Horrible pictures, I know, but I didn't want to use a flash and possible spook the horses. In case you can't tell, these pictures show A. and P. having their first horseback riding lessons. The lessons were a gift from my parents for Christmas and the girls were very excited about them. Very.
They are riding at pretty much the only stable near us and it happens to be where I used to take lessons when I was on my university's equestrian team. Because it is the only game in town, so to speak, I hadn't done any checking on the types of trainers or horses. It's not as though my children are terribly likely to go into competitive riding, you know. But I was quite pleased with the barn. Each trainer stayed right by their respective girl the entire time and seemed very vigilant about starting good habits right away. Also, the horses seemed pretty good for lesson horses. (I've ridden some pretty bad ones, so I know what I'm talking about.) I noticed they were both using snaffle bits which will only make sense to other horsey-types, but essentially it means their mouths haven't been ruined by years of bad riding. At the very least, A. and P. should turn into competent riders.
And I have to admit I just like being able to hang out in a barn with horses again. It's been over 20 years since I've ridden and for the most part I don't miss it because I don't think about it. But I do like horses, and am thrilled that my horse-crazy girls get a chance to ride. I used to dream of owning a lot of horses as an adult, but I'm pretty sure that dream will remain just that. But it's fun to visit every now and then.
If you missed it, there is an interesting (I think) discussion going on in the comments of the post on Prayer and fasting.
All these holidays are playing havoc with my schedule for advocating for the last three children. So here they are all again. Please pray for them that their families finally find them.
This is Chad. He is 9 years old and has always lived in an institution. An institution with severe neglect. No one has ever even asked to look at his file and now it looks as though they never will. Pray that God will not let this little one become invisible. Pray that his parents will find him and show him what it means to be loved.
How about this picture? He looks like a sweetheart with his curly hair.
Don't forget Harvey!
This is Harvey. He is 3 years old and is the size of an infant. Harvey is extremely malnourished and also has some cranial-facial issues. This little one also touches my heart since K. was malnourished (at some points in his life, rather extremely) and two of my children have cranial-facial issues. It is something that sounds very scary, I know. But my children are so much more than their diagnoses. This little boy has never known what it is to be loved and cared for. Doesn't he deserve at least that?
This is Brandi. She is 6 years old. She lies in her crib and waits and waits and waits for someone to scoop her up and tell her how loved she is. Just imagine a grin on her face, her hair allowed to grow out. Imagine how transformed she will look when she is loved. Pray that she doesn't have to wait too much longer for her parents to find her.