Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Riding Lesson Blues

Reluctantly, we are once again in the equine world with our third eldest daughter. Believe me we tried to interest her in swimming, soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, golf to name a few less expensive sports, all in vain. We entered this world once before with Kristen, our second eldest and ended up donating a horse that we had purchased because he was too wild to ride. I digress.

Regardless, here we are with some experience under our belt at least to help us not get to that ridiculous point. She fell in love with horse back riding at camp and I mistakenly gave her a few lessons for her birthday one year. She continued taking lessons once/weekly at the one and only local barn on a horse we did not purchase. The whole barn scene is messy anyway with the mud and dust and manure and horse dander that I happen to be allergic to, but their bookkeeping is worse. Trying to decipher where I stand with payments is proving to be frustrating to say the least. The trainer has one record, the owner has another record and I have a different record of where I stand.  But the day in question happens to be the day that our daughter put the car into the fence at the church parking lot. That day has been burned into my brain and I am positive she did not take a riding lesson!

I'm sorry to say that my first reaction was to pull her out completely and never darken the door of the dusty, mucky, allergen producing barn again. I don't need this in my life! Thankfully, the voice of reason, aka, TVOR stopped me. He comes in handy now and again. This gave me time to realize I have a great opportunity here to be pleasant and patient and Christian. I called the owner yesterday and had a very nice conversation with her with an idea of how to keep better track of lessons taken. She still has to get with the trainer and get back to me, but I'm hopeful that we can continue with lessons. Is that a good thing? I'm not sure, but at least I didn't lose my testimony! For that I can be thankful.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Memories with the Babies

Christmas has come and gone. Another year of memories made. Christmas is like that. One always remembers Christmas. It is usually not the memories that we anticipate having, but the wonderful spontaneous memories that we make. Take Christmas brunch for example. I purchased or rather had Eric purchase fresh roses for the table and I pre-made a Christmas Breakfast casserole to eat altogether for breakfast in the dining room on my beautiful Christmas dishes while recounting blessings of the past year. I have actual Christmas memories of doing just this in years past with Laura and Kristen, but now we have 3 additional children, 2 spouses, 2 young grandchildren and 3 dogs collectively. Instead, we ate standing up in the kitchen at all different times, taking turns to watch Lucy or hold Wyatt so Laura and Kristen could eat. I'm not sure where the flowers were and I don't even recall blessing the food before we ate! Instead Jason read the Christmas Story from the Jesus Storybook Bible to Lucy before opening gifts. We listened too.

Dinner was late also but spectacular with my first ever beef tenderloin and Laura's amazing Southern Living's 5 Layer Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake for dessert. That child of mine loves a challenge! We did make it to the dining room and even went around recounting blessings of the past year. Better late than never!

The same held true for the Christmas Eve service. I neglected to register Lucy for childcare so she sat in the service with us on the second row for maximum exposure. Somehow Laura and Jason armed with a  bag of tricks and genuine creativity managed to amuse Lucy along with the leftover juice in Laura's communion cup. I feel the Lord will understand and forgive her. Laura later said that she immediately started strategizing which distractions to take out when, saving the best treats for the sermon portion of the service. Lucy was heading over to wake peacefully sleeping 4 week old cousin Wyatt, when the service ended just in time. Whew! Exhausting for Laura and Jason, but a wonderful Christmas memory to have our newest family members with us in the service. And Lucas did great lighting the Advent candle.

I discovered it's handy to have people of all ages and lots of them around to entertain the babies. Lucas and Lucy deepened their affection for one another as he holds nothing back to amuse his little niece. He never tires of entertaining her and she never tires of being entertained, the perfect combination! I did nab some alone time with Lucy to play a fun game of peekaboo with her and give her a bath while everyone else went to a movie. Afterward, with her sippy cup of milk, she relaxed with me while we watched a bit of Pretty Woman. Is that bad? Regardless, a memory I will treasure.