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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Big Visit - Grandma and Papa Come to the Valley

It was a long overdue visit, and we were all HAPPY-HAPPY-HAPPY and super excited to see my parents this past weekend. (I'm so thrilled Brailey wasn't "too cool" to wear our matching shirts on Friday - she's such a fun kid!) We had a packed weekend full of very early mornings, horses and volleyball, and it was a wonderful, special time. We even prolonged the fun and added an extra day onto the weekend - we were so tired, we opted to play hooky on Monday and spent an extra day with them. 
Papa is famous for putting Tex's tail into a "mustache knot." Tex was not impressed. He looked at Papa as if to say, "Really? You're still at it? This is getting really old!" But Papa got a big kick out of it, as you can see by the look on his face in the picture above.
We were at another WHO Show on Saturday, the first one we've been to in Roseburg. It was a small show, which was nice, because it went faster than usual. Alvin thought he needed to have a bite of Brailey's donut in the picture above. It was a bit of a rough day for Brailey - we are still trying to figure out bits and reins and legs and the whole nine yards, but she is going to a barrel clinic soon, and that will help things out. Not to mention we haven't been able to practice at all, which doesn't inspire confidence. So we are going to take a break until we can really focus on riding. It won't be long - summer is almost  here!
Alvin was the Star of the Day. He took such perfect care of Britt and really did a nice job. Grandma had to give him some love - the horse just insists upon it! He loves attention.
And Britt was the Pee Wee Champion for the day! Granted, it was a small class, and he did have a mishap during the Figure 8 (forgot the pattern). But he and Alvin rallied and came away with top honors and a dollar bill! It was super cute, because Britt knew it was an easy class, but it was still good for his ego, because he's never won anything! So Brady called him "Champ" for the rest of the weekend, and Britt basked in the glory of winning.
And then we went to Salem for volleyball on Sunday. Generally, our tournaments have been over by 3 or 4 in the afternoon. But not this one. This one went from 8 in the morning until 6 in the evening! LONG DAY! But it was a great day - Brailey played really, really well and so did her team. They have never looked better!
Brady enjoyed his new "Volleyball Chair." It is like a recliner and super comfortable!
Britt had homework to do - rewriting a story. Lucky for him, Grandma was there to help. Interestingly enough, he listens much better to her than to his mother... Go figure!
Papa stole Brady's Volleyball Chair for a bit.
Britt the photo-bomber...! Still a great picture of Brailey and Grandma, though.
Papa was very impressed with Rick, Brailey's coach. He took a moment to tell him what a good job he is doing. We had the loudest cheering section at the entire tournament! Papa saw what the team needed right off the bat - enthusiasm!
The Volleyball Chair is so comfortable, Brady even managed to get a nap in between games!
Brailey managed to sneak a turn on it, as well. She and her good friends were having a wonderful time discussing all manner of things. They are good buddies, and it has been so great to see Brailey make new friends who are nice girls.
The setter! She did a great job all day long. Her team played really, really well, and we are all so proud of them! We also had a wonderful time with Grandma and Papa. On Monday, we managed to hit St. Vinny's, get all the stalls cleaned, get the vehicles washed and my mom even got all the cobwebs off the side of my house and the patio swept! We didn't do much but visit, but it was a great day, full of sunshine and love. We hated to see them go, but hopefully it won't be so long between visits. Seven and half months is TOO LONG. Anyway, back to the grindstone! It's a busy, busy life, but a good one. It was great to take a day to stop and "smell the roses," and to just BE.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Break, Spring Fever

It was unseasonably warm at the beginning of Spring Break this year. So warm, in fact, the two besties pictured above, "For" and "Sale" (also known as Sadie and Boomer), got to tromp around in the luscious green grass for a couple of hours. They were in heaven! We are not the smartest equine owners on the planet. We've been, literally, too busy to get them sold. So instead? We've poured hundreds of dollars of feed into them all winter long. What can we say? We are attached to them, it is true. But we don't exactly need them. And then there is the weird economy where horses you want to buy cost a fortune, but if you want to sell them, you practically have to give them away. However, these two are worthy of their oats, and the perfect home will come along for them when it is meant to. In any case, they were happy horses to experience some freedom.
Spring Break 2014 was filled great weather and happy times! To start off the fun, one night the two little B's disappeared for a while, then, The Jokers emerged! Brailey was practicing her makeup skills.
We even enjoyed some four-wheeler time. It was truly gorgeous weather!
Brady and his precious Mag-Doll, and Brailey Shaye and her baby, Texi-Man. Notice Maggie "photo bombed" them. I think she did it on purpose!
And there is Rose, right in the way. See what shadow she is in? Perfect spot to rest, don't you think?
Then the rain started. But never fear! Britt made special invitations for a Nerf Gun War. It was Britt and Brady against Brailey and I. And guess what? Brailey and I won! The first day, that is. The boys won the second day. At least that is what Brady and Britt think. Brailey and I think they CHEATED...! Note the special outfits required for such a battle. Yes, Brailey in HIGH HEELS, and Britt with a HEADLAMP on his head.
And the Nerf War wasn't the only event we were invited to. At the end of the week, we were invited to a Fashion Competition from Brailey. She made beautiful invitations and even had a crown and trophy for the winner. She gave us the category, and we had to come up with an outfit in 60 seconds. Above is Brady's ensemble for "The Red Carpet." Can you believe he WON?! Yes, Brady was declared the winner of the event. To tell you the truth, he deserved it. He did a nice job!
Then, back to school and routine. That means swimming and volleyball practices, but no play practice. And so we headed north to St. Helen's for the weekend and Brailey played in a volleyball tournament. It was a ton of fun!
Brailey and Ciaragh - they have become good friends! They are both Catholic and seem to have a nice connection with each other.
She is overhand serving, now, which has been a goal all season long. She injured herself back in the fall, and has just recently been able to recover her strength.
Brailey loves spiking the ball and wants to be a hitter when she gets older. I tried to capture her in action during warm ups, when I actually knew she was going to be hitting the ball.
Britt and his friend Conner - they played with Legos nearly all day long! Conner is Ciaragh's little brother.
Only six girls were at the tournament, so lots of playing time! We have an additional coach, now, and he is a former player himself - he used to play professionally. So he knows a thing or two about volleyball, and he is so positive and fun and helpful to the girls. What a blessing!
And here she is, number 12! She gets to play again this weekend, and we are really looking forward to it! She's come a long way and still loves the game, which is great news for me, because I can continue to live my dream through her. And there you have it! The past couple of weeks in the Life and Times of The 4 B's!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spirit Week at Buena Vista

