Sunday, October 01, 2017

August update

Another month gone. Summer has passed far too quickly.  We got a lot of rain this month and August was cooler than normal which meant we did not spend as much time at the pool as we would have liked to.

Sophia volunteered at the county fair with her 4-H group. She worked in the petting zoo portion mainly with the chicks and ducklings. She was great.  She held the animals while people petted them. She was polite to all the kids (and adults) that came by.

Sophia and Navajo competed in the MOHSS again. They worked well together. She took home two second places, three third and one fourth place. Her friends even convinced her to put in braids and ribbons in for the show. They did this for their coach, Catherine. Perhaps the ribbons brought them all good luck.  I tripped over a fence at the beginning of the show. I got three pretty deep puncture wounds. No fun.  I went to urgent care after the show where they cleaned them out (ouch) and bandaged it up.  Could have been worse.

We got together for the day with some of Sophia's China sisters.  The family from Maine did not make it down, another family got sick. So four of the six families were together for some bowling and dinner. The kids had a blast playing together.

Sophia competed in a jumper night at the barn. One class was a no-whining class. The parents had to ride with a glass filled with wine. The person who ended up with the most wine in their glass at the end of the night won a basket of wine. Steve competed and did a great job. He didn't win but had a blast. Navajo is such a good horse.
We attended a Girl Scout event for the solar eclipse. They had fun activities and we saw the eclipse through our glasses.  It was very cool.

Sophia worked very hard all summer at pony pal camp. She earned "pony bucks" which buy her lessons. She is such a hard worker. She was awarded the volunteer of the summer award for all her work. The instructor said she is always attentive, finds stuff to do during down time, engages the campers and has a positive attitude. We are so proud of her. She was one of three volunteers who one this award. Pretty impressive!

Her long time coach and instructor, Angel is moving away. We will miss her so much. She has been working with Sophia for years. Over the last year they had a semi-private weekly lesson with Angel. She is going to be missed. 

One of Sophia's favorite horses, Maverick, got sick in August. They weren't sure if he was going to make it. But Maverick is a fighter. He came through and will now be enjoying retirement.  Maverick was one of the two horses which caught an equine herpes virus in 2005 but lived. At least five horse died from the virus. We are told that he leaned against his stall and slowly moved about never laying down. If a horse with the virus laid down they could not get back to a standing position. He fought then and went on to be a beloved school horse. He taught so many children how to ride. Sophia showed with him for about a year. He is an amazing horse. So glad he pulled through again.

Until next month. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

July 2017

I have forced Sophia to take our annual July 1st photo. You can tell she was less than pleased about this. We take a photo against the same fence background every year on the day we got her referral. The picture she is holding is my favorite referral photo of her. I can't believe it has been 11 years since we first saw her face. I know that adoption has changed our lives in so many ways. We have been blessed. It also come with the realization of how much Sophia has lost, her birth parents, birth family, birth country, etc. I wish there was a way for her to get to know her birth family. I know they would be proud of the young lady she is becoming.

As I mentioned in the June post Steve's mother passed away on July 2 in Steve's arms with Leslie, me and Sophia by her side. It does not feel real. She passed too quickly. Thankfully both Aiden and Nick were able to spend time with her since her diagnosis on July 19.  Emma also visited often. She knew she was loved. We miss her so much.

Sophia had another away show with Navajo. She did not do well in the first division again. I think she let this fluster her and she went off course in her first jump class. BUT I am so proud of her because she realized it was a whole new game in her second division and got 3rd place for walk/trot/canter, 2nd place for command class and 5th for jumping. She also got 6th place for the trail class.  Navajo is really doing well in the command class. They are truly working as a team.

Sophia and I went up to Connecticut to visit Linda and the girls. We had a blast. We had dinner at a place called Sugar where they sell these huge sugary drinks (costing $25 each!)   It was fun to watch it come out and fizz but honestly it tasted gross.  We were lucky to visit the week of the OLOV carnival. This was our church carnival and we went faithfully every year. I have so many wonderful memories of the carnival and was glad to make it back. Sophia and I had been a couple times before when we visited my mother. We were supposed to go on our last visit but it got rained out. I wasn't sure if I would ever make it back. We did.  I had a fried dough pizza... the best. Sophia even enjoyed it. I got to see some old friends too. We also hung out a a pool where Chuck keeps his boat, went mini-golfing and bowling.

