Sunday, August 7, 2016

Routine is Coming

School begins tomorrow, which is a giant Boo!! around here!  Here's what's been going on the last couple of weeks though...

Clayton spent a week at the Ocoee serving several families.  He had a blast and even found my love of pressure washing.
While he was there he got to raft the Ocoee and he fell into a rose bush.  I'm not really sure how that happened, but it did.

The other boys spent the week with Aunt Janice in Jackson.  They had a blast.  There was back to school shopping, eating whatever they wanted, and staying up late to watch Cardinal baseball.

Aunt Janice also took them to eat lunch with Fred's grandfather.  They had a blast!

While the kiddos were gone, we did all sorts of fun things like wash our fence and mow the yard.  Seriously, when these boys leave home, we are moving into an apartment.  I'm not maintaining this yard without them.  We did have lunch together and just enjoyed the quiet house.  It was all things glorious.

 Andrew had to go to the Little Clinic because he had an ear infection.  We were going to the doctor in a few days, but when your ear hurts you need immediate assistance.

 Speaking of taking boys to the doctor...if you haven't taken 3 boys to the doctor at once, you haven't lived.  Those rooms could not be smaller.  It's awesome. God bless Dr. Thompson.

Fred celebrated his birthday on Thursday with a Happy 16th birthday balloon, because I'm a dork.  Then, later that afternoon we drove to Jasper, Arkansas for a last hoorah before school begins.  
True story...I called the place we were staying for the physical address to put in my GPS.  They don't have addresses.  The place is so rural...they don't have 911 addresses.  I had a lot of questions about this, but I just kept my eyes opened as we were driving and literally said, "There it is."  Literally, no mail box, no sign, nothing.  I just remembered it by the picture on vrbo.  Who knew?!?

Our first day there we hiked to Triple Falls, which was more like Triple Trickle.  It was not much of a waterfall, but it was a fun hike none the less.  
All of the roads that led to trailheads were gravel.  Gravel.  I would not recommend a Honda Odyssey for this type of driving.  We made it out on a wing and a prayer.
After that hike we headed to Eden Falls/The Lost Valley.  We hiked to the waterfall and then did a little cave exploring.  When I say cave exploring, I mean crawling through spaces that were about 24 inches.  I am pleased to report that we made it, despite the fact that we followed the word of some teenagers that were in front of us assuring us that this was the way.  I'd also like to point out that one of the teenagers was wearing FLIP FLOPS.  Yes, flip flops.  And yes, we followed this kid through this cave.  Later that evening I asked Fred what we were thinking and we both just laughed.  I mean, when your boys are saying, "Come on mom.  Come with us."  That's what you do, right?!?

After that hike we headed to Whitaker Point.  Yes, we tried to squeeze in a lot in one day.  I'd say we succeeded.  The drive there was 6 miles on a gravel road.  Whitaker Point is the most iconic hike in this area, so naturally we had to hike it.  Minus getting separated from our children, the guys, and not having water (Mercy.) it was worth it. I mean, look at this view!  Please note that these pictures look worse that reality.  We were all safe in taking these pictures.  Really.  I wouldn't have walked out there or allowed my children to walk out there had I not felt safe.

After this hike, we decided to call it a night.  Saturday morning we loaded up and headed to Mountain View, Arkansas to tour Blanchard Springs Cavern.  Thankfully, this one was a guided tour with lights and guides and stairs and guides and safety precautions and wide passageways and lights.  It was worth the price of admission.

After the cave tour we explored Blanchard Springs and Mirror Lake falls.  It was beautiful.

We had the best time together!  Until next summer friends.  I think I better go get some boys to pack their lunch for school tomorrow.  Can you hear the cheers of excitement?!?  Ha...just kidding!

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