Monday, August 21, 2017

Traditions and belt buckles

We finally unpacked enough boxes that I decided it 
was time resume our usual traditions, such as Pizza Night.
And it was also time to start new ones like Exploring Saturday. 
 (I know it's a cheesy name; I can't think of anything more clever).

Pizza night is an important family tradition
because we've been doing it for years,
 and I knew it would really help us feel settled--
as much as possible right now, anyway.
The oven at the ranch house oven is tricky to regulate 
, but I figured out how to make pizza perfectly.
  We must also build an outdoor pizza oven in our new homestead.
Every day I wake up in this beautiful place and stare at so much land, 
land that I am dying to explore.
Each early morning weekday, I find and run a new trail
 and one morning, after a beautiful run, I came home
and talked to Mr. Nielson about spending our Saturdays
 as a day to explore the ranch as a family.
So last Saturday, after jobs were completed, we jumped on the wheelers and 
Mr. Nielson took us to a place northwest of the ranch headquarters 
where we hiked around dry river beds and rough rock formations.

The sky was dark and ominous as we stopped under an
overhanging boulder near a huge fallen pine tree to eat our lunch.
We had to be back in time for Clane to leave and attend their first
 youth dance with kids from several other areas of New Mexico and Arizona. 
The dance was about 2 1/2 hours away, so I drove the girls to the
 local Dairy Queen, where they jumped in the car with other
 youth and church congregation members. 
 They had tears in their eyes when we said goodbye because they
were not too keen on the idea of the whole event.
Mr. Nielson was adamant they go and meet other kids their ages.
 I was so proud of them for being brave and doing it.
Plus, you can do anything with your sister as your bestie.
Around 12:30 a.m. Mr. Nielson drove off the ranch road
in the thick darkness back to the 
Dairy Queen parking lot where he picked up Clane.
 I stayed up until 1:00, waiting for them to come home to tell me about it!
The report was: the first few hours were rough (get to know you games, 
dancing in front of others--you know things teenagers typically hate-
well, my teenagers, anyway). 
But the slow dancing part was fun,
and the girls met some cute friends (boys, too!).
One of my girls (not mentioning any names) 
danced with the same boy (not mentioning his name either) several times. 
Sounds like they really hit it off, and she was really excited.
He also wore a big belt buckle, and she swooned!
(I sure wish I had pics of the evening).
But I did happen to take a picture of the evening sky
and cotton candy clouds.

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