Friday, May 28, 2010

The Pioneer Lady's Country Kitchen

It's book review time again...sort of. More like becoming reacquainted with a favorite cookbook of mine, The Pioneer Lady's Country Kitchen by Jane Watson Hopping.

I selected this cookbook a long time ago when joining a cookbook book club. Back when I seemed to have time to keep track of membership cards, book returns, and the like. I recall returning the book to the publisher and asking for a new one because the page edges were ragged. They did send out another one, just like the first. I apparently wasn't able to pick up that it was to be part of the book's charm and character from yesteryear.

But the real character of this book comes from inside. Jane Watson Hopping grew up during the Depression years in a farming community. They learned to cook with what they could obtain locally and with what was in season. The book is arranged by season which makes it all the more valuable when looking for new ways to prepare seasonal foods. Of course there are almost no commercially prepared ingredients which makes things healthy. And perhaps the selling point for me is that the cookbook is full of stories from a simpler time. Stories that remind me of the ones my grandmother and my mother told me from that era.

So in my renewed interest to aspire to eat healthier, cook seasonally, and use as few commercially prepared ingredients as possible, I plan on referring to The Pioneer Lady's Country Kitchen quite often. I leave you with Mrs. Hopping's final comments from the cookbook's introduction:

"Could it be that my tugging at the heart strings plays upon a universal need to touch base with our past, to feel our continuity with those who have gone before, to be reminded of our roots, of home, family, and the simplicity of a not-too-distant time?

If so, I do hope that the fruit of this book will bring warmth and pleasure into your life, good food, and a sense of strength and comfort."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Homeschooling with Work Boxes - Math - 8yo

Part three in my series on homeschooling with workboxes. Today's post relates to our math workbox.

This is a work box that I have scads of resources for. I often need discipline on my part to keep away from the easy-to-do worksheet rut. We generally will cover math in two different workboxes. My 8yo is a strong hands-on learner and relies heavily on manipulatives at this time.

The first box is for our curriculum. We were marching through Saxon 2 quite nicely but then seemed to hit a wall. Some concept that we crossed earlier apparently did not stick and math became a horrendous part of our day. As much as I love Saxon, it was not working for my 8yo. So back we went to an older version of Math-U-See I had from my son who learned similarly to my 8yo. We are going to do hands-on exclusively until she's conquered her stumbling block and then will transition back into where she was in Saxon. I do love the way Saxon spirals through all the concepts so that are continually refreshed.

With our structured program out of the way, the second box is helpful for reinforcing concepts difficult for her...mainly money values and math facts. I do love Family Math or Peggy Kaye's Games for Math. At this age, there are not too many extra math activities with real learning that I've come across that she can do alone. Math worksheets are not the answer for this child. I have a list of online math resources that I do like. Some require a monthly or yearly subscription but a trial subscription will get you some free time on the site. Here they are: although this is for higher grades

A sheet of paper in a sheet protector with a visual clue as to which site to go to (with my help of course) works as the work box item for these online sites.

We also have a MathShark which I will sometimes slip into the box for fun.

Again, math is one of those core areas that just needs to be and cannot always be accomplished by making it all fun and games, but we do our best to try.

How do you wake up your early grade math program? Do you find certain activities work better with certain learning styles? What have you found that works best for struggling learners?

Also in this series:

Homeschooling with Workboxes - Writing/Grammar - 8yo
Homeschooling with Workboxes - Copywork/Dictation - 8yo
Homeschooling with Workboxes - Phonics - 8yo
Homeschooling with Workboxes - Reading - 8yo
Homeschooling with Workboxes - Bible - 8yo
Homeschooling with the Workbox System

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pulled Pork on the Traeger Grill

Are you intimidated by preparing a big ol'hunk of meat? Well I am. Ever since that fateful Christmas when I ordered a spendy piece of beef for Christmas dinner which totally flopped...of course I had just had our third child several days before, was entertaining our in-laws, had said baby with a severe case of jaundice, our oldest was coming down with chicken pox, and an ice storm was brewing I guess I can claim an excuse or two. But regardless that beautiful chunk of meat was overcooked and tough. I think I decided then and there to just stick with the elk and venison that came home from my husband's hunting trips.

Truth is we do mainly eat game meat, and it is rare that I purchase beef anymore. But the meat that has fascinated me most lately is a pork roast. The kind that fall apart, get pulled apart, and slathered with sauce and served on a bun...pulled pork some call it. So I bit the bullet and bought a 7 pound or so pork shoulder roast and decided to go for it.

