Monday, December 31, 2012

And then we went to Shadwell Stable

It's hard to visit Columbia without taking the kids to the Camden Training Center. Hayes loves going and Cort has grown to enjoy it as long as there is a barrier between him and ramped up baby Thoroughbreds.
I must find out the name of this filly with the Harry Potter lightning bolt on her nose!

 The kids laughed at me playing with this colt, rubbing his upper gum.
 It made me happy too.
 Cort decided he liked this filly and she stuck her nose through the fence and said,"Hey kid, your jacket looks like it needs a hole in it."
 And then Hayes and this filly fell in love with each other. Whenever Hayes walked around the paddock, the filly followed.

"If you move this board here, and maybe right here, I can come out and play!"

 No kisses!
 I adore my daughter.

Cort turns 6 (early)

My baby turns 6 on Jan. 1 but we weren't going to be together so we celebrated early, which meant we got to have cake for two days in a row!

Happy birthday, my 6-year-old boy! I love you.

Christmas at Great MawMaw's

When we arrived at my grandmother's in Columbia, she had set up a Charlie Brown tree in our room complete with three horses for each of us.
 I love this picture of my babies in front of Great MawMaw's tree.
 Before we left Georgia, my friend, Anne, gave the kids presents. Cort got a gigantic box of Legos. We'll be building for years!
 Hayes got a big horse
 which my dog ReSet did not like at all!
 My best present to Hayes was a Breyer model horse of Bull inthe Heather, one of our favorites at Old Friends Retirement in Kentucky, and a framed photo of Hayes scratching Bully on the withers during one of our visits.

 Very cool lightsaber Cort got!
 And then Hayes checked out 'cause she got a book. I used to do the exact same thing when I got books at Christmas.
 As MawMaw was setting up for lunch, she put out her fruit salad, which is a favorite among our family.
 Cort and cousin Asher got on like a house on fire! Look at that adoration. I love it.

 One of the great things about South Carolina is that it was end of December and we were riding around with the top down on my car. Whee!

Chestatee Wildlife Park

Thanks to Aunt Susan, the kids and I drove to Chestatee Wildlife Park, which is very much like a backyard zoo.
So, here goes ...
 Here kitty, kitty ... oh, never mind.

Hayes was most excited about this zedonk and took this great picture. She's already planning on volunteering here when she turns 16.
 I love the big cats and there were plenty here.

 Cort in the bamboo forest.
 We were trying to take creepy pictures after we happened upon this stuffed lion.

Kissy, kissy, smoochie, smoochie

Thank you, Aunt Susan, we all said!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Homemade holidays

I really don't like this time of year. Decorating is pretty and all but everyone is so stressed out, they drive like mad, people are going into debt buying STUFF for people who don't need anything. For about 15 years, I've refused to buy into it but I feel pretty guilty still when my family gives me stuff after I've talked and talked about none of us needing anything.

So now if you're either my Aunt Susan or my Aunt Melinda, you have to quit reading my blog until after the holidays. I mean it. Stop now.

For years, I've made my own laundry soap. It cleans just as well as storebought stuff and it costs me about a quarter of a cent per load. Yes, you read that correctly. I get 80 washes from what I make.
First, I grate a bar of Fels-Naptha soap. This is the most time-consuming part. Takes about 10 minutes and I've finally learned to do it in front of the TV.
 To this, I add one part washing soda (NOT baking soda as I did in my first batch) and one part Borax. Then I stir in 10 drops of essential oil, usually lavender.
 It only takes one tablespoon per load. Ok, so that's gift number one.

I read about homemade Febreeze on the huge time-suck website Pinterest. Since I have a dog, I'm always concerned about how my house smells but the stuff is rather expensive and there are chemicals I'm breathing when I spray it on my furniture.
 The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of your favorite laundry softener (um, I make my own laundry detergent - do I HAVE a favorite laundry softener??), two tablespoons of baking soda then two cups warm water. Shake before using because, as you can see, it kind of glops at the top. I haven't calculated the savings for this yet.

Now we're on to gift number three: while in Hawaii, my Aunt Susan and I were talking about how we're "splashers" in the bathroom washing our faces. She and her husband just redid their bathroom and her husband was fussing at her about splashing all over the place so now she has to use makeup remover cloths.
In my mind, Susan has everything. There isn't anything I could really buy her of any significance. Gifts take a lot of creative thought.
Soooo, homemade makeup remover cloths!
First, start with coconut oil. I read this was really hard to find but it wasn't. Found it at the grocery's natural food aisle but it was $6 for a jar!
 Put two tablespoons in four cups of warm water. Uh oh, coconut oil is solid. Now what?
 Fortunately, a little patience and the stuff just dissolves. Now I added paper towels I had cut a fourth off the roll. I bougth the "expensive" paper towels, thinking they'll be better on the face.
 I cut an X in the top of my plastic Ziploc container and now Susan will have her homemade makeup remover cloths and her husband will continue to be happy she's not flooding their bathroom. I haven't done the calculations for this either but I made three batches after spending $12 total. I know storebought cloths range from $5 to $8 a pack so I'm already ahead of the game.

Happy homemade holidays!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Our thankful tree

Since we were only together for a week this holiday, we filled our tree with things we are thankful for: family, horses, being together and ... cereal?

Visiting Santa!

 Hayes had a long list of Breyer horses she wants but had also included that she would like Santa to bring world peace. Seriously.
 Cort had to point out what he wanted in particular. World peace was not one of them.

Horse rescue to meet a pony, or two

Hayes has been asking for a project to take on at the nearby horse rescue where we previously had adopted three horses. She got it in her head that she wanted Tebow, the palomino pony pictured here on the left. She also met Ranger, who had also been suggested to us.
 And she decided Ranger was it.
 Very cute pony!
 She, of course, wants to adopt him but she will very soon outgrow him but he's a nice project for right now.

 We even got Cort on him. You don't know what kind of feat this was.
 It's always nice to get a horse fix.

 When we got there, Cort had to give Gidget a hug.
 And he met this pony, whom he named "Adorableness."

 I like for Cort to get a bit of handling experience too.

 Happiness is a warm, fat pony!