Friday, August 31, 2012

2012 Summer Recap

Can you believe that tomorrow is September 1st?
We can't! Especially because it means that 
Pumpkin Season is just one month away!

Anyway, we have had a fantastic summer here at the Ranch.
Here are a few of our favorite things that have happened...

In June alone we entertained over 5,000 guests at company picnics.
We even started a special blog series called "Picnic Planning Tips" where you could learn all about things such as:
We also shared with you how to generate buzz for your picnic and show employee appreciation.

We had a fantastic 4th of July where we shared with you why we love America.

In July we also celebrated Bob's birthday and later in the summer we joined him as he an awesome lunch with all of the Faulkner siblings.

We met Jessica, our new Director of Youth Programs, who shared with us what she loves about working at the ranch and her connection to Ponies and Pancakes.
Speaking of Ponies and Pancakes, we helped raise over $2,300 for SIDS Resources!

We also finished up another fabulous summer of Pony Camp.
Sarah, our college intern, even shared with us her top 5 favorite things about Pony Camp.

Richard gave us a behind-the-scenes look at how he restored a vintage mechanical pony that will now provide many more years of joy for the kiddos at the Ranch.

We hosted a watch party for Jacob Turk and he won! Good luck to him in the November elections!

We also hosted a lot of birthday pony parties and shared with you all of the awesome ideas that our birthday mamas and papas bring to the table.

We said a sad farewell to one of our most beloved animals at the Ranch, Tex.

But we also celebrated new life with a gender reveal party for one of the Faulkner family members.

So, as you can see, it was a busy summer full of good times, laughter, and lots and lots of fun!
But the fun isn't over.
We are SO excited for all that we have in store for you for Fall!
Just wait and see!

Have a great day ya'll!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Word From the Herd: Gender Reveal Party

Have you heard about the latest trend of gender reveal parties?
A gender reveal party is a modern way to savor the surprise of finding out if your baby is going to be a little cowboy or cowgirl and share that moment with your loved ones.
We just love the idea!
So of course, when Kelly Jo, our niece/cousin/social media director asked us if her and her husband Ben could host their party at the Ranch we said yes!
Check out all of the details of this fun event below!

Word From the Herd: The Big Reveal
by Kelly Jo Jordan

My family is in the business of throwing parties.
So, of course, when the opportunity arises to get everyone together and celebrate, I'm on it.

We knew from the moment we found out that we were having a baby that we were going to find out if we were having a boy or girl.  I have love the trend of gender reveal parties and the idea of sharing that happy moment with our family was something I knew I couldn't pass up.
So, last Thursday, around twenty-five of our family members gathered at Faulkner's Ranch for the big reveal.

Here is the invite that I sent out...

Of course, since it was at the Ranch, I just had to go with a western theme!
  Lots of bandanas and plaids (pink and blue of course!)...
I found how to make these little cutlery packets on Pinterest which made for a nice one-stop-shop for everyone's cutlery and napkin needs...
Since we wanted everyone to be able to sit, talk, and enjoy a tasty meal before we cut the cake, we served deli subs, veggies, and chips.
We carried on with the pink and blue theme in the drinks too.
We served Jones Soda and Pink Lemonade (not pictured, but very cute, trust me)...
We also had some special little details of the VIP (or VIB I guess - Very Important Baby)...
Little Baby Jordan's First Picture
Our baby announcement that we shared on Facebook

And of course, we had a voting station...
We tallied the votes on the chalkboard, which I made out of an old cabinet door that I got from Habitat ReStore for $2 and some chalkboard paint.
After everyone voted, they could show off their team colors (pink or blue) with a bandana.
I was thinking that no one would want to wear the bandanas, but boy was I wrong! We actually ran out of the blue ones!

