Since we only had a week in betweeen our trip to TN for Christmas and our trip to Disneyworld, I didn't blog any about our week in TN. We started out from home and drove straight to Gatlinburg on Monday. We were originally going to stop by Aaron's Uncle and Aunt's house on Sunday night, but fortunately, I asked her what they were doing that night. Their church's annual Christmas party was that night after church. Seems like every year, our family happens to be there the night of their church's annual Christmas party. They only have about 40 in their church since they live in the country, and most of their members are somehow distantly related to Aaron. But, like I said, every year we end up going and feel very out of place. Our kids enjoy playing with the other kids while Aaron and I stand around eating the food the church members brought and watching all the people play Secret Santa. Everyone is real nice, but I am glad we were able to avoid the awkwardness of that for once. We ended up going by their house and spending the night the last night of our trip a week later.
We had originally planned to stay in hotels at Gatlinburg for two nights and meet Aaron's parents there. I mentioned it to my brother and he told me about a chalet of his friend's. So, we ended up staying in the chalet which was nice since we could cook there and we had space to run around. The not so nice part was the driveway into the chalet. If there had been snow or ice, we would have been out of luck. It was scary enough on the last day when it had rained. Aaron took a picture of Hannah walking down the driveway when they went to take the trash. It was very steep. There was snow on the deck, but not on the drive.
We drove up the mountain to Newfound gap where you cross the border from TN into NC and then drove down to Cherokee and let the girls pick out a souvineer. Along the way on that trip, we were able to stop a few places for the girls to play in the snow.
One night, we walked around downtown Gatlinburg and looked at the lights and little shops. We left Gatlinburg on Wed. and stopped by our good friend the Griner's house near Knoxville and spent the afternoon there catching up. We stayed at Aaron's parents house that night and had Christmas with his family on Thursday. Friday, we decided to do something educational and free and went to the Purity. dairy for a tour of their ice cream factory. It was nice, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a tour. We sat in a room with a huge window where you could see them making icecream sandwiches, packaging them and sending them down the line. Then we watched a 15 minute video with "VERN" if you remember him. Then we got to sample as much ice cream as we wanted. So, it was a nice time and free. It would be great in the summer time when it was hot. After that, since we were in Nashville, we went to the museum downtown that is also free. It is interesting and we had taken the girls a few times before.
Friday night we spent the evening at my brother Eric's house, then went shopping Saturday morning, since I had been sick and still hadn't done all the shopping. Then back to Eric's Saturday night. We ended up going to Aaron's parent's church Sunday morning, since we were there and we didn't get up in time to make it to Mom's like we had planned. We packed up quick afterward and met Mom for lunch. After that we drove to Aaron's Uncle's house and spent the night. They have 4 kids ages 11-18 and so the girls have a lot of fun playing with them. The neighbors horse had a 3 day old colt that we got to go see.
Finally we came home on Christmas eve, Monday and I worked 3-11 on Christmas day to make up for calling in sick on Thanksgiving.
Right now I am waiting for our homestudy to get back from Montgomery being state certified. It should get back today. Once I get it, I can go ahead and organize and make copies of our dossier and send it back in to the agency. Once they get it and approve it, then we will be officially on the waiting list. I really hope that by next week, we will be on the waiting list and when we are, I will post what number we are and keep up with the countdown to our referral here on the blog.
Last weekend, had to call in sick b/c I got the stomach virus on Thursday and was sick until Sunday. Felt horrible, then of course the girls got it one by one. Thankfully, Aaron escaped it. I felt better most of last week, and now it seems that I am getting a cold. Nose is running, head is stopped up and my throat is dry. I am not sure if my immune system is still low from the Mono or what, but I am tired of catching everything. I am a little worried, since I had already signed up to work 20 hours this week. Hopefully, the cold medicine will keep my head clear and it will be over soon!
View from our chalet.