Friday, October 28, 2011

Pigeon Forge, TN... the final week

When we arrived in Pigeon Forge, TN on October 1st, it really felt like we'd be here for-evah.  But as time usually does when you're having has flown by.  I'm also amazed at how quickly this area has felt like home.  We know our way around, to include some back roads, built relationships with our RV neighbors and the church we've attended the past couple of weeks, have two favorite spots to eat...the Apple Barn and A&W, and even had a couple of medical appointments.  We will be very sad to leave the area, but we all are ready to move on and enjoy new areas and adventures.

Most of my posts so far have been about what we've been doing, but I look forward to also sharing what we've been learning.  God is on this journey with us and when you walk with Him, exciting things happen!

I will also be posting an tour of our RV home soon.  We are so blessed with our rig and it really does feel like home.  We've enjoyed many meals, laughs, adventures, and fun in it.  What makes a dwelling a home???  The memories!

Here's a wrap up our activities of the week:

Saturday:  We continued autumn traditions and made great family memories :)  We went to a local farm to PLAY!!  We found a gem of a place, Kyker Farms.  It is a working farm that has been in the same family for over 200 years...9 generations!  Here is a linky to their business:

If you are in Sevierville, TN next autumn, we HIGHLY encourage you to check them out!  The family was running the activities that day and they were so sweet.  We even met the father and son that are at the helm of the farm now.  We asked them tons of questions about their farm and family and they gave us their undivided attention.  Considering how much was going on that day and their "to-do" list, I was very impressed that they really cared about those who were enjoying their farm.

They had 4 corn mazes.  The first one we attempted was the most difficult.  It was a scavenger hunt and it was HARD!  But it was so fun.  The scavenger hunt was a story about a tornado that came through the farm and it displaced the farmer's items that we then had to find.

We found the farmer's wife's bloomers!
Found the lantern... reading the story to learn our next clue.

We found the first 5 items pretty easily, but we got Kornfused half way through!  So, we took a break and enjoyed other activities on the farm.

"Corn Cob Swing".... SO FUN!!!!! 
HUGE Corn Cob Slide----

It was a FAST slide!!!

All ready for the hay ride, as soon as Daddy quits visiting with our driver (the farmer's son)

Love having kids that can take our picture :)  What a GORGEOUS sky!!!

Team Monty

"Really, Mom...Faith ASKED us to bury her in corn kernels!"

He asked me to follow him in....

My little pumpkins :)

What's a farm without animals???  We got to pet lots of them...including calves and Red Wattle pigs!

Lots of bean bag toss.... Faith turned out to have quite the aim!  Ultimately though, the parents beat the kids!  Yay, Mom and Dad!!! 

After lots of fun and a picnic lunch, we decided to head back into the difficult corn maze.  We weren't going to let it beat us!  So with much determination and perseverance, we attempted to finish.

Going back in...

So... do you think we did it?  Well..... we had 5 more clues to find.  And they were T-O-U-G-H!

The nail pail... f-i-n-a-l-l-y!  The last clue!

 We EARNED the right to ring the dinner bell!

We were victorious!!!!  Whoooooop!!!

Thanks Kyker Farms.... we had a great day!!!
And I have just one more thing to share from that day... since we spent all day out there, we had to use the port-a-potties.  Blech.... that is, until we opened the door and discovered this:

Bath mats and a flower decoration in the top left corner!  Have you ever seen such a pretty port-a-potty?!?!?!?  This shows the level of excellence of the Kyker family.

Sunday:  We attended Covent Community Church of Wears Valley again.  It was so nice to see all the new friends we made again.  We were greeted with sweet smiles and warm hugs.

After church, we went to Wears Valley's Octoberfest because they were hosting the 63rd Tennessee Volunteer Infantry and they were doing a Civil War reenactment.  The kids and I attended one in Florida four years ago, but this was Jon's first one.  It turned out to be a very small one, but the volunteers taught us so much.  They were so friendly and eager to share their love of the history of TN.

I love their "recruiting" slogan:  "If you wanna have some fun and to kill some yankees!"  They were VOLUNTEERS after all!

Watching the skirmish and looking forward to the cannon firing!

After the skirmish, spoils go to the victor.  He is stealing the soldier's shoes...  

Practicing their maneuvers by saluting all US veterans.

Captivated by "living" history.

We also got to enjoy looking at some tractors... because that's what harvest time is all about!

It was another perfect autumn day...

Monday:  A stay at home day!  We did the usual cleaning, laundry, schooling, scootering, and Jon tackled washing AND waxing the rig!  It was a HUGE job!!!  Many neighbors asked Jon to do theirs next.  So we have stumbled upon a side business, should we want one :)  It is one the whole family can do together, too.

Tuesday:  Ah, another beautiful day to play in the GSMNP!  One of the must-dos on the list was horseback riding in the national park.  We went to the:  I took about 100 photos of our trail ride, but don't worry... I won't post THAT many :)

Gorgeous morning at the stables... love this photo, BUTT I just noticed something wrong with it.  Do you see it? 
All loaded up and READY to ride!  :)
Jolie:  Midnight, Daniel:  Peanut, Faith: Buttermilk
Slick and I

Scout and Jon enjoying their morning ride. 