Here was the final tally...
Boy: 15
Girl: 12

Finally it was time for the big moment.  We had ordered a cake from Dillons, believe it or not.  The young guy I gave the envelope to had never heard of a gender reveal cake but they did an awesome job with it!
And now, *drumroll please*
Tricked ya in the end there with the name reveal didn't we? ;o)

Anyway, we were TOTALLY shocked!  We were both certain that it was a boy.  I think it actually took the whole night for it to sink in with Ben.  He just kept looking at me saying, "We're having a little girl" as if he didn't believe it.
If you don't believe me, just look at how we were oh-so-confidently sporting those blue bandanas...
Speaking of those blue bandanas, we were cracking up because after the cake was cut we kept finding blue bandanas on the tables and the floor.  No one wanted to support the losing team's colors.
However, Team Girl couldn't stop gloating that they were right and kept their bandanas on the rest of the night...
Look at Uncle Bob and Christine just showing off!
Anyway, it truly was a fantastic night! I just kept thinking about how this little baby, who isn't even here yet, is already so so loved.

Thanks Uncle Bob and Christine for letting us have the big reveal at our favorite place!

Over and Out,
Kelly Jo

Goodbye, Tex

This weekend was a sad one here at the ranch.
One of our most beloved ranch animals passed away.
Tex, gentle giant died peacefully on Saturday morning of old age.
Tex was more than just your average longhorn steer.  

We first met Tex when he was touring the rodeo scene and made a stop at the Benjamin Ranch Jaycee's Pro-Rodeo.
Despite his ginormous size, he was as gentle as could be.  Children loved getting their pictures taken while they sat upon him.  
Sometimes it took quite a bit of bravery to muster up the courage for a picture.  After all, he weighed as much as a car or small truck.  However, that fear would disappear as soon as they would pet him.  Tex was as harmless as could be.
In 2004, after years of touring the rodeo scene and making people smile, it was time for Tex to retire.
When Bob heard that Tex was no longer going to be traveling on the road, he decided to purchase him and make him a part of the Faulkner Family so that he could spend his last years grazing in the fields and being adored (and very spoiled) by the kids during Pumpkin Season. 

It goes without a doubt that Tex will be greatly missed.
It also goes without a doubt that he will be fondly remembered as one of the most gentle and adored animals that we have had the privilege of caring for.

Happy Trails Tex!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Creative Ideas From Creative Clients

Here at Faulkner's Ranch we love seeing all of the creative birthday ideas that our mamas and papas bring to the table.  Below are three of our favorite ways that they have blown our mind with their creativity.
Check it out!

Our mama's and papa's never fail to amaze us with the awesome cakes that they bring in.  Check out three awesome pony theme cakes that we just LOVE!

We loved how these parents shined a spotlight on their birthday kiddos by personalizing some really cute aspects of the party.
Below are Snapfish photo books that the birthday momma has made for the birthday girl every year!
We love traditions like these!
 Did you know that you can make personalized birthday plates through Hallmark? This mama knew and she ordered these adorable plates with one of her favorite photos of her little cowboy.  To order your own personalized picture plates from Hallmark, click here.

How cute is this gift? It's everything to whip up a batch of cupcakes! It even includes a crown, which we agree ever woman should get to wear in the kitchen.
The aunt also gifted an adorable homemade apron.

We hope that you enjoyed these creative birthday party ideas as much as we did!

Interested in having a Birthday Pony Party at Faulkner's Ranch? Then just click here for more information partner!
Also, don't forget about our special Pumpkin Season birthday parties during the month of October.  For more information on these, click here!

Have a great day ya'll!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Word From the Herd: All Together Again

This past Monday was a a very fun day here at Faulkner's Ranch.
From L to R: Dick, Judy, Marilyn Jo, and Bob
All four of the Faulkner siblings were together again.
Marilyn Jo came to visit from New York, so they kicked off the week by having a delicious lunch at the Ranch.

So what are they all up to today?
Dick still runs Faulkner's Saddlery and travels to horse shows around the country.
Judy is happily retired and awaiting the arrival of her first grandbaby in January.
Marilyn Jo resides in New York where she is happily retired.  She is also an avid traveler and has been all around the world.
And Bob can be found right here at Faulkner's, working hard and loving what he does.

Years may have gone by...
But not much has changed.
Still lots of love and lots of laughs.