Now to be fair, I must say that my hubby purchased a Traeger wood pellet grill last year. This machine is capable of cooking most any meat without drying it out and giving it the most wonderful smoky flavor, so I did have some help on my side.

But here's what I did. Took the pork, rubbed it with Traegger Pork and Poultry seasoning, and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning I fired up the grill with hickory pellets in it and kept it at the smoke setting. The roast was put on the grill about nine o'clock and forgotten about until ten or so when I brought out the vinegar mop sauce that I found in the Traeger cookbook. It is nothing more than a sliced onion bathing in a 2:1 ratio of vinegar to water along with a few tablespoons of brown sugar, some kosher salt, and pepper.

Every hour I brushed the roast with the sauce. Why do this? I'm not a grill king to know the scientific reason, but I do know that when the meat was done, the outside crust was beautifully crispy with a wonderful tangy kind of bite to it. About nine hours later, the meat had reached its target temperature of 170 degrees. I let it set as long as the mob at home would allow it and then began to shred it up and serve it on buns with some coleslaw.

It was incredibly moist and tasty and salty and smoky and just plain good. I was pretty impressed. Served up plain on the bun it was good, but with just a little bit of sauce added to it to zip up the flavor, it was incredible. The down side was that there was just one container of meat left over and here I had big plans on how to use the remaining meat. Guess that's a good thing though.

While writing this post I thought I would check to see if I could gather any other tips that would would help produce fantastic pulled pork and came across this YouTube video by I was rather excited to see that my pork shoulder looked liked theirs so I guess I was on the right track. I didn't let the internal temperature get as high as theirs and did not wrap the meat in foil to let it rest for 45 minutes. I have a feeling both of those items together would have made my pork-pulling a little easier, but I don't think you could have improved on the taste at all. Nope. It was still pretty tasty.

Next chunk of meat for the grill? I'm not sure yet. Any suggestions? I think I'm getting the hang of it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Homeschooling with Work Boxes - Reading - 8yo

Part two in my series on homeschooling with workboxes. This time around, reading workbox with our 8yo.

I don't know about you, but this has to be the easiest box of all if you are following a prescribed phonics/reading program. Pop in the current reader, and off you go. Reading has slowly come to my 8yo, so we don't do anything fancy. The Sonlight series of beginning readers had type difficult for her to follow, so I picked up some used Abeka readers for Grade 1 after she had some basic phonics instruction. Even when those seemed difficult, some days I would have her dictate a story to me which I would in turn use as a reader for her. It worked remarkable well and took a lot of frustration out of those early decoding-phonics days.

Currently, we are working through the Abeka level 1.4 reader at one point during the day and then come back to reading later on in the day. We have just again picked up Sonlight at Grade 1 and are reading through the Beginner's Bible according to their schedule. I find that the extra reading time is helping cement her reading which came to her slower than my other children.

I also have a stack of her previous readers plus very easy beginner books including some of the easier Seuss titles which ideally she picks from to read to her dad in the evening. Note the comment...ideally.

How do you spice up your reading work box? Or do you feel the need to? At this early reading stage, we're happy with working through the readers and getting a good foundation for later down the road.

Also in this series:

Homeschooling with Workboxes - Writing/Grammar - 8yo
Homeschooling with Workboxes - Copywork/Dictation - 8yo
Homeschooling with Workboxes - Phonics - 8yo
Homeschooling with Workboxes - Math - 8yo
Homeschooling with Workboxes - Bible - 8yo
Homeschooling with the Workbox System

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Homeschooling with Workboxes - Bible - 8yo

Last April I posted about using Sue Patrick's Workbox System. We having been following her guidelines since then and have been loving it with our 8yo and 13yo.

As this homeschool year starts to slow down, I thought I would share my thoughts on our past year of using the workboxes with our 8yo, and specifically for this post, the contents of our Bible work box. Each consecutive post will feature another one of our boxes.

We are fortunate to have a wonderful Sunday School curriculum. It happens to be available to download online if anyone is interested in checking it out. The lesson sheet usually shows up in the boxes Monday and Tuesday as it is read and the activities done over those two days. The included memory verse is worked on all week. As my 8yo's writing abilities increase, I plan on using the verse as additional copy work on Tuesday so that the verse can be put in the box Wednesday through Friday for continued memorization.

