Loving Like There's No Tomorrow
The 4 B's ~ Established 17 November 2001

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fall Fun and Catching up with The 4 B's

I swear September just started, and we are almost at the end of October - how did that happen?! Here are some fun, random pictures from our fall, which is quickly turning to winter. YIKES! Above is Britt at his Mini Swim Meet, where he won two of his heats and placed third in another. This was a great boost to his confidence! Below, the Star Father! Stairs are still pretty hard for him to navigate, but he managed to make it up to the balcony and cheered our Brittster Man on.
After all, he was in good company! After this meet, they went to Lone Pine Farm and were given the VIP treatment for their pumpkins and the Haunted Corn Maze  - they had a blast! I still have to download the pictures from their phones, which is why I don't have them in this post. But trust me - they had a really good time! The weather was fabulous and they got there at the perfect time. They are still talking about the Haunted Corn Maze!
The face of a champion!
Last week, I was able to join Britt's class for a field trip to The Hult Center to see the Eugene Symphony Orchestra and Eugene Ballet Company perform Peter and the Wolf - it was fantastic!
And THEN, it was Britt's last Jog-A-Thon... The week before, the weather was gorgeous and perfect. Last week, it turned nasty, and on the day of the Jog-A-Thon, they were calling for lots of wind and rain. Unbelievably, it was perfect! It was a bit on the cool side, but no rain! And just a slight breeze, which was better than wind. I praised the Lord several times for this blessing!
Britt made it 4 1/2 miles - we are so proud of him! His feet and legs were killing him the entire time, but he pushed through the pain. His buddy Nicholas was struggling, too, and Britt gave him advice from swimming, and said, "Come on Nicholas! You can do! Just push through the pain, that's what I do. Keep going!" He was sore for several days after this and ended up with shin splints, but man, what a trooper, huh? He may not be a natural runner, but he still did his best, and for that I am super proud.
And then onto the weekend, where Brailey wrapped up the Webfoot Volleyball Academy she has been doing for the past several weeks. It was an amazing experience, and she learned so much! It got her ready for tryouts, which she is now going through for Kidsports and will be going through for club, as well. She has come a long way and is starting to understand technique and the finer points of the game. She worked really hard, and we are so proud of her!
Above, she is with JK, one of her favorite coaches from the Academy, and below she is being hugged by Cathy, the owner and head of the organization. They were both amazing and so good to Brailey, or "Bray," as she now likes to be called and told them her name was. So far, we have been nothing but impressed with Webfoot Volleyball!
Then it was time for Brady and his little man to attend the Duck game vs. Washington. Needless to say, they had a fabulous time! It was possibly the last nice day of weather. Note their matching shirts. Below, they are showing their "chest muscles."
And that catches us up to last Sunday, where Britt participated in his Swim Team's Blue vs. Yellow Meet. They got groovy new caps with polka dots and pink for October's breast cancer awareness, and he swam well and had a blast. Time flies when you're having fun - boy does it ever!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Britt's Dance Class Recital

One of the cool things about Britt's school is they have an Artist-in-Residence come every month or so and usually end the session with a recital for parents to show what they have learned. The first one this year was a new program none of the kids had done before. It was a contemporary dance class, and it is the best one out of all the programs I have seen so far, throughout the years! Every kid seemed to be enjoying themselves. They did a group performance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," and then they broke up into small groups and choreographed their own dances. It was super fun to watch, and of course I was so proud of my Brittster Man! 
Britt and Nicholas - they are such good friends, and they have been in the same class every single year since first grade. If you ever get the chance to listen to them visit with each other, you will enjoy it immensely! They have their own language, and they are hysterical! They are both such good, kind, sweet boys! I love them.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Broken Down

So all within two weeks, my washing machine broke and my vacuum broke. Luckily, I have a spare washing machine in our shop, which I'm trying to be grateful for in the midst of carrying my laundry back and forth from the house. I am pretty sure it can be repaired, but I can't lift the dang thing to get it out in order to be repaired, and neither can my husband with the fragile leg. And although our repairman is affordable and excellent, he is not superman and does require some assistance. So it may be a bit longer before I get my washer fixed. The vacuum I have had for nearly two decades, and I was thinking I might need to upgrade someday, anyway.

