Thursday, May 3, 2018

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 favorite priest, who always seems to know just what we need to hear. One of my favorite things is talking about his homilies in the car after mass.
Brady's birthday fell on a Thursday this year, and Brailey started her Driver's Ed course on this particular Thursday, so we celebrated Brady's birthday lunch on Easter. Texas Roadhouse did not disappoint - it was as delicious as ever!
We haven't colored eggs for a couple of years, but this year my B's decided they wanted to do it. So after lunch, we tried the new foam coloring method and then did a few the traditional way. They both had fun doing it, and the eggs turned out beautifully. The ones we rolled in the foam weren't quite what we expected, but we learned from our experience and will try again next year. I was happy to see my teenagers being kids, again.
Brailey worked so hard on an order that she got for a custom sign - it took a lot of thought and creativity to get it just right. She has really focused on building her little business, and it is doing well. A couple of years ago when she started it, she was riding and dancing and then painting her orders every spare second she had, and she started feeling resentful, even though she was grateful for the business. Now that she has more free time (dance doesn't run her life anymore), she is truly enjoying it and loves painting her creations. 
I grabbed a selfie with my honey before I zipped off to Eastern Washington. I had a great trip! I absolutely love my Ranch and Home girls. They are so much fun!
I made sure I got home in time for Brady's birthday. After all, I had to make his cake! We also had to attend the first Driver's Ed class with Brailey, as it is required for parents. Both of us were dreading it, and it ended up being really interesting. We learned a lot! And we are grateful Brailey is in this class. When you grow up on a ranch, you don't realize how hard it is to learn how to drive. Brailey is getting better all the time, especially now that we are actually letting her drive. The instructor told us our kid should be driving us wherever we go, so we have finally let her chauffeur us around. Driving is hard on overprotective parents!
After the class, we enjoyed Brady's cake. It was delish!
We went to quite a few barrel races in April. Brailey has made some really good friends, and that has made it super fun for her. Megan and Nicole are like her big sisters, and they take excellent care of her. I love watching them. And Brady has become the World's Best Barrel Racing Dad, hands down.
Mater is so funny... Look at him watching the barrel race. He is the most curious horse I have ever seen. He should have been named George!
My beautiful hair dresser and friend Carole got married on the 7th of April. It was pouring down rain on this day, but her wedding was inside, and rain only added to the romance of the atmosphere. It was a lovely wedding and absolutely perfect! Brady and Mark (her new husband) became friends last year during basketball season, as our boys were on the same team. The second I heard Carole talk about Mark, I knew she would marry him. I came home from my appointment and told Brady, "She found The One." At the wedding, everyone expressed this same feeling. They are a darling couple and their love is an inspiration. I am so happy for Carole to be loved the way she deserves to be loved.
Right before we left, Brailey spied one of her teachers from grade school, Mr. Gittens. He was a volunteer science teacher who came in once a week with his wife to do experiments. Brailey loved his classes! He was so happy to see her and remarked how nice it was to be able to have a conversation with a girl her age, as most kids don't know how to interact with adults. It was a special moment in time that I am grateful for, and I am also so proud of Brailey for making a point to say hi to him. Our girl is growing up... Not so shy, anymore.
For the first time ever, I ordered the Pay-Per-View of Wrestlemania. Brady had to leave Sunday afternoon for an early morning appointment on Monday, and so the B's and I watched the show from start to finish, and what a show it was! Wrestlemania is entertainment like nothing else, and it was worth every penny. It was great family time for my B's and I. We love wrestling!
 A couple of fun spring time pictures.
 And more barrel racing.
One afternoon Brailey brought out the old photo albums. I used to print all the pictures I took and put them into albums, which are stored in a big trunk my dad made for the kids to put their toys in. They loved looking at these old pictures! Those pictures are incredible mementos of their childhoods. I have always said you can never take too many, and this just proved it.
Mid-month, my travels took me to Eastern Oregon. Speaking of pictures, I didn't get many of this trip, which I regret! I spent the night with my mom (my dad was taking care of a ranch for friends while they were in Mexico) and felt like I was at a five star hotel. I was totally pampered with delicious food and good company. My brother came for dinner, and the three of us talked about old times and current times and had a really nice visit. It was a special evening, for sure. It has been a long time since I had my mom all to myself, probably before I had kids, maybe before my brother had his. Below is my favorite dessert, Chocolate Delight. Soooooo yummy! My only regret (other than not taking pictures!) is that I forgot to have another piece for breakfast the next morning. I am grateful my job takes me through Burns every now and then.
