Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Birthday!!!!!

Wow, two posts in one day.


Tomorrow is my 36th Birthday. We took the kids out to the movies and then for ice cream today. We saw Rio at the $1.oo movies. It was pretty good. I think everyone liked it. I think splitcat and I are going out tomorrow. We haven't decided what we are doing yet. He surprised me on our last date and took me to Amicalola Falls( I thought we were going to the movies). He has a bunch of gift cards from the end of the school year, so we will probably use some of them up.

Also, I would like to send belated birthday wishes to my sister, to her new youngest daughter, and her oldest son(whose birthday is actually today).

Speaking of my sister's new daughter. I had meant to announce this some time ago, but forgot. My sister and her husband recently adopted a beautiful little girl. She just turned 2 and they have had her since she was 6 months old. They have been doing foster care for quite some time, but we all knew she belonged with them right from the beginning. She looks just like my sister except for her eye color. We are all so happy to have her as part of the family. So we now have 9 children between the two of us between the ages of 2 and 16. It makes going out together quite an andventure.

I guess that is all. Oh, I meant to add on my last post that there are a few more pics of our trip on Flickr. You can click on the pics to take you there. The last pic is from splitcat's acct, so it will take you to his pictures.


Happy Birthday!!!!!
At long last! We went on vacation! This year is splitcat's parents fiftieth anniversary, so they took the whole family(there were 18 of us in all) to the Smoky Mountains. We stayed about 15 minutes outside of Gatlinburg, TN. The girl rode with her grandparents, so it was just us and the boys on the trip up.

the Ride

We stopped at Chickamauga on our way.

Boys at Chickamauga

Boys at Chickamauga

We did the driving tour. A huge storm blew up and followed us all the way to our cabin. At one point it was raining so hard you could barely see the road. Splitcat's cousin, who went the scenic route through North Carolina and the National Park was delayed by several hours due to downed trees. It was apparently quite a storm.

The girl went to the Dixie Stampede that night with her cousin and Aunt. We hung out at the cabin with John's nephew and his girlfriend.

The next morning my father-in-law, niece, my nephew's g-friend, E, and I all went horseback riding. If I had a bucket list, horseback riding would have been in the top ten things I've always wanted to do. It was fun, but not something I think I will pick up as a hobby.

Here is my horse, he is the spotted one on the left. He was extremely obstinate. He really wanted to stop and chew the flowers the whole way.

The trail we rode on was very pretty as it skirted a large valley and went partway into the forest. We went first thing in the morning so the weather was really beautiful. My horse did not want to follow in line. We were always about 2 feet to the right while the other horses followed nicely in line.


Taking pictures on the back of a horse is not easy.

That was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me.

While I was riding horses, splitcat and his nephew were fishing in the Little Pigeon River. Only the nephew caught anything. But later that day me and the boys went back to the spot they fished from to enjoy nature.
Not a nature lover

Well, most of us enjoyed nature. He saw the beware of bears signs and kind of got a little nervous. There were reports of a mama and two cubs about a half mile up the trail, so we stuck by the riverbank and the road.

On Friday the grandparents took the kids to the WonderWorks Museum, and splitcat and I took the morning to explore the Roaring Forks Motor Trail. We had hoped to hike to the Grotto Falls, but the parking lot was full, so we explored the empty spots along the way. Splitcat helped me learn how to take waterfall pictures with his camera.

While we were discussing camera settings, a car stopped and started pointing frantically to something behind us. Thankfully it wasn't a bear.

A deer!

It was a beautiful drive with lots of fun little spots to explore. I really wanted to go back later with the kids, but the weather never cooperated.

We stopped in Gatlinburg on the way home and had lunch at Bubba Gump's. It was pretty tasty.

And that's pretty much all I did. Saturday the brave people went white water rafting. I am glad I didn't go, plus someone had to stay and watch my kids, everyone had already been really nice about keeping an eye on them while we went out . A nasty storm blew up right after they got on the river. I watched it from the safety of our cabin. Our cabin was right on the edge of the National Park, so we had a lovely view of just mountains. Watching the clouds was a favorite activity in the cabin. This is the beginning of the storm from our perspective

Clouds forming in the Smokies

Clouds forming in the Smokies

After the storm:
After the Storm

We didn't do much else because of the weather. Sunday morning we had family portraits done. I don't have a copy yet. It went better than I expected. But M refused to smile.

Monday we stopped at Clingman's Dome on our way out of the park. The twins ran the whole way up. We got there a little too early so the view wasn't too good. It was also very very sad. The Hemlocks and Fir trees have been attacked by insects and are being wiped out across the park.

Another Sad Vista on Clingmans Dome

So, that was our trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. I would love to go back and do much more hiking. I am hoping we can get our kids out hiking this summer and fall in the North Georgia Mountains.