Friday, September 30, 2011

Clara is almost 5 months old!

Our sweet Clara girl is a week away from being 5-months old! She's growing so fast and bringing more joy to our lives with each passing day.

Here's what she's been up to lately:
  • Cutting some teeth... lot's of drooling and gnawing on anything that comes within 6 inches of her. 
  • Blowing raspberries all the time. literally. non. stop. raspberries.
  • Waking up in the morning with happy babbling and cooing. She's even working some consonants in, which is very exciting. She's got some "d"s and "g"s going.
  • Hanging out in the exersaucer and even "sitting" with us during dinner on the table in her bumbo seat.
  • Watching every move Ruby makes and laughing/smiling whenever Ruby talks to her or plays with her.
  • Soon she'll be eating Rice Cereal! CRAZY!
Its so strange to daily flashback to when Ruby was 5 months old, wearing all the jammies and clothes that Clara is wearing now. I love my girls. We a blessed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This morning Ruby asked me to put milk on her Cheerios, so I went ahead and made her a bowl of cereal. She then proceeded to remove each cheerio from the milk, setting them aside as she "ate" all the milk with her spoon.

It was a good attempt.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chimney Tops

Our last hike of our Smoky Mountain Vacation was to the Chimney Tops, a rock cliff with a summit that offers a view like no other... except for when you hike it on a chilly, super foggy day when the rock face is slick and only the craziest of crazies risk life and limb to get to the top (ahem, boys... yes dad, I am including you in this statement.)
This was the spot when I told John my girls need me to be alive... notice Ryan up there, getting pumped to climb higher.

Look how tiny we are! That's how HUGE this part of the river was!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Happy Birthday Dad. Thanks for living each day with integrity and honor, for loving Jesus and leading all of us closer to Him, for loving mom extravagantly and for being an amazing father to Aaron, Angela and I. I'm so glad you're my dad, and so thankful Ruby and Clara have you as their grandpa!

The Beeson Family at Laurel Falls

The hike to Laurel Falls is short but rewarding! Check out how awesome those cascading waterfalls are! The temperature drops as soon as you step out of the woods and onto the rocks by the falls.

Love this picture of John, Ang, Lydia and baby Keim #2 coming in February!
Aaron and Tracy

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On Cast Iron Cookware.

A quick interruption in the Smoky Mountain posts to ask you all a serious question:

Is "seasoning" a pan actually worth it? Who does this? From my (total lack of) experience, it seems incredibly silly.

As you know, I am the opposite of awesome at cooking or doing any sort of kitchenly activity. If you don't already know this about me you can discover it for yourself hereherehere and let's not forget that time I put Palmolive in someone else's dishwasher.

While we were in TN, Ryan came across a coupon for a proper LODGE CAST IRON pan for $4 and couldn't pass it up. We (and by "we" I mean Ryan) cooked eggs in it yesterday and I tried to "wipe it clean" with a cloth and warm water. It didn't really get clean at all, but they said not to use any soap because it's already been seasoned. So I set it in my sink to dry and this morning woke up to a major rusty iron ring stain in the bottom of my otherwise flawless sink. awesometown.

So I got out the little LODGE instruction booklet and discovered that I should immediately dry my pan and "season" it with vegetable oil after every use. Oops. Blew it already and I've only used it once! This is a really high-maintenance pan people.

So I re-washed the pan again trying to get more egg off, then I dried it and coated it with oil... until I remembered I was supposed to use "VEGETABLE OIL", so I put the olive oil away, re-washed the pan for a THIRD TIME and re-coated the pan with vegetable oil which created another issue: storage.

Now I have this oily pan that has to be stored somewhere special, like on it's own special shelf where it can be all oily but not get all my other pans oily? How many cupboards do those people at the iron pan factory think I have anyway!?!?

Seriously, is this worth it? Who actually does this "seasoning" thing? I'm about ready to toss my pan into the goodwill bag when Ryan isn't looking.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ripley's Aquarium

It was rainy one day so we packed up the family and headed to Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg. This really was one of the best aquariums I've been to... I think it rivals Shedd in Chicago.

Ruby and Lydia looking and learning. They're so cute.

Ruby went absolutely NUTS with joy while we were there. She was so excited to see all the fish, stingrays, penguins, starfish and especially the jellyfish. To give you an idea of how happy she was, she didn't walk or run from place to place, she hopped! SHE LITERALLY JUMPED EVERYWHERE WE WENT THE ENTIRE TIME WE WERE THERE!
I know it's hard to believe, but my dad managed to draw a crowd while he was in the penguin tube with Ruby. He's a born entertainer... and his granddaughter goes right along with it!

Right after touching this horseshoe crab, she wiped her slimy hand all over my face. It was awesome.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Appalachian Trail

Ryan and I hiked on the Appalachian Trail once before, but it was so fun to do around 6 miles of it again with John, Aaron and Tracy.

It's an intense hike - which I attempted to capture after scaling on all-fours up this rock I brushed myself off and turned in time to take Aaron's picture. He just billy-goated up like it was no big deal. Anyway, it was more intense than this picture of my super-athletic brother makes it look.

Ryan loved the lushness of the green mossy deep dark woods.

We saw a lot of bear scat (yes, we Beesons call it scat) on the trail. It had berries in it, which made me think bears like to ear berries more than they like to eat humans.

On our drive back to the cabin we came upon a momma bear and her 3 cubs. I wish all of the cubs were standing close enough to get them all in one picture because they were so cute. This will have to do.

Clingmans Dome

Did you know Clingman's Dome is not in Tennessee? It was a long drive through the park to get there, but this view was worth it! My dad took all of these pictures, by the way.

Ruby was excited to walk up the hill instead of riding in the pack the whole way.