Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Girl and Her Horse

Well, not really her horse, but the farm's horse.  But, Kaity doesn't know the difference.  It's actually probably Chip's horse.  He rides her during weaning season and can pop a cow whip from her back.  It's pretty amazing.  Anyways, back to Kaity.

All summer long, we've been riding the horse every Wednesday morning.  We've been trading services with Will's speech therapist.  Her daughter rides and Will gets speech therapy.  This means that Kaity has only gotten to ride for about 5 minutes every Wednesday and has really, really been wanting to ride more.  She's actually quite a natural on the horse and follows directions pretty well.  She's currently really into horses and is having all kinds of dreams about pink, purple and yellow ones.  So, this morning, we were laying in bed about 7:30 and I asked her if she wanted to ride the horse.  Of course, she said yes.  This was also really special for her because Will spent the night at a friend's house and she was getting one-on-one time with mom doing something really fun.  She rides in the kid saddle that we've borrowed from my mom.  Mom bought it almost 25 years ago to do pony parties.  It has served us well over the years.  I also adjusted the reins today so Kaity could actually hold them.  She had a hard time with this, but we just need to practice.  We're riding the mare, New Horse, and, yes, that's her name.  She's never been named even though she's lived on the farm about five years.  At the time she came, she was dubbed New Horse as in newest horse to live at the barn.  I'm taking name suggestions for her.  She's very sweet and a pretty red color.  Maybe Sally?  Or Sissy?  I think she needs a girly name rather than something like Red.  She's a very sweet horse and good with the kids.

Here I am leading New Horse and Kaity.  I mostly walk and lead the horse while she rides.  It was very, very wet this morning so we had to alter our normal path.  New Horse has fairly bad feet, so she doesn't like to walk on the lime road or in the muck.

Kaity and her ride for the morning.

When we go ride, Max and Tebow like to tag along.  Especially Tebow.  He has a problem of stopping to smell something right where the horse is walking.  He's good company.  Max usually gets bored with us and finds a shady tree to watch us from.

It took several tries, but she finally was able to pick the flowers from horseback!

After we'd been out for awhile, Aunt Lisa called.  Kaylie is at her house for the day and asked what we were doing.  When she heard that we were riding the horse, she rushed right over.  Kaylie's never been on a horse before, but she was a pro!  Even without shoes on, she kept her feet in the stirrups.

After a little while, I put both Kaity and Kaylie on the horse together.  New Horse didn't mind at all as long as she got to stop and eat grass every few steps.  You know the old saying "the grass is always greener on the other side."

After they were done, I rode for a few minutes.  I wasn't sure I could get on with that saddle (the stirrups are really high up for the little girls and it's not cinched very tight), so I mounted from a fence.  I haven't done that in a very long time.   After all that, Lisa worked on her feet some.  She's an amateur blacksmith, so we got New Horse's feet trimmed and filed and looking much better.  And, New Horse lifted every one of her feet in order without being asked!  What a good horse she is.

We're going to try to ride every three weeks or so.  That's probably as often as we can do it this fall.  I'd like for Will to be riding by himself this time next year and Kaity at least able to keep her feet in her stirrups.  Will didn't ride today, but he actually has a very nice seat on a horse.  I think he could ride by himself in a small pen.  I don't think I'd trust him just yet out in the pasture.

All in all it was a very good and active morning outside.  Just the way Saturdays should be.

Monday, August 24, 2009

They're All Grown Up

Not sure when it happened, but my babies have grown into kids. They both headed off to elementary school today - Will to 1st grade and Kaity to pre-K. The first day of school was always so much fun and exciting for me. And, luckily it's that way for my kids too. You've got new school supplies to show off, new clothes, new teachers, hopefully old friends, and so much more. Because we're in such a small school, we only have one class per grade. So most of Will's class is moving from kindergarten to first grade with him. We'll get a few new students and a few who don't come back, but mostly he knows everyone. And, his three best friends - Chance, Coy, and Dalton - will be there with him. Although, Ms. Cathy was smart and did NOT sit them at the same table together. They're going to be major trouble (and heartbreakers) in the years to come.

Kaity was super-excited to start as a "minitee." She can't say mini-manatee which is what the pre-k kids are called. She had outgrown her preschool awhile ago and was ready for a new challenge. Luckily for her, her best friend from daycare, Hannasha, also lives in Micanopy and is going to school there. Hannasha and Kaity have been in class together since they were 6 months old. They haven't seen each other in a month and greeted each other with a big hug this morning. The teachers may have more than they bargained for with the two of them. Hannasha switches between French and English (she's Belgian) and Kaity has diarrhea of the mouth. But, they are super, super cute together.

