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Because She’s So Cool

The Goblin Child has been wanting to learn to read. She wants to be able to read books whenever she wants, instead of having to wait for us. She’s been working hard at it and always wants to know how words are spelled. Tonight as we read her bedtime story, or started to, she said no, she wanted to read it herself! And she did.

 

Getting Ready

We will be going to the beautiful little country church near us for Christmas eve again. To get ready for the play on Christmas we’ve started going there now and will be until Christmas. The Goblin Child will be Mary, with her little best friend being Joseph. His little sister will make a beautiful angel and 8 will be a dragon. Or maybe not, but there was strong vote put in for it. I could see the biblical implications, the demon hovering nearby, always present, always watching, we might still be able to talk them into it. If not he will be a shepherd or possibly a wise man.

At the last practice they were enthusiastic and energetic. They remembered their lines and did an excellent job singing. Hopefully they do as good when it’s time for the real thing.

 

 

Christmas Vacation

I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I wrote here last. Time flies and every time I think about writing I’m just too tired. It’s been a busy month and hopefully I’ll get back and recap it but for now I’ll stick to the now.

Last year we meant to get up to Storybook Island to see the Christmas lights. Reservations were made, plans were set, then the forecast was made. They were predicting a HIGH of zero and dropping from there. We decided it was too cold and canceled. This year we decided to try again.

Plans were made then changed then changed back. Reservations were made, children got sick, grownups got sick, strep throat for everyone!, reservations were canceled.  We went anyway.

We left early trying to make it up for lunch. We got there and went straight to Huhots. Our good friends brought their kids along and met us there. We gorged ourselves then went downtown. Last year they put in an ice-skating rink, this year we got to see it. The downtown was gorgeous with Christmas lights up and beautiful buildings. We rented skates and ventured onto the ice. It was a blast. Quite possibly my favorite part of the trip. They had walkers to save us from falling and we pushed all of the children around and round until they got the hang of it and were able to move themselves. Or ran crying from the ice and played happily on the stage nearby, eating dirt and running up and down.

Once our feet and bodies were too sore to skate any longer we walked around the downtown window shopping and taking in the sights. We wandered happily until dark and finally it was time to go see the lights. we got to Storybook Island before it opened and walked around waiting very impatiently, the children at least. Once the door opened we rushed in and ran frantically about looking. We saw Santa and Mrs. Clause, the nicest ones I’ve ever seen, and collapsed in a heap of exhausted tears at being told not to swing from the rail of lights to keep us on the path. It was a very long day for a small child who refused to nap on the long drive up.

He was able to be rallied, or at least carried, and we continued through the park. The lights were great but prevented playing on all the toys, a bit of a disappointment for all the small children. They got their ride on the train though and then were ready to find our way back to the hotel for some of the swimming we had promised them and supper.

The pool lived up to their expectations I think. I hope. With it’s big water slide and little pool, known to some as a hot tub. We don’t let the signs worry us, they don’t really mean no one under 18 allowed. It was packed with small children anyway. The whole pool was packed. It limited my enjoyment but I don’t think it slowed the kids down, instead it gave them even more playmates. We enjoyed delivered pizza at the pools edge then succumbed to exhaustion and our rooms for the night.

The children actually slept! Ours did that is and for the most part, our friends maybe not so much but small babies are that way. It was one of the more pleasant nights we’ve spent in a hotel with our small rotten children. Usually they refuse to sleep and are up all night. They were up bright and early the next morning to make up for it. We had snacks in the room for breakfast then waited for the pool to open.

It was lots more fun to swim that morning. There were no other people, I like things best that way. We soaked in the hot tub and made laps down the slide. Checkout time loomed though and we had more plans for the day so eventually we had to drag them away.

It was time for our brunch where the kids all refused whatever we had gotten them and only wanted what the other kids had. Finally after lots of switching around everybody had something they were willing to eat. We stuffed ourselves then went shopping.

The mall was packed. It made me so glad that we don’t live in town and have to put up with these things regularly. We fought our way through and I was glad to have a friend there for moral support as we shopped for other forms of support and I got my early Christmas present. So glad to have that support and to have that over with, hopefully for another decade or so 😉

with everyone nearly burnt out on the whole vacation thing and very ready for a rest we went to dinosaur hill. Although dragging and showing some definite signs of a new sickness we trekked up the hill and had one last hurrah as the kids climbed and ran about. I’m always scared we will lose one off the side but it didn’t happen this time. Maybe next. The Goblin Child was done. She stomped back down the hill ahead of us refusing to speak.

By the time we got home 8 was well rested, feeling better, and rearing to go. She was very clearly sick, exhausted, and refusing any medication. She ended up sleeping on the couch for the night with her loving father. Her voice was hoarse as she croaked out requests and she was coughing horribly. She seems to be better this afternoon but does so enjoy the drama of a good sick.

