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A Girl and Her Horse

I’m still amazed that we own a horse. Never in my wildest dreams did I see that as part of our lives. Princess loves Cowboy, and I love him and everything that goes along with owning him, too.

And this? This just makes me smile :-)

A Busy Princess

What, you must be wondering, has that Princess been up to? Well, she’s up to GROWING, that’s for sure! I’d like her to stop, but I know she won’t, so I’ll not so silently accept the fact that she’s in fact maturing and growing up in every way possible.

She had her birthday party a couple Fridays ago. Kinda sucks having your birthday on December 22nd, so we try to have her party early so we can have some holiday separation AND so people are actually around to come to it! This year, it was awesome! She wanted to have her party at Sky Zone – an indoor trampoline park. Um – yes! That is a check I will gladly write. The boys play dodgeball there every Friday night, so it worked out perfect! Dude hung out with the guys while Princess and her friends had a blast jumping and playing their own private game of dodgeball and just having a good time.

She invited only 2 girls from previous years . . . the rest are new friends from middle school and a couple of her horseback riding buddies. It was awesome! Had I known how easy and uneventful and drama free it would be, I would’ve brought a book! Basically, the girls went and did their thing while the party host set up the room. After an hour and a half of jumping, we went to the party room where the girls had pizza, pop, and cupcakes before Princess opened her gifts.

It was interesting when QT said “It’s weird. They’re growing up. The gifts are actual GIFTS this year – like stuff she’ll use.” And she was right! Very thoughtful gifts from the girls – it was fun to see this group together!

2 1/2 hours after the girls got there, their parents showed up and took them home. I asked Dude to bum a ride home with one of the guys after dodgeball and that was that.

An all around fun evening!

Princess always loves a snowman theme for her parties, so she and I made these :-)

 She loves blue, so of course the extra cupcakes had to be mostly just blue :-)


And the awesome party attendees – love these girls! Yes, she’s still the shortest! Although I will say, the girl on the far left just turned 13, so she suffers from the same vertically challenged affliction as Princess does :-)

Got 80s?

We have a group of friends where we all work at home. A few years ago we were listening to OTHER friends talk about company Christmas parties and all that jazz, and we thought “Huh. Why not us? Why don’t WE get a Christmas party?”

So we made one! We now have an annual Work At Homies Christmas Party!

The first year we outdid ourselves and rented a limo to take all of us around to look at the Christmas lights in town. A blast!

Last year we had a homies party at one of the family’s houses.

This year we decided to do an 80s Holiday Party :-)

I will admit that the Boedies phoned it in on the “dressing up” part . . . but Princess and I did have a blast decorating! Can you tell who we are?

If you guessed the crew from Clue, you got it! I’m Miss Scarlet in anything BUT a fancy red evening gown holding my weapon of choice, the wrench. Dan is Professor Plum (yes, the man actually owns that purple suit!). Princess is Miss Peacock in all her blue glory holding her weapon of choice, the rope. And Dude is Colonel Mustard holding his weapon of choice, the dagger.

Kudos to Princess for the Pac Man decorations and giant Rubik’s Cube :-)

The whole crew showed up in costume!


We had the Clue crew, the family from my favorite movie “A Christmas Story”, a Flash Dancer, and the 80s prep squad. The plan was to listen to 80s music (check!) and play 80s games all night (check!) and maybe watch an 80s movie or 2 (check for the kiddos). Actually, the adults only got one 80s game in – we made the brilliant move to play 80s Trivial Pursuit. Even playing the fast cheater version it took us all night and was the only game we completed!

We had a good time and had fun introducing our kiddos to the awesome 80s.

I’ve already got a party idea for next year . . . mwa hahahahaha!!!

Remembering Seth

Originally posted December 17, 2007

I am so excited to be leaving tomorrow to visit family for 2 whole weeks to celebrate the Christmas holiday. As I prepare to leave, I can’t help but think of those who will be celebrating without all of their family members present. Even though we are not military, we live in a military town. Every time I go to the airport, I see soldiers leaving to return to Iraq from their break, sharing tearful goodbyes and forever hugs with wives, husbands, and children. I see soldiers coming home on break, meeting their infant children for the first time . . . it’s heartbreaking, and I can only imagine what they go through to protect our freedom. I also work with many wonderful people who have direct ties to the military, whether it be a friend, husband, wife, brother, sister, or child serving in the military. One year ago today, a dear coworker lost her 19 year old son in Iraq. I can’t imagine how difficult that day and every day since has been for her and her two sons.

