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Princess

What’s That Face For?

If I had a nickle for every time I heard “What’s that face for?” followed with this expression . . .

Day2 02

 

. . . I’d be rich. Oh. My. Gawd. The boy’s got some ‘tude lately!

Anyhoo, we took first day of school photos . . . actually second day of school photos because I forgot on the first day. I know, crazy, right?! Me! Forgetting a photo!!! But here they are in all their glory. They’re out to discover!!! Oh wait – maybe that was Scuttles. At any rate, they’re off to school for yet another year :-)

Day2 01

 

A couple things about this picture.

1. He looks like he’s just been caught doing something rather than putting up 10 fingers for 10th grade.

B. Princess is very worried about next year’s photo since Dude only has 10 fingers. How will he ever show that he’s going into 11th grade? She’s decided that she will hold up an extra finger for him. Then she got all worried about the NEXT year because she’d be in 9th grade and he’d be in 12th grade and that’s 21 fingers which is one more finger than the two of the have together.

Maybe she’ll learn something this year to help her with that problem.

The struggle is real.

Summer Is What You Make It

The whole fam was in the car last week and chatting about summer and activities and all that jazz.

We are always busy in summer. The kids always have stuff going on. I won’t complain. I love that they are out and active and having fun rather than sitting inside playing video games or something.

Princess has spent a lot of time outside with horses, has Western and English lessons, and has swim team practice every weekday from 10:45-12:00.

Dude has been playing a lot of baseball for the high school team and will have attended 3 summer camps (snowboarding in June, camping in Yellowstone right now, and canoeing in Northern MN with Dan for a week in August).

They’re both headed to MN to visit Grandma and Grandpa in the end of July.

Hubby made the comment that when we grew up, summer was what you made it. You rode your bike to your friend’s house and you found something to do for the day. No organized summer camp. No parents to drive you all over to do stuff. You just found stuff to do with your friends.

We live in a different place . . . we’re not in town. They can’t bike the highway to their friends’ houses. They need a ride until Dude can drive.

But I will say that their summers have been what they’ve made them. Doing the things they love with people they love to be around. Baseball, horses, camping, swimming.

Sounds like a great way to spend summer if you ask me!

A Look Ahead?

The fam went to the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo this past weekend. It’s always a good time! Princess always likes to get gussied up for the rodeo – we curl her hair and she puts on a little makeup even – it’s one time she gets to wear her Western clothing :-) We were walking around looking at the vendors and I saw a tree and an opportunity. After taking the photo, I both loved it and regretted it.


Rodeo

 

She’s definitely not a baby anymore! A look ahead to her graduation photo for the class of 2021?

The Parade

Princess’s trainer entered their group into the 4th of July parade in our little town. It’s a giant parade in a tiny town – always a ton of fun! I must say I was surprised when Princess said she wanted to ride Cowboy in the parade, but she was adamant that was going to do it. There were 5 horses with riders in her group and about 10 girls walking with the banner and flags.

We had a great time getting him all gussied up for the parade. She had a blast riding around with her friend, Alex, before the parade started. All was right with the parading world :-)

CowboyParade01

The parade was awesome! Our group rode right behind the Rangerettes, which was fun. They’re so classy and awesome! Cowboy did great with the people and noise and starting and stopping . . . until the last 2 blocks. Our little pony decided he was D.O.N.E. with this parade stuff. He wanted to move around. He wanted nothing to do with this starting and stopping and slow walking in a crowd.

So he tried to trot ahead of the group. Princess of course reigned him in. And that’s when Cowboy got his pony on! He started doing mini kicks and bucks to let her know how he felt. She hopped off and tried to walk him the rest of the way. He didn’t even want to do THAT! All he wanted was to trot off into the sunset. Hubby and I were trying to help her (we were pulling the muck bucket and raking up horse pooh with Dude throughout the parade route), but Cowboy didn’t like that either. He kept doing little side kicks to let us know to just let him be.

We finally got him settled enough when the parade started moving at a little bit quicker pace. And because I’m me, I just HAD to have a little giggle at my hard-headed Princess walking her hard-headed pony back to the trailer at the end of the parade.

Pre-parade picture below shows the awesome beautiful and confident team of Princess and Cowboy ready to walk the parade.

CowboyParade01

Picture below shows the aftermath of the battle of the wills . . . Princess isn’t riding anymore, her shoulders are drooped, and her number is falling halfway off her back as Cowboy sashays down the road with his tail flicking behind his glittery butt, feeling lighter because he lost three bows out of his mane during his tantrum just a couple blocks back.

