Our family bikes~ it's our sport! Yesterday kicked-off our 5th race season! We love that this is a true family sport...we all bike and our bigs race. Hobbs State Park~ 'Battle for Townsend Ridge' is the first race of the season and it's always a great, fun day. Yesterday was no different, the weather was perfect and we got to see lots of friends that we've missed over the very LONG winter!
Carrie is ready!
Cason is ready!
Carrie is 9 and this is her second year to race. She was AR State Champ in 10 & under last year. She took 1st place yesterday. Cason is 12 and he took 2nd in state last year. He raced up to the Cat 3 Male 13-14 class and had some tough competition. This year will be extra tough! 12 riders started in his class [13-14] yesterday and the top two riders are looking strong! The kid that won it whispered in Cason's ear right before the start, "I'm going to beat you this year." Cason smiled and nicely replied, "We'll see." That kid took 3rd in state last year, behind Cason so I think he's seeking [friendly] revenge! They are friends and it's all in fun! Cason took 5th yesterday and he said he wanted to train-up and catch the top two next race! Katelyn is 15 and she also took 2nd in state last year. She, too, raced up to the Cat 3 Female 19-39 class. She took 5th yesterday and was disappointed. She's been extra busy with school and her NC trip to Tennessee, so she said she is ready to train and take 1st this year! I'm proud of them for having a 'wanna get better attitude' and not a 'I quit' attitude. I think it will be another great year for Team Pool!
Spring brought warm weather and color to our land. Beautiful little shoots of green grass, native plants, little violet flowers, and tiny buds were everywhere. It was so exciting to see the landscape change with the new season. It was a gorgeous slice of God's creation and it was time to make it ours, so we decided to build a rustic pavilion to picnic under. The previous owners had poured a concrete slab to place the metal buildings, so it was a perfect place to build the pavilion.
This picture shows where the metal buildings had been. It was at the base of the hill, perfect spot for a pavilion. Hubby and Cason found the perfect sized trees to make the post, while the rest of us picked up rocks. The rocks were used to fill the cages, that stabilized the base of each post. Our land has an abundant source of native rock! LOTS & LOTS of rocks! This is Ozark country...where Laura Ingalls Wilder named her farm 'Rocky Ridge'. That name makes complete sense to me now! ;)
Here's the pavilion being built:
Why can I not find a picture of our finished pavilion? I must have one. It has been a wonderful addition and we have used it many times over the last three years! If I do not find a pic, I'll take one soon. We also parked our RV on the concrete slab, where the house had been, and hooked it up to the electricity and sewer that was already in place. Having a restroom and a place to camp has been great!
Once the snow melted grass began to grow and it was easy to see the beautiful slope of our land. Our beautiful, trash-filled land. Yes, trash...LOTS of trash. The snow had hidden it all! It's hard to see in the pictures, but it was everywhere...small pieces (hundreds of cat food pouches!) and large items like tires, TVs, and dishes!? There was once a house on the land, but it had burned down years before. All that remains is a slab. The previous owners had a large 'dump' in their backyard.
There was also lots of scrap metal, two metal buildings that were falling apart, and an old, broken down truck. We had a local ministry come get all the metal. They came out and loaded every single bit of metal...it was fun to watch them work and unbelievable how much metal they fit on their trailer, including the truck! They use the money to fund an orphanage in South America, so it was a huge blessing to them and us. Too bad they can't turn in trash for money.
With the metal gone it was time to tackle the trash! We made a plan and waited for the first nice weekend to go out and have a BIG clean-up day. At the time, the kids were 12, 9, 6, & 3 [I was a few weeks pregnant with Carter]. The older two were the most help, but even the Littles were able to pick up a large amount of the trash. We worked all morning and had a picnic lunch. It was fun and felt good to see the progress.
We moved to Arkansas in August, 2007 with a plan to purchase land within a few years, but for various reasons the right patch had not been found. In early January, 2011 Greg and I were driving the backroads of Missouri, and dreaming. Talking about our desire to own land, but after a very L-O-N-G search we were feeling discouraged...what we thought would be very easy had not been easy at all and we were beginning to wonder if our dream would ever come true. That's when the miracle happened, as we rounded a bend, on a dirt road, there it was...a For Sale sign, not a typical for sale sign, it was actually a paper plate nailed to a tree with words scribbled in a ball-point pen, '6 Acres For Sale' with a phone number. The small writing could not be read from the road and when I told Greg it was a for sale sign he laughed, but did pull over...
I knew by the smile on his face that I was right. We called and sure enough the land was indeed for sale! We pulled up to the closed gate and looked as far as possible without entering the property. The land was beautiful with gentle slops, a dry creek, and a large hill. We were very excited! A month later we were the proud owners of six glorious acres in Missouri...the adventure had begun!