The girls and I traveled to NY state to take care of my nieces while their parents are both gone. It was a situation of one of those things of "what are the odds of both of these trips needing to be exactly at the same time" kinds of things. And of course, that is the way it fell. Plus it is the first week of school for my nieces who are in elementary school. So, help was needed and it made most sense for the girls and I to come out and help - horse experienced - since they also have a hobby farm with horses! So, we drove out after Kiley finished her horse show Sunday afternoon.
That was a great experience by the way. The horse show, not necessarily the drive, though that was no big deal either. Kiley reall stretched herself and entered in 13 classes over two days - the most she has ever done. I have been encouraging her to take advantage of all the classes she can, because this year our focus is getting the experience, not really caring if she does very well, but just getting to know what showing is like and getting the experience under her belt. Well, she and her trainer have also been working their butts off, and to see the progress Kiley has made since October is just amazing. I missed the last show - had to work - so seeing this one, the last of the year was huge. She did great. Her focus has never been the ribbons or placing, but has viewed that as a bonus. Lots of the folks she is competing against have been showing for longer than she has. I love her attitude. She was so excited in the past when she placed in one class at each show. Well, this show, she scratched - decided not to do one class - it was so hectic, too close to another class, just too much. She did twelve classes and got a ribbon in ten of the twelve!!!! She got a couple thirds (the highest she has placed so far), a bunch of fourths and a couple fifths. She was very happy with that, because for most classes there were quite a few riders. It is a bit less of a thrill taking a fifth when there are only five riders! LOL! So, she was very happy. It was a great experience and what an improvement in her skills!!!! She is really becoming quite the fine rider and all her hard work shows.
So, once we had packed up all her things, we drove on to NY. It was about ten and a half hours. We stopped twice to nap and got here mid morning - it worked out really well. I missed seeing my brother off, but had thought we might. I will see him when he comes off, and so we have been learning the ropes and routines here before my SIL leaves tomorrow! Great fun. Five girls and me, no boys (as the girls keep reminding me!). Several of us have little colds, but that is no biggie. Keeping an eye on it and TLC works.
I am so glad that we were able to do this for my brother's family. It worked out just perfectly that we could and I am so glad to spend time with my nieces! It is an adventure for us girls! Lifelong memories for us all. We did AM chores, had breakfast and the girls are playing tag and hide and go seek. Having fun together. Pretty soon we will head out and clean out the chicken coop, and then pack the girls backpacks for school tomorrow. Kiley is planning on some riding so I am sure that we will get that done too. They have a nice indoor ring here, and I am sure that we will take advantage of that while we are visiting. Our main goal is keeping my nieces' routines and life as normal as possible. I think we can manage that!
We will start school at home the week after we get home. It will be good to get that routine going too. We decided to not even attempt until we got back from this adventure. So, we won't take as many breaks as we sometimes do - shorter Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, but that is just fine. Staying in our routines year round does really keep us more sane anyway. And with not knowing when we are traveling to Ethiopia, the plan is to just keep it all together and get as much done as we can so we have flexibility in the future. At least homeschooling allows this.
As we were driving we were talking about the states we traveled through, the state capitols, what we could recall about each state and comparing how they are similar and different. Not hugely educational, but it was also mostly at night!!!
Well, life moves along, doesn't it? I miss my guys at home and our routines there, but we will all be fine. We can enjoy each moment and look forward to being together again! I understand they re-fenced our front pasture that we had been having trouble with electrifying - the two baby horses would get out though thankfully the big ones didn't! But this should keep everyone in while allowing all the big horses free access to grazing. Yay! All those projects that are on the "to do" list! We keep whittling them down, but then we also think of new things, so it doesn't feel like the list is getting smaller. So, I keep reminding myself of what it was like when we bought the place and how far we have come! Each project really improves things. It is a journey, that is important. Living it together and spending time together.
Hugs to everyone and thanks to my dear hubby holding down the home front so we can help my brother! Love you Steve!!! Love you boys!!!! Enjoy your "guys week"!!!!
"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11