CowboyParade02

If you could see the look on Princess’s face at this moment, you’d most certainly turn to stone. Cowboy is lucky cute ponies are immune to the icy stares of their girls!

She was upset, but mostly she was mad.

I told her that I was proud of her for doing this. That asking a show jumper like Cowboy to walk through a parade without showing off is difficult. That she and Cowboy did awesome. That if we didn’t do anything difficult in our lives, we’d never learn or get better at our trade. And that seriously, if Cowboy wasn’t a bit sassy like she was, we probably wouldn’t love him as much 😉

She smiled and agreed, but it didn’t make her any less mad at the moment.

Next try – the smaller community parade in August :-)

The Story of a Horse

We did it! We have our very own horse living in our very own barn on our very own property. It’s only been a couple weeks since Cowboy moved in. He’s happy. He likes his new pasture mate, Angel. Princess is happy. I’m happy.

But not being a “horse family” I have at times throughout this process wondered if we did the right thing. Did we get ourselves in over our head? Do I really know what I’m doing? Are we ready for this?

I knew that we’d have to buy a trailer some day. That day came last March when Princess’s trainer got a 3rd horse and filled up the spots in her trailer. So we spent time researching horse trailers and combing the internet. I think Princess is happy with her purchase!

CboyHomea

Then we learned that we were probably going to have to move Cowboy to a different place for boarding. I didn’t really want to do that. We bought this property for many reasons; one was so we had a place for a horse should we need it. Hubby took some convincing, but he finally agreed that Princess had earned having Cowboy at our house, and I was excited to be able to see Princess with him every day! By the time we got the old fencing down, we entered monsoon May where it rained a TON every single day. Took forever to get our fence installed, but it finally got done, rain or shine.

CboyHomeb

This meant it was time to actually purchase stall panels and install them in the barn! I pulled Princess out of school one day and she, Gigi, and I headed up north of Denver to get the panels. The boys at the ranch supply place were HORRIBLE at securing them with the tie-down straps. We lost straps twice in the first mile. So we pulled over and the girls made it awesome :-) I think Princess looks pretty happy :-)

CboyHomec

Next, our awesome friends gave up a Wednesday evening to help us unload the crazy heavy stall panels, and then gave up the entire next Saturday to help us install them. So thankful for them! We could’ve figured it out, but it would’ve taken forever – and we needed more muscle. They were also invaluable in putting down the stall mats.

CboyHomed

Even Princess and her friend, G, did a lot of the work. The cut the boards and installed them in each of the stall walls and door panels.

CboyHomee

They are kids, so they may have gotten a little bit “done” after awhile – and we’d moved onto the stall mats, which they couldn’t help with. So they got creative and created a rickshaw with an old wire spool and extra wood in the barn. Love creativity! I think Princess looks pretty happy :-)

CboyHomef

After a long day, DONE!

CboyHomeg

Princess couldn’t wait to put a few of Cowboy’s things up on his stall.

CboyHomeh

Duma didn’t know what to make of the new guy out in her yard!

CboyHomei

But Duma was happy when she discovered that Cowboy is the same color as she is and, much like herself, likes to get dirty! Now maybe she won’t be the only one in trouble :-)

CboyHomen

CboyHomem

After a couple weeks of Cowboy and Angel getting used to the new place and pasture, Princess saddled Cowboy up and went for a ride. On the way, she decided to stop and do her best impression of Crazy Horse – except our Crazy Horse is munching on a snack :-)

CboyHomek

CboyHomel

Some riding around the pasture – your very own pasture on your very own horse – is good for the soul.

CboyHomej

So after all the time and effort and research and learning and lost sleep and stressful days and money spent, I sometimes wonder if it was all worth it.

I’d have to say yes :-)

When Kids Are Left Alone

Some awesome friends spent their Saturday helping us install the stalls for the barn. Princess and her friend, G, were a HUGE help. They cut the boards for the stall panels and installed the boards after we had the panels up.

StallsCM

(Um yes – those are lights above the stalls. Cowboy and Angel can have a barn dance!)

We got to a point where the kids couldn’t help anymore – the adults were installing the mats (100 lbs each – 6 in each stall – yikes!) and cutting them to fit. So Princess and G got creative. This started out as a Flintstones car with two spools, but ended up as a rickshaw. Love it!

