Colt Starting and Training Kids

I finished watching Clinton Anderson’s Colt Starting DVDs on Monday. That was just the initial watch-through… I’m going to be rewatching and taking notes starting next Monday.

It always amazes me how similar child training and animal training – whether it be dogs or horses or even cats (those things are nearly impossible to train if you don’t have an infinite supply of patience).

I’m not saying that you use the same techniques, but the principles are the same. I pick up more on how to train my kids when I’m watching horse training stuff than when I’m reading or watching child training stuff (sorry, Mr. Pearl – although I do need to re-read To Train Up A Child at some point in the near future).

The two horsemen I have followed in my horsemanship journey, Pat Parelli and now Clinton Anderson, have supplied me with a couple of tips to use on both horses and children.

My favorite of Pat’s is, “Take the time it takes so it takes less time.” This means that when you come across a training problem, you take all the time you need right then to work through it, instead of giving up or letting it go. By working through it right then, you make sure that it doesn’t drag on for days and weeks or even years on end, unresolved. It may take hours now, but the result is so much better and comes a lot faster than if you didn’t take the time now to work on it.

Clinton Anderson likes to tell us to make the wrong answer difficult and the right answer easy – meaning if your horse (or child) makes the wrong decision when you tell him to do something, make his life difficult until he makes the right decision. Then immediately back off and give him a “good boy”. I’d like to point out right here that you don’t abuse the animal or child, although a firm spanking might be in order.

A lot of people like to tell an animal or child to do something, but when he resists they just give up or bribe the creature into giving in. This is bad horsemanship, and terrible parenting.

As a horseman and/or a parent, we have to prove ourselves to be respectful and respectable, without being terrifying.

We have to set our expectations (being careful that they’re achievable but still high), and when they’re not immediately fulfilled, teach the child or horse how to reach them.

I got to meet Pat in Oklahoma in October 2014, and he’s actually a pretty great guy. Clinton Anderson is now on my bucket list to meet, and since he lives only a few hours away in Stephenville, Texas, I might get away with that in the next few years.

I love my family, and I love my horses. I want to train horses for a living (or at least as a large part of our income), and I want my sons and future children to be well-trained and growing up to be wise and strong in spirit.

To do those things, I need to implement my knowledge of training now, and pray and work toward becoming a better horsewoman, and a better mother.


Mother of Two Under Two

Maverick is six weeks old as of yesterday, weighing roughly 12 pounds. He’s a big boy, filling out some slightly smaller three month outfits, with his legs already too long for a lot of one-piece bodysuits for infants his age. He now eats seven meals a day – at approximately these times: 5:30, 8:30,11:30, 2:30, 5:30, 8:30, and then somewhere between 10:30 and 11:30. He’s a night owl, and likes to sleep most of the morning away before staying awake the majority of the afternoon and all evening. This has made me a night owl by default, since because he’s awake all evening I can’t sleep. Yay. I am glad that I get six or seven consecutive hours of sleep a night, and I’m working on napping in the afternoon. I’ve not been very good at that for many years, so I am not surprised that it’s not going well, even when I feel extraordinarily sleep-deprived.

Yance is 22 months old, also as of yesterday. He’s getting big, too, nearly 30 pounds. He’s pure muscle – with a bit of a belly. While he’s fitting 2T shirts easily, he’s just now growing into the 18mo pants, but I have no doubt that his legs will catch up to his body soon. The toddler loves to play and also to work, helping Dad around the place or finding some projects to do on his own – like unstacking and restacking firewood. He eats four times a day – breakfast, lunch, snack, and supper. We get up anywhere between 8:30 and 10am (because I’m exhausted and trying to catch up on sleep…), and he goes to bed between 8:30 and 9pm, with a nap at 1pm.

My duties nowadays are to feed Mav, change his diaper, and work on his potty training, while making sure Yance doesn’t get into things and goes to the toilet regularly. I haven’t yet started his nighttime potty training, mostly because I’ve been too exhausted to even think about it. Some people function beautifully with seven hours of sleep; I do not. However, I do believe he is reaching a point where he can wear underwear instead of a diaper on trips. We had a rough start to resume his potty training, but he’s been getting better quickly.

