With ranch roads too snowy and icy for a safe horse-drawn wagon ride, we improvised and kicked the weekend off by building snow-people, garnished with fruits and vegetables, which revealed that play and creativity are powerful weapons against Friday afternoon stress.
The snow-people were true works of art, ranging from a clown to a diva to a cowboy, with a frequent refrain of, "I haven't made a snowman in 15 years -- this is so much fun."
Stacia and John enjoyed bonding with Buckaroo during the Connect with Horses activity, a chance to get to know Sylvan Dale's horses, up close and personal, taught by Karen Burbank. Some participants couldn't wait to get their hands on a horse, while others overcame considerable fear to lead a horse around the barn.
Late afternoon was spent in the kitchen, with an info-packed cooking class taught by certified natural food chefs Shelley Hillesheim and Tammy Gould.
The group had a blast making a five course real food/whole food dinner that was delicious and healthful, while learning prep tips and strategies from Shelley and nutritional info from Tammy to incorporate into their kitchens at home.
Saturday after dinner and Sunday morning allowed time for reflection about what was learned and achieved during the weekend, with instructors Leslie Cancilla and Laurie Fonken providing a game plan for overcoming obstacles standing in the way of each students' goals which included meal planning, healthy cooking, exercise and strengthening relationships.