Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What Happens When Papa Babysits...for 6 Days!

 I got to take my first ever Spring Break Palm Springs! With 2 of my favorite ladies, to see another of my favorite ladies. My great aunt lives there, so my aunt Cara, Mom, and I took a trip to visit her! It was fabulous, relaxing (I didn't have to feed anybody but me!! I didn't have to do laundry!! I slept in!!), and such a great time visiting Aunt Patty. 
Papa took vacation time and came down to babysit the kids so I could go. Is he the greatest or what!? These are the pictures he left on my computer from the 6 days I was gone...(the kids had an absolute blast, as you can see...)

 Papa can't visit without completing at least one project. For the record, I did NOT ask him to do any project except keep track of 3 very active kids and their various activities! Our playground in the backyard has wood chips. It's a mess, the kids hate it, I hate it...I've wanted to put sand in there but we've just never gotten around to it. Scott works at the sand pit a couple days a week, so he hooked us up with FREE SAND (we only had to pay a delivery charge!)!!! Anyway, Anna kept telling me that they had a surprise for me...

 It included 6 (or more?) pickup loads to the burn site... (you didn't let Isaac drive did you Dad?! ;))

...running around piles of woodchips (I think they were celebrating getting rid of them!)

 ...and a HUGE load of sand!

 Maybe a bit too much sand??

 Thanks, Scott!!

 I'm King of the mountain!!!

 Dad said to me, "You know your youngest one doesn't like fences or boundaries, right?" I just laughed.

 My tree bloomed while I was gone. Love it!

 Worn out little boy! Must have been all that sand mountain climbing!

 Of course, in order to get the sand truck close enough, Dad had to pull out part of the fence. And he moved the gate to the end for me. What a dad!

 Whoops...sideways. Looks like the kids got buried in the post hole!

 Notice Anna holding him down!

 It was hot...not in California. In Kansas!

 Papa took the kids to visit Jamie's family.

 Isaac loved the basketball goal at Hudson's house!

 Papa said Anna was such a big help. I could tell she was a little mama while I was gone...she had a hard time coming out of "Mommy mode" when I got home! :)

 After a few days of hot weather, it rained. And rained. And rained.

 Dad texted me this picture and said something about how she was too little to be going into that great big school (she's clear up by the door)! (She had art)

 They found the molding clay...

 He texted me this picture and asked if this was normal. I didn't tell him sometimes I hope this happens when we're running around!

 Isaac has always liked to pull hair. Anna still isn't used to it--Jacob has always gently twirled her hair.

 This picture just makes me laugh!!

 Looks like they made a pillow landing pad...

 He also replaced my kitchen faucet because it was leaking. How he gets any work done is beyond me with kids climbing all over him. But he does, and it doesn't bother him a bit!

 Yep, a pillow landing pad. 

 Dad said "Door open. Boy in." Yep, that about sums it up!

Clay creations!

I can't say thank you enough to Papa for doing this (all the projects, too!) so I could take this much-needed break. And to Aaron for letting me go. It was a wonderful trip. Soon I'll post all about it...with pictures :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dizzy Daisy!

-- Sent from my Palm Pixi

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Maverick

 Today has been very hard. Actually, the first part of the day was pretty fun. We got to go ride horses at Scott's Ranch. But the purpose of the trip was to tell Anna that we can't keep Maverick. Scott has been training him for almost a year and he is just plain dangerous. He will be riding great, even working cows, and out of nowhere he explodes. Not only has he bucked Scott off, but he's also gone after Scott after he bucked him off. He's just completely unpredictable, which makes him even more dangerous. It was even harder to tell her because a few months ago, he was doing so good that we really thought he was going to work out. I've posted before about Maverick and her connection with him. Ugh. Just so hard. Of all the Mustangs Scott has trained...this has to be one that doesn't take the training. Just. So. Hard.

 The last time we were here, Anna was able to basically walk up to Maverick and he let her pet him. This time was totally different. In a way, I'm glad he was so wild. I think it helped her realize how much Maverick has changed. Scott had a very hard time catching him. He had to rope him, and even then it was a struggle.

 Beautiful, yet the potential to be deadly. Maverick is a wild horse and we've spent a lot of time talking about how Maverick is not a bad horse, he's just wild. And some horses just cannot be trained...the wild can't be taken out of them. The movie Spirit has actually been quite helpful in understanding this.

 This horse has captured my daughter's heart. As she told me tonight:
"Mommy, you know what's deep in my heart? Maverick. He'll always be there, deep in my heart. In a little corral."

 I am still so amazed at Anna's innate sense with a horse. She has an unending supply of patience and calmness. After witnessing how wild (and frankly a bit scary!) Maverick was as Scott caught him, she still had no qualms with walking up to Maverick in a calm, quiet way. I have no doubt that Scott's presence has a lot to do with it. But she also just has a "sixth sense" when it comes to horses.

She slowly worked her way to his nose until he let her touch him. And when he raised his head away from her, she gently pulled down on the lead rope.

The whole time she was petting Maverick, Scott was explaining to Anna how dangerous he is. He didn't flat out say that we can't keep Maverick. I kind of think Anna knew it, but since it wasn't plainly said she could deny it. 

 After petting Maverick for a bit, Scott asked if she wanted to ride. Duh! ;) He saddled up Tigger for her. He's an old horse (too old according to Anna...not fast enough!). She got some more lessons in riding. She catches on pretty quickly and is doing good. We're hoping to be able to take her over there every week this summer for a horsemanship class!

 Scott talked to her some more while he was saddling Tigger. By her expression in this picture, I think you can tell she was getting the picture.
Just before supper, we went to help Scott feed some horses he has in a pasture. On the way, Scott told Anna, "Your mom & dad need to get you a horse." She told him she already had a horse. I knew then that I would just have to flat-out say "We can't keep Maverick." She clammed up and wouldn't say anything. As we were standing in the pasture, I asked Anna if she understood that we can't keep Maverick. She started crying a little bit and asked, "Do we have to sell Maverick??" I tried my best to explain again why we can't keep him. And I shared something Scott told me. Several months ago, Scott was using Maverick at Cowboy Church almost every week. One week, he showed them how he could get Maverick to lay down flat (a huge feat that shows how much a horse trusts you) and compared it to submitting to Christ. He said he still has people come up to him and tell him how much that meant to them, how it touched them. I told Anna that even if that is the only "purpose" Maverick can serve for us, that's pretty awesome...for her horse to be used to teach others about Christ! I'm not sure how much she understood. She cried just a tiny bit, but being surrounded by horses, she couldn't stay sad for very long. She seemed to be handling it pretty well...much better than I thought she would. But then we got home and it was bedtime. We talked a little bit and then she asked if she could say her bedtime prayers. She prayed silently and when she finished, I could tell that she was pretty upset but trying not to let it out. I told her it was okay to be sad and to cry. That was all she needed to hear. We talked and cried and talked and cried for over 2 1/2 hours. I could tell that as long as she talked about something, even if it was horses, she could keep herself distracted from Maverick. But as soon as she stopped talking, she would just break down again. Absolutely broke this Mama's heart. I feel just awful. Maybe we shouldn't have done the whole horse thing this way...maybe we shouldn't have told her Maverick could be her horse and just waited til we knew for sure...maybe, maybe, maybe. But as I told Anna, God has a purpose in this. Put all our sorrows and hurts in His hands and let Him heal our hearts and lean on Him even more. That's what I told Anna...I think it's a good lesson for more than just Anna. I would appreciate your prayers for Anna's tender heart in the days to come. I know it's going to be very hard for her.