"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cute Cousins

This weekend we have my nieces and nephew staying with us.  The kids are having a total blast.  The highlight of the day was making our own "Play Doh".  The girls all made play doh kitties and played with them until they started to get crunchy.  We also made a great fort (or horse stable if you ask Ellorie and Jenna) in Mason's room using all the couch cushions and loads of blankets.  Tonight they had a movie night with popcorn and snacks.  Averie kept screaming for more popcorn.  She wants to be big enough to join in the fun.  They are having a great time.  It might just be a miracle if we get them all to bed...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday Riding Report

I should really just start a separate blog for all my horse ramblings, but for now...  I had a great lesson again.  Same as last week, only better.  I got to ride in Terie's fantastic (and very expensive) dressage saddle.  I love it.  For those of you that have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm just learning myself, so don't feel too left out.  These almost look the same, but feel quite different.  This is the dressage saddle:

There are obviously stirrups that attach the same place as the English all-purpose, but the leg flaps are more upright and the seat is a little deeper.  It's a slightly more secure feeling.  It makes it a little easier to balance and ride a seated trot.

This is the normal all-purpose English saddle or hunt seat saddle.  It is a little bit higher off the horse's back.  You ride with your legs a tiny bit more forward.  I think this is one of the harder saddles to learn to ride, but if you can ride well in it, you can ride anything.  I actually really liked it until I tried the dressage saddle.  A dressage saddle is used for competition in dressage and sport hack, which seems to be the direction I'm heading.  So hopefully I will get to use it more often. 

I also used the double reins again today, but without a martingale.  (a thing that connects the reins to the horses neck so they keep their head down and neck arched.)  It was tricky at first to get my horse to carry himself properly and round out his back and neck, but I got the hang of it quickly.  It was a lot of fun.  I need to hire someone to come and video my lesson so I can show you what I'm talking about.  So much fun!  I'm a sleepy mama- I have to get up early for Mason again.  It's been a big change in all of our sleeping habits.  I like it, but I really need to stop "burning the candle at both ends" as they say.  Tootles!

Tiny Artists

Today was a painting day for the girls.  Even Averie joined in the fun.  Yeah, we start 'em young around here.  The only fallback is when the young artist eats her supplies.  Oh yeah, and the mess, but we try not to worry about that too much.  Here is a video clip of Averie painting.

I love the way Averie is totally enthralled in the texture of the paints.  She dips her brush in every color before painting.  The second video didn't attach.  She was far more interested in the other properties of the paint, specifically taste.  She actually said "oh, pretty".  I'll have to try again later to attach it.   Ellorie was having fun painting as always.  She would paint all day if I let her.  Here are some of her creations.  I love this one of "Turtles".  She was trying to make them as small as possible.  Some of them she said were so small that you can't even see them!  
"Turtles" by Ellorie
"Ladybug and Grass" crayon resist watercolor by Ellorie
"Oh, Pretty" by Averie

"MMMM" (as in yummy), by Averie

The other day Ellorie was coloring in the kitchen and she asked me, "Mommy, what beautiful colors should I color my dog?"  Brandon shook his head and said, "That child is going to grow up to over-use exclamation points just like her mother." (Something he loves to tease me about.)  "Why do you say that?' I enquired.  "Well, she didn't just ask you what color she should make the dog, she asked you what BEAUTIFUL colors she should make the dog.  Beautiful is completely superfluous, just like the exclamation points."  

I told him, "She is an artist honey, and beautiful is never superfluous."    (And neither are exclamation points if you ask me!)  I just love my little artists.  But it IS probably a good thing to have at least one adult in a household that can balance the checkbook, and uses exclamation points sensibly.  Love you hon.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Sentiments Exactly

We have really deep window wells in the basement and we have had a few mice fall into them.  Today there was this little guy.  Brandon fetched it out of the window well into an old garbage can.  Averie was yelling about the "MOU" forever.  She was really really excited.  I do NOT like mice and was happy that at least it was not loose in our house.  No, Ellorie, we can not keep it for a pet.

I also finished another painting today.  Click here to go to my art journal.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ellorie's Turn

Ellorie told me this morning she has been really excited for two things. 1.  The first day of preschool, and 2.  grass in our yard.  Well, today was one of those at least.  Ellorie started preschool today!  She was very excited that her school is called, "Smarty Pants Preschool".  She loves her teacher and class and is excited to learn!  Isn't she just the cutest...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Picking and Planting

This weekend we picked rock and planted grass.  Finally!  Now just pray for a miracle that the wind won't blow and evaporate all the water away and the sun won't scorch, and the nights won't freeze, and the sprinkler system will work correctly, and the well pump won't cycle and blow out the switch, and the pressure won't change and mess up the sprays, and the kids won't walk across, and the neighbor's dog won't poop, and the little ants won't take ALL the seeds, and the birds won't eat what's left, and the grasshoppers won't eat all the little sprouts, and the weeds won't completely take over, and maybe, just maybe, in a few weeks we'll have some grass...  I'm beginning to think all beautiful lawns are miracles.  

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ellorie Riding a Horse, by Ellorie

Taggety Tag Tag

How to play this game. Post these rules on your blog; List 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 goals, 3 current obsessions/collections, 3 random surprising facts about yourself. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names....


-My children laughing and playing together

-Thursday English riding lessons

-My new house!


-Hobo Spiders

-My children getting hurt

-Bears (while camping)


-Finish 30 paintings by October 17th

-Organize and Decorate my house

-Get to know my neighbors


-Pastel Painting



3 Surprising (f00d) facts about me...

- My favorite vegetables are eggplant, spinach, and zucchini.

