Sunday, October 28, 2012

Laurel Falls Hike

We had a soccer-game-free Saturday thanks to fall break and decided to answer the call of the Smokys and try out Laurel Falls hike. This was a good one for the little girls, the paved trail was much less trip-able than Abrams Falls last year. Afton and Lydia even walked all the way up without being carried, unprecedented! The weather was perfect, the foliage was stunning, and there were plenty of climb-around-on-the-rocks opportunities along the way.

Let's begin...

Hello, beautiful.

The game was to try and catch falling leaves before they got to the ground.
Emma won.


Scott climbed with the big three midway up the falls for a good photo op.

But then they decided to maximize the adventure and find a way all the way to the top.

But then (and if you know Scott this comes as no surprise) they decided to see what else was up there. While the little girls and I floated leaves in the cold waterfall pool and took photos for other families, Scott and the big three explored further and further upstream, crossing fallen trees, jumping across rocks and discovering what they named "Mini Abrams Falls." Once they returned the kids were excited to show me where they'd gone. So Scott, Lydia and Afton got a head start down the trail while Emma, Ben and Josh led me on their bonus hike. The main trail had been really busy with the peak season crowd, so it was great to spend a little time off on our own.

Mini Abrams Falls

I love these kids.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Trunk or Treat, The Hunger Games family costumes

A couple of weeks ago we held a dinner-time vote on what our family theme would be this year. There were lots of good nominations, but I'm glad we ended up with The Hunger Games. The big three kids have all read it and loved the movie too, and the little girls are always very willing to go along with themes they don't completely understand. Lydia did at least have an idea who Katniss is.

The costumes were mostly curated, but each had at least one little homemade piece. Afton's was the only one that I had to sew the whole thing (many people thought she was a penguin. oh well).

Peeta. He went with the pre-games Peeta. 

Mockingjay. Looked at the cover of book three for a guide.

Katniss. Ready to hunt us some dinner.

Caesar Flickerman. He was in heaven with his blue hair.
Desperately wanted to wear it to school that way.

Foxface. Can't see her bag but it's the one she got from the cornucopia with
a big 5 on it. You know, 'cause she's from district 5.

Seneca Crane, the game-maker.
Oh how I love this man for letting me paint a beard on his face...he might have preferred I shove
bamboo shoots under his fingernails. (He did get off ridiculously easy last year.)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Corn Maze

We were undaunted by the threatening clouds. We were not dispelled by the sprinkling that started about five minutes away from our destination. We would not be deterred by the soaking cloud burst that started when we were in line to get our wristbands. We had planned it for weeks, driven a long way, Scott had left work early, and by golly, we were going to wait it out.

I'm so glad we did.

The kids enjoyed looking around the gift shop for a few minutes and the pounding rain blew over quickly. The clouds remained, but the rain kindly took leave of the party and we spent the rest of the day getting our corn maze on.

I love this place. We spent the first bit letting everyone run around wild to whichever attractions they wanted.

Running around the hill was their favorite thing.

Funnel fries!

This is the goat that chewed on my ponytail. Jerk.
After awhile we rounded everyone up and went to the mini-maze. Every kid got their own card and we had a race to see who could find the six checkpoints first. We all got stuck on the last one and decided to work together. Lydia was the one who found it at last.

Just as the sun was starting to dim we headed into the big maze. Our plan was to stick together and try to find all of the checkpoints and also the hidden F.S.I. clues (farm scene investigation. One of the animals killed Farmer Joe and we had to figure out who, where and with what--just like the board game Clue). We took turns leading and eventually found them all. We may or may not have resorted to cutting through the corn once or twice when Afton started showing signs that it was just about past her bedtime. She had a good time though. The next day when we were in the car, after a minute of contemplative silence she reminisced, "Remember when we saved Farmer Joe?"

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thanks, Bri!

My friend Brianna is running a mini-session promotion (check it out). Lucky for us, she needed some guinea pigs and we got some great new portraits (which one should I hang on the wall?).

And some fun Christmasy photobooth style ones...

the kids loved-loved-loved the props,
they wanted to use them all

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Good night for Cub Scouts

(bad night for remembering my camera...sorry for the lousy phone shot)