our days at the ranch

my little indian boy on Jenny
Legend and Astair on a haybale

We're back home now in Louisiana and our memories of our vacation at the ranch are still fresh.  
Every year that we visit my childhood home is more rewarding than the last.
Joel was able to join us for ten days and it was wonderful to have him with us.  Story was starting to protest that her mommy was driving all over the bumpy sandhills in a pickup truck and even took a few spins on a four wheeler.  The only thing I didn't do was ride a horse (and I was mighty tempted).

I love watching my kids learn to ride on the same little spirited palomino pony I learned to ride on.  Jenny, with her clear blue eyes and her snow white mane, has to be nearly 27 years old now, which is somewhere around 80 in horse years.  If only I could age so beautifully!  Astair fell in love with the "pretty pink Jenny", just as I did when I first laid eyes on her at age seven.  I had prayed and prayed for God to bring me a horse and I'll never forget the day my Aunt drove up to the ranch with Jenny in tow.  She was a princess of a pony and I knew without a doubt that God had gifted her to me.

I love walking with my kids through the hayfield, chasing lizards and other prairie critters, teaching them how to drive the ranch pickup over the sandhills (Thad can finally reach the pedals and peek over the top of the steering wheel).

We made the best kind of memories.

Astair and Jenny

Thad riding into the sunset with daddy and our friend Chris  (Chris and Erin came to visit with their new baby girl Grace.  Erin was my roommate in college and it was so good to see her and her family.)

Boston and Jenny with daddy
after tubing down the Niobrara River
Boston can't wait to float down the river
at Merrit Dam with Uncle Jody and our friends
finding frogs
Legend checking pastures with Grandpa Joe
exploring the Fairfield Creek with daddy and uncovering fossils
Legend and Jenny
we loved having our friends from South Dakota visit the ranch!  11 kids in all!  what a blast!
playing with our friends at the first Fairfield Falls

We enjoyed spending time with family and friends, eating Grandma Chick's fun snack foods and riding across the hills with Grandpa Joe and Uncle Jody.  It's comforting to know there is always a place we can go that hardly ever changes.  The hills stay in the exact same spot I remember them to be, Lost Creek disappears every year and then returns in the Spring.  Even with the devastating effects of fire, the prairie will return to life once again.

We're grateful for a place like that.


Natalie said...

So so thrilled to have spent time with you in this very special place. Thank you again for hosting us! We look forward to next year!

Joyeful said...

Natalie, it was the best time! We can't wait to see you guys again :) Next time we'll make sure your kids get to ride horses!

vintage grey said...

What a beautiful and sweet vacation! Such lovely photos! Wishing you a blessed weekend! xo Heather

Sarah said...

Aww the one with them on top of the haybale is awesome!

- Sarah

Heidi said...

Beautiful pictures, looks like you had such a great time :)

Denise said...

what lovely memories and photos.

Lisa said...

Is Story going to be the new baby's name, or is that just what you're calling her for the blog? We are in the throes of trying to think of a name for baby #4(also a girl) and are finding it really hard this time! :0}

P.S. So glad the fires didn't destroy the ranch!

Lisa said...

Is Story the new baby's name, or are you just using it for the blog? We are in the throes of finging a name for baby #4 (also a girl)and are having a tough time coming up with anything. :0}

P.S. So glad the fires didn't destroy the ranch!

Kelly said...

i bet the ranch is getting funner and funner as the kids age. what fun.

Niina - It seems pretty obvious. said...

Wow! It truly looks like you had a amazing time! And it looks so beautiful over there :)

Darren Lanphere said...

The first picture looks like he really is in a cowboy movie. ;) Aww. I guess that’s one of the things in life that keeps us sane—to have that special place where we can return to and enjoy the memories of our childhood. You guys look very happy indeed. And the mini waterfalls look perfect with the kids! :)

Darren Lanphere

Rodger said...

The kids look like they had a blast at the ranch! The haybale is a classic! My family and I go to this ranch once a month. We love going there because it has all the amenities. We spend time at its BBQ pavilion and swimming pools. My daughters love the tennis court at that ranch! My wife and I, on the other hand, enjoy strolling through the trails.

Rodger Ciliberto


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