So please take a moment to remember Seth today – a brave young man who made the ultimate sacrifice so we could celebrate our freedom with our families.



Following is the e-mail message Seth’s mom sent regarding her wonderful son.

PFC Seth Stanton – Lost December 17, 2006 – Never Forgotten…


To All Who Knew My Brave and Honorable Son, Seth Stanton, and to those of you who didn’t get the honor:

Seth Stanton died in Iraq Sunday, December 17, 2006 from complications from injuries he sustained in an explosion that occurred when the Upper Armored Humvee he was Vehicle Commander of, struck an IED (aka roadside bomb).

When the rear detachment officer for his unit called me at 4pm on Saturday, Seth was listed in stable, but serious condition.  He gave me the details that his unit was out on patrol, on a recon mission, when thru no fault of their own, his vehicle hit the IED. The explosive went off with much damage. The soldiers following his vehicle were able to immediately assist the wounded soldiers to a safer location.

His injuries at that point were: broken jaw, broken elbow, broken shoulder, fractured collarbone, fractured tailbone. Shrapnel injuries included, but were not limited to: Lacerations to his liver and colon, which were repaired.

I was told that on Sunday, he would be flown to Germany for continued care and medical attention and from there would be flown to Walter Reed in Washington DC and that I would be flown there next weekend to see him. At least there was hope – they said he was in stable condition and was going to be fine.

A knock on the door Sunday morning changed my world forever.

Two uniformed officers were there “please, God no.”  As I listened to the news that my 19 year old son, my brave, strong son, my baby had died in Iraq earlier that morning, everything became a blur. I begged them to tell me this wasn’ true, they had said he was fine. They said I could see him at the end of the week – this couldn’t be true.They sadly shook their heads and said: No ma’am, this is an official record that your son has died due to complications sustained from his injuries while in Iraq.

You can only imagine the horror as all of this began hitting me – the questions, the repeating of what I was told the day before about getting to see him, the questions regarding his being stable and ok – my heart is broken for this fallen soldier. I will miss him so much. He was the apple of my eye, as are my other two boys.

Nate and Dylan have been going thru the grieving process the same as me. None of us can believe it. There is a lot of hugging and crying and lots of holding each other.

As there is so much more that I could probably share, I will end this letter to all of you. Lots of you have already heard this news, and have asked: what can I do? The truth is I don’t know. I appreciate your prayers, love and support. I know your thoughts are towards my family, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Proud mom of a fallen soldier, a brave war hero, my precious angel, Seth.





Just have to say – so proud of my Dude! He, with the help of Hubby, baseball teammates, friends, and scouts, completed his Boy Scout Eagle project over the weekend. This was the third weekend they worked on it.

In short – they leveled some ground (Colorado granite – yuck!), built a small retaining wall, laid down road base for a “floor”, and put up a Shelter Logic shed that the school had purchased. Then Dude and his buddies assembled two bike racks that we donated and put them in the shed.

It’s all ready for the 20 mountain bikes to be stored!

Mountain bikes you say? At school? Yep! This is a “special” school – it’s the 4th grade outdoor learning / naturalist school in the woods and home school academy for our school district. It’s an awesome program and every kid who has the opportunity to attend LOVES it.

Anyhoo – it took a lot of planning, they ran into a few surprises, and they had to make lots of adjustments along the way, but he is finished!

Now to write the final report.

Hike 20 miles to complete his hiking merit badge.

Then he can attend his Eagle Board of Review and hopefully achieve the Eagle Scout rank before next spring.


So proud of my Dude . . . getting to Eagle is a great accomplishment no matter what, but earning that before your 15th birthday is something else.

Photos to come in another post . . . I just couldn’t wait to brag on my kid a bit :-)

Her Calling

Anyone who knows my Princess knows that she LOVES animals. All animals.

She’s always said she wants to be a vet . . . or an animal trainer. Cats? Dogs? Horses? Lions? I think she’d do all of it :-)

You might think a little girl who loves animals would baby her pets. Not so. Tonks had 3 teeth pulled a couple weeks ago. She needed meds squirted into her mouth twice a day for a week. Princess would NOT let anyone else do it. According to her, it was her cat and she was going to take care of her, even if it meant squishing her between her elbow and body, grabbing the scruff of her neck, and forcing her mouth open for the medicine.

