Saturday, September 26, 2009

Oh my ... spider!!!

But first, here is a little closer look at the bear in Gatlinburg (note - telephoto lens :).

S/he was cute - tried to climb a tree, but the branch wouldn't hold its weight so it toppled to the ground. Poor little fella was probably just wandering aimlessly after his momma booted him out. The park ranger was explaining that they get pushed away from territory that is familiar to and have to fend for themselves - only to get picked on by other bear that have already established territory in the new area.

The sunrise yesterday morning - thank you, Lord, it was beautiful!

View across the valley - love the low little clouds.

My hubby had the great idea of having our coffee on the tower - nice! Looking forward to doing that more often. John is finishing up the design for the remaining stairs up to the tower and they will get started building them next week.

AND - finally ... SPIDER!!! YUCK!!! The kids were helping to clean up the basement yesterday and hollered up the tower that they had found a "ginormous spider". Since most of our spiders are "ginormous", for them to be calling attention to it, I knew this one needed to be seen. John and I were working at the topmost of the tower so I came down all 5 sections of stairs to see the spider. I immediately yelled to John that he needed to come and look, too!

This first picture is really blurry (hmmm ... maybe someone was shaking?), but it struck me funny having seen the picture of the 19.2 pound baby this week. If you didn't see it, this probably won't be that funny to you. There was a picture of a 19.2 pound newborn next to a more "normal" size newborn for comparison - the result was shocking. So, this picture cracked me up - big spider, "little" spider - however the little spider is a rather large daddy long leg :)

This is a 2x4 board ...

I'm not sure if you can really see this, but John is actually herding it outside. I have heard from a couple of different sources that there is a type of spider that when you smash it, hatches hundreds of babies ... don't know what kind it is. We didn't want to risk it with this spider, so John encouraged it outside first.

This is a better picture - with a reference to see how big it is. Yuck!!! Hopefully it doesn't have buddies still in the house :)

I'm just not sure I will ever get used to the size of the bugs here. Not sure I want to :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gatlinburg Getaway

This past weekend, we were able to get away to Gatlinburg, TN and meet up with my sister, Teresa, and her husband, Rob. They had been to a conference at the Billy Graham Conference Center in NC and we met for a night in Gatlinburg. It was great to catch up with them and see family!

The cabin we rented was out a ways from the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge which was very nice. We enjoyed eating our meals outside on the deck.

Here's a view of the cabin from down the lane. We were blessed with good weather the day that we wanted to be outside :)

Saturday morning, we took a drive to Cade's Cove and stopped at the stream for a rock skipping break. The weather had been too wet and rainy to go hiking, so we just took our time.

We saw bear!!! This isn't a very close-up shot, but he was a cutie. I have additional pictures with my big camera, but haven't put them on the pc yet. We also saw a mother with two cubs, but were not able to get pictures of her.

Nice waterfall along the main road into Cade's Cove.

There is a visitor center and some old buildings in the park area. Here is an old grist mill - they had it actually working for demonstration purposes.

The gang under an old barn.

My sister Teresa and I at the cabin.

After we said our goodbyes, John the kids and I walked around downtown Gatlinburg. We first went to a scenic lookout spot in the mountains, but the visibility was just about zero with fog and drizzly rain. Bummer. When we go with our home group in February, the road to the lookout is closed for winter.

Big pile of BIG pumpkins near the aquarium entrance.

Quaint little section of Gatlinburg that I had never been to before - cute little shops tucked in and around between the streets. We found this cute phone booth and someone offered to take our picture.

Giant marble rolling in front of Ripley's Believe It or Not. They had fun trying to get it to stop.

Hee - inside a "stuff-a-bear" store. They couldn't see what I saw, so I took a picture for them.

In other news:
It's been raining for what seems like weeks and we are finally getting a break from it. Whew! We are very thankful to not have flooding, but are still just a little tired of rain.

When Savannah saw this, she said, "What are you and Dad building Mom ... a moat?" This is in front of the house for the front porch area.

And in even other news ...
With a team effort, we got the car good and stuck ... in the trench that was dug for the electrical conduit. Because it was raining, I drove the car as close as I could to the camper ... which meant parking the front wheels on top of the recently dug ground. When John tried to leave for work ... the car sunk.

Team effort getting it stuck, but it was also a team effort getting it unstuck.

Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

House Progress

So, all in all some very exciting progress on the home front. We have decided for sanity sake to sub out a lot of the major systems so that we can get in the house by winter. Trying to build part-time has proven to be a pretty big challenge :)

So, the 5 sets of stairs are all installed with temporary tread boards. Very nice to be able to walk easily between the floors. We really like how they turned out and I can hardly wait until we have drywall in so that they will really stand out.

One set from the underside - there is not any risers on our stairs, so they will be "see-through" from front to back.

Here's a close-up shot of the welded joint. We used a 2"x3" tube of metal for the main run and then used angle brackets welded on in the shape of an L to form the support for the treads. They are very sturdy and quiet (bonus!).

In other news, we now have permanent power to the house!!! And just today, the electricians wired up the hot water tank in the basement for us. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS???? Now, we can shower in the basement shower! And, I can use hot water for washing clothes. And, it is just so exciting to be one step closer.

Heating and Air, plumbing and electric are all pretty much roughed in and we are ready for the next step of insulation and drywall.

And ... here was the current state of the brush pile!!

John lit the fire this last weekend - yippee!

We have a kind of stubborn pile of brush, however. It has been pretty humid and raining off and on and the stuff just does not want to burn. It's crazy. So, he did manage to get the left side in the photo to burn, but the right side stuff did not. Thankfully, this time, the smoke has not been flying right at the house!

As the reality of moving in gets closer and closer, the desire to be in gets stronger and stronger (and I become more and more impatient :). Trying to keep things in perspective.

We still do not have a front door. Majorly long story that I will not bore you with, but we are hoping for a resolution soon.

Hope you are all well where you are!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I hate this post ...

I haven't even written it and I hate it.

Two days ago, little Annie was ran over by our neighbor. He was not to blame - she ran in front of him.

So, we are now back to two dogs ... again.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Hadden!

It's hard to believe that our baby is 7 years old already!

Hadden - you are a joy and delight. We are so thankful to the Lord for blessing us with you. Wishing you a wonderful birthday filled with all the fun that you can handle.

Psalm 37:3-6 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.