Sunday, June 26, 2011

Senator Bell Show

alternately titled: 5 1sts!

Olivia has been doing great working with the trainer's at Grey Stone, and Grandma decided she was ready to go to a "big" show or two this Summer~ so the lucky girl showed at Senator Bell this Saturday!

She went with Deanna, and rode Cello- it was forecasted to be a cool rainy day but the weather was just perfect for Liv- no real danger of overheating and dehydration! Cello was amazing- he took such good care of Olivia and she got some great experience. He is a really nice horse- a great mover, safe and sane and has a great personality. He has the same sire as Lily and Cutter too- which is funny... what a small world huh!
She rode in the long stirrup divisions, and cleaned house! They won 1st in everything they did!! She did her first class over fences ever, and was great- wound up with 5 blues, 3 leather bound photo albums and a $20 cash prize to boot! Of course my camera battery died, so I didn't get any pictures of her jumping... hopefully I'll get some next time. She learned a bit about ring etiquette, and how to maneuver in a big class- it's tough to watch spacing and since Cello is a big mover she really needed to watch out for other riders!

I think Grandma might have had as much fun watching Olivia as Liv did riding! I am really thankful and appreciative for her lessons and the great opportunity she is getting. I know I wish when I was learning to ride that I had an opportunity to ride really nice horses, and feel what a well trained mount can be like!

Hopefully she will make it to another larger show- we are having some trouble nailing down a date that will work for all of us, but I know the day was great for her- we are so proud of how far she has come, and it was fun to watch her having such a great time!

And He's Out

I honestly am surprised that it took this long... but Wes is gone!

After weeks of being able to reach the knobs and slider but not being able to open the doors he has found a way... and is out!


It's that time of year again! Hay is coming in. The weather has not been super cooperative, but we have manage to get about 1/2 the hay we need into the barn! It is fun filling the space, knowing the horses will have plenty to munch all thru the cold winter. It is especially fun this year, thinking about them all snug in their stalls! It has been hard though- to stuff hay into corners and such so that it won't end up being in the way of construction progress! Wes has had such a great time riding around the hay fields watching out the window in his co-pilot position. Savanna even learned to drive the truck since Olivia is strong enough to throw bales! Hopefully with a few more loads we will be set- and all the ponies will have happy bellies come winter!

8th Grade Graduate

This past week marked the end of the school year, and the end of Middle School for Olivia! She is an 8th grade graduate!

We are proud of you! Enjoy the summer- High School here we come

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Storyland 6-18

While Bill and Dad worked to try to get water at the cabin, Mom and I took the kids to Story Land! Billy and Em's boys have all been a few times already this season, but for Wes and the Girls and I, this was our inaugural trip!

Liv's pal Emily came with us to Conway for the night and it was fun to have another "big" kid along! Although- Billy is now tall enough to be a "responsible guest" meaning he can ride all the rides alone, and bring a "little" kid with him!
It's great for Jayson, since Kaleb isn't really a ride rider- so Billy and Jayson buddy up and go on all the rides!

I think the kids had fun, it was a nice day and the lines were not too bad. Wes had a great time- he was shrieking and running around in the front section- he loved all the little houses and such (but was scared of the talking tree!)

There were a few rides he could go on, and he enjoyed them too. Mostly he had fun in the balls and watching the big kids and all the commotion.

Mom says that paying for season passes so she can see the kids have fun is probably just about as enjoyable for her as going and riding is for the kids!

We need to make sure we get back up there soon! Hopefully it won't be too long before the water gets finished- even though the men had a set back with the "well." It was so much fun- I think we will be back up there soon!

Just a few more days of school and then we will be free to do whatever we want~

Jay's Graduation

Friday was Jayson's Preschool Graduation. Wes and I went to watch Jay get his "diploma!" It was a cute little event, with some songs and cookies and lemonade! I made a card for the Graduate- and felt pretty smug with myself. You see, A few times now Jayson has told me his name is really Kayson... and being the good Auntie I recalled this info and incorporated it into my card. I felt pretty cool- I made a flap to lift, so the card said Congrats Jayson or Kayson. I was pretty happy with the way it turned out, stuffed $5 crisp dollars into it and waited to see his happy face when he saw that I knew his "real" name! Well, wouldn't you know he ripped that card right open, looked at the front, turned to me and said "But my name is JAKE!" Burst my bubble. Sigh. Five year olds....!
Congratulations Jayson or Kayson or Jake... whomever you are, we are very proud of you and know you will have so much fun in kindergarten next year!

