Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hunt Scene

The Piscataqua hounds started their Hunt season last week. Olivia and I met up with Linda over at Branch Hill for their pace. It was a lovely ride, a beautiful day and two of my favorite riding partners! And, to boot we won first place for the Hilltop division. Yahoo! What a way to start the season off.

Then, this weekend the Houston's hosted their first Cub Hunt of the year. Since Anna and Olivia are away I was the official family delegate rider! Cheryl also asked me to Field Master for the Hilltop group. Beau was pretty jazzed up, and it was a very humid and hot day... but none the less we had a great ride.
The boys had fun since Stirrup Cup was here on the lawn. They interacted with the hounds and a few girls who were here with their Mom and Nannie. I think there were 13 riders, so it was a perfect turnout in my opinion... all but one rider bagged out after the 1/2 way point, but I took the last remaining rider... the intrepid two, and we finished the ride.

The hunt will be back next week for a drag, and I plan to ride then as well. Beau had such a blast, and was really wanting to go. I think I'll try harder to get to a few more hunts with him. He really enjoys it... my little QH. Who knew!?

A Funny Story

Well, it's funny now...

Earlier this week Billy had Kaleb and Morgan over. I had to do the horses on OakWoods Road and took all 4 boys with me. As they tumbled out of the truck, Billy asked them if they wanted to see an enormous bees nest. Ben had shown this massive nest to us the week before. Of course they wanted to see it! And off they ran with Wes tagging along behind.

I went into the barn and started cleaning, I could hear them on the other side of the wall clearly in awe of the hive. Then... "bang, bang, bang!" The bigger boys started shrieking and I could tell this wasn't going to be good. As I hurried out of the stall, Wes started screaming! I picked up my pace and ran around the side of the barn yelling "Tell me you didn't just rile up the bees and leave Wes to fend for himself....?!" Sure enough, he had been stung... and Billy was carrying him commando style, practically in a headlock across the paddock towards me. Billy is very afraid of bees and wasps, and was pretty panicked by the whole situation; was it the bees? or was it me calling them out for leaving his little Bro? I don't know, but he had a hustle on and was trying to get the very upset Wes to Mama.

Then comes the electric fence. Billy was, as I mentioned a little panicked so as we came together at the fence line... he thrusts Wes towards me, pressing his poor forehead directly into the electric tape. Now, Kay and Ben have a nice farm set up, with everything in working order (unlike us, where our fences rarely have charge) and top notch everything. So, there is Wes with this 2 inch band of electric tape running straight across his forehead and his lower half dangling into the second strand.... Major Big Brother faux pas... certainly not his finest hour... Wes is being shocked big time!!

Eventually the current makes it's way thru Wes and into Billy... he gets shocked right about the time I'm finished shouting "the fence is ONNNNN!" and drops poor Wes. I dragged him out from under the line and tended to his sting. Certainly not Brother's best; in a matter of minutes he feeds Westley to the bees, then electrocutes and drops him. I think he felt pretty bad about the whole thing... later in the week when he got stung, I didn't have to point out the karma... he got it on his own!

Now, Mom tells me, that in a separate conversation with Kaleb he acted somewhat disappointed when he told her that they had "electrocuted" Wes and his hair "didn't curl!" Boys. Geeze.

A Week with No Girls

Alternately titled: Spoil Billy Week!

The girls are in Virginia with Auntie Anna and Uncle Eddie (they are nannies for Baby Nic!) and that leaves just the boys at home... what to do? Spoil them! We have been trying to find fun things to do (adding them into our otherwise busy schedule...) so Billy feels a bit special about this week too! My pictures are all out of order... but I'm too lazy to upload them all again...

We met Grandma Beth, Kaleb and Jayson at the Children's museum one day for some serious fun. Wes had never been, and once he warmed up, he had a great time!
The big boys ran around like lunatics for a while, then settled in to a large post office set up they have. Kaleb in particular was very into the "job."

We were on double duty helping Grandma Houston... the upcoming Fox Hunt added work to her week, and she was down her helpers with Anna and the girls gone. We had fun riding the trails with her on her Rhino!

We spent one afternoon at the Lake House too, helping move some furniture and fishing. Billy caught 2 fish, but wasn't able to land either of them... the ones that got away I suppose. He got stung by a wasp (he has a terrible fear of bees and wasps) and was pretty sad about the whole thing. We went down to Poor People's Pub... and the day ended better!

