When we made the long drive to Sevierville, Tennessee to attend Polishing the Pulpit, we knew it would be a busy, busy week. And in fact, on most days we were running from one class or activity to another from early in the morning until late at night. There were, however, two days where we found ourselves with a chunk of free time in the middle of the afternoon, and we were able to make some great family memories during those times.
On Saturday afternoon, we made the short drive to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where the scenery was absolutely breathtaking! We grabbed some sandwiches on the way so we could start the afternoon with a picnic lunch.
Then we went on what started out as a family hike at Chimney Tops.
How cool is that tree? Here’s another view:
It soon became apparent that a family with a 16-year-old and a two-year-old will not all hike at the same pace…so we sent Troy and the big kids on their way and Remi and I did the snail’s-pace version on our own.
Not surprisingly, the homeschool mom in me came to the forefront, and our hike became a very interesting little preschool field trip. We inspected rocks, leaves, moss, bark, spiders, butterflies, berries, roots, squirrels, acorns, streams, webs, logs, beetles, petrified wood, seeds, and even a couple of millipedes. (I had no idea they could be that big!)
Next up was a splash in the Little Pigeon River.
Everywhere I looked, there seemed to be more beauty than I could drink in. How gorgeous is this old bridge?
At one point we looked up to find that my little brother’s family had chosen the same spot for their afternoon off. The kiddos were thrilled to be able to splash, climb and explore with their cousins.
How fun to be a kid in a place like this!
Finally, here are my two favorite photo-captured memories from the day:
To be honest, I don’t even remember why he was laughing so hard. I only know that I can’t help but smile every time I see this picture.
It just makes me happy.
And as for this one…well, I probably don’t need to explain why I love it so much…
“ You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.”
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