As I loosely follow Sonlight Curriculum, we always read through their suggested Bible curriculum for the approximate age group. This year we are working through The Awesome Book of Bible Facts, so it is put into the box for Wednesday.

Thursday's box hopefully contains a related storybook to what we read in the Awesome Book of Bible Facts. Most often it is from the Golden Children's Bible. Love their classic illustrations, and of course it is the children's Bible I remember growing up and reading myself.

Friday's box is supposed to contain access to my Betty Luken's felt characters from the Bible which had originally been purchased when I was teaching Sunday school. However...I sometimes don't muster up the courage to get them out as no 8yo ever spends just "a little time" with them or makes just "a little mess". Something we both need to work on. Alternatively I will read a character building story from my Goodwill volume of Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories. Classic goodness.

What I would really like to do would be to find some more hands-on resources to put into her Bible box. seems to be a great supplemental resource for those kids who like to illustrate Bible stories. I plan on adding that in this summer perhaps.

Even though school may be officially over soon, Bible study is never over so it will be ongoing.

With my 8yo and 13yo being the only ones schooled at home at this time, it is difficult to find topics that are applicable to both girls so we tend to do our Bible studies individually. Another goal would be to incorporate at least one day a week working together on their Bible boxes together.

How do you handle your Bible curriculum? If you school multiple ages together, what works for you? Do you continue Bible study throughout the summer?

Also in this series:

Homeschooling with Workboxes - Writing/Grammar - 8yo
Homeschooling with Workboxes - Copywork/Dictation - 8yo
Homeschooling with Workboxes - Phonics - 8yo
Homeschooling with Workboxes - Math - 8yo
Homeschooling with Workboxes - Reading - 8yo
Homeschooling with the Workbox System

This post is also linked up with Confessions of a Homeschooler through her What's in the Box Wednesday linkup. Be sure to head over there for some incredible ideas from other homeschoolers using workboxes.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Do you have a little food indulgence that you hoard to yourself? Something that just makes your day? Well I used to...Ibarra Mexican Chocolate. Chocolate that makes the best mochas on the face of the planet. Oh, I still love it, but since my 8yo has discovered it, it's just that it is no long just mine to enjoy.

I was first introduced to Mexican chocolate years and years ago, even before I had my latte habit. I was offered some at my husband's Christmas party hosted at his employer's home. They were all enjoying their lattes but of course, the time...didn't like coffee, so the hostess offered me a mug of steamed Mexican hot chocolate. It was the best thing I had ever tasted. Topped with whipped cream as I remember, it was a dessert in itself. Now my favorite way to enjoy it is with a shot of espresso to tame down the sweetness and usually sans whipped cream, not that I wouldn't want it that way.

There are powdered commercial mixes out there but my favorite Mexican chocolate brand is Ibarra. It comes in a box which contains circular disks of the chocolate which is no more than chocolate, sugar, and cinnamon. But the taste combo is fantastic. I happen to have a micro plane zester, so I simply grate a serving of chocolate and pour it straight into my steamed milk. It dissolves almost instantly. Alternatively, your milk can be heated with the serving of chocolate in it. About the time the milk is warm, the chocolate has softened and then it can be whisked thoroughly to incorporate it.

No matter how you prepare it, nothing can beat it as a perfect hot chocolate or a mocha drink. But if you ask my 8yo, she enjoys it just as much chomping it down straight.

Do you have a favorite food treat? Has it caught on with your family and friends? It will be interesting to see what we all come up with.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Virtual Garden Planner -

Head on over to Abernathy Creek Farm to read my recent post about my new where I have been tracking our garden. Enjoy!

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Typical Day Around Here

This just seems like it’s going to be one of those days. So just for kicks and giggles, I’m going to keep track of what goes on in a somewhat typical day around here. Just a good exercise to keep life in perspective at times. So here goes:

Heard son wake up early to get off to AP exam. Already had breakfast burrito in fridge ready for him to heat up so decided not to get up. But then worried that he wouldn’t make it in time since he really should have been out the door by then. Rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. This would be a good case of reality discipline if he were late.

Woke up with back killing me for some reason. Decided it was because 8yo plus a puppy were in bed with me.

