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Harvest Moon Festival

We drove to Hemingford on a crisp clear morning, with a forecast of freezing rain and snow for the afternoon. We met friends down there so the children could frolic together. There was a train giving rides. Pumpkins to admire, I found a couple of types I don’t have yet! There was a haunted hay maze. After sending the kids in by themselves we waited outside for them to come out. Soon enough they did. Back out the entrance. Heather and I went back in with them while my very patient husband waited outside with the stroller and smallest child. Each child had a glow stick. Inside it was pitch black with only the glowing spots of light that circled around us clinging, to our hands, exclaiming their fear loudly, over and over. In the darkness we searched hands outstretched feeling of the prickly straw bales trying to find the rout. We bounced off dead ends, felt the creepy clinging strands of cobwebs, and were confronted by shrieking ghouls. It was wonderful. We found our way out with no children pushed quite to the point of tears and, some of us, wanted to turn around and go again!

We restrained ourselves and went off to look at other things. We spent too much money at the craft fair. Ate good fair food. The children found many things to play on, a corn pit, bouncy balls, stick horses, and a petting zoo. They got to watch a helicoptor land then sit in it! There was a big beautiful team of horses giving wagon rides. Big and black, Percheron? Shire?  The wagon was gorgeous and immaculate. The horses wonderfully behaved. It made me really want to get going on Harvey and see if he really does drive.

We went back to the hay maze again. Before giving it one more go the kids wanted try archery. The Goblin Child says the shooting was her favorite part. Two guys were very patiently showing an endless line of children how to hold and shoot a bow. They both got a chance. They didn’t hit the target but their arrows made it to the other side! Then it was maze time. It was so much fun I didn’t want my poor husband to miss out on the fun. We were going to leave the children to watch their friends shoot the bows while we went alone. Almost like a date. We said our good byes and 8n wanted to come too. There was no shaking him off. So much for a date.

It was ok though. The darkness was gone, replaced by a murky twilight. The ghouls had gone on break. My overly wise husband calmly and quickly lead the way through the twists and turns. The magic was gone. It was a fitting end to the day. We drove home into skies rapidly growing dark and the snow began shortly after we got home.

 

 

Trail Ride

As in we actually went on one today! There’s a little country church not far from us. We really like it, not sure why we don’t go there more often. Except the lack of children’s church, that’s a big one. And no restaurants between there and home. I admit a big plus of going to church is eating out afterwards. But I digress. They had a trail ride! We try to support them when we can and it sounded like lots of fun, so we went.

The day started out foggy and cold. Not just a little fog but a thick, sunny, dark, glorious fog! I drug the kids out to play in it as soon as I saw how perfect it was. We jumped in puddles and checked out the newly frozen garden then checked cows. The fog cleared though and warmed up. Perfect weather for a ride.

There were more people there than I had expected. A nice little crowd. It was more horses than Rusty had ever seen in his life. He came with to Fort Rob for the Morgan ride but I rode Gypsy the very nearly perfect Arab cross instead of him for the group ride. She was here too of course with her little people on board. Rusty wasn’t crazed at least. And the hills weren’t as big, that helped although whether it helped me or him more I’m not sure 😉 We walked a few laps up and down the road in front of the church. Then The Goblin Child got on and we made more laps until it was time to go.

A little ways down the gravel then we turned in to someones pasture. Behind us followed a pickup pulling a trailer with hay and the non riders of the group. Rusty was nervous. Wanting to trot. Or stop and look around. Coyote was perfect. He and his little person followed happily. The pickup careful picked its way through the hills and ruts as the horses tried to remember that it couldn’t go everywhere they could. At the top of a particularly large hill we stopped and switched riders on Coyote.

Gypsy got switched to her other, bigger person. She had been ponied until then, now they were turned loose. The two of them zoomed all around. He’s a wonderful little rider, blessed with a great horse. 8 didn’t do as well, although Coyote was still trying to be perfect. He’s little though and will get better with time. He missed his nap and was tired.  Rusty had an obvious problem, although at first I couldn’t tell if it was nerves or what. Finally he started kicking out with one hind leg and I decided to hop off and see what was wrong. It turned into a bit of a leap as he jumped kicking enthusiastically on my way down. He had a whole ball of cactus in his heel. Poor baby. No wonder he was upset. I managed to get them out. They left blood. He felt mostly better after that. 8 was not having fun. Rusty wanted to trot. Or stop. I made him wait until we got to the bottom of the hill we were going down then let him off.

The Goblin Child was having fun on the hay wagon with her friends and didn’t want to get back on. I was dreading the thought of having to keep Rusty calm and make it back alive while ponying Coyote. Luckily I was able to convince my darling husband to abandon the children and join me for a ride. It was wonderful! We haven’t ridden together since before The Goblin Child was born. He did great on Coyote and Coyote did great with him. We zipped back to the church as fast as two Morgans can walk. Which was much faster than 1/4 horses can manage. It’s hard to be in front of the group while trying to follow the group leader. Oops.

