Take a look in the window of the Braden Family!

I don't know if I will be able to keep this up but it's worth a try. The true writer in the family is Bill so I will have to get him to add his thoughts every now and again. Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Braden Family 2011 Christmas Letter

We start this year’s Braden Christmas Letter with a look at the exciting new reality series, 3 Babies for Barb and Bill!, brought to you exclusively on BBC (Braden Bunch Communications, not that snobby British channel that stole our logo).  3B3 (you didn’t think I was going to keep spelling out the name of the show, did you?) follows the hijinks of the three Braden children and their spouses as they cope with sleep deprivation and smelly diapers (or more sleep deprivation and more smelly diapers for two of them). 

The series premiered on March 4th, 2011 with the pilot episode,      Jonah Price LaRue.     
Set in St Louis, this modern day masterpiece was produced by Lindsay and Devin LaRue, who in 2009 gave us the stunningly successful Rhys William Paul.  Praised for its liberal use of fat rolls and drool, critics gave JPL two thumb-suckers up.  JPL stole the hearts and minds of his many Facebook fans as he and his brother steadfastly waited for their daddy to return from a deployment to Afghanistan with the Air National Guard rock band, Sidewinder, in July and August.  After a video of one of their performances went viral on YouTube, the band’s success was chronicled on Fox and Friends and Entertainment Tonight (that’s not a joke).  They even performed for the ET Thanksgiving Show, playing for the families of deployed military members.  JPL celebrated by learning to crawl while his parents were living it up in Los Angeles on the set of Entertainment Tonight. 

3B3 (that stands for 3 Babies for Barb and Bill for the forgetful ones in the crowd) returned in the fall after an almost 8 month hiatus.   

 Episode 2, Ella Jane Braden aired October 28th to enthusiastic reviews.  Critics raved that Ella is “the best thing to come out of Springfield MO since Homer and Bart”.  Producers (and first time parents) Justin and Liz captured the essence of cuteness with this tour de force performance.  It’s a good thing that daddy got promoted twice this year, because baby will be needing lots of new outfits to keep the grandparent paparazzi satiated.  A girl just can’t be caught on the red carpet wearing the same sequined onesie more than once.  Ella is already perfecting her dazzling smile.  A star is born!   

The ratings for EJB were so staggering, the next episode premiered less than a week later, on November 3rd.  Though production of Olivia Margaret Braden
began in Silver Spring MD, producers Adam and Katie felt that OMB needed a Texas-sized backdrop.  So they loaded up their truck (actually a Ford Escape) and they moved to San Antone.  San Antonio that is.  Live oak trees, scorpions (sing those last lines to the tune of “The Beverly Hillbillies”).  And even though OMB follows closely on the heels of the multi-lingual Jackson Gregory (2008) and the hugely (emphasis on huge) successful Harrison David (2010), she’s definitely no sequel.  One out of one doctors living in the same house as her agrees that OMB is the cutest little buckaroo this side of the Pecos. (Yes, Adam is officially a doctor now.  He graduated in May and now Bill can ask him probing questions about toenail fungus) 

While there are no current plans for future episodes, we’ll continue to follow the antics of the stars of all of these episodes for years to come.  Now let’s take a behind the scenes look at the real life adventures of Executive Producers, Bill and Barb.

Not content with just retiring from the active duty Air Force, Bill had to go the extra mile and retire from the Air Force Reserves, too.   
As of June 1st, he really hung up his BDUs for good this time.  Yes, BDUs, not ABUs.  He would have had to have been FUBAR to be caught Tango Uniform in ABUs.  Besides, he looked Sierra Hotel in those BDUs (especially at O dark thirty when he wore them with his disco belt).  He actually was FIGMO on December 31st, 2010 when the Air Force told him that his position was OBE.   That situation was a whole Charlie Foxtrot so Bill just decided to pull chocks and go to work as a silly servant.

