Monday, August 31, 2009

First Bus Ride of the School Year

I am always late to everything, so for the first day of school, I was late. I was running around trying to get three kids dressed and ready to go, all before 7:30 am. School starts at 7:45 and I really needed them all in the car and buckled by 7:25 if I were going to be there on time. It was just not happening. I did manage to get one picture of Little Cowpoke on the first day of school. But I just waited until the first day the kids rode the bus to take pictures. I know, this picture is all out of focus, but it was cute anyway. I was having camera issues that morning. It was really humid outside and my camera kept fogging up. I even had set it outside 25 minutes before I wanted to take pictures and it still was fogging up. Little Cowpoke was pretty excited for school. He was all about going once a day or so, but he goes to Pre-K five days a week from 7 am until 3:30 pm. Little Cowpoke thinks it is a bit much. I was so excited for him to wear his uniform. I love his tiny tennis shoes!! They are so cute. I was all excited about those because all my kids wear are cowboy boots, muddy boots, or flip flops. And if anyone can tell me what I can do about the washed out sky in all my pictures, I would love to know, it's driving me nuts! Now, one may ask where Big Cowpoke is? Well, Big Cowpoke did not want his picture taken. He was being an old stick in the mud. See that happy face? And see the fog on my camera lens? I swear, the south is like living in a tropical rain forest! It's so humid. But the bus was coming and the kids were excited about getting on the bus. I love how big Little Cowpoke's book bag is! It's the same book bag that Big Cowpoke used in Pre-K and Kindergarten. I am a cheap mom and refuse to buy new book bags every year. If the bag doesn't have a hole or a broken zipper, they have to use it! And now that they are both gone from 7 am to 3:30pm it is quite and I still don't get anything done.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kids Just Being Kids

A while back the kids had a riding lesson. They all get to warm up together. It's so neat to see how far a long all three riders have come. Last year the two boys really didn't want to ride at all. So, to see them out there having a great time is really wonderful. Their riding lessons are pretty informal. They warm up for a little while and then they work on some of the playday events. Trying to perfect their patterns. I just love watching the kids ride. I really love to go to rodeos. It amazes me how many wonderful kid horses are at rodeos. The first time I went to a kids playday rodeo, I was really impressed with the riding ability of the children and with the horses they rode. It's really amazing how a kid can just click with the right horse and just take off, learning new things and wanting to ride. Just look at that smile!! Last year my little nephew was not riding with that big of a smile. He has come a really long way since last year. You just gotta love those steady, wonderful, big sorrels. After a little warm up the kids all take turns going through the pole pattern. The kids have been working really hard. It has been really hot and humid outside and they are up there or about two hours and working their tails off. You can see how sweaty Gunner is. You can also see his paint spots. He is such a neat little guy. And my little niece loves him. They even got to ride into the night. The moon was really cool. The pictures were really pixally, but I think they still look really cool. It was a good lesson. The kids all have a good time and they really have been riding a lot better. I used to love going to lessons.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Millennium's Southern Belle

Monday, August 24, 2009

Last Day at Elk Mountain Ranch

Saturday morning at the Ranch was beautiful. The weather was just perfect. It had been a bit slightly overcast and there had been some talk about rain, but it held off. We did get to wear our rain slickers for one ride. Which I thought was fun. I never have ridden in the rain before. I have always been too afraid to get my saddle wet. I know, I am a dork. The last "Cowboy Conference" for our week. While the Wranglers were deciding which groups they were going to be taking out the rest of us sat up in the bleachers waiting. Then Martine came walking up. She just cracks me up. She came waltzing in the arena with the funniest outfit. Tom and the Wranglers were cracking up. We were all cracking up. You see the Wranglers are very "Cowboy" like and for Martine to waltz in there with her "Outfit" on was funny. Tom said, "I hope you brought some pants!" She did, but it was a good joke. Me and Mr. Cowboy admiring the view. Our trail group. We had some really good times. Oh the stories, the jokes, and the fun we had. Oh, and you see that? See Billy? I swear that is all he ever thought about. And you know he wasn't starving. He was HUGE!! And trust me, I didn't let him eat, he was just a sneaky little bugger. We made it back to the Ranch for a little Rest and Relaxation, then some lunch. Mr. Cowboy and I walked around a little while before we had to go to lunch. I took some random pictures and just enjoyed the little walk. We made a small loop around the top of a hill and back down to the lodge and waited for our picnic lunch to start. Caleb was helping set up Lunch. It was fun to just sit back and relax. I think Caleb has a dream job. I really wish I would have thought about being a Guest Ranch Wrangler while I was on summer vacation from school. It would have been so much fun. Mr. Cowboy and I sat back and watched some of the Wranglers rope. Poor Sarah was just walking by and Jason started to chase her. I think he might have missed!! Sage got a good throw in, and then Mark, my favorite Englishman, had a go. He actually picked up on it pretty quickly. Just don't look at his form, he was roping with a little kiddie rope that was way too short. And this is what Mr. Cowboy looks like when he isn't stressed out from work. Can anyone else see why that black cowboy hat might have had me hooked? Sigh........... Lunch was ready! We were having BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, fruit, and pasta salad. It was so good. After lunch we had one last afternoon ride. We had the choice to stay and watch the kids' rodeo or go for a ride. I opted for the ride being that I get to watch kid rodeos every other weekend. Two of the Wranglers dress up as rodeo Clowns and have a really fun time with the kids. I think everyone in this picture looks really thrilled. Even the horse looks unimpressed with my picture taking. We got back from our afternoon trail ride with plenty of time to get ready for the candle lite dinner. That is my really cheesy grin. That is what happens when Mr. Cowboy gets a hold of my camera. Each night a few of the Wranglers get a night off. The week we were at Elk Mountain Ranch was the same time the "Big Daddy of all Rodeo" was going on. The Cheyenne Frontier Days. So, the Wranglers and staff would take their night and day off to go up to the rodeo. Mr. Cowboy had a good time all week asking about how some of his old riding buddies were doing. Sage and Jason were headed up to Cheyenne for a good time. It sure sounded like a lot of fun!! Mr. Cowboy and I took the time to visit with Tom and Sue for a little bit and then we went and got ready for dinner. After dinner we all got a group shot. We really had a great week. The Wranglers and Staff were awesome and I couldn't have asked for a better vacation. Tom and Sue have a beautiful family and a wonderful Ranch and I am so thankful to them for sharing it with everyone. I think their two kids are really lucky to have been able to grow up at the Ranch. They spend their summers at the Ranch and the Winters down in town. And "town" really isn't all that big. Some day I will have a summer mountain cabin. It will happen. Theses were all the kids that were there that week, plus Tyler and Hunter. It was a bit rainy Saturday night and it was raining on Sunday when we left.

Thursday, August 20, 2009