Here are a few pictures from the morning. Kaity insisted on this dress when school shopping. We had other cuter, better fitting choices, but I would only let her pick one dress and she had to have the all pink one.

Showing off her backpack. I didn't see any reason to get her a new backpack for pre-k so she's using the one that we used to use as a diaper bag. Still pink and has her initials. And, by the way, we've bought several of these LLBean back packs and they are great. This is a junior sized one and it's perfect for 4-7 year olds.

Will in his cool, new school clothes he picked out. The first grade teacher is not big on images of violence (including superheroes) so we'll have to check his shirt choices before school every morning since most of them contain spiderman, superman, iron man, or some version of --man.

He did get a new backpack this year. And, since he's almost 7, I let him pick one from the next size up. Again, it's an LLBean and he got the matching lunch box. It's got a spider on it which is intended to scare people because they'll think it's a real spider on his bag.

He didn't want to hold hands with her, but she insisted.

Micanopy Manatees!

Will is all excited about his new class. He was one of the first ones there and ready for me to leave immediately. This is his "please leave so I can talk to my friends" face.

BFFs - Kaity and Hannasha

I'm ready for a great year. I can feel that it's going to be awesome!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The End of an Era

Today is the last day for Will and Kaity at La Petite. They've been there four years this month. We've had lots of good times, some bad times, and lots of caring people there. It's kind of sad. They've made lots of good friends over the years and the teachers know them really well. But, also really exciting. We're ready to start a new phase of life - one that includes one school drop off and a more challenging atmosphere. But, we're really going to miss Ms. Jackie, Ms. Carolyn, Ms. Jann, Mr. Matt, and all the other teachers.

How they looked when they started in August 2005 (taken some time in the fall.) Will is 2.5 in this picture and Kaity is about 6 months.

How they look now.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Wedding Weekend

Erin and Luke got hitched last weekend. Welcome to the family, Luke! The wedding was beautiful and we got to see lots of family and friends. I've got a few pics of Erin and Luke, but mostly pics of the kids to share. The kids story was pretty entertaining.

We started off the weekend tubing down the Itchetucknee. Alli and Mom talked us out of taking the kids. Probably a good idea. John and I shared a raft with a bottom and he spent most of it like this.

At wedding "practice," we decided Will and Kaity really couldn't walk down the aisle together. Will kept trying to give her directions and finally she stopped and said "STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!" Pretty safe bet they should walk separately. She then continued to receive directions from mommy, grandma, erin and everyone in between. The last direction was from the officiant. He told her to throw the flowers in front of her instead of to the side. She gave the nastiest look I've ever seen her give an adult. This is a picture of the end of that practice walk down the aisle. You can see how happy she is.

Erin stayed at the Herlong Mansion in Micanopy. She got her hair done at my friend's house down the street and then had some of her bridal pictures taken there.

We all also got our hair done including Kaity. She actually had hers done three times. We were the first to Sonya's house and she started right away on Kaity. Of course, it didn't hold. We had to redo it and then she got to sit for awhile while everyone else got theirs done. And, she fell asleep on the couch. So after I rushed her down to get pictures. We came back and had her hair redone. This one held.

Earlier in the week, she had also told us that on Saturday no one was to call her Kaitlyn. Her name would be Sleeping Beauty all day because of her princess dress. She stuck to her guns on this one and we did call her that some of the day. Sonya also told her that it was her princess day as well as Erin's while she was getting her hair done. And, the photographer, Dawn, had her use princess smiles to get pictures. It worked.

Kanapaha has a pretty awesome maze that Will spent the better part of 30 minutes running around in. He looks pretty sharp in his outfit, but a little hot.

Will also loves to dance which he showed to everyone at the reception. He danced for about three hours straight. He told Alli and Scot that he thinks dancing might be "his thing." He learned all his moves by watching So You Think You Can Dance with me, or at least that's what he told people. After watching Grandpa do his fancy dancing, he tried to get Kaity to do all kinds of spins and stuff with him also. It was pretty funny.

Here he is doing his Egyptian move. That was his signature move of the night.

Kaity got into the strawberries and chocolate fountain about 10 pm. There was some definite double dipping go on and some wearage happening on the dress. Anyone got ideas on how to get chocolate out of a flower girl's dress?

John finally got me to dance with him.

Will danced with everyone including Grandma several times.

Dad and I watching the crazy people (Will and Grandma).

The bride and groom cutting the cake.

Congratulations Erin and Luke!

Out on Wacahoota Road | Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial License | Dandy Dandilion Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates