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We went to the Arch Friday. Why? Because we live in St. Louis and so very rarely do the touristy things.  Sure we go to the zoo – TONS – it’s free of course!  And we go to the Science Center occasionally – once you’ve been there – you’ve done that. It’s free also except for the special exhibits. But we seldom do the other touristy things.

So, to the arch we went. . It really is an awesome structure. When you stand at the bottom looking up, it towers above you.  It’s dizzying really. You can ride to the top of the arch in a tram – which we decided not to do on Friday. It’s still summer and the lines were just too long for us to be willing to wait.  The museum of westward expansion is very interesting. It includes pioneer memorabilia as well as Native America items. .   There is a stuffed bison and a wagon and a partial sod house. The girls had a great time looking at everything.  R was in charge of taking pictures, and I must say, she did a great job.

The Arch sits on the edge of the Mississippi. A fantastic river I must say. Only really accessible right here, at the base of the arch. Where you can see the tug boats going by and take a ride on a boat.

Such history behind it -of which I must learn more about. I think living with such monuments in your state, with in minutes of your house, you tend to take things for granted.   We live so close yet don’t know the history about them.  At least I don’t.

st. louis arch

mississippi riverfront. it's flooded. ususally there is a strip of cobblestone down near the river that was parking. can't even see it now.

stuffed bison

stage coach

There’s more of course. But you’ll just have to come see for yourself.

Enjoy your day!

We rarely ever go to the tack shop. Why? Because there is so much there that my children want and so much there that I won’t buy – flyspray, treats, all those “need to have” things that you don’t really need. (I’m more of the natural mama/horse/dog owner)

The girls received the money they earned for helping with summer camp yesterday – well they were told how much and then let loose at a tack shop. This is where and when they can buy all the frivolous stuff I won’t buy 🙂

It is so much fun to watch the girls tear through the store trying to decide what to buy – there were 8 girls total – including my 2.  They checked out clothes, hats, tall boots, socks, breeches, treats, sprays, hat deodorizer – yep really.

They scoped out bits, bridles, halters, lead ropes, crops and half chaps.

You know – 3 years ago I would never have known what any of this was  – I’m so impressed with myself:)

Several hundred dollars later we ended up with:

2 halters, a lead rope, 2 new saddle pads – 1 pink and 1 a pretty sea foam green, breeches (used), tall riding boots (again used $15) – cheapest we found – the next cheapest price was $50 and they only went up from there. Which really is cheap for tall riding boots. Glad I didn’t buy them 🙂 Various brushes,  a grooming kit- which includes a cute bag filled with combs and rubber bands (which I will promptly go and re-create with nicer horse material). Also 2 crops – 1 dressage and one pink with a star on top.

We also came home with a pink purse and a toy horse – these were my 7 year old picks + the other pink stuff – there’s not much one can buy for a horse when you are 7 and don’t really have one of your own.

It was a ton of fun! and the girls had a blast. Then we went swimming and had pizza – all in all – a fantastic day for all of the girls!

J's stuff - she likes her pink...

r's stuff not including the breeches, boots or crop

R all decked out in her riding gear - "new" boots, crop and breeches!

The second picture is R’s stuff , minus the breeches (used) the boots, (used) and the crop. That’s my girlie in the last picture – all decked out and ready for camp.

Enjoy the day!

Row of trucks and horse trailers

We spent a couple of hours at the county fair yesterday after R showed her poster.  We had some friends riding in the horse show.

Our friends pony in the costume division - he's a clown

waiting for her turn

R's blue ribbon winning poster

western riders waiting for their turnThere were so many things to look at. Farm machinery, animals – cattle (dairy and beef), chickens, goats, sheep, rides, food..  We had a great time watching our friends in the show. But it was hot! So HOT!

Enjoy your day!

Camps are finally over! At least the basic horse camp that we were all helping with.  Now it’s advanced camp for those who are way beyond learning how to tack and walk on a horse.  We are not helping but my oldest is participating in the camp.  Hopefully her pony cooperates. He can be a bit of a putz sometimes.

Now I can finally get down to figuring out how to be a propper blogger.

We’re off  to the Monroe County Fair today where R will show her poster – Basic needs of animal is what she chose. Hopefully she’ll do as well as she did last year (blue ribbon) and I’ve remembered to sign and date all little boxes that needed signing and dating. Last year I didn’t know and she missed out on going to state! Oh well – we all learn from our mistakes – yes?

Enjoy the day.

Well, we’re almost finished with our week off of camp – before we go into the last two week run. It’s been a lot of fun – sprinkled here and there with  some annoyances.   Getting up and out of the house every morning is one thing we are not used to here in our house hold.  Being homeschoolers, we’re used to having mornings at home. But, no biggie, we’ve done great!

Neither one of my girls wanted to participate in camp this year.. They were both Jr. Helpers instead.  Why go to camp when we can do all of the camp activities (minus crafts) when ever we go to the barn!  Going out to get the horses – tacking them  up – riding – cleaning stalls etc..  That is perfectly fine with me – That is free for us!  R will participate in Advanced Camp  – new this year at Avalon Horse Farm. For those girls who are more experienced riders and need more than regular camp.

I have a lot of sewing projects for after camp – not a whole lot of motivation during the weeks we spend daily at Avalon.  It’s only 5 hours a day – but it’s 5 hours a day IN THE SUN and heat. Really wipes you out. Back to the sewing – each girl would like a lunch bag – J with dragons and R with horses (in time for advanced camp – thank you very much).  A dress for J and I wish I could find a dress pattern that R likes  – but, she’s 12 and has become very particular with what she likes to wear. Oh well.

Tomorrow we are going to St. Charles, Missouri for a day of shopping and walking with my mom and sister.                     http://www.greatriverroad.com/stcharles/stcharleshome.htm                                                                          It’s a lot of fun – clothing stores, spice shoppes,  you’re typical tourist  shops.  Several “junk/antique” shops which I love to browse through.  I’m on the lookout now for certain things. “Vintage” tupperware (or old as my sister says), rolling pins, pocket watches, leather – anything I can use to make a steampunk outfit. And vintage patterns for children.

The girls are cleaning their rooms today.. I struggle back and forth weekly with having them do this. Letting each girls have their own room to want they want with (ie not clean etc..) is an idea I’ve heard lately.  As much as I like this idea of letting them be responsible for their own space – the clothes, books and toys strewn across the floor eventually get to me and the need for them to have nice,  tidy rooms finally over rules! Considering my youngest has the smallest bedroom at 10 by 10, it doesn’t take much for it to look horrible!

Sorry for the jumble of thoughts.  Pictures of St. Charles later!