Thursday, April 19, 2018


Spring has sprung!  Hmmmmm!   We are still dealing with snow and ice!  What is a person to do?  How do we cope with the ever changing weather.  Sunlight seems like so little.  It seems like it will never warm up and we have to continue to shovel and ice melt everything.   Now what????  In the midst of the storm!   It seems our society has issues everyday and we can't seem to get past bad news.

I am going to share some very sweet memories!   ASPIRE has tripled the number of clients and we are busy setting up volunteers and groups to help us with our mission.  In the mean time God has opened some doors for us as we make the journey to push towards certification and training.  Along the way we have met some wonderful people.  Brittney from Mainstay has been a wonderful asset to help with training.  Jean has opened the doors to Mainstay to help us with hours that are necessary.  We have a great landlady we work with at Lake Geneva.  I love staying there on Interlaken Drive.  It has become Dale's favorite word.   This winter seems like Interlaken Drive has become like a second home to us.  I have worked and visited and networked while I stayed.  The memories, oh the memories.

My favorite memory that I will take with me forever is riding a horse at Woodstock.  Now I will tell you that you need to attend NIGHT OF THE HORSE Sept 22nd to see the great memory I will share.

Memories of spending time by the lake, memories of our time together and the very special memory of the journey we began early winter and then to watch Angie and Dale now,  well let's just say I am very proud of how far they have come.  It is amazing the transformation.   Lots to learn but they are on the path to the right place.  I am so glad I could be part of this journey.

Memories of the Iowa Horse Fair and all the great people we met and watching Kameron helping me with silent auction items.   So proud of him. 

Memories of learning and working and learning more each and everyday as we take tiny steps into a new arena of learning.  Exciting but scary.  My feet are getting wet and I am going to stumble along the way but I encourage you to walk this journey with me. 

I am learning and taking memories from all the meetings I attend.  Meeting some amazing people. God is good all the time!  God is good!  In the midst of the storms as we look to our provider we have to know that he will see us through.   The sun will shine and it will warm up.

Come join us for our Trotting Towards the Future May 5th as we have a new look and new band and new menu.  Join us in helping our riders with dollars to help them ride.   Wow the stories and memories could be pages but now that God has opened doors to meeting some very nice people to help us on this journey called life.  So laugh, smile, pray, thank God and don't forget to be kind.

Thursday, March 29, 2018


I received some exciting news the last couple of days.  ASPIRE is moving forward and it is going to be a very busy time this spring and summer.  We have doubled the number of riders and getting more awesome volunteers all the time.  We served 31 in our miniature horse camp over spring break.  It is a hard to image how far we have come in this past year.  So many different and exciting things going on in our lives.  We change everyday and we learn more each and everyday.  I am getting out in the community more each day. All of us at ASPIRE try to take a little time each day to slow down focus and breath.  When riding and taking lessons, we need to focus and breath.  When we are working with the horses,we need to slow down focus and breath.  When life gives us storms our motto is IT IS WHAT IT IS!   We need to look to God to guide and direct us.   He will open doors and he will lead the way.   I am on a great big high today and life is,it is what it is.  I love, did I say I love giving back to the people in need.  I love to make a difference in my staff, volunteers, horses, and riders.  They are so special and I want them to see the beauty and wonder that they have inside their hearts.  It is what it is, but it is what we make it.   We will make it beautiful, fun and loving and the magic will happen.   Love what you do,understand IT IS WHAT IT IS and move on with God, kindness and love in your heart.  Thank you for being part of my life and following the exciting times here at ASPIRE.  God is good all the time!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Spring Is Coming

As we are excitingly waiting for the green to appear in the grass and the buds to form on the trees it is clear winter has not faded away yet. 

Alas, ASPIRE staff are making the most of the winter months.  We have traveled to Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota to receive instructor training.  We have stayed at the beautiful Lake Geneva and visited 4 centers to get teaching hours and wonderful horseback riding lessons.  I even rode a horse.  I have not ridden in awhile it was great to get back on and walk around the arena.  The staff has learned about different horses, different disabilities, different styles of teaching and lots of great ideas to bring back. They have seen some beautiful centers and have had discussions about how we need something like this in our community.   They have certainly learned and are growing with awesome experience.   It truly has been an awesome time but they are missing their families.  It is a long time to be away from family. 

They are learning, growing and facilitating to bring all of you great lessons and camps this year.  God truly has blessed our lives with many of the best people in our industry.  At least in my opinion.  The time at each of these facilities have been learning and growing.  I can't begin to thank our facilities and individuals enough for the wonderful training experience.  I have high regard for each of these organizations and individuals.  God's blessings to Mainstay, Hanson Center, Equul Access, Smiles and Jenny Vlahos.  We could not have imagined the wonderful time we have had and thanks for the laughter.  Kudos and all the hard work you have put into helping our staff become more than they thought was possible.  God says all things are possible to those that believe.

I truly will miss getting up in the morning and driving by the beautiful lake and ending up in Woodstock, Ill.  Once we arrive we are greeted by several nice dogs and pretty cats.  Then a good morning from Jenny.  The staff gets busy and gets their horses and tacks them up and all the while they are learning and asking questions.  Once we are in the arena there is more learning, riding and laughter.  I will miss the morning laughter and the knowledge.  I have learned so much from Jenny by just watching and listening.  She has been so willing to answer our questions and willing to work with us on the pattern they have to learn.  It has been fun watching them ride and learn.  Starting from scratch and then actually riding the pattern for instructor certification.   They have learned so much and I am so proud of them.  God truly is in the mix.  I truly believe these people that have helped us gain so much are angels that were brought to us for a wonderful reason. 