 

 

 

Happy Halloween ’17

What can I say, It was perfect!

Fall Doin’s

We are getting all the required fall things done. We got snowed on. Just a skiff that was melted by noon. (it snowed again last night, that snow hasn’t melted yet)

The Goblin Child’s class visited the pumpkin patch. They played and climbed and painted pumpkins. Of course we all went with.

The corn harvest is nearly done. It was short this year only two partial pivots.

We had our pumpkin carving party. It was just as much fun as usual. Then we had fun decorating with ours. Then Rusty ate them.

The Goblin Child went to her first haunted house. I had told her many times about how going to a haunted house in Omaha with my dad was my favorite thing growing up. She asked a few times when she was going to get to go so I was thrilled when I saw there was going to be one nearby. We went for the early lights on tour,so technically 8 went through his first too! She loved it so much she wanted to go through again. Her father and I went through by ourselves half date half making sure it would be ok. We thought it was so she went through with Whitten and his parents. They held hands and led the way through. She still loved it. That’s my girl!

There was a scarecrow competition in town. Everybody made really great scarecrows and it was nice to see most of the town participating in a just for fun, fall spirit event.

 

And, saving the best for last, we have been practicing our bareback riding! Getting ready for those cold winter rides and practicing good riding skills. There’s no better way to learn!

Ready For Halloween

The decorations have been up for awhile now. The pumpkins are out and decorated, I need to write about the pumpkin carving party. Now the costumes are finished. We did a costume check yesterday since it was supposed to be our last nice day for awhile. I am madly in love with The Goblin Child’s Costume, until now her pirate costume was my favorite but I think this one may have taken it’s place. 8’s costume is adorable too, it didn’t get the time and attention of T.G.C.’s and we didn’t go all out, his face will be painted white when we go for real. Today it is cold and raining out, glad we got the pictures done yesterday.

Meeting The Bus

School has been going well I guess. The schedule for parent teacher conferences was difficult so we asked her teacher if there was anything we should know. She said everything was going great so we are skipping.

Meeting the bus is stressful but easier than driving back to town to pick her up. When the weather is nice we have been taking full use of the chance to ride out with the horses to pick her up. 8 is starting to ride Princess Onna by himself. He’s getting so big. Not big enough to reach the stirrups, but he refuses to use them anyway. His feet rest perfectly on top of them when the are set for The Goblin Child. I put them as short as possible once and he refused to even try to put his feet in them. Instead he hiked his knees up and put his feet on top again in jockey mode. He has no fear and happily turns around in the saddle as I try frantically, and unnecessarily, to keep him from falling. We are going to get him his own set of stirrups one of these days to use on the saddle his Grammy got him to use. He gets Coyote for his horse and things would work perfectly if Rusty was far enough along to ride with the two of them on their horses.

The Goblin Child is famous on the bus for her horse. A silly thing since we live in the country, all the kids should have their own horses. She is doing wonderfully with Princess Onna and still wants to be a horse show girl. She’s been enjoying riding with Ava when Ava has a chance to come take lessons. They are adorable together.

 

Burdock

I need to write about our little trip to see family but first, this little aside.

The cousins were over. The kids were all out playing somewhere. I never worry about where exactly, Ava is there, she takes care of everybody. In the middle of getting super ready the back door opened and two rather rumpled children came in.

They were hesitant and looked worried. Apparently they had been playing in the old pickup cab sitting out in the tree row. Burdock is bad in the trees and right at head height. “Someone” hadn’t let that slow her down and plowed right through the thick of it. Now her hair showed the results. Her long fine hair was matted with clumps of the burrs and they had already pulled out all they could.

Laughing, because the alternative is?, we went to work. She begged me just to cut it off and spare her the pain. With the burrs against her skull I wasn’t going to hack it off without trying first. With hair detangler, fingers and a comb we fought at the table until it became obvious that it wasn’t going to be won that easily. Taking the battle to the bath tub we washed out the lovely pink color that makes hair nearly impossible to brush the coated her head with conditioner. Slowly but surely the burs began to relinquish their hold. Her back was red from scratching at the itchy barbs and the water needed drained a couple times to keep them from finding a new hold.

In the end her hair came clean, the enemy was vanquished and the battle won. Her beautiful hair is still long and attached to her head and hopefully a lesson was learned.

Category: Goblin Child  3 Comments

Dad Came To Visit! And Other Long Overdue “Stuff”

Rodeo! #2

I heard about another kiddie rodeo so I called to get the kids signed up. Turns out it was not so much kiddie rodeo but a fun/play day. When I called about it I was assured that it was usually over by four, we would have no problem making our previously scheduled engagement. Then Paula called and asked if we wanted to enter and ride with her. I happily told her we were already entered but would love to ride with her. Did I mention her new living quarters trailer?