I had thought to myself, "Okay then! There are our "three" broken things!" The three being Brady's broken leg, the washer and the vacuum. I mean, one would think, right? Wouldn't YOU if you were in my shoes? That is, if you were in my shoes and you subscribe to the notion that "bad" things come in threes.

Nope! No such luck for us! Within the last week, my front door lock broke, which thankfully was broken so badly I couldn't even open it - better than not being able to lock it, right? Next on the list? My kitchen faucet. But the broken spell didn't stop there. The end of my favorite lawn hose broke right off the faucet! No big deal, I suppose, for most folks. For me, though? I loved that hose! It has been the best one we've ever had, and I used it for nine years! Dang. Yes, I was attached to a hose.

So three more broken things, which brings our total to an even six. I am hoping this will be "it" for a while. Brady was able to fix the lock on the door, and now it works better than ever, because it turns out the idiots who installed it put it in wrong to begin with, which is why it broke in the first place. It has been nice to be able to lock and open the door so easily, I must say! Brady thinks he can fix our faucet, as well - I am really, really hoping so. He said he can fix my favorite hose, too, by putting a new end on it. I've seen this done before, and it didn't go so well, so I will have to wait and see on that one.

What can we say? It seems like everything always happens at once! That's life, isn't it? Like my favorite band Train says on their new album, "Just like the bad times, good times, too, shall pass." True, that. And a sobering thought. Life - there's just nothing like it to keep us humble, is there?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fear Creates Walls

Fear creates walls. Oh yes it does. This is my mantra, lately. I remind myself of it over and over again - fear creates walls, be brave! Have you ever thought about that, before? I would bet you a dollar fear has created walls in your life.

My mom ran across a daily devotional about fear creating walls, which she shared with me, and I'm so glad she did! I see it every day in so many things, I am astounded.

Fear creeps in. It creeps into my life all the time, and many times I don't even realize it. Every time I feel fearful of something, I try to ignore it and push it out of my mind. I am talking about the simplest things - the fear of doing the dishes, because I don't want to do them. This then creates an even bigger feeling inside me that I don't want to do the dishes, and then it becomes a nearly overwhelming task (a wall in my mind), on my To Do List. I am fearful it will be a pain, and then it is. So I create a wall within myself by not wanting to do them. This is just a tiny example... But fear creeps into my life in much bigger ways, too.

This summer, Brady and I were talking about how easy it is to talk ourselves out of being successful. He had a buyer he wanted me to call, but I was afraid to call her, because what if she said no?! So my fear was creating a wall to my future success. I kept telling myself I would call her the next day, but somehow it never got done. Finally, Brady forced me to call her. I was almost angry with him for making me do it. But I did, and guess what? That phone call led to the biggest sale I have had so far. Why did I let my fear keep my from being successful in the first place? I don't know.

But I do know I am more aware of fear and the role it plays in my life. And since this awareness has come into my life, it seems to be a theme. I recently listened to Jim Carrey's commencement address, and guess what one of the things he talked about was? Fear! He said there are two choices in this world - fear or love, and to always choose love. He is so right. It may sound simple, but it is much harder to put into practice and do, isn't it?

I am feeling fear in the biggest possible way in my life, right now. I am fearful of my precious daughter becoming a teenager and not loving me. I am fearful she is going to move away the second she turns 18. I am fearful for both of my children, that they won't be "perfect" or make the "right" decisions, which leads me to be too harsh on them, at times, thus creating a wall between myself and them when in fact, the truth of the matter is that I am trying to guide them and help them and become closer to them. In other words, I am terrified of my babies growing up and scared to death of what their lives will throw at them and will they be prepared? I have so many issues, just like every single person I know, in my extended family that I have found myself casting those fears into my immediate family. My kiddos, who have never, ever fought, have started having minor arguments. They seem to be growing a bit apart, and I am so worried they will end up like my brother and I, who sadly don't have a relationship to speak of (even though I love him very much). I am so fearful of this happening, I sometimes create walls between my little B's while trying to help. When I am not fearful, it is easy to look at them and see that they will never be what my brother and I are to each other - they have a deep and abiding love for one another, a protective armor of respect. Nonetheless, I find myself panicking at moments when I shouldn't. And the biggest fear comes from issues surrounding the people I love the most. Interesting, that. But it is always the ones who mean the most to us that we hurt the most.

