Snowing again (or still …..can’t remember if it ever stopped….)

April 4, 2009 by  

Saturday morning – I guess i really never have to try to figure out what to do here on Saturday morning – just get up like a robot, get dressed, and go start the snowblower. Seems like we have been getting alot of it since January. Will look back and be thankful in August for all of the snowpack I imagine. BUT – right now it could stop anytime.

The past week had some highlights: The Big B worked a 40 hour, 8 to 5, week at the Bank (well the schedule altered a little during his orientation Monday & Tuesday). That kid cleans up really nice and he seems to really like what he is doing. Good for B. He has been trying to learn how to sleep at night like the rest of us LOL. Sleeping nights and working days is a new concept for him I think.

Wendy has been battling some kind of a stomach virus or something. Word out of Fort Collins is she is feeling better now. Still waiting on a test result I think but it all sounds positive. We love you Wendy – we will keep on praying for a full return to good health.

Stephanie had a day or two off early last week also to nurse a sick kid. Stephen had a bad case of something and was out for a day or two. I’m guessing he has made a full recovery because he is off to Green River this weekend to collect some more martial arts bling! He brought by all of the trophies and medals he won last weekend at Worland – really kicked some hiney up there!

Vic & Sophie still snuggled in bed this morning. I’d sneak in and take a picture and post it here but I’ve been married a long time and I dont want to jeopardize it! LOL

We’re having a fun time at work – cut our budgets by 10% this past week at the direction of the Governor. Just a recommendation at this point but you can bet he is gonna do it. I think the next year will be a rough one in State Government and in our group. Kind of a doomsday mentality swirling around about the economy locally, nationally, and internationally. I would say if “attitude” counts, and i think it is a major factor in the economy, then we are in for some dark days nationwide. I understand reality but I also know that the power of the positive is significant. One local developer that I do some projects with laid out a quote a couple of weeks ago that I loved. He was asked if he was still interested in looking at a piece of property down by Glenrock for potential development and his answer was “Absolutely – we took a vote at our shop and voted not to participate in the Recession”. Gotta love working around folks like that. Doesnt hurt that he has been very successful and can take advantage of some opportunities as they come up – BUT – you don’t penalize him and take from him because he has succeeded IF you want to see anything else happen. Anyway – my kind of person. It’s great to be in a Red Red State! Just hope we can stay Red mentally!

Vic is up now so guess you can belay my previous paragraph. No chance to take a pic now anyway.

Time to get dressed and start the snowblower.

The Dad

Spring Break! Yea!

March 6, 2009 by  

It’s finally here! It has been a long year so far. The count down to the end of the school year has finally begun. 52 and counting.

Ashley competes in State Dance and Cheer this week. The KWHS Dance team is awesome. She had a terrific weekend in Billings last weekend. Her duo that she choreographed won a "Diamond" award. That’s the highest they give. It also got 2nd place overall in the teen division. THe solo she choregraphed also won a "Diamond", Judge’s Choice Award and 4th place overall in the senior division. She also won the Title , Senior Miss Spotlight. Pretty awesom since this is her first year in the Senior division in dance. It seems like just yesterday that she put on the first little red tutu! You can check out pictures of her solo, "COme Down To ME’ at propix.com. CLink the Spotlight DAnce Cup link. Then go to Rocky Mountain School of Dance and then look for the name of her solo. There are also pictures of her Senior Miss Spotlight interiview and dance combination as well as her duo called, I Wanna Be like YOU.

Stephen had a lot of fun in Evanston last weekend. He really liked meeting his cousin SAvannah. He also thought his uncle Troy was really cool. He can’t wait to see his grandpa again and thought he looked good. I have only heard him say, "Oh Hell" once so grandma Janice didn’t wear off on him too badly. Did I mention that Stephen won an award at school in the Young Author’s Contest? He wrote a story called "Stephen’s Hurt." The little bugger forgot to tell his family that he won and that he recieved and award at school. We got the honor of finding out about it by reading the school newsletter a week later.

This is our last weekend before we won’t know if we are coming or going. State Dance next week, dress rehearsal for competition next weekend, Competition the weekend after, Tae Kwon Do tournament in Worland the weekend after that, and then another competition and tournament the first weekend of April. And then just like that …it is over! Well, almost…

Different Directions

February 26, 2009 by  

Ashley and I are headed to Billings, Montana this weekend for another dance competition. She is going for title in the Senior Divison. It seems just like yesterday that she donned that first little red tutu! She is nervous but is well rehearsed. This magical power seems to come over her when she gets on stage. She knows how to work the audience and judges. Oh yea…she THINKS she is driving on the interstate!…not sure about that one.