At some point, however, I will be getting him up before Mav’s 5:30 mealtime and sticking him on the toilet, praying that he goes back to sleep again after the potty break so I can crash again for an hour or two. I need to pick a date on the calendar to start that and just do it. I’m also working on getting up at 8am instead of sleeping so late. Hopefully that’ll help me with afternoon naps!

On top of that, I’m going through the Colt Starting DVDs every weekday morning, and continuing to maintain the house and wash laundry and dishes as best I can. I think on Friday I’ll mop the kitchen for the first time in three months, because the floor is ridiculously grimy.

Postpartum depression hasn’t struck, yet. I am keeping a close eye on my moods and taking vitamins and tea that the midwife recommended for keeping the hormones from fluctuating too much. Any moodiness right now is caused by sleep deprivation, which is a lot easier to work through.

I have two sons under the age of two. In two short months, the older one will celebrate his second birthday, and the younger one will be just over three months old. By then, I plan to have one completely potty-trained, and the other nearly there.

I know one thing. My husband appreciates not having to change diapers on a toddler, and so do I.

I love my sons, and I can’t wait to see where life takes them. And so I will continue to train them up, and pray that God helps me and his father do it right.

365 Opportunities to be a Better Help Meet

That’s a lot of opportunities, isn’t it?

Anyway, that’s how I’m going to look at this new year.

Our wedding day, – 03/26/2016

This is the year we plan to complete several major projects on the place and home, and start others. We’re debt free, the 2018 holidays are behind us, and we are planning on building more financial security while completing several fun goals in the process.

My biggest goals are to break Dingus (studying Clinton Anderson’s Colt Starting now!), lose 15-20 pounds, and make sure BOTH boys are thoroughly potty trained (I don’t think either one of them will be too thrilled about this…).

Dingus – May 2018

But above it all, I want to be a better help meet for my sweetheart. I want to journal every day about how I feel about my relationship with my husband and see what worked and what caused friction between us so I can look back every week and improve myself. Our relationship is fantastic right now as it is, but I want it to keep improving and not grow stagnant over the many years ahead.

I am a mother to two sons, one a crazy toddler and the other a one-month-old infant. Sure, I need to train them and help them grow strong, but I can’t let motherhood take up my life and not leave much room for my marriage to prosper.

I like to only set a few goals and not plan much, because in my experience life is way too crazy and unpredictable to actually be thoroughly planned out. But a few goals do need to be set and worked toward, or I’ll never get anywhere.

So every day this year, I will work toward being a better help meet, and at the end of 2019 I hope to see a lot of improvement. There will be bad days, caused by crazy hormones or illness or just poor decision making, but I hope to reduce them significantly. With lots of prayer and studying, it should work. Now I just need to keep myself accountable.

I love my husband so very much. He’s a hard worker, reliable, wise beyond his years, and is a strong, capable leader, husband, and father. He deserves my very best, so I want to make sure he gets it, and that my best gets even better than it is today.

So here’s to 2019, and to making my young marriage stronger than ever.


I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas. I still don’t really agree with it, but I am grateful to have married into a family that doesn’t get carried away with decorating and Santa Claus  and all that.

The Catholics turned a pagan winter festival into a celebration of Jesus’s birth, even though our Savior was not born in the winter – pretty much the only thing we can be sure of. They did it to try “converting” pagans who didn’t want to give up their precious drunken feast, much like they did with Easter.

Since then, they and eventually a lot of other christians have celebrated the pagan festival with joy and cheer, and while I do appreciate the added politeness and cheerfulness of the people at this time of year, I cringe because the feast was not designed to celebrate Him – He got thrown into it in an attempt to appease false converts.

