They did it! The girls had their first experience of 'performing' in front of others. It has been a long two weeks. The first week the girls were feeding the horses twice a day while the owner of the stables had gone north to help with the hurricane relief. We were still able to get our schooling done.
Then this past week they were asked if they would be willing to do some extra work to help get the barn ready for the Open Barn that was held today. I have to say this is one of the biggest benefit of homeschooling...rearranging our schedule to accommodate some extra learning. I believe that the ABC's and 123's are only a part of an education. One of the things (among many) that are sorely lacking in the upcoming generations, is a strong work ethic. This was an opportunity for the girls to practice denying themselves to do work for others. They fed the horses in the morning, did some extra work, sometimes came home for lunch, and then back again to do more work, and finish the day with feeding the horses. They got done with the nightly feeding around 6 or 6:30 each night. They came home....tired :-) That's a good thing.
Not much ABC and 123 learning went on this week. But that's ok, we get to pick that back up tomorrow. The owner of the stables came back last night, much to the surprise of the girls, who came home late from a horse show and didn't know he had called. I fell asleep before they came home. They woke up (later than they have in the past couple of weeks) and were a bit freaked out, thinking they were late to feed the horses!
After church I dropped them off at the stables to finish up those last minute chores that could only be done right before the big event. All their hard work (and that of everyone else that helped out) paid off. They had a large crowd show up. There was a ton of food, and a bunch of free prizes. The girls did great in their demonstration. Moira was sooooo nervous. Wow, talk about having flash backs to my days of running cross county/track/rowing!! All the butterflies, fears, excitement, etc. Moira said that once she got in the ring, and had to start thinking of all the things that she needed to do, she kind of forgot there were all these people watching her and just had fun riding the horse.
We were getting ready to go and one of the adult riders there asked/begged Jeremiah for the older two girls to stay later, and that she would drive them home. She wanted them to be able to just have some fun riding (on her horse), after all the work they had done. And another woman told them that the next time she does a trail ride that she was taking them with her. The girls are really starting to see the impact of doing good work produces. Other people took notice and are willing to give them a hand in learning and experiencing more about horses.
This, of course, left two younger girls very, very jealous! VERY. I tried explaining that when they got older that they would have opportunities like this, but that they had to wait. After all, Isabella and Moira have wanted to ride for years and it's taken years until they were able. That didn't seem to go over too well. I think Saoirse took it much better. With Flannery being almost 3 years younger than Moira, well....she can almost taste her time coming, and can't stand the thought of having to wait yearS. Poor thing.
Oh, another thing I remembered about the day. The past couple of days have had their share of emotional upsets with the girls for one reason or another. Moira is very much like me...quiet. She's shy, quiet, and sweet as honey. You would think she would have girls lining up to be her friend. I mean, any girl that is a friend of Moira's is blessed. Isabella. Ah, Isabella. She's, um, how shall I say....on the louder side :-) She kind of just steps in and starts talking. She kind of steals the show. With the two of them working in close quarters I think it was wearing on Moira that all the girls seemed to flock to Isabella. The other day Moira told me that only the little girls would come up to her and talk with her. I told her that I thought God had a special plan for her, and that He was training her, by using these circumstances.
So as we were leaving the stables, Moira was in the show ring giving the little girls rides on a horse. I think there were 3 or 4 little girls (5-8 year olds). Oh, if you would have seen the beaming faces of these little girls!! The idea that a *BIG* girl was spending time with them, giving them rides...it was priceless. They followed her all the way back to the barn, talking, talking, talking. I pray that God does indeed send Moira some friends her age, but what a blessing for these younger girls to have someone like Moira to look up to!
Isabella also has a following of little girls, I just happened to see Moira interacting with the young girls today.
I will have to get picture up later. The camera's batteries died and I can't upload the pics without camera power. Although I'm not sure how many we got of the girls themselves!