Saturday, April 30, 2011

A really big win

Last weekend was our first big horse show.  It was an APHA show in Ohio at Roberts Arena.  We'd never been out of state to a horse show before so this was a new experience.  We drove down I-75 to Dayton where we were to head south east to Wilmington, OH.  Missed the exit.  I-75 was under construction and the signs were all messed up.  I got turned around and headed correctly at the next exit but the directions took us through a section of Dayton that wasn't really accommodating to lost mommies hauling 35' horse trailers.  I was giving myself a big pat on the back for stopping for fuel a short ways back on the expressway.

When we finally got there, we realized that the arena was part of a huge horse farm, Roberts Quarter Horses, and looked like an old southern plantation with the white board fencing, big house with pillars, etc.  The arena was actually several arenas all connected together with barns added on here and there making a rat's maze of connecting buildings.  It took me a while to find our stalls and unfortunately, since rain was in the forecast for the weekend, we were in one of the barns that was NOT connected to the arena.

We got unloaded and settled in with Equestrian Girl almost getting the trailer backed into our spot on her own (I'm teaching her while she's young with hopes she'll be better at doing it soon than me).  Stanley got worked, bathed and wrapped up tight to keep from getting dirty over night and we tried to sleep through some massive thunder storms.

In the morning Equestrian Girl and I were both tired and nervous.  And at each other's throats.  It all fell apart when Stanley broke the buckle on his $400 show halter minutes before the first class.  Since it was just Halter Class, a class we only do because we have to do it for the all around, we put him in a plain leather halter and headed for the arena.  On the way back we found some Michigan friends and asked to borrow their show halter for showmanship.  They very kindly agreed.  It ended up being a very lucky halter.

In showmanship setting up in the pattern and wearing her new self-designed and self-made outfit.

We love this pic.  You can see the judge smiling as Equestrian Girl goes past.

Walking up to the judges to set up.  There were 4 judges which should have made this a huge show but the turnout wasn't so great.

Inspection.  Stanley seems to be checking out the judge in the chair.  His name is "Goose".

Done with the pattern and feeling quite good!

The lineup with the other girls in the class nervously waiting for the results.

And the announcer says, "In a unanimous decision of all 4 judges, in first place is Equestrian Girl with Standards Gold Watch"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ying and Yang Kitties

These two kitties are very best friends but could be more different.  The one on the left is super affectionate. She loves to be held and petted and will come looking for someone to pick her up for a snuggle, especially on a cold day.  The black kitty doesn't like people.  Sometimes she will touch her nose to your finger but that's about it.  Equestrian Girl got a quick pet in with her just before I snapped this shot which is why she's shooting the evil eye past my left hip!

And this concludes my "who can post the most pictures of cats" competition with my friend, Tree.  She wins.  Not owning any of my own cats has made this really hard!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Homeschooling Curriculum

As most people are thinking about the end of the school year, I'm just gearing up. Why?  Because my favorite curriculum goes on sale in April.  It's 20% off plus FREE shipping.  That's a huge savings!  Most of their other sales are only 12% off...tempting but worth waiting for 20%.


I had a lot to buy too.  Equestrian Girl will be done with just about everything this summer with only the next level of Language Arts to move up to.  So here's what I bought:

World Geography
Physical Fitness (who says homeschooled kids don't get gym!)
Consumer Math
Personal Financial Literacy

All are Switched on School House except for Composition which is AOP's LifePac .  LifePac is more of a workbook type curriculum rather than computer based.  There's just something about Composition that to me needs to be handwritten, not typed on a computer.  I'll probably regret that decision because the kids will most likely disagree being the little computer geeks that they are but I had to try.

I'm actually quite excited about the Consumer Math and Personal Financial Literacy.  I think every kid should be taking both of those and especially those who have little to no aptitude for managing money.  (No Motocross Boy, I'm not really talking about you! Ahem.)

I'm also geeked about World Geography.  I love geography and it seems we've spent FOREVER on US Geography.  And not that it's all great and everything but I'm dying to move on around the globe about now.  I'll finally get to hang up my National Geographic World map again!!  Though I should probably think about getting a new one.  I think my version still shows the Berlin Wall...LOL!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Out of the mouths...

Motocross Boy:  Look Mom.  Someone left God between our doors.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kitty time

Duchess has had to make do with people affection since she lost her boyfriend, Frankie.  She still misses him.  Many people do.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fetching Stanley

Stanley never actually comes when we call him but he does usually look up and watch us.

Equestrian Girl always gives him a hug right away.

And then a kiss.

Then after it has rained, we slog through the mud by the gate.  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

2011 - The Second Moto - Portland, MI April 3rd

Motocross Boy started out strong in the 2nd moto - was flying over the jumps and holding off the pack for almost the whole first lap.

Can't you just feel the speed in this pic?

Then that Kawasaki snuck up there and stuck to him like glue again.

He was relentlessly chasing him but it was making it very exciting!

Motocross Boy pushed on flying through the course.

Even up horsepower hill he pushed his Suzuki to the limits.

But who cross the finish line first?  MY BOY DID!!!!!

And after they got off the track, the boys shook hands and congratulated each other on a great race.  Motocross is cool that way.

Dad was so proud he couldn't help kissing his 13 year old son in public.

And then he brought home his trophy.  The end.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

2011 - The First Moto - Portland, MI April 3rd

The first race day of the year started out slightly overcast but warming up fast.  I got this first pic as Motocross Boy headed up to the gates with Equestrian Girl and Dad.

They dropped the gate so fast after he got up there I missed the hole shot but Motocross Boy took it along with the lead for more than half a lap.

He got higher every time he took this jump.

This one too.

It was a close race all the way.

But not so close that he couldn't throw in a few tricks!

I loved how this track had a few spots that came really close to the spectators even if I missed him coming past so fast half the time!

Always someone on his tail...

Sometimes lots of someone's on his tail!

This green Kawasaki gave me heart failure a couple time he got so close to passing...

But in the end...MOTOCROSS BOY WON the first moto!!!!!!!!!  His very first win on the 85cc bike!!!

My kid won!!  My kid won!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2011 Race Season Begins!

First big track practice of the season:  Saturday April 2nd and Dad has to work.  Motocross Boy was worried to the rescue!  Dad packed up the trailer and had it hitched and ready to go on Saturday morning and off we went to Portland.  No mishaps getting there or even parking.  Getting the bikes out of the trailer proved a little challenging since none of us knew how the tie-down straps worked but we figured it out.  And then we had a little problem with bikes starting and staying started, but that was quickly resolved too with a little help from a friend. And then it was SPEED all the way as Motocross Boy quickly found his grove in practice and improved his times every lap.

Not a great hole shot but it's just practice - on the far right.

Just behind the two fastest guys - they are in a different class.

Catching a little air.

There had been a lot of rain but the bulldozers did a good job cleaning up the track and it was in good condition.

You can just see the tiniest hint of green...

My heart doesn't stop so much when he does this any more.

And Motocross Boy is finally getting his turns down better!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Girls Riding

Equestrian Girl and a couple of friends got together to do some bareback riding and mess with some trail obstacles.

But when teen girls aren't riding, they are texting.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mothers and Daughters

Me and Equestrian Girl a very long time ago...

My Mom with Equestrian Girl and Mini O

My sister and her baby, Mini O