Sunday, October 31, 2010

Peaks of Otter

Clay had said something to me last week about wanting to go to the Peaks of Otter because none of our kids had ever been up there. Well, not true.....Chris & Ashley went when they were really little....Ashley doesn't even remember because she was only about 8 months old. But....because of work last week, we didn't get to go. So, since he's officially on vacation this week we decided today was the day. And a perfect day it was. The high today was in the mid-upper 50s.....perfect for a hike!

Notice Alli's hair....there was a nice breeze the whole time. Probably would've felt chilly any other time, but hiking, it felt wonderful! Clay set the older three loose & told them to go to it! We know they are MUCH younger than us & have way more energy & he didn't want to hold them back. So off they went while we hiked at a nice slow pace....for us older folks who were definitely not in shape for a hike of this distance. 1.5 miles up & then back! Alli decided to hang with us because she didn't want to go too fast & get blisters on her feet......she really didn't have any 'Hiking' shoes per se so she chose to wear her boots.

one of the overlooks on the way up.

When you get near the top you can go one direction over to Buzzard's Roost & the other way on up to the top of Sharp Top. The kids were already over at Buzzard's Roost so we walked over that way to meet up with them. Jon was thirsty enough that he was willing to sip water out of my PINK water bottle. Hee! Hee!
Looking over to Sharp Top from Buzzard's Roost. And about that name.......there really were buzzards flying all around up there!

This sign is really tells how Sharp Top has an elevation of 3,875 ft. It also goes on to say that Sharp Top was once thought to be VA's highest peak. From it came the VA stone in the Washington Monument which is inscribed: 'From Otter's summit, Virginia's loftiest peak, to crown a monument to Virginia's noblest son.'

Almost to the top.......

Looking down at the lake & the Peaks of Otter Lodge.

Jon perched up on a rock....

Clay decided that if Jon could do it, then so could he!

The view from up there was just breath-taking!!

I'm not real sure how this guy got where he is......but anyway.....better him than me!

Clay was a little sad that it was this hazy. The reason I included this pic is because way off in the distance....right where the land & sky meet....right in the could see the LU monogram & the snowflex! You could see it so much better in real life, but I had to take a picture anyway.
By the time we got back down everyone was SO thirsty & we had already 'vanquished' all the water (as Alli would say) so we stopped at the nearest McDs in Bedford to get some sweet teas for everyone. Jon was wearing Dad's hunting cap & Ashley's sunglasses trying to be 'Epically Boss'. Yeah, whatever! LOL

My legs ache now, but not as bad as I thought they might. I guess by taking it slow & easy, stopping every once in a while to rest/enjoy the scenery & sip some water it really paid off. It was a super fun afternoon!!

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Opening day of muzzle load here, so that meant all my men were up & out early this morning. This time it was Clay's turn. Yeah, it's a small buck, but he was thrilled non the less because he hasn't gotten anything here lately. Those boys have been whooping his butt as far as hunting goes these days! LOL
Ooops....Jon blinked in this one.


And on a different note......Chris & Ashley celebrated their 6 month anniversary by taking a hike up at the Peaks of Otter.

It's always so pretty up there!

'The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.'
Psalms 19:1

Friday, October 29, 2010

Just for Fun!

Check out this cool jack-o-lantern that we saw in Walmart today....made out of Sunkist, Pepsi & Mt. Dew cubes!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Candy Corn & Peanut topped Brownies

1 box fudge brownie mix
2 c. miniature marshmallows
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. creamy peanutbutter
1/2 c. light corn syrup
2 c. Chex cereal
1 1/2 c. salted peanuts
1 c. candy corn

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of 13x9" pan.
2. Prepare brownies according to package directions.
3. Remove from oven & immediately sprinkle marshmallows over brownies.
4. Return to oven & bake 1-2 mins. or until marshmallows just begin to puff. Remove from oven & cool while making topping.
5. In 3-qt. saucepan, mix brown sugar & corn syrup. Cook over med. heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils. Remove from heat & stir in peanut butter until well-blended. Add cereal, peanuts & candy corn & stir until coated. Spoon warm topping over marshmallow layer immediately & spread to cover.
6. Cool completely before serving.

Halloween party at Maw's house

We started off our day by meeting Sarah, Ella & kids along with Mike & Shelly at Chick-fil-a for Free Breakfast Thursday (they've done this each Thurs. morning for the month of Oct.) How can you beat a FREE chicken biscuit for each person....all I paid for was 2 sweet teas. It WAS busy, but our CFA is THE BEST around......they have team-work down to an art....they get folks in & out in no time & they are ALWAYS pleasant & smiling!! Kudos to our Ward's Road Chick-fil-a!! After our 'brunch' & a few errands, we headed on over to Maw's house to get things ready for our Halloween party.Maw's dining room table spread with all the yummy goodies.

