The memorial weekend took us five hours east to New Mexico
where the Nielson family owns 9000 acres of sprawling rangeland.
The objective of the trip was for the menfolk to build a barn so the big Nielson
family can have a large area for social gatherings and dancing.
Jane really enjoyed going for rides on a "side-by-side" which is
basically a souped-up golf cart.We took many rides across the gorgeous land
searching for bones, Indian ruins, and pottery.
We also found a baby rattlesnake sleeping on a rock in the warm sun.
It's still too cold for them to be out and about.
Oliver and I sat on the front lawn at the homestead while Christian, grandpa,
and his brothers did some gardening.
Jane brought a darling little pink cowgirl hat and she
wouldn't take it off, which was nice since I always knew where she was.
Christian and his brothers worked hard and used serious muscle for this project.
They managed to build a barn all in one day.
It would have made the Pontipee brothers proud.
(You know from the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers?)
When the sun was getting low the boys all returned to the ranch house for dinner.
Mary had delicious chili and seven homemade pies ready to devour.
Mary is a saint in every way and I regret to say,
but I didn't help make any of it.
I really need to step it up.
Claire was always so busy running around with cousins.
She wouldn't hold still for any longer than it takes to wipe her nose.
Sadly, this is the only photo I have of her on this trip to the ranch.
My favorite part of the ranch trip was when Christian and I searched
the land and picked us out a quaint little area
two miles away from the homestead.
Someday we hope to build our own little frontier there.