From the Horse’s Mouth – New Home, New Holiday Traditions

Get a glimpse of what life is like at Sandbrock Ranch through the eyes of Sandbrock Ranch’s very own resident, Karen H. From the first days of discovering our one-of-a-kind community to building her family’s very own dream home, read up on Karen’s experience straight from the horse’s mouth.

December 2019

Ho, ho, ho! The holidays are in full swing here at Sandbrock Ranch. It’s an especially exciting year for us, as we are celebrating our first holiday season in our new home. Fresh air and the nature surrounding us have inspired me to start a few new traditions.


First, I’ve decided to start using a real tree, rather than an artificial one. Nothing smells better than notes of cedar, pine and fir wafting through the house. As a side note, don’t feel bad about cutting down a tree for the holiday. They are essentially a crop grown on farms, like hay or corn. And as they grow, they help clean the air. Farmers who grow trees for the holidays replace them with even more trees, thereby continuing the life cycle. Best of all, real trees are recycled and made into mulch.


I would say my style is definitely farmhouse. I love the mix of old and new. It’s a perfectly imperfect style that feels simple and natural to me. To decorate my new house, I used burlap and buffalo-check garland to add a rustic quality. For ornaments, I drew my inspiration from life in Aubrey; I bought cute little windmills, barns, horses, cows, cardinals, owls and even armadillos to hang on the tree.


Additional new holiday traditions have been inspired by my new home here at Sandbrock Ranch. I have really enjoyed cooking more for my family this year, thanks to my new double ovens. We have also gotten good use from the large kitchen island to set up as a buffet station. Even doing the dishes was much easier, thanks to my big farmhouse sink. Having an open-concept home has enabled us to spend more time as a family, and I love that.


The rest of Sandbrock Ranch feels equally festive! Here’s what we’ve been up to this month:


Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Carriage House has been a hub of social holiday events, starting with the community’s recent tree lighting ceremony. Holiday carolers greeted us at the Carriage House doors in beautiful Victorian-style attire, as if they had just stepped off the pages of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Inside, we were treated to hot cider, cocoa and holiday cookies. Just outside, I found more residents enjoying a seat at the fire pit and chatting with one another. The local fire department brought one of their new fire trucks for kids of all ages to see and were on hand as we all merrily counted down to the official lighting of the tree. This tree is amazing! I saw lots of families taking photos in front of it. My guess is that many holiday cards will be using that photo this year[vc_single_image image=”20536″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”]Candles, Carnations and Cocktails

Ever try your hand at making your own candle? Yep, me neither. So fun! The demonstration was held inside the Carriage House — we have a kitchen perfectly suited for these kinds of activities! While we enjoyed the crafty evening, we sipped on a delicious sangria. It helped my creative juices flow, ha! After making my candle, I stepped over to the floral arrangement area where we all had fun learning how to create our own pretty fall centerpiece with focal flowers, fillers and greenery. And I have discovered green floral foam; it’s my new friend! I’m excited to take these skills and create come floral arrangements for the upcoming holidays.


Wreaths and Wine

Another fun opportunity for me to meet some of the ladies here! It was a big turnout and we had a great time learning how to make wreath bows, tie mesh ribbon and glue on cute fall picks. Crafting can make you thirsty, and we sipped on mulled wine punch while we crafted away. I made some new friends that evening and walked back home with my fall wreath in hand feeling really happy about living here at the ranch.


Ugly Sweater Party/ Murder Mystery Party

Sandbrock Ranch has some fun holiday events planned for the kiddos, but I’m really happy to tell you that we big kids are having lots of fun, too! We recently attended the 1st annual ugly sweater party, which was combined with a hilarious murder mystery party. What a fun way to get to know your neighbors!


Jingle Mingle Party

The holiday cheer continues this month with Sandbrock Ranch’s first family holiday party Dec. 20. I can’t wait to see us fill the Carriage House! Our community has really grown this past year. I’ve met residents who have sisters, parents, and other family members who also live here now. How fun is that! The party is sure to be a big hit, with food and drinks, games and holiday entertainment. I’m looking forward to jingling and mingling!


The Giving Season

It’s quite a special life we’re all building here at Sandbrock Ranch. I’m truly grateful that the owners, Jean Ann Brock and Rod Sanders, decided to share this beautiful place. What a wonderful gift to us all. I think of them often when I’m enjoying yet another glorious Aubrey sunset, and say a silent thank you. It’s not just me, though. Other folks (who I now call both neighbors AND friends) have uttered that same thought to me. We’re putting this gift to good use, I might add. We’re using it to build a community with a heart. And what better time of year than now to reflect on the spirit of giving, and what good can come from that.


Toy Drive

Speaking of the giving season, Sandbrock Ranch has been collecting toys this month for Toys for Tots. It’s heartwarming to see how our community has come together to help others in need. The Carriage House at Sandbrock Ranch is a drop-off location for anyone who would like to donate a new, unwrapped toy through Dec. 20.


Happy holidays, everyone![lab_hs_forms portal_id=”4151365″ form_id=”7acb97f5-8df7-4e38-92d0-91d0b42011b8″]

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