Independent reader

Landis has decided she wants to read independtly.  She has been reading for quite some time but she still believes that she can’t read alone (but she can).  Finally her confidence level has risen to her ability.  She is reading the Mercy Watson series all by herself and feels so grown up.

  

Home alone

Over the past few months I have been leaving Piper and Lela at home alone for 10-15 minute stretches.  The majority of the time Lela is asleep and Piper is awake, this is when I take Phoebe to school and Landis always goes with me.  Sometimes I leave the bigs at home for pick up as well.  Yesterday Lela decided to go with us for pick up and Piper stayed home all alone.  

Piano Recital

Piper, Lela and Landis take piano with Julie Follet piano studio in Chandler, AZ.  I really like her style and she has meshed with the girls really well.  This Saturday, after the gymnastics recital, we had a piano recital.  Piper opted not to participate, I think the song she chose was a little too difficult and she just wasn’t feeling up to it.  Landis did a duet with her teacher and Lela did a piece from the Wizard of Oz.  Both the girls did great, they both showed a bit of nerves but also a lot of courage.  Proud of them both and I love to hear them play:)

Ballet

Landis has talked about ballet for what seems like forever.  I don’t know if we have somehow led her down this path or if this is her own doing but here we are. 

 

Recently Landis auditioned for the summer intensive program with The School of Ballet Arizona.  She was accepted in to Level 1 and will be doing ballet M, W and Friday for 1.5 hours of classical ballet with live piano accompaniment (which she loves) followed by 1 hour of jazz or conditioning.  So that means 2.5 hours 3 days a week for 6 weeks.  I figure this is a bit of trial by fire for us all to see if she loves ballet as much as she thinks she does

Horses, horses and more horses

Hard to believe it is April already but I do feel that we have been sufficiently busy to account for the quick passage of days. Of most significance is Lela and her horse riding. We have finally found a place for her to foster her love of horses! Over the last month we have been to 3 different stables, experienced over 5 different trainers, ridden over 10 different horses, taken almost 30 lessons and we are finally on our way to figuring out what it is Lela really wants to do with a horse.

Going to the different stables has really allowed Lela to see how horses are treated by different stables and make her own decisions on how she thinks a horse should be treated. She has seen how different trainers treat their horses and how different horses react to the the trainers and her as a rider. She has been bitten, been on a horse that tripped twice during the ride, been on a stubborn horse, been on a fast horse, been on a slow poke and even tried jumping once or twice.

Now it is a given that she wants a horse in her backyard but neither Jason nor myself feel we are ready for such an endeavor. We think that Lela really wants a show horse which is much different than a pasture horse.

I don’t know if it is the age, the passion or just Lela but she has been a natural on the back of a horse. She follows instruction so well (as all the girls do) that the quality trainers we have met have been impressed. The trainer I am partial to thinks Lela would be great in the show ring and I think it would be great for her. In the short time she has been riding I have seen a different child, one that I know resides inside her but one that few people see. She is so much more affectionate at home with spontaneous hugs and going out of her way to show appreciation for me, Jason and her sibs. I think it is because she is happy, really happy and because a dream she had is being realized. She may stop liking horses so much at some point and that is okay, I think this experience is just what she needs right now as she transitions from a girl to a teen. Her confidence when on a horse is impressive, she has no trouble telling the horse to get in line and that she is in charge. I am thrilled at this new development for her and I do love to watch her ride:)

   

       

Gymnastics

Piper, Landis and Phoebe are all taking gymnastics, the big girls go twice a week and Phoebe once a week.  Piper and Landis have both been asked to tryout for the competitive team for next year.  To my surprise they are both going to tryouts.  Gymnastics has been great for them all but mostly Piper.  The gym they go to is really great in that they realize they are building self esteem and confidence as much as gymnasts.  Piper has really grown under her wonderful coaches.  I don’t know if Landis will actually compete next year because she is still pretty timid when it comes to recitals but I think Piper is ready.

   

   

Man oh man she loves school

I don’t know if Phoebe enjoys her time away from us or if school is just so darn fun but she loves Awakening Seed school.  Sometimes she has trouble transitioning in to the day or out of the day but she always asks when can she go back.  Lately they have been studying bees and she is so full of information telling us all about how the bees collect pollen and use it to make royal jelly and honey and all the rest. She is also sure to remind us that bees are very “mpotant” because without them we would not have any food.  They had a honey tasting party the other day and Phoebe brought a honeycomb for them to try, she thought it was “gwoss” so that isn’t on the menu anymore.

  

Kids say the darnedest things

This morning as I was getting dressed and Phoebe was brushing her teeth, she peeked in my closet.  She stopped brushing her teeth to tell me I had nice Mom nipples.  I said thanks and then she told me they were my superpower.  Technically I guess my nipples are my superpower.



Thrilled

To say I am thrilled is a super duper understatement.  Lela has loved horses for a long time and we just have not found a fit for her.  I have tried to engage with different places but none of them offered what she was really looking for and she probably wasn’t too sure anyway.  Enter Scottsdale Equestrian Academy.  When I realized I was spending waaayyy too much time on gymnastics and not enough time on Lela’s passion, due to my own fear and just plain not knowing what to do, I decided to rectify the situation and get out there and find something!  And we did!

http://www.scottsdaleequestrianacademy.com/home.html

First of all the location is idyllic just above Scottsdale in the desert.  Not to mention it is run by a woman, built by a woman, the trainer is a woman and the facility is gorgeous.  By gorgeous I mean that you can tell these folks love horses and love what they do, the horses were happy and healthy.  I honestly  had not seen such a great place in Arizona (but I have only looked at a few).  This place will train her to compete if she wants and let her go as fast in her training as she wants or as slow.  Hooray!  Not to mention the place is open to her volunteering or just hanging around.  Wowza!

UPDATE:

So probably as soon as I posted this the trainer at this facility quit.  OY!  She stayed local but went to a new facility called Sandspur Ranch.  We followed her to see what it was like and have been taking lessons.  The downside is now she has only one lesson horse and we haven’t really connected with the horse trainer (the rider trainer and the horse trainer are different folks in some set ups).  Bummed that she left but we are slowly making up our minds as to what is best for Lela.  I suspect we will end up with Beethe Arabians at the Scottsdale Equestrian Academy just because we like the horse trainer there and that person is probably even more important to a good show horse than the person who trains the rider.

Free drinks

Today I drank a lot of coffee.  Then I got really thirsty.  It was cold and raining today.   I don’t function well in the rain and I didn’t have any water.  What is a girl to do??  Hit up a Starbucks that is what!!  Anyhow, I spot that no one is in the drive thru so I zip in.  The guy on the intercom is apparently bored and is taking my order in a funny voice.   Not one to be a stick in the mud I order in an equally funny voice.  I drive around to get my drink chuckling, Lela is slightly horrified at my behavior, Piper says “that was awesome.”  I pull up and hand the guy a $20, he gives it back and says, “thank you for being awesome.”  BOOM!  Free Green tea and hopefully my daughters see it’s okay to be yourself no matter who is watching, or listening.