Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oh yeah...

I wanted to give a shout out to my brother on his birthday today! He is 36!!! Here he is celebrating his bday with my Dad.

Smokey Mountains and Columbia, SC Temple

After visiting Ruby Falls we spent the night with my cousin and his family in Knoxville. They were so kind and hospitable. We were very comfortable and had a great time visiting and catching up. We left Knoxville and traveled through part of the Smokey Mountain National Forest. It was beautiful.

We stopped by the temple in Columbia, SC. Even though it was night time, it was still simply gorgeous. This is one of the smaller temples and you have to make appointments any time you want to attend.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, TN

My Dad visited us in January and we took the opportunity to go on another road trip. We started out by visiting Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, TN. It was so cool. It is a guided tour and they have set tour times. You ride an elevator down 265 ft and then walk a trail 1/2 mile long to the Falls. It is the largest continual water fall inside of a cave in the US. We took the kids with us, but that was a lot of work. Whopper Jr. wasn't walking really great so I held her a lot. While the trail is paved, there are several sets of stairs and also a few parts that are quite narrow so a stroller wouldn't fit through. I would recommend waiting until your kids can totally walk it on their own. We had so much fun and I am definitely going to go back with Dustin. Here is their website for more info:

Outside, getting ready to go in:

The Look Out Tower:

Waiting inside for the tour to start:

There is a stream that goes through the cave, this is a little puddle:

A picture of the trail:

The Falls are the long white strip down the middle. They have different lighting for a dramatice effect. We were slower because of the kids, so we missed the white light where you could really see it. Oh well, there is always next time!

You can't see it at all, but I am standing in front of the water:

Friday, February 15, 2008

I Am Grateful

I am grateful for the chance I had to teach YW on Sunday. It gave me the motivation I needed to get back on track.

I am grateful for good friends.

I am grateful for a sweet husband who knows me and loves me. He left me a little note when he left town on Sunday and I needed that!

I am grateful for modern marvels, like the dishwasher and washing machine and hot showers among others.

I am grateful for advances in science and medicine and that I am mother to two beautiful healthy children.

I am grateful for the gospel and the peace it brings me knowing that I will see my Mom again someday.

I am grateful for my family.

Friday, February 8, 2008

My Mom

I made wheat pancakes for breakfast and ate them with home made syrup and inevitably I thought of my Mom. She always made a hot breakfast for us to eat before school because it was the most important meal of the day. And wheat pancakes were one of her favorites. Now I cheated and used Aunt Jemima pancake mix from a box. My Mom would actually grind the wheat in the blender and make the batter from scratch. I hope to do it that way someday. Maybe when my kids are older. The saying is true - you don't know what you have until it's gone. You know, I miss my Mom every day. But I am so thankful that I had a good relationship with her. That I could (and did) call her every day and tell all about the mundane mommy stuff going on in my world and she cared. Besides my husband she was one of my biggest cheerleaders and someone who could comfort me with the pat of a hand. I am typing this with the biggest lump in my throat and tears streaming down my face because I never realized or appreciated enough how much she did for me and how much she sacrificed for me and how much she taught me. Just by doing and showing me that the little things are the ones that count that the most. Like wheat pancakes and home made syrup.

My Mom didn't want me to take this picture. She hadn't fixed her hair yet. She was holding my kids so we could load up our van and head back home. I am so glad I did. I had no idea it would the last time I saw her.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Silly Girl

I came into the kid's room yesterday and Whopper Jr. was all ready to go! She had her little messenger bag around her neck and was holding another bag in her hand. I can't believe that she is accessorizing already.

Another Whopper Jr. funny: Dustin was changing Whopper's diaper. He finished and went to get his pants to put them back on and they weren't where he set them. He stands Whopper up and say's out loud "Where's Whopper's pants?" He keeps looking all over and can't find them. He asks Whopper Jr. where Whopper's pants are and she goes over to the dresser, opens the drawer and pulls them out. She had put them in there when Dustin wasn't paying attention!