The Copeland Family

The Copeland Family

Friday, May 30, 2008

Camping, Day 5

Today started out just like all the others-with Pierce making a delicious breakfast; today it was pancakes and sausage again! Then we headed to Rutledge Falls. These falls are on privately owned land, and the owner generously lets everyone enjoy them. The trail was really steep, so Jedi, PJ, and I stayed at the top overlook, but Pierce, Draven, & Brody went all the way to the bottom. You can swim in the pool made by the waterfall, but we decided it might be a little cold this early in the season!
The area around the waterfall was beautiful. The house was an old, brick, civil war era home, and they had this cute red barn in one of the fields. The sun was great today and as we were walking back to the car I just thought this scene was really pretty...
Then, because it was so much fun yesterday, Pierce took D & B back to the rec center water park. Again they had a great time, and got to show off what they could do (going down slides and such) to their DAD! After PJ's nap they came back and we all went to the pool here at the campground. It has a slide and a jacuzzi, so it was fun too. PJ did not like the water at all! I don't know if it was too cold or too big or what, but he cried and held on for dear life.
The boys are totally exhausted! So exhausted that we can't get them to go to sleep. Urgghh!

Now We're Camping

For dinner on Day 4 we finally made a fire, roasted hot dogs, and made s'mores! As you'll remember, Pierce is very particular about what constitutes "camping." You have to be in a tent, you have to have a fire (even if it's 90 degrees outside), you have to have roasted hotdogs, and you have to have s'mores. The last one was just added two years ago, when my brother, Jason, and I finally introduced him to this delicious camping treat. So...the boys loved it! They helped roast hot dogs and marshmallows, and loved eating it all up. Thankfully we can really say we went camping this week!

Day 4: Operation Rescue Teddy

On Wednesday night, Brody had discovered that Teddy was missing. Teddy pretty much goes everywhere with Brody, however he especially wants him around a bedtime. We came to the conclusion that the last time we had Teddy was at the cave. Jennifer called the next morning and the staff confirmed that Teddy was indeed at Cumberland Caverns. Jennifer and the boys set out for Operation Rescue Teddy. While Jennifer and the boys set out on this important mission, I stayed back at the camp to study for my Economics exam that has been making me a bit nervous. Needless to say, Teddy was indeed rescued and the trip was well worth the 1.5 hour round trip. Brody is comforted to know that Teddy is not lost in the dark cave alone.

Later in the day, Jennifer and the boys also went to a local recreation center that has a really cool water park. We were very impressed with how nice it was for a public recreation center. It was only $11 for Jennifer and the boys to use the facility and the water park had all kinds of fun. It had a water fort with slides, water guns, and water pretty much spraying in every direction. It also had a lazy river to float through along with a beach that had water spraying up as well. The best part of this park was probably that it was very much designed for little kids as the deepest part of the whole park was only 3.5 feet deep....the majority of it was 2-3 feet deep so Brody could walk around without us having to carry him. Draven was in heaven and Brody had a great time as well although it took him a while to build up enough courage to slide down the slides on the fort. Just before they left he finally built up the courage to take the journey down the slide and he was SOOOO proud of himself. All I heard about when they came home was that he went down the slide all by himself!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Camping: Day 3

So we got off to a good start on Day 3...we took a little trip to McMinnville TN to visit the Cumberland Caverns. As you can hopefully see by the pictures, it was a beautiful place. The boys were really excited to go underground....I kept telling them it was the batcave where batman lives, but I'm not sure they believed me. Our tour guide was pretty good and told us a lot of stories about how the cave was found, that it was used to make Salt Peter (part of ammunition for gun powder) for the civil war. The boys didn't care much about that but they did enjoy climbing around in the cave. The only part they didn't like was the part where the tour guide turned off the lights and showed us what complete darkness was like. So dark you cannot even see your hand in front of your face. The darkness didn't last but for a moment but the boys were glad the lights came back on. Enjoy the photos...the ones of the jeep were from when we left the cave. They use those to drive into the cave for maintenance and such.