Realization that my two oldest girls are out of town, and I’m in charge of all animals today. Let out puppies and fed them. Slapped in contacts and headed to barn. Fed buck and his companions. Filled water bucket. Fed horses. Gave grain to milking does and babies. Checked their water buckets. Fed their hay. Sprinkled chicken food here, there, and everywhere so everyone would get a fair chance to eat. Took hay out to other goat pen. Opened greenhouse and felt an oven blast at me. Already 70 degrees outside. Wonder of wonders. Will not allow anyone to complain about ‘heat’ today. We’ve lived in the 40s, 50s, and 60s for way too long this year. But of course there won’t be anyone to complain. 16yo at school and 8yo won’t be too hot. She’ll have her swim suit on all day.

Made my morning latte. Today’s flavor…hazelnut. Thoroughly enjoyed the goat's milk in it. Richness to die for. Ate an overly dry homemade high-fiber muffin. Might not repeat that recipe again. Put two forgotten pounds of fresh picked asparagus into refrigerator. Rinsed out batch of sprouts. Picked up forgotten dishes throughout the house. Unloaded and reloaded dishwasher.

Headed upstairs to the ‘fast’ computer to check email that has largely been forgotten for a week except for anything that screamed ‘read me now’. Gathered up loose stacks of papers, notes, and resulting printed emails into a pile to tackle later. Checked my Twitter feed. My daily fix reminding that I really do have a good life and I should be thankful for my own situation.

Phone call from DH that they made it to their hunting spot. He was whispering, as they were watching a flock of wild turkeys. Burst his bubble by telling him 13yo already had sent me a text at 1 a.m. or so that simply read “SERVICE!” Deciphered that would mean they were there and there was cell service at the house. Her biggest fear didn’t materialize I guess.

Headed out to weed the peppermint and spearmint bed by the back deck that hasn’t been touched all year. Being the real gardener that I’m not, I hauled off the weeds in a Little Tykes wagon to compost around one of the fruit trees. Headed back outside with camera to snap shot of mint for my 365 Project.

Short break to attempt to annihilate extra large black fly that made it into the house. Battery operated fly zapper is one of our summer staples I tell you. Guzzled glass of water and downed some Advil. Instant headache from the bright sun outside I’m guessing.

Once again attempted to wake up 8yo. Went to bed late since daddy was gone and of course is tired this morning. Watered hanging front porch plants that I received for Mother’s Day. They went with plastic pots this time instead of peat. Should make a world of difference with the western exposure they get.

Vacuumed downstairs floor. Folded load of laundry. Bagged and took out kitchen garbage. Workers were absent today.

Looked up Alton Brown recipe for monkey bread. Episode we watched last night must have stuck in 8yo’s head, because the first thing she said once she did wake up, “Let’s make that monkey bread.” Sounds good to me. Put together dough and put into dough machine. Used up buttermilk, so I used last remaining cup or so to start a new batch inoculating on the windowsill.

It is now straight-up noon. Should probably see to it that 8yo eats something. Her monkey bread isn’t going to be ready for quite some time.

Hauled two giant bags of potting soil to garden shed to start potting up plants. Took over new hose to swap out for one that has no end connector which will go to chicken/goat house as that hose have 5,009 leaks in it. Let’s hope they all will be long enough for what I want. Tied shut front gate and let mini horse out to graze the grass around the fruit trees.

Call from 20yo hunting. Needed her work scheduled checked. Hasn’t been able to get anyone to pick up her Saturday shift. Not a good thing. 16yo tried to call on cell while I’m on land line. Told him to text me. Now he says never mind. So of course I want to know why he called in the first place. A text back is in order.

New hose too short but found another short one I didn’t know existed by fire pit. Perfect connectors too. Hooked up spray head and watered garden beds. So nice when your equipment is in working order.

Picked full bowl of greens from greenhouse…spinach, romaine, arugula, and mesclun mix. Going to pick new dressing recipe to try on these. No way I want to smother them with something commercial. While in kitchen, gave 8yo directions on how to make her raw apple pie. The one she eats most of the apples before she gets the dough finished so it gets eaten raw as well.

8yo asked if she could let out horses. Wants to help since older girls are gone. “Of course, sweetie you can. But please don’t get trampled.”

Honey mustard vinaigrette was so good on the garden greens with some of the preserved feta I had made last year and a few toasted walnuts that I could have just about licked the plate clean. Belly full, it’s now time to head out to pot up the pepper, tomatoes and squash plants. Got to keep those roots growing.

