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A word from the Youngest Farmer's Daughter - Lillian
Well, it is Christmas week and Lilly would like to share some thoughts with all of you .....

Hi, I'm Lilly and I'm 6 years old.  I love all animals except bears and snakes, yuck!  My favorite color is the rainbow, and I love riding horses and eating ice cream.  My favorite part of the year is Christmas.  I love putting up the Christmas tree.  Our Christmas tree is fake this year and it's much smaller than the tree last year.  We had a real one last year.  I love lighting the tree.  I've never put the star on top but I would like to next year.  My favorite part of Christmas is decorating the tree and opening presents.  All I want for Christmas is a night with my parents alone.  I would also like some toy ponies, a toy horse trailer, a toy stable, some toy riders, a few toy saddles, horse movies and things.  I love snow.  I'm sad that it has only snowed once in my entire life here.  But hail is a lot like snow, I like to chew on it, it is like frozen snow.  My pony, Spot, should get carrots and apples for Christmas.  I hope all the people reading this have a wonderful Christmas!
________________________________________

Hum, I had not read Lilly’s blog prior to typing it, the girls write blogs as part of their weekly school work - it makes for good handwriting practice.  Our 6 year old had a few things to say about Christmas and seems to want a lot more than just a “night alone” with Ben and I - ha, ha, ha. Since she wrote this little blog, she and Daddy have taken the star off of the tree and put it back on.  Based on the swaying and groaning from Ben, the tree is quite tall enough, and if real … Grandma would not be able to visit and her school tutor would have to go on an extended vacation due to allergies to real trees :)>.  Lilly has also gotten her “time alone” and chose to watch a video called “Wild Kratz” and she already has 100+ toy animals so I don’t think anymore are coming for Christmas - ha, ha, ha!.  Lilly also forgot to mention her PONY’S NAMES, not PONY but PONIES, 1. Spot, 36” tall (an old foundered miniature horse that has taught 15 children to ride in his lifetime) 2. Rupert, 40” tall (also an old foundered miniature horse that has been worth his weight in gold having a hoof in teaching all of our girls to ride)  3. Rusty, ~48” tall (Lilly’s Christmas gift this year) and 4. Storm, ~56” tall (this is her older sister’s pass down pony that she could not bear to part with, waiting for Lilly to grow and gain riding experience to take her through her teenage years).  So for any of you out there that are thinking, “Poor little Lilly needs some Christmas presents!”, you might want to rethink that to “lucky, lucky, lucky little farm girl with 4 ponies, 170 secure acres in the country to ride, in a State where it does not often snow, so she can have fun on her ponies almost every day of the year!”.  Too funny our different perspectives…..remember being a kid and thinking, “All I want for Christmas is a pony!”.  Oh how I wanted a pony.  I played for hours with Breyer horses and Barbies - no, Barbies don’t ride Breyer horses very well - BUT, you do what you gotta do and I had Breyer horses and Barbies so that is what the Barbies rode!  I used to cut out photos from magazines and make cards and collages of horses and ponies and dream of owning one.  I even tried my hand at poetry on cards for my parents to persuade them to please, please, please buy me a horse!  All of my friends had horses and I wanted one of my own to love.  I mucked stalls and cleaned tack for the local 3-Day event trainer to pay for my riding lessons.  I chased polo balls at the polo field on Saturday, while my Dad played soccer with a local men’s soccer team, for untold hours and countless miles of running, just to have a ride on a polo pony back to the tacking area from the polo players.  I received the gift of a horse for my 13th birthday, a Chestnut QH with a blaze down his face and a white sock … I also got his seriously quirky personality which over the years taught me to be a better horse owner and a better rider.  It took Mom, Dad and my Grandparents to chip in and pay for him.  Then I worked every day at the local stables to help pay for his keep and for the riding lessons I wanted.  I braided other people’s horses to go to the show to pay for my entries, I babysat, I even mowed our lawn.  I was horse crazy and loved that 4 legged critter with all my heart!  Who had time for boys (that was probably the plan of my parents all along - but that will have to be another blog :)>).  That horse died in a tragic accident, breaking his neck, when I was in college - it nearly broke my spirit and desire to own a horse again, I was completely crushed.  If fact, I did not own another horse until Farmer Ben bought one for me as a wedding present - a beautiful wild 2 year old warmblood mare… her name was “Dusted” b/c she was a grey mare that looked like she had been sprinkled with dust from the top down. That young mare was truly wild, she had been halter trained at 3 weeks old and then turned out on a 2000 acre ranch.  What an interesting 1st year of marriage training that mare together turned out to be.  Ben and I kept her until she died of cancer at the age of 20 years old.  During her life with us she became a 2nd level Dressage School Master, learned to Rein, learned to drive in harness for both work and pleasure, had a stint as a Fox Hunter and a Hunter Jumper…she could do it all and do it well…what an amazing girl she turned out to be.  Ben and I have now been married 24 years - more than half my life.  There have been lots of horses during those years, over 200 of them to be exact.  We are so very blessed to be raising our children on a farm, living the life we always wished we had as kids - both of us - with the opportunity of lots of hard work, lots of fresh air, lots of great families to serve and spend our time with, and yes, lots and lots of PONIES!
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