Monday, January 4, 2010

The Budding Equestrian

Lately Claire has expressed an interest in horses. Luckily for her, we have some friends who happen to own four horses. Their daughter, Laura, said that she would love to have Claire come over and ride horses with her, and help her take care of the horses. Here they are combing out the tail. It was apparently very knotted. Claire had to use some de-tangler on it.

Here Claire is brushing one of the horses. They were very dusty. This horse's mane and tail were not nearly as tangled.

Claire helped to clean 3 of the 4 horses. I told her that her arms are going to be very sore tomorrow. She worked for 3 1/2 hours brush one end or the other of these horses. Laura offered to let her ride today. But Claire said that she wanted to get to know the horses first. Now she feels as if she knows them, and she is anxious to go riding next time. We will see. These friends live very near to Grandma and Grandpa Wright's house. They live off of Van Geisen.

BYU-I or Bust

Saturday, January 2, 2010, 7 o'clock in the morning. Richard is preparing to embark on a 12 hour journey to Idaho. He has to drive the whole way by himself. He packed his car full, front and back.

Mom gives him a kiss good-bye, and wishes him luck. Is he scared? Is he excited? Well, it depends on when you spoke to him. At 7 am, Richard was very nervous. Almost down-right-scared. He was driving off into the unknown. He said the only other time he was this scared was the day he entered the MTC. Big Richard gave him a father's blessing before he left, and I said a family prayer with him as he was leaving. I believe Richard showed true courage in both these instances. Courage is not the absence of fear. True courage is the ability to move forward in spite of your fears. As the drive progressed, and he got closer to BYU-I Richard's fears turned into excitement. And by time he called us from his new apartment, he was certain he was where he wanted to be.

Christmas Day

Christmas day we spent up at Grandma and Grandpa Hoopes' house. We fixed a wonderful dinner with ham and Dad's famous smoked turkey.

After dinner most everyone took a nap. The kids had been up since 3 am that morning. Here Claire and Dad are enjoying the new Snuggies that they received from G-ma and G-pa. Claire sleeps best when she is being squished by someone.

Stone fixed the pillows just right and fell asleep as well. Once all of our naps were finished, we gathered in the family room. I read a story by Pres. Faust about the true meaning of Christmas. And I introduce the pickle jar. This year our family is going to collect coins throughout the year and put them in a large pickle jar. Next Christmas we will cash in the coins and use the money to give service to a needy family. Little Richard started us off right by pouring in a container of coins he had been storing in a footlocker during his mission. Then we played a game of Apple 2 Apples.

Richard shared a Canadian Christmas tradition with our family this year. Have you heard of Christmas Crackers? Dad thought the brightly colored packages contained crackers that one would eat with cheese, and wondered why I paid so much money for them. Imagine his surprise when he pulled on the ends and a loud snapping noise occurred and out fell some toys. Inside each cracker is a party hat, and a small toy. We are wearing our party hats. The unfortunate part was that we forgot to do this on Christmas around the dinner table. Which is the usual tradition. So we did it the next day in the kitchen.