Saturday, April 25, 2009

This really cool picture just surfaced....

Yup... That's the Taylor Swift one!!

Malstrom AFB "Wild Wild West" and the Great Falls Cancer Clinic Beach Party

Face painting is serious business...
The cancer clinic's beach party attendants

Wild wild west

Jill Veteto of Diamond J Leather is a TALENTED woman!

Detail of the chaps

I have had an outstanding weekend. First, I received my chaps in the mail from Custer, MT where Jill Veteto was working diligently to get them done. I am so impressed with her workmanship. The detail on these are awesome and the colors work together so well. I would like to thank Jill for getting these done in record time. I will wear them proudly as I hit the rodeo trail this summer! I am so excited. I have a feeling these chaps will make some waves! I helped out at Malstrom Air Force Base on Friday night for their "Wild Wild West" event. They had me crack the ol' bullwhip and help with the auction. It was awesome to be with my fantastic hostesses Staci and Joann again. They are hilarious and they put on a good party. I had a dance auctioned off at the end. It went for over 12 million. Talk about a boost for the self esteem. Too bad the money was fake "buckaroo bucks". I just finished with the Great Falls Cancer Clinics Beach Party. The kids and I did a relay race, crafts, and played beach volleyball. I always get a little nervous when I know I am going to be around children with life threatening diseases because I am very emotional and it definitely opens your eyes up to life's realities. However, at this party I was enlightened to find very happy, positive children who didn't let cancer get in the way of having fun. It was really nice to be around them and have a great time- it always reinforces that kids with health challenges are kids too! They need to have friends, be creative, and be stimulated with art and learning just like anybody else would. I enjoyed my afternoon with these children and they strengthen my spirit by just being around them.
I would like to thank John and Vicki Gliko for letting me stay with them on my last few adventures to Great Falls. I absolutely love being out at the ranch and my dog Gus even gets to come with! They are such loving people and I can't thank them enough for the blessings they have bestowed on my life.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sam's Coronation & Branding!!!

A Kodak moment at Tash's BrandingWrestling a calf

Getting ready to brand at the Tash's- this hat has seen better days

Libby Gurnett (Miss Big Sky ProRodeo Princess), Kendall (Laura Bakker's Granddaughter), and I at Sam's Coronation

Sam and I at her coronation

First of all, congratulations to the Manley's on a very successful and most of all- fun coronation! Sam did a superb job and everyone had a great time. Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief!! My favorite part of the evening was definitely the kiddie rodeo. Sam had kids sign up for the rodeo, then they had a calcutta for all of the contestants! It was a creative and successful way to raise money, and involve the whole family. If you haven't seen Sam with kids yet, she truly has a gift for small children. I am very proud of her and wish her the best this year. It was great to see everyone on the MRMI board again- including Jody, Laura, Tracy, and Linda. They are all so supportive and drove from many places across Montana to support Sam. The Roberts family was there hard at work. Elizabeth and Callie did a great job selling raffle tickets to support their friend Sam. I was also happy to see Mike and Libby Gurnett again. They came from Helena for the celebration and Libby helped sell raffle tickets also. We have such support in Montana for Miss Rodeo Montana and Miss Teen Rodeo Montana. I want everyone to know how much I appreciate that! Laura's granddaughter Kendall, who you will see in the pictures above, helped so much selling raffle tickets. In fact, when I sat down to eat she took the bag and some friends and continued to sell. She is very smart- and remembered how all of the "games" went. I also saw two of my very special sponsors there- Jimmy the Hat Man, and Dr. John Harlan. Dr. Harlan is very active with Tough Enough To Wear Pink of Montana and he sponsored all of my skin care and makeup for the entire year! The evening was fun and I'm so happy that the Manley's coronation was a success.
Off duty, I made a trip out to Polaris, MT for branding out at the Tash Ranch. I helped out last year and had a great time. Bryant Photographics came to capture the branding because Mark Bryant said he had always wanted to take pictures at an "authentic" branding. I told him I had just the event for him. There will be some awesome pictures for my scrapbook. I had a fun, action-packed day off, and enjoyed being a real cowgirl. I wrestled calves with a few of my friends and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I am so excited because my chaps will be in any day now. I cannot wait to see them. Jill Veteto of Diamond J Leather in Custer made them and she is a very talented woman! I will post pictures immediately when I receive them!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Miss Rodeo Nevada Pageant

Nursing home visit in Mesquite, NV
All of the contestants for Miss Rodeo Nevada and Miss Rodeo Nevada Teen and the visiting royalty

Excess Traveling leads to fast food consumption.

I really like palm trees.... and sun.... the weather in Nevada was awesome!!!!

First performance of the Logandale PRCA rodeo with Courtney Smith (MRSD) and Allie Bass (MRW)

Just trying out my 12.7 MM AAA Gun Type 54. Trust me- it's a good time.

