Saturday, August 30, 2014

Flower Timeline Tool

I have been diligent at capturing what flowers are blooming in our yard for the past 9 months at our new house for two main reasons. 1) I love to show off the beauty we find all around us; and 2) I want to see what blooms when, find the gaps, and strategically plant flowers that will bloom during that time.
I found a simple timeline tool that is actually designed for school teachers. It is called Capzles. It allowed me to upload pictures of the flowers, seasons, etc. and actually put them into order by when they were taken. This was magnificent! I just changed the file names to the flower name and bam! I had a visual timeline of my yard right there in front of me. I’m on the hunt for some winter blooms (probably hard to come by), and some for June, July, and early August.
I am super impressed by this free tool. I can see it also coming in handy for pregnancies, babies growing up, milestones reached, etc. I’m so glad I found it.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Justin’s Next Project

I saw my first Lineberry factory cart probably two years ago. I have wanted one ever since.
When we lived in our old house, I knew that having one was nearly impossible. The cart would have been too big for our living room. When we moved into our house we currently live in, the brick floors practically screamed, “WE NEED A FACTORY CART TABLE!!!” Who am I to say no, right? I started researching these beauties and found that they can go for more than $1,000 restored. NOT GONNA HAPPEN, folks!
My sweet husband found a salvage dealer that was selling some old carts in poor condition for a fraction of the price and lovingly gave up his birthday money meant for tractor parts in order for us to get one.
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We pulled up to a private home and found these carts in terrible condition. The folks that had them worked with us to make sure we had a complete set of hardware. Justin wants to replace the old wood and refurbish the metal pieces.
They had a really neat collection of salvaged pieces. Wyatt and I had a blast poking through all of the fun stuff scattered around the garage.
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Justin and the owner loaded up the cart and a few other fun finds (more on that later) and we were off!
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I love the beautiful “daisy” wheels and the character it will add to our living room. I can’t wait until Justin gets a chance to work on it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fun Stuff

We started out last weekend with a Turner County Rebels football game. I was crazy to think that was a good idea in mid August, but Wyatt wanted to see the game so I took him to meet up with Suzi, David, Liam, and Pax. We didn’t even make it to half time. The boys had a blast though—especially because Aunt Suzi hooked Wyatt up with Bug Juice and a Ring Pop!
I love seeing Liam be such a great big brother to baby Pax. Suzi laid him down while she was getting her diaper bag and car seat ready to go and Liam just sprawled out beside him to watch him sleep!
Our flowers are continuing to bloom. I have been anticipating these “airplane plants” –according to Aunt Faye—to bloom mid-August, but when they came out, it wasn’t what I was expecting. After consulting the peanut gallery on Facebook, my Aunt Kimmy’s comment that they looked like spiders or jelly fish led me to find the Wikipedia article that helped me identify them as hymenocalis, or spider lilies commonly.
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My white ginger started to bloom also. I really need to remember to stake them up next year. They are falling all over our brick walkway. They smell heavenly.
Wyatt and May played out in the front yard in the water spigot while I worked on a little project I’ll post about later.
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Also, our pear tree is loaded down with pears! Wyatt likes to go pick one and munch on it while we play outside in the afternoons.
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Saturday kicks of UGA football season. Wyatt’s book Monday night was an alphabet book that pointed out important UGA football traditions and players.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Awana and Justin’s 32nd Birthday!

On Wednesday we went to the AWANA kickoff carnival at our church. I am so excited for Wyatt to join Cubbies. I tried to explain to him that he can learn Bible verses and get a vest and badges for different achievements but all he wanted to know was if there was going to be a snack. Typical three year old!
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Our church had burgers and hot dogs and fun inflatables for the kids to play on. Wyatt thought he was big because all he wanted to do was play basketball with the big boys.
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When we got home that night, Wyatt and Justin lay out on the man cave floor and colored dinosaur pictures. I love stuff like this!
Thursday didn’t start off so well for me. I was up a few times the night before and I stayed home from work. I had fourteen folks coming over for Justin’s 32nd birthday dinner and I wasn’t feeling very festive. I took it easy and made sure to switch clothes from the washer to the dryer to the couch. Finally after lunch I got a second wind and started with a vengeance. I swept, straightened, put clothes away, and picked up Wyatt at daycare just in time to start cooking. Justin had to grill the pork and thankfully Mrs. Desiree made the cake and ice cream. I would have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off otherwise.
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After cake and ice cream, we enticed Justin outside with the promise of shooting off some fireworks and fire crackers. Amanda and the kids had other plans—they had a cooler full of COLD water balloons. We had a big water balloon fight and eventually set off some of the small fireworks.
Paxton was a charmer. He smiled so big at my daddy, it melted my heart. We teased Wyatt a little about Pax taking his stuffed animals home. He doesn’t get very jealous about all of the attention he gets from everyone else, but Wyatt’s still not too keen on sharing his toys and blankets.
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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Smoky Mountains Camping, Part 2

