Truthfully, it's been a hard year but one that has been made sweeter by the time with family. We are proud of our accomplishments both individually and as a family of four. Finally, we are thankful for our health and the beautiful place we call home.
January 2017 started with a generous dose of snow from Mother Nature. This ensured two extra days of winter break along with our skiing/boarding and sledding fun. What's not fun? Working in this white winter wonderland. Bradley spent several routes predriving into locations to hand empty cans/bins and then into trucks. He also pulled out a fuel truck and a few FedEx and UPS drivers. He maintains that the count between the delivery pull outs was equal. He always had extra energy to come home and play in it after a full day of working in the snow.
February's weather ended at the polar opposite of January. The boys were able to do spring chores and prepare for baseball season. Truly the month of love, the boys made cards for their classmates, their parents, and even each other. More trips to Mt. Shasta continued every weekend as the snow was too good to pass up. Carter was able to independently ride all over Mt. Shasta. In addition to riding and expressing our love, the final phase of our pool project began. This included building a pool/room bathroom and an overhang over the bar area.
March found our oldest turning eight years old. It's true, eight is great and not just because he can now drive a four wheeler and complete endless chores, but he's now the age of his favorite SF Giant's player. The work on the pool room and covering continued and we mentally prepared for spring.
April marked the beginning of baseball season. Bradley coached Carter's first year of Little League along with his dad and Brent. Was it fun? Yes. Is it stressful to coach? Yes. Miles played "farm league" which is essentially in between t-ball and Little League. This month marked the beginning of four nights a week minimum of baseball.
We took a trip to Cabo San Lucas Mexico with Bradley's sister, husband, niece, and nephew during spring break. This was easily the highlight of our year. If I told you that the tacos at Gardenias or the Margaritas poolside were the best part of the trip, I'd be lying. The best part was easily spending time together as a family. As cliche as it sounds, it was worth every penny. Carter fought a swordfish and food poisoning only hit half of the family. I'd consider this a win.
Miles also turned six and celebrated by painting pottery and eating pizza with many of his first grade buddies.
The covering over the bar was completed and the pool project was beginning to look officially finished.
May was the beginning of a long journey for us. Bradley threw his back out moving a refrigerator and it laid him up for two weeks. At one point, he could not walk and eventually could only move with the assistance of a walker. During this time, I became significantly aware of just how much Bradley does for our family. We learned to rely on the help of others and to appreciate our health. I learned how to drive every tractor on the property. Since May we have learned that he has degenerative discs and that surgery is not something we want to embark upon until much later in life. He keeps a daily regimen of exercises and hot tub. He keeps a weekly appointment with a masseuse/chiropractor. Always mindful of his actions and in constant pain.
The boys both took part in our school's talent show. Miles did jokes with his friend Peter in matching bow ties and Carter sang "Lean on Me".
Prior to Bradley hurting his back he had been running since January in preparation for the Wild Rogue Relay. We completed in a race as a family in May and we all earned second places in our age categories. We opened up the pool and continued our baseball season. Bradley turned 33 and a few days later threw out his back.
June brought the end of our third year at Fort Jones Elementary and a Kindergarten graduate. Mom competed in the Wild Rogue Relay and ran nearly a marathon as she had to pick up more mileage due to missing runners. Dad hiked into a lake with Anne, Brent, Wyatt, and Finn to celebrate Father's Day and the boys hiked with their own goods to take the strain off dad's back. The fishing was excellent!
We took a family trip to the Bay and took in a wedding along the way. We watched two games, one in club level seating and one in the bleachers. We all decided that the bleachers were best. We managed to visit the city on the same weekend as SF Pride so the boys got their fill of culture and lifestyle not seen in Scott Valley. The highlight of the weekend was getting a ball signed by Sam Dyson and running the bases at the park.
July brought the down south cousins into town for a festive and family filled 4th of July. Between visits to mountain lakes, the largest small town footrace in America, family pedicures, and a rattle snack siting, it was a festive visit.
The boys attended a baseball camp at the University of Oregon and mom enjoyed solo running time every morning in track town USA.
Mom turned 33 and dad planned an adventure which included our family summitting Black Butte 10 years to the day we had climbed Mt. Shasta. Not as tall, but nearly as breathtaking. The boys competed in the first swim meet and both earned high point awards for their age group on Mom's birthday.
Sadly, Grandma Cora entered the hospital at the end of the month and began her journey to the brink of death and back, complete with a stay in Hospice.
August marked the start of a new school year, continued use of our backyard pool, and the beginning of Carter's career as the EHS Lions waterboy. He attended EVERY single game, even the away games and earned many accolades for his dedication and hard work. Mom attended the Native Tribal Health Fitness Conference at the Nike Campus in Beaverton and dad worked hard provided garbage service on the fires.
October meant putting up wood for winter. Miles really took off with his reading and completed his first chapter book. His favorite being to read to continues to be our dog Mary. Dad and Carter managed to take a night off from fire camp to get a buck opening weekend with cousins Clint and Brayden. We also enjoyed time up at the ranch shooting.
Bradley took hard earned fire money to purchase a new truck to the fleet. He flew back and then drove the new garbage truck back from Montana.
November allowed for mom to run her yearly marathon in the hills of Ashland and for the men in the house to enjoy many hours of fishing! The 13th annual Turkey Trot was another success and we enjoyed the Madole cousins for the week of Thanksgiving. Between early morning bird hunts, sleepovers, and the thrill of ATVs, the week was a blast.
December allowed for ample opportunity to display and teach gratitude. The boys made scarves for rescue ranch dogs, donated toys, delivered food to families in need, and anything else they felt necessary to make it on the nice list. They had quite a bit to do in order to make up for the plethora of small animals which may or may not have been injured by pellet and/or BB guns.
What we lacked in snow, we made up for in Christmas cheer. Between school and home activities I think the only thing we missed was the local Ugly Sweater run and this was simply due to the fact that mom had a case of bronchitis/bordering on pneumonia.
The down south cousins came back a few days after Christmas and were here to ring in the New Year! It was the perfect way to end 2017, with family. If you are still reading - bless you and thank you for being a part of our journey. We are so truly blessed.