I believe that this was the first year ever that all six of Doug and his siblings were represented at Danny and Alene's for the fireworks picnic. We had a blast! We were able to visit and gab until after midnight with family and friends. One of Doug's favorite guys from the YSA, Dallin, had come by to visit us at home earlier, so we invited him to come along. Quayd and Dallin really connected. He had a great time talking missions with him and before the night was over, Quayd said that Dallin's the big brother he's never had. (Quayd really wishes that he had a big brother to chill with. He often regrets that he's odd man out where the girls are always together and are best friends.) I only snapped two photos of family because I was too busy gabbing with everyone at the fireworks evening. I didn't realize it until it was dark and time for the "boomfires" to begin.
It's funny. The babes called them "Boomfires" when they were little kids. We have not really called them that for years, but for some reason, this year, we called them "boomfires" more than fireworks this year. I think we are all feeling a bit nostalgic with Quayd leaving so soon. It was mostly joking, but I kinda like it.
I live for fireworks every summer. I LOVE them! Doug...not so much. He says, "If you've seen one, you've seen them all." I think he's just teasing me.
I thought I got some pretty cool pix this year.
Kelly joined us this at Danny's for the fireworks. It was the first time she'd seen the family since Zaylee's adoption. I was overwhelmed by the kindness and love shown by the family. She felt totally comfortable with them all again. She'd mentioned that she wasn't sure she could face the family yet, a few weeks ago, but I texted her just before dinner and let her know that she was welcome and she came.
It was really and truly our best year yet at Danny and Alene's! The food was fantastic and everyone was there! Loved it!
On Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early and Doug and Quayd headed to the Cache Valley Cruise-In, which is a huge antique car show. They had never been together. Doug and I used to go all the time, but over the past few years, not so much. Doug's life-long best friend, Tex, was showing a car this year, so the men went to bond and see the cars until noon. Doug was thrilled to visit with Tex and he was very impressed with Quayd's interest in cars. I'm so glad that they had this opportunity to spend some time together doing "man" things.
While the guys were off, the girls and I loaded everything up and got ready to head to the ranch for a few days. Alan and Jill joined us. We stopped at their home on the way and the kids were having a ball playing with Red, their big standard poodle, which Jill has offered to us. No thank you! One doggie from now on. Then, they played in Uncle Alan's garage. Alan and his boys have rigged up so many cool contraptions, including a bona fide rock climbing wall. I teased that we would never leave for the ranch if they kept playing with their "gadgets". Oh, they love Uncle Alan and Aunt Jill!
The ranch, as always, is our heaven on earth. The kids just loved every second of being there. They swam in the river and watched movies and played their own kind of games while the grown-ups played Quixx and watched moves and ate ourselves silly. Doug and I did take a short walk down to the river at sunset for me to take a few pictures. I would love to have walked further but I told Doug that the mosquitoes were too bad to have to sit and wait for him to go get the truck to come back and pick me up!
This place is heaven.
No matter which direction, it's heaven.
Here's a shot from the river looking at the cabin and homes. I never noticed how much the trees have grown around the homes. Heaven.
On the way back to the cabin, we stopped and visited with the horses. Doug was loving that! And so were they... begging him to scratch them some more!
These two, in particular were loving the attention!
The mosquitoes are worse than we've ever seen them this year! It's a long sleeve kinda place to be right now!
This little colt was adorable!
And this big guy started chasing him. He ran straight to his mother!
Two weeks ago, when Carol and I were up at the ranch, we saw a whole heard of this animal out in one of the pastures. At least 8-12 of them. They had long long necks and I knew that they were not cattle or llama. I had mentioned them to Doug and he wondered. We mentioned them to Alan and Jil and they teased that it was a giraffe. So, while walking back to the cabin, we noticed something way off in a distant pasture. At first, we thought it might be something inanimate, but then we thought it moved. I said, "I think it's one of those things Carol and I saw!" We watched for quite some time before it finally did move enough to notice. Then, it took off and jumped the fence to another pasture and then another and then another. It jumped like a deer. It was too big to be a deer. At one point, it stopped before it had taken off and we zoomed with my camera to see if we could come home and enlarge it on the screen to know for sure what it was. We'd told Alan and Jill and everytime I looked out a window, they'd tease, "Are you looking for your giraffes?" Turns out, it's a female elk. If you ever wonder, as you are driving through Idaho, there are no giraffes roaming in fields of Idaho.
The cabin is looking good! In less than two weeks, it will be ready to live in again!!!
ZJ was on her phone, typing her story. There's no cell reception with ATT on the ranch. Being unplugged isn't so bad.
Grace is always thrilled for a chance to read. She brought one of her favorite childhood books and reread it over the weekend. Brandon Mull... Candyshop War.
Alan and Doug kept Quayd pretty busy moving furniture and helping with little odds and ends. Alan is amazing and talented, as I've mentioned, with his hands. He's always building something, concocting something, working on some fun creation. He is also a great teacher, so I enjoy watching him describe how and why he's doing things. Quayd just loves him! I loved watching them work together on different things this weekend. Quayd helped move all of the furniture out of the loft to prepare for the new carpeting there, as well as the cabin. Quayd also enjoyed time in the river and "filming" in the empty echoing cabin.
Zeej kept entertained with Zulu, who's not quite sure what to think about the ranch. GoGo knew the word "Ranch" and would go crazy whenever he saw us packing the coolers and loading things in the entryway before we left. Zulu, not so much. But, he and Zee had a good time together anyway.
Doug never goes to the ranch that he doesn't pull the noxious weeds around the cabin. I was upstairs and snapped a shot through the new screens that Alan replaced while there. All new screens equals less flies and mosquitoes! THANKFULLY because the mosquitoes were killer this weekend!
The sunsets at the ranch just couldn't be any more beautiful... each and every one!
One tradition we've had at the ranch for decades, since the bigs were little, was to go outside, late at night,and get the mining trains to honk, as they pass the cabin on the tracks above. They go by once each way, twice each working night. Never in the daytime. We are always awake and the minute that the girls feel the rumble of the barely moving train coming (usually over 100 cars long), they run outside and flash the back porch light off and on, make the honk sign with their arms and wait. Usually, they engineer makes their night with a long horn honk! Sunday night, he rang a bell, as well! It's so loud that it's frightening! You'd think that they were five years old. Truth be told, most of the adults go out and yell hello and honk too! It's tradition!
We came home last night, unloaded and barbecued some burgers, brats and hotdogs because it was still the Fourth of July. We settled down and watched the Patriot, in honor of the holiday, and then Forrest Gump until it was bedtime. It was a perfect weekend!
It's been crazy busy, trying to fill the days with mission preparations and memory making as we go along. Quayd had really wanted to spend some time at the ranch before he leaves. Check! We're just keeping busy and getting things done! He's working on his talk for Sacrament Meeting. It actually coming along quite well. He's a bit anxious about everything... I mean anxious, as in, "I can't wait to get this show on the road!" I may have said that already. I'm posting in bits and pieces as we run from list to list. I'm working on his brunch that will follow Sacrament Meeting for the family, on his Open House for friends and neighbors later that evening, on getting the girls ready for girls camp next week and on trying to prepare for Liza and her family to join us for Quayd's farewell. Life is so good! CRAZY! INSANE BUSY! BUT OH SO GOOD!