Tuesday, July 10, 2018

July 4th

We did a few things this year around this day.  It was brutally hot and humid, so none of them were as fun as they could have been, but we tried. 

On June 30, we went to the Rohr’s annual July 4th gathering.  It was a hot day as well, but they have a pool that people can enjoy.  It is always a relaxing time to be with friends and catch up.  There were also fireworks that night in Mt. Eaton.  We let the girls stay up for them and opted to watch them from our backyard.  You could definitely see them.  I would say they were bigger than I thought they would be; Jeremy said they were a bit smaller.  The girls would like to drive closer next year.  Maybe we will…

On Tuesday (3rd), we went with Grandma Yoh to listen to the Air Force Band who was playing in Wooster.  It was a good time.  The music was fun to listen to.  I texted a high school/college friend who lived in the area, and she came down and hung out with us.  It was good to catch up with her.  We also noted that the one trombone player looked like Goose from Top Gun.  I took a picture, but we are too far away to give you a clear view.

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On Wednesday (4th), we went with Grandma Yoh to the Fredricksburg parade.  We have been going here for the since 2012.  It is a good, long parade.  The only thing missing is a band.  The girls enjoy it.  This year, we sat a little closer to the start of the parade and got a ton of candy!  I had them pick 50 pieces, and we donated the rest to the church candy dish! 

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We followed that up with an evening with the Ohio Light Opera out in the square in Wooster.  (Same place we were on Tuesday.)  This was an orchestra and later, singers.  It was also good music.  I am glad my kids were able to go hear this. 

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Sunday, July 8, 2018

Camp Luz

First time experience for Madison in mid-June.  She attended Camp Luz for Mini Camp.  We took her on Sunday late afternoon and picked her up on Tuesday at 7pm.  We took her things to Poplar cabin with one of her counselors.  She picked an upper bunk, laid out her sleeping bag, and climbed up to test it out.  She came back down, gave us hugs good-bye, jumped up and down when her friend from school arrived to the cabin, and sent us on our way. 

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She was so confident and excited to be there.  I was so proud of her; it was easy to walk away.  I am hoping she keeps this confidence to try new things, even without us being with her.  She had a great time for the days she was there.

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She said her favorite thing was boating.  The girls got to go out on the canoes – by themselves! – on the lake.  They must have had a lot of fun out there!  When we picked her up, she was playing with others.  She wanted a picture with her counselors as well:IMG_5056

Someone asked her if she missed home.  She kinda giggled and looked shy all of a sudden.  I reassured her that she did not need to have missed home.  In fact, it was fine if she didn’t really miss home while she was away.  She said she didn’t miss home, but she was also glad to be home, but she also wanted to still be at camp!  I like that. 

While she was at camp, Ellie and I went to the Wayne County Dog Shelter and the Humane Society.  This was a BIG step for her, too, to walk through the cages of barking dogs.  She even petted one that was brought out of the cage just for her.  At the Humane Society, she played with the kittens, but didn’t really want to take them out.

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June Moments

Snapshots of June that didn’t involve vacation.  We went to Ashland to sell cookies and lemonade with our friends.  We have done this the past three years.  I usually sell little else at the garage sale, but the girls enjoy baking cookies, selling them, and earning some money.  This year, my friend’s kids were earning money for a trampoline; mine were just making money to make money.  Anyway, on the first day of sales (when we weren’t there), she said a gentleman left $100 in the donations for the trampoline jar!  Can you believe it?  Needless to say, they made their goal and now have a trampoline.  My kids walked away with about $20 a piece!  Here are the sellers:

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We learned the pay phone at Lehman’s actually works as a phone for a local call.  The girls were stunned they could talk to someone through this device with maybe the same awe we held when cell phones came out.

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My niece Lilli came over for a sleepover one night.  She is so kind.  She is five years older than Madison, but she plays with them and is willing to hang out anyway.  Plus, she likes the horses in our backyard!  Ellie found an abandoned bird’s nest on the ground and showed off the eggs.  Minutes after the picture, she forgot she had them in her hand while looking at the horses, and cracked one…  How do you forget you have eggs in your hand?

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Other fun stuff – perfectly made strawberry shortcake, mini fairy cupcakes, reading in a blanket fort, and snuggling with daddy:

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Friday, June 29, 2018

Gatlinburg Family Vacation: Part 2

Wednesday: We switched plans around at the last minute for the day because we thought it was going to rain.  So instead of tubing and horseback riding, three families headed for the Cades Cove driving tour.  It is similar to Roaring Fork with the historic buildings, but more open in its topography.  We traveled with Ben and Steph most of the time.  Things we saw: a few historic cabins of settlers, a few churches with graveyards, a working mill run powered by water, some wildlife (two bears, a coyote, turkeys, and deer), and lots of people.  It was a good day, but it got a little long in the car by the end for the kids. 

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Thursday: Horseback Riding and Tubing the River (and Dollywood for one family).  This was a kids’ choice activity day.  Ellie chose horseback riding at Big Rock Dude Ranch in Pigeon Forge.  Megan chose this, too.  So, Megan, Jen, Ellie and I went horseback riding on Alaska, Maryland, Alabama, and Gee respectively.  It was a slow controlled ride up the mountain and back down.  The girls loved it. 

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Madison chose tubing the river with River Rat in Townsend.  Jeremy took her to do this along with everyone else (but Ben and Steph’s family who went to Dollywood).  Apparently, Madison was really brave – jumping off a rock, not getting freaked out when separated on the river rapids at one point.  She loved it all. (Because it was wet and watery, we really didn’t get pictures…)

We finished this night off by playing “The Sibling Game” (think The Newlywed Game).  This was a fun one to listen to as the siblings tried to guess what the other had said.  Madison and Ellie took home the trophy for the most correct answers!  We also played Beanboozled.  In this game, you are told to eat a jelly bean of a certain color; this color could taste like juicy pears OR it could taste like boogers.  In other words, one good choice and one disgusting choice.  While funny to watch, it smelled (and tasty if you were an unlucky one) awful.  I don’t know if I would actually recommend this one.

Friday: In the morning, two families headed ziplining at Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park.  They said it was a great time; I think all of them learned how to hang upside down and some of them did a flip off the platform to start the zipline.  Our family went to Pancake Pantry for a late breakfast before heading on our adventures.

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We met them just to do the other things at the park – swinging bridge, tree canopy, and obstacle course.  It was fun to walk among the trees and above the gorge.  The obstacle course was a challenge!  It left us all breathless, sweating, and tired!  But we did it. 

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We met Ben and Steph’s family and Grandpa and Grandma back at Little Pigeon River to have one last day of mountain streams.  I got in this time and it was fun.

We had family picture night as well.

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Saturday morning, we picked up, cleaned up, and took off by about 8am.  Nate and Jen took a different route home – and beat us by quite a lot due to an hour long construction delay.  It was a good carpooling trip regardless.  And a GREAT vacation with the family.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!