I resumed loading practice with Onna, got our barrels back out and made The Goblin Child go around them and got as much as I could ready. When Paula showed up that day we loaded everything, including Onna who hopped right in and were off. The children stayed behind with their much beleaguered father, who would feed them lunch and bring them later so they didn’t have to sit out in the hot sun any longer than necessary.

We got there early but the grounds were packed. Paula drove her big, long rig right in and found a spot anyway. The spot might have been the point at which we could no longer go forward but hey, it worked! And we were right behind the rest of the family who were there competing or watching. It was perfect.

Once saddled we went in to warm up. I debated hard which horse to ride. Paula had very kindly offered to let me ride one of hers because Coyote is off a little. I was going to take him to ride anyway, he isn’t exactly lame just a little off and I hoped it would be an easy day for him. This was much better but, now I had a young horse that I had never ridden and would like to get used to. Paula assured me that he had ponied a horse, once or twice and had been “OK” with it. I am a chicken rider, not one who rides chickens 😉 but a rider who is chicken, thought I should clarify that, and the “OK” part didn’t reassure me. I also had Onna who did great last time but last time was not near the mad house this time was and I was going to put my small children on her. I chose Onna to warm up.

In the arena it was crowded. By crowded I mean I could almost see the ground occasionally as people walked trotted and loped endlessly to the left with the occasional stop and back thrown in. I’ve shown horses for years but I had never seen a warm up like this.  I tried to discern some sort of pattern, was the outside track for walking? No. Maybe the inside and loping to the fence? NO. Everywhere for everything, cutting back and forth and through then slamming on the brakes and backing into the rest of the horses doing the same thing. I guess more people can fit in to a rode, each run last a few seconds as opposed to a cowhorse event where each rider gets approx. four min. There were lots of people. I don’t think the pictures can show just how crowded the parking was, maybe that made it seem worse.

I didn’t want to do anything but walk Onna in the warm up. She needed to learn that it was a calm place with nothing to be worried about. It wasn’t but it would be nice if she could think it was. That done we went back to the trailer where I switched horses. Luckily Paula showed up about then and I was able to get on with her there and her horses buddy that she was calling for so desperately. Tee Bird is a she so if I refer to her as a he anywhere forgive me I seem to keep doing that. Once on she was fine, with her buddy. I was a bit nervous on a new horse in that madhouse of a parking lot. She wanted to be with her buddy pretty bad but once we got that settled she was great. She never spooked as children on foot and children on horses galloped about, she wasn’t bothered by ponying Onna, she didn’t even get upset about the idiots that thought this was a great time to play football, throwing the ball over the heads of horses walking down the narrow isle between parked pickups and trailers and the tents set up all around the arena full of people and more vehicles.

The Goblin Child did the goat snatching, where you run up, dismount, and grab the ribbon off a goats tail. I let her go on her own and they were both great. She can’t quite get all the way off on her own but she’s so close. She did the poles,they’ve been doing great practicing at home so I let her off the lead. It was a mistake,I thought sh was going to die. There was some over steering and I was sure Onna was going to leave. She got a little far off the side of the saddle once but managed to pull herself back on. All in all it was a good run. And she did barrels, that was their best event of the day I think. I ponied but was able to let them go around the barrels by themselves after the first.

8 only ended up getting to do poles. I had been going to ride Onna like last time but Tee Bird was doing really good and I felt safe just riding her with 8 in front of me. We didn’t quite fit in the saddle but it worked and I hear he looked happy, pointing at the crowd and smiling. 8 left with his exhausted father to make our previous engagement before he got to do barrels. there was no way this show was going to be over by four as previously predicted. It was after five already with many classes left to go.

It was a fun day, hot and dusty, long for the kids but their cousins were there watching which helped a lot to keep them entertained. They seemed to enjoy this one that I thought had everything conspiring to make it slightly miserable and I think we will try to hit a few more next year. The Goblin Child is just starting to ride off of a lead line and with a winter to work on it she should be doing good by next summer. 8 is difficult. Maybe he will develop a lick of sense and make an effort not to fall off, maybe he will grow enough to reach the stirrups or maybe he will keep going in front of me. Princess Onna is great, we are using clicker training to help her learn how to do these things. She handles the crowds and all the scary things involved like a pro I couldn’t have asked for a better horse for the kids to learn on. As for me? I’m learning about this whole rodeo thing. It’s still not my thing, I’m discovering that I am a dressage queen at heart but, I am slightly competitive. Maybe I’ll have to show Rusty how to run a round a pole 😉 I can see why people think a horse that’s been rodeo-ed on should be so broke they have to put up with a lot. If nothing after hauling Rusty to these things a good old normal horse show will seem like a vacation!