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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!

 

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.

 

SnowMan

I have a lot of catching up to do. Lots of things to catch up on. I will go back and fill in the blanks, hopefully.

We got lots of snow yesterday and the day before. Not as much as the big snow but worse than the foot of snow we got a week or so ago.

Today the sun was out again. The calves seem to mostly be ok but the children are going stir crazy.

So, they built a snowman. With their fathers help. It was a good snow man. Big and sturdy.

Then I had the bright idea that they could paint it! I mixed up some food coloring in water and grabbed some brushes. They started painting. It was a it challenging figuring out just how to go about it but they soon had the technique down. Making sure to use up all of the colored water they painted it up pretty.

That thing is freaky. Now I’m scared to go to sleep. It’s outside the window looking at us!

 

Family Vacation

I don’t have any pictures to go with this unfortunately. Guess I was too busy having fun.. Or something.

We had talked about going up to Rapid and spending the night for quite awhile now. First we were going to go before Christmas but that never worked out. Then we were going to go for 8’s birthday. The first attempt at that didn’t work out, so we tried again. We were going to stay the night, swim at the hotel, swim at Watiki, and do stuff.

I said that maybe we should shorten that a little. Perhaps we could just go up and do Watiki? The weather was looking decent. Snow, but not lots and relatively warm. So we went. I had been looking up hotels and Watiki on the internets. We got the feeding done and rushed to get up there in time for lunch.
HuHots was as delicious as always. The kids were even marginally well behaved! The Goblin Child loaded up on noodles and black beans. It didn’t seem to matter the sauce. As long as she was eating for once I guess it doesn’t matter how odd the food.

It was there that my poor husband who had never been thrilled about the trip to start with discovered that Watiki didn’t open until four that evening.

There we were finishing up lunch shortly after twelve with the hope of heading home around four. This made our plans a little more difficult. I hadn’t done my research very well. I had looked and looked at their website to make sure they were really open and see what all was included before we came up. It had never occurred to me that they wouldn’t be open all day and no hours had been evident. Great.

So we shopped. We went to the book store and introduced the children to the joys it help within. It was nice to see them enthralled. We looked at RV’s and all the accompaniments to see what is available to furnish the school bus someday. We went to Cabella’s before it turns completely to BassPro. The children were amazed by the taxidermy on display and we got fudge. Lots of delicious fudge. Finally it was late enough to head to the pool.

It was a Thursday evening in the middle of winter. I hoped we would have the place mostly to ourselves. It was packed! Probably it really was mostly empty compared to when tourist season is in full swing. There is NO way I would set foot in the place then. The toys were great. The kids ran off and climbed, sprayed, and slid for quite awhile as we sat watching, hoping it could go on like that. Of course it couldn’t.

Soon they wanted to explore beyond the kids playground.

We went down water slides, floated around the lazy river, and, finally, found a warm pool to heat up in. There were floating pads under a climbing net for them to run across. Over and over and over again. The Goblin child having been down one slide and deciding she didn’t like it wanted to spend the rest of the day there. 8 was more adventurous. He liked the slides and wanted to go again and again.

During all of this more and more people were coming in. Gross disgusting people. Half naked men¬† with huge man boobs. Bulging women scantily covered with clothing but well decked out in tattoos. Everyone was covered in tattoos and hair. Ugly cheap looking tattoos. If you’re going to get something drawn on you that is going to last for the rest of your life wouldn’t you want to save up and invest in a decent one?

The worst thing was that we were all soaking in the same water. It touched them and then touched me. I don’t seem to be able to go out in public anymore. I can’t handle being that much together with people.

Food and beer were also allowed! The gross people were eating in and around the water. Even better.

We finally dragged the kids out and went to get more food before driving home. Strangely enough Perkins has become a favorite when we get to Rapid. We ate way too much breakfast for supper then brought the kids cookies and a piece of french Silk pie for me home with us to finish up when we weren’t so full.

The trip home was made through snow covered roads and fog. I hated it but was assured that they weren’t as bad as it seemed. 8 was sound asleep before we got out of Rapid. The Goblin Child made it slightly farther. Both of them slept all the way home so we got to listen to our book. They stayed asleep when we carried them in and we followed suit as quickly as we could.

It was a fun trip despite my various mistakes. I will not be pushing for another one any time soon.