Saturday, June 21, 2008

Racing Boy

In case you've been wondering how we like to spend our spare time...

Braeden's newest activity is soapbox racing. Basically, you build a car with no engine, fixed steering (or close to), and a good brake, you squeeze a kid into it, and you push him down a big hill. Put a couple kids side-by-side and you've got yourself a good ol' fashioned race! It may sound simple, but don't be fooled - the process of the big boys (Dad and the Papas) building, prepping, and decorating (I don't know the proper term for 'putting decals on') the car and the trailer - because who can haul a racecar without a trailer? - was many, many hours over several weeks. I assure you, Braeden did have a bit of a hand in the process, too!

That's Braeden on the right, ready for his first run down the hill.

Left to right, top to bottom - Karrie (my brother's girlfriend) & my brother Rob (and their 'baby' Kamo), my Uncle Shon, Mom (Frieda) & Dad (Lee), my hubby (Pat), my brother-in-law Blaine; my sister Jen, Melissa (Shon's girlfriend), Malakai, moi; Megan (tucked in behind her sisters), Shea, Braeden; and out front is Abbey.

The whole family was out for his first race (sans Papa Dan who was in Saskatchewan). Even some extended family came out. It was an AMAZING day! Our kids were all so good, and there was never any shortage of grown-ups for them to hang out with. Not a single one of our family just 'hung out' - everyone pitched in and helped the derby run smoothly. It blessed my heart to see our family connecting in this way!

Pat and my Dad hauled the bales that were set up around the track (to prevent any out-of-control cars from running away) - they were out Friday night picking them up, Saturday morning (at 6am no less) setting them up, and Saturday afternoon taking them back to the farmer (the return trip was made with the help of Uncle Shon). My mom and Karrie helped me wrangle kids (which was especially helpful since I was up and down the hill a few hundred times). Rob and his buddy, Joe brought in their Rhinos (which are kinda like super-fancy quads, but more like little Hummers) to pull the racers and cars back up the hill - up and down all day long. Jen and Blaine arrived and quickly donned the green tees so they could help drivers down by the finish line. Uncle Blaine even managed to get off work early to take in the races! Even Shon and Melissa were working, keeping score at the finish line.

I have to tell you about some of the cool stuff that went on for this derby...

- My Dad told everyone he met about this derby, fundraising along the way. His mechanic even handed him a $100 from his own pocket to sponsor the program!

- Pat's work paid some nice coin for those totally awesome lightning bolt decals on the sides (thank-you Eveready Industrial Services, Inc.), and one of his co-workers did the painting.

- Uncle Shon got so excited about Braeden's new passion (and his love of NASCAR) that he got a bunch of super cool NASCAR stuff sent to Braeden - Kevin Harvick even autographed the little figurine!). A B-I-G thanks to Shell Canada, who sent these items directly to Braeden (with a personal letter for "Mr. Braeden Rowan")! Wowsers.

- We awoke on race morning to a massive thunderstorm. I started praying. There were about to be 20-some kids very disappointed if the weather didn't take a dramatic turn. Mom brought the girls and baby to the race (as I had to bring Braeden early for his car's safety inspection), and they prayed, too. We did not have a single drop of rain all day! Lest you think this is an interesting coincidence - let me tell you how very big the God we serve is... A number of friends told me it rained in Red Deer ALL DAY LONG, and even hailed at one point. It also rained in Lacombe ALL DAY LONG! And we were in the little town of Blackfalds, just halfway between the two - 10 minutes from either of them. God really does care about the smallest details of our lives!

We had t-shirts made for our 'racing team,' because what's a pit crew without uniforms?! They say "BTR Racing" for Braeden's initials.

Initially, Braeden had a tough time getting the whole 'stopping' thing down pat. It was caught on tape. Click here to see the video footage.

Well, that about says it all, doesn't it?


  1. Wow weeee! How cool!

  2. somehow I missed this blog...
    So very cool for Braeden!
    You can see the joy in his little face!

  3. no way!! that is too much fun!! wow, how lucky your little man is to have sucha great family:)


I am so glad you stopped by! My hope is that we can engage in a conversation together. I love to reply to your comments, but I need your help to make that happen.

If you have a blogger profile, would you consider editing your profile to "show my email address?" Then, when I receive your comment in my email inbox, I can reply directly to you.

Alternately, you can check the box "email follow up comments to..." so that I can reply to you right here. (You will also receive other readers' comments using this method.)

I'm excited to get to know you better!