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Showing posts from May, 2012

New River Gorge

We made the annual Memorial Day kayaking trip to the New River Gorge.  This is one of the first kayaking trips of the year for the Dayton OAC and we were happy to reconnect with our friends from Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania - in West Virginia.  Oddly enough, though we were camped two miles from our very favorite spot, the New River Gorge bridge, we never made it down to the bottom.  Allen kayaked the Meadow, New, and Gauley rivers, while the kids and I enjoyed the perfect spot he found the first day on the Meadow.  Cliff jumping and rope swings!  I sat in a kayak and took pics, and was the safety boater in case they needed me. They didn't (beyond a slight belly-smacker that took Matt's breath away). Videos at the end!
Jack the dog did some swimming and exploring too.  He didn't seem to want to jump though. 

 Lizzy pretty much stood on this rock all day and called it fun.  She does that.
She did try the rope swing a few times. 
Josh and Matt though, no fear. They lo…

West Virginia

We still love the bigger, badder west, but we've missed the green of the east and the Smoky Mountains.  You can't see as far, but you get a new view from each hilltop.  We enjoyed the drive through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Four quick hours of pretty scenery, Robinson Crusoe on audiobook, knitting (for me), and real old country stations (for Allen & the kids).
 Even the Walmarts are surrounded by woods instead of city noise! 

Green Mountain

We stayed at Green Mountain in Lenoir NC and met up with the Hensons again.  We had a beautiful site in this pretty, hilly campground with a big deck for our porch. 
We had no cell and barely a sniff of wifi, so we worked in the clubhouse.  Allen, Matt, and Kyle went kayaking on the Watauga.  Since the pool wasn't open yet, the kids found a great spot to swim in the creek. Well, in the culvert anyway. 
The boys caught fish with their bare hands.  (They were trapped in the creek from a flood.)  I'm not sure how many they "saved".  
We were introduced to the local NC drink Cheerwine.  It was similar to cherry coke and the kids loved it.

Josh organized his arsenal.  I don't recommend going into his room uninvited!
We spent a little too much time at Krispy Kreme.  We also checked out a local group that is practicing "being church" instead of "going to church" which is something we're really pondering.

Krispy Kreme

We took a field trip to Krispy Kreme to see how donuts are made. Okay... two.  Okay, fine... three.  Okay? Geesh!  It's educational you know.  And so soso yummy getting donuts fresh out of the giant pit of fat and under the glaze waterfall!  Man did we consume learn about some calories!   
Mmmmmmmmmmmm...  
Tim Hawkins said they taste like a baby angel, and that's really a great description!  So sweet and soft and fluffy and they melt in your mouth.  Hm, wonder if there's a Krispy Kreme near us now...

Tallulah Gorge

Tallulah Gorge is one of our most excruciatingly painful favorite hikes. We survived loved it last year and were forced by Allen wanted to try it again.  The gorge is beautiful with many waterfalls and blooming trees, but there are around 600 steps down and then 600 steps back up!  Plus the bouldering at the bottom to get to the sliding rock.  But yes, I grudgingly admit it is worth it!
This year we were met by a copperhead, not my favorite thing to see on a hike, or ever.  Lizzy almost stepped on it, and very nicely screamed to alert us.  We gave him space and moved on.  On the way back, it was more interesting.  Allen almost stepped on it and his Spidey sense went off (yes, he has that).  He looked down and saw the same icky snake coiled up now.  As Josh started to step down, Allen yelled and pushed him out of the way.  Crisis averted.  Allen, the darn the snake-picker-upper, has said (after our begging and yelling) that he won't pick up venomous ones.  But he did use a stick to…

Meal planning

Back when we lived in a house, I'd cook whatever I felt like at the time, pulling from the shelves, cupboards, pantry, big fridge, or two freezers.  Now with our small home, even smaller kitchen, cooler-size fridge, and shoebox-size freezer, we have to be more intentional.  We do weekly meal planning and shop only for those meals.  (And we save a lot of money not buying the extras!) 
Each week, I used to sit down and ask for meal suggestions, then grab the recipes and write out a list, then try to remember what else we might need, but that got old quickly.  Now I've done all that work in advance.  I have 5 weeks of our favorite meals and their shopping lists printed, and I keep them nearby with my recipes.  We just choose a week that sounds good, grab that list, and go shop!  If we get bored of these menus, we'll just add more.  But it's so convenient to have these menus AND the shopping lists already printed.  Now we're happy campers (literally)! 
I wanted a…