Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Japanese delicacy

"Remember, whatever we shoot, we eat."

Wise words spoken from father to son, in an effort to teach responsibility and respect for hunting.

Words spoken minutes after Dylan eagerly ripped the packaging off of  his new beloved bb gun.  A long and highly anticipated birthday gift.

I kid you not, almost every single day since opening that pkg, the kid gets off the bus, grabs a snack, and throws his gun over his shoulder.  And on his way out the door he shouts " I"m going hunting mom!"

He can be seen through the windows walking around and whisling to himself, always looking up, constantly aiming his gun at "the big juicy birds"  flying high up in the trees. 

Well a few Saturdays ago, the kids aim was spot on.

And down fell a juicy sparrow.

He came running into the house shrieking that he got one.
I ran out to take a look, and sure enough he was right. And after 6 more bb's to the head, he assured me that it was indeed dead.
True to his word, Tim helped him clean that little sparrow.

And while we all ate grilled hamburgers Sat nite, Dylan ate his bird:)
Not much meat on those little guys.

Here's hoping the boy doesn't aim at any squirrels any time soon.
Happy Tuesday all~

Monday, April 23, 2012

Let's wrap this up already.

The next day we got up and headed out to go horseback riding, gem mining, and fishing on a stocked pond.

Horseback riding was fun!

The big kids were able to ride their own horses, and Tim and I each took one of the little girls. Ellery SCREAMED when we first put her on the horse, but she calmed herself and actually really enjoyed it....to the point that she kept hitting my hands away, because she wanted to hold the reigns all by herself.

Stella complied, but wanted no part of touching the horse, or fun for that matter, and eventually dozed off until the ride was over.

The big kids did great! Dyl was a bit nervous at first, but all went smooth, and Syd  has already requested a horse of her own.

I had to scan in these photos...no camera's were allowed, and these about broke Tim's wallet out of love for me and my need to capture the kids first horse ride, so they must be displayed and admired :)

Gem mining...

Later that afternoon, we went back to the National Park and took a hike up to Hen Wallow Falls.
After a lot of huffing and puffing on my part, we made it. 
And it was beautiful.
Well worth the climb:)

Naturally, I had to take a picture of this sign...

Now that's a workout....

We made it!

The next day, we got up and enjoyed the heated outdoor pool and sunshine, went in the mountains again, and took off for home early evening.

Good times.
We'll definately be back someday :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ober Gatlinburg

The next day we slept in a bit after our long day/night of hiking, leisurly ate breakfast, and headed out the door to Ober Gatlinburg.  Ober is ski resort nestled up in the mountains overlooking the quaint  little town...and during the warm months it turns into an amusement park.

We rode the chairs to the top, and raced back down on the alpine slide....

They spent a lot of time going through the maze...

Bobby took his baby sis on the train ride...

And after about 4 hours of this outdoor fun, it rained, and shut everything down.
So, we headed inside and ate lunch...and as we were finishing up, the sun came back out.

So we headed over to the wildlife area of the park to look at the animals.  And it began to downpour again. 

And I finally accepted that the rain wasn't going to to stop long enough to open the outdoor rides back up again, and stopped asking the people that worked there :)  Apparantly they don't defer to their doplar radar as quickly as we do....they just "wait and see how it goes". 

So, we made the best of it, and enjoyed the indoors.
Tim and the big kids went ice skating...

And while they were skating, I enjoyed the carousel with the little gals...again and again.....and again :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Smoky Mountains

Ok. I left off in a 2 bed hotel room in Cave City, KY.

While the sleeping arrangements were a bit dicey, and my blood pressure stayed in an elevated state for far too long...you can't beat free continental breakfast for 7!  And it was a good one too :)

After our tour at Mammoth, we ate a delightful picnic lunch on a beautiful rolling hillside and let the kids frolic about for a bit, before we packed up and drove the last leg to our destination, Gatlinburg TN.
Almost there!

And as it turns out, the crazy amount of people in KY seemed to follow us there.
Gatlinburg is one busy little tourist town.

We checked into our resort  (which turned out to be so much nicer than I imagined) and got settled in.  The resort was literally tucked into the mountains, and our condo just so happened to have a creek running just below the deck behind it.  The concierge alerted us of a black bear that was often sighted down there, and to be on the lookout.

And that was all my little pioneers needed to hear.
Unfortunately, we never did see it.

The next morning, we decided to go exploring in Smoky Mt. National Park.
We drove to the visitor center, grabbed a map...and naturally Tim decided that our first hike should be to the top of Clingmans Dome.  The highest point in the Smokies, elevation 6,643'.

We made it!
  It was actually a nice steep 1/2 mile paved path to the top.
So high, we were in the clouds!
 And man oh man, did Tim and I get a workout carrying the little gals uphill all week (well, mostly Tim :)

Then we ventured off the path a bit, becasue that's what we do...

After that we did some more exploring, hiking, and view loving. I was a bit of a nervous nellie with the little gals, because everywhere we walked, it was steep cliff.

We drove to New Found Gap...

Naturally we found a creek to play in....

...many salamanders took cover in fear of these 2.

...the pink pole caught a fish every.single.time.

And after all that, we decided to take another hike...because for some reason, we don't stop until we drop on vacation:)

We decided to take the 2 mile hike to Mt. Chimney Tops.  It was labeled "strenuous", as the last 100 feet or so, you literally scale the rock up to the top.

Everything was so lush and beautiful. 
I pretended I was someplace tropical :)

Well, about one third of the way up, we realized Stella was never going to make it.  I turned back with her and Sydney and the boys made the trek to the top.

..So Ellery can boast she made it to the top of the mountain someday :)

more to come...