Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Horsin' Around

The day after thanksgiving there was no chance of finding us around the Black Friday mayhem! 
We opted instead for waking up to this beautiful view.

Although it was pretty, the wind was fierce, especially down by the lake.  Little girl and I had to bundle up on our golf cart ride!

Thank goodness the winds weren't as strong by the time we made it over to the ranch.  Lila had been talking about riding Emma for two days straight and the time had finally come. 
She was one happy cowgirl.

I took Emma for a spin and then Lila got to hop on with me. 

We cruised around the pasture for a little while and even stopped by to say hello to the cows.

Meanwhile, Maddie and Colleen were doing good on Princess.

After Lila and I were done riding, we hopped off and I looked up to see Jackson (my 5 year old) riding Emma by himself!  Yes, holding the reigns, and all.  Emma was nice for a minute...

but then she started to get a little spooked.  Look at her crazy eye! 

We thought she was about to take off, so Boom hollered at Jackson to pull the reigns back. 
And he did it!  She turned around and he stayed calm until Boom got to them.

Can you imagine the huge sigh of relief I let out when I saw my dad grab ahold of that horse?

Back in the barn, things were much more tame.  Lila very slowly walked over to Mr. Dub and he stood there super still so that she could pet him.  It was so cute!

Since they were all warmed up, the guys decided to head out for a trail ride.  I heard that it was a very interesting one, to say the least.  It seems my dad decided to turn my city slicker husband into a real cowboy and had him rounding up cattle and llamas!  What I would have given to of seen it.  They came back grinning from ear to ear--very proud of themselves.  Jared said it was fun and he was really glad Jackson didn't fall off.  Say what?!  I think we are all glad that everyone stayed on their horses, but how cool is that?  I'm proud of all of them.  Maybe next time I'll go, too!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ranch Style Thanksgiving

We spiced it up a little this year and spent Thanksgiving at my parents' ranch. 

It was us 5, my mom, dad, sister, Meme, Meme's sister Ruth and her husband, Dan.

Shortly after we arrived, Aunt Ruth began singing fun thanksgiving songs with Lila:)

While the ladies sang indoors, the guys manned the turkey fryer outdoors.

I am happy to report that we did not have one thing catch on fire during the frying of the turkey! 
In fact, it was one delicious bird.

Cowboy Jackson approved and helped himself to 2 servings of turkey and 3 servings of mashed taters.  He also insisted on sitting by his thankful turkey.  Love it.

Everyone stuffed themselves silly...

then we all went outside to enjoy the gorgeous afternoon. 
We were treated to a show featuring two trick riders.  Look at these crazy kids!

After the show, we loaded up everyone and headed down to the barn.

Suckers  + riding in the back of the mule = 2 happy kiddos!

This sweet girl was very happy to get to see the cows and the 5 baby calves... 

and even more excited to get to feed Emma!

She was thrilled to get to ride Mr. Dub...

as were Maddie...

and Jackson, who rode Mr. Dub by himself for a little bit.  I know this miniature pony may not look intimidating, but he can break and run with the best of 'em!

That afternoon we came back to the house and were treated to a rousing rendition of the Turkey Tango...

which was then followed up by Five Fat Turkeys.  They were quite entertaining!

As if that wasn't enough activity for one day, we ended it with a two on two game of football--me and my mom vs. Jackson and Jared.  Needless to say, the boys won, but we gave it a good try!

They just brought out all the stops, including really good kick-offs!

Happy Thanksgiving!  We hope your turkey day was as fun as ours:)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I am thankful for...

This morning I realized that we had not yet made our thankful turkeys!  That's just something that must not be missed, so we got out our supplies and went to work.

This year all three kids got to make their very own thankful turkeys.  They each have 7 feathers on them and I asked the littlest to go first, hoping that she wouldn't just copy what the big kids said on theirs.  I think they turned out great and it got me thinking...what I am thankful for this year?  Which brought me to write this post.  I have so much to be thankful for that I'm hoping I can do it justice. 

Here goes:

I am thankful for an 82 degree day and being able to take my kids on a picnic at the park in the end of November.  They loved it, and so did I.