- I hate Twinkies.

- My favorite Einstein Bagel combination is garlic dip'd with strawberry schmeer. Craving one right now...

I tag:

1: Alyssa

2: Sharon

3: Kirsa

4: Brittany T.

5: Heather B.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday Riding Report

Today I made my peace with Wynnfire.  We have had our struggles, and in all honesty he almost dumped me once today, but I think we finally understand each other.  I had an amazing lesson today. Terie told me this is the very best I have ever ridden.  The other girl didn't come and Terie was in a pretty good mood, so I had a 75 minute private lesson for $15.  Whoa.  No one should be allowed to have this much fun for $15.  "Legs" is officially sold (sniff).  So the new plan is to teach me to ride Wynn in Sport Hack and Dressage.  What in the world is sport hack you ask, well I wasn't entirely sure myself before now.  It is a class of competition where you are asked to show your horse at a collected walk, trot, canter, a regular walk, trot, and canter, an extended walk, trot, and canter, a hand gallop and a reverse.  It seems pretty basic, but a collected walk and an extended walk must look drastically different, and the horse and rider must be in perfect position for each gait.  It takes an amazing amount of skill to control all of that.  Also, you must ride with a double bridle and a dressage saddle and equipment.  So as if I don't have enough trouble with two reins, today I was dealing with four.  But surprisingly it helped me stay balanced and fix my cantering issues.  I love it, love it, love it!  I could just go on all day, but I won't.... (Sometimes I feel absolutely guilty for enjoying myself this much.)

First Day of School

Fresh new haircut, check.
New speedy sneakers, check.
New school clothes, check.
Spanky new backpack, check.
Great big smile for the first day of school, check.

Here he is waiting at the bus stop with his buddies: (they are trying to get the big trucks to honk.)

Here comes the bus, and there goes my baby boy. (I didn't cry at all, I'm so proud of myself.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Meet and Greet

Today Mason went to his new school to meet his teacher and see his classroom and find his desk.  He is SO very excited to go to school.  He was a little nervous, but his teacher is super nice.  I remember those first-day-of-school butterflies.  Tomorrow is the big day...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Reckless Abandon

So you know how you hear about "junkies" that get so strung out on drugs that they can't function.  They stop doing everything they are supposed to do, even stop eating.  Well, I think I might be an addict.  Some days it's a painting, some days scrapbooking, today the creative bug bit me hard with the Cricut, my new cartridge I got for my anniversary, and a roll of black vinyl...  I find myself here at four o'clock in the afternoon in my pajamas surrounded by an utter upheaval.   And I don't recall having breakfast or lunch either.  (I did feed my children and several neighbor children however.)  One of the little neighbor girls came in and said to me, "Why'sit such a mess in here?".  I laughed and told her I was just making stuff and I would clean it up later.  Anyway, here is what I made:

I started with a design over my front door.  It took much longer than planned, because I was too cheap to buy the transfer paper and had to re-stick the little leaves and branches about a hundred times.  

Then I moved to the kitchen (with reckless abandon...)

Then the laundry room.  I wanted to put a sign on the outside of the laundry room door, but Brandon thought that was ridiculous, and had some mildly entertaining jokes about signs we should put over the master bedroom door.  Anyway, I put it INSIDE the laundry room, and if anyone disapproves, they can just close the door...  (Again, problems getting the letters straight without the transfer paper.  I've adjusted them a dozen times since I took this picture.)

And I started one more project, but alas, I ran out of vinyl.  My obsessive vinyling will have to wait for another day... (This one is going to be stinkin' cute...)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tooth Fairy

That little tooth was wedged in there so tightly, it wasn't coming out on its own. It's been loose for over sixth months and was turning colors. Brandon decided it was time, and yanked it out. Poor Mason was NOT happy. But he's happy now...

i {heart} huckleberries

Brandon was hiking around the area we were camping yesterday and found the mother lode of huckleberries.  They were huge and really really sweet, which apparently is rare for huckleberries.  I LOVE them.  I have never seen or tasted huckleberries that I know of.  They are like a really flavorful blueberry with a hint of pine.  We picked about three cups - Just enough for a pie.  So perfect.  The kids had a great time picking as well.  My hands were totally stained.

And the scrumptious pies:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Camping at Last

We finally made it camping.  Whew.  No torrential rain.  No bear attacks.  Just a great weekend camping trip.  We did have some cows wander through our camp this morning, but Averie was thrilled with the "mooing".  We went with Brandon's sister and fam and found a stellar camp site not too far from home.  The kids had a great time with their cousins, the dads loved that we had to pack everything in on the 4-wheeler and dirt bike, everyone had a great time, and it was just about a perfect trip.  

Mason spent most of his time playing in the little stream with James, and getting very wet and dirty:
Averie was amazingly content to be confined to her pack and play, the tent, and Ellorie's chair.
Ellorie found plenty of mountain bugs to love, and also had a great time with her cousins:
Camping food ROCKS!  We had roasted cheddar wurst wrapped in biscuits, roasted marshmallows, and Brandon cooked a MEAN mountain man breakfast.  YUM!

Our little camp site had a perfect little stream to get wet, wet, wet.  I can't emphasize WET enough.  Not a dry outfit in the bunch.  Most of the kids had to be taken home in just their skivvies. 

We also stumbled upon a huge patch of huckleberries!  I had no idea what huckleberries even were until we moved here.  I'll post more about the berries tomorrow, when I hopefully make something delicious with them...