To read more about the history of the Faulkner family, from the original western store to how Faulkner's Ranch came to be, click here.

Have a great day ya'll!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Top 5 Teacher Gift Ideas

Little cowboys and cowgirls everywhere are heading back to school this week.  Start your teacher's year off right with one of these five easy to make back-t0-school gifts.
Ready, set, go!

Idea From: It's Overflowing
The Gift: A mason jar filled with homemade cookies
The Card: I'm going to be one smart cookie with you as my teacher!
(You can print this tag for free here.)

The Gift:  Bath and Body Works Lotion (pssst - they've got lots of great Fall scents out now!)
The Card:  Hope you have a smooth year!

Idea From: Domesticated Lady
The Gift:  Bottled water with Crystal Light packets attached by ribbon.
The Card:  A label that says "For a TEA-riffic teacher!"
(You can print these labels for free here.)

Idea From: Jonah Bonah
The Gift: Cute Tins (you can get these in fun colors for $1 at Target right now) and individual coffee packets
The Card:  A Little Something to Get You Back to the Grind!

Idea From: One Charming Party
The Gift:  A package of Hi-Liters in a cute bag with a ribbon.
The Card: You're going to be the "hi-lite" of my day!

 And of course, we want to wish all of our teachers, students, and staff heading back to the classrooms good luck as they start another amazing school year!
Teachers and staff, we are so thankful for all of the hard work that you do. And kiddos, be good - don't horse around and learn a lot!

Have a great day ya'll!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Word From the Herd: A Victorious Watch Party

Jacob Turk greets his supporters and volunteers at his watch party on August 7th at Faulkner's Ranch.
Faulkner's Ranch is for more than just picnics and birthday parties.  This past week we were part of Missouri history as we hosted a watch party for Jacob Turk of Lee's Summit, who won his fourth primary with a huge lead to become the Republican candidate in Missouri’s 5th District race for U.S. House of Representatives.

This opportunity came to us through two of our favorite people Tim and Nona Luke.  Nona is one of our scarecrows here at the ranch during Pumpkin Season and she, along with her husband, volunteered to help make this event happen.  
Jacob Turk thanks supporters and volunteers at his watch party at Faulkner's Ranch.
The night was definitely an exciting one!  In fact, here is what Jacob Turk had to say about the event:

Election night was awesome! I appreciate all who came to our 'watch party' at Faulkner's Ranch. The food, fellowship and commraderie sure was a wonderful way to watch the election results roll in.  And the pony rides, zip line & Nancy's face painting were a big hit with the kids.
Please "Save The Date" right now for our watch party (Victory Party!) on November 6th from 7pm until the race is called - probably will be late that night so plan on going into work late the next morning.
In fact, would you please go ahead and arrange election day & the next morning off now? Because as much effort as the primary took, the general will surely be a 'all hands on deck' assignment.
All my best with sincere thanks,

Jacob Turk greets supporters Ken Serig and Trustin Serig, 5, of Lee's Summit, at his campaign watch party. (Photo from the LS Journal)
We were honored to host such a great group of supporters and volunteers.  Once again, congratulations to Jacob Turk on his victory and campaign.
Good luck in November!
Jacob Turk will be running for U.S. Congress in November.
For more information on the primary election and Jacob Turk's victory, check out this article from the Lee's Summit Journal.
To learn more about Jacob Turk and to stay up to date on his road to Congress visit his website or like his Facebook page.

Have a great day everyone and don't forget to vote this November!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Picnic Tips: How to Generate Buzz and Increase Attendance

So you’ve booked your picnic!  You’ve selected your menu, we’ve hired the DJ and the entertainment, and now you’re ready to throw an awesome party.  Just one thing is left...Now you’ve just got to get your employees there.  So how do you get them to bring their families on their weekend off?  Easy! Just follow the tips below for generating buzz for your picnic!