She loves her horse, Cowboy, and is really enjoying the jumping. Love this photo of the two of them at a show.


This is what she and Cowboy do at the shows – jump poles, cross rails, and vertical jumps.

She and Cowboy love it. When they jump high, sometimes I don’t watch ;-) Here’s a video of Princess and Cowboy jumping baby verticals.

Horse Jump


I was outside last weekend hanging Christmas lights. It was nice out, so Princess came outside with Duma. Princess got her “trainer” on and set up a jump course for Duma.

Look at Duma just standing there enjoying outside with her girl – no clue what’s about to happen!

Then darn it, the girl lures her through the course with CHEESE of all things!

Here’s Duma mastering the cross rails and veticals with a little guidance from her trainer :-) Sometimes she just jumps the last jump when she knows Princess is watching . . . but she’s always rewarded.

Cross Rails

After Duma mastered the cross rails division, it was time to move up to the verticals. She did great!


I just had to giggle. My Princess will do anything to play with animals. She used my empty snowflake light boxes and some extra timber poles that were in the return to Home Depot pile to have a good hour and a half of fun with her furry little friend.

Can’t wait to see what’s in store for this one!

The $1k Pet

Most of you know that I own an expensive dog. Not because she’s some amazing dog that comes from a long line of champion labs. Not because she’s a highly trained hunting dog.

No, I own an expensive dog because my dopey, lovey, awesome 80 pound lap dog has had both of her ACLs replaced. That’s $6k people. For a pet. (In my defense, the was only 4 at the time – too young to not fix.)

You also know that we own a horse. A happy, healthy, fun, awesome, horse. So yeah, he costs us some moolah. As a matter of fact, he’s getting new shoes tomorrow! I WANT NEW SHOES!

But neither of those are the $1k pet I’m talking about.

Nope – I took Tonks, Princess’s almost 7 year old,  8 lb rescue, domestic short hair cat to the vet for her vaccinations today. Turns out, the poor thing has 3 absessed teeth – THREE! I can see the roots! Poor kitty!

So Miss Tonks will be getting 3 teeth pulled (extracted according to the doc – I think they use that word cuz it sounds more expensive and they can charge more!) on Wednesday.

To the tune of almost $1k.


For a cat.

What we animal lovers won’t do for our kids and their pets!


She’s a Bitch, All Right!

I’m sitting down to my computer about 9:00 a.m. this morning, after dropping the kids off at school and running a couple errands. I’m a bit peeved because Princess left her tennies in the car on PE day.

Then I open my calendar and see that I totally spaced off taking Tonks to the vet for her 8:30 vaccination appointment.

Yes, Karma, you really can be a bitch sometimes!

But thank you for reminding me that we all forget sometimes :-)

Four Seasons of Horse

It’s finally happened! Winter has arrived in Colorado. Which means we’ve officially owned a horse through all four seasons.

We think we bought the last seasonal item last fall (turnout blanket) that we need for Cowboy . . . so all the bigger one-time expenses (blankets, buckets, brushes, fly masks, lead ropes, halters, etc.) should be taken care of.

But with the cold weather yesterday, I actually had to go shopping for myself and Princess! Tuesdays are our Muck Day at the barn. We help Amara by taking on responsibility of mucking all stalls and pastures, cleaning stalls, adding more shavings (especially in this cold weather), feeding and watering the horses, sweeping the barn.

We needed winter barn gear.

Let me tell you – Big R is almost as bad as Target for me!

Princess and I are the proud owners of our first Carhartt jackets :-) Woot! (Never thought I’d say that!)

MAN were they worth every penny! We were toasty warm in our jackets, which made mucking stalls in freezing temps much more tolerable.

We also got barn beanies, winter work gloves, and winter mucking boots.

NOW I really think we’re finished buying things for this whole horse ownership thing!

******At least until Cowboy comes to live with us sometime WAY off in the future. Then we’ll REALLY need to buy some big things!

Love This Kid!

So many reasons I love my Dude. He’s so kind and awesome and amazing and fun and loving and funny and eclectic and laid back and optimistic.

And he laughs – a lot – even when his 100 lb self is carrying a 42 lb. backpack on a 10-day hiking trip.

Here’s to hoping he keeps his awesome sense of humor and optimism. Mwah!