I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

14 Feb

where we’ve been …

I’ve desperately been working on a post sharing all about the girls riding activities. It’s been over two weeks in the writing, and I still don’t have it finished. Basically because we’re at an event right now and it’s taking almost every waking hour, and I haven’t had much down time {or alone time}. And we’re in a camper. And it’s been hard to get to my computer.

Anyway … Taylor was presented with an amazing opportunity to ride an amazing horse, at an amazing show, training under a well-known and respected Canadian Olympic rider.

It took a lot of thought, planning, and sacrifice and finally decided I we’d do it.

And so we’re here now. In Florida. For two weeks. Then home for two weeks. And then back for two weeks.

Taylor brought her two horses from home. And she’s also showing the above mentioned “amazing horse.” Wynter’s showing too and brought her new horse. The girls trainers from home are here, as are some of the other girls that ride at the barn and their horses.

We have just a few days left of this first run. It’s been quite an experience. Some good. Some bad. But always learning and growing experiences.

Below is a photo Taylor and her newer horse, Performance Colorado {aka – Colorado}. It was just her third time showing him and they were amazing {as shown in the video below}. :)

They went clean their first round and made it to the jump-off. In the jump-off, she had a respectable time, but got a rail down. And for the record, that other post I mentioned I’m working on? It’s probably got too many technical explanations … but — if you don’t know much about the riding world — going “clean” and making it to a “jump-off” will make much more sense after reading it.

{if you’re reading via email or rss feed, please click here to see the following video}

Her ride starts around 38 seconds …

So anyway. That’s that. I’ve been wanting to check in, but just haven’t had a chance. So here’s a little snippet of what’s been keeping me busy the last couple of weeks!

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Posted in family photos, movie, riding, taylor

28 Nov

for my girls …

Whenever you cross my mind,
I thank my God for you
and for the gift of knowing you.
Philippians 1:3 {Voice}


Taylor … my precious firstborn … sweet girl, you hold a special place in my heart. You always have and you always will. I’ve always felt so protective of you and your heart. I want so much for you in this life, my love. And what I’ve finally come to realize? YOU want so much for you too! I can’t tell you how much peace it brings me to see the beautiful, mature, young woman you’ve become!

Our Father has His hand on you babygirl. Lean on Him, continue to trust in His plan for your life, and know I will ALWAYS be by your side loving you, cheering for you, and guiding you through.


Piper, I smile just thinking of you. My wide-eyed-soulful girl. You are a beautiful, precious girl Piper. I pray you take that truth and tuck it deep into your soul and never forget it. You have a deeper sense of the people around you than most others your age. You are a good friend. You’re thoughtful and caring.

The Lord created you for a special purpose … He created you, uniquely you. There’s no other like you Piper J. And I promise to always be here journeying alongside of you as we learn together what your place in this world looks like.

Always remember how loved you are, and how very, very thankful I am that you were given to me to guide through this life.


My Wyntie. Oh sweet Wynt. I thought I had you all figured out, but you’ve been surprising me lately. Keeping me on my toes for sure as I try to navigate your emotions.

You’re a blessed girl Wynter. The Lord has blessed you with some amazing gifts, and I pray sweet Wynter, you learn how to harness these gifts to use for good things in your life … and in this world. Along with the gifts He’s given you, you’ve also been blessed with some challenges. “Blessed?” you might ask. “Yes, blessed.” Because blessed are those who can take the challenges allowed in their lives, overcome them, and use them for His glory.

I believe that is your story Wynter. And I can’t wait to watch the pages turn in your life.


Hunter, my littlest blessing. You’ve completed our family sweet girl. I didn’t know how badly we needed you until you graced our family with your arrival. It seems you’ve been working to catch up with your sisters since the day you were born. They’ve had their bond formed and you’re struggling to find your place. Keep working sweet girl … keep your heart open and know how much you are loved.

You have a precious place in our family and in this world. There are great things in store for you my love and I can’t wait to watch them unfold!

Posted in blessed, family photos, girls, hunter, photography, piper, taylor, wynter

23 Oct

a girl and her horse …

I couldn’t decide if I should just make this a “Wordless Wednesday” post … or if I should bore you with at least a few words.

Obviously, I decided on the latter.

Rocco … or Sirocco as he’s called in the show ring, has been an amazing partner for Taylor these last few months.

From the time she was just four years old, I have always loved to see her on the back of a horse. But watching her with Rocco has meant more to me than all those years put together. Maybe it’s because he’s meant so much to Taylor.

He’s brought life back into her spirit.

I think he’s touched her heart in a way no one else could.

I’ve seen her grow in ways I never thought I would.

All I know is … there’s definitely a reason girls fall in love with horses. And I think the image I captured above shows every single one of them.

Posted in riding, taylor

20 Sep

RIP willie :: when a carnival fish dies

Posted in our family, pets, piper, random, taylor

17 Jul

sisters who ride together …

I love, love, love that these girls are riding together! We’ve had quite the busy riding and showing schedule, but they love every minute of it!

