September 11, 2013

April 2013

The incredible pace at which April moved is exemplified by the fact that I didn't even pull my camera out to take any pictures until the middle of the month. I was on a breakneck course to have school finished by the middle of May, have everything lined up so my CCHI (horseback riding staff certification clinic) would flow smoothly for the 12 participants who would attend, and finish hiring riding program staff. The kids stayed at Mom and Dad's for spring break week (we take one whenever we want to) following Easter Sunday at Uncle Danny and Aunt Lynn's. I used the week to work in the office, mostly revising our staff training manual so it would be ready to go for staff training week. It was a really weird week for me, maintaining office hours, and not having to decide what other people were going to do, learn, study, or eat every minute of the day. I realized that week that I am kind of a Superwoman. I am always frustrated with how little it seems I'm able to get done everyday. This was the first time in nearly ten years that James and I were home without all of the kids for even one night, let alone five! It gave me some perspective as to how much I really do every day when the kids are home. The week passed quickly. I missed them but they enjoyed their week without us. They need a break from parents every now and then.

I was happy with how much I got done by end of the week. I was also very happy to see them when they came home. One thing that was a load off my mind was that I finalized the hiring of the barn staff. God sent them straight to us, after I sent several emails to colleges with equestrian teams. More on that later.

Look, more photos of the girls and Meg in the make up again! This time they didn't go quite as scary with the makeovers.

Shannon will probably hate these pictures one day, but he went to the dress up drawer and pulled out several items for them to model.

Dude, you really did.

One evening I heard a ruckus outside the front door and found a baby bunny the cats brought up on the porch. It was injured and couldn't hop very well, but it didn't seem to have really severe injuries.

Everything I found online about the care of wild baby bunnies said they would likely die. They were right. But it was a fun 24 hours for the kids anyway.

This was our first year participating in AWANA at church, and one of the things they do every year is the AWANA Grand Prix, a pinewood derby race. The kids came up with their ideas and James had Curtis help him cut them out a few days before. The entire thing was kind of short notice date-wise, so we didn't have a lot of time to get them painted. We crammed in painting the day before the race.

Use of a hair dryer can speed up paint drying between coats. That's what we told ourselves, anyway.




One gorgeous afternoon in April we went on a hike. The kids and I met James at the park in Helen (he had been mountain biking that morning) and we headed off over the mountains into the wild unknown. Actually, there's a pretty good trail from the middle of Helen over to Unicoi State Park. 

We weren't really sure how far it was. There were signs pointing the right way, but none saying how far it was and we didn't have a map.

Yes, our little Ninjas broke this bench. In their minds, anyway.

Once we made it to Unicoi we looked at a map and realized we'd already been three miles, so it would be a total of six once we got back. (Can you tell teaching all that math at home has really paid off for me?)

Elizabeth walked the whole thing by herself. She's hardcore that way.

An open field usually invites a little freestyle action.

They still had energy to play on the playground when we got back.

When we got home James put the final coat of laquer on the Grand Prix cars.

Here's a couple of repeat looking pictures. The Adams families came back to see us again! We had previously scheduled an overnight hike/camp out for the guys, but as is typical, it rained that weekend and everyone's arrival schedule didn't work out right. So we just enjoyed some time together again at the house.

Jonathan gave the boys a go at his airsoft gun.

There has to be at least a couple of shots in a family's photo repertoire of a little girl in Mom's shoes. And a pajama top with leggings.

This is random, but it was on my phone. I remember thinking it was funny that Avery needed his safety goggles at the dentist. He had his molars sealed that day and they also pulled a tooth he was too chicken to get out himself.

To end the month we spent part of an afternoon at the barn. I spent a great deal of time there as it got closer to May,  trying to knock the off-season dirt off of everything (horses and saddles alike) so everything would be ready for my mid-May riding instructor clinic.

It's rare that Avery wants to sit on a pony or horse, so I took a picture for posterity.

And finally, a funny to end the post. Amelia was painting sun catchers one day and didn't think the instructions were thorough enough.

I think every art project should come with Step Four.