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

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Riding Report and Trunk-or-Treating

My kids scored big time on candy tonight.  They went trunk-or-treating with Sharon while I was at my riding lesson, and then again tonight at our church.  Double candy!  The good news is that I won't have to buy any more candy for trick-or-treaters tomorrow.  The bad news is that all three of my children have already gorged themselves on more candy than they've had for a LOOONG time.  My prediction is that Ellorie and Mason will not be on their best behavior at school tomorrow.  Poor teachers.  

My lesson was okay tonight.  My horse was having some cantering issues that needed working out.  He kept picking up his right lead for a left canter.  It took about twenty minutes of patient struggle to get him all ironed out.  It's annoying sometimes to ride a lesson horse that has a bunch of little kids riding him throughout the week.  I think I'm the only one riding him in sport hack, so it has to be confusing for the poor guy.  I've been riding him with two sets of reins, one direct and one draw rein.  Next week we are switching to a double bridle to see if he responds better without so much pressure in his face.  

See, the reins are clipped on and the draw rein is looped through to the ring on the bit:
And here the reins are directly attached to the bit ring and the draw rein is on a longer shank that uses leverage to tell the horse to pull in his head and "collect":
Wynn doesn't like to have his head drawn in too tight, but with a draw rein you have to have them tight to a certain point or he won't stay collected.  Lots of stuff to learn.
He did awesome last week, so I don't know if it's that, or if he's just getting burned out.  Last winter he sort of freaked out and started doing all kinds of stupid things so they took him out of lessons for a few months.  Hope that doesn't happen again.  He's a good horse, and really fun to ride.  I always have a great time, even if it isn't an "ideal" ride.  If I'm on a horse, I'm happy...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Nontraditional Pumpkins

Usually at least one of my children wants a jack-o-lantern for a pumpkin, but this year my Jedi Knight wanted a death star, my preying mantis wanted a bug jubilee, and my little puppy just screamed until we gave her the paint.  So here are our cute little nontraditional pumpkins:

Bug in my house!

Ellorie wanted to be a preying mantis for Halloween. Yes, a preying mantis. This is way beyond my sewing abilities. So we made it work. I found this cute bug hat, which is supposed to be a grasshopper, but if you happen to see Ellorie, please be so kind as to call her a preying mantis. This costume also includes extra legs and wings which are not yet in the picture. She's a cute little bug. She has already told me that next year she wants to be a caterpillar, so if anyone has any bright ideas...

Mason Skywalker; Jedi Knight

I was a little bit proud of my skills as a seamstress.  Mason really really wanted a cool black Jedi cloak with a big hood like Luke Skywalker wears in the 6th movie.  He was very specific.  So I whipped this little baby out (with a little help from the world wide web.)  He feels very cool in his new costume.  He has been wearing it constantly for two days, except at school.  He can't wear it to school until Friday.  I love it when my kids get more wear out of their costume than just a couple of hours on Halloween night.  This one is guaranteed to get plenty of use.

Found: Very Sweet Puppy

Averie loves to get into character. I think she actually knows she is pretending to be a dog. She has the sweetest little barking and panting noises. She wants to wear it 24/7. I have to hide it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Belated Birthday Dinner

We had a birthday celebration for our birthdays at my mom's today. My amazing mother made a fabulous meal as always, and a heavenly German chocolate cake. I'm not usually one for cake, but mmmm! So good.
Mason and Ellorie enjoyed an ice cream cone outside in the beautiful fall weather. Every autumn about this time I wish I could just freeze time for a few months...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Candy Apples!

Tonight my mom made real honest-to-goodness home made carmel to dip carmeled apples. Delicious. I love carmel. The kids got to decorate them in candy and dip apple slices in the carmel. Yum. The kids also colored halloween pictures for a coloring contest with Aunt Kelsey while mom was making the carmel. A perfect fall evening.

Pumpkin Walk

We went to this supurb pumpkin walk in a park with my mom, sister, and brother. Loved it! The kids (big and small) had a blast sticking heads through the little boards and looking at all the cool pumpkin displays. It was a gorgeous day! It's so much fun to spend time with my fam. Earlier today Mom and Kels and I went shopping, playing, and to lunch for our birthdays. We had a great relaxing time.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Riding Report

Gorgeous sky tonight, eh?