Leaving the Cave

Later in the day was a little rough....We think the boys were pretty wiped out from the cave and so were Mommy and Daddy. We got back to the cabin from our trip to the cave a little late so we had to be a little quick about getting our stuff out and set up the campsite....for real camping ;o). I ended up breaking one of the poles to our brand new, only used once tent...the good thing is, this part was repairable. When we got the tent completely set up, the boys decided to play inside, and who wouldn't...its a pretty cool tent and they've never been camping before. So as they are playing, Draven decides it would be pretty cool to zip up the divider between rooms and jump into it.....well, it only took one time and before we even knew what he was trying to do....RIPPP!! Big whole in the side of the tent....the brand new, only used one time, pretty expensive tent. Needless to say, Mommy and Daddy were pretty irate at the moment. We were all tired, I had just spent an hour getting the tent to cooperate, Jennifer had rushed to get everything out of the cabin, etc, etc...we all had a bit of a meltdown. We knew Draven did not do it on purpose and did not know that what he was doing was necessarily wrong, so we tried not to be too hard on was a learning experience to say the least. We bought some Duck tape for Draven and me to repair the hole enough for the week, but longterm it is not really repairable and we will likely have to buy another tent. Aside from this misadventure, we had a fun day going to the cave and spending our first night outside.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Camping, Day 2

Here are some pictures from Day 2....and we posted some pictures on Day 1 as well.

So, today was much more fun than yesterday. We didn't do anything special, but I think that is why it was so much fun. Pierce made blueberry pancakes and sausage for breakfast (yum!), and then we spent the rest of the day goofing off. We played at the playground three times, took a walk on the Nature Trail, read books, the boys watched a movie, etc, etc. We did end up staying in the cabin one more day because it was suppose to thunderstorm again. Did it? No, of course not :( We hope to be in our tent tomorrow which will be good, because according to Pierce we aren't camping right now. This is just a hotel where you have to walk across the pavement to use the restroom. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I was all excited to be in our tent and doing the whole camping thing.

Tomorrow we are planning to visit Cumberland Caverns in the morning. The boys seemed to think it would be cool to be underground!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Camping 101

Our Cabin
1. Get to the camp site before the rain starts so you can get the tent put up.

2. Talk to someone who has stayed at the location where you are planning to camp.

3. If the pictures look too good to be true, they probably are.

4. No matter what, have fun anyway!

There are no pictures today, but I'll be sure to get some posted tomorrow. This has not been the picture perfect start to our vacation that Pierce and I dreamed of, but we are still excited and the boys are too-tired, but excited. Before I give you the dreary details, let me started by telling you a cute Draven story. I was in the bathroom with Brody for his 20th trip today (he had a lot of water on the trip), but Pierce just told me this...He and Draven were in the cabin-I'll get to this next-and Draven excitedly told Pierce, "come here, I have to show you something!" So Pierce went into the boys' room and Draven said, "This is the happiest I've ever been in my whole life!" And showed Pierce his sleeping bag and his bed and was really excited. Doesn't that melt your heart?! It makes all the craziness worth it.

OK, to the details...The trip was uneventful except for the 5 stops we had to make before we could really get started-eating lunch, Pierce's work, Pierce's other work, pee pee breaks, etc. Why is it that when you're trying to get somewhere with a car full of kids you have to stop a dozen times? It always happens! Draven also asked every five minutes how many more minutes it would be before we got there-his version of "are we there yet," and Brody kept asking when we were getting to Nana's house?! So, we finally get to Manchester, TN and we are all excited, driving down the interstate, spotting the exit sign, when we notice the KOA sign just off the interstate on the left. Yes, just off the interstate. Who ever heard of a "campsite" that has the calming sounds of 18 wheelers 200 feet away? Then, I went in to register and the kid at the desk asks if we want to upgrade to a cabin for the night, because it's suppose to rain. Nah, we won't be that bad. Just as we got the tent laid out on the ground the lightning started and the clouds opened up! We sat in the humid car for an hour hoping it would let up soon. It finally did, but our campsite was so water logged that we couldn't set up the tent. So, after sitting through an hour in the rain, I went sheepishly back into the office and asked if we could upgrade to a cabin. I think that should have been Pierce's job, but he did the driving instead. Then we went to the highclass eating establishment, Walmart, for dinner because everything was so wet we couldn't start a fire. While at Walmart, the KOA man called and said he had made a little mistake. The cabin he had put us in was rented for tomorrow and could we please move all our stuff to another cabin?! So, we are spending tonight in the comfort of a 2 room cabin, all in beds, and thinking about staying here tomorrow too, as it's suppose to rain all day again. The people had it all wrong!

We are still optimistic though, and the boys can't wait to get to the playground and the fishing pond, which really are very cool. I think they have to have something awesome to put in the pictures to lure you here. While sitting in the rain Pierce said he wanted to have a real Griswald family vacation...he may just get his wish!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's Over!!

Our second season of soccer has ended. I have to say that this season was NOT fun. Things started out pretty good-Draven was really excited and was getting into it more, but then our coach became that coach you never want...cancelling practice after you're already there, not calling when a game or practice is cancelled, changing the date of the make-up games 2 and 3 times, etc. We also didn't really have a team mom-we still don't have trophies and don't know when the end-of-season party will be. So, with the decline of our coach's attitude came the decline in Draven's attitude. It was a struggle to get him to go and once there he didn't seem to care. On Friday we had our last make-up game and Draven told me he wasn't going. I explained that he had made a commitment to play and he would finish the season. It was only 2 games after all. He seemed ok with that, but then when we got to the game he said-"I'm never playing soccer again!" He did though.

Hopefully we will have another season to talk about in the fall. If not we'll have more time for basketball-Draven's current favorite!

*In the picture Draven is the tall one on the right.

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Talented Friend

I just want to take a minute (or paragraph) to tell you about a woman I met because of blogging, and her wonderful card making talents! A few weeks ago I was looking for ideas for singing time at church, and in my Google search a woman's blog popped up. The woman's name is Deb, and she was on the same blog server that I am, so I thought I'd check it out. Well, she has awesome ideas for singing time! She's the 2nd counselor in Primary and takes over the chorister duties when necessary. I invited her to take a look at my blog so she could get an idea who this random person was snooping on her blog! Then I found out that she makes and sells notecards as a side job. As you can see from the pictures they are super cute and really reasonable. Like, $1 to $1.25 per card! You can barely buy simple, generic cards from that price. I have placed two orders with her and I've been really happy with the cards and with her turnaround time. If you are interested in seeing more samples check out her blogs, or If you decide to order from Deb, please mention that you heard about it here because I'll get a nice gift for the referral!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

This Time In Our Lives

On Sunday I wanted to post about a fun day I had with the boys, but didn't get around to it. Then today I read two other posts about similar topics-from Laura & Notes from the Trenches (careful, this one cusses) and I decided to write my story anyway...

Last Friday I had so many things I wanted to get done-shopping for new shoes, PJ's first hair cut, cleaning the house, exercising, cooking a good dinner, etc., etc. So, we started out bright & early. By the time we got to the mall it was time to eat. We ate at Chick fil A and Draven was soo big! He threw the trash away, went to get straws by himself, and helped keep PJ happy. Then we went to get shoes for PJ. Yes, I'm a sucker for Stride Rite shoes when they're learning to walk... It must have been a good day because I had fun watching the boys run around the mall, twirling around, running in front of the stroller. We even dropped pennies in the fountain-twice. After shoes we stopped at Godiva Chocolate for a sweet treat! Three pieces of chocolate for $5.50. It was ridiculous, but the boys enjoyed it. Then I let them run around some more. Usually I'm way to focused on what needs to be done next to waste this much time, but it was fun!

On the way home we heard "My Green Kite" which is one of the boy's favorite songs. So, we decided to go fly our kite instead of cleaning. We never really got it going, but the boys had fun being outside.

What impressed me the most in this is how much fun it was to play with my boys. How often do we remember what a blessing it is to be a kid again with our kids? Since then, when I see the boys playing, I'm reminded of Friday and what fun my boys are. It helps me be more patient.

Signs of Spring

Flying Kites

Climbing Trees

Summer Cuts

Outside Play

Eggs & Flowers

O, How I love the Sun!

A Trip to the ER

With three boys this probably won't be the last time we see the ER, but this time it was my turn. I was at home, after having worked out, last Wednesday when I started having trouble seeing. Like I had stars in front of my eyes. Then I started feeling dizzy and my head hurt. So, I laid down for a while. Pierce got home for lunch about that time, so he was there to help with the boys. Then I was sitting on the couch, talking to the boys, when my hands and face started going numb. The numbness moved around both arms and all over my face. After a couple of hours we decided to go to the ER to see what was wrong. They did a couple of tests-an EKG, an MRI-and finally told us that they didn't know what was wrong. :( They said it definitely wasn't a stroke or MS, and told me to go see a Neurologist. Pierce and I think it could have been a pinched nerve in my neck or something, but we really don't know. It kind of freaked me out, so if you have had any experience with something like that let me know!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Survivor's Story - Chris Lofton

This is an amazing story about an amazing young man. Many of you know I am a big fan of Tennessee sports but most especially basketball. Chris Lofton is truly the face of the re-emergence of UT Men's Basketball. I almost feel bad for getting frustrated at the beginning of the season because of Lofton's slump....this truly explains the reasons for the slump and it's amazing that even with the slump, he was still playing at a very high level. Take the time to read this article...its an amazing story.

It is on the front page of, however here is a direct LINK