Sunday, October 21, 2018

Home at last!

Tonight we brought Opal and Crystal home!  We were able to transport them together, and it worked just fine to have Opal tethered and Crystal was just "with" her.  More updates will follow soon!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Happy Birthday Crystal!!!

As you may know, we have been anxiously waiting for Opal (SOPD) to have her foal.  Our journey to buy her started this summer and it has been a VERY long wait!  There were some ups and downs, and we almost thought for a while that maybe things weren't going to work out, but the we eventually came to terms with the seller.  Once we figured it all out however, we didn't know exactly when Opal would have her foal.  We thought it might be soon, but we weren't sure, so we decided with the seller to wait just a little while longer to try to help her be comfortable for birthing.  That's when the waiting seemed to drag on and on.
In fact, we thought that she would have had the foal at the end of August, she was showing so many signs, but through September, and into October, she just kept looking more and more like any day would be the day.
Opal was checked on earlier today around lunch time and there was no foal, but by 5 when the seller came home from work, there she was!
Opal seems to be doing very well.  She was calm and composed and attentive to her foal.  The foal is a filly!  We wanted to name her similarly to her mom.  We liked how we picked the names for Opal.  We picked the first name for her temperament (she is docile sweet and very different from how we were told miniature horses could be), her second name for her appearance (lots of variation of color and textures, the more you look, the more you see), her third name for her size (she's small like a pixie), and her fourth for what we knew about her breed (we were told she had some Appaloosa in her pedigree).  
We followed that pattern for the baby!  Her full name is Spunky Crystal Fairy Jem.  We only spent about an hour with her, so the elements of her temperament remain to be seen.  As a new life, she was very independent and full of her own spirit, full of spunk.  For Crystal, she has different colors and her coat seems to almost sparkle and shine. And we feel that miniature horses are Jems.  They are wonderful companions and can be hearty and fun.   We picked from a list of names we all liked, but we also feel the name fits!
Crystal seems to be very sturdy and strong for her first few hours of life.  She nursed, and then after we had been there a while started to fall asleep.  Being born is a lot of work!
She has roan coloring like her mom with some spots by her rear.
She is a lot lighter though, maybe she will darken with time, maybe not.
She has lovely eyes, with black all of the way around them, like she's wearing eye liner!  And she has the cutest chin whiskers.
And her coat is super soft, with curls and whorls all over it. I've never seen a baby horse, let alone one just a few hours old, I didn't know what to expect. She's super adorable. Her little mane and tail are kind of laughable, they were soft and curly not like typical stiff horse mane and tail hair. And the hair was short, not long like you think of a horse mane and tail.  I wanted to keep petting her.  
Opal has a lot of whorls as well. The ones on her flanks stand out and are are pretty visible.   You can see one in the middle of Crystal's forehead, as though there should be a unicorn horn starting to grow there.  
She has a nice temperament like her sweet mother.  She wasn't skittish or anxious at all. If anything, she was curious.   Her little curly tail was swishing around the whole time. She was happy to stay by Opal, but also to explore a bit and even follow me around a little too.   

We are planning to FINALLY bring Opal and Crystal home this Sunday evening.  I can't wait!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Meet Lorilei

Today we found Truly Me #43 at the same consignment store that we found Strawberry and Kryptonite at. We had more store credit from consignments, and she was deeply discounted so we got her without spending anything.  We spent some time fixing her.  As well as her (pre)trimmed bangs, she had a few other issues.  After a little work she is ready to join the gang.  She has very vibrant pretty eyes and we gave her a nose piercing.
 Here she is with her sister Hannah at the beach.  She is riding Jess' scooter my mom found at Value Village, and they each have their own Beanie Boo.  
Here's Hannah up close.  I love her freckles.  
Felicity got a little update to her appearance.  It's not much, but we realized why she looked so pale, her lips and her cheeks were the same color as the rest of her skin, apparently her coloring had worn off.  Mom mixed a little paint and carefully painted her lips.  Then she took some pink on the cheek and blotted it in as blush.  Now she looks like she's full of life.  Lorilei and Felicity look so much alike to us.  Their hair color is different, but the value is so similar.
We took pictures of the others, and we may post those pictures over the next few days. 
Oh and my mom found this desk at the consignment shop and we used our consignors credit as well, it was labeled as an American Girl Doll desk, but it has no markings to indicate that it is AG.  It's sturdy wood and rather heavy for doll furniture.  Does anybody recognize this?
The drawers both work and are nicely sized to actually hold a fair amount of things.  I haven't decided if this will be my teacher desk for the school, or one of the study desks that my girls use.  

