We had a fantastic weekend here at our household. My baby turned 11

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And my Biggest turned 16!

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We had a wonderful family party here on Saturday. Brats, coleslaw, chips and fruit were served all per request of the 11  year old. Row requested spinach artichoke dip and costco was nice enough to provide that for us as well 🙂  I have quite a few wonderful pictures on my actual camera but the cord has gone missing after Jaia carried it upstairs  – There will be a missing cord search today! Hopefully we’ll find it so I can post some of those pictures this week.

The girls got some really nice things. Rowan got a “reading is my superpower” mug and Jaia got a “breyer” barn that my dad recreated from some pictures I had sent him of a vintage barn found in a thrift shop.

april pictures 2014 iphone, birthday, etc 030The barn is soooo cool! He hand painted the wood detail and the brick detail. Sorry for the crappy pic! He made the ladder from toothpicks and the feeders are pvc pipe. He is the coolest grandpa/dad I know!

Sunday we went to Comic Con/Wizard Con where Rowan wanted to go to specifically see Nathan Filllian- the actor who plays Castle. I wanted to go see Nathan Fillian because 2 other Firefly Crew were going to be there  – Adam and Alan – so fantastic!

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We waited 2 hours through two Dr Who panels but it was totally worth the wait. We laughed from the moment these guys walked out on stage.  It was awesome  – I could have sat there for hours watching and laughing! I hope Row enjoyed it.

I finally broke down and texted Row’s riding instructor. For the past couple of weeks Row has refused to go  and has said the disappointment and frustration has been building up.  I feel bad that it’s taken me this long but I finally realized. The trainer’s response? “maybe it’s for the best” and “maybe ………………………………….. can help?”  Maybe I guess Row made the right decision. I was leery up until this response, but in my mind this is telling me that Rowan’s riding was not priority for this instructor. There was no concern voiced, no questions as to how she can help.  She was just teaching Row, not to help her learn more, ride better or gain confidence, but just because.  Nothing was invested in Rowan’s riding skills. Rowan has riding ability and maybe, maybe, trainer it wasn’t Row’s skills (or maybe you think lack there-of)  that were causing the issues but maybe, just maybe, it was teaching style. What works for one doesn’t work for all and as a home schooler I should have seen that long ago.

Such is life and I hope that once we get trainers in place Row’s riding skills can blossom to the fullest extent. I have seen others that have left this trainer and bloomed. I hope it’s the same for my biggest.

Bright Blessings

 

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It’s been raining pretty steadily here for the last day or so, and it doesn’t seem to be letting up today. But that is okay with me – I actually love a good thunderstorm –  really. I am extremely grateful that it’s rain we are receiving this week and not snow! We were up this morning at the crack of dawn to the tune of tornado sirens screaming in the distance.  If you’ve never heard on before, they are simply LOUD sirens meant to warn you that a tornado is possible or one has been spotted . Basically – get to your basement NOW type of scenario – We’ve gone through the routine enough that the girls now get up without question and head to the basement. My husband usually heads to get Jaia, we used to have to carry her down the steps, and I grab Rowan. Row was already up and moving, grabbing her blankets and pillows. Luckily we still have the old futon couch I refuse to get rid of, so the mattress was tossed on the floor and the girls made them selves comfortable.  We weren’t down there for long though before the alert was cancelled and everyone headed back to bed to see if they could catch a few minutes more rest before the day starts. Jaia is still asleep as I type this at 8:00 –

It’s been a pretty laid back week here – thankfully  – sometimes we need that break. This weekend my girlies turn 11 and 16! A fact I cannot seem to wrap my head around – I think I tell everyone – Rowan is going to be 16!!!!!!!!!!! Throws me for  loop each and every time –  We are having a “family” party Saturday;  Sunday we are taking Row to Wizard Con to see “Castle” her favorite tv show/ actor. And next weekend I think the girls are having friends over.  Rowan is super excited about going to see castle and now that she’s 16, she can get her upper ear pierced – well being 16 and having a passport helps –

Some random pictures from this week so far :

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Jaia gets the biggest kick out of pretending to go to school. (I know- Right?) So here she is making her lunch to take with her –

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Doing “homework” at the kitchen table – Seriously – she gives herself homework.

