A Day At The Stables

Alyse has been taking horseback riding lessons for about 6 weeks now. She lives for Tuesday’s! She loves going and I honestly have to basically drag her out of the stables after the 2hrs that we are there.

She is so comfortable around the horses and loves not only riding but also loves the stable work. Gray is “her horse”. Each week she is the first rider of the day so she gets to brush him, do the saddle, bridle, etc. She also gets to warm him up by walking him. Her favorite is when she is the only rider of the day so she gets to feed, water, and then take him out to the pasture.

It really is so much fun watching her get to do something she loves.

Here is her first episode of “Alyse’s Things” on YouTube. A Day At The Stables with Alyse

Saddled Up To Celebrate


Alyse Nicole is now nine years old.  (9! I am kinda hurting that this is her last year in single digits.)

Her birthday was Monday and we celebrated her birthday and her love for horses.

We don’t really throw birthday parties for our girls.  We do celebrate, decorate, and have a lot of fun, but it is usually just our family.  We often go on a trip, but this year Alyse started riding lessons for her birthday.  She loves horses and this was a dream come true for her.  More on all that later.

When the girls wake up in the morning there is always balloons all over their room and then they come down to the kitchen all decorated in whatever theme they pick.  Of course, Alyse picked horses.

Birthday table

A lot of the styles I saw were very “cowboy/western”.  I didn’t really want that.  So I was really happy when I found this set of supplies from Birthday Direct.

Birthday 2.jpg

Other supplies were from Oriental Trading Company (the large horses on the wall) and Hobby Lobby (additional paper supplies and tissue paper pom poms).

Alyse loved it all.  Her favorite was the horse on the table.  Josh and I found it at an antique store.  It is an older American Girl horse that we paid $30 for.

She also loved her balloons.

The cake is always a big deal to her. (More on that in another upcoming post.)


She had requested a donut date with Daddy for her breakfast.  After that we headed to the mall to visit some of her favorite stores and Chey’s for lunch.


Soon it was time to head to the stables.

Josh and I had called a number of places and I was getting nervous because all she really wanted was to ride a horse on her birthday.  Finally the day before we found an opening  on her birthday!  She could hardly contain her excitement.

When she finally met Grey she was ready to get to work and get to riding.  She learned all about how to care and prepare for her horse.  She was full of questions and comments.

  She was totally in her happy place.

I don’t think she stopped smiling the whole time.  As we were walking back to the car she kept hugging Josh and I and telling us thank you over and over.  It really was a very happy birthday.

Triple Oaks Academy

We are a homeschool family.  This is our 4th year of homeschooling.  It is perfect for our family in this time and season of life.  I love having my girls home with me.  Some days are hard and long…. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just send the older two to school, but then, when I really weigh it all out, I know this is what is best for all of us.  Plus, in my other life (pre-children) I was a teacher.  I have my Elementary Education degree and Teaching License. I like that I am getting to use them.

Our homeschool is called Triple Oaks Academy.  We based our name after this sermon called “The Orchid and the Oak Tree”.  This sermon is near the top of my list for my favorite sermons.  It is based around Jeremiah 17:7-8.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.”

I hope to raise three beautiful “oak trees”.

This year Alyse is in 3rd Grade.  I taught 3rd Grade for 3 years, so I was very excited about this year.  You kinda need to know that I like to mix and match curriculums.  I also believe there is no perfect curriculum.  So, I tend to use a lot of different curriculums.

Here are some of the books that we are using for Alyse:

We use “A Reason for Handwriting” for penmanship.  This year she is doing book C and learning cursive.  We also use “A Reason for Spelling”.

a reason for handwriting c A reason for spelling 3

We are now using Positive Action Bible Curriculum.  We started off using another curriculum this year, but we were not very happy with it.  I went to our local homeschool store and decided to give this curriculum a try.  So far we like it.

Bible 3

Language Arts is where we focus a lot of our attention.  We use a combination of all of these.  Some Abeka, some Explode the Code, Wordly Wise, etc.  First Language Lessons and Writing With Ease are the foundations for our instruction, but I like including all these other workbooks for extra practice.

Daily Lang review explode the code 5 wordly wise 3   Language 3       first language lessons 3Writing with ease 3

We base our Reading and Writing units off of novels.  Right now we are reading the Little House series.  We also are working through classics such as Anne of Green Gables.

Little House  Anne of green gables

Math is not my specialty.  Josh helps Alyse a lot with her Math lessons.  We also use Teaching Textbooks which gives her lessons on the computer.

Teaching textbooks 3Horizons 3

We are using Abeka 4th grade for History.  We are learning all about US History and will soon be doing her North Carolina State project.

History 4

For science we are also using Abeka.

Science 3

Breeley is in Kindergarten.  A lot of her learning is play based, but of course she does have some textbooks to teach her the basics – Reading, Writing, Arithmetic.

Again, we use A Reason for Handwriting for penmanship.

A reason for Handwriting k

Positive Action Bible Curriculum

Bible k

And Horizons Math

Horizons k

Most of our phonics and reading is Abeka.

Phonic readers Letters and Sounds blend ladders

I do use some Bob Jones readers, Explode the Code, and some other different products for sight words, journals, etc.

We also use Abeka for Science and Social Studies, but these also tend to revolve around what Alyse is studying and seasons/holidays.

Science kSocial Studies k

Both girls are in Dance class and also a Tumbling/Homeschool PE class.  We do some “specials” at home.  They do typing, Spanish, piano, and art.

Typing instructor Spanish my pianoArt k

This year has been a lot of fun.  The girls are doing an excellent job, and are learning a lot.  And we have a lot more exciting things to come!