Saturday, December 29, 2012

"One of My Horse Stories . . . . ."

   Molly here! Okay, so I've been writing one of my horse stories and I read it to Mom. She got really excited and said I HAD to post it on our blog. So after awhile I kind of forgot about it. But while I was 'proofreading' our newsletter for her, I saw that she hinted that I would be posting some of my stories on here.....what could I do?! So here is one of my horse stories that I like to write: 


                                                     Allie's Thunder
                                                                            By Molly E. Miles

   Allie led her horse over to the trailer and waited for the groom to open the door.
   “Hey, Allie!” Julie Gallard called. Allie turned towards her.
   “Thunder looks good!” Julie exclaimed. "Do you think he's ready for the show next month?”
   Allie laughed. “He might be ready, but I'm really nervous. Hey, how's Price? I know he's not used to the trailers yet.” Allie patted Thunder's neck. The big horse pranced excitedly. He was  dark brown with a thick black mane.
   “He's fine. We bribed him in with sugar cubes.”
   The groom tapped Allie on the shoulder. “The stall's ready, Allie."
   “Thanks, Oliver!”Allie led Thunder up the ramp and secured him to the cross ties. She quickly made sure there was enough food and then patted her horse goodbye. “Hey, Julie! Do you want to ride with me and my Dad?”
   “No thanks, we have to make a few errands before we head home. But thanks! See you at school!” Julie waved and then ran off to her own trailer.

   Allie hopped out of the truck and ran back to the trailer. Oliver opened the door and led Thunder out. “I can take him now, Oliver. Thanks!” Allie took the lead shank and led him over to the barn.
   “Hey, Jessie!” she called, leading Thunder over to his stall.
   A young groom looked up from cleaning a bridle. “Hey, Allie. How was camp?”
   Allie grinned. “Great! It was really fun!”
   Jessie put down the bridle and walked over. “I'll take care of Thunder. I think your mom wants to see you in the house.”
   “Thanks!” Allie ran off down the isle, stopping every now and then to say to hello to one of the horses.

   Allie clattered up the porch steps and burst into the house. “I'm home, Mom!”
A tall, thin woman hurried out of the kitchen drying her hands on a towel. “Hey, honey! How was camp?”
   Allie hugged her mom. “It was soo cool! I'm so glad I got to go!!”
   “Well, I'm glad you're home!” Mrs. Smith exclaimed.
   “Where's my Allie?!” a big booming voice called.
Mr. Smith swept Allie into his arms in a big hug.
   “Oh, Dad!!” Allie laughed.
   Mr. Smith set Allie down and relaxed on the couch. Julie popped her head in the door. “Hey, Allie. Mrs. Jegson wants us to come a little early today. I'm going to go ahead and head over. You want to join me?”
   “No thanks. I have something to do real quick. But I'll meet you there,” Allie replied.
   “Okay, bye!!”
   Allie turned to her mom and dad. “Did you want to talk to me?”
   Mrs. Smith sighed. “Your Dad and I don't have enough money to keep the ranch going. So, we'll have to make a few changes.”
   Allie stared at her parents. “What?! What about all the money we've been making from the breedings and all the events I've been winning with Thunder and Diamond?”
   Mr. Smith stood up and paced the room. “Well, the event purses aren't bringing in that much money. And breeding isn't all year round. Your mother and I have talked, and I've decided I'll hire myself out as a trainer.”
“But... but ...but what about all my friends, and Thunder and the other horses?”
    Mrs. Smith got up and put an arm about Allie's shoulders. “It'll be okay. Your Dad and I will figure things out,” Mrs. Smith soothed. “Now you had better get over to Mrs. Jegson's place."

