Adventures in Horses

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Untying G from the trailer, he thoughtfully lowered his head down, allowing me to place the reigns over his ears.  After coaxing my horse over as close to our trailer as I could possible get him to go,  I climbed up onto the finder well.  Leaning over, carefully reaching for the saddle horn, I jumped from the trailer onto the saddle.  He stood very quiet while I leaned over, situating my feet in the stirrups.   Reaching for the reigns now, I was ready to go and so was he.

I rode over to where my dad was waiting, and he led us to the arena and we went over the barrel pattern a couple of times while waiting for my turn.  “Right inside… figure 8 to the left inside…head to the right side of the third barrel and then bring him home.”  Nothing too complicated, especially when the majority of the ride, for this little girl, was done at a trot.

In the alley way now, my dad pats me on the knee and smiles.  Meanwhile, I am pleading with him to please not swat G on the rear with his hat, like he does with my older sisters, as I head out.  I was happy to come out of the alley way at a very slow trot.  He assures me that he won’t, but I still keep a close eye on his hand, making sure he doesn’t bring it up to his hat as I kick my horse forward, toward the first barrel.  He keeps his word, of course.1931542_65036701756_5574220_n

I round the first barrel, no problem.  The second barrel is in my sights and we trot around it and head to the third.  G begins to slow so I kick a little to keep his speed at a trot, but he is being stubborn, insisting on slowing down and I immediately recognize this suspicious behavior.

I begin kicking frantically to no avail.  G comes to a complete stop right between the second and third barrels and I begin to hear all the people in the stands laughing.

HE WAS POOPING!

I understand that when you got to go, you got to go, but come on!  He couldn’t of waited just a couple more seconds before relieving himself? I was so mad I could have spit.  I should have spit, right between his ears! I kicked, and kicked, and kicked, for what seemed like an eternity, and he pooped.

I was beyond relieved when he finally finished and began moving forward again.  I think I rounded that third barrel and ran that stinkin horse “home” as fast I had ever rode, just to get out of sight of all those people.

Daddy was waiting, as always, to tell me I had done a good job, and he did.  I don’t remember much else after that, except the feeling of being laughed at while I sat on a pooping horse is etched in my memory forever.  Needless to say, I probably had the slowest time in the history of barrel racing.

Although, at the time I was furious with my horse and embarrassed beyond consoling, moments like these were what made my childhood great.  These are the things I look back on now and laugh at.  These are the moments I cherish.

G and I didn’t always see eye to eye, but he left hoof prints on my heart.

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Best Peanut Butter Cookies, EVER!

With the temperatures finally beginning to drop a little, I don’t mind using my oven quite as much.  So, when I had a craving for something sweet, I was more inclined to whip up something from scratch then drive 20 minutes into town to satisfy my craving.

I wanted something quick and easy, so I decided on my peanut butter cookies.  This recipe is very simple but still so very good. cookiescookie-recipe-2

First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Next, mix together in a medium sized mixing bowl your sugars, peanut butter, shortening, margarine, vanilla extract, and egg.

Next, stir in your remaining ingredient.  This will be your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. This will form a stiff cookie dough.

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Shape into about one inch balls of dough, and place them on a non-greased cookie sheet, about an inch to an inch and a half apart.  Using a fork, gently press down on the dough in one direction and then press in the opposite direction, creating a crisscross pattern.

Bake in a 375 degree, preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool for 2 minutes and remove from cookie sheet.  This makes approximately 40 cookies.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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A Fun and Free Approach to Teaching Geography

wp-1475509997625.pngWe are approaching Geography a little different this year.  Because it seems that my kids have been enjoying it much more this year, I would like to share what we are doing.

I read an article a while back on how one homeschool mom alternates Science, History, and Geography throughout the year.  I really liked the thought of this approach, and so, we decided to try it this year.

We chose to study one subject and alternate weekly.  Our first week we chose Geography.  I gave a lot of thought about what I wanted to teach: geographical terms, how to study a map, Longitude and Latitude lines, or a specific country, continent, state, or city.   After racking my brain for several minutes and looking into some online resources, I came up with an idea.

I sat my kids down and began to lay out the plan, mainly to see what kind of reaction I would get.  In my dreams, I would have received huge smiles, great big hugs, along with unending praise of what an awesome mom I am and how fun this was going to be. There would also be balloons, streamers, and a huge slice of cheesecake. It’s my dream, okay!  Instead, I got what I usually get, which was a couple of, “okays”, and shoulder shrugs.  In my house, unless we  just announced that we were going to Disney World, this is a typical acceptance of things to come.

My plan was to have them close their eyes, spin the globe and wherever their finger landed on the globe, stopping it, they would do research on that area.  I decided to make it four days of research, and on Friday they would present their project.

Some of the things I wanted them to learn about was what continent and country they had landed on.  They had to give me the Longitude and Latitude lines, what bordered their country, whether it be other countries or water.  They were encouraged to list some geographical features, climate, and what animals lived in that area as well.  My son went as far as telling me if his country was a democracy or not.  They had to give references of where they obtained their information as well.  They were to work on their project each day for 15-30 minutes.

I can not tell you how many times they came up to me throughout the week showing me something interesting they had found and telling me all about it.

On Friday, they took turns standing in front of their sibling and myself, reading off all the cool facts and information they had found.  Not only did they learn about their own country.  They also got to listen to each other, learning about another country as well.

The following Monday, my daughter asked when were we going to start Geography for the day, and I reminded her that this week was science.  To my amazement, she was very disappointed that she had to wait to do Geography for a couple of weeks.

I can safely say, this one is a keeper.

Learning to Milk a Cow

First fieldtrip of the year, we learned all about pasteurization and even got to milk a cow.  We also got to bring home 3/4 of a gallon of raw milk that we milked that day.

Meet Anna Bell.  She is a full blooded Jersey cow.0915161319.jpg

Anna Bell was very patient with my kids as they struggled to learn the technique of milking.  Our friend, who was kind enough to let us come out to experience this first hand, was a fantastic teacher, and it wasn’t long before my daughter had a good grasp on the situation.  No pun intended, haha.0915161327a.jpg

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My son, even at a small disadvantage, managed to help fill the bucket.

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All in all it was a fantastic day and very educational.  Homeschooling at its finest, in my opinion.