Monday, January 31, 2011

A trip into town

      Today 5 out of 5 of the Warnocks are recovering from colds, sinus infections, and ear infections. I am actually trying to rear three children with no voice at all. Gotta tell you, whispering works! My voice that I raise so often does not work and I have truly found such freedom in it. Remember that, whispering for the day is a nice alternative.
    A common question I am asked is what do I do when we need to go to the doctor.  Well, all five of us went two days ago. I am a mom that is actually relieved when we go ahead and ALL are sick at the same time. So, Saturday morning we woke up and my sick husband and myself got all three munchkins out the door and drove an hour and a half to the nearest "after hours" clinic.  Another unexpected convenience is the after-hours clinics, because atleast we get to all cram into one room at the same time and knock it all out in one place. After getting three prescriptions filled and stocking up on everything from frozen waffles to baby, toddler, and adult Tylenol, we made it home from our usual 5-6 hours in town. As you can imagine, when you live so far from civilization, every aisle at Target seems to be stocked with "necessities".  Does anyone else experience rapid heartbeat and sweaty palms when checking out at Target?  But, we made it home and are now able to open up our own self-sustained pharmacy.
     You know, the first year I lived at Lost Valley I dreaded driving that hour and a half and most of all, the 9 mile dirt road again and again. But after three years of learning what it means to surrender, I am actually appreciative of the memories we've made in the car and quality time we spend as a family. Tony and I make the most of every trip and I have found we're more intentional with our time because of it. I have been blessed to listen to my eldest three year old girl carry on a conversation with herself in the very back of our suburban for over an hour, I have participated in my two year old son's dance parties to No Doubt, I get to enjoy the smile on my youngest babe's face as he takes in all that is going on around him without even making a peep, and I am privileged to converse with Tony as we listen to the 80's and 90's stations on Sirius in order to relive our "glory days".  I am thankful that my family is adaptable and I am thankful that my children travel well now because of it. Trust me, I still have my days of cussing every bump in the road and crying as two of the three children throw up in the back all over my car. But, as I write, I realize that the Lord has used that 9 mile dirt road (which is also called our driveway that takes 20 minutes to drive up) to shape and mold my family. 
       Moms, try to turn your jaunts around town into your 9 mile dirt road. Turn off the dvd's and maybe host a dance party instead. Find out what their favorite colors are, the highs and lows of their day, and take a few minutes to list out loud the reasons you are thankful for each of them. You will have sweeter memories because of it and so will they.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Join the Herd

  My herd right now includes my precious and busy family that are the loves of my life, my adopted staff that can number between 30-60 guys and gals that serve this ranch so faithfully, my close family and friends all over the country that have supported us over the years, our loyal guests that puts the "Guest" in "Guest Ranching", and now the blogging world that may be curious about what the heck I am doing.
   Even as I type this first entry, I am sitting this morning in our double wide with one munchkin crammed in the same chair I'm sitting giving me no elbow room, another munchkin who just learned how to crawl all tangled up in his footed pajamas exploring on the floor, and my oldest munchkin lounged on our couch zoned out on her Leapster learning life skills that I should probably be teaching her. 
  I want to reach out to the moms of this world trying to survive, to the families that are living lifestyle jobs that are not the norm, and to all of you who do not understand what the heck I am doing out here with no cell phone coverage. Through lots of counseling, I realized I have had a deep desire to be known and understood and ironically I live a lifestyle that not many understand, so here is my first attempt to make that happen.  
    I will be telling you stories of the ranch, giving you ranch recipes, documenting my journey as a wife, mother, mentor, and hostess on a guest ranch. Even right this minute, I could probably give you insight into my life by telling you how the highlight of my life right now is my brand new front loader washer and dryer. This is my first new washer and dryer to own and it is changing my life. But, instead I thought I would give you some insight into what exactly this ranch is. 
   Lost Valley Ranch is a family owned, four diamond, cattle working, Colorado guest ranch that has been operating under the Foster family name for 50 years. It offers horseback riding, cattle drives, fly fishing, hiking, trap shooting, great food, and is one of the most family friendly vacations you can book. My husband and I met here about ten years ago and now we are managers on the ranch with responsibilities in about every area of the ranch. My favorite part of my life here is that with an extroverted personality like mine, I can walk out my front door and be surrounded by people to live life with. But, the ironic part is we are an hour and a half from town and other civilizations. So, we have created as best we can our very own community out here centered in the middle of God's glorious creation. Along with our staff, we eat, work, sleep, socialize, and play all together at the ranch, which is why I call it a "lifestyle job".
   If you want to find out more about our ranch, click on the "Ranch" tab in my menu bar and check out our website. Please "join my herd" and tell your friends about me.