We spent two nights and three wonderful days with these friends and their parents at Cascade Lakes in the Pisgah National Forest. We have been friends with the Westbrooks for 16 years and the Campbells for 10 years, so my kids don't ever remember a time when these families were not a huge part of our lives. The kids are as close as cousins to one another and I truly love them as much as I love my own wonderful nieces and nephews. Aenea and Dodie are like sisters to me. Truthfully, I am feeling a little melancholy today after leaving them. I miss them so very much.
We arrived Thursday afternoon and set up camp.
While dinner cooked, the kiddos headed down to explore the lake with their friends and dad.
All three of my children came back soaked head to toe, cold, but happy.
I inaugurated my new dutch oven with a yummy chicken and bacon dinner and then we held our own version of "Will it Smore?" loosely based on our favorite web show, Good Mythical Morning. The kids tried dozens of types of candies, chips, jerky, crackers, oreos, and chocolate doughnuts. They had a good time. I am not sure about everyone else, but my two boys went to bed with quite the tummy ache. For the adults, we brought yummy German chocolates bars from Aldi.
The next morning, we headed to Sliding Rock.
The crowd was crazy there this year, so after about an hour, we headed over to Andrew's very favorite place on earth, Coon Creek Picnic area. He joked and said that now when his friends' parents ask them if their friend jumped off of a cliff, would they, the friends would have to say YES!
We think this cliff is about 10 feet?
And that perhaps this one is about 6 feet?
The dads all jumped, too.
Unfortunately, this was the only picture I managed to capture of the many times that Chad jumped. Oops!!!!
Ryan was an awesome cliff jumper. He even managed to do some spinning as he jumped.
Molly would only jump if Andrew jumped with her and if Chad would catch her.
Andrew jumped off the highest cliff this year. We would not let him before. He is my thrill seeker.
We are estimating it is about 15 feet.
The males of our family were all battered and bruised by the time we headed back to the camp ground to swim in the lake...in swimsuits this time.
Chad blew up our little inflatable boat. The kids took turns going out across the lake.
Across the lake, they found a rope swing someone had built.
The next day, the rangers came and took it down and said we could not use it anymore, so we were glad that we took advantage of the chance on Friday.
That evening, we roasted hot dogs and made three ingredient peach cobbler in the dutch oven. For some reason, I didn't take any pictures after we got back from the lake.
In the morning we enjoyed a very leisurely breakfast and then broke down camp.
We had a couple of hours left together after we all packed up our tents. Some of the kids went fishing, while others went back to the lake to swim. The camera went with Chad to the fishing dock.
My spirit was refreshed spending time with my friends who are also brothers and sisters in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I miss them more than words can express. I am grateful that distance cannot weaken our bond.