Monday, July 22, 2013

VBS, Brain Cancer Bracelets and Horseback Riding

After we got home from camping, I literally (well, not really, but seemed like it) had a mountain of gear, laundry, trash, etc piled high in the middle of my kitchen. The girls had vacation bible school that week, so after I dropped them off, I started excavating. Actually wasn't too bad...but that's never the fun part of any trip. The kiddos had a blast at VBS as always! The church where my MOPS group is, Trinity Covenant, always goes all out with it. The last three years, the theme has been Chronicles of Narnia, piggy backing off the books (obviously) but also the movies. My friend, Jen, writes all the material: drama, classroom teaching, etc for the whole program. She's seriously talented! It's amazing how she pulls it all together into a really unique experience for the kids! The sets are really cool and the kids always come home with a really great photo of themselves posing with some sort of prop. This year was Voyage of the Dawn Treader, so they were steering the ship wheel in the picture. I grew up on those books, so it's awesome to see the girls getting into it!

(Red Two found a little frog in the backyard...and wanted me to post it on my blog ;)

A few weeks ago, one of my brain cancer awareness bracelets broke, sending the beads flying! Of course it was my favorite one :( I couldn't find all the beads, but at least I found my white cross bead, which was the really important one. I figured making a new one would be easy and more personal than buying another one, so the kids and I headed to the craft store. I thought it would be nice if the girls were able to make their own brain cancer bracelet as well, so I let them each pick out their own beads. And btw, silver totally counts for gray, IMO! They were excited to pick, and of course took forever to decide...lol! We even found some cool charms for them...a D for David, a faith charm, hope, and also a cancer ribbon in silver, which was perfect. I also found some really cool silver beads with ribbons engraved, as well as heart and cross versions. We also found a strand of angel beads that we all liked. The girls had fun designing their own bracelets...we actually had enough beads to make two each. It funny how different each girl's bracelet came out...unique just like they are!





















I wound up with the D, Red One got the ribbon, Red two used the faith charm, and Red Three ended up with the hope charm. We went upstairs to show Daddy...he really liked them, but took a minute to realize that they were brain cancer bracelets...then he REALLY like them! hahahaha

Last week we had nothing planned...it was mostly relaxing and lots of pool trips! Connecticut, and really the whole country, has been going through a heatwave. It was in the upper 90s all last week. Of course, the car picks that time to start dripping all over the front seat floor...think it's something to due with the evaporator coils (I think that's what David said). Like we needed something else to break! and then the brake light went on...don't know what the deal with that is...it's back off again, but still troublesome! David's been miserable at work...what with all his different medications/chemo, he's much more sensitive to heat and the sun than he used to be. Plus, working outside in a substation in 90 degree weather is unbearable for just about anybody! I gotta say though, I'm in awe of him! working while on chemo is hard enough, not to mention the type of work he does! Thanks for taking such good care of us babe!

So, Red Three's birthday is coming up in 4 days...she's keeping a countdown going! hahaha...anyways, one of the items on her list is a pony. So Papa, being the best grandpa ever, set up a horseback ride surprise for her. There is a stable near their house, so after church on Sunday we went home to change. The girls were mystified why I was making them wear jeans and boots. Red One theorized we were going to go hiking...they were NOT looking forward to it! It was hot out! We headed over (after turning around to grab the forgotten camera and check the brake fluid because of the light), the kids still clueless. When we got to the stable they were so excited!!!! Red Three was thrilled! She couldn't believe it. 

First they had the kids brush the horses to get everyone acclimated. I wasn't going to ride at first, but Dad insisted. Thank you!!! It was a good time to break out my awesome Lucchese boots! Growing up in Texas, everyone has a horse. Just kidding, but everyone has a pair of cowboy boots! LOL I haven't ridden since I was a teenager...I actually went to a ranch camp with a friend one time. It was really cool to get back in the saddle :P 








Look, Red Three is wearing her bracelets!

The kids helmeted up, then we went out to the arena to get some instruction. Luckily they were riding western style (that's all I know!). They made everyone use the mounting blocks (I so could have done it without! haha) and then walk around the arena. Before we went on our trail ride, they made sure we could turn right, left, stop, and go. My horse, Blaze, was super lazy in the ring. He didn't want to go at all, and kept trying to follow the other horses. I had to really kick him to get him started at all! 






Sweet boots, right?

















Even Buddy got to ride around the ring! He loved it, of course. When we headed for the trail ride, he went with David and Papa to get ice cream though. ;) 

Once we were out on the road, the horses, well, some of them, really picked up the pace! Blaze wanted to be first in line...even got up to a trot finally ;) Red Three's horse was really slow though...he didn't want to go at all...lol. We kept having to stop to wait for the slow pokes. Our guide was funny...typical cowgirl, loud, obnoxious, and really nice! haha, but seriously, she was good. The teenager riding in the back, on the other hand, had such an attitude. I wasn't back by her too much, but she was rude even in the barn! Seemed like she was on a power trip or something. Anyways, we got off the street and headed into the woods on the trail. The horses got really excited! Apparently they knew it ;) they even had some small jumps, but we went around those. We really regretted not bringing bug spray though. As soon as we went in the woods, the mosquitoes started swarming! I was being eaten alive and the poor horses' faces were covered in the suckers! Red One even got bitten, probably by a horsefly! Her arm got a big ole welt...other than that, we were having a lot of fun! 

However, we had to stop again to wait for the caboose to catch up. Rachel told me that the teenager had been yelling at Red Three and cussing the horse, like literally cussing, and almost made Red Three cry! A horse that a 6 year old was riding! Red Three had never ridden before and of course didn't know how to control the horse or use the reins right.  I got steamed...couldn't believe it. That girl had dismounted to attach a lead rope to Red Three's horse to make it easier and so she could keep up with everybody. While she was off her horse, it ran away!!! The cowgirl couldn't find it either! (It actually went back to the barn, lol) We wound up having to turn around and go back because of that little obnoxious teenager with no sense of propriety. If I had heard her yelling/cursing, I think I would have done something equally foolish. I was so angry. When we got back, we made sure to tell them what happened. Everyone else was super nice and really tried to make it all better. It was just that one immature girl, but everyone else was as sweet as could be. Luckily, she didn't ruin it...other than cutting our ride short. We were able to ride for long enough though, and the girls still haven't stopped talking about it. As soon as we got back to Papa's house, they all yelled "Thank you Papa!" as loud as they could! Red Three told him, "I didn't like it, I LOVED it!" Best birthday present ever! Don't know if it can be topped ;)