Closing the curtain on summer - cows, curls, and cuteness.

Labor Day weekend is considered the unofficial end of summer. Around our house though it kinda seems like summer ended two weeks ago when Annie started back to school and we started what will be our routine for the next nine months (our garden apparently did not get this memo as we still have tomatoes, bell peppers, banana peppers, and sweet potatoes coming out of our ears).  However, we are always up for a long weekend so we were more than happy to celebrate Labor Day.

We headed out to Sayre on Friday afternoon.  We had rodeo plans and needed to get Denver a belt for his belt buckle that Papa had made so we stopped at Cavender's before picking Annie up.  We looked at and tried on multiple pairs of boots for him but apparently chubby baby feet aren't really designed for the traditional cowboy boot.  The only ones that wouldn't be a battle to get on were so big that when he walked he acted like he had cement blocks on his feet and had an exaggerated heel-toe gait.  Since he's only really been walking well for about a week I decided against throwing him a curve and we left the boots on the shelf.

After gathering Annie up from school we hit the road.  On our way stopped and brought chaos to Granddad and Grandmother's house for a couple of hours in Yukon and had a pleasant visit. We then hit Johnnie's in El Reno to introduce Denver to one of the finer culinary tastes in life - a coney with slaw.

He's a fan.

Saturday morning Denver, Brynn, and I went with Papa to check on the mama cows and their calves.  This was right up Denver's alley.  There was dirt, bumpy rides, and animals all of which he appreciates. He had fun riding in the pick-up but really enjoyed the all-terrain vehicle (named the Beast by Papa) and had no fear when it came to seeing the cattle up close.  Brynn was a helpful older cousin and taught him how you feed the calves and how to throw dirt clods. 

We then had a tea party and spent most of the afternoon inside because Labor Day weekend is only the unofficial end of summer.  Here in OK it is HOT HOT HOT and we still have a few weeks of stifling weather left.  

That evening we ventured outside to play on the trampoline, ride in the wagon, and listen to the coyotes howl.  We also got to see our Cowboys put up a good fight against the number 1 ranked team while we did our Sunday best prep which consisted of Annie's first round with sponge rollers.

Sunday brought church, dinner, and a nap for most (most not including myself as Denver scheduled his naps at times when everyone else was awake but was ready to play when all the others were resting).  We then ventured out with Papa again to check calves, water, and put out feed. 

While "helping" Papa out Annie was pleasantly shocked that she is no longer scared of the cattle, enjoyed riding along and driving the Beast, and had fun helping spread the feed out in the trough.  Brynn, clearly taking after her mother and being a natural-born teacher, showed us that checking water consisted of flinging some of it out of the tank and splashing in it to accurately ascertain that it is in fact water the cattle have to drink.  She also proved to us that when you are riding with Papa and driving it's not necessary to keep your hands on the wheel or even actually watch where you are going. 

On this venture out with Papa Denver got his first (and many more) taste of alfalfa pellets and much to my dismay seemed to enjoy them just as much as his coney with slaw (seriously he must have eaten 2 or 3 and bawled when I took I was taking them out of his hands and fishing them out of his mouth).  He also got to dip his feet in the water tank and was not happy he couldn't get all the way in.

Afterwards we got ready to go to the Elk City Rodeo.  Denver was cute as could be in his first pair of Wranglers and his new belt which in my opinion made him look like he was ready to leave home and had me once again thinking why-oh-why do babies have to grow up so quickly?

The girls put their sparkly boots on because that's what cowgirls do (according to Annie cowgirls also like cherry Sprites from Sonic too).

Man alive it was windy! They had to cancel the guy parachuting in because he probably would've ended up in Kansas the way it was blowing.  These are pictures before we had a layers of fine, red, dust and grit all over us which only added to the authenticity of the event.

Unlike the rest of us this was Denver's first rodeo so the bronc riding had him wide-eyed.  He seemed confused as to why someone would want to ride something that clearly wanted them off their back.

After a couple of events Dustin and Jenny took the kids to the ride the mini ferris wheel and mini horses and Annie, who is always shopping, found this item to complete her outfit and Nana agreed that she needed to have it.

Understated fashion is overrated - OBVIOUSLY.

The next morning while we packed up our stuff the little ones played outside with Nana.

In a mere two weeks this guy has really mastered walking and is all over the place now.  Don't fence him in.

Then it was time for this cowboy and cowgirl to ride away.  As you can see from Annie's expression saddling up and heading home was her least favorite part of the weekend.

Goodbye summer - we appreciate the lovely lingering days and sweet memories you've given us.  We'll wistfully wait for your return as we enjoy the beautiful seasons and moments that come between.

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I'm blessed with fun days, happy moments, & precious memories...this is where I store some of them.