At the church we were treated to hot dogs and s’mores around a campfire followed by music. The children ran off to play and we sat, relaxing by the fire in the coming evenings chill. The horses pawing in the trailer kept beat to old John Denver songs and gospel. The whole afternoon came together to be the best church service ever.

 

Camping Trip

My parents came out to see us. We had been planning the trip most of the summer. They were off on their yearly pilgrimage to the west coast.  A group of Morgan people were meeting at Fort Robinson for a weekend of trail riding. We all decided to drive over and, kind of, meet them. We are only so sociable so we decided to camp up at the wood reserve instead of staying with them in the fort proper. Unfortunately as the weekend drew near we realized it was the same weekend as Friendly Festival but if there’s one thing we’re willing to miss Festival for it’s a weekend of camping and horses.

Mom and dad got here on Thursday. We had, another, birthday party for The Goblin Child. I think that makes four parties now? She may be slightly spoiled 😉  Then Friday morning we got up bright and early and were off to the fort. Only, not. As much as I thought I had everything ready to go already it took hours to get everything packed and animals fed. Then just as we were finally ready and about to load the horses there was a phone call that some neighbors were working cattle and had found a bull in with them that wasn’t theirs. We had to go get him and bring him home before we could take off with the trailer. We pulled into the neighbors corrals and nothing was there. We called to see where this bull was supposed to be. North of the house they said. We went to the house and there was a barn to the north, but not even a road to it much less cattle being worked. We called again trying to figure out what in the world was going on. Finally they added a rather important piece of information. They weren’t working cows at their house but over at their pasture. That little bit of info would have helped from the beginning.

Once we got him home and put out with the horses that would be staying there we were able to load our horses and get going. Down to a friends to pick up a horse we got to borrow for the weekend. She had been standing patiently most of the morning tied to a trailer. She walked right onto the trailer and we were off. Again.

We made Chadron for a late lunch then off towards the fort. Again. It was hot. We pulled into the campground at the wood reserve to find it packed. Loads of big living quarters trailers were squeezed in so tight we could barely make the turn around them. I was muttering grouchily about them when I realized, I knew them!! It was my good friend Kay and her riding group.  That didn’t make me so grouchy after all.

I have millions of pictures so I will try to tell the rest of the story through them.

Category: Family, Horses  One Comment

End Of Wheat Harvest ’18

I haven’t been on here for a very long time. Far longer than I ever intended it to be. We, well, we got busy and the summer slipped away. I have to make note of when they harvest wheat though and that is done and over with so I better write something about it!

It was a fairly late harvest and still wet and hard to get to with that. They started in on the neighbors wheat on July 11th and finished up on the 26th. It’s been a really wet year. It rained all the way through while they tried to squeeze in between showers and fight through wet wheat and green weeds. The kids are getting big enough to enjoy going along and not have to sit in the combine the whole time. They loved playing in the grain trailers with Jack, riding in the semis, and also napping in the combine. The Goblin Child and I made use of combine time, sending 8 off with his father so we could get some riding done. She’s starting to get more comfortable on Coyote and Rusty is grown up enough to be useful ponying and helping them when needed.

8 had a little accident near the end of harvest. He was riding along in the semi. He had the misfortune of being leaning on the door when another kid opened it. The semi was stopped, his head broke his fall. He caught his head on the steps and it left a pretty good scratch on the back of his head but luckily he wasn’t hurt bad.

Of Cars And Deer

Did I mention that I hit a deer in the car? Totally smashed the front end. Traumatized the kids. Cemented my darling husbands hatred of deer. he had a few choice and enthusiastic words for the deer. He never once said anything to me about hitting it just the deer for existing. He’s so sweet.

It left us with a decision to make. Try to fix our beloved Buick or find a new one. A newer one of the same make and color that is. Thanks to our older Buick in the same make and color we decided to and were able to repair it instead of looking for a new one. My hard working husband took the radiator and air-conditioning something something that had been destroyed by the deer off. Then he removed them from the old Buick, along with the hood. The old/new parts went on the newer old Buick and it was able to drive to the place to get the body work done.

The old hood hardly had any paint left on it but it wasn’t smashed. The front quarter panel was crumpled in the front corner. He straightened that out and painted everything. Now we have our Buick back, as good as new!

 

 

 

Category: Family  2 Comments

Proud Parent Moments

It ranks right up there with taking their first steps. I am so excited that I was able to get it on video! The Goblin Child opened her first gate horseback! She had been watching us, Coyote and  I, do it and we had talked about how she would be able to someday. We had ridden through this gate yesterday and I told he it was an easy one to unlatch, in one way really hard because it’s in a corner though.