Well, the horses were feeling the fall weather today.  There were a lot of noises and distractions around the barn, so things were, well, interesting.  There is a big horse show there this weekend, so there are halloween decorations everywhere, things hanging from the ceiling and wrapped around gates.  Also there is still construction going on in the tunnel from the new barn to the arena.  So the sounds of sheet metal, cutting, hammering, etc... Wynnfire does not like change, or noise, or things moving around.  He got most of it out of his system early on though.  The other girl's horse is usually calm and really mellow and she was bucking and bolting and all kinds of crazy stuff.  So we went to the outside arena.  Not any better.  There were tractors and front end loaders bringing in 200 tons of hay.  The yearlings were really worked up because of the tractor and the neighbor plowing his field nearby.  So they were galloping and bucking around the pasture adjacent to the outdoor arena.  Lots of fun.  There were three of us trying to ride, but it was a bit of a rodeo.  Everyone stayed on at least.  So that turned out to be worse than indoors, so back inside we went.  Everyone settled down and we got to work at this point.  I'm getting to understand Wynn better.  I can collect him so much better now without a martingale.  I had him well collected at all gates today.  Fantastic.  Our lesson went about fifteen minutes over, but no complaints from me.  So here is a bit of a parting shot from the barn.  You can only see it as you are leaving out the back.  Nice.

Time for Footsie Jammies

Yesterday morning Ellorie woke up and told me she was freezing all night long. She does tend to exaggerate, and our house was plenty warm, but if you don't wear proper pajamas it gets chilly this time of year. Well, I guess it's time for footsie jammies and more blankets. She had outgrown all hers from last year, but we just happened to find these super soft cuties at the store. SWEEEET.

Also at the said store I got the greatest deal ever. That's right, ever. I scored a swing set for $25. {That's TWENTY-FIVE BUCKS!} That's like free. Display. It has two comfy swings, a slide, a monkey bar, a glider, and well, that's it. But for $25 I'm not complaining. I was going to hold out for the super nice wooden playground set, but lets be reasonable. By the time we get around to that the kids just may be too big to use it. And this one was like 2.5% (that's 2 point 5) the cost of the super nice wooden playground set. Sold.

Running Horses and Mean Tigers

We had a really sweet zebra phase, but now Ellorie (age 4) has moved on to drawing running horses and tigers obsessively.  I love it!  Here are some recent sketches I have found lying around.

That is Ellorie riding the black horse.  She LOVES black horses.  (Thank you Flicka)  And black cats.  And black bugs.  And black anything really.  The neighbors must think I have a goth 4 year old.  I have to talk her out of the black clothes every morning.  

This one is my very favorite.  Such expressive lines!:

This one isn't a running horse, but still very cute:

She has been working on expressions.  Notice how one tiger looks "mean" and the other looks "nice":
This one I found in MY sketchbook.  It was too cute for me to be angry at her:
I love the perspective in this one.  We have the sky lines at the top, the birds eye view of the pens and the food and the front and side views of people and horses.  Those are cars in the bottom right corner.  I'm not sure why.  Isn't it interesting the way kids try to create perspective.  I studied the artistic progression of children in college, but it is so much better seeing it in my own daughter.  Just thought I would share...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Vinyl

Finally got around to Ellorie's room. She coached me throughout the process. We had to compromise on colors as she wanted only blue, red, and black. She was also a little disappointed that we didn't have more birds and bugs but she decided it was okay to go with butterflies. We also put some robins over her window. I just did one wall because I ran out of vinyl, but I think I like it this way. Ellorie is very pleased as well. 

{for you cricut people: I used "George" for the flowers and "Storybook" for the butterflies and robins. The leaves are from "Doodletype".}

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Family Pictures (again...)

We tried again. Sometimes family pictures are just too much work, but so worth it... This time my awesome neighbors wanted family pictures too (and have a nice professional camera) so we went together to a reception place and took a few pictures outside. I love the shots of Ellorie, and we got a couple of nice family pictures, which is what I really wanted. Phew.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Birthday Gourmet

Apparently my husband is a gourmet chef.  Who knew?  He came home early from work today and just started cooking up a storm.  He made Grilled Lobster with Smoky Garlic Mojo and Dzik- Yucatecan Style salpicon de res.  AMAZING!   They were both recipes I never would have chosen, and I was very pleasantly surprised.  The first one was smoky, garlicky, spicy, and rich, and the second one was fresh, light, limey, and crisp.  They really went well together, though he claims that part was just an accident.  Seriously, we'll be making these again in the future.  I was totally spoiled today for my birthday. Ellorie was so cute.  She kept bringing me little gifts throughout the day.  She made me the cutest card with little bug pictures all over it.  She caught me a lady bug, and gave me a pretty little seed she found in the yard.  Such a sweetheart.   Thank you everyone for the phone calls, cards, emails, gifts, and love.  I felt very appreciated today.