Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gifts that Sustain: Part 1

Like I mentioned earlier this week, we went away this past weekend with our Family Bible Study group and had such a wonderful time. This place was perfect for families and just loads of fun!

I'll let the pictures do the talking with a few little tidbits of commentary from me throughout:

To start, the entry way was beautiful! Lined with beautiful trees and light. And, it was only the start.
The beautiful road led to this incredible lodge home on acres of goodness. The lodge was filled with everything under the sun that a group of families could ever want to enjoy!
The owners were so particular to not only the beauty on the outside but the beauty on the inside too! They wete was so attentive to details filling the lodge with Fall leaves and colors, pumpkins, and so many awesome antiques.
The play room was amazing! My boys immediately went to the drum set. Prior to this trip, my boys would grab anything drum-stick like and would drum their little boy hearts away. 

The drums were one of the biggest hits for our kiddos. They were there every chance they could steal, drumming and pounding away.

 Outside there was so. much. space. for all the kids to run free. Run, explore, play, and so much more!
 Tetherball!!! Be still my games of childhood heart!
 And a see-saw!!! A see-saw! Can you believe it! Heaven I tell you. The boys were in Heaven.
 Of course the cattle were fun for the kids. All the toddlers were moo-ing away.
 Oh! And, this pond! Filled with fish, a paddle-boat, two kayaks, and a boat. This was amazing and so kid friendly!
 Tire swings!! There were three but we really only needed one! This one red tire swing was the biggest hit.
 A play set.
 This photo below is one of my favorites. I love the light, trees, and angle.
 And, this one. Photos of Linus not throwing a fit on this trip are gold.
 These brothers loved the tire-swing and I loved seeing them on it together. Enjoying and making memories that build their sibling relationship. It was all kinds of wonderful.
 Do you see this fun??
 Oh and the inside of the lodge! Like I said, gorgeous!
 Drumming. Drumming. And, drumming some more.
 I love this other photo too. I was trying to use my camera as much as possible to practice capturing what my heart sees. This one was a heart-capture.
 As was the one below.
 Oh and this beautiful, precious girl. Friends, this sweet girl is the sweetest! She is incredibly adorable, filled with so much awesomeness and loved by some amazing parents, siblings, and their friends. Nothing compares to the beauty of this little sweet one.
 Haha, and to contrast, this was our little Linus a good majority of the morning on Saturday. Poor little guy is cutting some molars and just having such a hard time. Being able to distract him with all the goodness was helpful, but he gave us a run for our money a few times. See that look in Dada's face? Haha, I do. And, I felt it with him.
 Yay, heart capture! The boys had so much fun having their daddy all to themselves.
 Ohmagoodness! This place had a mini-play house for all the littles. It had an AC as well as electricity! What??! Kids were all in Heaven. There was a pretty neat little loft in it too.
Daddy grabbed a photo of me and the boys. Their faces are pretty accurate to the weekend (Poor little Linus!). 
But, this last photo captures how much fun these two truly had! So much fun, so much love, so much goodness!
I can't even begin to tell you how blessed we are with the friends that brought us to this place. So many smiles and laughs were had. Solidarity among the women and guy time for all the dads. The kids had a blast with each other and I just love seeing them together. Growing and laughing, exploring and enjoying each other.

As much as this time at the ranch was such a gift for us that shared so much beauty and family fun, the friends we went there with are the gifts that make any trip so worth it! We could go anywhere with this little group and feel the same gift of nourishment and love. Their friendships are the gifts that are so good and sustaining during the ups and downs of parenthood (Because, let's be honest, there are major ups and downs with this gig called parenting!).

Love y'all so much and the ones who couldn't make it, you were missed!!!

I'll be sharing photos from our second day tomorrow. I tried to capture as much as I could! So, be excited!

Have you ever taken a trip with family friends? As a group? With all the kiddos?

The cost divided between us all made this trip so affordable! Especially once you divide food responsibilities and if you are able to pick a fairly local location!

Excited to share more photos tomorrow!

Linking-up with Cari for Theme Thursday because I really tried to do a good jerb with these photos; with Like Mother Like Daughter, because there was so much pretty, happy, funny, and real all weekend long!


  1. Ah, we've been trying to make that happen with friends for a while! It's so tough to find a place that is affordable but that will accommodate everyone and not be too 'rustic' for us picky folk! So glad you were able to do this!

    1. Definitely! There's a couple in our group that are so great about doing the research and finding places for everyone. Otherwise, we end up making a weekend trip to one of our friends, mother's ranch. She has enough room to fit us all (mind you some end up on couches depending on how many of the families are able to go) and that is always fun too. All you really need are open spaces, room space, and a kitchen :) Hope y'all are able to find something soon!

  2. That looks like a lot of fun and wonderful photos. Breathtaking. =)

    1. Thanks so much, Natalie! I've really been enjoying taking pictures and really trying to capture what my heart sees (so much harder than I ever though!).

  3. Praise God for the moments of fellowship. May they sustain you until next time.

    1. Lena, this group has truly been such a gift!

  4. Ha, I love the look on your son's face when he's on the see-saw! And the "heart-capture" drum shot is precious.

    1. Yay! I love those shots too! :) So happy we live in a day and age where we have cameras and can capture this goodness!!!

  5. Such gorgeous photos! I think the second one and the one with the two boys on the drum are my faves. :-) I remember when we were younger we went camping (across the country!) with family friends of ours. We had 9 kids and they had 6. It was crazy! But so much fun. :-) I don't know if I am brave enough to do that now. LOL.


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