Thursday, July 2, 2015

Summer Camps!




Shew!! We have had a busy week. The kids both wanted to do a summer camp so first thing in the mornings, Noah did Lacrosse Camp. He absolutely loves it and will continue in a mini league for the next 3 weeks. After his camp we would head over to Aunt Rach's house and she would do a horse camp for Laurel. She got to ride 2 different horses and learned how to ride independently. It brought back memories of all the summer horse camps we used to teach and Laurel loved it! 

In other news, the little boy "D" that we were planning to host this summer was not able to come.
 :(  It had to do with paperwork not being signed and some complicated matters but we are at peace with it. God knows all the ins and outs that we do not. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cowboys, Indians & a Little Biking Adventure

Our View from the Mountain House

Tweetsie Railroad

Cousins..... AKA Thugs


Duncan didn't want to watch but Gunner was all for it

Riding the train makes me sleepy

Wish I had one of these at home :0

Getting Ready to take Tweetsie by storm
I almost  threw up

 A good old fashioned Cowboy & Indian fight
Ready to ride the Virginia Creeper Trail

Not part of the trail but he took a detour :)

Go Nana!


After the trail.....NASTY


We are in the throws of summer here. HOT HOT HOT. So, both our families got together and rented a house in the Mountains where it truly is 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Our Mountain house was beautiful and the highest point in the area..... but the catch was the driveway. It rivaled anything we had ever seen. You literally took your life into your hands to try and drive up it. I may be exaggerating a little, but only a little :) However, in this family our men are brave (good thing because us women are chickens) and we made it up and down safely.

First stop was Tweetsie Railroad! I remember going as a small child and completely being terrified at the Cowboy & Indian fight and the result was my sister and I finishing the ride underneath the train seats, black with soot. We figured it was high time our children shared in this joy.... it's kind of a right of passage. We were disappointed however that the Cowboy & Indian show is now pretty tame and family friendly and even comical. Oh well.... we have the memories. In spite of this however, Tweetsie Railroad is my most favorite family friendly park (besides Disney World of course). The place is clean, not crowded, no lines and *gasp* the park workers are so friendly! In fact, we had been 4 years ago and saw  many of the same workers still working cheerfully. It is small enough that you don't die from all the walking but large enough you don't feel hemmed in. We just love this place and so did the kids.

The next day we went to ride the Virginia Creeper Trail. It is a 34 mile downhill bike ride that started as an Indian path & was travelled by Daniel Boone and later turned into a railroad. Then it was turned into a bike,walk, horse path. We just rode the 17 mile trip (saved the full 34 for another time) from White Top to Damascus. If you have never done it you are in for a treat and I highly recommend it (when it's not raining). It is downhill through the most beautiful country you have ever seen, right down the mountain. We were having a lovely time until about mile 6 when the bottom fell out and in monsooned on us. I mean a blinding, driving rain where you could see nothing. There was no shelter or cell service so you just keep riding, until I hit a bridge but I recovered nicely. After the rain passed, we then rode the last 10 miles in mud. Ever ridden a bike behind someone in the mud? Try it, it's quite the experience! All I can say is that my family are troopers! Yes, we whined & complained but we were so excited to have accomplished something. It took us 3 hours and I wouldn't trade the memories for the world. I will however look at the weather and take rain gear next time.

The last day we woke up liesurly (ok we were sore from the ride) and we went to Mystery Hill where your gravity is all thrown off and water flows up hill and a ball will roll uphill. I kid you not. Look it up.

We had a blast. We are exhausted but very blessed to have wonderful family and live so close to so many things!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Support Laurel's Lion

Laurel won an art contest! 50% of the proceeds from the sales go to www.reecesrainbow.org, the organization that helped us find her and bring her home! This only runs June 1st through June 14th!Just go to www.papercloudsapparel.com and pick her picture. You can order hats, shirts & bags with her AWESOME LION on it. And it's for a great cause! Thanks so much! She is so excited!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Easter Blessings..














Easter is such a bittersweet holiday for me. In 3 days you go from sadness and mourning to extreme joy and thankfulness. Perhaps its just me getting older or perhaps it is closeness of my heavenly Father during this time that makes me so reflective. Easter is quickly becoming my favorite celebration.
We have many little traditions we do to help the kids remember what Easter is truly about and we do some fun, silly traditions that I did as a kid. However, I want them to remember it is about New Birth. It is about a debt that we owed and could not pay, being payed for us.....willingly. 

This year we had Easter celebrations with both sides of the family. We also added something new on Easter Sunday. After church, we went to a nursing home where our church speaks and ministers frequently, and we were so blessed to be able to worship with these elderly saints. We sang 'Amazing Grace, The Old Rugged Cross and Because He Lives". To see them in the state that their bodies are in now looking forward to a day where there will be no more pain and tears was simply beautiful. It's an Easter tradition I would love to continue.

BECAUSE HE LIVES, I CAN FACE TOMORROW
BECAUSE HE LIVES, ALL FEAR IS GONE
BECAUSE I KNOW HE HOLDS THE FUTURE
AND LIFE IS WORTH THE LIVING, JUST BECAUSE HE LIVES

May you know the Peace Jesus can bring.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

DISNEY WORLD

We took a camper and this was the anticipation of going in the gate!




Mike got to be in the Indian Jones Show :)

Nana pulled off something amazing and Noah got to fight Darth Vader...and meet him!



Magic Kingdom was our Favorite!


Swimming in February!!





The fireworks show really was magical!

Laurel's favorite! Rapunzel. We were the last to make it in.

We finished up the trip with Sea World. The shows were amazing.


We took a trip to Disney World. A friend helped us get a wonderful deal and we saved for about a year but we did it! We took a camper down so we could cook throughout the week and save some money and not stop every  5 min for a bathroom break :)
We did Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom (2 days), Animal Kingdom and Sea World. Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios was our favorite. We found out we LOVE roller coasters! We loved  the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Noah hated Expedition Everest but it was Laurel's favorite (backwards roller coaster in the dark while being chased by a Yeti). The Sea World shows were amazing.
We were up earlier each day than we ever get up at home and stayed out waaay to late but we had a blast! Yes, we were exhausted but it really was magical. 
My favorite was the parade and fireworks at Magic Kingdom and then running to do a few more rides before they closed and watching the 10pm parade again. It felt like we had the park  all to ourselves. 
Our kids hung with us incredibly. They were awesome and a pleasure to be with. 
We had a wonderful time with Nana, Poppy and Aunt Michelle. It is definately a trip we will always remember. They rightly call it "The Magic Kingdom". If you stay there long enough, you start believing in the magic yourself :)