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Working on trying to figure out how to make her “pouffe” for the irish dancing wig. See the wig there?  This is the bane of every irish dancer in the world!

I FINALLY got around to opening up my sewing machine and cleaning out the guts –

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There was a ton so smegma from sewing all those horse blankets and stall guards. As much as I like helping people out with repairs I think I need to nix them – It’s killing my machine and I don’t have the funds to buy a heavy duty one that could take the beating. Just an FYI – pants hemming OKAY 🙂 Horse blanket repair not okay –

And last but not least this week – this dinner got a blessing from the dinner pope (my husband)

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Chopped salad night – I had bacon, chicken, feta, cucumber, tomatoes, yellow peppers, sprouts and your choice of salad dressings all ready on the table . We could top the salad with our favorite toppings and dressings. I had added some gluten free bread for me and some naan for those that eat gluten and dinner was complete and a success!

DSCN3213Dinner – And it was delicious  .

Rowan is supposed to have a riding lesson tonight but I guess we’ll see how it works since there are more severe weather warnings for later this evening…

Bright Blessings!

We had  lovely calm quiet week here in our small house hold.  Barn day passed with out hitch. A trip to the vet for the dog was no problem at all. Normal stuff – shots since he needs to be boarded when we travel. Plans to visit Colorado are solidified.  Realizing we only have about 8 weeks until the end of school has me counting chapters and units in lesson plans so I know exactly how to plan out those days. The weather is finally warming up enough I don’t have to wear warmers and wool gloves each and every time I leave this house. Whew – this was a harsh winter and one I hope not to repeat.

The variety show has passed and Jaia did a fabulous job – I am so super proud of her for just getting on that stage in front of hundreds of people and dancing 2 soft shoe pieces.

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The picture is fuzzy. I couldn’t get Rowan to go get a better pic. Rather than jumping up and taking lots of pictures or videos, I chose to sit and enjoy. I wanted to view her performance NOT through the camera this time, but rather just watching.  She did great.

Saturday we had a friends party here at our house. Their house is rather small so I volunteered our place.  It went off with out a hitch and I hope they enjoyed it  –

Sunday there was a “show” at our barn. Rowan didn’t compete but we went to help since it was a Pony Club sponsored show – Rows favorite trainer was going to be there judging so we sat with her for most of the day.

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Row announced and called for one round of the show. She did wonderful and did something I couldn’t do – Announce and have people HEAR her 🙂

Her passport came in the mail Saturday and the trip to London is looming closer and closer for her. I think she’s struggling with this quite a bit. She really, really wants to go to London, but the shy, quiet, introvert in her is trying very hard to talk her out of it.  I am trying my hardest not to let that happen. She is a wonderful, brilliant girl who is letting too much of her fears dictate her life. She’s become too complacent and I’m trying to kick her in the pants a bit.  I think she’ll have a fabulous time and this trip will cause amazing growth for her.

Some tough decisions have been made about riding lessons at our barn – She is discontinuing lessons with the current trainer there. She really wants to concentrate on Dressage  and while the trainer IS doing dressage she’s an eventer NOT a “dressage rider” – I’m told there’s a difference – A BIG ONE and I need to recognize that and move Row forward. It’s kind of like learning knitting from a teacher who sews, crochets and knits but loves sewing most of all and puts all of her time and energy into sewing and never, never practices knitting. An afterthought type of thing.  It was a much tougher decision for me to come to since I hate to cause issues or ruffle feathers, but I needed to recognize that those lessons are not working for Rowan at all and in order for her to grow as a person and as a rider, changes needed and need to be made. All well. Such is life.

Bright Blessings

Yesterday I made not just 1, but 2 small zipper pouches!

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I really like how these turned out! My sister gave me this small piece of vintage? fabric  and I paired that with 2 “vintage” zippers – and voila!  So quick, so simple! (I hunt for bags of zippers/buttons and fabric when I hit thrift stores or junk shoppes!)  Now do I use them or create a small stash to open an etsy store with??? Or hoard them for personal use??? Just exactly HOW many small zippered pouches can one have??  HMMM —

I did  discover though, that my machine is not up to snuff – it really doesn’t like all the heavy duty repairs for people I’ve done in the past couple of months. And no it’s not the pants cuff repair! It’s the horse blanket/stall guard repairs that the machine is not liking!  I need to give it a good cleaning and hope that works – get the barn dirt out –

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With the end of the zipper I made a zipper head band!

