Friday, August 21, 2015

Cowgirl Up!

I'm so proud of Heidi Anne, she has adapted to Wyoming much better then I could have hoped for. I feel like there are numerous things that helped her a ton are; her horse ridding lessons, her instructor's family (she has great kids that are around Heidi's age), the kids next door, the kids in church, and school is starting soon. But more then anything it's her horse ridding lessons that have made the biggest improvement and helped her to get used to the area. 
This is from her second horse ridding lesson, she's on a pony in the small corral on a lead line. Which means Melissa, the instructor, is there holding a rope attached to the halter, basically spotting Heidi while she rides. After a little bit of warming up she was riding on her own. She's had to use the lead line a few times since her second lesson, mainly when she's learning something new and is uncertain of herself.
I love Melissa's way of teaching. She has all of her students brush down the horse before and after saddling it. Next, for the little kids like Heidi Anne, Melissa saddles the horse while explaining the process and the reasoning for it.  As soon as the student is ready, they lead the horse into / out of the corral by themselves. I think it's great how (more often then not) Melissa lets her students determine how the ridding lesson will go.
Currently, she's riding bareback and loves it. It's to help correct an issue of her ridding tilted making the western style saddle slowly shift to the left. Then Melissa has to re-saddle the horse and Heidi Anne had to resume her lessons. Heidi Anne can resume the western style saddle any time she wants, however, for now she's enjoying it. She really wants to race barrels (but that will have to wait until next spring). So we have lots of time left for her to adapt to western ridding. 
Furthermore, there are some signs that she is embracing Wyoming life. For example, she is trying to learn to climb trees. When I asked why, she gave me a puzzled look, then replied, "Because we're out in the country now Mom, kids out here climb trees. It's just what we do." A few days later, we were at a store in Utah where a girl about Heidi Anne's age was having a fit about almost scrapping her knees. That's when Heidi Anne looked up at me and said, "Mom, that girl just needs to Cowgirl up."
If you were curious, yes Rory and I attend every lesson for the whole lesson. Heidi Anne really wants to ride during the Wyoming winter, as long as it's safe to drive and we're properly bundled up, I think we can pull through it. Heidi can't wait until Rory can sit up on his own, then she wants to have him ride in-front of her while she warms up.  She's really getting into ridding, in fact she wrote an note to Santa last night asking for a saddle and a horse halter for Christmas. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Heidi Anne's First Grade Experiance

Well, we're less than two weeks away from Heidi Anne starting Second Grade and I realized that I never wrote a single thing about her life during First Grade. Most of this oversight is the result of my pregnancy and having a new born baby. Well, better late than never.
Lucky for me, she had a special project to do each month and the teacher, Mrs. Bellingham, saved the work and made a special book for every student. This is the cover page, which reads "My First Grade Art Book", giving us a snapshot of her school year.  I'll translate what she wrote in case it's difficult to see in the pictures in purple, my own thoughts will be in blue.  
An additional note about Heidi's progress in First Grade, she went from being unable to identify the sound each letter of the alphabet makes to reading chapter books. I think it's due to her teacher being a perfect match in personality for Heidi (and getting her ADHD treated so she could focus). Her teacher said that my homework routine helped out as well. Especially at the beginning, when she had difficulty and suffered major frustration, but we kept on and tracked the tiniest of milestones. Somehow, it all clicked with her. Yeah for awesome First Grade teachers! 
On the first day of First grade I liked school.
(This is a picture of her on the first day, she looks so exhausted because she was the last one to get her picture taken.)
Apples are a fruit.
Apples are red.
Apples are sweet.
Bats can fly. Bats have families. Bats are the only mammal thet [that] flies. Bats use echolocation to find food.
I am thankful for my mom and dad. I am thankful for my dog and my cat. I am thankful for school. But most of all I am thankful for my bed.
Let me explain that last one, there were some homeless / transient children in her school that they had a fundraiser for. Secondly, Heidi Anne was the only student in class to be thankful for school. 
Rudolph has a funny nose. It glows red. He eats lots of licorice. He eats lots of raspberries, too.  
Who does this look like to you? Well, my first thought was a vampire, with a weird uni-brow and a mustache, hunting at night. Turns out it's Martin Luther King, Jr taking a walk at night. (I bet you're now seeing the vampire, too.) 
Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream. He wanted people to be nice. He wanted fair laws. He wanted equal rights. He wanted people to love - not fight. 
Somebody loves me just the way I am. My mom and dad give me hugs. My mom loves me. My mom and dad give me snacks. They take me to the library. They ready me books. I am a love monster because I love them.
Abraham Lincoln 
Abraham Lincoln was born on the February the 12th. He was the 16th President. He was a kind man and an honest man. He was called "Honest Abe".
George Washington 
George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Virginia. He was the first president. He led the Revolutionary War,
My baby brother is worth more to me than gold because he's fun.
(Insert heart melting awww and "that's so sweet")
Back to awesome teacher. Since Heidi Anne had been an only child up to this point and knew she would have a hard time no longer being the center of attention, Mrs. Ballingham wrote her a lovely letter and gave her a little gift. When Heidi Anne opened it, there was another note reading "To play once a day with any parent who can". The gift was two different card games. That started a new habit of Charlie and Heidi Anne playing a card game once a day. It takes only a few minutes, but it's HER few minutes. I don't think we would have ever thought of that without her. She also gave Rory a cute little outfit.  
Spring is here.
Pretty butterfly is here.
Roses are pretty flowers.
I am happy it is [spring].
Green grass grows. 
When I grow up I want to be a vet. I want to help pets and wild animals. A vet can give your pets shots to help [them] feel better. I want to help zoo animals. 
I am awesome because I am good at reading.
Heidi Anne, the morning of the last day of school.
Heidi Anne with Mrs. Ballingham on the last day of school. Again Mrs. Ballingham went above and beyond on the last day of school. She gave Heidi Anne five books, because Heidi loves to read and never gave up. Her books were; "A Bad Case of Stripes," "I Knew I Could", "Junie B. Jones and the Stinky Smelly Bus", "Old Yeller", and "Clementine". I wish every child could have a teacher like her for every grade of school.