Thursday, November 12, 2009

Like Fall Leaves Drifting By...

So are the recent days in our lives. (Almost sounds like the daytime television soap opera.) Sometimes I think our daily lives might make a good show. Not really, but maybe better than the soap opera I was eluding to here. Sorry if I have offended any "Days" fans out there!:-)

Anyhow, we have been ultra busy through the month of October and that mode of "busy" seems to have carried right on to November. We kicked the month off with Jan's birthday. The children enjoyed picking out his gifts and especially enjoyed sharing in his chocolate cake. One thing that is a "must" for Jan's birthday is CHOCOLATE cake. So, this year I ordered a chocolate cake with chocolate icing PLUS chocolate covered strawberries...if that's not enough chocolate, I don't know what would be! It was really good! And I am not even a big chocolate fan. Here's a couple of shots from Jan's birthday dinner we had last Tuesday night. Notice he had a little help blowing out his candles.
Mary Claire seems to enjoy chocolate covered strawberries as much as her daddy does!

The next morning we decided to take the ENTIRE clan on a weekend trip to East TN. That's right! Kiddos, too! Jan's sister gave us tickets for the UT game, and I knew Jan really wanted to go. So I put aside the desire to just say no to avoid the struggle of dragging 3 small children on a road trip and then to a HUGE stadium with thousands of people in attendance. I decided that I would adopt Jon and Kate's motto for the weekend...It may be a crazy life, but it's OUR life. After all, it is in times such as these that some of the best memories are made, right?

And wonderful memories were made! Plus, it wasn't that bad. I have been blessed with children who are fairly decent travelers. The boys are great when traveling, always have been. Mary Claire wasn't sure about it at first, but realizing that she really didn't have a choice, I think she adapted pretty quickly. We stayed in Pigeon Forge, visited Cades Cove on Saturday, and cheered the VOLS on that night in Neyland stadium! It was so much fun! The kids surprised me with how good they were at the game. No whining, fighting, no multiple trips to the bathroom or harassing of nearby spectators...all things I had prepared myself for. Only a nice compliment on how well-behaved our children were from the man sitting behind us. I wanted to laugh out loud when he said it(He probably just said it to be nice, anyway), but I just smiled and said, "Thank you" as we left the game early to avoid the traffic. The boys loved the game, the fireworks(which we got to see every time TN scored), the U of M band (which was just down from our seats), and the stadium food we ate.

The weather was perfect, and I found myself thankful for the fact that I didn't let my worry of taking everyone on this trip keep me from doing this. Here are some of my favorite shots from the weekend...

Love this one because it shows John Owen's enthusiasm as he cheers with the crowd and Jonah's silliness when he knows the camera's on!

No, we didn't just pick up another kid for the trip! (3's enough, don't ya' think?) This is our cousin, Owen Thomas. My boys loved spending time with him on the trip. He got in our vehicle before we got to East TN and stayed with us until it was time to travel back. I got to imagine what it would be like with 4 kids while he was with us.

And they're off! Runnin' up the trail to the first cabin we visited at Cades Cove.

Cades Cove--November 2009

My boys' (& my little girl's) 1st Neyland Stadium game!

Just ONE of MC's reactions on the Jurassic Boat Ride!

Digging for fossils at the Dinosaur Walk Museum

We took alot more pictures and as you can see, we even stuck around in Pigeon Forge and did a couple of fun things before leaving Sunday. Great weekend trip!

Funny highlights we'll be talking about for awhile: "Road Rage" with a man sporting a handicap sticker from his rearview mirror. He called me CRAZY through his window. I thought it was funny! :-) Jan almost running over an outdoor grill at the condo. Why must he always find something to back into? Scaring the OOGA BOOGAS out of John Owen, Mary Claire and MYSELF on the Jurassic Boat Ride. Yes, I was scared and I shouldn't have taken MC on it! Jonah and Jan were just fine the whole time. Jonah was even reassuring John Owen that "the dinosaurs weren't real!" I got to eat at a Cracker Barrel (Jan thinks it's corny, but I think it's a MUST when traveling along I-40 or anywhere for that matter).

I'm already looking forward to next time! :-)


Christi said...

Great pics! Glad you had a fun, safe trip (except, maybe the Jurassic Park ride-hee,hee!)

Kendra said...

Sounds like an awesome trip! Good for you for daring it, surviving it and enjoying it!