Posts from the ‘Family Life’ Category

Don’t let the pics fool ya …

Do any of you ever wonder why some bloggers seem to have the perfect spouse, children, job, home, and well, life just in general?  I do not.  I used to, but I do not anymore.  I know how some make their own life experiences appear picture perfect on their blogs, when in reality they are some of the most unhappy folks.

I pray that my blog shows truth – in how we live, struggles and all.  We have ups and downs, make mistakes, now and then make awesome decisions, are at times healthy and other times really sick.  Our family strives to honor and glorify Him.  A lot of the time we do this.  A lot of the time we fail miserably.  I dearly love my children, but I don’t always like them or the decisions they mistakenly carry out.  I seem to forget that I was once pre-teen and trying to find myself.  I am a terrific mother, yet at times I am the worst and this fact breaks my heart.  FarmerM and I don’t always have the best marriage as we struggle over some of the same issues other married couples struggle with.

I want to be sure that it is clear to any reader here that we have faults – better known as sin in the Bible, maybe differing from yours, but we have them and are trying to change our lives from the-inside-out through Him

I would like for the really honest bloggers to know how much I appreciate their truthfulness in how they share their family and work related struggles, as well as their joys in this life.  I appreciate lessons learned, reminders passed on, prayers to lift up, and the knowledge that I am not in this alone.  Thank you!

On this note, I have pics to share from our Labor Day weekend.  It looks as if our family is well and we’re having a blast.  At times we were having fun, in spite of still feeling week and tired.  We needed this weekend.  But the fun took a toll too.  I shared with a German Baptist friend how we have been feeling for the last week, and before I could even utter what I thought it was we had, she beat me to it by proclaiming, “Oh!  You all have had the flu that’s going around Miami County.”  Really?  I honestly felt as if we had the flu, but I hadn’t heard of it starting up yet, and I was hesitant to even mention this nasty, three lettered word this early in the season.  She drives a bus for a local government school district and apparently the flu is already making its rounds.  *sigh*

To date, Giddy-upG is still feeling terrible.  She is literally green, so stuffy, and still feverish now and then.  All she wants is a mama.  BirderB is feeling better, more herself.  Same for me.  And anymore the two of us feeling healthy also means less compassion (I guess) for the other, and the  teen-years fighting.  I do not know if she and I will survive this.  I miss my daughter, I miss my younger B.  It’s not that I do not want her to grow up, I do and strongly believe a parent’s job is to train their child to be prepared for the world and ready to let them go.  Lately though, I have wondered about God’s sense of humor … when I was blissfully pregnant it was the most beautiful experience.  I loved growing our daughters and feeling them move inside me.  I loved thinking about meeting them for the first time.  What would it be like?  I loved daydreaming about what their/our lives would be like, and the perfect mama I would be (hahahahaa).  I just really loved it all, including the attention too.  And then around nine months, I equally loved the thought of birth as I couldn’t wait to get that ten-pound bowling ball out of me.  I was no longer afraid of labor and delivery, I couldn’t wait for it to happen so that I could have some relief.

Ironically, I now find myself feeling somewhat similar to that last thought above as we start down the road of the teen years.  Do any of my conservative Christian readers have a good ‘raising your teen’ book to recommend?  Please!  If not, I’d still appreciate prayers.  Thank you!

I imagine we have helped to spread the flu locally here this year.  I do apologize.  Enjoy the pics of our time at Pine Lake Waterpark in Berne, IN, and our outing to Ft. Rowdy in Covington, OH.

Happy belated Labor Day, Readers!

In Him ~

Homesteader Sandi

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Now they’re trying the 10′ diving board!  Here goes Giddy-upG …

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… BirderB is thinking about it …

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… and she jumps!

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Here they are checking out the 20′ dive with g’paJ.  Do they do it?

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g’pa J goes for it!!  This is one cooooool g’pa!  I can’t think of anything this man won’t do!  🙂

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hahahaa!  LOOK at the expression on G’s face!

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No, the 20′ dive is too scary.  I guess that means the 30′ is out too.  Instead, they all head for the zip-line.  I will admit that it took me a long while to build up my courage to do the zip line – that first step off is challenging, yet once I did – man, it was F.U.N!!!!

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Mama going down!

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We took some rests, had lunch tailgating in the parking lot, and then BirderB and I explored together – we rode all the waterslides, she dunked me good on the teeter-totter, and then we enjoyed some more zip lining.  All this while, Giddy-upG was sneaking off building up her courage to do this –

20′ Dive!  There she goes!  She jumped 4 times!