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Rowan worked on British History

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Jaia worked on learning division –

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With a little help from our dog – He’s cute isn’t he? (hates people though he does)

Today is barn day – Barn days are getting rough – Camps are coming up soon – at the end of May – and neither one of my girls wants to help anymore. It’s just hard work and not enough pay really. And hot – really hot. Ah well. This may very well be the last year of camps for us…

Bright Blessings!

 

 

This week has been deemed “electronic free week ” by me 🙂 I have two girls who very much like to be on their electronic devices of choice, whether a laptop, ipod, ipad, or Samsung tablet.  Row reads fan fiction and browses “I heart this” for hours on end. Jaia watches American Girl videos.  I admit that I too, get sucked in to being on the computer. Craftzine, Pinterest, Facebook, – they all suck me in – But Pinterest is GOOD right?? I have GOT to figure out how to put a pin it button on this blog !

So this week we are taking a time out from most of it. I usually will give each of us an hour or so in the morning – maybe two depending on what I need to accomplish on the internet. This allows the girls and I to watch our videos, read, check email, blog and do our various what nots online. Then they need to go off.  TV is okay because we don’t sit around and watch tv constantly and it has to be okay’d by me – tv is not the issue. It’s those devices that can get carried around and taken into bedrooms where the door is closed !

The only exception during the day this week is really if I need to send an important email or print something up for school. Hopefully this break will get me out of my crafting funk and push me to sew! I’d like to hit my stash of vintage fabrics and make some cool zippered pouches to sell or make my body lotion bar or bath salts.

 

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Jaia and I did dig into the crafting supplies yesterday – She’s been trying to talk me into buying a washer necklace kit – but! I have all the supplies at the ready at home so I was unwilling to spend money on unnecessary items. Last week, when I was prepping for my “recycled art” homeschooling class, I hit the local teacher recycle center. I found these small metal round disks – samples of some sort – maybe 1 1/2 in in diameter – perfect for our necklace making.  NOT really washers but hey – they will work!

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I dug out cute paper and mod podge dimensional magic glue – and we got to work.

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We cut –

 

phone pics March 2014  parade dance 071Glued with normal craft glue –

phone pics March 2014  parade dance 080And then layered on the Dimensional magic –

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So far these are turning out very cute! They need to sit and cure for 24 hours and then I can touch them again. Mine I will make into a pin and I’m not sure what Jaia will make.

This evening Jaia has practice for the variety show on Thursday – But the day is calm and quite.

Bright Blessings!

Wow – time does fly! It’s been weeks since my last posting and we’ve been so crazy busy – We did end up having an impromptu school break last week simply because I was never at home! Most of it has been dance shows, but classes and a trip to the Magic House got in the way also –

This week is spring break “for real”. The classes that Row and J are taking are on break – so this week will be so much more relaxed. Jaia will be performing in a Home School Variety Show on Thursday, which she is very much looking forward to – but other than that (and our own school work) we are good to go! Everyone once in a while it’s good for the mind and body to have a week where nothing is going on –

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Waiting for the parade to start! It was, as usual, fantastic. Weather was perfect. Sun was gorgeous and warm (got a bit of a sunburn!). We started off the morning with a cheer corner for the runners, a dance portion after, the parade 3rd in the line and rounded off the evening with a wonderful evening with our dance friends partying and dancing the night away. Well until 7:00 that is. I was beat.

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Monday was JA Biztown – which Jaia absolutely loved! She was the CFO and got to write all the payroll checks and pay the bills. HEY! I could TOTALLY do that job. That’s is what I do at home! LOL! Think I’d convince a corporation to  hire me based on that experience?

I have to say that I was very impressed by my tween. She got right in there, opened her book, read what she had to do and got started. She did a wonderful job. As CFO, she “made”  $8.50 and then got to spend that at various shops in the “neighborhood”.

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J and her Debit card she got for JA Biztown.  She’s already asked if she can go back next year –

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And blowing bubbles at the magic house. While we were there, someone had misplaced their cell phone. We found it just sitting on a ledge and Jaia ran it down to the front desk. She arrived just as the owner was coming to ask if someone had turned in the phone!  The owner was so thankful that she bought Jaia another pass to the magic house. She even hunted Jaia down to give it to her. What a great day! It was such a wonderful and not at all expected gesture.