Potted up a zillion tomato and squash starts. Think I could sell the extra starts on Craig's List maybe. No way I can wear gloves to pot stuff up. Can’t feel what I’m doing. I have fingernails to die for now. 8yo interrupted potting session to announce her yearling goat was stuck. Extricated her from behind their shed. Decided to let all yearlings out in pasture for awhile. Then decided she wanted to mix up both herds. Told her yes to all to keep her busy. Goat herd needs new separation anyway so helped me out besides.

Request for strawberry lemonade as 8yo running through wiggly worm type sprinkler with puppies. The smell of wet dog is a little overpowering on a day like today. They are staying outside. As for me, I’m making up my iced coffee that cold-brewed overnight.

Debriefed with 16yo on his AP exam. Checked on his evening plans. Made him a strawberry lemonade. 8yo really hungry now so heating up some canned tomato soup.
Totally forgot about monkey bread dough in bread machine. Caught it just in time. It was beginning to billow over the top of the bread pan. Yikes! That would have been one of those monster messes had it run over.

Finished shaping and setting up monkey bread. Ate rest of canned soup 8yo didn’t eat. Topped mine with croutons though. Makes a world of taste difference. 8yo brought me her favorite young hen to visit me on the deck which then reminded me to go get my bowl of kitchen scraps to chuck over the fence for the other awaiting hens. Dessert for them. Now off to change and head down to our local fruit and veggie market to replenish and those warm climate food items that cannot be grown here. Realize that is just exactly what a locavore’s speak against. I’d have to have a serious support group and recipe base to just live off what would be available locally here in the NW at this time of year. Also realized that it is five o’clock…dinner time. 16yo’s dinner will have to wait until I get home.

Impromptu detour to try on swimsuits for 8yo turned into disaster. This hypersensitive child of mine has a hard time wearing any clothes at all and tight banded swimsuits above drove her off the deep end. Not sure how we ever found one for her last year. Trip to fruit market yielded a plantain to fry up tonight as well as the usual fare. Near death experience on the highway as well.

Returned home and sorted out goats into current feeding plan. Noticed that scur on a yearling had been knocked off. Actually a good thing. Now it just needs some antibiotic cream attention.

16yo spending night at friends before going out to youth football referee training in the morning. Got him set up with GPS as training site is 45 minutes on other side of town where he has never driven before. Came to realization that monkey bread –which had risen way, way up and almost over top of its pan- will have to all be consumed by 8yo and myself. No one else home to share it with. That is not a good thing.

Unloaded grain and horse vitamins out of back of van. Fed all animals. Started some clean up of barn while has been sorely neglected as of late.

Seven pm. Thoroughly hungry. Thoroughly sweaty. I guess that happens when the sun comes out. Now time for some leftovers which unlike the rest of the family, I thoroughly enjoy. Haven’t even cleaned kitchen as I went today or put away fruit, so no point in cooking for just myself and 8yo. Besides, monkey bread will go in the oven tonight.

Oops. Guess I need to feed the pups too. They still had breakfast in their bowls at lunch so they’re pretty ravenous now having missed their lunch meal.

Loaded up dishes that could go in the dishwasher. Had tour by 8yo of her latest animal scene creation, for lack of words to describe them. Grabbed leashes to take puppies for a stroll through the woods with plan to lock up horses when done down there, feed cats, and milk my one doe. Took along peppermint essential oil and almond carrier oil as I fear she might have a congested udder on one side. Also hauled down California Mastitis Test, just in case.

After lengthy walk –discovered some sort of animal bone- and lengthy session on wooden play structure down there, finished up animal chores. Did a little more pick up in the barn. Checked on pullet hens. They were in hen house as they were supposed to be.

Turned on oven to back monkey bread. Checked in on 16yo who was now home with friends, so obviously there has been a change in plans. What next? Why I’m not sure. After all, the night is still young…it’s only 8:30 p.m.

Now I find myself making nachos, preempting the oven for the monkey bread. 16yo has three friend over, and they’re ravenous. Guess I’ll concentrate on getting the hand-washed dishes done and picking up the dining room table. Doesn’t every one use theirs as a dumping ground? Just too easy at our place as we have a common kitchen/dining area.

Just about lost the entire tray of nachos under the broiler. Par for me. Wandered out to outside refrigerator to look for 16yo’s treasured bottle of Tabasco sauce. Clean forgot about what was going on in the kitchen. Teens fed and presently occupied with the hot tub. 8yo bathed. Three days worth of 365 Project photos edited and uploaded. Double cup of Stash White Christmas tea in my hand. And sliver removed from 8yo’s foot. Now time for my shower.

