Saturday, August 30, 2008

You Go Sarah Palin!!!!!

How could I post about anything else today? I am proud, excited, and thrilled! Today history was made, and in November Sarah Palin may become the first woman Vice President of the United States!!!!!!!!!!

I had to share this picture of her with my son, Lex. She visited Germany and made a point to meet with all the Alaskan troops at his base. He enjoyed her visit so much. She was a familiar face from home.

I have to admit, I am reluctant to "share" the Palin family with the rest of the United States. I worry for their family, for what the press will do to them when they turn them inside out and expose them to the world. My prayers for them will be strong and constant! I worry that those children will need their mommy at times when she simply cannot be there for them.

I'm proud of Sarah. I know she will bring much honor to this position, and I stand behind her 100%. What an exciting day this has been!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

North Wind Riders Horse Camp

Our last horse camp of the summer, and what fun we had! Both the girls went, so we took both Summer and Winter's Whisper. We were VERY lucky to be so close to home, so we rode them to the camp, rather than trailering this time.
All the moms from our horse group helped out, and planned the whole thing. It was great to be able to change some of the format from our regular horse camps, to make it more about safety and FUN than about just competing. And the kids had a blast, although I think we wore them out!
The kids all were part of a group, and did various skills within that group. Here they are getting a lesson on properly using a pack saddle to go mountain riding/camping.
We had a trail riding clinic, and then an obstacle course with ten stations that they had to pass. They were graded on how they did on each obstacle..such as "The Wagonwheel" "The Gate" "The Waterhole" "The Jump" etc.
Penelope on Whisper, getting ready for trail class.
Heading around "The Wagonwheel".
Chena on Summer at "The Jump".
Penelope working with a very stubborn Summer, on "The Gate".
Getting ready for their group to head out on a trail ride.
Penelope cutie!
Penelope rode Whisper for all the trail classes, and Chena rode Whisper. But, for the second day when it was time for jumping instruction in the arena, Chena rode Whisper, who is much better in English tack, and does better with arena jumping. Confusing, huh? For the mom who was trying to keep all the tack, classes, horses, and kids was confusing too! I spent my time tacking, grooming, checking gear, helping other kids with their tack, dealing with rowdy horses, etc. But it was still great. I loved it.
Chena getting ready to take a jump on Whisper.
Because we were working in the arena so much, the ground needed to be smooth and free of rocks. We knew we needed the kids to pick up rocks, but we wanted it to be fun. So, we secretly marked a few of the rocks on the underside with numbers. Then we bought some prizes, and put them in brown paper bags with a number on them. When the kids found the bonus rocks, they could come up and claim their prize. They loved that!
We got to harness up Wildfire, the pony, and do chariot rides!
On the second day, the advanced class did a Vaulting clinic. This was Chena's second Vaulting (trick riding) class of the summer, so she was ready to move up a level, and do some more difficult moves.
Here she is with her future vaulting team members. They will be on the team next summer.
They learned how to mount while the horse is running, by running alongside and jumping on. Chena really improved, and was able to do it easily by the end. She also learned how to do forward, backwards, and sideways rolls on the ground, after she jumped off the moving horse. She hurt herself once during a handspring off her vaulting horse. She was okay..but got worried! She just got a bit dusty, and shrugged off with only a few small tears.
Here they are doing "Superman".
More tricks!
My sister in law and me, both with our black mares. We took a short clinic together, mostly so we could get the kids off the horses and get our turn. Hey, moms need to ride too!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Head in the Clouds

and the rest of us too. In the clouds I mean. (My husband says I walk around with my head in the clouds, but that is another story) THESE clouds were what we saw from our airplane as we lifted up from our house and headed to Palmer.

Here are the lakes around our home.You can see Cook Inlet and then Mt. Spurr , one of my favorite mountains in the world. I was raised looking out at this mountain every morning when I got up. You can understand why I love it so much!

At first it was clear, but as we headed out towards our destination, we were immediately swallowed up by the enormous fluffy clouds you see here. Although the lakes below us could still be seen, it was getting much thicker.

Now its pretty hard to see! Good thing I am flying with the best small plane pilot in the world!

Isn't it just so pretty though? When I was a little girl, I wanted to have a magic carpet and be high above everyone on the way to a grand adventure. This is the closest to that you can imagine! In every direction we are surrounded by these beautiful billowing white cushions. The world as we know it is still down there, but we cannot see it. Its a peaceful feeling.

