Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year's Fun at the Ranch

Last week, my men and I retreated to the ranch where we were met with beautiful sunrises,

Brisk mornings,

And lots of mud.

The first part of the week was spent with our youngest daughter and her husband, along with their two dogs. Dayton was eager to shoot a little skeet.

Not one to be outdone, I made sure I got in on the fun.

My grandpups, however, were not so impressed.

While we were shooting, number one son was busy transforming this cedar log into a work of art.
He works with a gallery that uses the pieces in high-end homes. 

Things really got lively when our oldest daughter and her family showed up, though.

Brycen is the oldest.

Then Caden.

And Gavin.

Then there's this little mischief maker.
Elijah was ready to have fun.

So, we went for walks.

Watched the cows.

Watched the cows watching us.

There were puddles to be jumped in.

And hikes with a big brother.

Do y'all have any idea how much food one must prepare when there are FIVE teenage boys to feed?
I made multiple pans of biscuits.

A gazillion pancakes.

And countless other items, culminating with a big ol' smoked brisket on New Year's Day.

Have I ever mentioned that the ranch sits outside of a very small town? So small that when you visit the grocery two days after Christmas expecting to pick up some frozen garlic bread, you may find yourself having to improvise because the shelves have yet to be restocked.

But necessity is the mother of invention, right? So I grabbed a package of brown-and-serve rolls (it was the best I could do), brushed them with melted butter infused with garlic, then sprinkled them with a bit of shredded Parmesan and Italian seasoning and voila.  
They were gone in a flash.

Speaking of flashes, I forgot to mention New Year's Eve.
How's this for a bonfire?

I'm not sure what number two son is reaching for, but this looks suspect to me.

 Yes, we had a fantastic week. 
And from where Big Daddy stands, 2016 is looking pretty bright, too.


  1. It looks like you had a memory-making New Years! What fun - kids, dogs, cows, mud...what more could you ask for?

    And thanks for the garlic bread idea. :)

    1. Jan, I'm sure it will take me until Easter to get the floor clean in the camphouse, but the memories will remain much longer.

  2. So nice of your family to be considerate of entertaining the cows! I'm sure they'll have lots to talk about for a while.

    And all that mud + dogs --- how many paws did you end up wiping off all week? Oy! Sounds like perfect family memories for sure.

    1. There were six sets of paws total, Kav. Though they didn't necessarily get wiped off. We tried to teach them to wipe their feet, but to no avail. :P

      I'm sure the cows enjoyed the entertainment. Especially when said dogs decided to try and herd them.

  3. What a fun week! Thanks for sharing the photos, Mindy. I always enjoy seeing your family trips!

    1. You're welcome, Missy. Consider me in recovery mode this week. ;)

  4. Looks like a great way to start the year.

  5. I love this glimpse of your ranch life, and so happy that you had family all around you. After raising 4 sons and being a go-to spot for team dinners for years and years, I think we re-mortgaged our house twice just to feed them, and I'm only sorry to say I'm not kidding!

    But no one starved! And they all had a good time and built great memories, so that's what counts.

    I love feeding a crowd. It's like being an army cook, and it makes the people pleaser side of me so stinkin' happy!!!

    Glad you had a great time!!!

    1. I'm with you, Ruthy. Cooking is how I show my family I love them. It makes me happy to see them happily stuffing their faces. And I hear you on the second mortgage. I think I spent more on food last week than I did all of my Christmas shopping. No complaints here, though.