Some fun tour guides- The one on the far left is Christopher Smith. He was really nice and professional. We felt really bad because at the end of the tour he was taking us back to my pickup and backed the AFB van into someones car. It was all Miss Rodeo Wyoming's fault because she asked him if he wanted a gobstopper. :)

Visiting with the helicopter crew at Nellis AFB

I had an unforgettable time at the Miss Rodeo Nevada Pageant! I got to spend time with three other state queens: Miss Rodeo Nevada, Miss Rodeo South Dakota, and Miss Rodeo Wyoming. It was so fun getting to know them and I love the camaraderie we have! The first few days we spent in Las Vegas where we had many different unique opportunities. We took a tour of Nellis Air Force Base and met with jet fighter plane mechanics as well as helicopter pilots. It was my first time on an air force base and it was really eye-opening. I am in awe of our military and the people who protect our freedom and lifestyles. They are brave, smart, and dedicated. We visited many places in the community including Child Haven which is a place for foster children to stay for a while until they are accepted into foster care. The kids were excited to see us and we had a great time visiting with them. In addition, we made a stop at the nursing home in Mesquite and a children's hospital in Vegas. The contestants got to see first hand exactly what Miss Rodeo Nevada and Miss Rodeo Nevada Teen get to do to help out in the community. It was good speaking experience for me in Mesquite because we stopped by a Rotary Club Meeting and had an opportunity to tell a little bit about ourselves. The Rotary Club was very nice and we had a good breakfast with them.
The pageant was a blur for me- I can't imagine how the girls felt! It was about 3 days long. The visiting royalty helped warm up horses for horsemanship, and modeled in the style show at the fairgrounds. We attending four rodeo performances in Logandale and I had a great time. The weather was perfect and it reminded me that summer is on it's way! I enjoyed helping out Flint the pickup man. I was his right hand man for the rodeo- warming up and cooling down horses, putting on boots, braiding manes and tails, and holding his horses while he switched out during the roughstock events. He let me ride one of his horses for grand entry. I was happy to have such a trusty steed to ride. Amidst the business of the pageant, MRSD, MRW, and I had a few hours to sunbathe by the pool. I had to take advantage of the weather! Congratulations to Andrea Lynch who won the title of Miss Rodeo Nevada. I am excited to get to know her over the year and she will represent Nevada well. Thank you so much to Anna Bavor and Joanne Alvarado- who were amazing hosts! I am very appreciative of their hospitality.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Autumn Dunbar Benefit Rodeo, Governor's Conference on Tourism, and TETWP Photo Shoot!!!

I had so much fun on my most recent travels. Well the end of March weather wasn't exactly what I like to see- but it's Montana right? I woke up at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning to make the Vaughn rodeo and drove through some pretty treacherous roads- but alas- for weather circumstances unforeseen the rodeo was canceled. We were literally in a white out! I actually ended up having a really awesome time because I hung out with Gary and Jody Rempel and they were gracious enough to let me stay with them and took me out to dinner. It was fun. The rodeo was to benefit a girl named Autumn Dunbar who has a rare heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. The fundraiser will still take place sometime in the near future when the weather eases up a bit! JS rodeo put it on and I teased John Smith that the chili I had for lunch better be good because I've never driven over 200 miles for a bowl of chili. He felt terrible, but I thought it was funny. It was good that I was in the neighborhood though, because I had to trek South for the Governor's Conference on Tourism in Helena. I stayed with Mike, Laurie, and Libby Gurnett- who is the Big Sky ProRodeo Princess. I had so much fun with the family and I felt so at home. They gave me a house key and everything. I felt so welcomed and adopted- and the home cooked meals were wonderful. Thanks again to the Gurnetts! We have so many great times to come. The above photo is Libby and I taking some candid shots outside the Gurnett house. Mike is quite the photographer! At the conference, I had the pleasure of listening to our governor, Brian Schweitzer, speak at a luncheon. His trusty border collie came with him. WOW that dog is well trained! He must do that a lot. The governor spoke about "branding" Montana for marketing and it was very interesting. I did see a familiar face in the slide show at the luncheon. It was a gorgeous picture of Jennifer Marshall (Miss Teen Rodeo Montana 2008) in her gorgeous hair on chaps at a rodeo. I was really pleased to see that they used this picture to "brand" Montana. Rodeo is so important to tourism. And who better to brand Montana than a wonderful ambassador to professional rodeo! The last stop on my trip was to the Last Chance Stampede Fairgrounds for a TETWP photo shoot. I met with Amy Robbins and then got suited up for some pictures with a beautiful pair of pink chaps that they are auctioning off! I had no idea until I arrived at the rodeo grounds that everything is being renovated. They built an awesome facility and I cannot wait to see the finished product at the end of July for the rodeo. I encourage everyone to make this PRCA show one of their stops. It is always an awesome rodeo and now they have a tremendous facility. I'm excited. All in all- the last few appearances were fun, exciting, and action-packed. I'm having a great time and I want to thank everyone that has helped me in my travels.