"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." — E.B. White

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas catch up

Happy Holidays
Merry belated Christmas!

This is my Christmas photo dump.

I'll start with the card we sent..
The only way we'll ever have a Silent Night!

Our elf, Clayton, arrived as soon as we got our tree up. 
This year's them was The Grinch and Clayton even wore a disguise/costume.
He just looked scary and off tho.
Jack didn't like it.
 Thank you Pinterst!

My (after Christmas) teen is now in on my magic but that's okay.
She's an awesome helper when I sleep late!
In her honor, (she sPaRkLeS)
I swapped out the bright, vintage kiddie theme for silver n gold!

Getting the tree this far had it's bloopers too.

 Jack was for a Charlie Brown tree...

But we went with something big.

Bet he's thinking this wouldn't have happened if he'd had his way!

Clearly Sarah 's in her own cray cray happy world

Along those lines I've decided that older kids at Christmas have their advantages, 
if not their cuteness...
Their toys n games are more fun and they often sleep a bit later!
My baby boy is determined to believe as long as he can though.
Bless him. I really think he's doing it for me.

But we all enjoyed the elf antics.

As we put up this huge tree we, of course, realized that we didn't have enough working lights.
So the kids wore their elf pjs on the Dollar General run and made Dad also dress up to get the magic started!

Christmas is officially here for me when we enjoy the music at the Kennedy Center Concert. This year they added amazing Gospel guest Ralph Herndon!
Loved. It.
Thanks so much to Aunty Betsy and Chuck for setting the mood beforehand with special supper and singing along with the piano.

 JoJo  spoiled us all with so many trips n treats.
She also took the kids to The National Cathedral

Jack looks shocked, or awed ?

We all finally got to gather in JoJo's new great room for Thanksgiving and Christmas. After all her drawn out hassels with her lame builder, having it ready was prolly her favorite gift of the season.

Santa exceeded everybody's expectations this year!!!

Snowboards, compound bow and hunt whip, carhartts ...

and soft (clean) couches to curl up on for Copper and the family!
Plus flat screen tv (yes, finally) and smaller console to make better use of the space n pretty brick. 

One of my bestest blessings is my sweet boy who will do just about anything for his mamma!
He dresses for the ladies (or elves)!

and let me sleep late only to wake to a trail of love notes ending with hot coffee!

So. Blessed 

Wishing you all peace, joy and much love

Friday, December 30, 2016

Yearly review SEEya 2016

It's so hard to believe it's almost 2017
For once I have made some resolutions!

Yes, eat healthier (looking into Paleo auto immune protocol as I have many issues) and exercise more. It was a big birthday for me and it hit my body harder than I'd hoped.

Or maybe it's Lyme.
Either way a low inflamation diet has helped me in the past and I must try again.

Another surprising resolution is to come back and post more regularly here!
I miss blogland and I really do love having this journal of our farm life.

Sooooo, that leads me to this years photo dump.
Horses and crop farming are our main activities as usual but
I try to sneak in some junkin' and pinterest projects to keep my soul soothed. It's difficult and often my mantel is all that reflects the seasons passing.

Spring to me means CoLoRfUl JoY!
More LiGhT and time to garden and spray paint!

 I briefly tried to keep up with Instagram but failed.

We started spring by doing a few schooling jumper shows and loved it!

Often we do showing and farming on the same day.
Here Jack n sarah returned from a jumper show and went right to work helping us move hay!

Sarah really works hard too!

Here Jack was able to sneak in a bit of fishing along the Potomac river curtesy JoJo. She took him after a cross country school in an amazing public park called Woodstock that offers great jumps and a lovely dressage ring (not as appreciated by these littles)

This is also where we came to fully appreciate our newest OTTB Missile!
(Off Track ThoroughBred = ex race horse)

 He is a phenomenal jumper and so brave despite being so green!

 I honestly couldn't believe how he marched right through the skinny combination and water jumps!

Missile and two other new ponies also impressed us at their first show!

This darling pinto was a bit of a wild rescue. 
She's proven to be so smart and eager to please - we all adore her!

EARLY am before coming to the show (which was the day after pony racing at Pimlico)
10 yo exhausted Jack passed his Hunter Safety coursewith a 98%!

I've been obsessed with this pony who sparkles with bling and an exceptional jump from the moment I laid eyes on him. I was so thrilled when I was able to help Bella's family get Abu for her.

They have proven to be an amazing pair! They even kept up hilltopping with me at Piedmont!
these two photos by Liz Callar

But one of the sweetest new additions sadly didn't stay long as he was sold virtually as soon as he arrived. Glendevon's Patriot, by our stallion Glendevon's Mountain Man loves everyone and everything and is super sporty and athletic.

He was bought by a wonderful vet who hopes to compete him upper levels. She bought a similar Manny baby 14 years ago as a 4 yo.
That "baby" is still eventing and winning plus gives lessons to her kids in between.
We loved having her whole family stop over with us on their way to the eventing championships.
She said she knew she had to have this years foal as soon as she saw how similar he looked to her Glendevon's Man About Town.

We were blessed to have kids share in Riots birth. 

 (Jack n critters had even joined me on foal watch!)

We miss little "Riot" but couldn't imagine a better lifetime home!
Riot arrived at his new home to this welcome from his "brother"

Hot summer sun had me buying awesome Kool Kurtains!

 I let Jack skip school to come watch Upperville horse show and meet Joe Fargis, thanks to Marion!
We're hoping to ride with him some next year!

Summer brought bittersweet emotions as we watched the doors close on our wonderful town middle school. We are still fighting in court tho as the school board did not follow it's own rules and rushed to close it without adequate study.

