Brailey tried them on in the store, and they seemed to fit fine, but after putting them on at home, it is apparent they are sized incorrectly. They are more like a 7, or a 7.5. In any case, she has decided to sell these. So if you want a pair of wedge heels that are one-of-a-kind, here you go! They are a quality brand, also, Soda. Please let us know if you are interested. We can ship these easily! 
A couple of months ago, we recycled these tins and she had a big time painting them. These are also for sale. They would be perfect for jewelry or trinkets or whatever you have in mind.
These are little key chains she painted up one morning. I don't think these are for sale. She is very attached to them! They are a piece of leather from a latigo she recycled. But if you would like one, just let us know and she can paint one special for you.
This is my own personal order. The milk can she painted for our friend Darlene turned out so cute, it inspired me to repaint my own milk can and to have Brailey fancy it up. The pictures don't do this one justice! You can't see the detail in them. In person, it is so cute it is unbelievable, and I love it!
Before she left for rodoe bible camp, she painted a bunch of hat feathers. She loved this one so much she kept it, and it looks amazingly cute! She paired it with another feather, which adds a certain flair. She has quite a few different designs, all on her Instagram page, BSM.Kustom.Kanz. Check them out and let her know if you are interested in one she has done or if you have a design you would like her to paint for you. She would be happy to!
This is the milk can that inspired me to have her paint my own. This turned out so well and is her favorite thing she has ever painted. 
And this little custom sign for a store's dressing room turned out really cute, as well.
Anyway, her designs are improving more all the time and she is having a great time doing it. Last summer, she was so strapped for time, it became a huge burden to her. But this summer, she has a lot more free time, and she has learned how to be more efficient with her painting, which also helps. If you would like something painted, let us know! She can pretty much paint anything you want to have done. I am so proud of her entrepreneurial adventure!

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...