The other two? Not so much. But they’ve been such troupers keeping themselves busy … even if it is in a mud pile!

All that said … I do have to admit, when I’m in the middle of slinging horse manure, there are times I wonder why I couldn’t be a soccer mom instead! This horsey business is A LOTS O’ hard work!!

Shows are typically two days {Saturday and Sunday}, but we drive up the day before to get a schooling ride in and get settled in the barn. The next day, we wake up at the crack of dawn {shown below} for a schooling ride before the 7:30 “class” starts.

It’s hurry, hurry, hurry:

  • braid the hair
  • dress the kid {she needs a little help to get it just right}
  • put the number on
  • put the garters on
  • groom the horse
  • get tack together
  • tack the horse
  • polish horses feet {dead serious.}
  • put kid on horse
  • polish kids shoes once mounted
  • get to the schooling ring
  • wait for class to start
  • watch class
  • collect ribbons
  • back to barn
  • untack horse
  • brush off or hose down
  • put tack away
  • and then wait
  • and wait
  • and wait

‘Til the next ride. And then we do it all over again. For two of them.

It makes for a long weekend … but it’s seriously rewarding to see how much the girls love it.

On this particular day, Wynter was first up. We’re still looking for just the right mount for her. You might remember Grace? Sadly, Grace didn’t work out and we’re still looking.

This pony, Poncho, lived close to the show grounds and the owner agreed to let us try him out. Wynter had her schooling ride on him the day before the show and it went well enough to give him a try at the show.

He’s cute enough and all … but he wasn’t too good in the show ring. He’s what you’d call a “herd pony.” And didn’t want to be away from the other horses. Wellllll … when you’re showing in these classes, it’s best to be riding by yourself and not gather up with the other ponies … although at this level, it’s kinda what the kids tend to do. It reminds me of when Piper played soccer as a peanut and all the little kids moved through the field as one unit. Anyway. Poncho would want to catch up with other horses and would start cantering when he shouldn’t, and basically wouldn’t listen to Wynter very well.

So yeah. He didn’t work out.

Wynter got a 5th, 4th, and 5th place ribbon in her classes on him.

Next up, it’s Taylor’s turn! Taylor has been ah.maz.ing on her new boy Rocco! She’s found her passion again and I can’t begin to explain how it warms my heart.

She had two jumper classes this day and took a first and second place. Crazy amazing!

The next day, Sunday, Taylor started out early in a couple of equitation classes. They didn’t do too great in these. I think she got a 5th and a 6th.

At the end of the equitation class, they all need to line up with their numbers facing the judge. Wynter has to do this in her classes too and it’s kinda way too cute to see them all trying to get in a single file line.

After Taylor was done and we’d done a sufficient amount of waiting, Taylor had two more jumper classes.

{see all the mud and muck?? TONS of rain was had!}

And then something that completely amazes me … they need to learn and remember their jumping courses. The courses are only posted the morning of the event and each day it changes. New day, new course.

So before her class starts, they look at the posted course, get a good handle on it and commit it to memory, and then they go out and physically walk the course. Here’s Taylor with her trainers walking the course.

The class Taylor rides in is judged on two different things. Power and speed. At the first part of the class, they need to go clean {not knock any poles/rails down off the jumps} and also make it through in an allotted amount of time. When they finish that round, they stay in the arena and wait for the judge to blow her whistle again.

This time they’re judged on speed. The rider who makes it through the course “clean” and with the fastest time, wins! OH! and the kicker? If they make the first part of the class and are moved into the second part, the course is completely different! So in a split second, they have to refocus to ride a completely different course. Crazy.


Taylor had two jumper classes and got 2nd in her first class, and a 1st in her second class.

Given the 1st and 2nd the day before, she walked away as grand champion of those classes! She also won $50!

I could go on and on about how proud I am of Taylor and all the reasons why … but let’s just leave it at, I love seeing this girl grow in ways I never expected.

After a torrential downpour, Wynter’s classes came at the end of the day. She was back on her trusty ol’ lesson mount and she did much better this day! She took a 3rd, 3rd, and 3rd in her three classes. I suppose now might be a good time to mention my girl, who was born on 11.03.03, has a favorite number of … THREE! :)

And all isn’t lost for Wynter in the horse department! The same farm who had Poncho, had just brought in another pony from Florida. So while we were in the “wait, wait, wait” period of the show, we went over to give him a try. He seemed like a good little mount, so with our trainer’s help, we decided to bring him home for a trial run.

Currently, our bedtime prayers are that Wynter and “Spanky” make a good team this week and it works out that we can keep him. And MY bedtime prayer might be that we can change his name!

We’re missing one girl from the photo, but here’s our team below. Catherine, the girl’s amazing trainer, is next to Taylor.

Six girls … 34 ribbons! I’d say it was a great show!



Posted in riding, taylor, wynter