Friday, July 20, 2012

Horse Camp 2012

Wooohooo....Benjamin had an amazing time at Horse Camp. They were some loooooong days in the sun and he slept great every night. He is now a total horse-kiddo! He's also decided he wants to continue taking riding lessons into the school year!

I am actually super excited with his new love for this amazing creature. From the ages of 6-12, my family lived right outside of Austin on some land where I was able to have my own horse, "Shotgun". While I wasn't a great rider {I did spend five summers with riding lessons at Double Creek Farms....but apparently it just didn't stick}...I am thrilled that Benjamin wants to take this up. Maybe I can brush up on my riding skills as well....maybe.

Benjamin is in the green shirt, riding JJ. 

Camper cool-off time! Yes, 9 boys and 1 girl. But, everyone loved Katie...she held her own with this crazy bunch. And she could trot & jump on a horse like no other eight-year-old I've ever seen!

Taking JJ across the cavaletti on an English saddle. Benjamin learned both English & Western riding, but he much preferred the Western {I totally agree, kid}!

Swimming with his buddy, Zachary 

More cavaletti... 

Working on jumps....slowly at first. 

Riding & chatting with Katie. 

Toes & Hands Up! 

Learning about English style. 

JJ & Ben 

Brushing out Tex's tail. 

Painted horses...LOL! 

Getting Que Pasa ready for her saddle. 

Hanging with P.T., a mini horse. 

He learned all the aspects of good horsemanship.

 P.T. taking them for a ride!

Riding western-style on Que Pasa. 

Working the lasso...kind of. ;) 

 Benjamin & P.T.

Love, love, loved horse camp!! Can't wait to see him start his regular lessons in the fall!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mid- Summer Post

Summer is flying right along. 

We started the summer off with a week at the Hilton in Austin for the annual TASSP conference {at which I forgot my camera}. David actually was a presenter this year, so the boys spent part of that week at my parents' house so he could finish preparations. He did wonderfully! 

We came home and our new floors were installed shortly after that. You can read about them HERE. We are loving them! So easy to keep clean and they look fantastic. 

David had his time off from work and we spent the majority of those two weeks at the Peloton pool. He had several interviews for Ellison positions scheduled sporadically during his break, so we really weren't able to travel this year. 

With all of the time in the pool {it seems like at least 3-4 hours every day but weekends}, the boys have become fantastic swimmers. Benjamin likes to swim down and retrieve his diving sticks in the twelve foot deep end of the pool. And Jonathan can now dive into the water almost flawlessly. We still will have lessons in August, but I think they'll just be fine-tuning swim techniques at this point. 

Benjamin will also have a combination Horse & Swim Camp next week...thinking by the end of that, he may not need those August lessons at all. He's all set with his riding helmet & cowboy boots...he can't wait!

We had an *interesting* fourth of July. At least one that won't soon be forgotten.

These photos were taken before the mayhem. We spent the whole day at the pool, came home & grilled steaks, then headed out to find a {random} spot to watch the fireworks show. They are shot off on post, but we didn't want to go on post because of the traffic and not wanting to hassle with getting a visitor's pass. Most civilians camp out along 190 which has fantastic views. We found an off-post military shopette with a big field that lots of people were parking in. {About as close to post as you can get}. There are dozens of spots like this that people gathered at. We managed to pick the same spot as some folks we would have rather not shared out FOJ with. Ugh.

Benjamin has a child who has been in his class the last two years who he is encouraged not to hang out with due to behavior issues we don't want duplicated. We've tried to be accommodating and have let this child come over to our home on occasion...but we don't allow Benjamin to go to his home {it's very chaotic with multiple families living there...their friends in & out, etc.}. Over time, we just try to hang out more with our friends from scouts and stuff...they are good influences and Benjamin can be such a follower {just wanting him to follow those with good characteristics}.

Of course, this child's family {and the dozens of ill-behaved siblings} all show up at the same place for the fireworks. David was {at first} giggling at the irony...then the reality set it. The family put their kids into our truck bed with us {without asking or being invited} and went off to their own area....yelling loudly at the kids back & forth {very loudly & embarrassingly}. They ate our picnic, played with our kids' DSIs the entire time and were loud, horribly behaved and obnoxious. Ugh. We packed it up in the middle of the firework show and left just to get away from them.

Then of course, our kids got a lecture the entire way home on how not to behave and how some grown ups don't even know how to behave. We decided then and there we will not even be inviting this child to our home anymore. Hard lesson to learn...but, our kids are just too impressionable to be regularly involved with that kind of behavior.

It was a good show...too bad we only saw half of it!

We've also seen lots of movies at the theater this summer. And watched lots of Star Wars at well as played lots of Star Wars legos and collected about every Star Wars figure that Target & Walmart carry. The boys are obsessed!!

In a couple of weeks, Benjamin & I are going to McKinney for a long weekend to help Lori paint her nursery for the arrival of Baby Lola. Benjamin is going along so he & Jackson can go to Legoland together. He's been pinching pennies and picking up lots of extra chores for the trip. He can't wait to go to the Legoland store and collect a couple of new Star Wars sets.

Hard to believe school starts in a little over a month. We've already started school shopping and getting into a school mindset. It's all downhill from here!