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In the pic above, you can also see the 30′ dive.  I will admit that I went up to the 10′ and 20′ and there is absolutely no way I could do either.  Peering over that edge on the 20′ made my tummy roll and hands feel clammy.  It just isn’t natural to jump from such a height.  Have I ever disclosed my fear of heights?!

Here are random pics to preserver memories and share the park with you, the reader!

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It was a quiet ride home needless to say!  Fun in itself can be exhausting, but when you’re not feeling 100% the exhaustion is taken to a whole new level.  The girls slept until noon the next day.  Yes, we missed church again.   Let’s hope this isn’t becoming a theme/habit.

FarmerM’s back was still bothering him, actually after sitting in the car to and from the lake it had gotten worse.  Sadly, he didn’t participate in anything at the lake and this was an adventure right up his alley.  Next year, daddy-o!  As he woke up in more pain, he stayed home on Sunday as us girls ventured off to find out what Ft. Rowdy is all about.  It is a period-gathering that is historically accurate in dress and camp (a mountainman encampment) depicting a bustling, small trading village set in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s in this community.  The smell of the open fires was wonderful!  There is homemade food, arts, and crafts, as well as games for young and old alike, and live entrainment.  I enjoyed hearing the blue-grass and some gospel music while walking around.

One of the first things the girls did was a rock-wall climb.  They’ve been wanting to do this all summer but the price is outrageous.  Well, it was $5 here and they got two chances to show what they could do.  Both times they reached the very top, rang the bell, and propelled down!  Next we tried our hand at tin punching – this was so much fun!  Finally, we checked out the trading post, crossed the river into the encampment and just meandered around looking at wares and talking with the folks in period dress.  BirderB expressed an interest in getting involved in something like this –  we’ll see.  I was really tired and noticed later that I didn’t get any great shots of the people dressed up, but I hope you enjoy the few that I post here.

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This one made me laugh!!  It’d be easy to make!  B feels this sign basically means ‘no boys’ – keep thinking that, B!!  🙂

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Something Whimsical

This has been a tough week, no doubt.

Our homeschool (officially) started this week and just has not gotten off on a positive note, mainly because of illness.  And the illness continues as the girls are still slightly feverish.  To make matters worse, FarmerM’s back went out a few days ago and he is experiencing excruciating pain.  We are not getting enough sleep in our home lately.  When you wonder what else …

… colic.

THAT one word, five little consonants, can send deep fear down an equine owner’s spine.  Giddy-UpG’s horse, FiFi started to colic early Tuesday evening.  We had to get the vet out here quickly.  Fi had every colic symptom and if you’d like a quick overview, you can read about colic here.  I love our vet, and Dr. H stayed with us way past dark after examining, diagnosing, tubing & flushing Fi.  I am leaving out some things, and trust me you do not want to know it all, but it was hard to watch.  Fi is doing much better and if G feels like it tomorrow, I’m going to allow her to ride.

There have been bright notes in our week … I am especially reminded that if I lean on Him and keep a good humor about myself, I can carry my load and so much more.  Not everything will be finished, nor completed at my level of standards; yet for all intents and purposes, life is running smoothly believe it or not!  And truthfully, our homeschool is still happening, the girls are completing their lessons on their own accord without me asking them to.  Honestly, I’d feel too badly to ask them to try to learn while dealing with a fever, but they get bored and I will catch them doing work!

Then today I see something dredged up that has been happening in the homeschool community for well over a year.  HSLDA is now involved and though I fully support HSLDA and am a proud member, I really believe they did a disservice for homeschoolers.  I read and hear more and more how the anti-Christ mentality is winning, it is just a sad fact.  I recently posted these words on my blog, ‘our world is becoming darker and darker.’  Thankfully I know the end outcome and that Christ IS VICTORIOUS.  If something stark ever happens to me it will be because I believe in and will stand up for the absolute truths in the Bible.  That does not make me an extremist.  That does not make me a legalist.  It DOES make me a Bible believing and professing Christian wife, mother, homeschooler, friend, neighbor.  I will not conform.

To lighten the mood, us girls searched for something online today.  Here is what we found.  It is cute, catchy, and whimsical.  Yes, we do listen to other types of music beside Christian … we love classical music.  We enjoy some contemporary Christian.  Now and then I’ll hear something from the 80s when scanning the radio station and the lyrics and beat (gasp) will take me back to my waaaay younger days and guess what?  I will find myself so thankful for where I am today in my walk with Him.  Don’t repeat this, but I also like bluegrass!!  The girls and I even like some country … the good country.  And that is where we ended up today.  This song has prompted one daughter to get up and draw … she drew a picture of herself singing this song while also riding her horse in the same pic – now that is talent!  So please, enjoy Raelynn’s ‘God Made Girls’  here (I apologize for the Mike’s Harder ad … terrible).  Also, here is a warning:  there is a lot of skin in this video and some will be offended.  I am posting for the lyrics … we like them!  This song actually prompted a conversation about us girls being the boys helpmeet and how that is not sexist, it is Biblical.  Our oldest was concerned with the line about flirting and I agree with her, but also pointed out that one day she will blow a boy’s mind and it probably will start with some innocent flirting.  Then they may court and he’d better hold that door for her!!

