The second day of our vacation found us back out at Cousin Billy’s farm. We had a great time riding a couple of his horses. Kelli has always enjoyed horseback riding, but Daphne, in particular, really took to it. After several trips out and back being led by Billy or Jimmy, Billy decided to let her take a shot at holding the reins, so he took off the lead and put a bridle on the horse. Then he explained to her that the saddle horn isn’t for holding on to, it’s for your rope. You hold the reins. She did a great job and quickly learned how to guide the horse to where she wanted to go. As I write this, it’s been about three weeks since we were there, and she’s still talking about wanting to ride again! Meanwhile, Sophie was having a fantastic time playing with the baby kittens that were in the barn. We did get David up on a horse, but I was forbidden to photograph the momentous occasion. I suspect that in the future, it will be Kelli, Daphne and myself that will go off horseback riding while Sophie and David find something else to entertain themselves.
Of course, there’s lots more to do on the farm. After brushing the horses and putting away the tack, we all climbed into a couple of trucks and headed out to a part of the farm that’s about 5 miles away where Billy built a small lake, complete with island in the middle. We started off fishing off the docked boat there. Annette had told Sophie, who proclaimed that she’d never caught a fish, that “everyone catches a fish at our lake.” Sophie replied “Well, we’ll see about that.” We all laughed, but as it turned out, Annette was absolutely right. All the kids caught several fish. Of course I had to take the fish off the hook and throw them back because they were tiny, but everyone had a great time. Anna took the kids out on the lake in the paddle boat (and I think she did most of the paddling). Then after a while, Billy took off his shirt and dove off the docked boat into the lake. This was all the kids needed to start bugging me to put their suits on and swim in the lake. The four of us girls all had a great time swimming, kayaking, diving off the floating platform and just generally splashing around, take a look:
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After wearing ourselves out with all the water activities, we went back to the farm house for dinner. In true Bracker form, Annette put out an incredible spread of food. After dinner, Sophie and Daphne went up to the Chicken Coop for a while. Daphne is actually really good at catching the small hens and picking them up. Once we had all the food cleaned up and put away, Billy got out the four-wheeler and took us on a bumpy and super-fun tour of the farm. The highlight happened about half-way through when one of the dogs rustled a turkey out of a big patch of grass and chased it for quite a ways. Billy pulled up to where the turkey had been and started looking around. Sure enough, that turkey had been sitting on a nest. Billy found two of the babies and decided that they would make a great addition to the Chicken Coop (if he could get Annette to say yes). So he put them in the box on the back of the four-wheeler and we started to head home. Sophie and Daphne thought for a moment that they were going to be able to bring them all the way back to Kansas. I told them that they had to stay at the farm, but maybe we could visit them again in the future. Luckily, Annette agreed to keep “Patches” and ” and I’m sure they’ll have a wonderful home, at least until November…
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Here are all the pics from that day, click on the thumbnails to see the full image: