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A Day Of Many Firsts

Putting this up here for mom real quick so she, and anyone else who’s interested, can see the videos. We hauled the horses over to a friends indoor arena to ride with our good friend Paula who we don’t see nearly enough. I wanted to try Rusty somewhere besides home and start getting him used to being hauled.

The morning started out warm, as it was supposed to. We spent the morning playing outside and getting the horse stuff loaded. Ate lunch came back out and it had gotten cold, as it was supposed to. We all squeezed into the cab of the pickup and dropped my long suffering husband off so he could put in a couple of hours of work in town.

At the arena I decided there was no way I was pulling down to the arena, it didn’t look like we’d ever be able to get back out. We parked on the gravel far far away from the arena and started to climb out of the pickup. It was cold and windy. The horses were crazed the children were under foot. Paula had arrived by then and was the only reason we were able to accomplish it at all. She took the leads of two horses loaded with children and I followed with Rusty, helmets, hats, gloves, and treat bags.

There is a pen that needs to be gotten through on the way to the arena and it had horses in it. Paula gave me the other two to lead through while she kept the horses off of us. I abandoned my other baggage and concentrated on getting a crazed Rusty and two other enthusiastic horses through two gates and away from the other curious horses. We all lived.

In the arena Rusty immediately made it clear that he was NOT going to stand tied. Not without choking us on clouds of dust. Trying to get the children ready to ride for real, I forgot those pesky helmets earlier in the rush to get horses saddled before we froze, and into the arena where they could hopefully take care of them selves was difficult. Fortunately, once again, Paula took care of everyone and got the job done.

We had a good ride once everything got settled. 8 rode Coyote all by himself! I was so proud of both of them! The Goblin Child was a little pouty and wouldn’t really try to get Onna to go away from me but she still did pretty good. It was the same jumbled, mad rush to get back to the pickup. The kids were cold and tired and grouchy. It was colder and windier. Once everything was loaded, they hopped right in so nicely, good horses, the kids fell asleep almost immediately. It was a great ride and I for one can’t wait to do it again!

Little Horsemen

Those kids, I’m just so proud of them. They are getting to be such good riders. When I picked The Goblin Child up from the bus yesterday she really wanted to go ride. Who am I to say no to that? It was getting late though, starting to cool off, and saddling takes so long, so they got on bareback.

 

 

Of course they wanted to trot.

Playing With Cattle

We’ve been going out and walking through the calves that are still here. A small pen with the runts and our small group of heifers. The goal is to get the heifers used to being handled by and around people, quiet well trained cattle are always better than wild and crazy cattle. I am happy to see my theories on this holding out in the calves of our calves being right up there in the front to check us out when we go to see them.

The kids have been enjoying the process. One of them is a big help and is loving playing with them. The other not so much. He may also be the reason that quieting the chicks back fired and now they are instead twice as terrified. I was really enjoying watching The Goblin Child lure the calves in as close as possible, and very close was quite possible. The two calves with the green ear tags, 313 and 317, are our two heifers.

 

 

Category: 8, Cows, Goblin Child  3 Comments

Arts and Crafts

This winter The Goblin Child has discovered “projects”. From making homemade play dough, to paint, to slime, she wants nothing else. Every day she asks if we can do a project NOW?

She and her father got out a birthday present she got, clear back last summer. It has been great. They put together a robot out of wood blocks and pipe cleaners. They built a robot rabbit that follows a path they built out of foam paper stuff. The path gets rebuilt over and over again in different directions. We, and she I hope, liked it so much we got the subscription. every month now, the next three at least, she’ll be getting a box like it in the mail. Anybody we know with children may be getting Kiwi crates, or their proper age group equivalent, in the mail for future birthdays and Christmas presents.

Slime is apparently pretty popular right now. That makes me think we should find other things. But we’ll keep doing it, one in a while. It’s easy enough, glue, water, borax, who doesn’t have that on hand. They love mixing it. It last quite awhile to play on. There are so many variations to try, we’ll probably never get to them all. We’ve done regular slime and glitter slime. We haven’t done Fluffy slime yet.

Play dough was my favorite. We would make more but it lasts so long that we don’t really need anymore yet. It was quick and easy and softer than store bought. It has been interesting learning the things we should always have on hand to be prepared for this kind of thing, salt, baking powder, and food coloring are essentials. We also made salt dough, to bake into Christmas tree ornaments and the like. The difference in ingredients was small, they were both fun to play with despite their very different outcomes. Also in the play dough group should be my new favorite project, fizzy play dough!! Again small differences in ingredients major difference in outcomes. Back the the essentials again with baking soda. I misjudged our need of it and we were almost out, until I remembered the stash in the fridge. It needed replaced anyway. It was the simplest to make, mix baking soda with water, and food coloring is desired, until a doughy consistency is reached then play with it. When they’re done playing let them squirt vinegar, mixed with a drop or two of soap, over it. Squirt and squeeze until all that remains is foamy goo. What’s not to love?

