Eighteen

Elementary school is out at noon on Wednesdays, making it one of the best days of the week. Also on this day, the pool hosts Wacky Wednesday. They offer discount admission and a huge inflatable obstacle course. The twins and I try to go as often as we can. It is cheap entertainment, great exercise, and it helps fill the time until Liam is out of school at three. Today the twins took my waterproof camera into the pool with them. They took a lot (a lot…) of pictures and videos. I think the videos are a little too long to share on here, but some of their pictures turned out pretty cute. ūüôā

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Cooling Off in Big Creek

About six miles down the road, we cross the North Carolina border and arrive at Big Creek, right where it dumps into the Pigeon River. This is the perfect swimming hole on warm sunny days. The kids absolutely love it, and while Rob and I do get in the water from time to time, what we really enjoy is the down time on the shore.¬†Today we¬†sat in the shade and read while the kids slowly turned themselves into prunes. I must admit, though, the little water chute is very fun to ride down, even if the water is beyond cold. ūüôā

The Best Laid Plans: Part Two

We had originally planned on celebrating the twins’ birthday in Nashville, but decided Knoxville would be just as nice.

They wanted to go swimming for their birthday this year, and since we might not be near any pools next week when their birthday arrives, we decided it best to celebrate a little early.

When we arrived in Knoxville, we took¬†the kids¬†to Toys R’ Us so the twins¬†could spend their birthday money. Then we went and checked into a hotel, a special treat for all of us. (And the only way¬†we could think of to use a pool in the middle of January.) We picked up a cake at a¬†bakery, feasted on some waffles, and let the kids¬†swim¬†until they were completely water-logged. Then, after hot baths, they zoned out in front of some cartoons, something they have not¬†done in almost five months.

We slept like kings in real beds.

And took long, long hot showers.

In the morning the kids swam a little more, then took another hot shower before we checked out of our room. Having already mapped a place to stay for the night, we parked Waldo and headed to the theater to use the gift cards we had received for Christmas. A free movie was a great way to spend the afternoon.

I think for now what we really need is to get out-of-town, something we had planned on doing anyway. We are desperately needing to have some down time, time away from cities and traffic and places to spend money. Time to relax and hike, read and run.

We had planned on heading out today, but with the freezing rain, we have decided to just stay put. Luckily, we are not on any schedule. So now we are trying to decide where to spend some time in the woods. With the Cherokee National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park just down the road, there are quite a few options. We just have to narrow it down. And remember  to be flexible, because we will most likely need to be.

But for now, we are just going to relax, drink some hot chocolate, eat some warm noodles and pet the cat, who seems to be a little hurt that we didn’t take him into the hotel with us…

And I added Tennessee to our state map. ūüôā

My 52: Week 33

In a pond full of loud geese all fighting over tiny pieces of bread, this pretty girl was perfectly content to stay in the background all by herself. She was not competing for anything, demanding nothing. She swam around peacefully, occasionally ducking her head for a small tidbit floating by. I loved her peacefulness.     

Floating the Day Away

At the end of last school year, the kids each earned a free pass into the local water park. Today was supposed to be beautiful out, so we decided it was a great day to go play in the water.

We spent the majority of our time in the lazy river.

It had a water slide as well as a wave rider where you could try your hand on a boogie board. Nathan and Catheryn really enjoyed the slide and William loved the waves.

 

A few hours playing in the water sure can wear you out. We had a great afternoon, though.¬†I fear Wadsworth Pond won’t¬†be quite as exciting after the water park, but I am glad we were able to go.

 

Summer Afternoon

“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”¬† ~Henry James

Today was unbelievably gorgeous! And hot! Oh boy, was it hot. The news tonight said we hit 99 degrees!¬†I couldn’t think of a better place to spend the afternoon than on the water.

 

So after we went and had lunch with Rob at work, the kids and I loaded up the kick-boats, donned swimsuits, grabbed life jackets and headed for the pond. We then spent the next couple of hours rowing around the pond, periodically jumping into the refreshing water.

    

The kids all practiced their rowing, we played bumper boats, had a race, boys vs. girls, the boys won.¬†Even I swam around, which I don’t normally do in ponds. I even dunked my head! Unintentionally, of course, but a dunk is a dunk!

When it was time to pack up and head for home, William¬†wanted to know¬†when we could do¬†this again. I think he’s feeling pretty neat now that he is big enough to row his own boat and jump in the water whenever he wants to. He doesn’t have to wait for Mom or Dad, he doesn’t need his hand held anymore, he is old enough to do things¬†on his¬†own.

  

What a marvelous afternoon it was. And to answer your question, William, we will do this again soon. Very, very soon. But only if we can have another race,¬†and we girls aren’t going to let you stinky ol’ boys win again…