Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ranchin'...Naiser Style!

After this past snowy Friday (Yes, snowy.  It snowed for nearly four hours in Boerne on Friday morning, very exciting even though nothing stuck), we enjoyed another break in the weather!  This past weekend was still chilly but had lots of sun!  We got to spend this glory at another ranch with our friends the Naisers.  The kids played so hard and only came inside when we made them.  They played so hard in fact, that Penny even took a nap at school when she went back (she never does that.)  The weekend was marked with lots of sunshine, wildlife, polaris rides, sitting by the fire, rock throwing, puddle-jumping, walking and running around.

The kids just couldn't get enough of the old truck in the yard.
Penny had a blast jumping in "muddy puddles."
"Dad!  Look what I found!"
This little one basically made the switch from crawling to walking over the weekend.
Geology nerd shot.
I always get a kick out of photographing these two.  It's easy to catch them looking like they are up to something.
Picnic time!
Thanks again Naisers!  We had a great time!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Break in the Weather = Ranchin'!

Last week was the beginning of a break in the cold, wet, icy, nasty weather we'd been having.  Kids and parents were both overjoyed and relieved to spend some time outside!  We took advantage of the 70 degree weather and a school holiday to head to the ranch for two nights.  We enjoyed lots of sun and a weekend spent with Ma-Mas, Pa-Pa, and Uncle Clint.  
This little boy was beyond thrilled when for the first time he got to watch Daddy (and Mama, and Pa-Pa, and Uncle Clint) shoot a rifle.  He has been extremely curious about guns and shooting ever since December when we let him watch "A Christmas Story" for the first time.  We thought this was an excellent opportunity to teach him about gun safety and respect.  (Though it made this Mama a little sad...he is getting too big!)
Penny will not be left out!  While she did not enjoy the loudness of shooting, she did enjoy her new pink safety glasses and ear protection and wore them most of the weekend.
Ranchin' baby!  This little girl could be found taking tentative steps on the porch or on Mama's or Ma-Ma's hip for the weekend.  Here she is trying to figure out a kid's chair.
And she got it!  Lounging on the porch and basking in the sun?  No problem!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Goodbye Sweet Ralph

Amongst all the fun and joy of the holiday, we had some sadness too.  Our sweet black lab Ralph passed away just a few days before Christmas.  Ralph by far was the sweetest dog I had ever known and we all miss him.  For nearly 14 years Ralph was the companion of first David, then myself and my dog Dooley, then the kids and Brewster. Ralph was a typical lab in that he was sweet, wonderful around children, and LOVED the water.  Ralph enjoyed anywhere he could run free, chase things, fetch things, or find good chewing sticks.  He was happiest at the beach, the lake, the ranch, or trying to "worm" up into a warm lap.  (Not easy as he was 85 pounds in his heyday.) I believe all dogs have souls, but Ralph's was easy to see.  We love and miss you Ralph!
Ralphapotumus Maximus Duderino Kirk
aka "Ralph"
February 1, 2001-December 22, 2014
How Ralph the car or anywhere, he wanted to be as close to you as possible.  Back in 2003 when David and Ralph moved to Corpus Christi, Ralph rode on top of the stuff in the fully packed car so he could see and be near.
Ralph enjoying a favorite spot.
Being a good sport for a Christmas photo with his life-mate Dooley, whom he lost this time last year.  It feels like the end of an era of sorts...both of our first "kids" are gone.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Everybody Had a Holiday!

We enjoyed our first Christmas in Boerne this year!  We stayed busy and had LOTS of visitors.  It was fun to enjoy the holidays in a place that actually has seasons, even if cold weather isn't our favorite.   Ma-Mas, Pa-Pa, and Uncle Clint joined us for Christmas Eve and night and we enjoyed the good company, good food, and good fun building legos and playing with toys.   After Christmas we spent two days in Houston visiting Nonnie and the cousins.  After THAT we had several old friends stop in to watch the Aggies win their bowl game.  And after THAT the Eggers joined us for New Year's!  We were so thrilled that we got to spend so much of the holiday with so many people! Such a great way to end the year!
Cooper and Penny got to play in the hot tub on Christmas Eve.   Ellie wished she could too!
Santa came!  Three kids and three extra people visiting meant LOTS of presents!  Our cups ran over this year and we have a ton to be thankful for.
The after picture...
Coop got a camera for Christmas!  We can't wait to upload from the Cooper-cam!
The name of the game this year was legos.  Penny really enjoyed Uncle Clint helping her build.
We spent the weekend after Christmas in Houston.  Here is Nonnie and all six of her grandkids.  This was another two days of good company, good food, and good fun.  (Nonnie and Mama got a kid-less trip to the fabric store, and Mama got a quilt binding lesson.  Two extra presents for Mama!)