I got home just in time for Britt's Open House at the high school, which was kind of like an orientation. He was able to see all the programs they have to offer and to meet all the teachers he will have. Once again, I can't tell you how impressed we are with the Harrisburg School District. Brady and I have said it a million times, this year, "Moving to Harrisburg Schools is the best decision we ever made."
Our "babysitter," as we affectionately call her, Ciera, is off to Sicily! So we grabbed a quick bite with her before she left. Thankfully she will be back in the fall. We can't live without her! She is such a beautiful person. Brady and I could not be luckier to have her to stay with the kids. She is a great cook, knows how to feed and take care of horses, and is super fun to be around. The three of them are bonded, and I feel like she was sent to us by God. We are so, so lucky to have her in our lives!
And, more barrel racing. With the most handsome husband ever and the best barrel racing dad a girl could ask for.
And, on top of that, really good friends!
After a morning of barrel racing, we zipped home so Brailey could get ready for her first prom. She couldn't have looked any lovelier, and did her own hair, makeup and nails. Her dad took her for a spray tan while I was gone traveling earlier in the week. He is such a good dad! I love these pictures of her. And the weather was almost as gorgeous as Brailey.
What's prom without a selfie on the way to the event? She was invited to attend with a group of friends and they ordered a Party Bus. She had so much fun! She was thrilled to be invited, and Brady and I were more than thrilled they rode a bus with a bus driver. It had music and a "stripper pole." How funny is that? Most of her classes are with juniors and seniors at Harrisburg, since she is a transfer from Sheldon, and she has met some really great kids. She was so happy when they invited her to come along. It was a perfect first prom!
The morning after prom, she had another barrel race. And her prom hair was still rockin'.
She has her own Pit Crew. Megan and Nicole take great care of Brailey. She loves them so much! Materbug is in really, really good hands with this crew.
Finally, it dried out enough and the boys got to experience their first bit of freedom after the long winter. There's just nothing prettier than green grass and horses, is there?
In between all the barrel racing and special events, Britt has been working extra hard on his basketball. He is so dedicated, it blows my mind. He's been working on his jumps, trying to develop his arm strength and practicing his footwork. He missed out on a lot when his wrist was broken, and also that experience that comes from playing from Kindergarten is invaluable. But if he had played since he was little, he might not have the drive and love for the game that he does. Brady and I are so proud of how far he's come in such a short time. Every day, he's dribbling, shooting and working at it.
We wrapped up the month with some very important special events for Brailey. She had her FFA Banquet and Auction, which was an amazing evening! Not only were Brady and I impressed, but so was Britt. The kids were all kind and respectful and the cafeteria was decorated so nicely with all their banners that they had won over the course of the year, the slide show of them at the many field trips and competitions, and every detail was so lovley. Each table had a centerpiece of a wooden box made by students in woodshop holding flowers that the students in horticulture had grown. Brailey is in both of these classes. They also had items for the silent auction, and then each member of FFA brought a dessert for auction at the end of the dinner, which, by the way, was more than delicious! It was incredibly good food. Brailey received her Greenhand Degree and her first pin.
We were able to buy the table centerpieces. I love them! Of course we bought one. We actually gave the one below away as a gift, but I was able to buy two more at the plant sale, so I am thrilled! 
Brady bought these cupcakes. We were bidder number "1." They were absolutely delicious!
Miss Tiece is Brailey's favorite teacher. She has been so good for Brailey this year and truly gets and understands Brailey. She is an incredible teacher! Brailey won the banner behind them for Sophomore Public Speaking.
And after the banquet? A basketball tournament.
And then, on the last day of April, another very special evening. Brailey was inducted into the Harrisburg Chapter of the National Honor Society. It was a darling ceremony and they had the most delicious cake and lemonade. A lot of effort went into this event, and I am not only proud of Brailey for making it into Honor Society, but grateful I was able to be there for the ceremony. That is one of the great perks of my job - I get to plan my own schedule.
Each inductee gave these flowers to their parents. Brady had to take Britt to basketball, so I got both of them. They were so cheerful and pretty and fun. Which actually sums up April for us - it was a month that was here and gone in the blink of an eye, but cheerful, pretty, and fun. It's a good life!

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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...