It has been a long time since I last posted, so I have lots to post about. I'll start with our Christmas Vacation. Every year, for the past 7 years, it has been tradition that my family go on a vacation as part of our Christmas from our parents. We have been on cruises, skiing, and to the Bahamas, but this year it was pretty low key.
We headed to my Granny's house in Blairsville, GA at noon on Christmas day. We had a caravan of 3 vehicles, and TONS of luggage. Because this was a two-part vacation, we had to pack "two-part!" We had a great time on the trip up there, because the kids were wired with excitement from all of the morning's events....Santa, stockings, etc. We arrived in the mountains that evening, and settled in for the night.
On Saturday, the girls took SaraGrace to Babyland General Hospital, in Cleveland. Can I tell you, we have been going there since I was a little girl, and even now, it is like Disney to me. For those that don't know, Babyland General is where the original Cabbage Patch Kids are born. SG had the time of her life!
As you can see in the pictures, it is every little girl's paradise. There are dolls everywhere. The cabbage patch under the tree, is where the babies are born. They have a dr. who comes in and delivers the baby from the cabbage. Melinda got a real kick out of this, being a l &d nurse! SaraGrace got to name the baby being born her first name. After watching the birth, she went to the cabbages and picked one out....literally. After picking her baby out of the "TABBAGE", she had to go through the adoption process. She named her Baby Gracie. She signed the birth certificate, then changed her diaper. We couldn't leave without a stroller, a "niney" (blanket), diapers, bottle and extra pacis. This was definitely one of those things that will be a forever memory!
While we were adopting babies, the boys rode to the flea markets and hardware stores. They had a great time too.
Sunday, we went to Dollywood and Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge. We had a great time, even though it was FREEZING! The kids LOVED LOVED LOVED Dixie Stampede.
We have been several times, but never at Christmas. Let me tell you, if you haven't seen their Christmas show, you should put it on your list of things do. Their normal show is a rivalry between the North and South, with competitions between the two teams. But at Christmas, it is the North Pole and the South Pole. I thought at first I was going to be disappointed, but then came the "meat and potatoes" of the show.....the NATIVITY. We had no idea they did this!
From the ceiling came the stable scene. It had Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus in the manger. It gave me chills! SaraGrace then told everyone that was Baby Jesus. It just melted my heart. Then came the shepherds and the sheep and goats. SG then calls out as loud as she can, "Hey Shepherd!" The wisemen came in on camels, decorated in elaborate glittery costumes. The camels knelt down along with the cast in honor of the King of Kings who laid in that manger. About that time, an Angel descended from the ceiling with full costume of feathery wings. She outstretched her arms and a dove flew to her from the other end of the arena. To close it out, a cast member sang "Oh Holy Night!" During the entire scene, the story of our Savior was told to a couple thousand people, straight from the Bible. Just Magnificent! We were speechless.
You know, as a Christian, I have to give some credit to Miss Dolly and her crew. In a time where everything has to be so politically correct, they took a stand and shared the story of the manger with so many people, not worrying who would get offended. We should all be more like that.
Then the elves from the North and South Poles competed on horseback for the title of "Winner". It was good time, especially for the kids.
After a little shopping the next day, we headed to Abbeville, GA...better known as the hunting camp. We were there to spend some down time, and to fill our freezer with a bountiful harvest! Believe it or not, I love to hunt. It is hard to be still sometimes for that long, but it is FUN! Rob and I hunt together and have a blast! I shot at a hog on Wednesday and missed it. We hunted for several more days and this is our bounty.
I thought this picture summed up our week.
It was a great week of r & r, but most importantly, it was a time to spend with family, and reflect on all that God has blessed us with.