Teaser E-mails
As soon as you have a date set, be sure to send out a Save The Date e-mail or postcard.  You don’t have to have any details planned.  You just want to make sure that they mark that date on their calendar ASAP.
Fun Idea: We recently had a client who sent out fun clues and pictures about where the picnic would be until their employees had guessed the location.
Posters and Flyers Everywhere
Plaster the breakrooms, cubicles, bathrooms, and any other place you can think of with colorful posters.  Make them easy to read and make sure the date is clearly displayed.  This is also a good place to include the next tip...
Promote Your Prizes
One of the best ways to increase and ensure attendance is to give away some awesome door prizes, raffle prizes, and game prizes.  If you are able to, be sure to include a few big ticket items such as a flatscreen TV, paid vacation, etc.
For some awesome prize ideas and how to get them, click here.
Reward RSVP’s
Recently we had a company give away prizes to the first 35 people that RSVP’d to their company picnic.  When they arrived at the picnic they received their “early bird” prize.  This is a simple way to make sure that those rsvp’s don’t get put off til the end and start rolling in right away.
Include the Families
If you will have lots of families and children at your picnic, make sure that you talk a lot about the activities that they will enjoy (i.e.  jumphouses, hayrides, petting farm, face painting, etc.)
Get Your Guest Involved In Big Decisions
The more involved your employees are in the picnic planning process, the greater a connection that they will have towards it.  There are several easy ways that you can do this:
  • Have employees vote on a picnic name or theme
  • Create a picnic t-shirt by having employees submit ideas and designs, and then voting on a winner.  Shick Company did a great job with their t-shirt designs this summer.
  • Have contests that employees can prepare for ahead of time.  For example, are you having a Wild Western Theme?  Then have a contest for the best dressed!  This gets the fun going before they even walk in the door.
  • Nominate people for certain activities at your event.  For example, if you’re having a dunk tank have employees vote on who they want to be the dunkee.
  • Take requests for music ahead of time.  For more information on how to do this, click here.

For more ways on how to make your event the best you've ever had, be sure to check out the rest of our Picnic Tips and stay tuned for more helpful hints!

Have a great day ya'll!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Word From the Herd: Richard and the Mechanical Horse

Here at the ranch we always have a lot of projects going on.
Here's Richard to give you a behind-the-scenes sneak peek on one of our latest (and super fun) projects.

Word From the Herd: Mechanical Horse Restoration
by Richard

This project involved the mechanical and cosmetic restoration of a coin operated horse.

Bob bought the horse at a local auction, and while it was operable, it was in pretty sad shape

Here we see some of the damage, and the hole for the original coin mechanism which will have to be filled.

The manufacturers plate.  This machine was built by The Exhibit Supply Co. of Chicago.
I believe it was likely built in the early 1950's.

This photo shows part of what would be the long and arduous process of removing the old paint.
I estimate that the horse had been repainted at least three times, and each time it would receive both base color, and the detail color in places such as the mane, tail, hooves, etc...
This resulted in eight or more layers of paint in places.
I was able to strip the paint mechanically in some areas, but the fine detail of the head and the tail required a chemical stripper.  The stripper had to be mild enough not to damage the sixty year old fiberglass, but mean enough to remove the paint.  The very cold weather, and the need to wash the stripper off after each application also added to the difficulty.

Cracks, chips, and other damage had to be cleaned, and in some cases, enlarged, to allow the new resin to bond to the old fiberglass.

The first layers of resin were applied, then sanded.
Once they were relatively smooth, a coat of primer was applied to act as a 'guide coat', allowing me to better see areas which required further attention.  There are perhaps a total of five or six guide coats, much of which is sanded off to achieve a smooth finish.

Once an acceptable surface was obtained, the final coat of primer was applied.

The first coat of color.

Painting the detail colors with a brush.

The new coin box installed and wired.

Complete and ready to go.  This shaky photo was courtesy of my Mom.

This has been a really fun project, with a few challenging twists and turns.
I'm glad to know that this old guy (the horse) will be around for another fifty or sixty years, bringing joy to children of all ages.


Thanks Richard!  I think we all can agree that it looks awesome! Just check out this before and after folks...

Be sure to stop on by the ranch this Pumpkin Season to take a ride on our shiny "new" mechanical pony!

Have a great day ya'll!

Share With Your Friends!