Tuesday, October 6, 2009

an afternoon at the ranch

We have some wonderful friends that happen to own a 1,000 acre ranch in a valley fairly close by. Rob made plans for us all to head out there on Monday afternoon. He loaded the van up with bikes, air soft guns, snacks, and of course the family and off we went for a wonderful afternoon of fun and fellowship! We've been out here a few times, so the kids had some idea of what they wanted to do, but it is still all quite new so just stepping out of the van provided plenty of excitement and fun! They got to hunt for lizards and ride their bikes around a bit before heading off to the chicken coup. Our kids would love to have chickens some day, so they never pass up a chance to go see the chickens here. Mr. S was the best at holding the chicken and had a great time with this one. The big kids each collected and egg and put them in the refrigerator in the barn.

Among the many attractions of the ranch is their lake, however it had dried up. This provided even more fun than if it had been full (I think). Mr. R and Miss E were excited to be able to get all the way out to the island to explore it.
Mr. S and Miss J had fun
throwing rocks into what water was left. The problem was that though it looked mostly dry there were many spots of thick, gooey mud that even the kids would sink down into (Rob had no hope of crossing). One by one we lost the kids to the mud in varying degrees. Miss J was the first to really get it. I could see that her feet had gotten stuck, but before I could get to her she toppled over and got her hands in it. This is thick, rich, sticky, black mud- she was not impressed- she kept saying "gross". We got her all washed off but she lost the use of her pants and shoes for the day. About the time we were done cleaning her up we realized that both Mr. S and Mr. R were stuck in the mud too! Rob had to go out and rescue them, but the mud could not support him so he ended up doing the rescue on a wooden box to spread the weight a bit. It was quite a sight to see! Miss E and Mr. M just got their shoes/boots a bit muddy, but did not get stuck.

After that we enjoyed some kite flying, target practice, and a snack. The boys were so excited to get to bring their guns and swords to play army and/or hunting! It was great to see them running and playing in the wide open spaces, enjoying the great outdoors. This place is the
perfect place for guys (and girls) like ours. Miss E loves plants and animals so she was thrilled to have the chance to explore this place too. We are so blessed to have friends that are willing to share such a wonderful place with us!
On our way home we stopped for pizza. I had a great time at the ranch too, but Miss J requires much help and supervision in a setting like that and I'm not really in the best condition right now for such activities (but I just can't pass up a chance to go to the ranch, it provides such great learning opportunities and fun for the kids and great fellowship with our friends!). Rob was so sweet to realize that I was worn out and needed food quickly so he stopped at the first place that looked family friendly, we had a great time and the food was good too!

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