Now that it’s approaching midnight, I’m going to grab Walter, the Lazy Mouse and finish reading it to 8yo. Puppies look like they’re sacked out for good. And my legs are plain tired from standing. And then it will be time to pull up the covers and call it a night.

And so, that was a day in our household. The observant reader will notice that there was no homeschooling done that day. When the older kids are gone, it's a vacation day for the 8yo and me. Not that today was a vacation by anymeans however. Have you posted about a typical day in your household? I'd love for you to leave a comment and link to it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Growing Your Own Sprouts

They say that if you can remember wearing a certain fashion growing up, you shouldn't repeat it as an adult when it recirculates again...a sign you're a bit too old to pull it off perhaps. What happens though when you remember certain food items coming into vogue...things like granola, bagels, and sprouts. Granola and bagels are pretty mainstream nowadays, but how about sprouts? And what if you're not only still eating them, but now growing them yourself?

Tidbits like that I usually don't make a fuss over with my kids. I usually get the, "Mom! What next!" look. I have always loved adding sprouts to salads and sandwiches, but you get out of the habit of purchasing them, they don't last long in the refrigerator, and the somewhat recent contamination scare tends to keep you from buying them.  So it has always been in the back of my mind to look into growing them myself.

I had accumulated enough Swagbucks at to go on a small online shopping trip, so I ordered the SproutHouse Easy Sprout Sprouter and a bag of seeds. They are a mixture of clover, alfalfa, radish, and broccoli. Doesn't that just sound healthy? They say that as seeds are the energy storehouse for the plant to come, sprouting them unleashes many, many times more nutrients and antioxidants than you could ever get by eating the equivalent sized serving. One mouthful of sprouts could have maybe 30 or 40 sprouted seeds. Try eating that many broccoli or radish plants.

After doing my research online I see that a lot of people sprout in a glass jar, but I needed something foolproof so I opted for a plastic growing container with an insert making for easy rinsing of the seeds.  The whole process was really simple.  Soak the seeds overnight then put them into the growing container. Wait 24 hours then rinse again morning and night for four or five days.  Watching the seeds begin to fuzz up and then sprout was half the fun. Instant gardening of a sort. The usual sprout time can be somewhere around six days, but I cheated and started munching on them before they were full sized. They are so very addictive, you could just eat and eat them straight out of the container. The radish seeds in this mixture had just the right amount of bite to make them over-the-top tasty. With the next batch I will be a little more patient perhaps.

If you're interested yourself, there were some great videos on YouTube put out by SproutPeople and resources abound online.   Once this batch of seeds is done, I'd like to venture out and try some other varieties. I had no idea that you were able to sprout so many different seeds.  Do you sprout seeds, and if so, what are your favorite types?  I'd love to get some suggestions.  And now the timer has gone off, so I need to head downstairs.  My granola has finished baking. But, shh! Don't tell the kids.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Pains of Growing Up

This is a hard post to write, but we have finally made the decision to move our miniature horse, Nick, along to a home where he can be used by another family. We purchased him as a three-year-old stud and stopped to have him gelded on the trailer ride home. We had known him since a colt and knew that as he was harness broke, so quick to learn, and flashy to boot with his pinto markings and blue eye that he would make a great equestrian and 4H prospect for our oldest daughter. She used him her first year in OHSET and then moved on to target gaming and cow events with her quarter horse.

What to do with Nick now that we had him and were in love with him? Our youngest at the time was five, so he became her "pony". She quickly learned to ride him lead line, be the one to catch him up in the field and bring him, do his grooming and bathing, and love all over him. As she became more confident and responsible of sorts, we turned the reins over to her. Nick was hers to ride all over the property. We turned our backs to only find her jumping him over obstacles, leading him through all sorts of mazes and trail obstacles she set up, or sneaking him into the house. They've made plenty of memories together.

But as you grow up, you also do so in size. She is now simply too large for him...feet can almost touch the ground...and it's time for him to be loved on and put to work by another family. She will have a full-sized horse to ride of her sister's, but you and I know it won't be the same. The casualness that her and Nick have built together will be gone. The new horse for her will be larger and stronger. There won't be as much freedom to 'just go get your pony'. But alas, that is life. We grow, we move on, we meet new challenges. Either way, it's a sad day for me and a sad day for her as well.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

3-column blogger templates(available in 4 different styles)