Overwhelmed by God's goodness to me. 
We got to cross a couple of creeks... 

We climbed the mountain and back down again.
Yet again, overwhelmed with the blessings of God in my life.
Three kids NOT ready to be done.  They smiled, laughed, and giggled along the whole trail. :)

Team Monty on horseback.
We saw wild turkey on the trail, but no bear :(  (Jon and I saw a mama and cubs when we rode there in 1996.)  When were getting off the horses they asked if we saw bear.  We said, "No."  Oh, because the group that came in just before you saw a big one right on the trail!

After the ride we had a picnic in the park and participated in one of our favorite activities:

Stuck :/

Blessed and Grateful

With our bellies full, we were ready to tackle another hike.  Our greeter at the trailhead:

What kind of snake is this?

I saw it first and called out, "Snake!"  Just before Daniel almost stepped on it.  He looked down and didn't really do anything.  Then, it MOVED!  And he jumped!!  He started laughing and said, "It's REAL!"  He thought I was playing a joke with a rubber snake, but I wasn't :)

BEST thing about this hike...NEW backpacks with camelback inserts :)
What do you notice about their color choices?  We didn't see it until they started walking with DT in the lead.  Any guesses?  Ok, I'll tell ya.  They make a traffic signal!  :)


D and F were walking side by side just giggling and sharing stories.  I was looking down at my feet watching my steps,  when I noticed their feet just ahead of mine.  And I started wondering, where will those beautiful feet go as they carry the gospel around the world?

Wednesday:  I already posted a Wordless Wednesday photo snapshot of our day this day.  I will be making a separate blog post of our morning activity.  One of the visions we had for the trip is to serve and see what God is doing around the US.  We got a glimpse of the wonderful things going on at:  Wares Valley Ranch  I can't wait to share them with you!

We wrapped up the day with root beer floats from A&W and Jon completed the RV's wax job!

Thursday:  We were so blessed when our friends from the Cades Cove "Bear Hunt" came to see us again.  This time, we got to host them in our cottage.  After some time visiting, we heard some dog yapping outside.  I looked out our window to see this scene:

It was the Bear Cove Pet Parade!
Oh. my. goodness.  We were laughing so hard!  These dogs were precious!  The dog on the far left was yapping incessantly.  I don't think she liked her outfit very much :)

Jolie got to play dress up with Diva :)  Yes, the ladybug dog's name is Diva!

And this is Nemo... I love how his tail is a stinger :)

After the fun pet parade, we headed to the Apple Barn for a sweet treat!

DT entertaining the girls with his stories :)
 And why do we keep going to the Apple Barn???  Here's why:

Need I say more???

After our snack we headed back to The Cottage for more visiting and our first dinner party.  I would love to say it went off without a hitch, but it didn't.  However, God was so sweet... our first dinner guests are also expert RVers, so they were very understanding.

So, what was the hitch???  We ran out of propane WHILE I was cooking our meal!!  We have two 30 gallon propane tanks on board.  We've been running our furnace at night with gas and we do our cooking with gas.  We were going to check them before we left TN for OH, not realizing that we had used that much propane!  God saved the day again... we discovered this at 5:30 and the propane sales place closed at 6:00 and it was 15 minutes away.  The boys jumped in the truck and zipped down there.  They made it just in time!  It was worth the trip not only for the propane, but they were sharing funny stories about the propane salesman.  :)

So, what did we do while we waited patiently for our now late dinner?  We watch Tim Hawkins!  Check him out here:  Nothing like laughter to make you forget that you're starving!  :)

Our favorite segment, "Little Helper in the Car."  HYSTERICAL!!!

Our first dinner party:  Chicken Spinach Lasagna, of course!

Friday:  Started of the day tackling math and getting ready for a trip to Knoxville...Our appointments there ended up taking the rest of the day to complete.  It was actually a cold, rainy day.  I really love those, especially when I can stay inside :)

Saturday and Sunday will be prep days for our move to Ohio.... If we can get everything ready for our Monday departure on Saturday, we may be able to get a quick hike after church on Sunday.

Monday morning will find us making our way to Kentucky.  We appreciate all prayers on travel days :)  We decided to break the trip to Ohio up and make two easy days for ourselves.  That's why we're doing this trip right???  And we're going to try boondocking at the Walmart again.  Our first attempt in July was a complete disaster!  It'll be a future blog post---our adventures when we picked up our new home.  After that trip, we were ready to sell and skip the big adventure altogether!

Thanks to the many of you that have posted comments, emailed us, or Facebooked us with encouraging comments.  We appreciate the love and support that you have poured out to us.  We hope that you continue to enjoy the blog.  We look forward to sharing so much more with you as we continue our expedition on the "Will of God Trail."



  1. What beautiful memories the Lord is giving you the chance to make together Team Monty! Easy for those of us who are planted to think we can't do that without the beautiful opportunity of CHANGE. Thank you for reminding us all that we really can grow family unity and identity no matter our circumstances. The Lord is faithful to give us daily opportunities! Love you guys and so excited about what the Lord is doing in your faith walks- individually and as a family!
    The Jackson 4

  2. Hi Kellie,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable. What an amazing experience this must have been!
    I was looking for blog posts about Wears Valley to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to sharing this post or others from your RV adventure, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you :)