Kaleb spent a few days here, and one day Morgan was over and spent the night here too. We took Grandma over to Shaw's Ridge and played a round of mini golf. Kaleb played along with Grandma, while Billy and Wes and I loosely "played" up ahead.

There was a great swing set, and the boys played there a while. Wes is into swings and slides now, in addition to his love of climbing. The big boys played navy seals with the climbing wall and rope- they liked to repel down! A swing set is major or my list of wants... if only I didn't want so many other things too... sigh!

Shaw's Ridge also makes their own ice cream, and I spoiled Wes with a cone like Brother's! He love sprinkles, so this chocolate sprinkle cone was just perfect! I'm not sure he even made a dent in in, but it was so worth it to see him sitting there trying to lick at it!

Billy also had his first structured riding lesson. He loved it! He rode Tucker at the barn where Liv and Savy ride, and he is anxious to go back already! I'm thankful Grandma Houston is up for it, because these lessons have been great for the girls... and Billy is ready to go!

We have missed the girls, but I know they are having a great time! I enjoyed the time with my boys!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Salty Acres ReVisited

Way back in March, when Billy was thinking about his Birthday, he wondered if we could go camping. I convinced him March was not the best time for that- but if he wanted, we could wait and instead of a big party with his friends then, we could take a buddy or two camping in the summer. Fast forward to this week. He had 2 friends lined up, we had a couple sites booked at Salty Acres (where we went with the Cub Scouts last summer)- the gear was set- Bill and I had taken 3 days off... Then, Monday, one friend cancels. Bummer. Tuesday night, it starts to rain. Bigger bummer.
But, Don't worry... we went camping anyhow! We left a bit later on Wednesday hoping things might dry out, and after grabbing Kate and Kaleb we headed up to Kennebunkport for some Birthday camping!

As per his request I had reserved the same sites we were in last year. This boy hates change- and thankfully when I made the reservation they were able to book the "field" sites he wanted. We had some neighbors this time- the kids were nice; a bit overwhelming at times, but nice none the less.

We did pretty much the same things as last year, but had 3 days/2 nights to enjoy ourselves. I think the kids had a great time. They were all very excited about the trip.

The weather was cooler than we have been having, and I didn't swim the first day.... brrr. But, of course the kids got right in at the pool!

The campground is pretty big, and was very busy, but not so large/developed that you don't feel safe letting the kids wander. The Big Kids had their bikes and rode all around exploring. Wes wanted to be pushed, I think mostly he didn't want to get left behind! He isn't usually a big fan of the stroller- but he is fighting a bug, and while he was a trooper, I know he wasn't feeling great either.

Dad and Jayson came up for the day Thursday. I knew Jay wasn't going to make it overnight in the tent, so I didn't give him the option of coming along for the whole time. It was perfect that Poppie was willing to bring him for the day so he could be included! I wanted him to have in on the fun, but wasn't interested in driving him home in the middle of the night. As it often happens when the boys get together there was a lot of gun fighting... Wes even packed the heat! He was pretty cute "shoo shoo-ing" everyone with his weapon. I hope the neighbors thought it was cute, anyhow... nothing like a baby with a gun!

Bill had the follow up from his MRI and had to scoot out, but made it back in time to help with supper- It wasn't the best meal- but steak, potatoes and corn cooked over the campfire was pretty ambitious, especially after the first night's meal of hot dogs roasted over the fire!

After the sun went down, there was plenty of time for s'mores making, and hanging out by the fire. Bill wasn't too keen on going "unplugged" and kept up on his phone! We played some charades with the neighbors and had a good time... but 2 nights on the hard ground is about all my back could take!

I think the tidal river and salt marsh eco system were one of the main draws for Billy wanting to come back here. It is such a cool place for kids to play- and they were right down there as soon as the tide went out!

I'm not sure I've ever been any where else where you could catch hermit crabs. Olivia just swam around fishing them off the bottom! There is a nice sandy bank, but also a ton of slippery, slimy marsh mud. Perfect for belly flops and mud fighting!

