Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Though we have had a mild winter, it feels as if it would NEVER go away!  Finally the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming!  We are staying busy with school, soccer, dance, girl scouts,  and cub scouts so the time is slipping by.  More and more we are outside enjoying our yard and pining now for summer...

April 1st.
Crazy little hail storm one day after one of the warmer days of the year so far.  Gotta love spring in Texas.
Kids enjoying the outdoors one warm evening.
The baby chicks are growing!  They have been enjoying some free-range practice in the evenings when the weather is nice.  We have eight chicks in all, though two are being raised for a friend.   We expect to have 13 laying hens by July. 
Penny enjoys the bluebonnets on her recent Girl Scout camping trip to Kerrville-Schreiner Park.
Our rose bush in bloom!
Bluebonnets in our backyard.  We have three times as many as we did last year!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Easter at the Ranch 2016

The tradition of a Graham Ranch Easter continues!  Lots and lots of Ma-mas's family joined us for a weekend of being together, typical ranch activities ("hay" ride, fires, good food, tent camping) and Easter events.   Cooper, Penny, and Ellie had several other kids to run around with and everyone had a blast!  
Hey!  Who's driving???
Ellie uses the bug box as her "purse."
Happy girl plays with the bubble machine.
Penny, Ellie, Caden, and Cooper dye Easter eggs.
Ellie held her own against the big kids in the Easter Egg hunt. Her basket was just as full!  
Cooper got a little bit competitive.
Penny finds an egg hidden in  a tree.
Obligatory after the hunt shot.
What did you get??
Ellie enjoyed the giant marshmallow filled eggs.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spring Break 2016

The first part of the week was spent in Corpus Christi.  Pa-Pa heated the pool so the kids just swam and swam.
Such a little fish!
Penny LOVES the pool!
After Corpus Christi and few quiet days at home, we traveled to Houston to visit Nonnie.  The kids had fun at the neighborhood park.
They ran themselves ragged!
A great shot of Coop!  You have to catch him, as he is in that funny stage where they try a little too hard to smile for the camera.
As if park, Nonnie, and cousin time wasn't enough...the kids had fun on the slip-n-slide.
Sweet Ellie.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Girl Scouting with Penny

This past fall Penny became a Daisy Girl Scout and she is having so much fun!  Mom loves it because Girl Scouts is something that she gets to enjoy one-on-one with her biggest girl!  We have done LOTS with her troop so far.  Penny loves to "do activities" at the meetings with her fellow Daisy which involve crafts and games that center around a character building lesson.  We have also helped with a holiday service project of wrapping toys for children in need, attended a day camp, attended the Christmas Party and gone camping.  Penny has also really enjoyed selling cookies and has really worked to meet her goal of 100 boxes.  Ellie and Cooper both have enjoyed joining us on golf cart rides around the neighborhood selling and delivering cookies.  Penny is enjoying being a part of girl scouts so much I felt it needed a shout out...
Penny on her first Girl Scout camp at La Jita Girl Scout Camp.
Painting her ceramic Christmas tree at the Girl Scout Christmas Party.
First night on our February camping was so cold that she earned her Penguin patch!  (Camping in temperatures below 32 degrees.)
The first activity while camping was archery.  Penny was really proud of her shot to the teeth of the zombie target.  (Seriously, I have no idea why zombies are an appropriate archery target at a camp for little girls.  But, I digress.)
Lunch time selfie!
Penny at the storybook tree.  
And the pinnacle of the trip...horseback riding!!!!!  This was Penny's FAVORITE part of the whole trip.  We may be at the beginning of a little girl horse obsession...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Winter Ranchin'...2016

Apparently we like to go the ranch in January.  Right before I posted this I realized this is the fifth year in a row I have posted about a ranch trip in January. We had a family tradition going on here and didn't even realize it! We just hadn't been to the ranch in awhile and just felt like going.  The little jeep was the name of the game this trip, as ALL THREE kiddos took turns driving.  This was big because Penny has never wanted to drive before, always preferring Coop to chauffeur her around.  However, once Ellie took an interest in driving, Penny was not to be out done!

Girls on the go.
Look who thinks she can drive!!
Love this face.  That is all.
This old pro is getting a bit big...
The other ranch tradition...playing in the dirt.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy 2016!

Christmas 2015 did not disappoint!  We had lots of guests, gifts, friends, family, food, and fun in our house!  Ma-Mas, Pa-Pa, and Uncle Clint joined us for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and Nonnie came to visit the day after Christmas.  Our break from school and work flew by because we were in constant motion! After Nonnie's visit we weren't done!  Our friends the Naisers joined us to watch the Aggies play their bowl game (disappointing, of course) before we all headed out on New Year's Eve Day to go to the N-Cinco Ranch!  It was cold but so nice to get away, be outdoors, and decompress after the holidays.

Just one of our activities over the holidays...We also shopped, went to the movies, attended neighborhood holiday parties, played outside (Thank you El Nino for so far a mild winter), and vegged out to countless Christmas movies on DVR.  
Mornings on the porch.
Santa came!  (And so did the kids.)  Penny and Ellie were THRILLED with the Barbie Dreamhouse, Mom not so much with the fights that ensued.  Cooper couldn't believe he got his very own Red Ryder BB gun, golf club and ball retriever. 
Feeling festive and getting into big sister's new markers...
 Christmas night.
The guys played darts in the garage, the kids played with their new toys, and Ma-Mas and Mom just RELAXED.  
Nonnie came after Christmas and took this rare shot of all five of us in one spot. 
Penny hams it up at the ranch.
These two outdoorsmen had the most fun out of anyone.
Nine days apart but on the exact same page.