We definitely love to travel as a family. This years' big trip-so far-was a trip to Pigeon Forge, TN. We drove down to Hillsboro, NC, first, to spend the weekend with Brent's sister, Rhonda. One of the highlights of the weekend for the children was a visit to the North Carolina Musuem of Life and Science. (We have a reciprocal yearly membership to all the children's museums/science centers nationwide.)
Eliana and Aunt Rhonda exploring the water pumps:
Four little ones, excited about being on "bacation":
Ethan is learning to walk! He took his first steps alone later on this week:
Daddy B and Momma B, a week before our 12th wedding anniversary:
Next stop on our vacation was church on Sunday. We were so blessed to visit our dear friends Ray and Robin McCormick in Asheboro, NC for their Sunday morning services. Ray pastors the church and what a blessing to hear him preach and see their ministry in person. Our friendship goes back to before both families had children, back when both were dealing with infertility and praying for children. Now they have FIVE and we are going to be bringing home number FIVE from China in a few months---TEN precious blessings from two families desiring to please the Lord. Our time with the McCormicks was short, and I failed to take any pictures, but it was a blessing to see them again!
NEXT STOP: Pigeon Forge, TN
After running through a drive-thru for lunch, we got on the road for TN. The drive went smoothly and we checked into our condo around 6:30 p.m. It was a beautiful two-bedroom with a complete kitchen/dining room! Plenty of space for our family, and all our stuff.....
Time and space won't allow me to post about all of the fun things we were able to experience this week, so I'll just give you the "highlights" in pictures!
Silly little Noah giving me an "orange" smile at lunch one day:
The go-cart track was three-tiered and scary!
An evening of fun at the Comedy Barn:
The best part of the trip, according to Eliana, was the morning we went horseback riding. She had her own pony, and I rode double with Nathaniel, while Brent kept the littlest ones. It was not an easy trail--picture lots of steep trails!! We had to hold on and close our eyes. Seriously!
Another highlight for the whole family was the two days we spent at Dollywood. Such a lovely, fun, family atmosphere at this amusement park! They had a special where you could purchase tickets after 3 pm one day, and then come back free the next whole day. So when we arrived the first day, here's what our youngest two were doing:
Fun at Dolllywood:
Our afternoon at The Miracle was so special. It's a musical on the life of Jesus. Not as good as Sight and Sound, but still a thought-provoking play, and tastefully done. We got a picture with one of the "archangels"...
Our favorite dinner was definitely our night at the Dixie Stampede! No matter how many times we go to their dinner show, we always LOVE it!
We have a family tradition of allowing the children to get a special "memory" from our trip. Eliana chose a silver ring with her name engraved on it, and the boys chose a cork gun from Dollywood. They also got free hats from the horseback riding day. One morning I found them playing like this:
I love their mismatched jammies and precious smiles!
All in all, a wonderful week, lots of family snuggles and fun memories for each of us. Thank you, Lord, for our family!