Rodeo!

There were two shows this weekend. I had planned on making it a really busy weekend and making them both.
The kids refused to even try to ride and were making me insane trying to get them on a horse.
I gave up on that and said that if they didn’t want to I wasn’t going to force them and I would go play with my horse instead.
I really needed that after the maddening attempts at riding with children.
In the end I decided to skip the actual show. With the horses at least. I wasn’t going to miss it altogether just because of these rotten children. I wanted go visit with friends!
Once we got there I wished so badly that we had brought the horses. It was a small relaxed sort of show, not the fancy, strict type that the kids were NOT ready for. They could have done this one.
I got to visit with Andrea a little and talk horse/clicker training while she judged trail. Rebecca was too busy working to be much fun. The horses were all fun to watch and the weather not too hot.
The next day we went to a little kid rodeo. It was also a perfect one for them. This time I had ignored their desires and brought horses.
Even if they didn’t want to ride I could get my horses out and about and used to being in public. Extra training never hurts.
Once I had everyone saddled, I brought ALL the horses, the kids wanted on and to go play!
It’s a great little rodeo. No fuss. No entries. No placing. Just kids out playing on their horses.
A friend of ours met us there and helped with horses and kids. She rode Smoke and ponied Rusty or I rode Rusty and ponied Smoke while we lead kids around. There were goats, kids roping dummies, horses running all over the place, the general chaos that it does horses so good to get used to. They were both great.
Hieldorf had to wait in the trailer. I don’t have enough saddles for everyone and I haven’t spent enough time with him to really mess with him out and about. He stood quietly with no screaming or pawing though. What a good boy.
I did saddle Harvey with some thought to letting my daughter ride him. We ran out of time and didn’t get to see what he was like in the arena first so we didn’t try it. I did get to pony him around though and when it was all over our friend, Taya, got on him and I ponied them around. They were both great. Harvey didn’t bat an eye at anything and Taya was very brave on such a green horse. He didn’t give her any reason not to be though.
After the rodeo there was also a hay scramble? Not sure what it was called but they threw change into a bucket filled with hay and turned the children loose to dig for it. Between that and the treat bags they handed out talk about good positive reinforcement for the children. A perfect way to reward them all for a job well done.
On the way home my children started asking when the next show was! They loved it and wanted to do it again!
Yesterday, small rotten children, the last show was yesterday, that you did not want to go to, remember? ūüôĄ
Oh well, maybe next year ūü§£

 

The River

A friend invited us to go play in the river. It was one of the few really hot days we’ve had this summer and the invitation sounded wonderful.

After searching a bit for the perfect spot we found one on a neighbor of the friends. They had mowed a nice parking spot along side the road so obviously it was a favorite of theirs and easy to see why. A small waterfall tumbled gently over some rocks adding interest so a wide sandy bank perfect for kids to not drown on.

I didn’t have my swimsuit on and didn’t intend to get too wet at first. If I only waded up too my knees I could play with the kids without getting soaked. That didn’t last long though. Who could resist that beautiful water. The kids wanted to play at the base of the waterfall and it got really deep there. With many little hands clinging to me and begging to go deeper I was soon as soaked as they were.

The Goblin  Child is getting big and brave. She liked to jump off the rocks around the rapids into the swirling water to go under and float down  stream. Watching her disappear under the water was terrifying requiring a deep breath of relief every time she did actually surface again downstream.

8 learned that he could jump off too. Once he got brave enough to let go of my hand he spent lots of time leaping and climbing and float off downstream. Above water at least, not near as scary for me.

Hopefully we will get to go back again before summer ends!

 

Kids Horses

We haven’t done a lot of riding this summer. Life gets busy and horses get¬† pushed to the back burner.

When we do get a chance though, the kids are doing great! Mom¬† sent Smoke out so they could have a good older dependable horse to ride and he is working great for them. I’m not as good at getting kids horses but my young untrained horse I got them isn’t doing so bad either.

 

Smith Lake

The Goblin Child has been hard at work helping her father get the computers ready for the up coming school year. She is amazingly good help and takes after her father in her skill with these things. 8 not so much, not yet.

After she put inn a hard morning 8 and I picked her up and we went looking for new places to play. There is a small dam off deep inn the sandhills that I thought would be fun to visit.

It was nice, very secluded and pretty. No beaches or even just a place where they could play yin the water though. There was a small playground. Squeezed between the highway and the waters edge it should have been cramped and tight. Instead the thrill of swinging out over the water and the road being nearly deserted made it quaint and quite enjoyable. We watched schools of minnows dart through the shallows, spooking from the children as they laughed and frolicked. It was cool and breezy in the shade of huge old cotton wood trees, their cotton drifting down around us.

Hopefully we can make it back again someday.

