Thursday, July 19, 2018

Big Girl Bed

Some milestones just really hit me.....and this is one of them.  Wasn't it just yesterday that we were putting the crib together in this room?  


This girl loves her crib.....she'd say it herself, but you could tell even if she didn't verbalize it.  All of our kids have just seemed to love the safety and security of their space...with their special blankets and animals.  And none of them were eager to transition to a big kid bed.  But to our surprise, when we mentioned it to Kyleigh the other day, she was very excited about the idea....as long as all of her special friends could join her :) 


So daddy took the top bunk off of Keira's bed and set it up in Kyleigh's room.  We put all of her new bedding on and she filled it with her stuffed animals.  She was SO excited to show her "new bedroom" (as she refers to it) to her brothers.  Her excitement is contagious, though I can't help but be a little sad that my baby girl is not a baby anymore!  And I'm feeling extra thankful that I have one more little one...at least for a little while!    

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Circle C Ranch

A few years ago we were supposed to attend a Cruse family reunion in Oklahoma....but baby girl ended up being due just a few days before so we weren't able to make it.  We went the following year and made plans to drive there this summer.  Well....baby boy decided to surprise us all and there was no way we were driving with a newborn....and also no way we were going to miss the opportunity to go again...so, off we went on a plane with our little four week old baby and three other munchkins....
To Circle C ranch we go!


We left home at 9am and didn't arrive at the ranch until almost midnight...it was a LONG day of traveling, but the kids did amazing!  They were so excited and took everything in...as always it's so much fun to watch them experience everything.  


Even the baby was a great traveler! On our first flight there were extra seats, so no one had to sit with our crazy crew....but the second, longer flight, it was full.  A woman we had talked to in the airport chose to sit by me, Kyleigh and Christian.  Let me just say that people have been blowing me away with their kindness lately.  She read Kyleigh books, played with her paw patrol figures with her, picked toys up off the floor repeatedly and was just so kind while I cared for the baby.  


The next morning we were greeted with the beauty of the ranch....


And the beautiful people that live there <3 


Having a newborn meant I stayed back here and there while the others went on their adventures...but I was truly blessed to be able to sit and visit with Luke's grandparents.  I could listen to them talk and share their stories and words of wisdom for days, and I always treasure that time.  Christian surely enjoyed it too, and Grandma was always ready and willing to hold him (no matter how much he screamed! And boy did he scream those first few days!). 


We were all so excited to see Grammy and Pa G, as well as aunts, uncles and cousins!  So special to be able to make memories with them.  Pa G is such a good sport, taking the boys to sleep in the camper or cabin each night....they were so excited for that!  I'm lacking in pictures with Grammy since she unfortunately had to work quite a bit, but we were thankful for the time we had with her as well!  



Kyleigh had so much fun with all of her cousins!  It was sweet for her to have little girls her age to play with!

  
So sweet!!


Kyleigh and her pal Judy!  All of the animals were one of our kids favorite parts of the trip.  They were in heaven, and I think the animals enjoyed the attention too (well, for the most part!).  


I watched Levi from a distance as he put one animal after another on this bench....one would jump down as he put another up....it went on for a while :)  Finally he stopped to take a break and here he sat, still surrounded by a few loyal friends! 


She loved those kittens!


The girls took good care of them.....plates full of chocolate milk!  They were a bit spoiled this week!


And "rides" in the buggy too!


They all loved petting and brushing Pa G and Grammy's donkey.  We got a bit adventurous and tried for a ride.  Kyleigh wanted to join Caleb, and we soon learned that the limit is 1 child per donkey.  Things turned into a bit of chaos immediately following this photo....and provided for a great laugh!


She talked about this donkey for weeks before we went....so happy to finally be with him!


Kyleigh was hanging out with Hocheminh, so I said "smile!" and snapped this photo.  She then proceeded to look at the pig and tell me that he wouldn't smile....so, sorry for the non compliant pig :)


Just hanging around with the mini horses


And the big ones too!


All the kiddos were always eager to feed the animals, and Grandpa was so great about letting them help! 


Collecting the eggs!


So sweet...he was so proud to bring the egg back to the house!


This sweet little man turned one month old while we were away!  I can't believe it's already been a month....actually six weeks at this point!


Daddy was so much fun!  He took them all on countless rides and many times on one-on-one adventures.....looking for dinosaurs with Levi and minicorns (aka unicorns) with Kyleigh....and the big guy got to learn to drive!  I waited until he'd had some practice and then Christian and I joined for a ride too...he did great!


Pa G made reservations for us to visit an elephant refuge!  The kids were even all able to pet and feed the elephants....such a great experience!



It was in the mid to high 90's while we were there, so we spent a LOT of time at the river and also visited another local spot one day!


So fun to meet our little nephew....he's such a happy guy!




These three kiddos had a blast....they definitely enjoyed the ranch life!


And this guy enjoyed all the love and snuggles....


Lots of special time with Aunt Lucy!


Levi ate up every bit of attention from Grandpa, Pa G and Uncle Tom....he was really in heaven.  There's nothing he loves more than big machines, tools and working, and men who will spend time with him and allow him to join in!



They were also great sports about "sharing" every bit of food or drink they tried to enjoy throughout the week :)


Grandpa taking Christian for his very first tractor ride at 5 weeks old.....little man wouldn't stop crying for him, so he brought him for a ride, and as soon as they got in, he was perfectly calm!


Everything is something to play with for these kiddos!


Sweet cousins!




We took advantage of all being together and got some family pictures, as it doesn't happen often!





Four generations <3


Grandparents and the grandkids!


As soon as Uncle Cody arrived, the boys both wanted his undivided attention...they were so excited to spend time with him! Kyleigh was too, it was so sweet to see!



Needless to say, when it was time to go it only took a few minutes in the car for them to be out!  And my kids are not car sleepers!


We decided to spend the night in a hotel near the airport to break up the traveling a bit.  It ended up being great....the kids were thrilled to swim again....


...and enjoy some late night snacks in bed :)


Lots of memories made with a lot of special people!!