Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cloud 9 Ranch

Today we celebrated my Great-Great Grandma Elsie's 90th birthday! This was the first time she and his Great-Grandma and Grandpa Dickens and the rest of our family in Sullivan.

Ben and Great-Great-Grandma Elsie

I am so exited we were able to take this five generation picture!

Some of my favorite childhood memories are camping at Cloud 9 Ranch in Caufield, Missouri with my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. My family fished for trout and camped throughout the summer, and the children would fish, swim, ride our bikes around and spend so much quality time with our family. My students can't believe we would fry fish on a Sunday night, chase fireflies, sit around a campfire, listen to people play country music, and my little brother would dance like crazy. I can't imagine not sharing that experience with Ben.

Having a child has caused me to truly reflect on my own childhood and there are so many wonderful moments, such as camping with my grandparents, that I want to make sure Ben has the opportunity to experience.

My mom's side of the family shares such a deep appreciation for nature and the outdoors, and I hope Ben can spend at least as much time as I did hiking, camping, fishing, swimming and enjoying the outdoors of southern Missouri.

Ben and his Great-Grandpa Dickens

My great-grandparents, Silas and Elsie Weida, were the two happiest married people I have ever known. Grandma and Grandpa Weida spent so much time together laughing and joking around. They had traveled the country in their Winnebago, but during my childhood spend most of their summers at Cloud 9 Ranch their grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and numerous friends. My great-grandfather passed away many years ago and it makes me sad my husband and son didn't have the chance to meet him. I believed my great grandparents stayed so happy together because they each married their best friend. From this, I understand the importance of friendship and marriage and look forward to a life as happy as theirs, as I have married my own best friend.

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