Mike and Stephen are headed to Evanston to see Mike’s dad. He has been in Hospice since January and seems to be getting better. He is dropping the water weight that was putting the strain on his heart. I am not sure why they moved him to Hospice in the first place. He is definately showing a will to live. Still goes out every couple of hours and smokes though. Stephen is excited to see his cousin Savannah. She is one month younger than him and he has never met her.

Tally is off to the kennel. She is going to be so confined. With all of this beautiful weather she has worn out the backyard. We have to coax her in at night.

Nate Steps Up!!!

February 22, 2009 by  

Well it happens to all of us —- we get older. Things change – life takes unexpected turns – basically we grow up. It happened to The Mom and I (some would argue if I ever really have grown up mentally), it happened to our children, and now our grandkids are finding they have to step up. The Big B is in the process (doesn’t happen overnight) – and now Nate is starting the journey.
Nate has worked his proverbial backside off developing his wrestling skills. He has sacrificed, he has stumbled, but Nate has never been counted out. He has always come back. Some people have it handed to them, some people earn it, and some people never get it. Nate is one of the “earners”. He works hard, keeps his eye on the brass ring, accepts setbacks, and keeps on going after it. And Nate will get it. I have absolutely no doubt.
Nate really “stepped up” this weekend. He finished out his High School wrestling career with alot of “firsts” – put his name where it can never be erased in the history of FossilRidge HighSchool. BUT – he fell a little short of the State title and had to accept that after all of his hard work. And he will. Nate stepped up —— he matured alot more in the past couple of weeks than he can possibly realize today. He learned some valuable (though not necessarily “feel good”) lessons about life and he learned them like a man. You take what God wants you to get and you deal with it —– asking why is useless because God’s plans are not easily interpreted. But you are bigger, you are wiser, and you mature with those lessons.
I was laying awake feeling for Nate the other night. Next morning I sent him a text relaying my pride in him. What I got back I will never forget – cause Nate “stepped up”. Here are some words from the text reply I received from Nate that brought big tears of pride to my eyes: ” yeah, I’m okay. It just wasn’t God’s plan for me.” He then just relayed his hope that there were good things in his future. What a man Nate is. Took the results and is ready to move forward. Nate stepped up! Oh …. and lest there be any doubt in anyone’s mind – I am totally confident there are much bigger and better things to come in Nates future.
Wendy & Tony – you have done a masterful job with numbers 1 and 2, and 3 & 4 look just as promising. God Bless you and thank you for your strong, tight-knit family and the ethic you have instilled in your children. Fruit doesn’t fall too far from the tree.
Just had a text from Wendy. Keegan is 1 – 0 in his matches today. And Courtney has softball practice today. They just don’t slow down in Colorado folks!

Ryan and Spencer still in Oklahoma watching OSU play BYU. Dusty Harvard, one of Ryans old players, is playing for OSU. Ryan texts that it is pretty cold down there – and i am guessing he will come home with a fever of sorts – baseball & coaching fever is my prediction.

Steph & Mike & Ashley & Stephen busy here. My mom said she enjoyed a trip out to Johnny J’s with them last night. She really appreciates getting out of her “home” occasionally – thanks to them for taking her along.

I sure have alot to be thankful for and my family tops the list. I could go on & on —- and I probably will in future blogs —– today i just want to pay tribute to Nate ….. I love you nate and I could never be prouder. You really stepped up Taters!

The Dad

Facebook Addicts!

February 17, 2009 by  

We have all gotten really hooked on the stupid facebook thing. We spend a lot of time checking people out and keeping in touch with family and friends. I have had fun talking to people from high school that I had forgotten about. (Not because they are forgettable…it’s just been a long time!) I feel like we have neglected this site. So much for New Years Resolutions!

One of our busiest times of the years began last weekend. Ashley had her first spring dance competition in Denver. We have 5 more before recital and possibly Nationals again. She has also been keeping us busy going to watch Kelly Walsh High School basketball games. She performs at half time and I have to say it is actually fun to go and watch the games. I can’t believe how many people I graduated with have kids attending the same school we graduated from. It’s kind of like a mini reunion every weekend!

Stephen is now a brown belt. There is a video of him breaking his first "real" board with his foot in my mom’s picture gallery. He has three tournaments coming up by the middle of April. He also won the Science Fair again this year. When I get off of the Facebook thing I will upload pictures of this year’s project.

Mike and I are just the driver’s to all the events. Speaking of…it’s time to go and get Ashley from dance. I am dreading next year when she will be driving herself home! or am I?

Thursday Morning!

