Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 5: Heading Home

On our last day there we loaded up the car and headed home. Before we hit the highway, we stopped in for a great breakfast at Flapjacks. It was so good and we enjoyed eating together. It was relaxing and the perfect way to finish off our trip. We decided that next year we will do this again, and try to go when it isn't raining so we can spend more time out doors. One of the things that I did forget to mention is that the kids and Matt did get to see a bear. We were heading out somewhere, and the kids were heading to the vans when Caleb tells everyone there is a bear. Well all the men were like OK, yea a bear until they looked and there really was a bear. All the kids go running on the porch, yelling a bear. Rebecca and I come out in time to see a furry black bottom running down the driveway out of sight. It was pretty exciting (even though I only saw the hiney) Caleb was out of breath and a little nervous, but I think the kids scared the toddler bear more than he scared them. He wasn't a baby, but defiantly wasn't a teen either, so I dubbed him the toddler. We kept a look out after that for him, or his mom (who I am sure was around somewhere) but never saw them. we were out on the porch one night and heard some trash cans being knocked down, but that was all.

We had a great time and the kids ask when we are going back. It would be so much fun to do it again. Spend more time outdoors and enjoying God's work.

Day 4: Cherokee, NC

On the day before we left, we decided to drive up through the Smokey's and head to Cherokee, NC. Once we got there, we realized that the town, has dwindled a bit since I have last been there, or maybe it was just because it was raining, but most everything was closed. We ate lunch and wandered through the shops, then headed back, stopping to take in the views. It was so beautiful. We did stop at a historic farm and walk around to see and look at all the tools used in the 1800's. The kids enjoyed that. They eventually fell asleep, but Matt and I stopped and got some good shots of the many waterfalls and rapids along the way. eventually we made it home to relax and prepare to head out inthe morning.

Day 3: Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokeys

Well it had started raining again by this time, and we were trying to figure out something to do indoors. So we headed into Gatlinburg to Ripley's Aquarium. It was so neat!! Very interactive for the kids and so many learning opportunities. The kids, Matt and I, and the Cases had a ton of fun looking at all the displays. I think our favorite part was looking into the shark tank and then realizing that there was a tunnel that you would walk through. The kids were so excited and kept telling to take a picture of everything. It really was a neat thing to see. Then there was a hands on exhibit where they got to hold/touch a horse shoe crab. Plus tons of stations to learn about the creatures of the deep. the last are we went into had tons of smaller tanks that had hand prints next to them- you became a secret agent and placed your hand on them to find out the unique thing about that particular animal. There was a place on the bottom of the shark tank where there were tons of scratches on the glass. the sign next to it said those were scratches resulting from a shark attack on the glass when people were coming through. Helps remind you that no matter how amazing they look, that they are still wild and not to be messed with, no matter how use to people thy are! We had so much fun, and it was the best thing to do on a rainy day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 2 (Part 2): Putt Putt Golf

After we hiked to Laurel Falls and had our Picnic, we decided to go out to eat and then play some Putt Putt. The kids were so excited! We found a Mexican restaurant (a staple with the Clement clan) and then hit a mountain side putt putt place. It was so much fun. we enjoyed the good food and good company, and then walked through Gatlinburg to the Putt Putt place. The kids picked out the ball and went to town. The boys had played before, but this was Riley's first time playing. She did really well and the boys did too. They all had a great time. The only issue we had was if your ball got a way (bounced out) it was a LONG way down and we lost 3 at the end :) Apparently it happens quiet often, but we managed to finish the last 2 holes with out any issues. I think Matt and I tied, and we quit keeping score with the kids about half way through ;)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gatlinburg Day 2 (Part 1): Laurel Falls

On our second day there, the weather was amazing and we took advantage of it! We decided to go hiking for the day. we headed up into the smokies, but due to the fact that the bears were out in full force, we sat in traffic for a LONG time. We decided to turn around and hit some of the smaller trails. we decided to hike up to Laurel falls. It was a good hike (a little over a mile one way) and the kids had a blast! Riley kept pace with Matt the whole way up and down. The kids had a blast and really enjoyed being out doors. Once we got to the falls we had a great time enjoying the clean scent, and amazing views that God created. I did good- keeping a steady (but slower) pace. I made sure that I took breaks (for those of you concerned that I am hiking at 23 weeks :)) We took some photos of the falls and then Matt took the kids down the side of the mountain, further down from the falls to get a closer view. I would have gone too if I had been allowed (Matt told me no). After we hiked back to the car, we went to a picnic area and let the kids enjoy getting a little closer to the river. After lunch the men hiked to a little school house, while Rebecca, Riley and I drove up there. Riley hiked back with them, and we headed back to the cabin to get cleaned up for our evening. (the kids were wet from slipping into the falls little pools and then playing (or wading for some) into the river to explore) :)

Part 2 of day 2 next.....

