Yesterday we took the kids out to the farm to four-wheel.
But the kids did more exploring than anything.
Papa dug a pond out in the pasture this fall. They loved walking out to see it and then venturing down by the creek to see the tadpoles.
They crawled up to the top of the barn into the hay loft and roamed throughout the old rustic building.
Jake, Alex and Hannah made a playhouse out of an old cattle trough with a lean-to over it. Beth and Lucy dug out treasures leftover from the farm sale a few years back and made a play area on the bag sleeping porch.
And then they just hung out. :-)
The dog (our old one - which we gave to my dad when we moved to Iowa so the kids still stake claim on her - named Queazy - because we all had the flu when we named her) caught a rabbit and drug it around, still twitching, and then she ate it. Yum.
Both ways we were able to see the "where the buffalo roam" at Maxwell Game Preserve. They were right smack dab next to the road where the kids could see them in plain view! It was so awesome. And just after the curve in the road where the buffalo were spotted we saw a bunch of deer. We even HIT deer once upon a time on this stretch of road.
I love the farm. The scenery is breathtaking. The memories are deep (my great, great grandfather Isaac was the first owner of the land and then passed it on to Tobias, whom jake is named after, and then Elmer, my grandfather, and now Wayne, my father.)
Something inside me comes alive when I step foot on this ground. It is peaceful and to my kids, who've lived in so many different houses, the farm seems to be the only constant "home" they know.
...the best gift of the season arrived - unexpectedly!
Our dear and wonderful friends, the Sterns, stopped in on their way through Kansas heading back to Iowa after Christmas festivities. It was a glorious treat and our hearts are so warm today just thinking about the special time with these friends.
And for a few short hours last night it was as if no time had passed. The kids picked up where they left off and the moms and dads talked like it was Saturday night after church at small group again. (minus a few great families!)
Jake literally picked Aaron up when he saw him and swung him in a circles.
And these two - it was just sweet. (until they left - and then there were a few tears)
David and Karen - those kind of friends where your house can be messy and they don't care. You can be yourself - say what you think, be who you are - and they still love you. These are authentic people. Two people I am so grateful to call friends.
Rachel, Bessa and Beth
All of our kids - both families with 3 girls and 1 boy. The boys have to stick together. :-)