January 22, 2009 by  

Time flies when you are having fun!
* In Orlando from last Wednesday until this past Monday so missed the weekend. Been a long week.
* However, it is Thursday already and a weekend is creeping up on me finally.
* Doing a little Casper – Cheyenne – Casper jaunt today so need to get on the road in a few.
* Supposed to snow this afternoon and intermittently through the weekend.
* Have to do the Casper – Cheyenne – Casper jaunt again next Monday.
* Finally clear of the Shingles I believe – a little tinge once in awhile but for all intent and purpose they are history and I am happy.
* Interviewed candidates for an Admin. Assistant yesterday – think I found a good one – now I gotta put together an offer that will entice her. Good folks still can write their own tickets around here as near as I can tell.
* This is the week Stephen comes over for an hour or two in the mornings before school. I’m kind of waiting around to see him for a minute or two before I leave. Lights up my day!
* Just thinkinG how boring this blog would be to a reader lol. Doesn’t seem like my life has been too boring so it must be my journalistic skills.
* As a matter of fact – color me gone!
* Live like you were dying! Do what you would want to do in your final days.
The Dad

Extremes

January 14, 2009 by  

It’s the middle of January and the weather is reaching 50 degrees. We went from 50 mph winds to 50 degree temperatures. I can hardly wait to see what is next.

Ashley has been performing at the half time of the basketball games with the high school dance team. We got to go and see the performance last Saturday. The girls were awesome. Too bad Kelly Walsh doesn’t relly have a basketball team. She has been busy with the new semester and dreams of getting her ideal car in nine months. She is pretty sure that she can pay for it at the end of summer if she gets a job for the summer. Reality check is in store.

Stephen has been working on his science fair project. He is motivated to win again this year. He has a good project: Why don’t penguins freeze in Anartica? He has been taking a few private Tae Kwon Do lessons because the testing date for his brown belt is just over a week away.

Talladega has been going stir crazy. We have had to leave her in for at least half of the days because of the winds and cold temperatures. She is such an outdoor dog! When we get home we have to let her in and out at least 50 times an evening! Thank goodness the temperatures should allow her to stay out. We discovered today that she can open the pantry and really likes to eat oranges! She doesn’t seem to be fond of the peels but seems to love the insides. She at least ate them on the kitchen floor so we didn’t have to clean up the new carpet. My grandma’s dog used to like oranges. I haven’t seen another dog eat oranges until Tally! At least she isn’t eating or destroying anything else…yet!

Happy New Year, 2009 Version

January 2, 2009 by  

2009 began with gusting 50-60 mile an hour winds. Surprise! We have been our usual busy selves. In fact, I just typed my Christmas letter yesterday. I will work on getting the cards done on our road trip to Evanston this weekend. Ten hours in the car ought to do it!

We are starting this year with a black cloud hanging over head. Mike’s dad is being put into hospice by Monday. He was given one day to six months to live. However, since that diagnosis he has rapidly gone down hill. He has round the clock care at his house and they have increased the morphine to keep him comfortable. His organs are beginning to shut down and his body is filling with fluids causing too much strain on his heart. Mike knows that this is probably his last chance to see his dad. It is a huge dark cloud hanging over head. How do you say goodbye to a parent? Stephen is also having a hard time dealing with this. He hasn’t seen his grandpa much but seems to feel the urge to say goodbye.

We are also taking Tally with us. That should be fun! She can’t be outside because it is suppposed to snow and be cold. The kennel is full and I can’t leave her in the house for those long hours alone. So she gets to go in the car…all the way to Evanston and stay in a hotel room with us. I will decide after this weekend whether or not she is still a GOOD dog!

Teacher’s go back to school on Tuesday. We get four days of inservice before the students arrive on the 12th. I really don’t like this schedule that the district has implemented. Ashley and Stephen are left to themselves because I have to work.

Stephen tests for his next Tae Kwon Do belt on the 24th of January. He will be a brown belt. Only two more levels until he can test for the black belt.

Ashley has at least three definate competitions coming up and two possibles. She was also cast as the lead in the dance production: "Alice in Wonderland." While we are thrilled that she got the lead roll there is a lot of extra practice involved. I complain a lot about having to drive her everywhere but I am not ready for her to drive herself. So I guess I will keep complaining. There is some comfort in that.

Happy New Year!  Make the best of it!

My First Christmas!

December 26, 2008 by  

Boy did I get a good night sleep last night!  Finally, because I have been so tired having had so much to do for the past week.  I flew to Denver on the 19th with my mommy and daddy, and we rented a car and drove to Fort Collins and picked up my cousin Courtney who rode to Casper, Wyoming with us.  We got to grandma and grandpa’s house where we spent almost a whole week.  It was really fun, but there were so many people around that I didn’t sleep much because I didn’t want to miss out on a thing!