We planned on spending most of our vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but we did spend some time in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg doing tourist-y stuff. It has been almost 5 years since we’ve been to the area, but it seems like they have done a lot to improve the building codes in both towns. They all appear to be more unified and the shops are a tiny bit less cheesy.

Our first stop was Goats on the Roof. We had been to their original store in Tiger, Georgia and also their second location in Helen, Georgia but we didn’t know there was one in Pigeon Forge until we drove past it. Wyatt had a blast feeding the goats and looking at them on the roof from the second floor windows.IMG_0882 IMG_0875

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We stopped at the Apple Barn for apple dumplings, cider, and pie. It almost put us all into a sugar coma but it was delicious. Justin said a trip up there just isn’t complete without a trip to the Apple Barn.

We didn’t see anything that grabbed our immediate attention in Pigeon Forge after that until Wyatt say a giant Ferris wheel on the horizon. He wanted to do it. He NEEDED to do it! Since he was exceptionally good and hadn’t asked for anything other than a pack of Smarties the night before, we gave in. We spent almost $35 (with coupons!) for the three of us to ride the Smoky Mountain Wheel. It was okay but definitely didn’t provide the wow factor I was expecting. Wyatt loved it and for that it was worth it. It was only after we got done riding that I found out it was open at night. THAT would have been worth the money. I am sure Pigeon Forge lit up at night from the towering Ferris wheel would have been amazing!


We then went to Gatlinburg and tested out their three newest attractions: distilleries. We went to Davy Crockett’s (my favorite) where I loved the amaretto whiskey and cinnamon whiskey, Sugarlands Distilling Company where I really liked their apple pie moonshine, and Ole’ Smoky Distillery, where I gave up. After about 10 communion cups of straight liquor, I wasn’t excited to try the 12 shot line up. I really wanted to try their moonshine cherries, but Justin said you lost all of the cherry flavor and it tasted like straight liquor. We ended up not getting any. We decided it would be best if we waited until we tried them all to see what our favorites were. In the end we were tired and ready to make tracks back to the camp ground. If we had visited each store individually, we probably would have come home with a case.

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The final tourist-y thing we did in Gatlinburg was a shoot-em-up 3D theater. Wyatt got a kick out of being on the mechanical horse and “powing” bad guys. He is definitely his daddy’s son! They showed a photo of the best and worst shooter at the end of each session and poor Wyatt was the worst both times. He just thought it was cool that his picture was up on the big screen!


Back in Townsend, we were only a few minutes’ drive from Cades Cove, an 11 mile driving loop through part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We got up at 7:00 one morning and drove the loop. Justin said that is when the animals were most active when his family visited when he was little. He was right! We saw deer mere feet from our vehicle. I got out and stepped right up to the field where these were.

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Since the loop is off the real road and is one-way, we let Wyatt ride up front with us. He loved sitting on his daddy’s lap and looking at the animals.


We even got to see two sets of mama bears and their cubs. These were my favorite. The mama and her cubs were in a tree right on the edge of the road.

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Wyatt loved the stream that powered the grist mill.


On the way home, we took a road called Rich Mountain Road. It’s a one-way, 12 mile gravel road over and around the mountain that leads out of Cades Cove to Townsend. We got to see the most astounding views and only saw one car the entire time, which we let pass us when we were taking pictures. It was funny though; they sign warned that it was an unimproved road, warning drivers to decide to take it with caution. With the exception of the hairpin curves, it was nicer than our dirt road, gravel the whole way!


We got up bright and early Monday morning to pack up and head home. The light rain didn’t put a damper on our good spirits. It was nice to spend a few days off and relax, but it sure was nice getting home!