Friday, August 17, 2018

my weekly news begins

To begin I think I will do an up date on my life ever week plus other stuff. So this week we got Hannah, we went and saw SOPD, and i might go to Urban Air today.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

SOPD update, meet Hannah, Cinnamon, and a group picture!

I just finished up a week at Camp Caraway!  I have never been before, I usually go to The Rock, but a couple of things didn't work out for me to go there this year, and other things worked out for me to go to Caraway.  I went with leaders and kids that I know from my church and Awana.  I had a lot of fun!  I was worried before camp because my parents weren't going to be there, and I was worried that it wouldn't measure up to The Rock, but I realized that it was different.  I had a lot more fun, learned and tried new things, and it was a blast!  I passed the swim test this year at camp!  It felt so good, I have worked hard at my swimming this year.  I did paintball sling shot, pottery, dancing, and a lot of other activities. I hit the bulls eye in air rifles.  I got to be bunk mates with Morgan and across bunks from Lila, two of my friends from church. At Caraway, they let you choose which activities you do. I had some time with my dorm, and other times where I was with different campers while I did my activities.  I wrote Bunk Notes to my family.  They also sent them to me.  One of my chaperones told my mom that I was so busy having fun that I didn't get homesick once!

SOPD update::
Now that my week at Camp Caraway is over and my parents are back from the mission trip to TN with my brothers,we planned to get Opal tomorrow!!! My mom texted the owner to set up a time.  The owner said that thought she see's expanded milk glands!!! If this is the case, Opal may have her foal in the next week or so!  The owner wants to have her vet come and take a look, so instead of picking up Opal, tomorrow will visit her.  I would love to get her now, we are pretty much ready, but the current owner is concerned that transporting her, and a new environment would be difficult for her and the baby, so we wait.  Waiting is hard.

Meet Hannah::
When my parents picked me up today we went to eat at Showmars with my friend Morgan and her family.  I spent the night with Morgan last night.  I loved spending time with Morgan, she and I have so much in common, and we had so much fun!  But I missed my family, so it was good to be back with them too.
After lunch my dad had to run an errand, so we stopped at the thrift stores close to the errands and my mom found an American Girl doll for less than $5!!!!
I decided that her name needed to be Hannah.  She had a little surface grime on her vinyl, as most thrift store dolls do, but after a wipe down with antibacterial wipes, and then a Mr. Clean Eraser, and some hair brushing, she looks very nice.  Her legs and arms are tight, her body is perfect, her neck strings are in tact, her wig is secure.  So overall she is in really great condition.
She is Truly Me #55, but her hair is no longer curly, just slightly wavy.  She came with her pink underwear and this meet dress, no shoes.  Her freckles are super cute.  I counted 42. I love her hazel eyes, and her dark hair is a pretty mixture of dark browns.  Mom and I are still deciding if we are going to try to curl it, or use a flat iron on it.  It has gone a bit frizzy at the ends.
Oh, and as you can see my mom dyed my hair.  I get lots of compliments, I think it makes me look a little older.  It has faded a bit from all of the sun and swimming, but I still love it!

Meet Cinnamon::
Right before camp my mom found a MLA chestnut foal at our local Christian Ministries store.  I was wanting a Chestnut, but didn't have room unless I expanded the stables for the full sized horse. She surprised me with the foal, and I named her Cinnamon.  Now I have all of the colors of MLA horses (Black, Chestnut, Palomino, and Appaloosa) other than the dark brown.   I reorganized the stables and in the original stall (box) for Vanilla, Cinnamon, Cream, Strawberry and Blaze all stay across the front gate.  It's cozy, but they enjoy each other's company.

Group Picture::
I asked mom if she would help me to get a picture of all of the dolls and their pets (not the big horses)
From left to right; Cinnamon, Hannah, Belle, Melody, Coconut, Peyton, Strawberry, Jacob, Sketch, Coco, Kanani, Cream, Nanea, Blaze, Mele, Tia, Diamond Tiara, Felicity, Josephina, Kryptonite and Pupito.
I want to start to take a picture each year, to show how the "family" grows.  (I think mom and I have decided to keep Josephina and Felicity since they haven't sold.)

