The plan was to take our first family vacation as a family of 5 during the summer. I should know better. The new plan is to have this baby at the start of the summer and not attempt a family vacation with a newborn. So we decided to take a vacation, our first and last before our family grows once again, this spring and return to Rocking Horse Ranch where we visited last year with the boys. Since we loved it so much and knew it would be good for all ages, it just made sense, and I'm so glad it worked out this way! It was such a special time for us to get away and just focus on each other without any distractions. They're all at great ages to really enjoy just about everything the ranch has to offer, so they dove in and enjoyed everything wholeheartedly....which as parents, is so fun to watch!
Soooo much jumping, and flipping...and jumping and flipping.....
Even this guy was much more brave this year, doing his first back flip! He had a spiderman shirt on the first time and everyone was calling him spiderman. As we walked away he whispered to me...."they really think I'm spiderman mama!"
After a couple days of observation, Levi decided he was tired of watching. The staff were so patient and sweet with him as he stood there, refusing to jump or bend his legs!
They swam and swam and swam....often playing with the other kids there and soon making friends that they played with throughout the week....so cute!
We spent a lot of time at the playground and Levi loved every second in that sand box!
She is so sweet, always including him and making sure he gets to be a part of everything!
Every night there is a show with some type of entertainer....the kids loved getting to dance before it started....we enjoyed getting some good laughs.....
I'll spare Caleb and Keira as they may not enjoy the general public seeing their dance moves (who am I kidding, Caleb would love it...but Keira is in them too)...but Levi won't mind....for now....
Our kids are big nature/outdoor lovers, so this really is the perfect place.....
Her first family vacation....she said it reminded her a little bit of our time in Kiev, though this was better....so nice to be able to just love on them and make memories together!
The weather could not have been any more beautiful for being outdoors!
He couldn't reach the pedals....and my legs hit my ever growing belly every time I pedaled.....this pairing was not too well thought out, but I got a good workout in and of course enjoyed time with this sweet boy!
I made sure to take my big helper the next time :) We were actually on an adventure to find the balls that she had accidentally hit into the lake....we didn't have much success but had ourselves some good laughs...it's so much fun having a daughter!
A relaxing ride on a kayak suited Caleb much better!
We all took our turn shooting.....
Keira caught on fast....she's determined when she tries new things....and she did really good (much better than I did)!
Caleb wanted to play rock, paper, scissors while we waited....though I'm not sure he'd ever done so before. Luke said "shoot" at the end and Caleb instinctively held up his "gun." He was baffled when Luke asked what he was doing. Oh how I'll miss this age of innocence (and lots of laughs).
And of course there was horse riding....pony rides for the boys, but this year we were able to take advantage of the trail rides since Keira is old enough. She was beside herself with excitement. The first day, her horse sort of had his own ideas....he left the line and went his own way in the beginning....poor girl, she looked so bewildered. Luke said she looked scared the entire time, but she came back raving about how fun it was! Day two she was much more at ease :)
They are always SO serious when riding....
What is this, you may ask? Oh just our caterpillars in their chrysalis...of course they hadn't emerged by the time we had to leave, but were set to do so any day....so they came along......
And of course, within a couple of days, they emerged...... It's a good thing we sleep with a sound machine or we would have gone nuts listening to them all night.
We've made progress! We were able to get through an entire game of mini golf, while all staying at the same hole and waiting for one another.....crazy! As for progress in our skill....not so much.
So fun to see this boy tackle things that he wouldn't have dared just a year ago....and do really well at them too!
Keira, Caleb and Luke were playing wii so Levi walked over to the worker at his desk, grabbed his hand and pointed to the oversized Connect Four. He's so bossy! But this kind man humored him and spent quite a while playing...so sweet!
Her first time toasting marshmellows....the first few may have been a bit overdone....and ohh the faces over the smoke and heat.....too cute.
And from Levi we heard "hot, hot.......hot......hot.....hot...." with some pointing to the fire and some more "hot....hot....." He likes the words he has mastered.
Caleb prepped the marshmallows on the stick ....and then ate them. No toasting allowed.
Let's just say none of us slept very well the last night......so everyone piled in our bed that last morning...but they're still all smiles! (Well almost all..) I love the appropriateness of Luke's shirt....
The last thing we did before leaving was to release our butterflies in this field.....they were SO excited and enjoyed the culmination of this project (I would so recommend doing this...it's the simplest thing!) They chased the butterflies around the field until we couldn't find them anymore, and then headed home.... I'm so thankful for this time away together and the memories we made!