Did you catch all that?  For those of you not hip to the lingo, I’ll translate.  On June 1st, Bill put away his forest green camouflage uniform that the Air Force decided to phase out in favor of the Airman’s Battle Uniform (a digitized light green/blue camouflage).  Bill took a perverse pride in purposefully not buying the ABU because he could legally still wear the BDU until November 1st, 2011.  Since the AF was forcing him out at the 28 year point (even though he was retired for 6 of those years) he exercised the stingy Scotch-Irish in him and refused to buy a uniform that he could only wear for a year or two when he already had a perfectly acceptable one hanging in his closet.  Hence, he would have had to have been crazy to be caught dead in an ABU.  Besides, he looked quite fetching in his Battle Dress Uniform (especially in the wee hours of the morning when he wore them with his highly reflective safety belt).  Bill’s last day of duty was actually December 31st, 2010 when the AF ran out of money for his reserve position.  The situation was really messed up so Bill decided not to fight it and put in his paperwork to retire and got a job with the Air Force as a Federal civilian employee.

An unexpected consequence of the first episode of 3B3 (yes, we’re back to that) was that Executive Producer Barb would no longer have living quarters when she went on location to St. Louis to peddle plastic.  The star of that episode, JPL, demanded his own dressing room, so Barb was out of luck.  Being the shrewd negotiator that she is, though, she talked her tightwad co-Executive Producer, Bill, into buying her an entire townhome in The Lou.  She only had to promise to refrain from smothering him in his sleep when he snored and he acquiesced to her demands.  That set the stage for a very moving pod-cast.  No, they didn’t televise an emotional event over the internet.  They rented two PODS, packed (jam-packed, I should say) two thirds of their stuff into them, and shipped them to St. Louie MO.  Then they paid a local moving company (paid them much more than they deserved, I might add) to move the rest of their stuff to Alexandria VA.  Yes, Virginia, we’re back in Virginia.  Hallelujah and pass the grits!  If we hadn’t moved, Bill would have really been on a reality show…COPS.  He would’ve snapped and gone postal from the commute on the Beltway from Silver Spring MD to Bolling AFB and back again.

Bill and Barb have been researching sites for a new show for the Travel Channel.  They’re thinking of calling it Weather, You Like It or Not!  And the first word in the title is not misspelled.  This show could also be shown on The Weather Channel.  First, they went to the Shenandoah Mountains to a lovely B&B (where else would B and B go but a B&B?).  It rained.  Next they went to Chincoteague Island VA to see the wild ponies and spend some time on the beach.  It rained. 

They then traveled to Seven Springs PA to view the fall foliage.  Guess what?  Nope!  It was gorgeous!  They liked it.  

Finally, they traveled to New York City to catch a show and visit the 9/11 Memorial.  Sunny and no rain but colder than a wicked witch’s toe (hah, you thought I was going to say something else).  Speaking of Wicked, that’s the show we saw.  Awesome with a capital A-W-Some!  Thanks Justin and Liz, for recommenderating it to us (if you’ve seen the show, you’ll get that).

OK folks.  That’s a wrap, as they say in the biz.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Braden (and LaRue) Crew!

Executive Producers and Writers:  Bill and Barb. 

Episode 2 Producers and Lead Actress:  
Justin, Liz, and Ella.  

Episode 3 Producers, Supporting Actors and Lead Actress:  
Adam, Katie, Jackson, Harrison, and Olivia.  

Episode 1 Producers, Supporting Actor and Lead Actor:  
Devin, Lindsay, Rhys, and Jonah. 

PS.  Bill and Barb are little-yellow-hair-and-plastic-bag-chock-full-of-doggy-doodoo-free for the first time since 1987.  We said goodbye to our Yellow Lab, Aspen, in the spring after we discovered she had lung cancer.  We miss having her around but Bill’s not going to be whispering to any dogs anytime soon.  With all these grandkids popping up all over the country we just aren’t home enough to care for a dog.

In Memory of the blond bombshell! 

1 comment:

  1. AWESOME!!! AWESOME!!! You guys are something else. What a beautiful family you have. I miss you all so much. I really enjoyed the family Video it was precious. I remember all the Christmas Parties you had for Mighty River Sales Children and in my case Grandchildren. Barb, Bill I'll cherish those memories forever. Sure miss that Santa.
    Love Always, Sherry