Tuesday, October 21, 2014


For the last 3 weeks our life has been on fast forward. A few more days and I think it will be back to a more normal pace.

We had some friends lose their home and all of their possessions in a fire last weekend. The last few days I've spent working to help get a temporary home ready for them. Mom and Dad made a quick visit up to help and we've had lots of friends around to make the work fun.

Besides that there has been camping, lots of time in a barn, a wedding, a few sick days and it seems like about a zillion more things. whew....I'm ready for a few quite days at home.

I know this doesn't really catch you up on our lives much, but you really came for the pictures right, so here are a few.......
Jude is getting really good at putting her head down so Maggie can halter and unhalter her herself.

We stayed in the camper in Lincoln for Molly's wedding. We had a great time with all the Pitlors.

Gracie likes to wear her socks like Grandpa sometimes.
Another funny Gracie story- she and I were making brownies last week and I was mixing the batter by hand. She looked at me and said when I make these with Grandma we use that thing, that thing that's like a hairdryer but you can lick it. :) I guess I should use a mixer more often!

Jude got her winter coat. I'm not sure she cares, but Maggie likes it!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Last Wednesday we loaded up in the camper and headed for Branson. I hadn't been since I was a kid (we went there on Grandma and Leo's honeymoon :)) and Arnie and the girls had never been. Since we left on our 9th Anniversary, we did make time to stop for a nice dinner......
 ....gas station hot dogs! At least the girls sat at a table to eat theirs :)
It was a long drive, but we did it with one stop (for the hot dogs and some gas) and pulled into the campground just before 10pm.

Thursday we spent the day at Silver Dollar City. We pretty much had the place to ourselves. The girls weren't too sure about Marvel cave at first, but by the time we finished the tour both were glad they did it (Gracie wanted to go again, but after carrying her through the 700 steps and half mile of walking, I declined!). Usually they have someone in the cave to take your picture, but they weren't there so this is all we got....
....we saw a few bats, Gracie called them cute and our tour guide told Maggie they were just chicken nuggets with wings.
We panned for some "jewels".

& rode the train.

Gracie measured herself at every ride, every time. For whatever reason she was convinced the sign said she was
tall enough to "ride with a noodle." So every time she went on a ride she'd ask Arnie and I who was going to "be her
noodle." We cracked up every time!
Friday we rented a boat and spent the afternoon on Table Rock Lake. It probably would have been warm enough to swim, but we just enjoyed the boat ride. We all loved being on the lake, but Reagan especially enjoyed the wind.

One of the girls was a careful and cautious driver....

.....the other one was "hell on wheels!"

Gracie wanted to drive over and see some birds.....we got stuck. Guess who had to get in to push????

Family Selfie!

Right after this picture Gracie reached over and floored the throttle! (Little Trouble Maker) Maggie went flying to the back
of the boat, thankfully the bench caught her and she didn't go right on over board. That was the end of Gracie's driving career!
Friday night we went to Dixie Stampede and watched the horse show. They don't let you take pictures inside and I forgot to take any outside. The girls loved watching the trick riders. I think it was Maggie's favorite part of the trip. It was definitely better then I expected, we all enjoyed it.

Saturday we went back to Silver Dollar City for awhile and then played at the campground.

Maggie kept asking the woman in the school house to "teach them something". Gracie just
wanted to play with chalk!

The campground had a jumping pillow, it was awesome!
Sunday morning we got up early and started our journey home. It seemed like it took FOREVER. We made one quick stop on the way home, and pulled into the driveway about 6:30pm. We were all ready to get out and stretch our legs.....except for Maggie, she was ready to jump in the car and go check on Jude :) I'm sure Jude was anxious to see her too.

It was a great trip! I'm glad we took advantage of the long weekend off school to enjoy the weather and a little family time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A GREAT weekend with almost no pictures :(

Last Friday was Grandparents Day at school. Maggie gave all 4 of her grandparents a tour of her classroom (and I think the rest of the building) and then they got to have a snack in the cafeteria. I got to be the official Grandparents Day photographer so I had a chance to peek at what they were up to.