We got to go sort the bulls out of the cows today. She got to come along on Princess Onna. Off the lead rope even! She’s been doing so good I thought we could try it. Princess Onna always got overly excited when she and Tanna moved cows together so I was hesitant to let he try it on her own. But she’s been good about it with The Goblin Child so they got to go loose today.

After doing a wonderful job of helping, while poor 8 watched from the four wheeler, she wanted to go for a ride. We went up the lane to go out in the pasture. She walked ahead of us to the gate declaring her intent. I was thrilled to let her try and hurried to get my camera ready. It took a few tries to get lined up and bent into that corner but she stuck with it and together they managed to get it! What very good girls, the both of them.

 

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.

Christmas Letter

This has been a busy year. It’s also been a great year full of fun exciting things and so much growth for the children. Looking back I can’t believe how much they have changed since last year!

January: The Goblin Child got to go with her loving father and experience Ice fishing. They caught tons of fish. She loved it! Gus learned how to climb out of his crib, he got to graduate to a toddler bed. My hard working husband plowed all the snow in the driveway from the Christmas blizzard into a great sledding hill behind the house. It provided great entertainment until it melted.

February: Most of the snow melted and I have pictures of the kids playing out side in only a diaper, 8, and no coat, T.G.C. Then it snowed more. We celebrated 8’s birthday at the bouncy houses.

March: The Goblin Child was loving preschool. I started serving on the library board.

April: We got the potatoes planted in the garden! We also went to Missouri to see Grandma. The Goblin Child and 8 loved it, They’re crazy about their grandma. We all loved Silver Dollar City and seeing Grandma, Grammy and Different Papa, and playing with their cousins. T.G.C. got her first driving lesson from her brave father while we were hauling cattle to pasture. Everybody survived!

May: We got baby chicks for the kids to raise. They spent lots of time playing with them trying to get them calmed down and made into pets. It may have backfired, the chicks were terrified! T.G.C. was a big hero, she found our cat with a baby bunny she had just captured and saved the bunny. All by herself, what a good girl. We finished planting the garden. And discovered that rats had eaten the entire inside of the combine!

June: With school out for the summer and the pool open the children and I spent most days swimming. If not at the pool then at my personal favorite, the lake, wading in the warm water. The garden was growing by leaps and bounds, we documented the pumpkin vines growing six inches overnight!

July: The summer really started to get busy! The library started our summer reading program. Once a week the library filled with children for reading and a craft. It was great but exhausting. My hard working husband spent the early part of the month frantically reconstructing the wiring in the combine. One hundred and seventy five connectors and what seemed to be miles of wire later the combine ran on the first try and made it through wheat harvest! My whole family made it out to visit us. We camped at Fort Robinson with my parents then spent the fourth with my brother and his family. It was good to see them all!

August: We celebrated T.G.C.’s fifth! Birthday at the bouncy houses. Notice a trend here? She’s getting so big. We went to a little rodeo with a friend, T.G.C. and 8 both participated. T.G.C. a little more enthusiastically. 8 wanted to play on tractors. They both did well and had fun. Their loving father received a much deserved thank you for all the help he gives at school and around the community in a slight roast from the PEO. It was fun and funny and he was caught totally unaware by it. It was perfect.

September: The Goblin Child started back to her second year of preschool. She loves it and was so excited to get to go and play with her friends again. 8 and I enjoyed riding out to meet the school bus on the horses to bring her home afterwards.

October: Both got to go through their first haunted house. They loved it! No nightmares here, kids after my own heart. We had our usual pumpkin carving party, kids and pumpkins everywhere! When Halloween finally came we went trick-or-treating a few different times, can never have enough of that. The Goblin Child was the most beautiful vampire ever, or princess, or whatever she decided she was at the last minute, while 8 made a wonderful ghoul.

November: Once again we hiked into the back woods to pick the perfect Christmas tree. This years is wonderful. It may also be bigger than our house. We got all got to travel to Kearney with my hard working husband for work. We took advantage of the hotel swimming pool, saw Fort Kearney, and explored the archway. It was so nice to be able to go with him.

December: We went with friends on a little winter vacation up to Rapid city to see the lights at story book island, eat, shop, and, of course, swim! We also ended up ice skating downtown, which turned out to be the, my, favorite activity on the trip. The kids liked the slide at the hotel pool best. we got to enjoy T.G.C.’s preschool Christmas program, She made a wonderful mother choosing a Christmas tree.  The Goblin Child also made a wonderful Mary at the Christmas eve service at church this year. She and Joseph had been practicing hard and did a wonderful job of remembering their lines. 8 had been vetoed as the Christmas dragon and made a wonderful wiseman instead. He sauntered jauntily up the aisle and also did a great job in his roll. We were lucky to be joined for the Christmas eve service by my second cousin who was in town for Christmas to see her in-laws. We are always happy to see her when she’s around and it was so nice to have her come with.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Category: Family  One Comment