Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Horses, Horses, and More Horses

Do you ever have those weeks and weekends that seem to be jam-packed full of good stuff?  But then when they are over you literally have a busy-ness hangover?  Where you sit on the couch, don't move, and watch endless episodes of Dexter while dust gathers around you?  

Err.  I'm not talking about me.

We just had one of those weekends.

Saturday was our district 4-H Horse show.  Have I mentioned how much I love 4-H and FFA?  
Best youth programs out there.  (In my extremely humble opinion, of course. Ha!).

Here are our girls bright and early on Saturday morning as we were waiting on the events to begin.

Evie is a Clover Kid.  That means until she turns 8, she technically cannot participate in 4-H events.

Except for the STICK  HORSE RACE!!

And she was off!  (FYI.  Real cowgirls decide before rigorous events such as this, that they must take off their pink cowgirl boots and put on their tennis shoes).

And she crosses the finish line with Chocolate!  Or Butter!  Or Mr. Stick Horse! We were having a name-the-stick-horse-identity-crisis this particular day.

Just for fun I made Grace make the "Do you love VBS?" smile.  This is the face our little niece Mattie makes when you ask her if she loves VBS.  She is two.
Isn't she funny?  We, of course, think she is a riot.

Caleb and I find this picture on our phones at random intervals throughout our lives just to make ourselves laugh.

Here was the Grand Entry.  Those aren't just for rodeos.  No sir-eee.  Every horse show has them.  Complete with Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, and American flags.

(Evie is coincidentally learning the Pledge in Kindergarten this year.  I still chuckle every time she screams that our country is "invisible", with liberty and justice for all.)

Here is Grace on Trip.  Her overweight, beautiful, loyal, trusty steed.
I totally "get" Trip, if you catch my drift.

One of the events Grace and Trip competed in was the Trail Class.  This is pretty much an obstacle course for horses.  Last year Trip looked at that pallet and said "HECK NO" (in horse speak, of course) and would. not. cross. it.  
After a summer of work on this event, they completed every challenge this time and came in 2nd!

Our friend Heather took our picture.  Why did no one tell Caleb and I we looked like matching dorks in our red sweatshirts?  I promise, we didn't plan this.  ("Suuuurrreee", you say in thought bubbles as you read this.  We don't have matching line dancing shirts in our closet either...)

After we left the horse show Saturday around lunchtime, we raced home like Superman, changed our clothes and hopped back into the truck to head towards Chicago for a field trial.

This was Grace's first field trial ever.  And Clay's.  They competed early Sunday morning at 7 a.m. for the Open Puppy Class.
Grace was soooo nervous!
And who could blame her?
Riding around all creation on horseback, following a bird dog gone all crazy looking for birds like crack, and being judged at the same time? In a competition?
But guess what?  She did it.  And I think nothing makes a Mama or a Daddy prouder than seeing their kid try something new and overcome their fears.

Here is Caleb at daybreak.  I loved this picture.

I obviously was having a moment with the camera, admiring my husband.
Because I kept taking pictures of him.
I love watching your spouse in their element, doing what they love to do.  This was one of those moments.

And don't get all warm and fuzzy with that sunlight in the pictures.
It was a teeth-chattering, butt-clenching cold 32 degrees!

Evie and Best Friend Charly were awesome cheerleaders for Grace.  (We have to call her that because our neighbor's name is also Charlie.  So we always say, "Best Friend Charly or Neighbor Charlie?" in our house).

What a fun weekend.  I forgot to post this picture up above in a proper time-line of events, but I thought those dimples were too cute to not include it.

Thanks for reading, letting me brag, ramble, share.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Dear Evie,

Dear Evie,

As all of my our wonderful blogging friends know, you started Kindergarten this past month.
On the first week, you told us at dinner that a little boy in your class told you that you sucked.  We asked what you did.  You told us you looked at him and said, "I do not suck".  

I hope you always remember that! (And I'm sorry that you now know what suck means). I think you are wonderful.

Before you grow up too much, I want you to remember a little of what you were like when you were five.

You loved wearing a bunch of your clips in your hair every day.

Hello Kitty was the best cat ever.

Speaking of cats, no matter how many times we told you to be careful with ours, you picked them up, dressed them, and they would inevitably scratch you.

Your smile was contagious.

You said things like "Hold You" when you were sad.

You said the funniest things.  

Little dimples blessed your cheeks and knuckles.  

Painting your fingernails different colors was cool.

We were always amazed at your ability to see things differently than the rest of the world.

Like the time last week when you unwrapped all of my tampons in my purse.  Then you disassembled the plastic parts, and stuck the little cotton pieces in your ears with the strings hanging out.  And you proceeded to pretend they were headphones.

Or today when you saw one of my shirts that had a little hole cut out under the neckline of the collar.  And you asked me "Oh, I know what that is for.  It's for reaching your finger in there in case you need to scratch your boob."

I love you Evie.  Don't let Kindergarten, or the world, or life, or boys that tell you you suck, ever change you.

Love, Mama