Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Hobbies that Begin with "E" - Blogging from A to Z Challenge

During the 2018 Blogging from A to Z Challenge, I will be focusing on hobbies that I have introduced to my daughters to through their childhood and teen years. Some were done as part of homeschooling, while others were areas that we explored because we were interested in the subject or activity. These are hobbies that anyone of any age could try as well.


Sophia and Olivia have done a variety of hobbies that begin with the letter "E": embroidery, equestrian vaulting, etching, and exercise.


When the girls were young, I taught them how to do simple embroidery - such as the straight stitch, backstitch, and blanket stitch. One February, they made little hearts with beads and sequins. Sophia is holding the heart she made when she was 7 years old in her hands. 

February 4, 2008

When the girls were 8 and 6 years old, I taught some classes at a local homeschool co-op. One of the classes focuses on handiwork - including embroidery. Below Sophia is making an embroidered project at the co-op.

October 15, 2009

When Olivia was 8 years old, she wanted to make a stuffed animal. So, she embroidered a donkey and added a beaded and sequined blanket. She was very happy with how I turned out.

June 10, 2011 

The girls entered their embroidery projects in two county fairs - one through 4-H and the other through open class in the county we live in. Below, Olivia is standing by the embroidered dish towels she made. She received second place in the category of 7-15 year olds.

August 3, 2012

Equestrian Vaulting

For a couple of seasons, the girls learned how to do equestrian vaulting. Basically, it is a combination of gymnastics and dance on the back of a moving horse.

There were weekly practices where they learned to balance on their knees and feet while the horse was moving.

July 19, 2012

They practiced different moves that they were going to do on the horse on a padded piece of equipment with mats and a trampoline.

October 11, 2012

They worked individually and as a team. Below, the girls were practicing a routine they were going to do together.

October 11, 2012

It was a fun sport for both of them.

May 30, 2013

It was something they looked forward to each week, and was definitely a hobby and type of exercise they thoroughly enjoyed.

May 30, 2013


Olivia started doing etching when she was 7 years old. The images were very complex and she enjoyed etching away the black to create a design. 
January 17, 2008

She has continued doing etching and most recently did one for her speech therapist, Laurie. 

The image was of two giraffes - an animal that Laurie likes.


Sophia and Olivia have done a variety of ways of exercising throughout the years. One of their favorite ways to exercise is on horses.

August 6, 2007

Stretching on a horse is more fun than on the ground!

September 10, 2007

One of the girls have enjoyed doing is swinging. We used to have a round swing on the apple tree by the back door. The swing would go in random and unpredictable directions. The girls would laugh so much when we pushed them. 

December 8, 2007

Hiking and running with the dogs provided great exercise.

June 1, 2008

Learning how to skate was challenging and fun for the girls. Olivia had a great time skating in her pink snowmobile suit.

January 14, 2010

Summer exercise involved going to parks and using their equipment - like swings, slides, and rope climbers.

July 18, 2008

One of the fun ways that the girls learned to play basketball was while on horses.

August 6, 2008

They participated in River Valley Riders and Courage Riders; and there were a variety of fun activities that they did on horseback. Courage Riders was where they played basketball.

August 26, 2008 - Sophia basketball on horse

In 2009, when the girls were 6 and 8 years old, we adopted two horses who were in neglect situations. Olivia was happy to run around with Hoss.

August 3, 2009

Climbing trees was a favorite activity to do whenever there wasn't snow on the ground. The pine tree that they are climbing below is the largest one on our farm with huge limbs - perfect for climbing.

February 4, 2011

Sophia has enjoyed biking. The country roads with little traffic and wide, open views are wonderful to bike on.

February 15, 2011

In addition to swimming lessons, Sophia and Olivia enjoy swimming just for fun.

September 8, 2011

On September 8, 2011, the girls went swimming in a pool at a hotel that we were staying in as we were exploring the New England states. It was a nice was to relax after a day of sightseeing and driving. 

September 8, 2011

Our swingset has provided countless hours of entertainment and exercise for the girls. With two swings, a set of rings, and a slide, the girls spent a lot of time playing on the swingset.

October 12, 2011

On Leap Day in 2012, we built little snowmen. The girls did a lot of leaping over the snowmen that day.

February 29, 2012

When the weather is nice, we love taking the dogs for walks at William O'Brien State Park. The dogs like the walk plus going in the river to play.

May 16, 2013

We also have done hiking without the dogs. A beautiful place we visited was Tettegouche State Park. The girls jumped onto rocks until they reached the big one. The waterfall behind them is part of Baptism River.

June 4, 2013

The next day, on June 5, 2013, we were up in Grand Marais doing canoeing and kayaking on Gunflint Lake. 

We preferred kayaking because it was much more stable compared to the canoe. It was a rather windy day when we went canoeing on Gunflint Lake, so the waves were crashing against the side of the canoe which made it rock back and forth.)

We liked kayaking so much that we went kayaking on Lake Superior the following year and got to see Split Rock Lighthouse from a new perspective.

The girls tried snow shoeing on February 1, 2014. They explored Gammelgarden Museum's property and Lilleskogan Park in Scandia.

February 1, 2014

Olivia tried ice climbing at Gooseberry Falls along the North Shore. She loves rock climbing, so this was something that has the same principle, but requires special shoes and ice picks.

February 26, 2014

In March 2017, Olivia began taking gymnastics again (she did gymnastics when she was in preschool). On June 2, 2017, she showed some of the skills she was working on.



Both the girls received grants from the Ann Bancroft Foundation. On September 16, 2017, there was a fun event for alumnae. A group of teens and young adults paddled as a team on a stretch of the Mississippi River. They did very well for never paddling together before that day.

They won the team spirit award in the competition (out of about 30 teams). After the race, they talked with Ann Bancroft. Her team was made up of women explorers from around the world.

Each year on Thanksgiving weekend, we explore the rock formations at Interstate State Park. Both the girls enjoy doing this; and we always enjoy the beauty of the rocks and river.

November 25, 2017


Leanne said...

My goodness that's a lot of really interesting hobbies! A lot of contrasts too - I especially liked the equestrian pictures - I didn't realize so much went into learning how to be that clever on the back of a horse!

Leanne |
E for Enjoy Life Today

Beverley Baird said...

Love your theme. So many great hobby choices for E - and such wonderful photos of your children.

viridian said...

What a great blog entry, lots to enjoy! I love the Donkey with blanket, he is adorable.

Rita said...

:) :)

Jui said...

Lovely to see so many activities with E. Excellent post!