Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mountain trip

 The day after Christmas some extended family came up to North Carolina to visit.  We headed to a little cabin in the mountains we rented for some family adventures.
We headed up to Cherokee, NC.  Our family typically goes to the Boone area, so we were unfamiliar with what to expect.  Our cabin was rustic, but it had enough room for everyone and a hot tub to be enjoyed.

Here are some memories from the trip!

Lana checking my glands...as usual I thought something was wrong with me.

Tracey giving us all a chuckle with her bathing suit/ sweatshirt apparel.

Since the weather was so warm, the tubing center had to make snow.  It created some dangerous icy conditions.  The ambulance had to take one person away while we were there...it certainly created a bit of fear in all of us!

Lana screaming!

Her cheeks!

Cozy snuggles in the cabin with Madison and Aunt Lana.

I couldn't make this up if I tried. 
So, the night before the family voted on what to do the next day.  It was between Asheville, The Great Smokey Mountains-hiking, or Dollywood.
The Great Smoky Mountains won.  But, Tracey and Lana felt bad because the kids chose Dollywood.
So, the next morning, they woke Darryl and I up asking if they could take the big kids to Dollywood. 
After Darryl and I discussed it, we felt we didn't feel comfortable with our kids going that far away without us, plus we like experiencing new things with them-you only get them for such a short time we don't like to miss anything!
So, we figured we could all pile into the van.  But, the only way to fit everyone with all of the car seats was someone had to sit in the back.  I'm pretty sure this is illegal, but I just closed my eyes and ears to it...this is so our crazy family!
I think they regretted their decision after an hour long ride through the mountains.  Lana felt sick!
But, we did make it, thankfully!

Babycakes letting Tracey hold her...but only for a minute.  She is such a mama's girl.

These are the only pictures I have of Dollywood.  Unfortunately, it was extremely cold and started raining.  We did get to ride some rides and Joey LOVED the train.
It really is a neat theme park.  I was really impressed and we hope to return in the spring when it warms up.

Mama with all of her grandchildren.

Madison playing with little Joe.

My chef-in-training Nic with Aunt Lana.  He always is willing to help and has such a servants heart.

Here he is again making his famous Buffalo Chicken Dip with Tracey.

Our family is always playing games and we taught everyone a few.

Although the weather did not cooperate AT ALL we all had a nice time.  It was so great to see my sister again.  We enjoyed some laughs, ate some good food and make some new memories.


The quiet moments of Christmas afternoon.


 Christmas was so wonderful this year!
The more children we have, the more fun we experience getting to see their precious little faces filled with joy on Christmas morning.

Joey loves his new bike!

We have the same expression on our faces!

Sweet babycakes opening a gift with mama's help.

A favorite gift-Shark Tank t-shirts!

Nicholas has been asking for a mama-made apron for months.  He enjoys cooking with me (and by himself) and wanted an apron of his own.  Well, It seems I hit a home run with the fabric selection.

Little Mittens loving all the paper to play with.

Joey loved his pull along wooden train!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve

Off to church for a lovely Christmas Eve liturgy.

Every Christmas Eve, the children get a set of mama-made jammies and a new ornament for the tree.

The boys got Bilbo Baggins since we are reading (and loving) The Hobbit.

 Showing off their new jammies and ornaments.

Joseph got an ornament from the book, Guess How Much I Love You.
Juliana got little baby shoes with the year.

Here the kids are writing a letter to Santa and leaving him some gluten free cookies and almond milk. The reindeer also have a little carrot snack.

I was so excited how this turned out!
I made a teepee for the little ones to play in.


Santa has arrived!