Friday, March 11, 2011


Tomorrow, we're headed for the hills! Or mountains. I guess mountains are big hills with extra rocks. Either way, we're going hiking with my family in the Smokies next week. We used to go hiking almost every year growing up. It's so peaceful. Dad always picks pretty long, strenuous hikes, so you had to keep up or you'd be left to the grizzlies. Ha, I'm kidding. There are no grizzlies in the Smokies, just black bears. But yeah, you'd be left.

Being homeschooled, some of our vacation projects included researching the history surrounding our hikes. Yes, it was as boring as it sounds. Well, then it was. Now, it's pretty interesting. On a lot of the hikes, if you see (I think) daffodils, you can safely assume a home had been built nearby. A lot of people were named Mary and Elizabeth and Abraham and Jedidiah. And that's about all I remember. I really was more focused on finding the perfect hiking stick. Perfect in the sense that it was long enough to tap Noah and Peter on the shoulders, but short to enough that it appeared too short for me to reach them, thus rendering my brothers' complaints to my parents ineffective.

This year, my parents rented an amazing house. Thanks, Mums and Pops!

Since the girls probably won't be the best of hikers, my Aunt Becky is joining us to help my grandparents keep them during the day so we can hike. And David and I will take turns staying at the house, too, so Aunt Becky can go hiking if she wants. And we'll go downtown shopping one day, maybe hit the outlet mall. I'm super duper excited.

Since Mom and Dad rented the house, the least we could do was bring all of the desserts. So, every night this week, I've been making tons of junk food. Sigh. It's been wonderful. So many bowls and spoons for me to lick at the end. I've eaten so many raw eggs, but so far so good. I made two types of cookies, a pound cake, chocolate covered potato chips, fudge, and chocolate overload brownies. I made three different batches of fudge. The first batch never set. So, I found a different recipe. It called for an egg, so I threw one one. Never even thinking that you don't cook fudge and even though I heated up the chocolate, it wasn't enough to cook the egg through. Well, it was in the fridge setting up quite nicely before I realized, "Wait, raw egg." And even though I don't care, I know other folks don't like that and Noah is highly allergic to eggs and I would totally forget to tell him not to eat it and he'd eat it and then it'd ruin the whole trip. So, we threw those out and I made another batch and it's perfect. But the brownies...they're going to be sooooo rich, we're going to vomit. I put a batch of brownies in the bottom of the pan.
Then, layered some Ghirardelli hazelnut chocolates.

Then, put another batch of brownies on top. Gag. Almost too much chocolate, but is that ever bad thing? I like to use York Peppermint Patties, too. We'll see how these turn out.

We leave in the morning and although I'm not looking forward to the drive with two kids who don't like car rides that much, I do have a stash of secret weapons with me. New, spill-proof snack cups so they can eat their raisins and Kix, which they LOVE. A load of Yo Gabba Gabba and Sesame Street videos. And new travel toys that they've never seen, so we should be able to make it in one piece. I hope.

I'll update through Twitter (on the right) and send some pictures! You kids behave while I'm gone and I'll see you in a week!

Here's some pics of the gals. They're new favorite thing is to "share," which I'm pretty happy about. If they have their juice or snack or toy, they always offer you some.

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