GratiTuesday: Dressage Team USA

Tori is second from the left.

I mentioned last week that we were going to Lexington to support my sister and the USA dressage team at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championship. I bet many of you are wondering exactly what that means.

The NAJYRC is the premier equestrian competition in North America for junior and young riders, age 14-21. Young equestrians vie for team and individual FEI medals in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage, eventing and the FEI World Equestrian Games disciplines of reining and endurance. Many of North America’s best equestrians who now regularly represent their country on Olympic, World Championship and Nations Cup teams got their first taste of international experience at NAJYRC.  (Source)

Six countries competed in an event that one might call the equestrian junior Olympics.  There was a moving opening ceremony in which the teams paraded in carrying flags and banners.  One by one their names were called.

We were in the nosebleed section. See all the countries lined up in the back?

The heat was unbearable.  It was so hot the dress jackets were banned and the riders were ordered to wear their team shirt.

Can you believe I forgot my camera? All I have is this picture from our iphone.

It was no easy decision to postpone college and train full time with hopes of making the team.  In spite of not having a horse for this level of competition, my sister put off all fear of failure and decided to go for her dreams.  This attitude most definitely comes from our Dad.

Tori rocked the scoreboard the first day but she did not do as well the second day. Though she was disapointed, we were and still are very proud of her. One of her coaches wrote on her facebook page “‘Success is a journey, not a destination.’  Stay with the journey, Tori!”  I can’t wait to see what she does next year!

This post is part of GratiTuesday.


Gratituesday: Our New Puppies!

Meet our new puppies, Blue and Jet!

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Gratituesday: Baby Cole

This weekend our family welcomed a new beautiful baby boy into the world.  Cole is my cousin Allison’s baby.

The last few weeks of the pregnancy were fairly rough on Allison.  Allison’s labor was induced when she was diagnosed with preeclampsia.  After 23 hours of little progress, they performed a c-section.  We are so thankful they did, because Cole had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice and was trying to come out sideways!

Cole is the most beautiful baby boy.  He was 8.4 lbs and 19 inches long.

Allison gave us a scare with some bleeding issues following the c-section but thankfully pulled through just fine.

I am so grateful that my cousin and her baby are well!  What are you grateful for this gratituesday?

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Gratituesday: A New Washer and Dryer!

A few months ago my washing machine’s spin cycle quit working.  It seemed to agitate on the wash cycle but would not spin to fling out all the soapy water at the end of the wash cycle or the clean water from the rinse cycle.  Do you have any idea how wet your clothes are without the spin cycle?

I wrang the freezing cold water out with my hands and threw the clothes in the dryer.  Obviously, it was time to call the repair man or buy a replacement.  Then the air conditioner quit working.  (more…)

Gratituesday: Her Children Call Her Blessed

My Grandma and Me

Last week I said goodbye to a very special lady.  My Grandma was the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman.  It is no surprise to me that the minister who spoke at her funeral referenced the chapter several times.  I had already planned to do so in this article.

My Grandma was more precious than rubies (Proverbs 31:10).  “When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness” (Proverbs 31:26).  There was no one more kind and gentle than my Grandma.  Well, she was gentle until she passed out her famous “horsey bites” to us grandkids, giggling all the while! 🙂

My Grandma never raised her voice, yet she had a way of calming even the most hyper child.  My brother had a severe case of ADHD. It was so bad that he was “asked to leave” the private school we were enrolled in.  It seemed no one knew how to handle him, except my Grandma.  She would sit down and speak to him in a soft voice.  It was so quiet it was almost whispering.  She’d ask him to sit in her lap.  She would tell him how special he was.  She would tell him how much she loved him.  She would tell him how proud she was of him.  It was like a magic spell.  He would sink into her lap and turn into a sweet loveable child.  It wasn’t just my brother who she made feel special.  Everyone she met felt like they were her favorite. 

My Grandmother was a hard worker (Proverbs 31:17).  Like the Proverbs woman, my Grandma was a gardener and a gifted seamstress.  She would work day and night to help make ends meet.  She never sat idly.  If she sat to watch TV with us she brought her handiwork or peeled and prepped vegetables for her vegetable soup. 

My Grandmother was extremely frugal.  We would try to give her practical gifts such as Tupperware but she would insist we return it.  She felt her recycled cottage cheese containers worked just fine.  The last time she was able to fix my children something to eat she served them mandarin oranges (one of their favorites) in a lid from a Dairy Queen sundae. 

My Grandma was exceptionally generous.  If you complimented something in her house she would wrap it up and send it home with you.  You could not visit her without her trying to feed you.  She was an excellent cook so this was generally appreciated.  A gentleman shared last week that she supported him financially on many mission trips.

I am truly blessed to have had such a virtuous woman in my life.  My Grandmother loved the Lord with all her heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37).  She taught me to pray.  She taught me to be modest.  She taught me a few hymns.  But what I am most grateful for she did not teach with words.  I am most grateful for the example of her life.  Her life was full of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (Galatians 5:22).  My Grandmother never preached from a pulpit.  She didn’t travel the world as a missionary.  My Grandmother lived a humble life spreading the love of Christ mostly from her home.  How grateful I am for such an example of God’s love.

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Gratituesday: Happy Birthday Bella!

Last week my baby turned four.  Four!  Where has the time gone?  This “surprise” child has been such a blessing.  She is sweet and lovable.  She gives the best bear hugs.  She is LOUD!  She is by far my most demanding child but her ability to cope with the constant pain and itching of severe eczema amazes me.  Her acceptance and discipline of her allergy free diet inspires me.  She is growing up.  She asked “Mommy, since I am not a baby anymore can we get a new one?”  Little does she know, she is still my baby and will always be my baby.  Happy Birthday Bella!

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Gratituesday: Homeschool Convention

This weekend the hubby and I had the privilege of attending the Midwest Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati.  This is our first year homeschooling and our first time attending the conference.  We had a blast!  The hubster hung out with the big guys (Jay Wile, John Stonestreet, Sean McDowell, Ted Tripp) in the Grand ballroom discussing apologetics and world view.  I spent most of my time in break out sessions covering practical advice for homeschooling.  The highlight of our weekend was hearing Tim Hawkins.  He has got to be one of the funniest people in the world.  The whole weekend was refreshing.  Especially refreshing was that part about sleeping in a hotel without any screaming children to wake us.  Thank you grandparents!

For your viewing enjoyment:  Tim Hawkins “Things not to say to your wife.”

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