I am not celebrating Jewish feasts, either, because I don’t believe they are necessary to please God now that his Son has sacrificed Himself for us. But that’s another story and one I won’t get into because I now have family that do those feasts and I can see where they’re coming from – we just agree to disagree on it and have a great time hanging out together. After all, as long as they and we have repented of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, then we’re all going to Heaven!

Anyway. This year’s festival was, as usual, a joyous occasion filled with gifts and family and love. Many met Maverick for the first time, and I hit the jackpot on gifts from close family. So did Yance, and I think Maverick did, too, although he slept most of the time and doesn’t care. As for my hubby, well, he got a good list of things, too. And it seems the gifts we gave were much appreciated, as well.

The biggest thing for us was having Maverick meet his great-great-grandmother, and we have several pictures as proof.

Smiling in Nana’s arms


The four-day weekend was fantastic, the year has been a great blessing overall, and this weekend we go to my family’s to celebrate the end of the year and do a collective birthday celebration since we skipped their birthdays in favor of pouring the money into our debt earlier this year.

I can’t wait for the New Year, to finish Baby Step 3 in Dave Ramsey’s program, fulfill a few dreams we’ve had, and begin the process of moving from legal resident to citizen of this crazy country.

This post was kind of thrown together because I forgot I needed a post today (that’s what a Sat-Tues weekend will get you!), but here it is! Hopefully you enjoyed it. 🙂

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year!

Goals For 2019

Wow… can you believe that this is my second-to-last blog post of the year?

After today’s post, there will be one on December 26, and then on January 2!

So what does the New Year look like for the Baker family?

Well, hopefully this post gives you an idea.


Lose weight – get to 115 pounds… this means losing about 15 pounds

Break Dingus – he’ll be three on July 26

Get started on my U.S. citizenship – April!


Go to six shooting competitions – IDPA and USPSA


Finish potty training by February


Be completely potty trained by the end of the year

Be weaned by November 1


Finish out bathroom, laundry room


Clear junk, trees so we can use more of the place

Level, disc arena for use again

Finish the fences currently planned


Finish Baby Step 3 – emergency fund!


2018 was a fabulous year that flew by almost too quickly. Hopefully 2019 is just as good, if not better!

Random Proverbs

Below is a selection of verses from the book of Proverbs, with the reference following and a definition for the word in bold beneath.


“A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.” 9:13

making a loud and confused noise

“A gracious woman retaineth honor: and strong men retain riches.” 11:16

courteous, kind, pleasant

“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” 12:4

having/showing high moral standards; chaste

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” 14:1


lacking good sense or judgement; unwise

Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” 19:18

have a restraining or moderating effect on; punish

“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” 20:11

“A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” 27:15

given to arguing or provoking argument

“The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” 29:15

the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.

Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.” 29:17

put right (an error or fault)


Blank Mind, Full Heart

I wanted to come up with a post based on some important part of scripture dealing with motherhood. But I am still too tired to pick out a passage. Maybe I’ll get around to that next week.

As I write, my nearly 21 month old (he’ll officially reach that age on Saturday) son just finished his lunch. Guacamole, cheese, crackers, raisins, water. Meanwhile, the eight-day-old boy is in the bed, dozing off. Maverick got his first real bath today, and I must say he did not enjoy the experience as much as Yance did.

The sun is out, the day is lovely, and right after nap time we’ll all go outside and enjoy it.

I love my little family. My toddler, my infant, my awesome husband.

Even though I’m tired, I can’t believe how fulfilling it is to care for all three of them. Sure, my beloved does his part, but now that he’s back at work I have to do at least some prep for meals, and do laundry and housework again.

I love being a wife and a mother. The first week, full of pain and sleeplessness as my body worked to recover and produce milk and settle into a new routine at the same time, is behind us. While I’m not certain I want to go through another week like that again with another child (it was a whole lot worse than my first week with Yance), I don’t regret a thing. Maverick is healthy, strong, and nursing well. We’re not dealing with the bit of reflux we had with Yance, and our latching troubles seem to be behind us for the most part. Yance adores his little brother, and my husband loves all of us so very much. I’m grateful to him for all he does.