I made spice cupcakes & decoarted with purple & orange frosting. Then we topped them off with these lovely little critters that I picked up from the Dollar store.
Ashley made these delicious brownies......they're topped with marshmallows, peanuts, candy corn & some other yummy stuff. I'll share the recipe below. It was really simple & really good!
Mike, Maw & Shelly
Little Witchy-poo Taylor....isn't she just the cutest!
Jesse & Daniel

And the lovely older girlies......Alli, Cori & Anna


Gotta brag on this group's Bargain Hunting abilities a little bit here. First of all that adorable witch costume that Taylor has on & Jesse's army guy outfit.....Ella found those last year at Walmart for $1.20 apiece! Daniel's cool Home Depot outfit was found at Good will. Cori's dress came from a bargain store for about $1, I think....that cool mask she has on was found at the baby consignment store for .50 & the leggings & gloves came from Target. Alli's purple fairy wings were from the dollar store & her cute little tutu skirt was made by Aunt Vada & I didn't hear the story behind Anna's princess dress, but I KNOW there was some kind of 'BARGAIN' involved! And I'm not sure you can see it very well, but Alli brought her paints & painted her & Anna's faces. Ashley also brought Halloween colored nail polish to paint the girl's nails too. These kids are learning the art of bargain hunting! ;-)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Bearded Tooth (Hericium erinaceus)

This was our afternoon science project. The boys had gone on the 4 wheeler scouting around hoping to come across the carcass of Jon's deer he shot & never found last week. Anyway, they came home all excited with something wrapped neatly in an old rag......I was not so sure about WHAT they were about to show me......but here it is. Michael said, 'We found fungus!!' How fun!
We weren't sure at all exactly what it was, so I satrted Googling (isn't Google a wonderful thing?!) & this is what we found out:

Description: With its clumps of hanging white "fur," this tooth fungus looks much like a polar bear's paw. It is pure white when fresh and young, but yellows with age.
The bearded tooth may grow quite large, as much as a foot across. Its size and whiteness make it easy to spot against the dark logs on which it grows.
Other names include bear's head, satyr's beard and hedgehog mushroom. Size 4" to 12" across.
When and Where: Summer and fall; always on trees, logs or stumps.
Cautions: The bearded tooth is distinctive and has no poisonous look-alikes. There are several closely related species which are more open and branched, but all are good edibles.
Only young, white specimens should be eaten; older, yellowed ones are sour.
Cooking Hints: Slice, parboil until tender (taste a piece to test), drain and serve with cheese sauce.

Michael was particulary thrilled to learn that he could eat this if he was ever in Survivorman mode. ;-) I love random, fun learning experiences like this!!

Halloween Party

Pics that I stole from Ashley C......Chris' dorm & sister dorm had a costume party & skating at the LaHaye ice center last night. He & Ashley dressed as Goth.....Scarey, I tell ya.....LOL!

Ashley, you just look too certainly have the sweet, perky 'Abby' look down to a tee! ;-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween goodies

This afternoon I've finished up my cards.....and I've stuffed treat bags.....
Now, I just need to finish off two more little crochet pumpkin pins (for my two girlies) & tomorrow will be devoted to baking brownies & cupcakes & making punch for our party.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall colors

The trees are really starting to turn seems like just all of a sudden the colors are almost at their peak. We already have plenty on the ground too. The kids are already enjoying raking piles & playing in them with Rocky. He thinks it's great fun!
The tree right outside my dining room window....with our wood pile in the background. Still a pile there that needs to be split & stacked, but who has time for that when there's hunting to do. LOL

The colors are so much prettier in real life....the pictures just don't do them justice.

Love the deep red of the dogwood with that bright orange as a pretty!

I had picked up these adorable itty-bitty cards & envies at AC Moore for just a dollar. I thought they were so cute, but just had to add my own touch to them.
I used some cardstock stickers that are mounted on pop dots....they are from the $ bin at Target
I added some details with acrylic paint, glitter paints & some stamps on the inside

I also wrote each person's name in glitter glue on the front of the envelopes. They were so much fun to make!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Decorations

I got to thinking last night that I'd really like to take a few pics of our Halloween decorations throughout the house. I've done this before with my Christmas decorations & thought it would be fun to do here at Halloween.I think this little guy was just an inexpensive little ditty from Walmart....but all my decorations are inexpensive...LOL!
A close-up of my sideboard in the dining room. Alli just added those purple & black skeletons yesterday. They were in a Dollar Store bag of creepy crawlies that I picked up to decorate our cupcakes for the party this week. The skeletons were kind of big & they had little doo-dads on their heads like they were meant to be hung, so Alli strung them together & made a garland out of them.
A little Dollar Store happy that hangs on the corner cupboard.
This is hanging on the broom closet door in the kitchen. Alli made it. It's a combination of painting (she painted the background, clouds, lightening, road & fence) & cut-outs. The haunted house, moon, tree, ghosts were cut from scrapping paper. The witch was stamped & then cut out & those tomb's a little tag punch of mine that made perfect tombstones & she wrote RIP on each one. I tell ya, this child is SO creative!!

This is hanging on my back door

The wood cook stove in my kitchen decorated with a yummy pumpkin spice candle & a little plastic jack-o-lantern that Maw gave the kids last year.

This little Witchy-Poo had lotion in it once upon a time. Maw gave it to Ashley one year when she was little & she has saved it & always sits her out each year.

Even my scrappy supplies are looking a little festive. Alli took another one of those little plastic jack-o-lanterns & made some hair out of yarn & a little witchy hat for him.

I picked up these little black & white pumpkins at AC Moore last year after Halloween on sale. They look so cute sitting atop our entertainment center in the living room.

And last but not least this adorable kitty is another one of those after-Halloween finds that I picked up last year at AC Moore. He's hanging on the front door in the living room.