To continue in the moment, we talked about what we’re doing this holiday weekend.  This Labor Day will be the first that we have ever taken since we started homeschooling and here is how we are celebrating:

Saturday we have been invited by g’pa J and grammy to go here!  After church on Sunday, we are going to try to meet up with granddad and granny here!  Both of these adventures will be a first for our family.  I have talked with a  lovely lady who helps out at the Gathering, and next year both of our girls are entering an art contest, B will enter into the cookie contest, and G the pie contest.  This year we are just going to check it out and enjoy it.  Besides, I already had lessons planned for Friday and the outing on Saturday, so we aren’t prepared to enter a baking contest this late in the game!

Thanks for stopping by – I hope you enjoyed our visit!  And I sincerely pray that your week has been much better than ours!

In Him ~

Homesteader Sandi

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Discoveries …

Here are a few life discoveries I’ve recently experienced:

When the kids are sick, it does not matter what the date on the calendar says, school isn’t going to run smoothly if I push it.  There are a certain number of teaching/learning hours we are to do in order to be compliant with Ohio law.  In the last 5 years I have noticed we typically go over this amount on average by 30%!  Have I learned anything for this over-achievement?  Do I slow down?  Exactly whom am I teaching for … God and His will for our children or the liberal-bureaucrats?  Yes, like it or not this is a political issue … read here to begin educating yourself, and please become versed in what is happening with the education system of this country.

According to my actions of the last two days, I am apparently bowing down to the liberal agenda, as if they have any iota of an idea as to what is beneficial for my children!  Monday did not go so well.  My first clue should have been when Giddy-upG was being so negative about everything.  This is a go-get-’em-with-all-ya-have kind of child.  The second missed clue was when I was still doing arithmetic with her at 2:00.  This child is gifted and math is an easy subject for her.  But I missed it.  Aaaaannnd, I still didn’t get it when we were at it again (math) at 4:30, her embarrassed and me frustrated.  This scenario is so unusual for her.  It wasn’t until later when I realized her sniffles were now accompanied with a fever and pale complexion.  Unfortunately, I played the role of teacher before being a graceful mama.  I am so sorry, Lou.   It wasn’t an ideal first day.

Today has gone better, but not by much.  I have been gentler and more upbeat.  Giddy-upG did really well today, in spite of sneezing her head off and taking breaks here and there and then resting in her room for 3 hours.  BirderB however, well we had a huge blow-up.  Ugh.  The pre-teen emotions, with my guilt and focus … let’s just say that if today could have been packaged, it would have been under the ACME Co. label (hahahaha … remember Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote?!).  Everything is better now and relationships have been mended.  BirderB has since taken some ibuprofen as she has a headache and sore throat.  *sigh*  I should have known.  I feel like a terrible mom.  On a positive note, they chose to get up early and were finished with school by lunch!!  This year they are moving on, not waiting for one another in each subject as they have done in years past.  They each are able to meet with me separately and are delighted with their new schedule.  Maybe tomorrow I will be more with it and be the mama and teacher my wonderful daughters deserve!  🙂

Have you discovered that you like to eat your way through difficulties in life?  If so, is your first choice chocolate?  My answers are yes, and YES!!  I especially LOVE fudge.