I am thankful for the beautiful fall trees--the red, orange and yellow ones are just gorgeous and got us excited to see how all the trees look at the ranch tomorrow.

I am thankful for happy kids who can find joy in feeding stale bread to ducks.

I am thankful that Lila has a big brother who really does care about her.  He walked on the side closest to the pond just to make sure that she didn't fall in today.  He spotted her on the playground making sure she didn't get hurt.  They are moments that make me tear up if I think about them a second too long.

I am thankful that these silly girls have each other, too!

And a few more things I am thankful for:
A hardworking, devoted husband who respects me and loves me and the kids unconditionally.  He is our rock.
Three healthy kids (after weeks of being sick they are all feeling bettter!)
Our families who live near us and support us all the time.  They are there for all the soccer and baseball games, school programs, school events, birthdays, etc. 
Good friends.  We've got a solid bunch of friends that we can count on.  Such a wonderful thing.
My 5 year old son who gives me hugs and says "I love you" all the time.
Madison Reese who makes us laugh out loud with her spot-on movie impersonations.
Lila Lou who tells me every day that I'm the best mommy in the whole wide world:)
Being able to stay home with the kids and be so involved in their upbringing.  It's tough, no doubt about it, but I honestly wouldn't want it any other way. 
My sweet neighbor, Miss Gay, who brought us a homemade coffee cake this morning, as well as candy for each kid.  So nice!
Salted caramel mocha at Starbucks
Saved by the Bell that is still on MTV 2 - I watched an episode while working out this morning!
Being able to spend Thanksgiving day at the ranch.  We have been waiting all fall to get back there and enjoy nature.  The fourwheelers are calling our name, and who knows, maybe Jackson will finally go fishing with his daddy!


Kindergarten kind of feast

Yesterday was Jackson's thanksgiving feast at school.  He was so excited!

My little pilgrim stuffed his belly with all kinds of yummy food.

They had Chick-fil-A nuggets, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, rolls and cookies. 
Who wouldn't love all of that?!

I am so thankful that I get to attend fun days at school like this with him.

And very thankful that he's loving his teacher and going to school every day.  What a blessing.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Andrew & Maria's Couples Shower!

Less than 2 months to go until their big day!  This past weekend we helped host a couples wedding shower for Andrew and Maria.
We did a wine and cheese themed party and I found these super cute bride and groom wine glasses for them to use. 

My super-talented sister-in-law, Lyndsie, made all of the decorations, a most delicious 5 layer dark chocolate cake AND too good to be true pink champagne cupcakes!  Did I mention how talented this girl is yet?!

Her vision came to life and looked fab-u-lous.  If you're looking for a party/wedding planner, look no further!  I've got the hook-up.

Very soon we will all be Mrs. Hays:)

All of us had a great time with Andrew and Maria's friends and family.  We dined on such refined wines as like Yellowtail, and ate fancy gouda cheese.  Seriously, though, we had really good meatballs, hot sandwiches, spinach salad and two pasta salads.  And for the record, the wine went down nicely regardless of its price! 

The kids got treated to mini corn dogs and pirate's booty upstairs...

while the adults watched Andrew and Maria play the shoe game.  Jared and his sidekick, Price, were the MCs.


Each one of them was holding on of their shoes and one of their fiance's shoes.  When Jared asked the questions, they had to answer using one of the shoes.  Some of my favorites: "Who made the first move?" and "Who is the better kisser?"  Wonder how my own hubby would have answered those?!

It was a fun way to get everyone together and gave us some good laughs, too. 

Then it was time for the kids' favorite part of the night--presents!

Lila had a front row seat in Aunt Lyndsie's lap.

She got even closer to the action following baby Temple around trying to give her a pacifier about 32 times.

I was so glad that Taylor and her crew could make the party.

Lila was set on making funny faces for the camera.  I thought, why fight it?, and just decided to join in on the silliness, too.

It's so hard to believe that it's been almost 10 years since we were the guests of honor at our own couples wedding shower.  We're going strong and having a blast with each other.

Maria and Andrew got to take home a tree filled with words of wisdom and well wishes from their guests.  My advice: Be grateful for one another.  Laugh together every day.  Always say "I love you." And never forsake date nights, especially when you've got a few kids! 

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