While in Casper, I got to spend time with a lot of my family that I never get to see, so it was so much fun!  I played at Great-Grandma Hotshot’s house with all of her Christmas toys.  They play music and I like to dance to it.  I also like crawling around her house and exploring all the really fun stuff.  I got stuck a few times!  Daddy is going to put some pictures up on his website, maybe on mine, too.  I loved seeing my great-grandma.  She loves me so much and I love her, too!

I also got to see my Great-Grandpa Carlen.  This funny guy just keeps kissing and loving on me.  He gave me so many kisses this past week that I won’t know what to do without them.  He is so lucky… he is going to spend a whole month in California.  I haven’t ever been to California, but my mommy and daddy said we’ll go there sometime and go to Disney Land and see our family out there.  I can’t wait!

I also got to see my Aunt Stephanie, Uncle Mikey and my cousins Stephen and Ashley.  They all love me, too!  It was really fun spending time with them and going over to their house to party like the rockstar I am!  When I grow up I hope I can dance as good as Ashley.  Ashley and Courtney both tell me how hot Zac Efron is.  He is cute, but I don’t like boys yet.  I also am going to learn karate like Stephen so I can keep all the boys away from me!

Of course I also got to spend a lot of time with my Grandma Vickie and Grandpa Steve.  Boy, I sure love them and wish I could see them a lot more.  I have been lucky to see them a lot this first year of my life, especially considering how far away they live from me.  They love me lots and it was sure fun seeing them in person instead of on the computer like we always do.

I can’t forget to mention that my oldest cousin Brandon “Big B” was there for some of the time and so was my cousin Keegan.  They were fun to hang out with, too!  I just wish that Big B, Nathan,  and my Aunt Wendy and Uncle Tony could have been in Casper for Christmas Eve with us.  It’s ok, though, because I got to go see them on Christmas Day in Fort Collins.  It was weird to see them all at the hospital because Big B had surgery on Christmas Eve morning.  His surgery went well!  He looked different with a bandage all over his head, but I got to see him after they took it off and he had cheeks just like me!  Big B loves me lots and kept holding my hand.  He is so special, I love him so much.  Nathan thinks I’m pretty cool, too.  He always likes to hold me when I see him.  I can’t believe how big he is now!  I will get to see him in May when he graduates from high school.  It was really fun seeing all of the Lechers, even if it was at the hospital.

Besides seeing everyone for Christmas, I had a lot of firsts while in Casper.  I went to church for the first time and I was such a good girl.  I really liked it and want mommy and daddy to take me to church more often.  I think God is pretty cool!  I also took two steps on several occasions.  Everyone clapped and told me how big I was — they are so weird!  And, I got lots of presents!  Aunt Stephanie cheated and gave me one of my presents a few days early.  It was a really neat play purse full of fun stuff.  I also got a coat and a bunch of clothes from my grandma and grandpa.  I got a really pretty (even if my daddy doesn’t think so) leopard print outfit from the Lovatos and Ashley.  The Lechers got me some really cute purple overalls and matching shirt.  Great Granpa Emmett gave me one of my great-grandma cookie’s collector beanie babies, and my great-grandma hotshot gave me money that mommy and daddy are putting into my savings account for me.  While all of the presents were neat, I really loved playing with the wrapping paper and bows!  I also loved dancing to all the music that was played.

On Christmas Day we flew back home where I got even more presents.  None topped seeing my Bubba again!  I really missed him but was happy to see him when we picked him up from his Daddy/SD’s house.  When we got home, I got to open more presents from Santa, Mommy, Daddy and Bubba!  I got a big kitchen to play with, a really neat musical stand with a computer just like daddy’s, an awesome Dave Matthews Band shirt and more!  It was a great first Christmas, that’s for sure.

This morning when I woke up after a long, really great sleep in my own bed, I got to see my Hoover (and the other dog) again!  I really missed them, too.

Well, I think I need to go take a nap.  I am exhausted just thinking about all of the wonderful time I got to spend with my family and all of the fun and pretty presents I got.  I can’t wait for Sunday because I get to have another Christmas with my Grandma and Grandpa Bradshaw, my uncle Chris, Aunt Sandy and my cousins Cayse and Wyatt.  I bet more people will be there, too.  And then, in just a couple of weeks I will get MORE presents because it will be my First Birthday!  Oh, the excitement.  I am tired.  Watch for pictures and probably even some Hoover videos coming soon!

Love,

Braelyn Grace

Well I think it’s time for me to take a nap.  I am so exhausted just thinking about all of the

Ryan: Three Diamonds and a Green Belt

November 28, 2008 by  

Congrats, Ashley and Stephen!

You too, Tally.

Next Page »