A Wrong Turn Leads to Adventure  

Posted by: Julie

Our day began as planned, a day trip to the WNC Nature Center.

(Petting Zoo at WNC Nature Center)
It is a really neat place and we had lots of fun walking around and looking at the interesting animals.

(WNC Nature Center)
We got to see black bears, white-tail deer (we have these in our yard quite often) Grey wolfs, foxes, bobcats, otters and lots more.

(Up close to a red wolf)

There were LOTS of turns to get to the nature center and I am not known for having the best sense of direction. So when it was time to leave, I sort of got confused *go figure*!

However, it all turned out for good. We ended up following the signs to Chimney Rock and had ourselves a little un-planned adventure!

There was no way I was going to hike up all the stairs to get to the top of Chimney Rock with a grumpy 3 year old so we took the easy way and rode the elevator!

(Waiting for the elevator to take us up to Chimney Rock.
26 stories in 30 seconds...amazing!)

When you get off the elevator you walk out of the gift shop you are way up in the mountains. The next step is to walk up 44 stairs to the top of Chimney Rock. My mom isn't fond of heights so she waited at the bottom of the stairs for us. Daniel went with us to the top, but he wasn't real happy when he got there, so down the steps we went.

(At the top of Chimney Rock)

Next we followed yet more steps up to the Opera Box and enjoyed the view from there.

(The view of Chimney Rock from the opera box)

More stairs? Are you serious? Yep, so up we went to see Devil's Head. I think God's imagination is quite amazing, don't you?

(Devil's Head at Chimney Rock)

Now, we go back down those stairs! This is when things got a little scary. After we walked down the wooden stairs, we still needed to go down the stone stairs. Of course, I'm the slow one, so the kids were ahead of me. I could see them but Andrew went around a bend and I didn't see him for a moment. Jessica turned around to me and said "Andrew fell off the mountian!"

What???? I really didn't believe he fell "off the mountain" and I figured he must have slipped. I then heard him groaning and I picked up the pace to get to him. Sure enough, he took a tumble. I thought he slipped and scraped up his side a bit. What I didn't find out until later is that he actually ROLLED (like a forward head roll) down the stairs and ended up sliding on his back a bit before he stopped!!!!

Thankfully he is fine. He's back is scraped up pretty good and he feels a little banged up, but he's okay. Let me tell you, I've said lots of thank yous to our Heavenly Father for the protection He poured out all over my son!

(All those stairs!)

After we took a break and shopped the gift shop we decided to hike the Hickory Nut Falls Trail. It is a 1.5 mile hike and at the end you come face to face with a 404 foot waterfall! Daniel was just too cranky and tired to make the hike so he and mom waited for us.

(Hickory Nut Falls Trail)

I never thought I'd enjoy hiking (even mild hiking like we did Tuesday) but I DID! It was so nice just walking and talking with the children. They enjoyed it, too. They said that the only thing that would make it better would be having Dad there with us! I agree!

(God's beautiful creations!)

(The reward at the end of the trail!)
We're already making plans to go back and the next time we're taking Dad along!

So, a wrong turn lead to a great day of adventure for us and maybe a whole new world of family fun for the Monroe's!

Our Adventure for the Week!  

Posted by: Julie in ,

We're heading out in the morning to go to the
WNC Nature Center in Asheville, NC

"The WNC Nature Center is a living museum of plants and animals native to the Appalachian region. Our purpose is to increase public awareness and understanding of all aspects of the natural environment of Western North Carolina through hands-on and sensory experience."

I know ya'll are thinking...what is with this crazy lady and zoos????

I'm just determined to get my money's worth out of my newly acquired
Greenville Zoo Membership.

We paid $49.00 for a household membership and the day I bought the membership 3 of the children and I went to visit the zoo (I mean, we were already there, right?).

Cost of one day visit for 4 (one child was free): $12.00

Then we went to Riverbanks Zoo. Because of our zoo membership we were able to enter at no additional charge.

Cost of one day visit for 5 (one child was free): $31.50

Tomorrow's trip to the WNC Nature Center will be free thanks to our zoo membership.

Cost of one day visit for 5: $24.00

So the cost of the membership was $49.00
The cost of the 3 (so far) trips would have been $67.50.
Savings (so far) $18.50.

Our membership is good for 1 full year and we just purchased it this summer.
Yep, we're going to be some zoo goin' people for a while :-)

Good Advice from a Wise Doctor  

Posted by: Julie

The following is one of those "forwards" you get in your email box.
I think it makes a very good point and wanted to share.


A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said: Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 yr. old and I'm pregnant again. I don't want kids so close together. So the doctor said: 'Ok and what do you want me to do?' She said: 'I want you to end my pregnancy, and I'm counting on your help with this.'

The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady: 'I think I have a better solution for your problem. It's less dangerous for you too.' She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request. Then he continued: 'You see, in order for you not to have to take care of 2 babies at the same time, let's kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we're going to kill one of them, it doesn't matter which one it is.

There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.' The lady was horrified and said: 'No doctor! How terrible! It's a crime to kill a child! 'I agree', the doctor replied. 'But you seemed to be ok with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.'

The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point. He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that's already been born and one that's still in the womb.

The crime is the same!

Wordless Wednesday ~ Frankie's Fun Park  

Posted by: Julie in ,

Goings On  

Posted by: Julie in ,

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had great 4th of July.