   “Okay, Becky! You're next!” Mrs. Jegson instructed.
The other students sat on their horses and watched Becky as she cleared the jumps perfectly. Allie just couldn't concentrate. She was worried about the ranch and whether she would be able to keep Thunder.
   “ALLIE! You're up!” Mrs. Jegson's command cut into her thoughts.
Allie cleared the jumps horribly. Mrs. Jegson stood with her hands on her hips, a deep frown on her face.
   Allie hung her head.
   “What were you doing?! We have a show in less than a month!” Mrs. Jesgon shouted.
Allie dismounted and led Thunder over to the group.
   Julie walked over. “What's up? You were terrible!”
   “I'll tell you later!” Allie huffed. “I'll see you tomorrow.” Allie tugged Thunder's reins and led him off.
   “Allie! The class isn't over yet! Where are you going?!” Julie cried, running after her.

   Allie ran up the stairs and into her room. “Allie? Is something wrong?” Mrs. Smith yelled from the bottom of the stairs.
   All the reply she got was the slam of the bedroom door.

   The dinner table was quiet that night. Allie kept her eyes on her plate as she ate. Mr. Smith folded his newspaper and laid it gently on the table beside him. “Allie, we need to talk about something.”
   Allie didn't look up.
   “Mr. and Mrs. Gallard have offered to buy the ranch,” Mr. Smith continued. 'Your mother and I have been talking, and . . . we've decided to except the offer.”
   Allie sighed. “I guess we'll be moving soon.”
   Mrs. Smith smiled, “You forget your own friend's last name! For it is Julie's family that bought the ranch. Also, they offered we stick around to help a little. Your father will be their new trainer.”
   Allie leaped up. “Really?! We get to stay?!”
“Yes!” Mr. Smith laughed.

   Allie lay on her bed, joyful again. She made a mental note to apologize to Julie. She was just so upset that everything was going bad. First, they were moving, and second she messed up on her round. But now, now she was happy.
   Allie stared at the wall. Suddenly, she had an urge to go and look out the window. She crawled out of bed and padded over to the window. She parted the curtains and looked out.
   A full moon rose over the ranch, casting a warm, cheerful glow.
Allie smiled. Everything was going to be fine.


   Hope you liked that. I really enjoyed writing it. I actually started it during a homeschool convention we were at. I was kind of bored. If you have any tips, I'd like to know what they are. Thank You!

Christmas 2012

Well, I knew our newsletter would be late this year, since I was still writing it the weekend before Christmas. But what I didn’t count on was our printer sucking up ink and not being able to finish printing them to send out this week. I just can’t bring myself to pay $50 on more ink just to print the newsletter, when we will need that ink for starting back up with school on the 7th. Next year, we’ll have to go with much less color, I guess. It’s too late to re-do it now and I’ve put too much time into it anyway to re-do it. Life needs to move on.

So, in the event that I can’t find another option for sending out the rest of the newsletters, I am going to try and post it here.

We sure hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, celebrating Jesus’ strength in our weakness (Boy, did this Christmas season sure expose my own personal weaknesses. I had much to rejoice about as I celebrated Jesus entering into humanity and responding to life from a fully human position, perfectly, on my behalf!)

Family Newsletter 2012Family Newsletter 2012 Pg

We love you all!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Family Photos

We had a fun day on Saturday trying to get some family photos. Here are a few peeks.


For the most part, the kids get along pretty well.

But occasionally there are issues with David and Jonathan . . .


Thursday, November 08, 2012

School “Shoot”

Group 2012


Well, today was the day.

We headed over to our local library (despite the rain), where I had noticed this cool wall this past summer. I thought it would make a great background for this year’s annual “school photos”.

For once, I didn’t “dress” my kids for the photo shoot. I only told them to wear their “favorite” clothes. I didn’t even try to coordinate them with each other. I just made sure no one was wearing a “print” which would clash with the wall background.

As usual . . . my children did not disappoint me with their crazy antics. Not sure I got “wall-worthy” shots of them all, but I was certainly entertained by them.

Here is my ever-crazy-love-him-so-much 14 year old . . . (takes after his father)


And here is my ever-so-goofy-can’t-get-enough-of-him 7 year old . . . (takes after his older brother)


Then . . .when you put these boys together you get all kinds of crazy-goofiness!


Our girls? Not so much goofiness for the camera here . . . but with the group, they had fun:


The above shots are all unedited from this afternoon (except for the first one of the group with the date). Will save the “final drafts” for a later post.