Friday, July 13, 2018

A little sewing with friends

My friend Lily's mom (my Explorer's leader) noticed that the AHG catalog now has 18" doll uniforms.  I have wanted doll uniforms for my girls, and mom and I had talked about it, but we had not actually done anything, but purchase a small amount of blue and red fabric at one point.  Lily's mom bought all of the fabric as well as miniature flags to use as patches.  The moms talked about it with each other and set a day for us to sew.   I have had more experience than Lily, so I could have managed this on my own, but it was more fun to sew with a friend. 
Lily and I sewed one doll khaki skirt.  My mom sewed and embroidered both vests, and Lily's mom sewed us each a pair of khaki pants.   Nanea and Lily's doll, who she named Addy, model the uniforms. 
I know they will have a ton of camping adventures with all of their camping gear.  Now they can also do the more formal side of AHG.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

SOPD, long post, but it's totally worth it!

A month ago before my parents went to Haiti my mom found a miniature horse for sale online.  We talked to dad, and it was not easy to convince him but eventually between his love for me, and his love for horses, he caved!
We called on that horse, and actually a few other miniature horses, and nothing seemed to be working out.  Dad said, "wait until after Haiti," and we could look again.  I was very disappointed.  But then later the next day at a homeschool race, I found out that a friend's sister had a miniature horse that she wanted to sell.  Mom made some phone calls and we made arrangements to go and meet the horse.  On June 10th mom drove me to Albemarle to meet the horse.  I could barely wait for the thirty minute ride, I was so excited.
When we arrived I saw her, and I knew it was love at first sight!

Even though she was still shedding her reddish winter coat and needed a groom, she was beautiful to me.  I also loved that she was super sweet.  She didn't have the temperament I had been warned that many mini horses have of biting and kicking.  She is very gentle, but still has a little spunk, kind of like me!  I had brought my helmet, and I still weigh well under 90 pounds so the owner tacked her and I got to go for a ride!

I rode her around the field, and even a little on some trails behind their field.  She was easy to ride, even out of practice, so there were a few times that she was more interested in stopping to try to eat some grass.  Riding her is so much fun, and she's such a petite little thing, I loved how it felt like we were connected.
It was neat that our friends happened to have a saddle that fit her and fit me!
Our friends had named her Bitsy, because she was so small.  We liked that name, but I have renamed her.  Introducing Sweet Opal Pixie Dot Ray.  

Mom also fell in love with her right away too.  Right away we started to figure out exactly what we would need to be able to have a horse. Even though nothing would happen until after my parents got back from their mission trip, it wasn't going to be easy to "make" and save the money that we needed to start out with a horse, plus the horse money, but mom had some ideas of things that we could sell, and also that we would need to stop spending money on things that we don't need, or that were wasteful.
We actually decided to try to sell Felicity and Josephina.  They are still listed for sale, so if you are interested, email my mom through blogger or leave a comment.

Yesterday dad went with mom and I to visit Opal for the second time.  I'm planning to call her Opal by the way.  She has finished shedding her winter coat and we spent some time brushing and using the curry comb on her as well.

  You can see her coloring a little better.  She's half Appaloosa.  I always wanted an Appaloosa horse!  Looking at her she is mostly blue roan, with black and white hairs.  But her Appaloosa patterning is very apparent around her head and hind quarters.  Her reddish brown mane flips part way down to the other side, and under her forelock is a large star and strip of white!  You can see the white and reddish brown on her tale as well.  I absolutely love her coloring, she has black, white, red and tan hairs all at once!  That's why I named her Opal.  All of those colors together give her a shimmery appearance and her coat has lots of variance just like a real opal!
In less than two weeks we will pick Opal up and bring her home!  I am having a hard time waiting again.  In the mean time, dad is preparing our back yard and a stable for her.  Mom and I went shopping today and bought some things that we will need.  We still need to get a few more items and then there are some items that I want.
The saddle that I was riding won't come with her, but her harness, bit and bridle will.  Mom and I think that I am going to get a bareback saddle.  I have already picked it out and if everything works, we will order it soon.
So, the seller said that last spring Opal was around a stud, and she may have bred! This wouldn't be her first time being a mother. It's hard to know for sure without a vet testing her, but her shape has changed some from when she first went to their home. She has gotten rounder. Time will tell, we aren't planning to have her vet checked yet, but it's possible she's pregnant! If she is, the stud was a full Appaloosa miniature horse, and she would foal in the spring.  If that happens, the chances are high that the foal will look similar, or have more spots!  I will post more as I have updates!