Easter on The Ranch



We spent Easter Sunday on the ranch together with just our little family - a rare event coming from big families on both sides! We had intended to go to Easter mass in Fort Jones - even stopped by Saturday to check the time at the adorable little church in town! - but after a late night at the neighbors the girls were all sound asleep at 9am and seemed ambitious to get up, fed, dressed and have pleasant church goers ;)

but the Easter bunny still found us!


and then we had an egg hunt up behind the house


my Ukrainian egg attempts. Not winning any awards here ;)


the girls found them and hid them all again 


JJ in her finest Easter ranch wardrobe


her curls are the best after she actually has a shampoo ;)


and this kid made fast friends with a pet Lizard - carrying it around everywhere and insisted on bringing it home in a Tupperware habitat with straws for air holes. #sorrylizard


and there were many lizard shows. JJ was Francie's loyal assistant (just don't ask her to hold the lizard)


I love my view from the cozy couch in this little cabin :) happy Easter!


and another reason to celebrate - the end of Lent means Heff and I can drink our road trip Diet Cokes again, woohoo! ;)


Camping with Dad

While Maisie and Tess and I were in Europe - Francie got to go on her solo camping and fishing trip with her Dad! (and JJ got some Oma time... which means Oma got asked 100 questions an hour for 2 days, thanks Oma!) I got these awesome photos from Heff via text - so cute to see my big girl having SO much fun with her Dad!! They caught 30 (yes 30!) fish and kept this one for dinner.

a stop at 5 Dot Ranch to check out our meat purveyor

the first night of camping it was actually pouring rain... so they stayed at Oma and Opa's cabin at Lake Almanor. and played THREE hours of board games. Francie could play all night - and beat her dad as often as she could :)

and the next morning - a successful turkey hunt!

Heff's Birthday Party


For Heff's big 41 this year we had a mellow day with the girls and then hosted a birthday dinner with some of his friends at Bumble. We had a special Valentines dinner for the kids in the playroom and a white linen pre-fix menu for the adults to sit back and enjoy - it was delicious and a fun way to mix it up at Bumble for a special occasion... Heff's birthday of course (Valentines Day who?)


One of the families that came had three girls, 9, 7 and 5 but Francie clung on to the oldest like glue ("it's an oldest thing mom") and thy claimed one of the adult tables as their own for a sweet little dinner date :) the converstaion was amazing since this girl HUNTS with her dad. (pretty much maide Heff's birthday this relationship blossomed )


little girls with their buddies Emily and Tracy


and it's not a party until JJ breaks out the Wild Turkey


Duck Hunting Girls

Heff took the big girls to Chico for a duck hunting expedition a couple weeks ago (finally uploading pictures from the little camera!) He drove up with Francie, Maisie and Janie to Red Bluff and left JJ sleeping at Oma's when he left with the girls at 5am to hit the duck blind. They were pretty excited to go and loved seeing the decoys, ducks and riding four wheelers - but it got pretty cold out there!

still dark out with one of the guys who took them out - they are crazy!

in the duck blind

love these faces on both of them

love the pink accents on my hard-core camo chicks

they got three big ones - don't worry they didn't miss, those "live ones" are decoys :)

they have a pretty good dad to take them out on his duck hunting trips (and I'll admit he's pretty lucky they put up with it! I went once when we were dating- it's COLD and EARLY in the morning)

they had a good dog out there to fetch the cold ducks, Francie would have gone after them but Heff told her there were Jellyfish in the pond (KIDDING! :)

It's COLD Dad!

Francie asked to ride with the guide - so he took her on a wild one :)

driving fast through the orchards with a pup on the grill. awesome.

Maisie cam (or JJ?) driving to the next stop that afternoon

JJ checking out the loot back at Oma's house

they went to Llano Seco Ranch to check out their cattle operation -

the girls found the feed barn

love this shot of Dad talking shop while the girls played in the corn feed

not a bad playground

Maisie just stopping to enjoy a stale rice cracker they feed the pigs

RELAXING at it's best

cold drizzly day in Chico (perfect for hunting those birds!)

them hogs. BIG hogs

bam bam

Adventures with Dad

Brian has taken the girls on a few fun adventures lately while I get to snuggle Tess at home! Two weeks ago they went on a day trip (5am in the car!) to Greenfield and Paso Robles to pick up a new BBQ for our new house and a trip to the gun store. Totally normal things to do with Dad right? ;)

JJ making sure she likes the one we got

three rag-a-muffins in the gun store

taxidermy - just like the zoo. only different

Francie wants a job ;)

and I have to login to Heff's account to get these pics but they also went up to Red Bluff for a weekend while Heff fished with his buddies and the girls played at Oma's - nice catch dad!