Sunday, September 2, 2012

Annual Summer Visit with Sasha, Nina and Jake

Mark and me with Sasha, Jake & Nina
at the Ashfall Fossil Park
We had a fun week with our young friends who make an annual visit to our little ranch. Sasha, Nina and Jake are now 12, 9, and 7 and have been visiting us for three summers. We look forward to their visit every year and I always try to think of age appropriate fun things to do. This year we visited fossils, 'tanked' the Cedar river, went to the movies and did lots of cooking and baking.

I learned to cook and bake at a young age from my Mother and it gave me such confidence and self esteem. The kids always bake with me and help me in the kitchen so this year I taught each of the kids to make a meal on their own for their family. 
Jake making 'his' meal of Pigs in a Blanket
and fresh fruit salad.

Sasha made fried chicken.
Nina LOVES watermelon as you can see!
She made Breakfast Banana Splits for her
meal made with bananas, berries, Greek
yogurt, honey or jam and nuts,
yum and healthy.
Sasha made her favorite, Raspberry Pie.

Each girl made 'dirty feet' with the left-
over pastry and cinnamon sugar. I have
cookie cutters in theshape of feet and
when the kids were very small I'd bring them
these treats and they loved them. Now they
are making them after making pie. I am
so proud of these girls and their baking skills.
Jake loved to help make pancakes,
especially chocolate chip when I let him
add the chips
Sasha made one batch of oatmeal cookies
and then she coached her siblings so
they can make them at home.

Nina LOVES making bread. She is mixing
up two batches, walnut and rosemary.
Nina kneading the bread and Sasha is
The Wild Bunch at Ashfall Fossil Park
Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park near Royal, NE is designated a National Natural Landmark. "Nearly 12 million years ago, hundreds of rhinos, three-toed horses, camels and other animals died and were buried  by volcanic ash around the edges of a watering hole in what is now northeast Nebraska. Still locked in their death poses. the amazingly well preserved skeletons of these prehistoric beasts lay undisturbed, wrapped in a blanket of jagged glassy particles, until the 1970s when scientific study of the fossilized remains began". An 18,000 square foot 'Rhino Barn' protects part of the deposit, where skeletons are uncovered and displayed exactly where they are found.
This place is worth the trip. It is interesting and the countryside is beautiful.

Nina and Mark reading about the
three toed horses.

A picture of how the waterhole
may have looked before the disaster
along with a few skeletons.

The Fossil Barn
Jake and Nina did some of their own
digging in the new demonstration barn
Tanking is floating down a river in a round stock tank, steered by two long steering poles. 
Nina steering the 'tank'.

Picnic lunch on the river.
The river float was 2 hours for a 4 1/2 mile ride. It was fun. Next time we'll bring the water guns! 
Mark fending off Jake who is determined
to soak him.
Playing on the shallow sand bar where
the tank got beached.
We enjoyed our regular days too. Kids played with the toy box, read, played with Buddy, played on the swings and watched some TV. All these things are more fun at somebody elses house.
Sasha helped fold towels while visiting
with Mark.

Nina was out several times a day with
the animals. She would whinny and the
mares would whinny back. They formed
quite a bond of trust.
Nina with Buddy and the babies saying
Until the next summer visit,


Anonymous said...

Looks like you had great fun with the kids! You were very close to my home place that I grew up on if you went Hwy 20 thru Orchard & Royal. I have yet to visit Ash Falls. Never seem to get there when I'm visiting family. You are quite a "hostess with the mostess". They are lucky to have you to teach them these things. You are building great memories for them. Glad to see that Sasha is doing well. JoAnn

Faraz said...

I really miss you Delores. I always read your posts and I wish we could be closer to your place and enjoy all this beauty with you.