Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Molly and Levi

 Molly has been working at All About Horses in Huntington Beach since February of this year. She works 4 hours a week after school, mucking out stalls and doing whatever other work they have for her, like helping students tack up their horses for lessons, etc. In exchange for her labor, she gets a riding lesson on Tuesday evenings! She has been doing so well and absolutely loves getting to ride.

This past lesson, she got to ride Levi. He is about 21 years old and was trained as a race horse. A horse isn't fully grown until about 5 years of age, but often times they are started racing way before that, creating lots of problems for the horses later on in life, when their owners decide they are "too old" to race. Fortunately for Levi, he has a job at All About Horses. He is a sweet boy who works in helping train young girls to ride and compete.

But yesterday, he got quite frustrated. Being ridden in lessons can create a lot of energy, and if they aren't able to "let it go", it can become overwhelming. Levi had not gotten to canter for a couple of days and he was ready to let out some energy. But Molly was instructed to "hold him in check" and only canter for a few paces before walking. After a few repetitions of that, Levi had it and threw Molly off! His hind legs went up, and she flew over his neck/head to the right, turned mid-air and landed on her bottom facing the horse. We all were so grateful she wasn't hurt and I was completely impressed with the level of professionalism that the staff showed. They demonstrated a true knowledge of Levi as well as Molly.

Levi was walked to another pen where he was able to let out some of his energy:
(If you can't view the video, try THIS LINK. You'll really see his "attitude" at about 39 sec.)

After he calmed down, Molly walked him around on a lead. Then she rode him around at a slow walk. 
I was so proud of her for getting back on 
(after seeing his earlier display)!

This was a much more subdued Levi.
(Again, if you can't view the video below, try THIS LINK.)

They then finished out the lesson back in the front arena and Levi was ready to call it a day.

What an ADVENTURE this has been for her!

Saturday, July 30, 2016


Well, this is our newest adventure!

This sweet little lady just showed up on our driveway the day of David's graduation and the day before our BIG graduation open house. It was like she picked us to be her family! she was clean and didn't look like she had been on the streets for long. she was very friendly and soaked up the attention and belly rubbing we willingly gave her. She also loved the shredded cooked chicken that Jonathan got for her from the crock pot which was being prepared for the next day's open house.

Hmmmm . . . what do we do with her? 
The kids of course were begging to keep her, but we knew we had to at least try and find the owner. Somebody must be missing this sweet girl!
So, we posted on a local neighborhood social media site, and we posted to Facebook. Then we got her set up in the backyard. We pulled out the small dog carrier we had and some old blankets. We already had a dog water and food set, so the kids and Sonya (Earl's sister) set off for the store to buy some food. How very grateful I am that Sonya was here when this all happened. She LOVES animals, especially dogs, and was an invaluable resource for us in thinking through what to do. 

The next day was our Open House, so we rigged up a place where we could contain her, away from guests and the food. We didn't know much about this girl, but we found out very quickly, she wanted to be where we were. She loves people and yet the crowd was a bit overwhelming. The kids spent a lot of the day holding her and showing her off.

 The following Monday, we took her down to a local animal hospital and had her checked to see if she had a chip. Nope! The kids breathed a sigh of relief. Then we posted to more sites to get the word out. Nobody called. The days turned into weeks, and the weeks have now turned into 2 months. She is very much at home with us and the kids absolutely love her (we do too!).

She looks and acts like a puppy, but we think she is an adult. She looks like she is part Chihuahua, but maybe have some Jack Russel in her too. She is FAST and can jump. She has a LOT of energy and is so fun to play with. The kids have spent a lot more time outdoors this summer! Her favorite thing besides being with us and playing . . . is having her belly rubbed. She will roll over on her back (almost continually) and pump her paws up and down begging for some tummy attention.

She now has a name, a collar and a harness and the kids have been working with her to obey "walking orders". However, she definitely prefers her own backyard and people. When we are not available to play, she watches us from the window, or naps while keeping a very alert ear out for the door to open and let us out. She is going to be an outside dog and the wonderful thing is that she is so adaptable. She very rarely whines or barks. She just adjusts to her present situation . . . but is always SO VERY happy to see any of us who come outside.
Since we have a growing issue with coyotes in the area, we needed to find a long-term solution to keeping Rylie safe at night. We also needed to find a long-term solution for comfortably having her and Midnight (our rabbit) share the yard. Midnight is used to being able to graze the whole backyard all day. But Rylie and Midnight do NOT get along. So, we would have to pen Rylie up for a few hours a day to let Midnight have some time to graze and "stretch his legs". 
My sister's boyfriend, Brent, owns his own construction business and he offered to build us a fence (donated all the lumber and labor!) if we would help. So, we dug post holes and stained the fencing in preparation.

Then Brent showed up on a Saturday and "got it done"!

Rylie watched the whole process with interest.

We were truly amazed at what this man could do in a short 4 hours!! We are mostly done, but it is completely functional. We have since "fortified" it with some cinder blocks to keep her from digging out from the bottom. Eventually we will reinforce the bottom, finish the gate and also install a lean-to type roof to help keep her dry. Thankfully it doesn't rain much here in CA!

After Brent left, the boys went to work on building her a little platform.

She really LOVES her little place! She is content when we put her in and she has plenty of room to move about and play while Midnight has his turn in the yard.

It really is amazing . . . this whole thing. When the kids would mention getting a dog, I would comment that we tried and failed at the dog-keeping thing and if we were ever to have a dog, it would have to be a fully-grown dog and already socialized and potty-trained. And it would have to drop in our laps because we didn't have the funds to buy one. And there she was. On our driveway asking to be our dog! And the fact that she is small, doesn't eat much (or poop much!), and acts and looks like a puppy is just icing on the cake for us. The kids are just having so much fun with her!!

Is there anything too hard for the LORD??

Monday, March 28, 2016

We're Fighting Again

This was a post I drafted a few months back. It was a little too personal to publish then. But I want to publish it, because it is the truth of where I live sometimes. And it's the truth that I need to be reminded of again and again. I'm past that part of my "road", but I'm confident that it will come across my path again. And oh how grateful I am for those the Lord has put around me who patiently forebear with me while I'm fighting and who courageously challenge me with the truth so I will continue to fight. If anyone reads this blog, can you relate to any of this? O, that my trials might be even remotely used to encourage another pilgrim to keep fighting to walk forward!

When you hear me say "We're fighting again", which of my relationships come to mind? Husband? Children? Extended family? Friends? Any of those would be true, sadly. Whenever you have two sinners in relationship, you will have conflict, and I am no exception. But that is not the relationship I was thinking of when I wrote my title.

I was thinking of me and Jesus. Does that surprise you? Oh, we're not fighting against each other. That fight was waged and won on the cross and in the empty tomb. No, I'm fighting against the lies about God that sometimes flood out of my sinful heart, reminding me once again that I'm still in the process of sanctification and that were it not for the staying power of Christ, I would not be following Him of my own accord. (Oh how my body groans to do away with this body of death and to be clothed with immortality!) I'm fighting to see God as He truly is. I'm fighting to stand once again in faith on God's faithfulness. I'm fighting to trust God enough to fully let go of my "life" - to truly lay down, to give back to Him, all of the good gifts He's given me. I'm clinging so tightly to them right now. I don't want to give them up. I don't trust Him. But I want to. And I'm fighting to.

And Jesus is fighting on my behalf. He is praying on my behalf that I will remain strong. He is interceding before the throne of grace on my behalf. "For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted" (Hebrews 2:18).

So, on Christ my solid Rock, I stand. So help me, God!

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