Hope the weather is warming up in your neck of the woods! Sunny but cool here – (at least it’s not freezing)

Bright Blessings

 

A little bit of big girl love today. I hardly post about my 15 year old, well, because she’s 15 – Not always open to be posted about and not always willing to let mamma follow her around with a camera 🙂  Well today she didn’t have a choice. The weather was a gorgeous 70 ish degrees and they  had their very first outside riding lesson of the summer. It was wonderful! I sat outside in nary a warmer, glove, hat OR wool socks and watched the lesson – It was perfect!

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Then I played with taking pictures in the shadow.

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Rowan worked on an art project today. One of her own choosing and I didn’t need to prompt her at all. She’s been working hard at keeping up with the work load for her British History and Literature class and I think she needed a break.

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I love it! Currently it’s resting spot is on my mantle piece but I’d like to find a better spot for it.  She found the idea on Pinterest. Of course   –

Isn’t that where we ALL find our crafting inspiration??

We are off running a few errands this morning – I need to find black or pink plastic bins for J’s dance teacher. Saturday is the St. Patrick’s day parade!

Bright Blessing!

 

Ahh – did everyone enjoy the  extra hour of sun last night? If you spring forward that is.  I absolutely loved it. It was wonderful to still see the sun at 6:00! However- waking up this morning in utter darkness? Not so much fun and I so wanted to turn over and go back to sleep! Ah well – I will grow accustomed! That and it’s Monday and my husband literally just called our first “no school day” because of the 70 degree weather! HA – the joys of homeschooling 🙂 Skip the snow days have a spring day!  Maybe we’ll get some yard work done!

Last week we had a wonderful, back to normal week. Dance was normal, Pony Club was normal -meaning no quiz practice – no feisianna – no nothing. My husband and I had our date day Saturday and went out for pizza and salads. Sunday jaia did have an extra show practice, for any dancer who may be in an extra performance this year.  Jaia DID have a performance at our local Magic House and the kids did an amazing job 🙂

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J in her old wig. Funny – after dealing with the black wig and the hair spray color and all that hassle – I actually LIKE  the black wig. I love the way she looks in it!

DSCN3130I woke up to this sign on Saturday. Jaia was working on cleaning her room so she could have a friend over to play – last minute weekend play dates are soooo hard to arrange –

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Jaia and I worked on a few small sewing projects. I used the last of my I love ID fabric to make 2 draw string pouched and Jaia decided to try her hand at a skirt for one of her AG dolls.

Rowan worked on catching up with her school work – She needs to be caught up if she really wants to go on the trip to London! I’m pushing her! I don’t want her to miss this opportunity and then look back in 5, 10 years and say – “I really wish I would have…..” I was never giving this opportunity and really, my parents could not have afforded it if I HAD had the chance – so I’m being a bit pushy with this.

This week looks like it might be a fairly laid back week as well. We’ll see. I signed Jaia up for this JR. Biz program and now really I’m just not wanting to do it!  Call it lazy what ever – but oh well. We need to break out the book and see what’s up. We have one week to get the work done.

There is another performance on Thursday. Rowan is opting not to go to the Pony Club meeting with the Farrier – So that means I can get J to the performance with no shuffling –

Have a wonderful day!

Bright Blessings!

 

 

Well Rowan and I made the trek to Kansas City this past weekend amid predictions of snow – lots of snow. I think it pretty much was anywhere between 1 and 20 inches of snow (at least that what it sure seamed liked).  Friday’s stretch was long and boring and pretty much uneventful. We got to KC with plenty of time to spare and at 8 joined with the rest of the crew for the opening meeting. Knowing that crappy weather was on it’s way, the order of the day was fun and safety. The organizers  had even go so far as to move the barn phase to the hotel. Plastic horse and all…

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Saturday dawned cloudy and cold but no snow or sleet coming down yet. Everyone watching the weather forecasts on phones and tablets.  With various reports bouncing around – snow starting at noon, snow now starting at 2 etc…. we started the day. I do have to say that “my” team was doing fantastic throughout the day!

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Our pony club group is in charge of running the stations room. So I got to sneak a couple of pics of “my team” working together. This year they had 4 on a team which means for any portion of quiz they will drop the lowest of the 4’s score.