We’ve done some others. We have a few books with science projects in them. They work with varying results, some good some not so much. Putting water in a bowl, sprinkling with pepper, then touching with a soap rubbed finger is pretty fun. Mostly because it is quickly and easily repeated. Filling a tray with milk, dropping in some food coloring, then dripping soap over, not so much. Not worth the wasted milk, messy and over with quickly.

I also finally managed to find the recipe for water color paint. It was a fun one that we used for the summer camp art class. It involves baking soda, vinegar, and food colors. Everything but salt. I like projects that take a long time to make, keeping the kids occupied for quite a while, and things that I don’t have to be hands on for the whole time. This is pretty hands on, I don’t get to get anything else done while we do it, but it does last for a very long time afterwards. I just threw away the paints from the last time we did this. they take a long time to dry but they painted with them wile they were still in liquid form and once dried the paints last forever.

This whole thing may have actually been an excuse to get all my links together in one place but we are enjoying the projects. It is snowing out and cold, I foresee another project coming up soon. I need to start looking for something.

Winter Walk

The day started warm and moist. The snow that fell over night spent the night melting. It was mostly ice, kind of slush. To nice to miss out on. With the children bundled up against the wet more than the cold we set out to use up energy and enjoy the warm weather.

Out through the corrals we played mountain goat on the piles of manure pushed up away from the feed bunks. Up and down and back and forth. I hadn’t intended to go any farther. But the ground was open season for being eaten by crocodiles and we leapt from poop pile to poop pile trying to stay safe until we wound up at the gate. Up and over we went, up between the feed bunks, into the pasture.

I wanted to follow the tree row back to the buildings. My opinion was vetoed. Out here the grey skies hung heavy, the wind was picking up, blowing the damp air, turning cheeks pink with the chill. But on we went. Over the hill and to another set of gates. They were still going pretty strong. Home was looking a long way off though. I checked my phone, it wasn’t working. With a quick reboot, it was soon chiming at me. Our loving husband and father was worried about us. Where had we gone. Pausing a moment I let him know where we were.

We trudged onward. 8 tripped and fell in the wheat stubble coming up with sand burrs in his gloves and coat. I picked them out but soon we were in sunflowers over his head. Both children were stumbling over the weeds and vines. The distance between us and home was looking daunting. When around the corner came our hero on his four wheeler. We all happily hopped on with him, including Daisy who had been enthusiastically ranging along beside us until we hit the sand burrs in the wheat. She had been reduced to slowly and carefully picking her way along behind.

The trip home was much shorter and easier with a ride from our loving father and husband. Once home we settled in for hot chocolate, marshmallows and lunch. Clothes dried in front of the fire. By afternoon the wind was no longer gentle but whipping through the trees and the temperatures dropped. Luckily we had adventured while it was still nice out. We’ll have to do it again, when oit’s warmer.

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.ย  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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.

 

 

 

Kearney

The Goblin Child, 8, and I went with their adoring father down to Kearney. For Work. Work for him, fun for us. We got up bright and early and started our drive. We ate breakfast at Taco Johns in Alliance, who knew their breakfast food actually tasted good? Then lunch at Runza in Broken Bow, nothing wrong with planningย  trip around food! And made it to Kearney in time for his first meeting. He went off to work and we went off to the pool. We got done swimming, he got done working and we went to find food. Valintino’s!!

The next day we woke up late already for his first meeting. Ooops. I ran downstairs to bring breakfast up for the kids while he rushed to get ready. He went off to meetings and we swam. Back to the room we rushed to get cleaned up and out of their before checkout time. Then we explored. Kearney has some great bike trails. A really good Tractor Supply and a Runza. Guess where we ate when we picked him up for lunch ๐Ÿ˜‰

After lunch we went to see the sights. I found Fort Kearney when I looked up things to do. It was deserted and wonderful. There are none of the buildings still standing like Fort Robinson, but there is a rebuilt fort building. It is old and rickety, covered in moss and starting to deteriorate although it is not historically old only perhaps what is kindly called vintage. The kids ran and played and climbed trees. It reminded me of playing in Nebraska City as a kid running around Arbor State Historical Park. Lots of room to run and trees to play in, no need for toys or an official playground, nature provided.

It was cold though so we finally called it quits. Further down the road was river access and real playgrounds but they were cold and tired and didn’t want to get out again. So we, easily, found the archway. It was only visible over the interstate from everywhere we went.

Outside, in the parking lot, was a huge maze. We really didn’t need to go in, this was entertainment enough. Still cold though, so we ran through a few times then headed for the building. First we found some statues that diverted us for awhile. Finally making it to the door, it was amazing. Well worth the propaganda and fuss made about it. The kids were terrified, they clung to my legs all the way through and we didn’t get to read much of the stories. It was still impressive, I could have spent much more time there.

Once through we went back outside to explore and ended up back on the bike trail we had walked on before lunch. About then we got the call wondering where we were? Were we almost back to pick him up yet? We weren’t. After finally getting back to pick him up we started the long tired drive home. We had a great time, not so sure about him. We got to play, he had to sit through conferences both boring and interesting. We decided he should attend as many more as he can, as long as he chooses ones in interesting places. like, you know, Kearney ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Halloween ’17

What can I say, It was perfect!