 

Cowboy is coming home this afternoon. Can’t wait! Of course I will post photos because OMG we’re actually going to have a horse at our house!

The Mystery of the Whiteboard

Yep – it’s been awhile since the Trailering Success occurred. We’ve been BUSY getting the barn ready, stuff bought, stall panels built, fences installed . . . etc. etc. etc.

One thing Princess has been obsessing about is having a whiteboard for the barn . . . to write the horse feeding schedule and important phone numbers on (farrier, vet, us, etc.). So I finally took her to get one.

She was so excited! That morning she filled it all out and had it just how she wanted it.

Then she joined me and Hubby for breakfast out – we let Dude sleep in (teenagers!).

When we came back, this is what her whiteboard looked like:

Whiteboard_Small

 

Oh boy was she MAD! She got all over Dude wanting to know why he would erase her board and did he know how hard she worked on that and now she had to do it all over again!

He stood there dumbfounded . . . insisted that he did NOT erase her board and would never do that.

Minutes later, the cat came upstairs . . . with blue and red highlights in her fur! Seems she thought it would be fun to hop onto the whiteboard on the table and roll around a bit.

You can’t HELP but laugh at that!

New Is Not Better!

It was beautiful this past weekend, so we spent quite a bit of time out at the barn with Cowboy. We towed his new trailer out there and were going to introduce him to it. He’s always been great at getting in the trailer and going for rides. You walk him up to it, get within a couple feet, throw the rope over his neck, and he walks in and stands there while you shut the door. Easy Peasy.

Apparently he was not at all impressed with his shiny new trailer! And the smart little pony also knew that WE weren’t sure what we were doing – he took full advantage of his knowledge 😉

Princess got him haltered, walked him to the trailer, and figured he’d go right in. Nope. He stopped, sniffed the trailer, threw his nose up, and took off running, right back to the barn where he threw the lid off of the grain bin and had himself a little snack.

Princess got him, walked him right back to the trailer, and tried again. This time we stood in the way of his escape route. He put his front feet in the trailer, sniffed around, and bolted. We were not standing in the way of a 1000 pound horse! This time, he ran to the front yard and munched on some yummy new green grass :-)

The little turd was not interested in a shiny new trailer that smelled – not like horse!

Lather, rinse, repeat.

We finally decided to contaminate the trailer. We grabbed some of his stall shavings and poop and littered it in the trailer (seriously hard to purposely put poop in a trailer when you spend your time trying to keep it OUT!). We gave it a few minutes to get all smelled up, and Princess tried again. He got all four feet in. He didn’t stay long, but he did get in, and we did keep him from bolting when he got out!

He got lots of love and pats and a couple peppermint treats. We figured that was enough for the day.

We headed back out on Sunday to work on it some more. Amara was there and gave us a couple pointers. Always learning – it was amazing how a couple little things we were and weren’t doing made a huge difference! He finally realized he couldn’t push us around – literally and figuratively – and that was that. We once again have a pony that runs right in the trailer and stands there waiting for us to do our thing. To prove how grateful he was for his new trailer, he promptly pooped in it 😉 We left it in there to get some new smell in it . . . Princess gets to clean that out tomorrow!

Chalk one up for the Boedies!!!

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In other news, it was so nice out and the arena was finally clear of snow, so Princess saddled up Cowboy and they did some light jumping. A good ride in the pasture and he was nice and sweaty. Since it was sunny and 80, Princess thought he deserved a nice sponge bath, which he did love :-)

But what happens the minute you release a clean, damp pony from the hitching post?

He finds the dirtiest spot he can and rolls. And comes out looking like this :-)

Dirty Horse

He even got his face dirty! He was quite proud of himself and went about his day having a mid-day snack while we shook our heads and walked away. Gotta love our spunky pony and his awesome personality!

Weekend in Words

Friday
Da Girls: Picked Princess up from school and we booked it up to Denver (where we promptly un-booked it in crazy traffic – still hate Denver!). We headed straight to the National Western complex for the Friday night portion of the Horse Expo. Our friend, MS, was riding in the Mane Event evening show and we wanted to be there! It was lots of fun :-) We got to help get a couple of the horses ready – letting down awesome long beautiful tails, brushing, etc. After the show, we headed to a hotel – just the two of us. It’s not very often we get to spend time like this alone. It was nice and fun and relaxing.
Da Boys: As far as I can tell by the credit card bill and the new clothes bags, they stuck to their plan of going to the sporting goods store for baseball gear (darn boy keeps growing!) and meeting some fellow Scouts at REI to shop for the high adventure trip this summer. Those are the only “details” the talkative men in my life were willing to share.