After school we took Grandma and Grandpa out to meet Jude and then headed for Omaha.

Early Saturday morning Arnie and I headed for Vermillion to celebrate Ben Ries' induction in the University of South Dakota Hall of Fame. We had a great day with lots of dear friends and didn't take a single picture!!

The girls spent Saturday at the Apple Jack Festival in Nebraska City with Aunt Laura, Uncle Mark and Elsie. They told us they had a great time and both of them keep mentioning things they did. Laura sent these pictures from the ride home......
 .....apparently the day was hard work!

Arnie and I drove back to Omaha Sunday morning and while we ran some errands the girls did more playing.
Maggie thought they should all pose at the park :) That's my girl!
Yesterday afternoon Maggie had her first fall off of Jude. It scared her and she hit her back pretty hard, but she's ok. She was trotting and lost her stirrup and thought she could get it back without stopping. Jude seemed to feel really bad. It took a few minutes and a few laps walking around the arena, then she hopped back up. She's a tough cookie!
This was after the fall, we forgot to put her helmet back on right away, but we remembered
before too long.
Gracie's been spending a lot of time in the barn with us. She really likes to be there, she LOVES all the dirt and hay.....but doesn't want to give up her fancy sparkly shoes! She really likes to feed the horses apples, Maggie is still a little afraid of their teeth, but Gracie jumps right in there.

Maggie has a couple of days off school this week, so tomorrow we're headed for Branson. I hope the girls love Silver Dollar City as much as I remember loving it. I'll be sure to get some pictures :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


"That was some good exercising. My eyeballs are sore." ??????? Only Gracie :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hey Jude!!

Meet Jude, Maggie's new 6 year old American Quarter Horse.....
...Jude came to us from a barn in Sterling, Nebraska. Her trainer brought her to Norfolk to meet us on Saturday morning. Maggie had no idea that we were "looking" at Jude, she just thought it was a horse with a soft lope the Kristine wanted her to ride. She was pretty surprised when we asked what she thought of her. We have ALOT to learn, but she's a sweet horse with a great disposition. She and Maggie are already great friends. I hope we made the right decision!

Jude will live at Arista Ranch, where Maggie has always ridden, for the foreseeable future. When Maggie is a little older we may consider bringing her home for the warmer parts of the year. We'll see. As you can imagine, we spent a lot of time in the barn this weekend (thank goodness its only a mile away). Maggie would have stayed all weekend if we let her. On the way to school this morning she was already asking if she could go back RIGHT after school.

Already telling secrets :)

Gracie got in on the action too. She doesn't seem to have the same love for horses Maggie
has, but she has NO fear of them either.

This was right after we told her she got to keep Jude, I think she was so stunned she
couldn't even move! (Miller Vrbicky hung out with us for a few hours Saturday, I didn't kidnap anyone).
Saturday night Arnie took her back to check on Jude and "tuck her in". She definitely didn't want to come home.
Sunday morning after church we made a stop at Tractor Supply for a few things we needed. Maggie is not very fond of spending her money, but she was happy to use her allowance on tack and even a toy for Jude.
Then the realty of horse ownership sunk in a bit....she scooped it all with a huge smile and even suggested she clean the rest of the stalls in the row.

After I figured out how to tie her halter (Maggie said it took FOREVER), they headed off on a walk.

She talked her dad into one more trip back last night, to read Jude a bedtime story. Maggie took the book "Maggie and Bramble". It's a story about a little girl named Maggie who finds the perfect horse. I think Jude enjoyed the story :)
I hope they have many many years of friendship ahead of them. I know they'll do a great job taking care of each other.

Update- Here is a video of Jude's bedtime story tonight.... they are a pretty sweet pair :)