Jack enjoyed the year's end at Elmer Wolfe with a great friend in Colin.

We also celebrated Jack's 10th birthday with Colin at Adventure Park

Summer included several sessions hosting Pony Camp!

 These three cousins met up here curtesy their Grandma and were absolutely darling!

 We had many activities and Counselor Shannon had the patience of a saint!

 We made an obstacle course and played relay games, some blindfolded!

Then it was time for school. Sarah started 1/2 hr north. boo.
I swear they look like the cast of The Middle (a family favorite)!

Jack was so happy to have a new neighbor, Cooper, to ride the bus and play with!

A large part of our fall season was spent again doing the Jr Field Hunter Championship series.
I was in awe of how they all rode AND supported each other!
Sarah n Jack both qualified two ponies but brought their favorites to Kentucky.
Bella and Abu really rose to the occasion as well!

 Bella is like family! And they hug and squabble just like too!

 Our friends at Goshen Hounds went above n beyond for us - giving the kids lessons on horn blowing and whip cracking for Ky's events! 
We are so blessed to have so much support in the form of Elizabeth, Marion, Tom, Bethann and Robert, Dulany and many more! 

After regrouping at Waffle House we met Triple Crown winner American Pharoah!

 So happy that Sarah and Jack both made friends! Raleigh and Henry are great kids!

 I was thrilled with how the ponies went, especially after our terrible start with Bee sick and us all stressed from moving barns. Still don't really understand why Jack wasn't called back for final round. He looked great and even dismounted and helped a judge pull a shoe then remounted, jumping every big coop on first try (unlike many others). One judge said his pony overjumped and looked hard to sit. Okay, I can see that as she does really snap her knees.

Sarah and Zade finished 6th in first flight 12 & under!

 The young boys from Belle Meade were exceptional and had clearly learned from their father!

After the championships we explored my old stomping grounds a bit, visiting the TB sales and catching up with dear friend Cathy who I'd become close to while at Torrance Watkins in 1984!

For fun we did more pony racing too this year. First at Pimlico (site of the Preakness) 

... then we were invited to compete in a mini steeplechase at the PA Hunt Cup.

How cool is Grandma JoJo to walk Zade pre and post race?! xo 

 Dad's not too shabby either!

No real placings but tons of fun and home safely!

Sarah's JNAFHC friend Raleigh even came to cheer her on and stay for people watching!

 To be fair, the sidesaddle race didn't say "ladies only!"

 Pretty sure this is the definition of "posh!"

 Thrills n spills but all were fine!

Cheshire's foxhounds paraded too!

Needless to say my kids are hooked and want to keep their new second string ponies as racers!

Another high point of 2016 was a visit from my baby brother and his wife plus TWO BABIES!
They've been stationed in Vienna, Austria for the past 3 years but will finally return stateside in Feb!

In between everything the kids helped train ponies for me and clients too.

On a super cool side note, Jack made it through a large field of applicants and was chosen as a stunt rider for a movie production of one of our favorite childrens books ~
Billy and Blaze!!!

Sadly the producer was unable to raise funds for production in time for her intended fall filming... she says we'll be called up again this spring, but Jack's growing like a weed so...

In addition to practicing for this role, Jack also was very fortunate to receive a violin and lessons from a true master! All Bagus asked was to fulfill his childhood dream of riding by exchanging lessons!

Sarah too continues to play!

The Farmer - Builder had a banner year!

LOTS of hay and straw to fill the shed he built.

He also has done some nice jobs including this gorgeous porch on an old victorian!

Plus, he moved n milled logs to exactly match and replace rotten beams and floorboards in the bank barn! 

Don't worry, he believes in work hard, play hard!
He's been all about falconry since he first started as a teen.

Now he has Copper and Jack to share the joy!

And at the end of a long day., they both relax..

We all did manage to sneak away for some beautiful Bay play several times this year too, curtesy my awesome Aunt n Uncle!

Halloween brought out everyone's true colors,

especially Copper!
Little devil got an invisible fence after spending too much time away from home. Often invited in on neighbors couches. 
Once he brought back his own pet banty chicken!

Jack practiced his aim a lot and was rewarded twice, filling our freezer with food!

Our season wrapped up with Carrollton's Opening Day and later the Hunter Pace where we brought new students to share in the fun!

This is my only Pinterest project and I can't even claim credit.
Adorable Amber, who is studying to have her own bakery one day, made these for our tailgate!

Sweet Steph has also joined our team and is pushing Bonnie to new heights!
Not only do they jump but Steph even got Bonnie to do flying lead changes!!!

My own kids continued to make a perfect pair.

Yes, they fight lots too but my heart melts at these moments.

Maybe my baby girl is maturing now that she's a teen!
(The day began with games, included sushi w/Nanny and thrift store shopping, before she opened her last gift - a phone!)

The boys just set off on an Excellent Adventure again after Christmas for falconry fun!
This year they took TWO hawks plus Copper!!!

Not sure they'll be back for New Years so we girls may celebrate differently this year.
I'm thinking fondues!
It's become obvious that I'm a very big behind and have overwhelmed this post with pics.
I do resolve to post individual posts as they happen in 2017!

I will do a Christmas post separately as it's still the season.

As I sit and upload and upload and upload Sarah and I are snuggled watching the ball drop!
This after swearing we wouldn't and turning down a friends invite because we weren't up for venturing into Baltimore tonight!
Sarah insisted on giving me a pedi (maybe because JoJo treated her to a salon visit and performance of Wicked yesterday)

Life is good friends

Wishing you and yours a very
Healthy n Happy 2017!