 

The First Car Wash Of The Season

The first car wash of the season.
More to get the mud out of the wheels and make driving bearable than to get the cars clean. That is hopeless, they will be dusty and dirty again in no time. As soon as we move them now, as they sit in puddles of mud.
As I try to wash an inches thick coating of mud caked into the the wheel wells, water runs down the drive leaving a muddy stream in its path.
There in the mud, are the children.
They started out helping me wash. Who would have thought so much help would make cleaning so much harder?
Soon they abandoned me, much to my distress, and sought the cool of the mud.
There they stayed, shrieking in joyous abandonment.
To them a storm upstream was sending floodwaters down to burst their dam.
To them disaster approached and they must hold back the torrent, fighting it with all they had. They honed their engineering skills, mixing mud and grass to form a stronger building material. After several failures, they found the shape and design of dam that held up better to the strain.
The work ethic displayed made me smile and made me proud as she reprimanded her brother. Now is not the time to play with tractors. Now is the time for work. We need to get this dam built up before the flood breaks it!
They played together, brother and sister who spend so much time fighting.
And the mud. They got mud up to their eye brows, in all their cracks and crevasses. They rolled in it, they wallowed in it. They rejoiced in it and so did I. Their laughter mad it hard concentrate on my job. I kept stopping to watch and enjoy the small muddy trail of water with them.
Such great joy from such a small thing.

 

Year Of The Fort

The Goblin Child, 8, and the cousins have been busy at work all summer building a fort. A coupe of forts really. They are turning the dump into a shanty town.

One is an  old stock rack that they put some boards over to make a bit of a roof. It has a seat and looks a bit like a building.

The other is much more creative.

There are many thing involved not the least of which is a cement block balanced precariously on a crushed rolled up tank holding their roof on. It kept falling down.¬† The roof, not the cement block. Luckily. Everyday they were resetting it. Redesigning. Now they have decided to set some posts. It might make it a little sturdier. If nothing else it gets rid of the cement block. But the posts aren’t even enough for their roof to sit flat on. Carpentry is not their strong point.¬† I’m sure they will come up with some ingenious plan to solve that problem though.

As much as snakes, spiders, rusty nails and falling cement blocks scare me, I love to see them out playing, building things with  their hands, solving problems and being creative. I will insist they wear boots and take them to get tetanus shots if needed and let them roam free.

 

over their heads to hold a roof on.

Scaling The Mountain

It was a beautiful  early summer day. The weather had finally warmed up, a little. Not so much it was hot, but pleasantly cool.

We went to the park.

We climbed on rocks, trees, cliffs,¬† and toys. There was water coming out of the spring for the first time we’ve ever seen. The Goblin Child loves to climb trees. She tried to climb every one that had a bit of a slant or branches she could reach. They ran around as fast as they could trying to take everything in. Once they had covered most of the ground there we went to my favorite playground.

It sits at the top of the hill. The slide seems like it will send you flying all the way down the hill. Above it perches a rock outcropping. There’s a trail leading up to it. This time I convinced the kids to try to climb it with me.It was steep. Going up wasn’t bad though and there wasn’t a whole lot of poison ivy. The trail led to the very base of the rock cliffs. We were surprised to find a ladder carved into the side of the cliff, hand holds dug out of the rock. We did NOT climb it.

Our path went on over ridges and along the edge of cliffs. After spending some time  looking over the edge it was time to climb back down. Down was harder than up. The beloved much fought over stick became a terrifying liability, threatening to stab the child who had won possession of it when they slid down the steep bank onto it. On our butts we scooted down the trail. Miraculously we made it too the bottom avoiding poison  ivy and stabbing or crashing to the bottom.

It was a grand adventure. Maybe next time we can follow the trail farther.

 

Death Of The Chicks

So.
We’ve been running a lot of cows through the chute lately. Trying to adopt calves onto cows.
It’s been a rough spring this has gone on a lot this year.

Once early on there was one chicken egg I found laid in the chute. I picked it up and set it aside so it wouldn’t get broken. The next morning there were three eggs!
The chickens were loose and I decided it was possible that three of them had laid there over night. Or maybe the kids had put the first one back?

Now again last night we ran a cow in to let her, adopted, calf nurse. It was late. There were NO eggs!

I caught the chickens shortly after that and put them in their chicken tractor. We are one hen short. She has been acting broody and we’ve left her to do her own thing.
This morning when I went to put the cow in the chute there were six eggs! All exactly the same color and texture, not slightly different like they would be from different chickens. All nestled up against the pile of cow poop left behind from the night before. I know they hadn’t been there!
With only one hen loose and only over night to do it in how in the world did we get six eggs laid in the chute!!!

After the last time we moved the eggs from the chute our chicken stopped putting them there. Many people suggested that she could have been picking them up and moving them there. I would never have believed it, but it is the only theory that makes sense.

We had collected the eggs them left them sitting in the basket. we have quite a backlog of eggs and I didn’t want to put them in the fridge not knowing how old they were. But I never thought any more about it.

Then I found a dead chick in the chute.

It had hatched. It was dry and fluffy and looked like it had been up and about.

I started to worry about what had been in those eggs.

If there had been chicks in them they would be dead already. They were sitting in the back porch in the basket. It’s been cold out. If there were chicks we had already killed them.

I told The Goblin Child to take them out and get rid of them. Maybe see if there was anything in them while she did.

But take them far away from the house!

If there were dead chicks the kids might as well get a biology lesson out of it.

Sure enough. Inside each egg was a perfect little chick. Nearly fully formed and very much dead already.

Now our driveway, not so far from the house, is strewn with chick bodies and egg splatters everywhere.

Still no sign of the hen or any other chicks.

 

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Preschool Graduation

8 had his preschool graduation and ice cream social. He had fun on stage making funny faces but at least he quit trying to leave.

After we had eaten all the ice cream we could we drove home. In snow. Lots of snow. Over four inches by morning. In the end of May.

 

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