The week started with Grandparents' Day at the high school. My mom and dad both came, which was a treat in itself.
|My dad hadn't been up when the kids left for school, thus he didn't know what their uniforms looked like. He dressed like them purely by accident.
They both stayed through the weekend, which meant they could watch all of the boys' play soccer and football and still have plenty of time to just hang out and play games with us.
The high school soccer season has come to an end. That last game was an exciting one, but it ended in lots of tears by lots of people. The soccer team is one tight group, and there were 9 seniors on the team this year. No one wanted it to end.
Cuckoo's first season of playing a sport has come to an end, too. It was fun to watch, but not quite as emotional.
Turken's season isn't over yet, but we'll throw some photos of his last game in here, too. (He's the one in maroon.)
|It doesn't look like it, but Turken managed to bring that kid down, too.
My parents went to their separate homes on Sunday, and on Monday, the kids and I headed for my mom's house. We were going to visit the University of Kentucky on Tuesday, and her house was a good place to stay the night. On the way, we stopped at a state park we've driven by hunderds of times. (Falls of the Ohio, right on the Kentucky/Indiana border along the Ohio river. The name is deceiving, seeing as how the falls are no longer there. Ruined by a man-made damn.) Now we wonder why we hadn't done it before.
|The rock bed and cliffs are covered with fossils. You can't walk 2 steps without seeing another one. The boys are pointing to some on the rocks below.
|Big brother showing little brothers how to skip rocks.
|We went around a bend and found about a hundred cairns people had built. Of course our kids had to add their own.
After the park, I called my brother to see if they were busy that night. They weren't, so we ended up spending a lovely few hours sharing a meal, taking a gander at the changes to their farm, and laughing our heads off.
|Turken taking a ride on my niece's pony.
Unfortunately, their kids were not on fall break, so the night ended early.
Long story short, that night I discovered that my other brother's kids DID have fall break this week, so we made some plans. After the college tour, we met at a nearby park (Raven Run Nature Sanctuary) for lunch and a hike.
|My brother lets his kids live on the edge, too.
|The whole group - 10 kids, 4 adults (Did I mention that Bryan wasn't on this trip with us?)
We then checked into a hotel for a swim and a sleep to prepare for the major hiking of the next day.
Daniel Boone National Forest/Red River Gorge/Natural Bridge State Park is one gigantic place with lots of cool features.
We started by hiking to the Natural Bridge and back down. Basically, we tempted fate and death all day long, starting with a run-in with a copperhead. No one was bitten, but the youngest nephew got within a foot of it before we realized there was even a snake on the path. The first three photos were taken in "Devil's Gulch".
|My brother likes to encourage cliff exploration.
|Phoenix peeking over the edge.
|Buttercup wasn't deterred by the elevation either.
|As long-time readers know, we must always take a "Help me! I'm falling!" photo. This was taken on top of the natural bridge. We eventually made it around to that point in the background.
After lunch, we took a one-hour drive to the other side of the forest.
Halfway there, we go to go through this:
|It's a single lane tunnel through the rock. That's my mom's vehicle going in before us.
When I thought we'd never get to our next hiking spot, we turned off of pavement and onto gravel/dirt.
|That dust is from my mom's vehicle still driving ahead of us.
Three miles later, we made it to the trailhead.
Another awesome hike with a smaller natural bridge, a waterfall, and rocks aplenty.
|Nana and the grandkids.
The park is way, WAY better than my horrible, old-phone photos can depict.
The kids all hated to part ways, but responsibilities beckoned back at home.
We're home now. Being responsible, doing yard work, playing cards, and simply relaxing. Not much relaxing, though. We're throwing a major Halloween party in a couple of weeks, which includes a "haunted" barn and a maze through the back field. Lots to do! Lots to do!
I look forward to catching up with you all this weekend. I've missed you.
Tell me the good things that happened in your week.