Simple But Significant (XXIII)

Simple. Yet Significant. Love this message. And incredibly timely in my own life. Thank you!

While the rest of you are griping about winter ..

There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t hear someone complaining about how long and how harsh this winter has been.  I too, am ready for spring.  So I get it.

But there are a few I know ..

One of my fav shots from the weekend -

One of my fav shots from the weekend –

.. who just can’t seem to get enough of it.

The cold and snow have meant a playground of sorts here at the ranch all winter.  I know I’ve posted pics of our crew sledding before, but there were very few moments the kids (or the Cowboy) were inside this weekend.  If they were, it was momentary as they came in to warm up.

Sledding South Dakota style -

Sledding South Dakota style –

And then they would head back out again ..

The Cowboy and his little girl -

The Cowboy and his little girl –

While I don’t typically show faces, the expressions I believe, are what make these photos.  At least to me.

All smiles -

All smiles –

So many more great snapshots from the past few days.  Thought would be fun to share even a few ..

About to lose one.  Holding on with all his might ..

Holding on with all his might –

.. as we all still wait on spring.

Added benefit to come from 4H ..

This would be a follow up to my post yesterday about Annie Oakley and how I am intrigued by her story ..

In part because my daughter and step-daughter are thoroughly enjoying right now, learning to shoot.  And whether it’s personal determination ..

Wishing she could get there more often ..

Wishing she could get there more often ..

.. or friendly competition between the two of them, they’re determined to shoot well.  Annie’s name just keeps popping into my head when I think about it all.

Focus

Focus

We spent time again this weekend with 4H instructors who have not only incredible amounts of patience but also heart to work with what seems a growing number of kids coming in every Saturday.

Loading up.

Loading up.

And had the range been open longer, the girls would have stayed.  We were sincerely the last to leave.

Scoring

Scoring

Shooting sports isn’t something that we most likely would have ever gotten into back in Wisconsin.  While my brother is an avid hunter, I grew up surrounded by an entire community of sportsmen and women, had my own bb gun growing up I used to love to shoot, am comfortable around firearms and we have in the family one of the most accomplished women bowhunters in the nation .. shooting sports, bb gun/bow or otherwise, it isn’t something we ever gave much thought to doing.

“I think she’s a natural,” one of the instructors quietly said to me, of my daughter yesterday as she was firing off another shot.

“Seriously?” I asked.

Instruction.

Instruction.

“I really think so.  I told my son he’s got some pretty fierce competition this year in the junior division,” he added.

The fact she loves it on top of picking it up easily, has been a confidence booster for our 11 year old.  Our 8 year old too, as she gets in more practice.

Support system.

Support system.

That one element of all this, of 4H shooting sports, is something I am incredibly grateful for.  I imagine some I know would scoff at me for that, for being grateful our girls are finding strength in something that even remotely includes anything to do with a gun.  BB or otherwise.  But I’m thrilled they are finding ways to build themselves up that have nothing to do with body image, make-up, their appearance, boys, what others think of them or in putting other kids down.   At such a fragile age, they are building themselves up through some pretty neat life skills.  Focus.  Attention to detail.  Patience.  Math.  Teamwork.  And their own unique talents.

My Little Annie Oakley.

She woke early again this morning for school.

Got up.

Got ready.

“Where’s the bb gun again?” she asked the Cowboy?

Off she went with the dogs ..

Morning target practice.

Morning target practice.

I smiled as I had to call her in – twice – to grab a bite to eat quick and her things so that we could get her off in time to school.  And, as she was heading back toward the house, I realized this was a moment worth savoring and that I didn’t want to miss ..

I ran to grab my camera and sneak in this shot of my own.

My Little Annie Oakley, I though to myself.  (She’s really enjoying the BB gun Santa got her for Christmas last year, our three other littles have their own as well.  4H shooting sports, which she’s now been involved in the past couple months, has also become a wonderful resource for her.)  And then I realized I really didn’t know much about Annie or if that was at all a reference for her I should be using.

………….

Living now in South Dakota, we see and hear a lot about the great heroes/heroines/outlaws of the old Wild West.  Phoebe Ann Moses, or Annie Oakley as most of us know her, didn’t live or work it seems, ever in South Dakota.  But I’ve been seeing a lot about her as I’ve traveled the area.  Especially during our time out in Wall.

- courtesy Wikipedia

courtesy Wikipedia

Her talents as a sharpshooter and for teaching women during that era how to use a gun are what apparently made her the First American Female Superstar, according to Wikipedia.  That’s a pretty big deal, and it’s all because of how she could shoot a gun.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Oakley

Her aim might not be all that Annie’s was, but apparently I’m somewhat on the right track with my comparison.  We’ll have to see if her shot here at some point, is good enough for her to want to take on the road.