Saturday, December 31, 2011

Male Pampering

Scott got a foot bath for Christmas.  It said you could use soap.  It might not have been such a good idea...

There were bubbles everywhere!

But in the end, he convinced Motocross Boy/Man to dry his feet!

This it was the Boy/Man's turn...

They decided it wasn't so relaxing because they were laughing too much!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Just Dance!

When cousins dance....

Thursday, December 29, 2011

An Elf?

Equestrian Girl had the cutest little Santa Hat...can you see it sticking off her head like a horn?  LOL!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Living Large

Equestrian Girl got dropped off at my office Tuesday and we made a quick tour of the GM Showroom in the RenCen.  This is HER car.  She tells everyone she's getting an Escalade when she turns 16.  Ahem.  Sure.

Barn Building

They are building a new barn where we board.  It will be a hay and storage barn mostly.  Work has been going along well and they hope to have the roof on in January!  I think it's about 100 feet long and 60 feet wide...

Stanley looks so dejected walking out to the herd in the pasture through all the's been an unusually warm winter so far which means the snow is rain.  And boy has it been raining.  and raining.  And raining.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve Monopoly Tournament

Every year we play Monopoly on Christmas Eve.  It's a no holds barred take no prisoners type of game.  Dad always wins (the nap earlier must help).  But this year the kids started practicing a few days before with Equestrian Girl giving Motocross Boy/Man some good tips and hints.

He started out strong buying properties and accumulating cash.  He bought Boardwalk.

Dad started out strong too buying properties but overspent his cash.  Landing on Boardwalk crippled him into mortgaging most of his property.

 And for the first time ever, Dad was out FIRST!  Totally broke and bankrupt.  

The boy/man relished having so much cash and went on to wipe me out too.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve Nap Time

This is what happens to Scott when he gets home from motocross practice on Christmas Eve.  He climbs in bed under the covers to warm up.  Calls the dog up to cuddle for extra heat.  Opens his laptop thinking he's going to use it but it just provides extra heat as well.  And then....zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bubble Island Smoothies

Bubble Island.  This is where I went for my birthday with the kids and one of their friends.  This is a bubble smoothie.

I seriously thought the "bubbles" were like mini Knox Blocks Jello pieces but in doing a bit of research (and hearing it from my curious sister who had to look it up), it's actually tapioca.  Motocross Boy/Man is holding up his smoothie which was banana with rainbow "bubbles".  They look square to me and I thought tapioca was round - they call it tapioca pearls after all, don't they?  Or maybe what they use in the smoothies is different.  But it all started from something called "bubble tea" or "boba tea" in Taiwan.  The original was a "milk tea" with the boba or "bubbles".  The Taiwan part might explain why we were the only 4 caucasians in a shop filled with Asian kids.  (I kinda liked that.  I'm quite sure it was the first time any of the three of them have ever been somewhere where they were the distinct minority!  Of course as homeschoolers we had to use that as a learning opportunity to discuss how it might feel to be a minority almost all the time.)  Either way - having a "Peppermint Bark" tea for my birthday was a good thing!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


I haven't written much about homeschooling lately.  Maybe because we are having such a great year!  Not without hiccups of course, but running pretty well just the same.  Both kids are still doing the majority of their school work with Switched on School House curriculum.  Both do well with it and since much of the grading is done for me, it makes it easier for me too.  Our biggest problem is when a laptop dies or the power cord breaks unexpectedly...and that's not the curriculum's fault!

Motocross Boy/Man is doing ALL his school work with SOS.  He often sits behind me in the office for easy access to my help.  He looks like a geek in this picture with two laptops going!

Equestrian Girl started something new this year going to a homeschool co-op for Algebra and Spanish with her friend, Christmas Lover.  It's held in a church so they call it "church school".  Christmas Lover's mom usually picks them up since I'm working but every now and then I can make it.

The girls enjoy going to the co-op and have become better friends too.  After classes, whoever picks up takes them out to lunch - usually to a place they call "Taco-way".  It's a taco place that lets you build your own taco similar to Subway.  The people that work there were surprised the say they ordered nacho's rather than their usual hard tacos for Equestrian Girl and soft for Christmas Lover!

Equestrian Girl is doing well in the co-op and is finding it a good dose of something closer to "real school" without actually going there.  They've talked about taking a full day of classes next year and not just academics. They'd like to photography and some other fun stuff it they can work it out.  I'm fine with that!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Open Shows

It always makes me smile at open shows looking at all those solid horses compared to our Paint shows!

Open Show

Paint Show

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Spy...a Blogger Friend!!

They turn up when you least expect them...LOL!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Too Stinkin' Cute!

We stopped by a horse show to see some friends and found this little girl looking out the stall cracks at us.

Later when her little owner showed up and popped red antlers on her - I HAD to get a picture. I could just see all kind of trouble brewing between these two!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our first IEA meet - part 2

The day had been a great one with a third place finish in her first reining class. But by the time the second half started the sun had sunk below the horizon and the building, and if it was possible, it got even colder. The girls got smart and left their coats on until the last second to toss to their coaches as they rode to the rail to start.

Equestrian Girl drew another lovely gelding who was a little small for her long legs but a nice enough fellow.

The judge for the second half liked to get up close and personal as the riders went past.

The sun had set but now we had weird shadows from the odd overhead lights that weren't exactly placed on center...

There are quite a few boys that compete in IEA - you can see one behind EG in this picture.

She's such a pretty rider - 2nd place in this class.

But the real excitement was after her second reining class when she drew a little horse name Pancake.  He's a super little guy who really knows his stuff.  He has a funny little hop to his canter but he was good!  The video below is a little dark and blurry in spots but the best I could get in this lighting with my cell phone.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Our first IEA meet - Oberlin, OH

We got to the hotel around 8 pm on Friday night and it didn't take long for Equestrian Girl and I to decide we were tired and really wanted to go to bed.  Much of the team that had drove in from Findlay had gone to dinner at a nearby restaurant - at 9:30 they were JUST getting done so we were glad to be in our PJ's and ready for bed.

The next morning, we were up early and ready to go.  Most of the mom's piled in my truck with me and the chairs we loaded in the back.  We left the girls behind with Coach Mark to supervise them getting hair and makeup done at the hotel before heading to the cold barn.

It was dark when we pulled up - about 7 am - and the driveway was crowded so we unloaded all the gear and then I drove the truck to a day care facility nearby to park as we were instructed.  The hayfield they usually used for over-flow parking was flooded from all the rains and although it was frozen at the moment, we weren't sure how much it might thaw out during the day and leave everyone stuck in the mud.

Walking back from the parking lot, the moon was just setting.

A few minutes later as I walked up to the barn (you can see the tiny lights on the buildings) the sun broke the horizon.  It was crisp and still and a beautiful morning.

Inside it was just cold.  The "audience" huddled in lawn chairs with blankets and hand warmers.

Equestrian Girl was in the second class - intermediate horsemanship.  She mounted up on her assigned horse and was one of the first ready to go as the sun started streaming in through the windows behind her.  She was freezing and Coach Mark ended up putting his coat on her for a few minutes until the other kids were ready to start.

The sun created crazy beams and shadows but it wasn't enough to hide our girl's great equitation.

Having mirrors on the walls gave her a quick chance to check herself when the judge wasn't looking.

She looked beautiful in her new horsemanship shirt.  Kelly Gross made the shirt, Cathy Pike did the airbrushing of the red stripes, and Equestrian Girl did all the rhinestones and the actual design.

Finally they were done and lined up to dismount for the next class to take over the horses.

And as Equestrian Girl hiked up her chaps, they announced she was #1!!!  Her first official IEA meet and she took first place in her class.  It had to be a good feeling.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Anyone who has been to our house knows it's an old house.  Most of the first floor has been remodeled and modernized including the addition that was added around 1981.  We are just finishing up putting in new flooring and moldings in Equestrian Girl's bedroom which means the upstairs hallway will once again be free of furniture and clutter.  Which means I will once again be able to see the horrible walls and ceiling that so desperately needs to be done.  Most modern contractors that have seen it say to tear it all out and start over.  This will be a huge messy job and very likely expose us to asbestos.  A friend who has worked on plaster restoration on old houses has suggested a restoration method that includes stretching thin cotton sheets over the walls and then plastering over them - this would "flatten" the walls and supposedly use less plaster than just going over the existing stuff.  I'm having a hard time just understanding why someone would so this to the walls in the first place.

This is the ceiling in the hall where a strip of drywall tape has come loose and pulled away from the seam.

This is a low part in the stairway - just beyond that wood trim the ceiling goes to the roof.
 Looking down the hallway towards Motocross Boy/Man's room.
 More ceilings and walls covered in this horrible bumpy lumpy stuff.

If anyone has any great ideas or wants to volunteer to help....Please let me know!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Detroit Mornin'

Another Deeeetroit sunrise!  You can sort of see the big Christmas tree in lights on the tall Blue Cross building to the left but the sun hitting the top sort of wipes it out.  I really like the city early in the morning like this.  It's really very pretty from up high - 17th floor.  But it's still a sad city, even downtown where they try to keep it looking good.  You still see homeless people huddled together on benches before the sun rises and often sleeping on the streets over the steaming man-hole covers.  There's one man who begs from his wheel chair right out in the middle of the street.  When I'm driving the truck I'm so afraid of hitting him because he's down below where I can see him on the other side.  I creep by him so slow I often miss the light and go through on red.  Better a ticket than to run over the guy!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mardi Gras!

Well not really but Equestrian Girl found this very cool mask at Pier One.  We actually found lots of cool stuff there and could have gone broke buying it all!

Monday, December 5, 2011

These boots were made for walkin'.....

Equestrian Girl and I went shopping for Christmas and the best things we found were boots for ourselves...funny how many of the dress boots in fashion right now are "equestrian" like boots.  There was even one pair with a tiny snaffle bit across the front.