Wood and the Start of Walls

Last weekend Dad and Bill made more progress!

We started off the morning at Home Depot... Bill is making fun of my windows. He says I picked ones way too small... but they are cute, they open easily, will allow for some ventilation and seem like they will be a breeze to clean. And most importantly they were in budget! Ten windows was quite a purchase, and I'm glad I went with the ones that only cost an arm, not a leg!
With everyone working we were able to get the "step" stalls all framed in, and ready for interior walls. It is fun to see the layout, and know what each stall feels like!

The "tops" of all the stalls will be grill work that Bill will weld up. That will be another big project. I have accepted that the metal bars and the doors will have to come later- we are running out of money (ok- we RAN out of money!) and purchases will have to come much slower now... especially with hay coming in this week! But, there will be plenty to do yet- as Oak Woods delivered our lumber!

From the stack of trees they took to this- a delivery of rough cut boards! There were 2 truck fulls, which was quite a bit to sort and stack! They did 1" and 2" as per Bills request, so we will hopefully have enough for kick walls, the rest of the stall walls, and the floor in the tack/grain room!

I think it is really neat that although we had to "loose" trees for this project- they will sort of still be here- in the form of all this wood!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Principals Award

Last evening was "Promotion Night" for Savanna and her 5th grade class. Here in our little town we are part of a school district. Which means, that after this year she is funneled into a much bigger 6th grade school with kids from 2 other towns. A big move into the large group that will become their high school class- it's bitter sweet! I hate to "loose" her into the larger system; but she is excited and thinks it will be so much fun! She will have a locker and all..... It was a nice evening, with a slide show of the kids growing up, a song by Kate's Grandpa, and then the presentation of certificates. After all the kids had "graduated" they announced 2 other awards. The teachers and principal had seleceted 2 students who showed merit above and beyond. And guess which girl got the award?! Yup, Savy~ Principal's award winner! She got a nice certificate and a $200 savings bond towards college!

We are so proud of her- she really is a great kid! She is a good student, and a good friend and it was nice to have her recognized for being stellar!

And, to boot- the other winner was Brandon- a kid I have "loved" from the very beginning of these kids' school adventures! So, congrats to Savanna (and Brandon too!) and good luck at the Knowlton School! Oh- and by the way... you still have another week left in 5th Grade, don't forget!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Picture for Mom

Here is your "composition"

Fire on the Farm

On Thursday we had a thunderstorm pass thru... it certainly wasn't the nastiest storm we have had, but it did create some decent excitement! The hail damaged a few plants in the garden, and, Grandma and Grandpa had a lightning strike down by their pond!

Grandma and Auntie and Baby Nick had taken Olivia to her riding lesson. They were there when the storm started and drove home thru to bulk of it. When the come up the road Olivia noticed "smoke." Auntie tried to tell her it was mist off the pond, but Liv insisted it was fire. Turned out she was right!
A big tree down by the pond got a direct strike, and since it was an older dying tree it caught on fire! It was quite exciting for our neighborhood- the forestry truck, and an ambulance responded with the police too! The firefighters used the tanker to put it out, but then it ignited again later in the evening. It made a pretty good spectacle in the dark! Grandpa was in his element "directing" the firefighters and all! The main limb that burned fell, and the fire was put out for good. Honestly, I was glad it was on the other side of the road even though no real harm done. Recently a barn in a nearby town burned, it is a total loss- and my worst nightmare! No animals were lost, but major damage and a pretty crushing blow to somebody's dream... Thankfully this was nothing like their situation; but what an exciting way to end out the week!

Wild Animal Kingdom

This weekend Savanna and I were supposed to go camping on a Girl scout Mother/Daughter retreat. Things came up, I wasn't happy with the way council treated me- so we opted out. It was sort of a bummer, but it freed us up to go to York's Wild Animal Kingdom!

The hospital where my mom works hosts a family day there every year. We haven't been in a few years, and I just knew Wes would love it! Mom had to scramble to get enough tickets for all of us at the last moment, but she pulled thru and we had a blast despite a cool drizzle.