We had a really fun time at my Dad and Mom's. We had BBQ, Baked Beans, Slaw and Corn on the Cob. For dessert we had apple pie and ice cream. How very American!

After dinner the kids and Gram had a big time playing with the garden hose.

They started out keeping the ball in the air with water but it quickly turned into a free for all!
Even that little 3 year old got in on the act!
After the water fun was done, the kids got a warm bath followed by ice cream!
The children have all officially met their reading goal for the Summer Reading Program.

They each read 45 books or long chapters so they all won all of the prizes. They received:

*Chick-fil-A Icedream coupon

*Pavilion ice skating pass

*Chick-fil-A Kids Meal coupon

*Be Creative paint sheet

*Certificate of Completion

*Toy mini video camera

*Voucher to a Greenville Drive baseball game

Way to go, kiddos!

I can't wait to take the kids ice skating. I took the older 2 a long time ago but they really don't remember going. My 6 yr old has never been. It should be interesting to say the least.

We're really looking forward to the Greenville Drive game, too. Two really nice outings for practically free (mom and dad still have to pay, of course).

One day this week we're going to the FREE movies to see Horton Hears a Who and hopefully Thursday I'm going to take the kids to the Upcountry Museum.

We've never been and they are having an exhibit called "Eyes to the Hills: Travelers Rest to the Dark Corner" . The exhibit interprets life in Northern Greenville County from early settlement through the Great Depression. We may just follow that outing with a free lunch at Chick Fil A and a Free Ice Cream Cone thanks to the coupons they earned with the summer reading program :o)

All in all, it should be a pretty fun week for the Monroe's :-)

Cow Appreciation Day ~ 2009  

Posted by: Julie in

As EVERYONE knows, today was Cow Appreciation Day at
Chick Fil A!

No way were we going to miss all the fun.

Here is my "herd" getting ready to "chow down" on some
FREE chicken!

Hey, even Mom made it in this picture ;-)
Looks like we added 2 more cows to the herd.

The very nice Chick Fil A people not only gave us FREE food
but FREE balloons and FREE stuffed cows!

Here we are with those extra cows again.
One of the employees noticed the kids with their masks.
She rounded up the Chick Fil A Cows and asked if they could take a picture with the kids and their masks.
We had a great time. It was really fun to see all the different ways folks dressed up like cows.

Thank you Chick Fil A!

Happy Birthday, America!  

Posted by: Julie

4th of July Menu  

Posted by: Julie

We'll be spending the evening at my mom and dad's house for the 4th of July.

On the menu:

BBQ Pork Sandwiches

Baked Beans

Marinated Slaw


Apple Pie

Ice Cream

*The BBQ could not be easier. I buy a pork butt and salt it well. Then I put it in my trusty crock pot and add a little water. I cook it on low all day...until it is "fork tender". I pull it into shreads and put it in a BIG bowl. We eat it on hamburger buns and top it with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce! YUM-O!

*Baked beans come out of a can! LOL! I "dress them up" by adding brown sugar (to taste), a few squirts of ketchup and mustard. Then I lay bacon across the top and bake in the oven until the bacon is done. These are so DELISH! Thanks to my mother-in-law for teaching me how to make these.

*Marinated Slaw is a different type of slaw. It is not in a creamy sauce. I love how crisp and fresh tasting it is. Here is the recipe:

8 cups shredded cabbage
2 TBS. chopped pimento
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 cup onion
1 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 TBS mustard seed

In a large bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients. Toss lightly and set aside. Combine sugar, vinegar, water and mustard seed in a medium sauce pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 20-25 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour over cabbage mixture. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or over night. Slaw with keep in the refrigerator for several days.
Yield: 10 servings

*Chips, apple pie and ice cream is all store bought.

An easy and yummy way to celebrate the 4th of July!

Fun Day in Downtown Greenville  

Posted by: Julie in ,

We started our afternoon with a picnic at Falls Park.
After we ate, we took a stroll around the park.

It is such a beautiful place.

We walked by the falls and the fountain
then we walked across the Liberty Bridge.

(click on picture to see a larger view)
Posted by Picasa

Next, we made our way to Main Street
to find the Mice on Main.
Yep, we found all 9 of those silly mice ;-)

(click on picture for larger view)
Posted by Picasa

When we were done finding the mice,
we stopped in the Mast General Store
for drinks and stuffed mice!

Greenville has so much to offer.

So many times we will go on vacation and find neat stuff to do in other cities and we never stop to visit the great sites in our OWN area.

Well, this summer we are treating Greenville (and surrounding areas) as our chosen vacation spot. We're going to do all the fun and interesting things that visitors do when they vacation in our hometown!

We're Going on a Mouse Hunt  

Posted by: Julie in ,

A unique way to explore downtown greenville
Goodnight Moon is the children’s book that the mice idea came from.
As a senior project at Christ Church Episcopal School,
Jimmy Ryan proposed the idea of placing the mice
downtown for children to hunt.
He raised the funding and commissioned Zan Wells,
local sculptor, to make the individual mice.

A bronzed sculpture of the book and one mouse are
mounted on the fountain in front of the Hyatt Regency
hotel and the other eight mice are installed along a
nine-block stretch of Main Street between the
Hyatt & the Westin Poinsett hotels.

So, this is what we have planned for today.
Then I think we'll find our way down to the
Falls Park. Maybe a picnic lunch?
If I can pull it all together. We'll see.

Have a great day everyone!