We’re up to a family of four. My beloved D, myself, Yancey Lane, and Maverick Lee. And I’m happy.

Maverick Lee

Well. At about 8pm on November 26, I went into labor. By 2am on November 27, after the midwife having to break my water and put arnica on the cervix around 1am to get it to relax the last half-centimeter, our second child, a boy, was born.

This delivery was not as smooth as Yance’s. I had a lot more back labor, and that stuff is brutal. But things went better afterward, for the placenta delivered itself a lot smoother (last time it wasn’t wanting to come, so she had to give me some oxytocin), I didn’t get any sort of significant tearing, and my other functions seem to have bounced back nicely. Thanks to the good tear I got with Yance, not much of my body wanted to work for quite a while, but recovery was still pretty smooth. I’m a bit more tired this time around, and the cramping is still pretty bad, but the bleeding is a lot better and I’m hopeful it will clear up sooner than it did after Yance.


Anyway. Maverick Lee is healthy, sleepy, and despite an apparently significant tongue tie is also eating well.


I know, I know, his name doesn’t start with a D. If he had been born before Thursday night (or been a girl), he would’ve had one that did, but my sweetheart decided to change our selection for a boy name last-minute. Ah well.

As it is, Maverick was the intended middle name. So now it is the first name, with Lee being the middle name.


Maverick is named after Samuel Maverick of Winnisimmet (now Chelsea, Massachusetts), who had a fortified house/Palisade House there in the 17th century and is mentioned in the Louis L’amour book “The Warrior’s Path”, which is also where Yance’s nickname comes from – Yance Sackett. The middle name, Lee, comes from our beloved general Robert E. Lee, who needs no introduction.


Yance is learning to be gentle, and isn’t too jealous of his little brother. He’s fascinated, instead, and it will be fun watching the two grow up and play together.


At seven pounds ten ounces, and twenty and one-quarter inches, he’s a little bit smaller than his older brother was. But he’s strong, healthy, and doing very well.


Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday, and next week we try to settle into a new routine.


I am proud of my husband, for he has learned a lot with our oldest and is taking on the role of caring for both our sons this week superbly. I can’t believe that in less than three years of marriage we have come so far, and I am looking forward to raising these two boys and adding at least one more member to the family in the coming years.

Many thanks…

K.G. of Seeds of Grace Midwifery, and her daughter/assistant – the invaluable women who have now helped me bring two children into the world.

Mom – who helped me rest during the final week and was a great comfort during labor. She even got to catch her second grandson!

Ma & Boss – who watched Yance from the time I went into labor through the first day of Mav’s life.

YDB, my beloved, soulmate, husband – my comforter and precious partner in everything, not to mention an amazing father and baby-quieter.

Waiting On Baby – Part 3/Holidays

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! That means the holiday season is here, and Thanksgiving is my favorite of them all. It reminds us to be thankful for what we have, and to me is a season to thank the Lord for all our blessings. Not that we shouldn’t thank Him daily, and be truly thankful for the little things (and big things) in our lives, but it is a good, annual reminder of how fortunate we are – even when things seem as bad as they can get.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. ~ Colossians 2:7

This week I am thankful for my mother, who is here – with my littlest sister – to help out and be a second set of hands when the baby comes. Which could be any day now.

My grandmother-in-law has been put in charge of keeping Yance during the birth, and she is excited about that. I’m definitely thankful for her, for she is a great help!

I’m thankful for my midwife, who is relaxed and keeps me in good spirits instead of stressing out about a baby potentially making her miss the holiday festivities, or missing the baby’s actual birth. I do not envy her, but I am so, so thankful for her!

Then there’s my husband, who is as ready as he could possibly be for his second child’s birth. He’s probably a little nervous, too, knowing how quickly everything could go and he might just have to catch his son or daughter if the midwife doesn’t make it in time! But out of all the people who will be at the birth, he is the one I am thankful for the most. He’s my rock and comforter when I’m in labor, and his presence and touch are what I need more than anything else.

