Friday, October 16, 2015

It's a big week around here!

Our good friend, Lauren O'Neal, is an artist.  She participated in a Heritage Festival, but I was unable to attend.  I really wanted to get some of her artwork for our house and I wanted to get some presents for Christmas.  I treated myself to this...
The picture of the painting does not do it justice.  She is so talented.  She also hand crafts beautiful jewelry.  I love this painting!

We met Lauren and Jeremy when we started at Springhill a decade ago.  Jeremy was serving at the church as well.  We have remained friends through the years.  We just love them.  Friday night as we visited over dinner, we just picked up where we left off.  Friends like that are such a blessing.

Saturday morning (my birthday) Fred made this for me for breakfast (as per my request).

It was delicious.  Click here is a link to the recipe, Then each boy gave me a flower.  Fred told them for each bud on their stem they needed to tell me something encouraging.  Andrew had three buds.
This is what he said:
1.  You take me to school.
2.  You bought my Kindle.
3.  You pick me up from school.
Bahaha!  I was rolling!  The other boys were much more thoughtful.  It was a sweet time.  They did this throughout the day until they got to 37 flowers.  Sweet.

We have a flower bed that has looked pretty pitiful since we moved in.  I asked Fred if that could be my birthday present.  So, the boys went outside to work on the flower bed and finish up the yard for the season.  Happy Birthday to me, indeed!
 Dash the dog was the only person not very excited about being left inside.  He REALLY wanted to be with his people.  He went from window to window whining.  I explained to him that if he wouldn't lose his mind every time he went outside he might could enjoy some fun, but I still don't trust him. So, he'll continue to go from window to window begging to be outside.
Fred and I went to lunch at Caritas Village.  It is a mission restaurant in the Bing Hampton area.  It was wonderful as always.  Then we went to the Outdoors Outlet, La Michiocana, and Home Depot.  The only picture I got was of us enjoying ice cream.
    Since Clayton turned 12 we've started leaving them at home by themselves...after MUCH laying down of the law.  Much.  Leaving our children at home by themselves is the biggest parenting milestone we've met since everyone was potty trained.  It's a big day.  While we were out I checked with Clayton to see if they were okay.  This was our text exchange...
Be still my heart.  I think that's about the sweetest thing I've ever seen. 

Sunday our families came over to celebrate with OEC.  I have a friend, Paul, who goes to church with us.  His birthday is the 9th so I invited him to come over for lunch.  A good time was had by all!

Monday morning we loaded up and headed out for Big South Fork with some of our friends.  We could not leave fast enough for Andrew.  Here he is waiting for us all...

We stopped at McKay's Used Book Store along the way to shop and have a picnic.  Once we arrived at our cabin Colleen and I grabbed groceries for the week and the boys settled into the cabin and hot tub.

We hiked and hiked over the next fews days.  Our first hike was intended to be a 3 mile hike, but it turned into 8.  Whoops.  Then later that day we hiked four more miles.
We hiked first to Slave Falls.

Fred and Dwight are looking at the map here.  It did not really help us this day.
 This little guy hiked with little to no complaint.  All in all he hiked 20 miles over 3 days.  He's a trooper for sure!

I don't have any pictures, but on our first day we hiked to Charit Creek Lodge.  It was a lodge out in the middle of nowhere.  They provide lodging (very primitive), dinner and breakfast.  From the smell of dinner that was cooking we missed a real treat.

We hiked to the Twin Arches before going to Charit Creek Lodge.

 This is one of the arches.  I cannot begin to describe how breathtakingly beautiful it was.  Who knew this was in Tennessee?!?

On our second day we hiked to Angel Falls, which was more of a rapid to me than a waterfall, but it was still beautiful.

Then we drove to Kentucky to hike to Yahoo Falls.

We stayed there for three nights and then headed home.  On the way home...has anyone figured out yet that I like to squeeze out every.last.bit of a trip?!?...we stopped at Cummins Falls State Park (right outside of Cookeville) and hiked to the waterfall.  This hike was our toughest hike by far.  It was only about two miles, but the terrain was difficult.  Despite that, we all agreed that it was our favorite hike of the week.
See those two little figures on the right?  That's Andrew and Fred hiking across narrow rock.  I had to look away.  Andrew will not be left behind.

 Here is a close up of the above picture.
All of my people on the other side of the falls.  Pictures just do not do justice to the majesty and beauty of all we saw this week.  God just has access to different colors on his palette than we do. It just never gets old.
I was so inspired I decided to strike yoga poses a couple of places.  I don't do yoga.  I can't even touch my toes, but you just seemed like a fun idea at the time.  I was perched between these two rocks because I was helping Andrew get across.

 The hike to Cummins Falls was treacherous to say the least.  We had to cross a river bed several times.  Fred and Dwight were the only people prepared with water shoes.  There were several times where the water was too deep for Andrew.

In an effort to not leave anything undone, we stopped at Loveless Cafe for a final meal...and to make up for all the calories we burned while hiking.  Grin. I cannot resist a face in the hole.

We had one tired fella.  He was concerned he might get a "cricket" in his neck from sleeping in the car.  I have no idea why he would think that!
Begin outside, hiking, and exploring with my guys is really one of my favorite things.  I can't believe I've been with my favorite fella for 15 years now.  Hold on, because the next few weeks are gonna be crazy.

No comments: