Sunday, November 29, 2009


This year we decided to change things up a bit in our house. Instead of cooking for 3 days....paying close to $300 for food....and at the end of the day realizing we had spent all day shushing and shewing our kids out of our hair and not spending much one on one time together as a family, we decided to get away. Just the 5 of us. We used Adams travel points for a Hotel in downtown Gatlinburg and spent 3 glorious nights in the Great Smoky Mountains! Thank you Olive Garden! thank you Hilton family

***And since this post is already at novel length, and I'm sure breaking some sort of "blog etiquette" rules somewhere, I'll link to what I'm thankful for...the same is true this year.

This is how we spent Thanksgiving Day....Warning: There are an insane amount of photos in this post...proceed with caution.

Break or no break...we are Homeschoolers at heart...which means we are always looking for something to learn. We drove through the Roaring Fork Loop in the Mountains and stumbled upon old cabins...colorful just begging to be photographed cabins...rippling waterfalls...snow flurries...yes, I said snow flurries...breathtaking panoramics...the most clever and resourceful water/pump house...and a fabulous turqouise door that I had trouble leaving attached to the hinges as we pulled away. I still think it would look better somewhere in my house than on that cabin.

Takes my breath away...and I don't mean the view.

You would never know that I was about to plunge to my death on the edge of a waterfall just to get this shot by the looks on their faces would you??

Am I weird for thinking moss is such a cool texture? Don't answer that.

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock." Matthew 7:24
Dear turqouise door....I heart you!

Coveting Maggie's snazzy Rocketdogs...which I still cannot find in my size..ergh.

Where does one eat dinner while away galavanting in the Smokies on Thanksgiving you ask???

Right here of course! And apparently this whole getting away at Thanksgiving thing is not a novel idea....our Hotel was packed with folks from California to Wisconsin...and while having dinner...we saw tags from Maine! There was a 2 hour wait here so we drove into Sevierville..which is just a little wait. We are genious. And I couldn't help but wonder why no one else was...and why they were still waiting 2 hours back in Pigeon Forge. Our meal was delicious....not exactly like home...but then I'm sure no one doubles the candy crust on the Sweet Potato Casserole like my hubby and I do. :-)


The rest of our week was spent hanging by the fire pit at our awesome hotel, working out in their fitness center....shocking, I know! (does this mean that if I had a fitness center downstairs at my house I'd be so eager to jump up at 5am like I was there? Nah.) Swimming in the indoor pool, soakin in the hot tub, exploring the downtown area of Gatlinburg, taking pictures of drooling on the glass candy makers through windows, spending the day in Ripley's Aquarium for the upteenth time, touching horseshoe crabs, taking really cool pics of jellyfish, and just hanging out as a family...enjoying every second with each other immensly. Seriously, the kids asked if we could do it every Thanksgiving...and who knows...we just may!

Where does the time go...seriously???? This was in March of 2007...ok, I'm sad now.

"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Name that blog!

This blog was originally just intended to keep extended family in the loop of our family...somehow it ended up being a place where I can rant about the not so glorious moments of being a stay at home mom, display my amateur photography, shamelessly brag about my children, whine about how they are growing up way too fast, discover really amazing craft ideas, and develop wonderful friendships with some amazing women in this blog community!

That was over a year ago...and here I am with 17 followers and the irony is that I don't think any of them are family. :-) Just strangers that have stumbled upon my blog and somehow enjoyed some of my "mindless ramblings." I am realizing that I may want to take this blog to the next level and I am being advised that if I want to make changes, to make them sooner rather than later since my name will change and I will need everyone to "move" with me.

That's where you all come in...I would like for you to give me your opinions on a new title for our's not that we aren't McManus Party of Five but that is certainly a mouthful...and not exactly original...not to mention it doesn't fit as well on those snazzy little blog buttons. ;-)

Each of these have a meaning behind them to me but I don't want to sway you with those...just tell me which "sounds" best to you...which you could picture clicking on to read.

"Leaving a Legacy"

"Faithful in Small Things"

"Mosaic of Grace"

"The Big and the Small"

and just for good measure...