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Do any of you remember a post I made about two years or so ago regarding a neighbor who popped in bringing fudge her husband had made?  Oh, it was so delicious!  It was perfect!  I am so desperate to have this fudge, that I am not above calling this family to ask if Mr. B would possibly make more for us.  The problem is though both of our families moved out of the historic neighborhood we lived in at the time.  As you know we moved to a farm in another community, and they moved to St. Lois, MO!  Since then I have tried my hand at making this delicious candy.  I like the old fashioned, grainy, almost dry fudge.  I can not stand the creamy stuff.  Yuck.  And here is where I admit to a second discovery as of late … I STINK at making fudge.  I mean, I really stink at it!  I’m not a terrible cook, or baker.  I’m not afraid to try new recipes or even make up my own.  Yet for some reason I can not get the hang of making this desirable candy.  And this year at fair I didn’t dare purchase Becky’s Fudge as we couldn’t afford it.  I am so tempted by this candy, that I didn’t even walk past the vendor selling it at fair.  I am that bad.  Well, yesterday and today have had their trials understandably.  And once again I (stubbornly) decided to try to make fudge.  What made me think I could do it this time?  A simple recipe I discovered in a Childcraft book dated from the 1930s.  Ha!  That did it!  All the recipe called for is water, suger, condensed milk, and unsweetened chocolate squares.  Sounds like it could be grainy as I love.  Out came the candy thermometer and buttered pans.  I had high hopes.  I just knew I would bless my family with fudge this evening!  Nope.  Not even sure what I did wrong this time … am wondering if I didn’t allow it to cook long enough.  I did proof it, I think.  Anyway, it is ‘setting’ up right now in the fridge.  I already know the consistency is all wrong, so if after dinner we do not have fudge, we do have a most delicious-tasting chocolate something-or-other that can be melted down and drizzled over ice-cream!  Hey, it is so HOT and HUMID here, this drizzled fudge-concoction over ice-cream just might be what is needed after all!!  A new discovery again!!

In my pursuit of mastering this, I have since googled old-fashioned fudge recipes.  I have my eye on this one from the Hillbilly Housewife.  What do you think?  I am not sure, but BirderB did laugh and call me a stubborn-ol’ mule when I told her I was going to try again!  Also, though I have not perused the website fully yet, I think I have discovered another blogger to follow!  Another new discovery!!

Life should be all about discoveries … some are delightful, and some are not.  Hopefully we are learning and growing from the not-so-delightful ones in order to still give Him all the glory.  Even if you completely fail and stink at making fudge!  🙂

In Him~

Homesteader Sandi

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We Survived 2014 …

… Miami County Fair!  And –

It was a lot of F.U.N. !!!

It was B.U.S.Y.  The girls participated in EVERYTHING this year.  And I mean everything!  Open contesting; Western Showmanship, Horsemanship, Pleasure; All Single Run Events (project contesting); English Showmanship, Hunt Seat Equitation, English Pleasure, Hunt Seat over Fences – both Equitation and Low Working Hunter.  Our girls are too young yet to participate in the Versatility, however we could on the fence and that is what B and I did with Lexie.  We were Team Lexie!  FarmerM was running back and forth between the office, fair, and home – we still had livestock and home that had to be taken care of.  Whew.

It was educational (we learned to never, ever, ever use an English horse in contesting events the day before English projects).  I also learned how to do a braided band for English.  It only took me 3 1/2 hours to complete FiFi’s mane.  Yes it did.  Thankfully I started and finished the night before.  I will be better prepared next year!

It was true teamwork between us as a family and with our horses, as well as with other 4Hers.

It was gratifying.  Both BirderB & Giddy-upG came home with ribbons, G with almost 20.  B and Cowgirl progressed and are continuing to be a work-in-progress (something is up with Cowgirl and she was a stinker at times.  B had her work cut out for her)- still, they won a handful of ribbons.  G and Fi hit their stride and placed in every single class, always in the top 3 out of 10, except for twice then it was 5th and a 7th.  Both girls tasted and enjoyed the fruits of their labor.  Working with and showing horses is not simply going out for a type of trail-ride.  At least it is not for our family.  There is quite a bit of training and commitment involved for both the rider and horse.  Horses are first and foremost animals too; this means they can be stubborn and sometimes dangerous.  And with all that said, B and (stubborn) Cowgirl walked away with a Reserved Champion placement in Western Horsemaship!  We are still not sure how this happened, but later the judged talked with me and shared her thoughts.  She liked how B handled her horse, even when Cowgirl was not wanting to do what she needed to do.  B never lost her temper, she was patient and kind with and had Cowgirl finish the pattern.  This Judge complimented B on her willingness to stick with it and not have a melt-down as she has seen others do (her words, not mine).  The judge finished with liking how Cowgirl looked and how she and B worked together.  She encouraged us to stay with it and to keep trying.  I wonder if she had any idea how much her words were like salve to a wound?!  G walked away with the 2014 Pole Bending Championship in her age division.  For this accomplishment, G also received a sweet trophy as well as a HUGE, flashy, and quite heavy belt buckle!  The ironic thing is these two were just goofing around.  Contesting is a fun, not serious, event for them.  It is the English awards G is after, more specifically Hunter Jumper.  English is held at the end of our fair and G was the only child under 17 (we think there may have been one other girl at 16, but are not sure) – G was 10 years old in June.  She was competing against the best jumpers in our county.  And she placed 2nd!!  This made her fair experience indescribable!

