Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Not your average Thanksgiving

With about 5 inches of snow on the ground in Ashtabula, it felt a bit more like Christmas than Thanksgiving.  We arrived Wednesday afternoon and were followed shortly by our cousins from Michigan.  It was a loud, wild and crazy and super fun holiday.  There is never a shortage on energy when the 5 cousins are together. 

 Natalie and Olivia are 9 months apart.  Turner and Quinn are 3 months apart and Carter and Turner are 9 months apart.  Needless to say, although we don't see each other but a few times a year, there are declarations of, "You are my best friend" while we are together and rivers of tears shed as we leave.
 Thanksgiving 2013 could be declared, Year of the Horse.  As we arrived in Ashtabula, the kids were greeted by various new horse playthings.  The girls even discovered that Grandma totally splurged and bought them "Saige's Horse" (if you don't know what that means, you probably don't have a girl at home who is totally into American Girl stuff.)
 After we stuffed ourselves full of turkey and creamed onions (confession... I skipped the cream onions!) Grandma and Papa had another surprise for the kids on Friday.  While everyone else was shopping their fool heads off, we bundled up and headed to the stables.  (Honestly, I should have bundled a touch more, I had to go and sit in the van to warm up mid-way through.  I'm tough like that.)
 Grandma and Papa had arranged a riding lesson for the kids.  (A few of the grown ups *might* have saddled up as well.)  Not this cowgirl.  I was too busy warming up in the van. I knew it would be a dream come true for Olivia, but I had no idea how the boys were going to do on a horse.  None of us could believe that all 5 kids had the time of their lives.
By the end of the hour and a half lesson, all 5 of them were comfortable with their horse and even trotted around the arena.  I wish I had a video to post  because each one of my kids reacted in their own special way.  Here were the statements made at the end of the day:

Turner: "I want to help kids learn to ride horses when I'm a grown up."

Quinn: "I want to take more lessons and win lots of stuff."

Olivia: "I'm going pro!"

There you have it.  The year Grandma and Papa created three horse-loving monsters.

Me?  I'm just trying to get the feeling back in my toes!