A much needed "FAMILY" Vacation

It's been a tough year for us with my mom being sick and Michael having a long distant relationship...we felt it was time for a "Family" vacation!!! We were suppose to be going to Louisiana during the time that we had scheduled off but Michael and Allison were having some problems (they have since broken up). A year ago when we thought this might be our last summer vacation with Michael we all sat down and decided that we would like to go to a "Dude" ranch. When all the Louisiana stuff fell through...we picked right back up on that research from a year ago and called the Horseshoe Canyon Dude Ranch in Jasper, AR. (www.gohcr.com) After we showed up we were quite shocked that the owners and most ranch hands were Mormon...we ministered the best we could and decided to "enjoy" our vacation. God sure does have a sense of humor sending us to another Mission field on our vacation!!! :-) We started out our first day with each of us riding horses (one of the only places that I could find that would allow a 7 year old to ride on the horse on a trail by herself!) Larry had Bandit, Michael had Fabio, Heather had Applesauce and I had Apache, our wrangler Jennifer from AR took us out and I had about all the riding I could handle on that hour...we came back and I couldn't even walk. The next days passed all too fast with 3 GREAT meals a day, Michael climbing the 65ft Green Goblin, Heather doing an arena ride, Michael wrangling the horses at 7 in the morning, Heather going through a cave, Michael riding a bull...YES - I said Michael rode a REAL bucking bronco and Heather riding a sheep. It was a great time and we enjoyed getting to know the staff - Jennifer, Jessica, Joey, Nick, Johnny, Jen & Kat - On Sunday our time there was done and we headed to Branson, MO to tour the Titanic then to Springfield to Lambert's Cafe and to stay the night to hit Bass Pro Shop the following day. We had a great time and no one got "REALLY" hurt...Michael's first bull fell right over on his leg coming out the gate, his second bull stepped on his arm, Heather's sheep stepped on her arm and I slid going down the large hill from our cabin hurting my surgery knee...all in all - it was a GREAT time and we Thank God for the opportunity to go!!! We miss the ranch and our new friends - maybe we'll see them all again some day. PS. I am so proud of BOTH of my kids for stepping out there and trying new things...not letting fear hold them back. They both learned so much on this trip and I pray that they will keep their courage!


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