Our little Caroline joined the Children’s Choir at Hosanna! church a few weeks ago. With just three rehearsals, she and her choirmates rocked Palm Sunday! They sang their little hearts out at all three (!) services. Each time, through proud tears, I couldn’t help but think this is what it must have been like in Jerusalem so many eons ago. Hosanna! indeed, Jesus. Way to ride right into the hotbed of Roman rule to preach God’s words.
I now feel braced for the events of Holy Week.
After all, you can’t truly have Easter unless you also go through Palm Sunday and Good Friday. That’s God’s grace.
The area in and around Big Sky, Montana, is a magical place for our entire (and I mean extended!) family. One of the most memorable evenings is at Lone Mountain Ranch for their Sleigh Ride. Years ago, Greg’s brother Curt proposed to his now wife on the sleigh ride! This year didn’t top that event, but it was filled with wonderful moments…
Our Maître d’
We were greeted by Wayne, the resident dog (don’t tell him that), who took his maître d’ responsibilities VERY seriously. He politely welcomed each of us individually, accepted some ear rubs, then ushered the kids over to his draft horses (I believe the beautiful Belgian draft horses belong to the Ranch, but don’t tell Wayne that).
Beautiful (and flirty!) horsepower
We met the gorgeous horses who would pull our sleigh up the mountain for our dinner … and get us back home.
My sis-in-law Janelle and I had time for a little wine (don’t we always?!) before we snuggled into our sleighs.
Of course the horses wear sleigh bells, so we jingled our way up, with a few stops for them to rest.
Candlelight makes everything better
Then, we arrived at the rustic (not electricity, no plumbing, no gas) North Fork Cabin.
Inside, a Prime Rib dinner with entertainment by Bruce Anfinson, his guitar, and his delightful songs about Charlie Russell, huckleberries, home-grown tomatoes and the state he so adores: Montana.
Our group settled in for the amazing family-style meal of locally grown delicacies….mmmm….
My favorite, of course, the fresh Montana blueberry cobbler with hand-whipped whipped cream. Enjoyed with people I so adore and appreciate, while a great musician sang and strummed. Did I mention Montana is a magical place?
Too soon–yet just right–it was time to board our sleighs for the moonlit ride back down the mountain.
And that, my friends, is how you celebrate the magic of Montana. Sweet dreams guaranteed!
What did our family do on the first weekend off from our own kid’s hockey season?
Drove 328+ miles to watch more hockey!
Moments I’ll forever remember from our
Road Trip to [one of my] Home Sweet Homes (aka North Dakota):
The kids, along with cousin Adam who we picked up in Fargo, so excited going into The Ralph. Matty literally skipped up the walkways. Love that boy.
Visiting with my colleague Susan, in seats from my colleague Linda (Thanks, Linda!). Love these smart professional ladies, and don’t see them often enough since I work remotely. Another reason we work together so well? We all love Sioux sports!
A little date time with the best souvenir I ever found in North Dakota, hubby Greg (the kids sat in other seats with other relatives). Ah, the times he and I have spent watching Sioux hockey … 21 winters now!
Thinking about my father-in-law, a veteran, in his seat across the arena, as we all proudly watched Former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha ceremonially drop the puck before Friday night’s game. He’s only the fourth living U.S. soldier to receive the Medal of Honor. As it turned out, that was by far the most exciting moment of the game. Here he is in a more somber moment, Feb. 11:
Watching our Caroline talk her Grandpa’s ear off during the game, and seeing him smile and listen and laugh. Generations bridged!
Listening to my mother-in-law tell stories about my husband and his youth hockey days. I never tire of those tales!
Thinking about how much fun our daughters had staying overnight with Gram and Gramps.
Watching our nephew Adam play in his final tourney of the season in Fargo ~ Go Freeze!
Settling in for Saturday Night at The Ralph ~ MUCH better game with a little of everything, including OT and the bittersweet Seniors Night!
Finding one of our middle-schoolers’ classmates at The Ralph (we’re actually surrounded by UND grads and fans in Lakeville):
One last hockey game on Saturday morning for Adam and his Squirt teammates. Barn burner that went to OT.
A weekend of memories from a very special place I’ll always proudly call one of my home sweet homes.