In this pic, I captured the airplane prop. You know what? Looking in front of me, sitting there in the co-pilot's seat, I cannot see the prop at all. I can only see it when I take a picture. Isn't that cool? Anyway, here you can see the prop and the nose of the plane a bit. Its a Cessna 180. I nicknamed this plane "Chili Pepper" because its red and HOT. So here you can see Chili's nose a bit.
I cannot truly show you the beauty of this flight with pictures.
So, why don't you climb in with me? Fasten your shoulder goes into you lap belt like this. Good. Now tighten it..I mean really snug it up. You don't want to hit your head on the ceiling if it gets turbulent over the mountains. Now put on your headset, and put your sunglasses on. Turn on your headset, can you read me? Great. Don't cough or sneeze into it, and for Pete's sake, don't get lipstick on your microphone. Michael hates that. See the red ribbon tied to the bar? That means we are on an active flight plan with Flight Service. The ribbon is to remind him to close out the plan, which means we call and say we have arrived safely. If we forget to call, Search and Rescue will come and try to find us. Now,careful not to get your feet or legs in the way of the trim wheel, down there on the floor. He needs that to land..and you want to land safely with us, don't you? All set?

As we almost reached Palmer , the fog cleared and we could see the rivers and lakes below us again. WATCH THIS VIDEO and see the beautiful green of Palmer's farmland, as we prepare to land at the fair.

Hope you enjoyed your flight! We realize you had many options for your traveling plans today, and we thank you for choosing our airline. Please remember to collect your belongings, and for your safety, please be careful when opening overhead bins, as objects may shift during flight. Hee hee.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nikiski Homeschool Group Beach Day!

I sure didn't think I would get time to blog today. We were planning on flying to Palmer to the state fair! But I got up early, and there was heavy fog like giant ugly hand wrapped around the house. Drat. Will have to wait it will probably burn off in an hour or two.

So that means I can post about our fun day yesterday!

We decided to get our homeschool group together, our first time all summer. We met at Captain Cook Park, about a 12 minute drive from our house.

The tide was waaaay out, so the kids just played in the creek that runs out to the inlet. The moms just visited and made sure the kids didn't kill each other, while they did this!

and this

and this!

Chena, I don't think putting your hands up at this point is going to save you!

Other favorite activites besides water torture were blowing bubbles, (huge ones, until the babies dumped the bubble solution!) trying to catch a giant salmon in the net, (got him once but he sneered and swam away) getting as muddy as possible, eating sandy sandwiches, (is that how they got their name? Were they invented while at the beach?) sliding down the mud banks, and chasing Dandelion.

Penelope, where is your bandaid?

"What bandaid mom? Oh, the one on my cut? On my foot? The one I was supposed to keep clean and not get any sand in? Oh, thaaaaaat bandaid. Sorry Mom!"
and home we go, up the trail!
Hey, the fog has lifted and I can see across the lake! Hubby is getting the plane out of the hangar, and I gotta go! I sure hope this post makes sense, because I am off to the fair. I'd rather be eating fried Twinkies and getting sick on rides than proofreading...I am sure you understand.

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Face in the Barn

A few times this summer we have enjoyed having one of the girls' special friend come over for a sleepover. What makes this REALLY special is that she brings her horse! So we have a sleepover in the barn too. LOL.
All the girls saddle up and ride pretty much all day. They have so much fun together. We play horse show, and I have to be the judge..which they love. All the horses get along and have fun together too I think.

Well, this time their friend had to leave early in the morning on a road trip, so we offered to keep her horse until they could trailer it back home in the evening. They said that would be great, and would we like to take her out riding while they were gone? You bet we would!
And that is how we were able to go out on a trial ride, all three of us, for the first time ever! Now I have taken the girls out with me before, but only one at a time. This was the first time
we could all go together. We had a blast!
My horse, Whisper, all ready to head out.

Here we are, the Get-a-way Gang (as we call ourselves when we are off on great adventures)

We rode for about four hours, and visited a lot of friends along the way. We didn't even have any horses get spooked by moose or four that was lucky.

At one point we invited my sister in law to join us on her horse too, so we had four on the trail ride for awhile there!

On the way home we thought it might rain on us, but it didn't rain until we were about five minutes from the barn. Which was just fine with me. To make the evening end even more perfectly, I called for pizza about twenty minutes from home. Pretty funny...bouncing along at a trot talking on my cell phone "yes, a large pepperoni, mushroom and olive, and make half of that just cheese...". So I timed it right, and the pizza guy pulled up just as we finished putting away the horses.! Ahhh, doncha just love modern conveniences?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beach Bums

This is my idea of bliss. Hanging out on a warm sandy beach, watching the sun go down. Gorgeous scenery in every direction. Loving the time with my daughters. Watching them play and be silly, and hearing giggles turn to serious conversation, then back to giggles again. Keeping fall at bay for one more balmy evening. Wearing a tank top and feeling the sun on my back. Finding agates that glisten and shine, made even more clear by the sun and making it hard to hide from me. Staring at the bald eagle in the tree above me, as he stares back hard. I wonder how many evenings like this one he has seen on his beach. I envy him for each one!
A child's favorite left behind, toes now wiggling into the sand!
The girls played in the creek that runs along the beach side cliffs.
Chena found some really neat agates!