Yay! We made it! Back in September, when all of our crazy scheduling started, I said, "If we can just make it to Spring Break, we'll be okay." And here it is! SPRING BREAK! Britt's school celebrated the shift into spring by having Spirit Week - every day held a new adventure. Monday was School Colors, and so of course Britt wore his Buena Vista tee shirt. He also pulled a tooth that has been bugging him for a few weeks, now. He isn't one who likes to lose teeth. In fact, he had a goal not to lose a single tooth last year, and he met his goal! However, his teeth are jammed and need some room, so now he is working hard to get those baby teeth out.
Tuesday was Crazy Hair and Crazy Socks Day. There wasn't much we could do with his "lovely" haircut (see Disaster Strikes if you haven't heard about that experience), so we painted it purple! He looked SO CUTE! And it was a great hit at school, except for people wanting to touch it.
Wednesday was my favorite day of Spirit Week - Future Self Day! Britt dressed like an attorney, which is what he wants to be when he grows up. He looked so handsome and his suit was perfect! He had the best "costume" in his class, he felt, which was nice for him. (To tell you the truth, I agree with him. Had the full package of a costume, and he looked amazing!)
This is Britt with his friend Daniel, who wants to be a priest when he grows up. They are in different classrooms this year, so after I captured them for this picture, Daniel said, "See you later, Sir." And Britt said, "See you later, Father." It was precious! Britt said he called him "Father Daniel" all day long. We are looking forward to celebrating the day Daniel is ordained. We can look back at this picture and smile!
Britt and Alahna - she is a future Olympic swimmer. These two are great buddies on the Swim Team.
Britt and his teacher, a future Grad Student and a future attorney. Too cool!
On Thursday, the last day of Spirit Week, they could either wear their pajamas, or in Britt's class, dress like a character from the book Holes, which they have been reading for months. Britt chose to dress like Squid, a boy in the book. His teacher surprised the entire class by transforming their classroom into Camp Green Lake, the location in the book. They watched the movie, Holes, and had a wonderful celebration! It was a great week, to say the least, and a great and memorable way to spring into spring!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Star Is Born

She had been waiting all her life to be in a play. She and her brother, Britt, have put on many of their own shows at home. MANY...! But this. This was the real-deal. No more waiting. She landed her part in the school play, and not only did she play the part, she owned it! She was absolutely amazing! She came up with her accent and interpreted her character on her own, before her audition, practicing all Christmas Vacation. After she tried out for Sudie, the old cleaning lady, the directors of the play told everyone else not to bother trying out for that part. She had it! They even wanted her to try out for the lead, but since it was her first play, she decided to stick with something smaller. It was a good decision. So for the past two and a half months, she has been in heaven, practicing nearly every night after school, sometimes for two hours, and then heading to volleyball practice and managing to get her homework done, as well. It was all worth it - she literally stole the show! Above, before the first performance, and below, some family candids on our way to the play.
These are friends she's known since the first grade! Ellie in the pink, played Victims 1 and 2, and Elleot in the brown, was Detective Digger. They were all so darling and wonderful and I'm so proud of them! They are called "SI Kids," now, meaning Spanish Immersion.
Scenes from the play...
The first night was full of fans! Her beloved volleyball coach, Maren, came to watch her, which made Brailey so happy! And you can see Renee smiling and Kristin in the background, who brought their boys and another friend who you will see below. And guess who else was there? CARRIE! Her very best friend in the world came to see her. Brailey felt very loved and special, and it was so nice of everyone who came to take the time to be there. We are blessed with good people in our lives... Truly, we are!
Here you see Nicholas, Quinlin and Jonah, also friends from Buena Vista since the first grade, fellow "SI Kids." They were there to watch their friend Taylor perform, as well, and he was really good, too. Jonah gave Brailey, Elleot and Ellie each a rose after the play - Brailey was so touched by that! They have been such good friends for a very long time. Six years, now! Nicholas, Jonah and Brailey went through their first reconciliation and communion classes together, so you may recognize them from those pictures years ago, depending on how long you have followed the blog.
The Director of the play and Brailey's favorite teacher, Mr. Cash. He devoted a tremendous amount of time to the play - what a gift to the school!
Britt was the best audience member in the building! He was on the edge of his seat the entire time, and has the whole play memorized. He can't wait until he is in middle school and he gets to try out, as well! 
The second performance, she had more special guests! Cousin Jaden and Aunti Kimmy! She was so thrilled to see them! Of course Kimmy said, "You were the BEST ONE!" Auntis are like mothers, right? But she's not barn blind any more than I am! 

And after their play, they had a party, and then they said good bye. They are dressed in their street clothes with stage makeup still on. They were saying, "It is going to feel so weird not to go to play practice after school, now!" I bet it will. They put so much time and effort into the play, and it showed. It was a terrific show! I can't wait to see what next year brings!