Saturday
Da Girls: Up bright and early. Princess made me promise to get her up early enough so we could eat breakfast and make it to the Horse Expo by 8:45 so we could be in our seats at 9:00 for the class she wanted to attend – Techniques for Trainers. Yep – given the opportunity to sleep in as long as she wanted, she made me wake her up so we could go learn how to train kids on horses. Spent a few hours walking around the Expo looking for things to buy (we succeeded) and getting quotes on stalls for our barn (yikes!). We may or may not have been sucked in by a live infomercial starring Princess herself – and we may or may not have bought a straightening iron that CURLS your hair. Last year, Princess loved watching the Colt Starting in the main event arena, so this year that was the 2nd must-do thing at the Expo. Sat our behinds in bleacher seats for 2 hours watching trainers break colts ranging from 2.5 years to 4 years. It’s actually pretty interesting and fun to watch! We left mid-afternoon to catch up with the boys at Dude’s baseball games. He had a double-header in South Denver.
Da Boys: Best I can tell, they got up, went out for breakfast, went to Denver, bought more baseball stuff, and headed to the ball field.
All: We had a great time watching Dude’s team play. He’s loving the high school baseball. He’s struggling a bit at the plate . . . hasn’t gotten his groove back after getting his cast off, but he’ll get there. The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful, and the facility was amazing! Private Christian school has some MOOLAH! It was fun for them to get to play on awesome fields. The games started late and ran late, so we all bolted the minute they were over.
Hubby and Me: Raced inside, cleaned up a bit, put on something nicer than shorts and a t-shirt, and headed out to a fundraising benefit with silent auction. Enjoyed lots of wine samples, yummy appetizers, and fun with friends. We may have ended up winning quite a few of the items we bid on 😉 Next time we might want to bid together!

Sunday
All that fun on Friday and Saturday meant catching up on responsibilities on Sunday. The kiddos were tasked with cleaning their rooms – like their entire rooms. For two kids who swore they had nothing they didn’t need, we ended up with 3 large trash bags and one large tote of clothes (2 to donate, 2 to put into a consignment sale in a couple weeks), 2 trash bags of trash (yuck!), and 2 totes of “stuff” they’re ready to get rid of. All is well in the land of the scary teenager bedrooms downstairs. Princess and I also made it out to the barn for a couple glorious hours of loving on Cowboy – brushing, cleaning his stall, giving him a massage . . . life is good!

And where are the photos of the horse expo and baseball games and before/after of the cleaning spree?

In my  melon. We were having so much fun just enjoying time with the kids and together as a family this weekend that none of us pulled out a phone or camera for a photo. I love photos, but this was a nice fun, relaxing, weekend with family and friends :-)

Now we’re off to the races again this week – horses, baseball, work, scouts, volleyball – Let the games begin! Woot!

Need More Bubble Wrap!

A couple Saturdays ago, we were up in the mountains snowboarding. It was foggy and snowy and the ground was “flat” in those conditions, even with clear goggle lenses. Dude and I were in the trees. He decided to go over a jump. Bummer was, there were TWO jumps. He didn’t quite clear the second one and his board flew out from under him. He fell back, put his hand down, and bam, broken wrist (told him many times that his wrist braces do no good in the car!). So he’s in a cast for a few weeks, then a splint, then we’ll see. The ultimate natural consequence to not wearing your wrist braces . . . you miss the baseball season you’ve been working all winter for.

Yesterday, Princess comes home from school holding her right arm weird. She was playing tag, stepped in a hole, fell, and put her hand down. Sore wrist. We iced and rested and iced and rested last night. No change this morning, so took her to the Urgent Care. Doc said that while she can’t see any breaks on the x-ray, she’s not convinced it’s NOT broken. The fact that she can’t move it up and down is a tell-tale sign. Also, the area of pain is where the nevicular bone is – which is hidden behind another bone and doesn’t show well on x-rays. Usually need an MRI to see that. She said to treat it like a bad sprain for 10 days – wear splint, ice, rest, raise, lather, rinse, repeat. If after 10 days there isn’t marked improvement, then we do an MRI.

This is in my office:

 Yet, I still feel like I need MORE bubble wrap for my kids. Sheesh!