Monday, January 20, 2014

Sisters at the Barn

Quite possibly one of my fav pics ever….for reasons only a Mom could know.

Sunday afternoons are our favorite time to ride….horses, not goats. Heh.

The laundry at the barn is where the cats congregate……and there goes Blondie.

Must add a huge shout here to the pink razor helmet replacing normal riding helmet that got left at home. Heh.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

We Aren't In Kansas Anymore…..

     Well, if you know us you know that Twisted Christmas became Twisted New Year as two more (Blondie and Mei Mei) came down with the Pox. There is nothing I hate more than having to make up schoolwork let me tell you, so I was so excited (snark) when it hit the day the girls went back to school. Luckily they both weren't really sick for long….but still had to stay out of society for a while. At this point I had no choice but to care for the poxies and attempt to get as much of their school done so they didn't have as much to redo. It was taxing. Not too much time for blogging. Oy vey….it is over.
     We have entered the land of gymnastics competition season….which means the two aforementioned beauties had to stay out of the gym during poxfestation…..which means they missed valuable training time. We aren't ones to live through the sports of our kids first of all….but we do require that they do something physical. It  is really, really important to their brains, not to mention their bodies. So, with that being said…..let's move to this years gym season. This is a rebuilding year. Every 8 years or so the USAG mixes up the levels and changes all the routines for said level. This was the year. The coaches are learning new stuff….the girls have to learn new stuff and it can be interesting. Blondie is an excellent vaulter and not too shabby on beam and floor. Bars are this tall girls nemesis.
     Mei Mei on the other hand is great on floor and typically a good vaulter. Bars and beam can be hit or miss depending on the day. This year though Mei Mei is hanging with the big girls…..and will probably be the smallest in her Level 4 all year. It's hard. Really hard…..but she's doing it.
     This last weekend was their first meet putting all their new skills to the test…..only they hadn't been in the gym in 2 weeks….and still weren't 100%. Blondie didn't even decide to compete until the day before….and then only two events.We went anyway, knowing it would be a 'grunt' meet. I was emotional knowing they weren't at their best but knew they needed to get the experience of a new level under their belts. The facility ended up having an old vault horse that didn't lower to Mei Mei's height. She could've scrubbed it but tried anyway knowing it was too high. Vault score….ugh. Got this Mom's dander up …..but then it happens. You move on. Here is how it went down….in photo's of course.
Mid back handspring on floor.

This year bars means jumping from the low to high bar and doing a kip on both. Again, when you are only 45" tall and the bars will only move together so much….this can be a nail biter. This is her just completing her second kip (which she just learned…whew.)

Totally awesome shot!! Look at her coach's face! 

Doing her Wendy on the high beam.

I love this shot! Focus!

Almost done with floor. This is heading into her double back handspring.

She's just so stinkin cute!

Blondie only competed floor and vault this day…..cause of the pox.

Our girl. Giving it her all even after the pox and having to learn all new routines with new music.

These two. Love them.

Contemplation. Look close. She's in tears because she's next…..the smallest level 4 there,  new routine, new music, unsure of herself……and the music wouldn't work for the two girls before her. She was so afraid it would happen to her. This about killed me. She went on to do her routine…..and placed 4th overall even with 14 year olds in her group.  I need a two week nap…..and a cruise.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Little Project

    Happy New Year! I'm starting this year with a little project over on Instagram and Facebook. It's called the 365 Grateful Project begun a few years back by a woman named Hailey. She was struggling with depression and decided to fight it by taking a picture and documenting everyday something she was grateful for. Sounds simple, right? It worked. Her depression soon ceased as she learned there was so much to count as blessings in the everyday. She even wrote a book about it.
     So, this year I am joining in. I have found it so easy to focus on the negative in life. There are ALWAYS problems and mountains to climb that can wear us down to depressive and negative puddles of goop on the floor. However, I have learned that in the midst of great difficulties there are always circles of blessings ABOUNDING …..but friend…we must look for them. Be intentional. Look. Let's all get off that negative, grumpy, life stinks train. How in the big wide world does that glorify God? When your soul is downcast it is so easy to look around the blessings, or even over them….and lose that heart of being grateful in the little. Blessings. They are there. They are always there. You. Must. Look.  Sometimes they are little…..sometimes hiding under layers and layers of junk…but they are there. I promise. This year….I'm going to document mine. Would you consider joining in and doing the same?
     Right now in our house and extended family we are facing cancer, surgery, chronic disease, chronic pain, loneliness, uncertainty, pregnancy, aging parents, chicken pox (had to throw that one in there for a laugh!), special needs children, ….and the list goes on. But I guarantee you…..however bad it gets….with all certainty you will never cease to be able to count the blessings in your life. They are gifts from God Almighty not to be overlooked or taken lightly. Focus on being grateful and your outlook will change. I don't know about you but I want people to admire the way we handle our difficulties. Much of this is a choice of being grateful when life isn't going according to our plan…..then we can give the credit where it is due….Jesus.
     If you are not connected with us on Instagram or Facebook…..join us with the 365 Grateful Project. Scroll down for the buttons on the left side of this page and follow us. We will follow you back! We are on Instagram as 'Rhythmsofgracex3', and FB as Rhythms of Grace. Be sure to use #365grateful on your photos and let's use 2014 as the year named Grateful. Are you with me?