The snow started coming down very lightly maybe at 3/3:30 and I think by 4 they had decided to call quiz, finish the last portion after a brief meeting at 5 and let everyone either hit the road or stay.  Rowan made the difficult decision to skip the last portion all together event though she wouldn’t qualify for champs again, and we headed home by 5:30.  Her decision could have disqualified her entire team (but really 2 of us were heading home) they needed 3 to be in quiz, but her other two teammates were supportive so off we went. The organizers I guess realized and did not disqualify the team after all. I really would have had some strong words I think because the potential for a huge storm and then being stranded in KC was pretty great. We made the decision best for us.  (they did end up taking third place though!)

A normal 4 hour drive for us took 6 hours that night to get home. Road conditions were less than lovely and it was icing all the way home. I swear after a certain point I saw no less that 10 cars off the road.

The rest of our group stayed Saturday night and headed home Sunday as a caravan. Snow did not reach predicted levels after all so they were slow and steady coming home. All arrived home safely!  Next year if there is snow predicted I hope they just postpone the whole thing !

All in all it really was a very good weekend. Rowan was the captain, which meant that after each round she was in charge of signing off on the written tests and then if they had to argue an answer she was the one who did the arguing. Very, very good for her.

Next years quiz these 4 want to be on the same team again-

It was a very good weekend.

Bright Blessings

 

 

Oh my goodness. This past week has been, I kid you not, the week from Hades.  I have literally been going non stop since Saturday.  Pony Club trivia night….  FYI – lots of moaning and complaining ahead!

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The evening was loads of fun and it is our club’s sole fundraiser. BUT oh my gosh is it draining. This is what I was making all the decorations for and so upsetting, I didn’t get any pictures of the venue decorated before guests started showing up. Doors opened at 6 and people started showing up at 5:20. Before the food was set out for the kids to eat. Oh and don’t get me started on the food!  It is really hard to mess up pasta in my opinion  – but they did!

Sunday we had a fantastic family day in Delmar. A local shopping/restaurant fun area. Rowan wanted to go to the Avalon Exchange  store for some clothes (upscale thrift/vintage resale store) and came away with a few different, fun shirts. I was so frustrated though – I was having issues with my contact lenses – one was actually messed up to the point that it was hurting my eye! But Avalon does not have a public bathroom that I could use – So I ended up in the dressing room in front of one of those mirrors!

misc pictures from new phone february 2014 017Tacos at Mission Taco. Yum!

Monday we had dance private lesson and riding lesson. Tuesday back to the barn so Pharma could get her feet done.

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Then dance in the pm. Wednesday back to the barn for stall cleaning and feeding – and then I made a dash over to my sister’s house so she could print up some iron on pictures for t-shirts for THIS WEEKEND. My computer, apparently does not have a mirror image option anywhere!  Some how I ended up in charge of t-shirts AGAIN for quiz this weekend, which normally is not an issue unless I don’t get any information until the Monday before we leave (on Friday)..

Which brings us to today. Rowan has 2 classes on Thursdays- one from 11-12 and one from 2:30 to 4 – All good right? Except we live 7 minutes away so I pick her up between each class.  And today I have to tidy the house so it’s not a mess for my husband this weekend – who is manning the house with the 10 year old – pack, do laundry and make 4 shirts for quiz. Then there is the “trip to London” meeting at 4 – which is a whole ‘nother post  – and the final quiz practice meeting this evening starting at 7.  With any luck we’ll be home by 9.  NOT quite sure what I’m feeding my girls or when but hey – I’ll figure it out. It is all good!!

Friday, Jaia has her 2 classes, which we missed last week because she was sick, so we’ll go this Friday and then Row and I hit the road by 3. Whew – Then of course Saturday and Sunday are quiz.

Makes me dizzy just reading it all! Next week we will be back to normal!  I did carve out some time to begin drafting a pattern for a dress bag for Jaia’s new school dress….

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Well  – I certainly hope everyone else’s weekends are relaxing 🙂 Maybe you can send some calming and peaceful vibes my way?  I’m going to be in a hotel with hundreds of very loud teens and ‘tweens – I’m gonna need it!  (you know with all the complaining I do, I really enjoy quiz  – it’s good for my girl).

Bright Blessings