I am thankful we got in a few more days of "vacation" this summer. As busy as we are, I know how important these trips are to the kids... And as much as the packing/prep and execution takes some of the pleasure out for me; I love the memory making part! I told Bill we may have to make Salty Acres an annual thing-- Wes has been every year of his life! For our tastes the campground is too busy, but the kids love the freedom to roam, the camp roads and amenities make it fun for them. Id guess about 90% of the cars/guests we saw were French Canadian, so I tried to convince Bill we were sort of in a foreign country... he didn't go for it....! I guess we will have to let Billy choose, I wonder if he will pick a camping birthday next year?!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Early August Happenings

Last week Auntie Anna, Olivia and I rode out with a neighbor and also the Master of the Hounds of the Piscataqua Hunt group. We had met earlier in the summer with a gentleman who runs a nearby land trust and we got permission to use his territory. We scoped it out then and this past week rode the new section we plan to use for the upcoming Cub Hunt. It was a nice ride and we all had fun. The horses were all good, and the new trails are going to be great!

My old grill finally died (well, it didn't actually die- but I didn't want it to give up the ghost during a dinnertime rush!) and we got this beauty to replace it! I grill dinner probibly 4 nights a week atleast- during the spring/summer/fall months anyhow, and use it thru the winter as well! So, it was important to me to get a new one before we were without! My old Kenmore was good, I loved it... but it rusted out in the interior- in just 3 years! So, we opted to go with a pricier KitchenAid Model this time- It has a larger cooking surface, which I decided I needed as well as a searing burner and lights inside. We have used it 2 of the past 3 nights and it's cooking well so far. Yumm, grilled food in the summer is so good!
Wes had his first ER visit on Saturday. Im sure there will be more to come with this kid... Mid day yesterday he and Daddy went for a dip in the hot tub. Somehow he managed to slip over the edge and face planted onto the cement pad. What a bruiser... bloodied two Saturdays in a row... The Doctor looked him over and then glued up the gash on his forehead. I fear this may be the first scar on my beautiful boy! Im glad there was no needle- stitches would have made it worse for all of us! Wes was very good and while he cried after the fall, the ice was the worst part for him and once at the hospital he didn't make a peep! He was a very brave boy about the whole thing~

The kids had a small lemonade stand up at Grandma's house while I cleaned the barn. Cupcakes sold well, and they made $15 I think! They were very cute, and I think Poppie had a nice morning supervising them from his shady spot!

So, thats where we are so far... I can't believe we are cruising thru August so fast~ We got the kids' their backpacks last night up at the L.L. Bean outlet- it's official, school is just around the cornner!

Lumber Thieves

I came home from gymnastics with Savanna the other evening to find this... lumber thieves hard at work!

A bit of my barn wood (and some work time to boot!) has been stolen to start a much anticipated tree house... err, sorry tree FORT. Tired of thinking and searching for the "perfect" tree, Bill just started. They have the platform done, and hopefully walls and a roof will follow quickly, as Wes can't wait to get up there!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

LCS 7-31-11

This past weekend our friends over at Lucky Clover Stables had another of their summer shows- I'm so impressed and proud of them for how far their show series has come! They have been having shows a few years now- and we have been a couple of times. It's always been a run and well run event, but boy have they grown! The field was full of trailers (I got a spot way up by their house!) and it was a very well attended show- they are growing so quickly- and should be very proud of the series they are putting on!

Olivia has really been enjoying her rides on Squeeke and wanted to show her- Liv is really too big for her- but we figured since it was a local show, and she isn't going for year end points or anything it would be alright to take the old girl out!
I let Olivia run the show so to speak- she was 100% in charge of getting herself and Squeeke ready. I wasn't too thrilled with the job she did, but she learned a lot! i think next time she will put a little more time into her preparation! Squeeke looked good, but Olivia forgot a number of things... including her helmet! Thankfully Grandma Houston came to her rescue- and brought it down for us!

It was a pretty busy show- with full classes (there were 10 or more in both of her classes!) so they only placed 6th- but Squeeke was amazing! She didn't do any of her foolish squealing or threaten to kick anybody like she sometimes does... and, when Olivia got the wrong lead (twice in fact) she came right thru with a flying change! It was as if she was saying "silly kid- that's the wrong lead!"

It was a fun day- I was glad to be horse show Mom; Olivia and Squeeke made me very proud!