Well if you haven't thought we were crazy before now, you probably will after reading this post. We just got back from an extended vacation that took us all across the state of North Carolina. We left on a Friday to head to my sister Farah's house in Pinehurst where we had a blast. Sean, Hunter, Peyton, Noah, Isaac, Eden and I got up the next morning and headed to Winston Salem to go to the book fair at the NC Home Education Conference. Can I just say, go to a large homeschooling conference to completely confuse yourself as to what curriculum to use. Well, confused we were and still have no clue as to what exactly to use. You would think after homeschooling for close to 12 years we would have it figured out by now. But that's another post. We went to the convention and left Anna Grace, Treasure, Farah Beth and Josiah with my sister, who also had her little girl Gracelyn. She showed me up big time by taking all of the kids to eat at the Golden Coral, strawberry picking, baked homemade muffins and played outside on the slip and slide, all by herself. Yeh, maybe you will think SHE is the crazy one :) I don't dare take my own kids out to a buffet without Sean being there. Farah did find out that Josiah and Gracelyn do well acting as Bonnie and Clyde:) Not too much that they don't get into.
We returned that night and hung out the rest of the weekend with Matt, Farah and Gracelyn and had a great time. We love being with them and wish we lived closer, (totally our fault though and that too is another story). We got up Monday morning and drove for 6 hours to Franklin, NC to spend the rest of our weekend in the luxurious confines of dirt and creek, tent camping! Yes, we took 9 kids and stayed in a tent from Monday through Friday. Now do you think we're crazy? LOL. We stayed at Standing Indian Campground which is in the Nantahalla National Forest at about 5300 feet elevation. This was the best part because while everyone else in the Carolinas were baking, it was low 80's in the day and in the low 50's at night. We spent several days in the Nantahalla river letting the kids play and fish and skip rocks. We went to several waterfalls, one that we had to hike a pretty tough half mile trail to get there. I joked that my OB would kill me if she knew a 19 week pregnant woman were hiking up large inclines and thigh size tree roots to get to a waterfall. Needless to say, I will not be sharing that info with her at my next appointment. It was worth it though as the kids had a blast sliding down the waterfall into a small pool below. The other waterfall we drove to was the Dry Falls in Highlands, NC. This waterfall was really awesome! You could walk behind the falls and see right through the water as it headed into a small canyon. We kept talking about the glory of God and how He spoke so much beauty into existence. We went fishing one day at a small fishery that is like catching fish in a barrel. We drove up and piled out to a stupefied expression on the mountain couple's faces to see 9 kids coming at them for fishing poles. We didn't disappoint. We pulled fish out left and right with everyone of us "catching" a fish. Sean caught one for Farah Beth and Treasure. I caught a fish, along with a rather large tree, which the mountain man had to rescue from my fishing pole. One of the kids caught the foot of their dog, which the mountain man also had to rescue. At this point, we knew it was time to take the fish and run. :)
We had a great time other than the little ones battling a cold all week. We headed back on Friday and all of us were extremely glad to be back home. Sean and I talked on the way home about how we don't have much more time to do things like this as a family. Hunter will be 17 in January and we are praying about his fast approaching future. Peyton is 13 and before we know it she will be gone as well. We don't always cherish these times as we should but we pray that God would give us an uncommon thankfulness for the gifts that He has given to us in these children. SOOO, pregnant or not, sick or not, we will continue to do the crazy things as a family. :0)