Much of Thursday was spent running around doing errands in St. Johns. We had a little shopping to do, including buying shoes for Xavier. He somehow managed to not tell me until after we arrived at the ranch that his shoes were so small and tight that he couldn’t even walk, he could only “wibble-wobble”. He was in desperate straits, and that of course put ME in desperate straits because it meant that I had to somehow find, amongst the 5 million items they carry in the Dollar General, a pair of shoes to fit him. Unbelievably, I found success – with a little help from a store employee (thank you, my friend!), and he was able to put on a comfortable pair of runners, and hand over his “wibble-wobble” shoes to Jordan, who was also wearing too-small shoes. Whew! Two kids in new shoes for the price of one (and that was only $8.95!) After shopping, we had lunch at the Whiting cafe, then ran around trying to find a place to fix a trailer tire that had picked up 4 nails on the way in to the ranch.
By the time we finished in town and got back to the cabin it was mid-afternoon. More play time! The children made sand mud from water draining from the sink, and I was amused to watch the cycle as they would get all muddy, wash their hands, then get muddy all over again.
Thursday’s sunset was equally, if not more, fabulous than the night before. God must take a special delight in giving such beautiful gifts to his children!
Friday morning we noodled around a little (have you noticed how Ruben is suddenly mugging for the camera? Ridiculously cute!) and then took a drive to the big wash to explore for a while. Stopped to take some pics of moos along the way, of course.
The wash is luxuriously green this time of year – even when not much else is. The kids always revel in the freedom of running up and down the wash, disappearing into the tunnels in the trees, scaling the mud walls, wandering far and wide but always sticking together. My favorite moments were Paul shepherding Ruben through the trees and down to the wash, and how the children all worked as a team to get Ruben up the crumbling bank of the wash. So sweet!
There are billions of ants on the ranch, and it’s tricky to be a kid and play in the sand without getting attacked. Efrain was the unlucky one this trip, and after he’d had a traumatizing experience with a big, nasty black ant getting up inside his shirt and biting him several times, Paul decided to take the camera and go bug hunting. I love a good bug pic more than anyone, but there’s no way I could sacrifice myself to get these macro shots the way he did. Huge props to The Man!!