Long Creek Falls – Blue Ridge Mountains

Long Creek Falls – Blue Ridge Mountains

Hike the Appalachian Trail to Long Creek Falls

Hike along the Appalachian Trail through beautiful woods in the Three Forks valley to the Long Creek Falls.  This moderate 1.9 mile hike is great for smaller kids, but the road to the trailhead was a bit rougher than we expected.  So if you drive something small like our Prius, make sure it’s not going to be muddy!  But the 2 1/2 hour drive from Atlanta is well worth it.

DISTANCE: 1.9 Miles


RESOURCE: Check AtlantaTrails.com for more photos and informaiton

When you give Dad a Selfie-Stick!

the snowman

That one time Jared made an inappropriate snowman… in front of a lot of children. . . at church. I’m thinking we might be fired soon! Jared teaches the music class for kids at church. Today and all throughout January he had this cute activity where the kids would build a snowman on the board. He put all the snowman parts on the ground and each part had a song on the back. Well, today with the older kids the only parts of the snowman that were left were the arms. The cute little snowman had a hat, a scarf, eyes, buttons, a carrot nose etc… Then came the first arm. The kid handed it to Jared. Jared read the song on the back to the pianist and without much attention any attention to detail stuck the arm on the snowman. Except he didn’t put it where the arm should go. “You put it on the wrong ball,” a kid yelled out. And when I looked up I almost died. Yes. He put it on the wrong ball. And it didn’t look much like an arm anymore. Sigh. I walked up and moved the “arm” a little higher and left the room trying my best to control my giggles.

She’s having trouble

Sometimes I look at my sweet children and think that know that they were sent here to teach me way more than I will ever teach them. I mean, I did teach them how to feed themselves and wipe their own butts, so that’s got to account for something. Am I right?

Today my six year old, happy-go-lucky, girl bounced into my classroom after school was over just like she does every day. I did my usual squeeze, told her how much I missed her, and asked her how her day was. “Good,” she replied just like every other day this year as she rummaged through the candy bowl. I usually go through her papers in her folder while we are still at school, but today is Friday. Can I get a hallelujah? We packed up our things quickly and got the heck out of there!

When we got home and I opened her folder my heart sank a little when I saw a note in her folder that began “Lydia is having trouble. . .” Lydia Grace has never had a note sent home from school. She is an awesome student. She is smart. She is kind. She is a good friend. She loves school. I thought to myself what in the world is she having trouble with? What do I need to work on with her? What concept is she not grasping? This is so out of character for her.  Not to say that she is perfect or that she will never have a note sent home. I’m sure it will happen. It just surprised me.

Then I read the note. And I giggled. This is so Lydia!


My precious girl cannot think of one bad thing that has happened to her in her whole life. That’s just so Lydia. She always sees the best in everything and everyone. So this thing I need to work on her with is figuring out a bad day that she can write about.  Oh, Lydia.

And I tried.

S-Lydia, what about when you were sick?

L- It wasn’t that bad.

S- What about when you broke your thumb?

L- I don’t really remember that so it must not have been that horrible.

S- Lydia, you have to think of something for your writing assignment. When have you had a bad day?

She looked at me like I was kind of stupid and said “I don’t have bad days!”

What a lesson for me. I need to be more like her. I need to choose to not have bad days. Sure, she has been discouraged before. She has had her feelings hurt. Her brother has harassed her until she was in tears. She has been embarrassed before. She has not gotten her way. She has been disappointed. She has been sick. But she doesn’t remember these things as being terrible because she chooses to dwell on the good. She chooses to be happy. Every day she is happy.

As I told Jared about the note over the phone I surprised myself and choked up a little thinking about how blessed we are. How lucky she is to have such a life that she cannot think of anything bad that has happened to her. How forgiving she is to oversee the mistakes her imperfect parents make. How she loves so effortlessly and completely. How she expresses a genuine kindness toward everyone. How she doesn’t let things get her down, for long anyway. And how I wish that I could provide that for every child in the world- a life so completely happy and safe. And how I need to emulate her example.

So Lydia Grace, I hope and pray that Daddy and I have provided you with everything you will need in life to handle hardships that come your way, because eventually they will come. I hope we haven’t sheltered you too much. But for today, sweetheart, I’m good with rainbows, and butterflies. Sparkles and shooting stars. And all things happy. May we all be a little bit more like you. May I see the world though eyes more like yours. You are amazing, Lydia. Thanks for teaching me so much!

Now, let’s keep thinking of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day so you can complete your homework.

snow day 2016

We got a teensy, weensy bit of snow. On FRIDAY night. Doesn’t the weather know that we only want snow if it can cancel school for a few days. Not on the weekend, weather, not on the weekend!










But on the weekend. Not cool, weather, not cool. We only want snow if it is going to cancel school!