Sunday, March 28, 2010

red dakota sunset

here are some more pictures of B and her new horse. the two have been getting along famously. do you know how i would have loved an opportunity like this when i was ten?! i only dreamed of having my very own horse. but i really think watching B enjoy living the life of a country girl, riding trails, getting dirty, and learning to love the outdoors brings enough joy to make up for it. more than enough!
first love!

B named her horse red dakota sunset.

dakota is a red dun quarter horse.
in this picture you can see the dark dorsal stripe,
which is characteristic of a dun.
B likes the natural "highlights" in his mane!

this is pixie, an american paint horse which we owned for about one week. she is a beautiful bay tobiano. but mark sent her back because she was nipping and bucking. the owner, who had assured us that she is 100% gentle and ready for the trail, was really surprised at this and had an equine chiropractor working on her. perhaps a pinched nerve was causing her to act up. whatever the case may be, we did not want to take a chance on her. too, bad. she is a real looker.

B and her dad going out for a ride.
mark is on an ornery pony named angel, which he thinks is a total misnomer! we borrowed her from a neighbor so dakota would have a pal until we find another horse. she a little small for mark. dakota, on the other hand, has been great with B. he is calm, cooperative, and friendly.

a very happy cowgirl!

everyday gift: the smell of fresh hay in the barn and a pile of dirty jeans in the laundry room!

twirling ten!

HaPpY bIrThDaY!B, i am so thankful that God chose you to be a part of our family 10 years ago, you are such a blessing! i love the way you love life and do everything with such enthusiasm, from horseback riding, to jump roping, to reading, and crafting! i love the way you love with your whole heart. i love your laughter and joy. i guess i just love YOU!

everyday gift: twirling girl

Monday, March 22, 2010

mark's trail cam

we have all been enjoying mark's trail cam! it gives us the chance to see the more elusive creatures that call our woods home. the deer are not hard to spot at dusk around here, but those bucks are very suspicious of people and keep hidden.
we have a running list of animals we have seen:
deer (does and bucks), fox, raccoon, rabbit, neighbor's dog...

mark and B hiking out to pick up the trail cam.
they are the wildest animals we have captured on film to date. :o)

mark has his eye on this buck.
he is torn between enjoying his presence in our woods,
and wanting him as a hunter's prize.

here is a little red fox.
we have seen his tracks and found his deserted den,
but he keeps himself out of sight.
i do hope he stays away from my chicken coop!

a few other nature highlights from past few months...

this winter we have enjoyed watching eagles soar over our farm.
this is the best of my attempts to photograph them.
i need a bigger lens and a tripod to get a better shot.

tracks in the snow...skunk, i think

coon tracks

everyday gift: our little woodland creatures

Friday, March 12, 2010

got mud?

ah, yes. all signs of spring are welcome, even if it is mud.
and, boy, have we got MUD!
i can't wait to get that grass planted!

two pheasant roosters strolling along the treeline.
i took this picture from the deck, they are a little too far away for my camera.
but we were so excited to see them that i wanted to include this picture.

an interesting fungus amongus in the wet leaves.

the path through the trees opens up into a clearing. the boys are tossing a football around and i am trying hard to capture the moment in a photograph, but they are moving too fast.

time is moving too fast. i remember the day each of them was born as if it were yesterday. and now they are big, and confident, and exploring their worlds, and becoming more independent everyday.
*sigh* if only i really could capture these moments.

out for a little hike, trying to walk off the cabin fever we've had for the past few months and soak in the warmer temperatures. the breeze has the feel of spring. the birds can feel it, too, and they are announcing spring's arrival from the tree tops! we saw a dozen robins the other day and a blue bird. it is time to clean out the bird houses and make way for the new nests.

this is a ramp that the guys put up on a hill for sledding. now that the snow is gone we have discovered that it has become a busy little community!

underneath we found some little baby mice.
better way out here in the field than my kitchen!

everyday gift: a family walk after dinner

Sunday, March 7, 2010

goin' to see a man about a horse

whenever my gran'dad wanted to do something as a surprise and his girls got too curious and started asking questions, he always teased them and told them he was "goin' to see a man about a horse." and that was the answer i always got growing up when i started getting too nosey. of course, it was never a horse...

but yesterday, B and her dad DID go see a man about a horse! a 14 hands, red dun quarter horse. and it looks like we will have an addition to our little farm in a few weeks after mark can secure the fences and B can think of a fitting name. she is flying high! with special thanks to her grandpa for making it happen!

everyday gift: a girl's dream come true

Monday, March 1, 2010

a few pictures

dad and mom
february 25, 2010
a dinner celebration after the wedding

yum! a shirley temple!

B with grammy

okay, guys. get serious...

that's better! (nice ipod earbud, C.)

more pictures from the photographer at the church to follow.

everyday gift: family times

celebrating a miracle

dear mom and dad,

last week we celebrated a miracle. God has healed what many said would be impossible. my prayer for you is that the past will truly be overcome and love and forgiveness will reign in your marriage. may this chapter of your lives be the happiest yet.

your marriage brought back so many thoughts and memories of our family. i have been thinking about all our family has been through over the years and i realized how much you both have taught me. through all the ups and downs i can see the hand of God providing, guiding, protecting, sustaining and teaching me. let me number the ways...

1) growing up i never really knew that at times things were financially tough. we always had enough to eat, clothes on our backs, and a house that mom lovingly turned into our home. i always felt secure and cared for. i watched dad work hard to provide for our family and i know now that you both sacrificed your own desires for us. (sorry that you never got that bass boat, dad!) it taught me that family was really what was important.

2) i learned from you that when hard times come you must lean on the Lord and on each other. Our family has weathered some very sad times and through them all i watched your faith, rock solid, relying first on the Lord and also the other to make it through. mom, i witnessed you take the heart break of losing your son and turn your eyes to heaven with praise on your lips. your example is one of the single most poignant demonstrations of faith that has touched my life.

3) you taught me unconditional love. and i tested it! (sorry about that!) when i came to you, having failed and disappointed you with my choices, you were there for me. it was your love and support that gave me confidence and courage. and through the Lord's grace, a time of difficulty was turned to blessing.

4) and when your marriage faced it darkest hours i learned that even the strongest marriages are vulnerable if left unattended. mark and i have talked about this lesson often, vowing to do what it takes to protect our marriage from such pit falls. we are striving to keep our relationship as a top priority, second only to our relationship with the Lord.

5) if i learned something from your troubled marriage, so much more so in your reconciliation! mom, God met your needs when you were alone. he comforted and sustained you. your attitude of love and forgiveness amazed all, even when righteous anger would have been acceptable. your prayers and your patience have won out.

where would our family be without the Lord? mired in bitterness, unforgiveness, and hopelessness? He has taught us to trust and rest in Him. through good times and bad we are in his hands. and we are family.

mom and dad, i love you and am so thankful for you.