I am looking forward to a great year which starts with our Miniature Horse Camp during Spring Break.   Blessings for a wonderful day and may God watch over you.  Happy Spring!!!!!

Monday, January 29, 2018


I could not resist blogging this today as it is a great piece of information and I have been reflecting on days gone by and how I so enjoyed some of our fun antics and loved playing with the neighbors.  Yes times have changed and people to but there were some great memories in time.
George Carlin's wife died early in 2008 and George followed her, dying in July 2008. It is ironic George Carlin - comedian of the 70's and 80's - could write something so very eloquent and so very appropriate. An observation by George Carlin:
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


2018 has arrived with a blast.  I have not written in awhile, because I have been spending my time reflecting, laughing, enjoying peace, being close to God, quiet time and calmness.  Hmmm beautiful sunrises, sunsets, and just resting.

I have been in Clear Lake Iowa.  Our family rents a house up there during Christmas and New Years.  I enjoy sometime to sit on a couch, bed to sleep in and time to rest.  What do I gain you say?  Well, in my reflections of the time I spent I experienced many mysterious happenings.  As I was driving home I thought oh my I am not ready to come home to a home under construction.  There are things and stuff everywhere.  I live out of suitcase.  When the floor and wall is completed it will be nice and we will purge and goodwill some possessions.  It is a new beginning and I will set sail on some great organization and wonderful meetings and classes.  We are extremely busy getting ready for the new year.  2017 has been a rough year but I am looking forward to all the great things God has in store for all of us and the animals in 2018.  He knows the plan and we will follow that  to the best of our ability.

Reflections have been meeting wonderful people.  I met some very friendly and nice people.  I drove down to the lake everyday except the real cold days and then I watched it the lake on TV.  I received a beautiful homemade shirt from my grandson and a set of wine glasses.  Each was painted with I love you to the moon and back.  What a special gift from a very special little boy.   I slept and I had some very comforting dreams, and experienced some very comforting gifts.  I will take many great memories away this year and treasure them for the rest of my life.  I am so grateful I was able to spend time there with my grandson, son, Christine, my husband and a special time as we worked and played with Angie and Lexi.  We engaged in activities at Christmas by the Lake, swimming, sledding and shopping.   Just admiring the beauty of the lake.

I am working on moving forward and getting many items accomplished and having a great year.  You see since I have gotten older those beautiful reflective moments mean so much to me.  I enjoy me time as I continue to give back to others.  I enjoy my time at church worshiping and praising God.  I enjoy visiting with the people in the stores on the street and all the places we attended.  One of my favorite activities was my grandson delivering candy canes to the people on the street in the stores, to the police and firefighters.  Then we delivered cookies and a homemade Gingerbread house to the nursing home.  God thank you for the beautiful time with these people and the beautiful lake.

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Life has been busy!  I know I keep saying that but it is true. This time of year I take lots of time for me.  I bath in the quiet by the lake.  I enjoy church in Clear Lake and I just sit and read.  Yes we are in our new house in Clear Lake and it is very homey.  Christmas by the Lake was fun.  But alas I got the crud and was sick for a few days after the event.  I got 13 to 15 hours of sleep!  Much needed time.  I am almost finished Christmas shopping.   I have a couple more things to get.  The tree is decorated and the house looks like Christmas.  What about our trips??

Dale and I spent a week in Illinois well, actually we stayed a Lake Geneva.  He received a week of training.   Home for a little while.  Rika went to Missouri and we went to Clear Lake.  Angie spent a week in Ill for training.  She to stayed in Lake Geneva.   She came home and they went to the Newsboys concert.  Next day off to Missouri to look at a horse for the program.  We brought back a part Gypsy mare and miniature donkey.   Well so January and Feb will be filled with trips to Ill, Mn and much more training.  Then March will take us to Nebraska for more training.   I will relish in the time I have in Clear Lake and enjoy each day.  I am looking forward to that quiet time.  I am excited to see them learn and grow in their jobs but Christmas is a time for me.  

What about our trips?  Lots of learning, growing and peaceful moments.  I have enjoyed my time on all the trips and look forward to many more.  I pray for a mild winter.  Hard to drive when the weather is bad.

So on this day I wish you a very Merry Christmas and may God give you the time you need in peace and solitude.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Life before Christmas

The trees are decorated, the houses are all lit up.  The stores are bustling with many people.  We have finished with Black Friday and now it is Cyber Monday.  Life before Christmas can be exhausting.  Rushing here and there and everywhere to get just the right gift for the right someone. 

Thanksgiving is completed at our house and now it is time to reflect and pray.  I am ready for my December break and sitting by the lake.  This year will be different, we are in a new house.  The experience will be interesting as we have chosen this house with only seeing the outside.   Pictures are showing a nice place but until you get inside you don't know.  I am excited yet anxious.  

Life before Christmas at the farm means very little decorating.  We don't have room for much.  There are few little things but nothing big.  Rika is leaving the end of this week and we travel to Clear Lake for Christmas by the Lake and my rest time begins.  I will mail out Christmas Cards and decorate the house for Christmas.  I have a grant due in the middle of the month but beyond that I will shop, play, watch TV and rest.   Slowing down for me is huge during this time of year.  We have gone 100 miles an hour for so many months it is time for me to reflect and think about how I want my 2018 to look.  God is the planner and I look for the many ways he is guiding me in my life.  

Life before Christmas is figuring how to celebrate with the animals and the children.  Teaching them the true meaning of Christmas.  I will enjoy my time alone and with friends.  It will be a joyous holiday season for me.  

As I sit back and listen to the music and listen to the pastor I realize I am in control of only my thoughts and emotions and I will make the best of my time away and at home this holiday season.

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  God's Blessings to all of you.