Fear, I think, is the Devil himself. How else could something so evil be so powerful? And so I am grateful to at least be aware and I am finding more refuge in my prayers and I am doing my best to be brave. And to believe. I am trying to believe in myself, in my love, in the people who mean the most to me. I don't want to create walls, I want to tear them down. I could name a million ways fear tries to work in my life, but I am working hard to give it the boot. I aim to choose love over fear. And I hope, after reading this, you will, too.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dear Old Dad Turns Seventy Years Young

I can't believe my Dad is seventy! He is in amazing shape and still as ornery and opinionated and funny as ever. We love him so! He wouldn't let us throw him a party, although in retrospect, I wish we would have just done it anyway, because he would have enjoyed it. But he's nothing if not hard-headed, and with weddings and broken legs and high blood pressure (not mine!) in the mix, we let him have his way... Dang it! But! When The 4 B's headed over a few weekends ago, we had an impromptu surprise mini celebration, decorated Veteran style. And it was fun! And he enjoyed it, just like we knew he would. I don't care who you are - everyone needs to feel special on their birthday! I couldn't think of anything to get him for his birthday, though, so I did some research and came up with a different kind of present. With the help of my mother, I sent out seventy letters with seventy pre-stamped postcards I special ordered, and asked people to write their favorite memory him on there and to pop it in the mail to him. So far, he has really loved getting the postcards! Some people have still not sent theirs, yet, but I am hoping they will pull through. If they do, he will have 70 memories to commemorate his 70 years!
While we were there, he brought out some old walkie talkies he had, with super long antennas, and the little B's tested them out. They work GREAT! They took them camping that week, and they worked great up in the forest, too. Super clear! We had some great laughs watching them try them out.
Dad's elk was finally brought to Harney County, and then displayed for a couple of days on the highway at the Taxidermist's station. It looked magnificent! I talked Dad into going down and posing by it. The next morning, we brought it back to his house, which was quite the ordeal, because it is so HUGE! And with Brady's leg being out of commission, I helped Dad carry it in, and holy smokes! Let's just say it is not light, and on top of that, it is an awkward shape and did I mention it is quite large? Anyway, we got it in, and he and Mom just finished making a beautiful custom stand for it to be displayed on, and although I don't have a picture of it to put on the blog, trust me - it looks amazing! I'm so happy for my parents to have this to enjoy. They deserve it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

First Day of Fifth and Seventh Grades

First Britt, last Wednesday, then Brailey on Thursday. Next year, they will both be in the same school - what a luxury that will be! But until then, we are still in fifth grade and seventh grade, and I just can't believe it! Summer flew by, literally, in the blink of an eye. I was able to get lots of pictures of Britt, because I'm still "allowed" in his school. But I had to drop Brailey off, of course, and I was lucky to get the pictures I did of her by the school sign.
Britt and his dear best friend, Daniel. Sadly, they are not in the same classroom, but their friendship prevails!
His last first day of school picture by this sign...
Britt and his other best friend, who thankfully IS in his classroom, Nicholas. These two were inseperable last year.
Britt and Ian, another one of his good buddies. Britt has always wanted to be in a classroom with Ian, but so far it hasn't happened. They still manage to be great friends.
Brailey had the same teacher for fifth grade, Sra. Bradley, and she loved her! Now Britt is in her "old" classroom.
And he got his mama's lucky number 13! I was so tickled to see that!
Well you CAN, but then again, you can't... Love that John Cena character... You'll be seeing him again in the future. Can you guess what for?
The big seventh grader... I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW FAST SHE IS GROWING UP! Lord have mercy...!