There are plenty of animals and birds to admire- the park is small but clean and friendly feeling. I have been enough times that I know the place well, and we can wander thru pretty quickly and see what we want to see! Grandma and Grandpa Houston came along as well, and braved the rain with us. They had not been in years and I think they enjoyed seeing the critters, and watching the kids!

It was pretty funny because most of the animals we looked at were hiding in some way from the rain- usually cozy in their "houses" while all of us humans were standing out in the rain staring at them!

As I suspected, Wes liked the animals a lot, and was turning every which way in the backpack (one of my prizes from the diaper pin!)

Daddy bought him a cone of goat food in the petting pen, and it scared the crap out of him when a big goat sauntered over and "stole" it from him! He decided then he would rather watch from the safety of his Dad! I didn't get a good shot, but the look on his face was price-less!

The big kids had a great time feeding the deer. Billy really wanted his picture taken with this one!

We were pretty wet by the time we were ready for lunch. We had out picnic in the back of our cars~ we warmed up a bit and the kids were still up for the rides.... we we did those!

I left my camera in the car after we went back in to ride the rides- I decided it was getting too wet. We missed having Olivia there (she spent the night at a friend's house) but the others had a good time despite the weather. I'm hopeful Wes will have as much fun at Story Land next weekend!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wedding Picture

My cousin Jesse got married a few weeks ago. She and her new Husband Craig went out to Colorado for their ceremony, and then held a picnic here to celebrate with family and friends. I was looking forward to a fun evening out, and also to the opportunity to get a good group picture! Mom and Mom-Mom and I had to spend a little time shopping to find an outfit for me, but we managed to get everyone all dressed up and in the same place!

The party was pretty casual, but I enjoyed picking out clothes for myself and the kids (and Bill too!) and I though we all looked pretty good! It's not often we get a chance to all stand in one spot for more than a second or two! Jayson was a little upset, but I think at least one person has to be "off" for it to be a real family portrait!
Congratulations, and Happy Wedding Jesse and Craig~ Thanks for a fun evening... and a reason to get all dressed up!

Walls and Shoes

This past weekend Dad was able to come by for another work day on the barn. The main focus for the "crew" was getting up the sheathing. The walls needed the framing to support these pieces, then the outside of the walls started to go up!

The kids were a big help, between hauling brush, rocks and wood they did a lot! Bill and Dad of course were working full steam all day; but I also was able to be useful! I tend to end up getting things, hauling things, making lunch and tending kids. But, this time I got a power tool!

I didn't get a good shot at the end of the day, but here you get the idea- once the stall walls go up, you wont be able to see this but its the inside of the outside of the barn! The window holes will need to be cut, and the ends of the aisles are still wide open, but for all intents and purposes it is enclosed! we have a roof and walls! Yipee!

And... Bill was able to shoe in the aisle! It was so nice to have a flat, level space for working. Out of the sun, under cover and cross ties!! Yahoooooo~

I know Bill feels like there is still so much to do, but all I see is progress. It was so nice that he was able to work in the barn, I think it gave him a sense of what all the work is for, I am very grateful for my new space... and I can't wait to have it all done!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Milling Wood

This past week Oak Woods Lumber came to pick up the logs Bill had cut. They will make the boards for us just down the street on Oak Woods Rd. I think it is so cool that these are trees from our property (from the arena site actually!) and that our "neighbors" can mill them for us! Wes and I had fun watching the guy load up the big truck. He sat over the cab and ran the arm. He picked them up 2 and 3 at a time and had a clean plan for loading up the rig. He made quick work of the big pile and pretty soon they were all stacked on.
I can't wait to see this wood come back.... all milled into the lumber we need for the interior of the barn!


Savanna and I had our end of the year awards ceremony with the other's in Troop 977. It was a nice evening and Savy not only bridged to Cadettes but also earned her Junior Aid Award (she planned and ran a meeting for another troop about Bullying) but also her Bronze award- the highest award a Junior Scout can achieve! The Troop earned the award together, they did a community service project about literacy. They gathered books to be sent to Africa, and also did a reading program for younger children at our local library. I am proud of all the work that that Savanna and the other girls did this year!