Sunday morning we packed everything up and headed a couple of miles to a nearby church.
To our surprise - and my delight - we were told that this week was their once-in-a-blue-moon missions conference, and several of their missionaries were speaking in the classrooms before the sermon. It was really a treat to be able to listen to stories and testimonies from the mission field, especially from a young couple working in Germany. As a bonus, we even got a piece of German chocolate! The missionary preaching the sermon was fairly long winded, and we ended up leaving the church much later than planned. It was certainly a special Sunday morning, though!
After church, we drove a few hours to a campground in the Smokey Mountains. The area was beautiful, and quite accurately described by its title. Right behind our campsite was a creek where the younger ones spent the majority of their time. One of our favorite activities at the campsite was riding circular tubes down the creek. It was a lot of fun!
Monday was my 18th birthday, and I awoke to a festively decorated RV to help celebrate. The weather forecasted for the day threw our birthday plans a bit for a loop, but with a bit of rearranging it all worked out in the end. We went out to a cute little coffee shop in the afternoon with the family, and Mom, David and I went into Cherokee, NC in the evening to watch the drama Unto These Hills.
The next morning I went with Dad and Bethany to go horseback riding up a little trail in the mountains. Poor Bethany. She was so scared of the horse at first, and cried pitifully. In the end she loved it, and said she wished she "could keep riding for six more hours!"