Of course, I am very thankful for my baby, and praying he or she is as healthy and strong out of the womb as (s)he seems to be inside the womb.

Over the last week…

I got to ride Jack! For a few minutes and only bareback with a halter (and with Dalton leading him because once the 24yo has a rider he acts like a 4yo who has no brakes…), but I got to ride him for the first time since May, on Saturday afternoon. Yance also got to ride him, and the boy needs to learn to grip with his legs so he doesn’t slide when Jack turns, but he had a blast as well.


Saturday evening (after a day of working on the driveway, and a morning hunt), Yance got to stay with Ma while hubby and I went on a date to celebrate his birthday 12 days early. He loves the present I got him (shot timer!), and has been playing with it ever since. The food was pretty awesome, too!


Hubby, practicing some shooting with the shot timer – and then having fun getting screenshots of the flame… Hehe.

My sweetheart and I did a fair bit of cleaning on Sunday! It feels good to have our room a lot neater (and swept for the first time in a while), as well as the house prepped about as much as possible.

Yance figured out how to get on and off of his rocking horse on Monday! He’s been waiting to be big enough, and finally figured it out on his own. While I was working on this blog post, I might add. Lol.


He also decided to pile logs in the wood stove on a day when we didn’t need it – so the stove was cold and safe to play with – and actually did a decent job. Then he started blowing on them to try getting a flame, which obviously didn’t work, but it’s still heartwarming (and scary?) to see just how much he observes.

And my sister and son are learning a bit of a new routine as they get used to each other (he’s 20.5 months; she’s 14.5 months) and she adapts to a new place.

As for me, I’m excited about this second child and what the next few weeks hold. It’s going to be fun!

Waiting On Baby – Part 2

Well, I decided to cancel NaNoWriMo this year. Why?

Because I’ve entered the brain-fog phase of the pregnancy, and trying to write or even be creative in general stresses me out. It would be okay, I think, if I didn’t have a house to keep up and a son to care for and spend time with.

That doesn’t mean that the book will never come to fruition! I will still write now and then over the month, and I plan to do Camp NaNoWriMo in July to make sure it gets finished off. Then we’ll go from there.

I might do the Camp in April if I’m not feeling up to much else, but at the moment the plan is to break in Dingus, who will be nearly three, and be busy with him. We’ll see how that goes.

My priorities for the next week are:

Enjoy as much time as possible with my son, who really wants to hang out with me – especially on the dreary days that are more and more frequent as we get closer to winter.

Don’t wear myself out (hard to do these days; hence why I took writing off the list).

Make sure to enjoy time with hubby. We have an early birthday date (for him) scheduled for Saturday night! Can’t wait!

Keep the house neat, but don’t worry too much about being super clean.

Get ready for the baby!


Over the past week, we…

Prepped for the hard freeze that came yesterday and is supposed to happen again tonight…

Got the car repaired… it had brakes that needed replacing and rear axle issues. Rides a lot better now!

Went on our final pre-baby shopping trip – ACK! There were snow flurries and it was COLD, but we got to hang out with friends (yay!) and stock up on a lot of food. Plus, this baby apparently relaxes when being touched as long as you’re not wiggling its head, so we might have ourselves a people person. Can’t wait to meet him or her! No 39 week checkup due to Thanksgiving, but I am going to keep the midwife posted on changes that happen, and we have everything we need in case the baby arrives before she can get here.

Started getting the wood stove back in regular use. First official fire in it was on Friday night!

Blanketed Jack for the first time. Wet + COLD weather (even if not freezing) meant the old man needed some extra protection. Dingus is a happy camper, even though he’s got a slick coat and doesn’t appear to be as well winterized as Jack on the outside. He does, however, have a lot more weight on him comparatively, so that’s good. Jack will have the blanket taken off tomorrow, and with the weather warming up significantly for the rest of the month he probably won’t wear it again until sometime in December.