We had brunch with my sister's friend, Melissa and my mother's friends Pat and Bev.  It was so nice to see everyone. I wish I lived closer. We spent a couple of hours visiting my 94 year old Aunt Philly. She is going amazing. I love hearing her tell stories. She is an amazing woman.

Our furry family is all doing well. Otto is a big help when we do things on the table. He helps Steve paint and helped me with this puzzle.
Twinkletoes has decided he likes Kaegogi's bed better than his. Kaegogi is not too pleased but did share without too much whining.

Until next time

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Ups and downs in June

Where do I even start? This month has had a lot of ups but also has had a lot of downs. It has not been easy but I am trying to stay positive and embrace life and all it has to offer.

Let's start with the ups. Sophia continues to ride and do well. She was in three shows in June. One weekend she went to an away show at MOHSS and then did a dressage show. Busy but fun. Sophia and Navajo are working well together. She is working on keeping him forward and not letting him get lazy. He is a good horse but sometimes prefers to be a bit pokey. He loves to jump, be out in the field and on trail rides. He got to do all that this month. Sophia even entered her first jumper ring course with him. She jumped 2'3" at MOHSS.

Grand Champion of the series in English Pleasure


Dressage show with her coach Angel

On a Friday night show team practice Catherine, show team coach, tried something fun. It was a lesson to help the kids bond with their animals, parents and to also not work the horses too hard in the heat. First the kids needed to lead the horses through an obstacle course. Then parents needed to get on and the kids had to teach us to get through the course on horseback. It was a bit scary but Navajo is trustworthy and took good care of me.
We finally got together with her friend Katlyn. I always love catching up with Heather while the kids play. Sophia and Katlyn have always been close in height. Not this time.

Sophia finished up fifth grade. Hard to believe she will be going to middle school next year. The end of the year we went to an Enrichment Fair where her projects were on display. She also participated in a Simulated Congressional Hearing where she presented her case to judges. She did an amazing job. She was well spoken and very professional. She really loves social studies. Fifth grade has really sparked this interest.  She sang the National Anthem at her moving up ceremony with four other kids who were in the lyric chorus with her. Fifth grade has been awesome. She grew in so many ways. She was a leader on the safety squad, participated in chorus, lyric chorus, helped set up for PE each morning, helped kindergarteners on field day, participated in a G/T CEU and GT math, participated in the congressional hearings, earned the most donations for 5th grade in JumpRope for Heart and so much more. We are so proud of her.


Moving up

Sophia joined 4-H in May. She is involved with a horse group. She is making new friends and is looking forward to completing a horse project next year. 

She will be moving on to Cadette level scouting with her troop next year. I will continue to lead this troop.
Most of our animals are doing well.  Mr. Twinkletoes gave us a scare which is explained below but for the most part they are good. We are glad to have them in our lives.  Boba is still with us but I do't have any pictures of him this month. He feels very much like the black sheep of the family. 

Sophia has started her summer job. She works at the barn helping with the Pony Pal camp. She has been working full days but doesn't consider this work.  She loves it.

That's the good stuff.  Now onto the hard stuff. Her friend lost her father unexpectedly this month. It has been very hard on her friend, Elanor. Sophia has been a great support to her. We had a small birthday gathering for Elanor. It is hard to lose a parent at such a young age. We will continue to reach out to her and provide her and her mother the support they need.

Mr. Twinkletoes has asthma. ONE percent of the cat population gets asthma and we have that special kitty. He has been coughing a lot. We have taken him to the vet three times due to this. Then one night this month he had a full out asthma attack which sent him into the emergency vet. He was given oxygen and bronchodilators and that helped. He was given prednisolone short term while we get him started on an inhaler. Yep, a cat on an inhaler. We have not heard him cough since so hopefully this treatment will help him. He is only three years old. This picture was taken on a follow up visit to the vet when he developed sneezing after his attack. His immune system was weakened. Thankfully Sophia did not see the full attack. It was scary. 
Grandma Bev, Steve's mother, was diagnosed with cancer. She had a PET scan on June 19 and it show that it has metastasized to her liver and bones. She is at peace with this decision and is grateful for a full life. Aiden and Nick came down immediately and both where able to spend time with her and Steve. Sophia and I saw her up and about on June 18 and then in bed and very weak on July 2. It was such a rapid decline. She passed in Steve's arms with Leslie, me and Sophia by her side. She passed like she wanted too. She was a determined person and always rushing to get things done. This was no different. We will miss her so much. 

It is hard to be faced with so much sadness. However without the sadness we would not recognize the happiness. We are sad to lose people because we loved with all our hearts. That can not be a bad thing.