Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dinosaur Train

When we found out the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad was putting on a Dinosaur Train, we just had to take Myles.  He is a huge fan of the cartoon.  We arrived way too early as we thought the train departed at 11.  Turns out it departed at 3.  We had a ton of time to kill so we checked out Bryson city, had lunch and checked out a campground that we want to visit.  Finally the train was ready to depart.  All aboard!!
 
 
Waiting for the train

 
Myles was ready to go

 
The train ride was beautiful

 
Little E was over it and decided that she needed a nap

 
"Buddy" the dinosaur was waiting for us when we arrived

 
E was not sure about the dino

 
She warmed up and started bossing him around

 
First time in a bouncy house.  She loved it and would not get out.

 
Mama and kids went down the slide

 
Giant blow up dinosaurs were everywhere

 
We played dino putt putt golf

 
After a day of being paleontologists, it was time to head back.

 
Back at the station.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lake Fontana

So....If you read my post about our last camping trip you will know that 5 of us and a dog in a tent was not ideal.  On the way back from that trip we looked on Facebook and saw that Josh's Aunt Sandra was selling a travel trailer.  It was a sign.  A few weeks later we found ourselves loaded up in the truck heading to Kentucky to pick up Sandra's trailer. 
Our inaugural camping trip to Lake Fontana was a success.  We had a great time, everyone slept well and we were very comfortable.  When we woke up Myles said, "I really like the trailer but it's not really camping".  Right you are, my boy.  I told him he could pitch a tent in the front of the trailer anytime. 
So, long gone are the days of our light-weight backpacking tents.  Goodbye, 8 man tent.  Hello, travel trailer and all the comforts of home.  I never thought I would be "camping" this way.  I'm getting old.
 
 
There she blows.  The 1985 Sea Hawk.  Josh and I are still working on getting the awning up.  As you can see we didn't have it quite right but rather than get a divorce over putting the darn thing up, we left it askew.

 
Another view of the beast. 

 
Bedroom

 
Living area

 
Enjoying the shade

 
E just loves her brothers

 
Best friends

 
Sleepy E, eating cheese

 
Lighting sticks on fire....of course

 
Playing around a historic home site

 
Our campsite.  We were right below the dam (largest dam east of the Mississippi).

 
Fontana Village

 
I love my nature boy.  He always stops to enjoy the natural wonders around him.  Here he is at the Lazy River studying a butterfly.

Monday, July 14, 2014

4th of July

Once again I was asked to be the bear in the Montreat 4th of July Parade.  The boys got such a kick out of it last year that I willingly obliged.  E woke up with a fever, poor thing.  Being the third child, we dosed her up with Tylenol and off we went.  She was a trooper and enjoyed all the attention.
We even let the boys stay up late for the Black Mountain fireworks.  Our little town sure knows how to celebrate Independence Day.

 
The bear and her cubs

 
E was not so sure at first

 
She happily rode behind Mrs. Dottie, who had to lead the bear.  (you can't see anything out of those suits)

 
The boys got to ride in a float.

 
They were excited to ride up front and hand out candy.

 
I mentioned candy.....see the large blue bag?  Well, during the parade the candy dwindled, not by parade goers but from my boys eating it all themselves.

 
I just love this photo of E watching the floats
 
 
Mr. Andy, a greeter at the boys preschool and 90 year old veteran.  I love this man!

 
She is too cute for words

 
Josh came home a little early. 

 
My model baby

First Swim Meet

Grady joined the Black Mountain Stingrays this year.  We didn't know what we were getting ourselves into joining the swim team but it's been fun so far.  Turns out, Grady is a darn good swimmer.  We need to harness that energy somehow.  He raced in four races and won two of them.  He got first place in 8 and under backstroke and butterfly.  I didn't even know he could do butterfly.....I can't. 
Never having gone to a swim meet before, I didn't know what we were doing.  We managed to get him signed in, inked up (they write all over their arms so the kids know what races they are doing) and in the water at the right times.  We were at the pool from 4:30 until 9.  Grady was a ball of energy, hopping all over the place, wanting his races to be right NOW.  He had no idea that he would have to wait around.  I have never seen that kid nervous before but he was that day.
Now that we know, we will be better prepared. 
 
 
25 freestyle

 
He won the backstroke

 
Get ready....

 
Get set.....

 
GO.....

 
He's off and swimming

 
Myles had fun too.  He found friends and hung out around the pool.  Didn't complain once.  He is rather social when he wants to be.  Little E isn't pictured because if I put her down she would attempt to drown herself by launching into the pool.  Totally fearless and all over the place.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lake Jocassee

Lake Jocassee, what a beautiful, peaceful, serene lake....until the Scala boys showed up.  Goodness, I would say it was an "enjoyable" trip but that wasn't really the word for it.  The kids had a blast but all 5 of us and a dog sleeping in one tent is not exactly relaxing.  We tried to make the best of it.
The lake was amazing.  We brought the boat down and cruised around.  It is almost completely undeveloped with waterfalls cascading down when you would least expect them.  When we were on the lake, I felt like we were in another country.  It was perfect.....if you could ignore the toot sounds coming from the boys and E's incessant attempts to climb over the bow of the boat.  Kids, gotta love 'em.
 
 
A view of the lake at dusk

 
Now doesn't this look cozy?

 
Seriously, it was breathtaking

 
My wild children

 
At least they are cute

 
Captain Myles

 
Notice the waterfall in the background

 
Of course, faithful Gumbo keeping watch

 
Good morning, it's 6 am.  Here's the problem with the 6 am wake up call, my boys are LOUD.  At 6 they were up running around, laughing and making fart sounds.  Needless to say, all the other campers were still sleeping.  I swear I threatened time out, took away toys and I think I even cancelled Christmas.  Nothing worked.  We packed up and took off.  We were leaving that day anyway but not that early.

 
Dinner time

 
E refused to sit on a seat and constantly attempted to jump ship

 
Dad and E

 
The boys and I went for an evening stroll

 
A surprise waterfall

 
E loves her coffee

 
See???

 
The water was freezing but that didn't stop Grady.

 
It was E's first camping trip.  She did great despite the fact that she woke us all up at 6.  She is usually a late sleeper but not in a tent with 4 other people.

 
So on the drive home, Josh and I were saying that we need to figure out something else for camping.  We love camping but cramming into a tent is not fun.  I was looking at Facebook and saw this!!  Josh's aunt is selling her trailer.  We called her and she offered us a great deal.  Bye, bye tent.  We are camping in style now.  The kids can make all the fart sound at 6 in the morning and not disturb the other campers!!