Gatlinburg Day 1

We were blessed to spend a week in Gatlinburg TN. We shared a cabin with a co-worker of mine and her family. Even though we only really had a few days of good weather (it rained about half the time) our time there was still tons of fun. I am splitting this up into several posts as I don't want to overwhelm you with tons of shots or slides. :)

Our First full day in Gatlinburg, we (Rebecca, the kids and I) hung out in the morning and did the grocery run before the men came in from the Titans game Sunday Eve. After the men got in and we ate lunch, got settled and relaxed we decided to head into Pigeon Forge and check out the sights and what we might be able to do that afternoon. We decided to hit WonderWorks. It is an interactive children's museum that has tons of hands on activities for the kids. 4 out of 5 of us were able to get in free since I am a teacher. :) Was a nice perk for us! Since it was a dreary day we were not the only ones who thought it would be a good indoor activity. My boys got to climb the wall, play in a replica of a space ship, experience hurricane winds and an earthquake, dance with art in motion, play with bubbles and have an absolute blast. Riley was able to do all but a few of the activities. It was so fun to watch them. I stayed on the sidelines for the rides, just because of the pregnancy, but it was a blast for me as well. I have to say by far it was one of the best Children's museums I have been in.

Stay tuned for day 2!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Baking Day(s)

I am going to try each week to post a new recepie on here each week. I have been discovering (or re-discovering) that I love to bake. Althought working does not always give me the time I would like to bake I have discovered that I still have the knack. I have made bread (no machine) 3 times now and we all love the taste of it much better than the store bought. It was a little daunting at first, but I have realized that it really is not too hard. Sometimes time consuming, but with my family loving it so much, my plan is to do it once a month and double many of the recepies to get us through. I wanted to start with the breads, but thought it might be better to get all the pictures in to show the steps. So I will start with the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. They are SO good and smell amazing. I got the recipe off of Money Saving Mom. I was inspired since she does baking days to try and get a bunch done. Unfortunatly, I have to spread it all out. I am going to do some once a month meals as well. Freeze meals to pull out and cook on days that we are rushed. It will be so nice!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Riley's birthday is coming up (I CANNOT believe she will be 4!) and since Lee and Linda will not be in town they decided to go ahead and get her a birthday present. Riley has been wanting a big girl bike for a while and we thought we would start looking at them. Since she was wanting one and they have gotten each of the boys a toddler bike, they went ahead and got Riley her first big girl bike. It is a princess bike with all the frills and she loves it! We went ahead and got her a helmet for part of her present from us. Since it was rainy and cool we let the kids ride in the garage and they had a blast. While we were in the store she learned to ride it (push the pedals) so once she got home she was a pro. Now her biggest trick is that she will stand up to pedal like the boys and her daddy. :)

Monday, October 05, 2009

A Post for the Boys

Both Caleb and Ian were on the Cubs team this year. Matt was one of the assistant coaches again this year, and I think they all enjoyed it. We moved Ian from T-ball to the pitching machine. He has the ability (takes after Matt there), but not the concentration yet. So it was a rough season for him, but I think he is for the better since he participated. It was a learning experience and we are happy that he had it. We plan on him taking off a season, so he has time to rest and mature a bit. He did get a game ball for some completely awesome hits! Caleb had a great season, and it only improved after he got his cast off. He moved up in the batting order as the season went on and even got 2 game balls. I so enjoy having my boys play sports and I look forward the the many years that we have playing! :) I even got to be a co-team mom this year. I was a lot of hard work, but so much fun!

Ultrasound Photos

Well, for those that do not know (if we are friends on FB- then you know) we are having another boy! Riley was devastated. She wanted a little sister so badly. We took her to the ultrasound apt since she is at school with me. When the technician said it is a boy, the look on Riley's face made me want to cry! The boys were so excited, and Riley is coming around to it. She cried for about half an hour after the apt, and Matt and I are trying to get her to understand that being Daddy's only princess is a good thing, and she can still help and teach the baby so much. Each day she is getting better about it. After she was done crying, she was asking about play dates with other girls, and I told her that we could do that, but then she started crying since we apparently don't know how to get to any of their houses. I assured her that I could find out :) The next morning everyone could tell what we were having by the look on her face. When I asked if she was feeling better about it, She told me that she would rather not talk about it. That is my girl for ya.

We are excited to have another little boy- the hard part is going to be figuring out a name. I have some ideas I am toying with at this moment. We should have one picked out by the time we bring him home

Updates coming soon

I know there can't be many of you who read this anymore since I am a TERRIBLE blogger, but I am going to do some updates soon. I have pictures to post and things to document on here for me. We are on fall break and I hope to get lots of things done. I have bread rising, and hopefully will get these 4 loaves in the oven soon, then I can start on the cinnamon raisin bread. I am baking today and tomorrow, get my freezer stocked and getting my bags of meals ready for the upcoming weeks.

I have a goal that by the time the baby comes, I would like to have a months worth of bread, muffins and waffles in the freezer, and at least 2 weeks worth of meals that I can pull out any day to have for dinner. We will see....I have plenty of time.

Look for posts and pictures starting tomorrow- have tons of time to catch up on!