It was almost round-the-clock socializing!  We made a lot of new friends from various clubs this year, as well as catching up and visiting with older friends that we seem to talk with throughout the year (and see during horse shows), but only sit down and actually visit and spend time with during the fair.  These are families as busy as ours, so we all understand and are not thin skinned.  We shared a lot of wonderful memories with friends, and needless to say we were exhausted at the end of the week!  Our county’s fair theme is ‘Where Memories Are Made’ and our family can attest to the truth of this.  Thank you, Miami County Fair-Board!

Recovery has happened!  In the week that we have been home, we have unpacked and gotten our home into shape.  We have taken care of the ol’ homestead outdoors.  FarmerM and I wonder about questionable people watching properties during fair.  Ours sure looked abandoned, overgrown, and pretty much shouted out ‘break in here!  No one is around this week.’  *sigh*   I have finally caught up on laundry too.  I have also worked out most lesson-plans through December and am ready to start school on Monday!  And we have taken the time to simply rest.  I have found myself feeling badly for and wondering how government-school kids come off the craziness of fair and then start school a few days later.  We have been thankful for the much needed time between fair and homeschool officially starting.

It has rained.  Finally.  As I sit here typing, it is raining outside.  It is raining hard with thunder and quite a bit of lightening.  This is day two of rainy weather and   I am so grateful for it.  We badly needed this.  During fair we had some spurts here and there, but other than one good down-pour, nothing that truly watered our area.  Everything was dried to the point of being crisp.  Many things have died.  Deciduous trees are turning not because of coldness, but from dryness.  And it is not over yet – I have been told by this weekend and beginning of next week we are to see some record-breaking high temps.  Again, I am so thankful for the rain God has sent.

There are pics!  I will end this post with pics from fair – lots of pics from fair!  However, I also want to add that whether you know it or believe it, we serve a living, wonderful, all-powerful and loving God.  Our family had a wonderful experience this year, and many times I found myself thanking Him for all the fun and activities, but I was mindful to also thank Him for the safety of not only my own children and horses, but for all the other 4Hers.  Our Lord and Saviour is the only true and awesome Holy God.  His Presence was felt during trials of  a wee bit of drama this year and a stubborn horse.  I actually had a chance to pray with a younger 4H member and witness/stand up for my relationship in Him with an adult.  It was amazing!  Thank you, Lord.  To You be all the glory!

Thank you for taking the time in your day to stop by and read my simple blog – I hope you’ve enjoyed it and will be back.

In Him~

Homesteader Sandi

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Super Stars!

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Open Contesting!  This went on until 1:00a.m.  For the first time in 4 years we stayed up all through the night and into the morning for this event!  Hey, so did Grammy and her friend, Princess!!  It was a blast!  🙂

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Western Classes! Toughest day of fair for sure.  Starts early … I was up at 5:15a.m.

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Second Place!  Will now compete for the Championship!

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Wow!  Showing in a downpour!  Not fun, especially when your horse does NOT enjoy rain.

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Reserve Champion!

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Contesting project ~ the 2014 Pole Bending Champion is … Giddy-upG and Artfully Hot N Jazzy (FiFi)!  Check out that buckle!

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It is all English riding today …

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Huh?  What does Miss K’s t-shirt say …

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LOL!!  Leave it to Miss K!  She is a true Western rider!

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Accepting 2nd Place!

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BirderB and Mama (aka Homesteader Sandi – it’s me!)~  We were participating in the versatility class with our Miss Lexie before she goes off to college.

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And this is how English day is finished … with a dance at the end of the day held for all 4Hers.  We have a wonderful group of kids in Miami County!

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Last day of fair and it is fun day!  This is the day when kids can switch horses and compete in activities on horse-back!  So may the adults – advisers and parents alike.  Here is me riding a random horse (Cricket) in the ride-a-buck competition.  This horse is so way above my skill level … though I had fun, I rode terribly!  But did I say I had FUN?!!

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LOL!  Do I get any points for having the courage to leave this pic in?!  :0

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Balloon toss … time to get wet!  It sure was hot enough.  This activity was a welcome relief!

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G’s partner across from her is sitting on Fi’s Uncle!  How funny is that?!!!  They’re the tallest horses out there!

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Golf ball instead of egg … someone used their smarts!

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Sa-weeeet balance, B and Cowgirl!

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Time for the ribbon-race!  The young lady paired up with G has been a delight to get to know over the last few years at fair.  We look forward to seeing her every year.  And her horse, Fred (I call him Fabio!  This horse’s mane is in better condition and feels softer than my own hair!  LOL!) is so wonderful and a Saddle Seat Champion.

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Looky here … it’s a cowgirl on a Cowgirl!  Hahahaha … funny joke!

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A cowgirl taking a stubborn Cowgirl through pole-bending.  Smoothest pattern all fair for them.