Now off to my REAL job . . .

Monday, October 29, 2012

What are these??


We have this vine that has grown up within this other bush we have. I don’t have any idea where it came from, and now it is producing these very interesting “fruits”. Can anyone identify them for us? I want to know what it is before we consider taking it out.



Saturday, October 20, 2012

So Grateful!


Wow! Ever have one of those days where you just feel completely blessed? I just had one today.

The Lord blessed me over and beyond my expectation with an incredible amount of energy as well as blessing the work of my hands (It felt as if he slowed time or added more hours to my day!).

My plan was to paint one wall in the dining area today (the one with the shutters) . . . but my real painting day was going to be next weekend. I just thought, “Why not do a little and get a head start since we’re home? It’s a small job.”


But by lunch time I was done with that wall (and I didn’t even start till almost 10:30!), so I began to look at the other wall. Hmmm . . . (my poor husband)

Why not??


They were such good sports and so helpful too!

Annie and Jonathan loved having all the furniture and stuff moved around (I guess it looked like “adventure” or “excitement” to them. I actually got shot by nerf darts while making biscuits for dinner – they were enjoying all the crawl/hiding spaces!), and Molly helped me with the painting. It was true Team Miles in action today!

By 4:30 . . .all of the painting was finished! Whew!



We’ll put the shelf back up tomorrow after church and hopefully get all the room back in order before school on Monday. I can live with the “disorganization” for one night, I think.

While I was busy painting, Earl was busy in the garage hanging bikes, and organizing so the kids could actually have some “living space” out there. I don’t have any “before” photos, but this really is a HUGE improvement. I love my man!


I’m still in awe of all that was accomplished today . . . and I’m almost ready to call it a day.

Now next week . . . the real fun begins . . .

transforming our master bedroom into a haven. We’re going to use some money we got from our anniversary to buy some new window treatments, etc. and do some painting before getting the bed frame that belonged to my grandparents. Whoo hoo!

With all this work looming before me on my “to do” list, I was seriously wishing that someone would just show up on my door step ready to do it all for me, ‘cause I just couldn’t figure out when I was going to get it all done. But now . . . I’m so glad for the opportunity to have been able to do it myself and to work with Molly. I’m glad for the experience of seeing God bless on my behalf and overwhelm me with His goodness. No, I didn’t get any school work/planning/grading done today, and I know it won’t happen tomorrow either. But that’s ok. I’m trusting the Lord that He’ll make time for that as well.

He is so completely worthy of my trust . . . and adoration!

A Wedding Charge


Back in May, Earl officiated at the wedding of a gal who used to babysit our kids and who we have watched grow up. These weddings are always a joy for us to be a part of.

One of the things I love about Earl, is that he takes each opportunity during these weddings to personalize the wedding charge to each couple, in a very unique way.

This particular bride grew up watching The Princess Bride with her family and chose to come down the aisle to “Once Upon a Time Storybook Love”, which is the theme song to the movie. So, along with imitating the “Impressive Clergyman” at one point and eliciting laughs and reminding us that laughter was fitting for such a joyous celebration, he made the movie the theme of his charge.


Here are some of the highlights from his notes (There are certain perks of being married to the officiating pastor):

* True love is powerful and enduring

“The Bible affirms the blessing of love between a man and woman in marriage.” (Song of Solomon 2:4, Song of Solomon 8:7)

It is a picture of . . . “the nature of the love of Jesus Christ for His bride, the Church, as revealed in the cross.” (Romans 5:8, 1 John 3:16)

* Marriage should involve healthy competition

“Have you ever considered the call to love in terms of a holy competition?” (Philippians 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10, 1 John 3:16, John 13:34, 1 Corinthians 13:1-8)

“ . . . pursue the ‘true love’ reflected in the cross of Christ through a friendly and godly competition, so to speak, to outdo the other in gracious, sacrificial, Christ-exalting love.”

