Mom made plans for us to pick up Cruz, my great-nephew, from my brother’s house, so we could all have some time with him before we return to Virginia next week.

We drove down to George and Kathy’s, and Cruz was out with his grandpa (my brother), riding his pony, Star, all around.

Uncle George offered all our kids the chance for a pony ride, too.

They reacted true to form.

Zachary headed to the house to settle in with a book. Uncle George was calling after him, attempting to entice him to try the pony ride. Nope.

Zoe was immediately drooling over the chance to be on a horse. She’s had one horseback riding lesson and has asked for years for another.

Zoe rode for a long time, starting with my brother leading Star around by the lead rope, then Zoe on her own inside the paddock, and finally, Zoe riding all over their yard all on her own.

Star is used to only having 2 y.o. Cruz as her main rider, and being led around by an adult, so Zoe had to learn quickly to both bond with Star, and to make sure Star knew that Zoe meant business. It was both impressive for me, and nerve-wracking.

George and Kathy were both impressed with how quickly she showed herself to be comfortable in the saddle.

Zoe testing the waters.
The admiring crowd watches.
Out on her own.
George loves hearing Zoe talk.

This was also a milestone visit because Uncle George finally admitted that Zoe had grown tall enough to not be considered a “little person” anymore. He cracks himself up.

The big guy on his pony.
Yessa's not too sure.

As for Yessa, at first she wanted to take a spin on Star, but the longer she watched Zoe, who went first, after Cruz, the less sure she became. I really did think she would be sorry if she didn’t at least sit on the horse. I normally don’t push the kids when they say they don’t want to try something, but George and I really tried to talk her into it.

She finally sat on Star long enough for a couple pictures, but that was the extent of her willingness.

Get me off here after this picture!

What Yessa did love was hanging out with the little man. Cruz is just a fantastic, funny, smart little guy. He came home with us after we had lunch at G and K’s, and we so enjoyed our afternoon with him.

Riding the big, scratchy pony.

Grandma and Cruz were so happy to see each other.

If ever a little boy was being raised surrounded by adults who adore him, it’s this one.

It was such a wonderful visit.