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I first met this young lady over 6 years ago.  At the time she was younger than my youngest.  It has been fun getting to know her and her family over the years in and out of 4H.  Today this gal is now 15 years and over 6 ft. tall!  She has one of the biggest and funniest hearts I have ever met!  She gets along with everyone across club lines and like her mama, never gossips!  I love this family.  Liz just happened to be with us last evening as we picked her up from practice after school.  The rest of her family was dropping off her older sister, our Miss Lexie, at college!  sniffle, sniffle …

Looking good Liz and B!

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And speaking of Miss Lexie, she has an amazing barrel horse that she races, and wins with (a lot).  She is pretty protective of her horse and doesn’t let anyone ride him.  Well, shortly after B’s pole run above, we noticed Cowgirl was lame.  She had to be taken to the barn to be iced and untacked.  This left B without a horse to ride.  Guess what Lexie did?  Below is B on Trooper!  I think Miss Lexie was ok with this as she knew B wouldn’t open him up and take off!  Thank you, Lexie!!  We hope you’re enjoying your first full day as a college student.  We love and miss you (though we’ll see you soon!!)!

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woohooooo!  Go B and Trooper, GO!!

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Rescue race (a timed event) … this young lady and her horse, Biscuit, ROCK!  They are one of the fastest teams out there!  It was fun watching J and G participate – 1stt place!  Not surprised as these two are emerging as the biggest daredevils!

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Another rescue!  This young lady is new to 4H and she and her Palomino, Buttercup, are tearing it up already!  Go K and B!!  I think they were 2nd behind J and G above.

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And finally the sisters … they placed 3rd as B had a hard time getting up that high onto FiFi!  LOL!!

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This is just hysterical to me!

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And they’re off!!

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One last run with Trooper.  Did I mention he goes off to college with Lexie?!  Again, thank you, Lexie!

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And that was a peek into our 2014 fair.  Thank you for sharing it with us!!

The Countdown …

… to fair!  We’re not there yet, but will be in a few days.

We have been busy getting all things organized for fair!  Obviously this would include laundry, even if our washing machine has quit on us.  Yep!  Sometimes it feels like if we didn’t have bad luck, we’d have no luck!  For the first time in about 20 years I will be visiting a laundry-mat tomorrow!  Non-perishable food is bought and organized, and I’ll start precooking some meals over the next few days.  We, or I, have been busy in the barn getting all the horse tack, grooming supplies, and bedding taken care of.  This evening I am going to have the girls fill ziplock baggies with the individual horse’s required supplements and feed for 8 days, twice a day.

This year I created a calendar spread-sheet for all fair happenings that pertain to us or we have an interest in.  I remember last year running around barely making it to events on time, and letting down grandparents who wanted to know details – I have even emailed my spread sheet to them!  This spread sheet actually starts with Aug.1 and helps me keep track of what exactly we have to do and when.  For example, we had the ferrier out Friday morning, we had our club’s work-ride Friday evening (FarmerM took them so that I could grocery shop), Giddy-upG had her first big Hunter Jumper show all day Saturday while BirderB took off to Kentucky with Gpa and Gma E, we had a camper to pick up Sat. evening, today we are skipping church and finishing up and starting to load, Monday Cowgirl & Fi have to see a chiropractor (Cowgirl is so badly out of alignment, we found this out at another club’s work-rides we attend on Tuesdays.  Just a few weeks ago Cowgirl reared while BirderB was on her and she fell over backwards onto BirderB.  This could have been serious!  The other club’s advisor started working with our horse and discovered how much pain she is in and we believe this is why she has been acting out – this is not how our Cowgirl behaves.  We feel terrible that we didn’t even realize she was hurting and trying to tell us.  Tuesday we drop the camper off at the fairgrounds and are participating in the other club’s work-ride (I’m so hoping the girls will want to switch clubs next year), Wednesday evening we go in to decorate the stalls for fair, and early Thursday FarmerM is dropping us and the horses off for fair.  We have to have horses in by 10:00pm for vet check, and we’ll be there before 10:00 am!  FarmerM has a really big presentation for a private company that is 4 hours north, so he’s getting us settled and then taking off for this meeting for two days.  I also have all of the girls’ classes/projects and fun events typed out for fair.  I LOVE being this organized and I know it will help this year run more smoothly!  🙂

Speaking of stall decorating, we finished the stall boards.  These boards will be on the front of the horse’s stall while at fair (we’ll also use them for the homeschool art show).  We helped a little, but this year they really did a lot of the cutting, writing, and placements.  They turned out really nice!  Here are two pics:

This one is BirderB’s – Disney theme Pocahontas~

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This one is Giddy-upG’s – Disney theme Frozen~

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I have mentioned a camper above.  Thanks to some German-Baptist friends, we get to stay at fair in this and use their truck to pull it:

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It is kind of fun to look out and see this parked in our driveway!  This family has said FarmerM is like an adopted son to them, and we recently found out that when the dad of this family is asked how many children they have, he replies by saying four.  Three sons and one daughter.  Those who know him have raised an eyebrow and he says he has an adopted son!  LOL!  We knew they joked about this with us, but not for real and in public.  So, they have a lovely family picture of them, their children, and all the grandchildren hanging in the camper.  I have asked the wife if I may play a joke of my own.  After fair, the very next day this camper goes to one of their sons and daughter-in-law, and then four days later onto another campground where the parents, other family and German-Baptist friends are meeting up.  I plan to take a picture of FarmerM this week, cut it out and using folded over scotch tape, simply stick the cut-out of FarmerM ‘into’ the family pic!!  Mrs. W was cracking up … she can’t wait to see how long it takes R & A, as well as Mr. W to notice!  That’s my joke!  🙂

 

In addition to the crazy build-up of fair, I have also been busy in our homeschool classroom.  It is organized!  We are ready to officially start school August 25th.  I say officially as both girls are already almost half way through the 2014-2015 arithmetic curriculum, and has a great start on health too.  I have even planned out some subjects through the first week of December!  This feels nice, and the stress I at times feel in my shoulders and neck is not there.  Another stress that was taken care of was our assessment.  It went really well!  I am so thankful to Mrs. K for introducing us to Miss J!  It sure feels nice when a teacher says that she wants to come see us and go through curriculum when she and her husband begin to homeschool their young daughter!  She was impressed with the curriculum and the girls progression, and made a point of saying how well rounded our homeschool life is!

We have been to a lot of horse-shows lately.  Here are some recent pics from the last two.

Miami County Horse Advisor’s Show.  Here are quite a few (sorry) – notice the girls are now competing against each other.  This is difficult for all of us.  And during this show BirderB finally placed higher than her sister.  We had many comments (ahem, compliments) on how Giddy-upG handled it all with grace and maturity.  Giddy-upG is used to getting a lot of blue and red ribbons and on this day she and Fi were just off their mark.  We all have days like that!  Also, Giddy-upG shows in both English (her preference!  Only English for next year) and Western (check out her cute pic at the end!):

G and Fi on left, B and Cowgirl on right- one of several classes they competed in and against

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BirderB’s pattern

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Giddy-upG’s pattern

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Dayton Local Show Circuit – Trails End Equestrian.  Finally, here are pics from Giddy-upG’s first ever Hunter Jumper show.  This is her passion – jumping.  This is level-C/schooling show, not a big deal in the jumper world, but it is to us and the next step up from 4H.  This show was the first for her to reach her goal of jumping in the big-time show world!  Her horse’s grandsire is a National English Equitation Champion.  I think over the winter I need to find out if there are scholarships or donors, or something as later on we simply will not be able to afford to help her.  Next year she will join this circuit and compete and then we’re hoping to continue moving up the following years where the prizes can be cash and she’ll have to help us financially in this endeavor.  Yesterday was mostly blue and red (1st and 2nd), two whites (4th) and finally a BIG SURPRISE at the end!!

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The riders start out low on ground poles and work their way up.  Though Fi has been jumped pretty high at home, their technique isn’t quite down and so we didn’t allow them to jump their highest at this show.  I want to point out, Fi had never jumped until we bought her (she was only Western).  Giddy-upG has taught her herself, and now we have an instructor that G helps pay for with money she has earned mowing lawns over the spring and summer.

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I love this pic, FarmerM – aka ShowDad, with Giddy-upG!

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While BirderB was in KY attending a family reunion and enjoying meeting family I haven’t seen in 30+ years and exploring the Natural Bridge, she was also missing her sister win this.  In this circuit if you show in blocks (3 classes consecutive that concentrate on same technique) and place, you are in the running for Reserve or Grand-champion.  Well, Giddyup-G won …

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GRAND CHAMPION!!!!!

Today, Sunday, she is still on cloud-9 and as amazed as we are.  A big thank you and shout out to our ‘Miss Loren’ and her husband/asst. Travis – aka ShowDad #2!  LOL!  Travis was more nervous, focused, teacher, cheerleader, etc. than any of us!  He is Giddy-upG’s buddy!  Travis and Loren have their own precious daughter, Rosalie, and on Friday she was on a horse for her first time with her daddy … Rosalie is 8mos old!  Can you imagine what her daddy will be like when she is older and showing!  It will be great and I can’t wait to see it and hopefully help them at shows!

Thank you for reading all of this!

I’ll be back after fair – mid August!

In Him~

Homesteader Sandi

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Photo Shoot

We are getting ready for fair, and in doing so our club decorates a stall board that will hang on the horse’s stall during the week of fair.  This year our club, to my daughters dismay, voted on a Disney theme.  Wow!  This theme sure has caused commotion within our home, it has not been liked.  However, we are team players and so …

BirderB chose Pocahontas and Giddy-upG chose Frozen.  We are to include a quote from the movie on the board.  BirderB is going with ‘Paint With all the Colors of the Wind’ and Giddy-upG is using ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman.’

I’m supposed to be helping with loading up for a work-ride that we have this evening, as well as a horse show that will be put on all day tomorrow, starting at 7:00am, during our county’s annual 4H BBQ fundraiser.  Instead, I’m going to post some pics from today first!  🙂

These are not necessarily the ones we will use, but I like them.  My girls are growing up …

Hope everyone has a blessed weekend!

In Him~

Homesteader Sandi

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These of Giddy-upG will be cut out and glued to a background of a frozen waterfall that I found online … sort of like a castle!

 

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These of BirderB were taken as carefully as we could around our property and they will be used as is.

 

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I will take pictures of the final product (the boards) and will post those.  Stall boards can be a pain, however we have every single one from past years and they are in our horse barn.  Sure is fun to look back on how the girls have grown and seeing the different horses they have partnered with for fair.

Stifling hot summer day …

Just a little while ago I came into our classroom to enjoy the ambiance.  Yes, I know how strange I am!  What you don’t know though is how unorganized this room used to be.  You see, initially the use of this room was dedicated as a future master-bedroom for FarmerM and me.  Until we were more settled, the space was used as the classroom and we were bunking in a converted attic.  Really, this was not meant to be long term – the attic space is under 6 feet at its tallest (which is a narrow, small area) and with hip walls.  FarmerM is 6’5″!  If you follow my blog, you know about my horse accident in spring of 2013, and now finances prevent us from moving forward with our plans.  In the meantime during my recovery, the classroom as well as our garage has been unorganized … actually, just down right disgusting!  I hadn’t unpacked and ‘owned’ the room, I kept telling myself it would be a temporary stay.  To date, we are several years out now from our original plans … *sigh*

In my last post I referenced the embarrassment I feel when someone comes over and walks through our garage.  Or a Grammy visits and spends time with the grandchildren in our classroom that looks as if a tornado had just gone through.  If you know me at all, you MUST know how much all of this has bugged me to no end.

This weekend it was all taken care of.

I can not tell you how huge our garage is.  I barely remember it from our walk-thru before purchasing the farm.  It’s huge!!  And it’s empty.  And it’s clean.  And I LOVE IT!!!

And the classroom … my, oh my … it is actually looking like a learning space.  After reading this post and if you have time, scroll through my blog tabs to Homeschooling and you will see what our old classroom looked like.  The one we now have still has some sort of bare wood boards on the walls and ceiling, along with the concrete floor, and obviously pales in comparison to what we once had, but this classroom is surrounded by fields, nature, and a lot of animals.  I love it here.  After the garage was taken care of, I finally went through all my classroom boxes, re-filed or kept out what I’d need, and started in on our classroom.  I’m so excited!  Once we have it finished, I’ll post pics.  Now, by finished I don’t mean finished as in carpentry work & demolishing, I simply mean organized and ready for this school-year.

So, at almost 6:30 it is still 93 degrees.  Sweltering.  Especially in an almost 200 y/o farmhouse without air.  Here I sit in our classroom, looking around, dreaming.  I’m sipping a small glass of wine and enjoying a rare & gentle cross-breeze.  I feel good because I not only accomplished a goal of being this organized, but I look to my left and see the items I will take with me when I meet with our homeschool assessor next week.  I am excited and ready!!  Other than science kits, I have everything needed to ‘officially start’ school the end of August, as well as having our state’s intent-to-homeschool packet completed that I will turn into our local school district after fair in August.  Finally, my eyes are drawn to a window and I can’t help but smile … we used to have a view.  I guess you could say we still do, but instead of looking across a 100 acres, I look smack-dab into a corn field.  A wall of corn.  I love it.  And here is a pic for you to see it.

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Again, if time permits, scroll through my blog to two other pics I have posted looking out this same window.  Isn’t it amazing!  I love farm life and agriculture!

And I thank Him for the life He has given us … messes (life) and all.  🙂    What are you thankful for today?

Thank you for stopping by.

In Him~

Homesteader Sandi