"The Daily Grind"...(ok, so this one does not have a story...I just love coffee and I happen to go through the grind daily...and I thought it was clever ;-)

"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Time for black couches...and it's free! Head on over to MckMama's thru the link above for more of what it's like when folks start getting real about life...and how they muddle through.

  • I do not, at the moment, own just one bra...that is never a good idea I'm thinking.

  • I did not walk all the way to my car in the driveway just to find that I had brought the cordless phone with me! And I certainly did not leave said phone in my car till the next day.

  • While getting ready for worship practice Sunday morning, I did not decide it would be a swell idea to try to iron my shirt...while wearing it!

  • And even if I did decide to place the lower portion of my attached clothing onto the ironing board, I would never take the smoldering iron to my clothes directly up against my body!

  • I don't have children that brag about the amount of gas that they pass...or the length of time they can pass it. That's someone else's children folks...cause we are homeschoolers and we are perfect...remember?

  • When my husband asked "Who wants to go with me to the pet store for food??" I did not secretly wish that everyone would go...that would make me a horrid mother.

  • When my youngest son decided to stay, I did not feel completely "bothered" that he wanted to play board games the whole time...what the heck kind of mom would do such a thing and miss out on seeing his big grin when he beats me at UNO Attack for the third time in a row?!?!

"That I would be...Faithful in small things...not neglecting what's right in my hands...And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to You"

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Blind Side

Do yourself a favor and get a sitter (not a family movie) and go see this movie...

"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Warning: You may gain 5 lbs just looking at this Post!

I’m participating in The Diaper Diaries "Things I love Thursdays"

And believe you me, you may just need what she is giving away over there today if you sample any of these goodies....that I love of course!

Yes, she is a sweet talker....that Betty Crocker...and unfortunately we talk waaaay too much she and I! I found these on sale at the grocery store the other day and figured what the heck....I just cooked these up today and can I just say they are divine!! Seriously, I'm not a huge brownie fan but I love chocolate chip cookies....and was very leery of how the two together would was a really neat combination and I would definitely buy them again! Plus they look like a million one of those desserts that have 50 ingredients and takes all day to make. Of course if that were the case they would not be found on my blog.

What goes better with oooey goooey (my spell check just went bazerk!) goodness than a cup of coffee? While on that same shopping trip I decided to deviate from my mundane Half and Half and splurge a bit on some flavored creamer. My favorite at Starbucks is the White Chocolate Mocha. Only problem is that you have to take out a small loan to keep up that habit so when I saw International Delights "Coffee House Inspirations" White Chocolate Mocha...I was sold.
I have to be honest was good....but it wasn't Starbucks folks. I guess there is no duplicating that frothy goodness that only they can concoct. But I will be using it and would probably even get it again...but not before I check out a few of the other flavors!
"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just call me Martha

OK, so Martha Stewart I may never be, but you can allow a gal to be delusional for a bit right? Thank you.

I have been bitten by the craft bug else would you explain my sudden compulsion to want to buy a sewing machine and learn how to knit?!?! Or my recent desire to put a piece of antique furniture in my driveway and paint it?!?! I suppose I have Edie and Melissa to thank for this newly acquired "bug"....they just make it look so fun! And so darn easy!

I found this at Kohl's on sale Sunday. See, before being bitten by the bug, I would have walked right on past this little gem...the whole time listening to that neurotic little voice in my head that says "You can't possibly do that! You will make a big ole mess and it will look disastrous and there you will be...stuck with it!" Yep, that's what I do every time I enter Michael's or Hobby Lobby...I load up my cart...and by the time I am done walking through the store, I have given way to the perfectionist within and decide to abandon the cart...yeah, I know...the employees that have to restock that stuff loathe me!

But this time...I told the small annoying voice to go find some pictures to straighten somewhere and leave me alone!!! I bought it! And I didn't even let it sit somewhere for 2 years before attempting...not that I would ever do such a thing.

I had the courage....I had the plastic applicator...and I had the perfect wall! It really was simple...I can say that because my husband did all of the measuring and Math for me to get it centered...but really, it was easy. Just a little patience...and Voila! The perfect compliment to my Give Thanks Banner dontcha think?

"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

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