“The Lord Jesus calls you to love each other like He has loved you. And He died to take away the guilt of your failure to love each other that way. And He died to enable you more and more to love each other that way.” (1 Peter 3:18, 1 Peter 2:24)

“So may you look at each other with the heart of Christ, in the good times and in the hard times, when you feel love and when you don’t, when the other blesses you or when they sin against you, whether you find yourselves . . .

on the cliffs of insanity,

or in the pit of despair,

or in the Fire Swamp with ROUS’s (Real Obstacles of Unexpected Seriousness)

or in getting use to disappointment,

or in fighting giants,

or in the inconceivable battle of wits to the death,

or even at the end of hard days when you feel ‘mostly dead’,

“May you look sin in the eye and all that threatens your relationship to God and to each other and say,

‘Hello, our name is the Bride of Christ. Almighty God is our Father.    Prepare to die!”

“And as unlovely as you may be at times toward each other, may you look at the other, with the cross in the rear view and the crown in the front window and say, ‘As You wish . . . Lord Jesus!’ and then love them to the death  . . . or even to the pain!”

“May God’s grace be with you . . . and may you have holy joy stormin’ the castle of despair and unbelief for your greater joy in marriage and in God.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tidbits of Life

I’m dropping my “baby” off tomorrow morning at a local high school to take the PSAT test. (Mixed emotions on this one.)


I’m still contending with tendonitis (since end of June). Just finished physical therapy and now trying to finish the healing process at home.


I sat with another of my “babies” in the barber shop today while he took care of getting his hair cut. He only needed me to get him there (well, and pay, of course).


We’ve been following the presidential debates (and vice presidential debates) and having lots of conversations in our home. It’s exhausting trying to stay informed and we’ll be glad when this season of political rhetoric is over and we hopefully can see some “promises” put into action.


Algebra 2, Biology and CA History . . . O my! We are 11 weeks into our school year and the kids are doing GREAT. This mom seems constantly exhausted this year (I’m sure it has nothing to do with being 46), but the kids are learning and having fun (I think). We are enjoying being back with our “Irvine friends” on Fridays and attending field trips and service projects and fun classes.


Annie is still “symptom free” of what we were finishing up contending with this time last year. She seems healthy and energetic and hasn’t suffered anything more than a runny nose in the last year. We may never know what all the “fatigue” and “nausea” were from.


We are looking forward to having Earl’s mom and sister out for Thanksgiving. I’m desperately trying to find time to finish up my painting projects in the house (right!). The trick is figuring out a way to “do school” and tear up the house to paint at the same time. Don’t think it can be done in one Saturday. I’m really wanting to work on the master bedroom where Earl and I can get away and be refreshed.We’ve bought two chairs, we’re looking for a small round table, my sister is passing along to me our grandparents’ bed frame that she isn’t using, I’m wanting to put up new window dressings, and design a “family wall” of black and white photos, etc. etc. I’ve had all these ideas swimming around in my head for over a year now . . . just need to make it happen.


Just felt the need to “touch base” . . . too busy to formulate any deep thoughts or lengthy posts these days. But hopefully I will get to that soon. Let me leave you with a few snapshots. Here is some of what is currently on the card in my camera . . . unedited.

(I love listening to Emily and the others practice their piano these days. Their selections of songs are beautiful to listen to.)


(We’ve been doing a lot of bike riding lately . . . )


(This is how I found Jonathan one morning while David was trying to practice his piano. He absolutely loves his older brother! And David gives him reason to.)


(David celebrated his 14th birthday this month with homemade cinnamon rolls and apple slices.)


(Above is his “nice” smile.)

(Below, is the inherited, mutated gene known as the “Miles smile”. Only he and his dad and his aunt can make it. We’re blessed to know these guys!)


(David was excited to try out his birthday gift from his sisters, especially since he had to wait 2 days for it to arrive in the mail.


(Can you tell what he got?)



(He has had a lot of fun target practicing in the back yard.)


(He thought this shot was “cool” because I caught the bullet in motion. Couldn’t do that again if I tried, I’m sure.)DSC_0062

(One happy dude!)


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