Friday, May 29, 2015

 Our Smoky Mountain Getaway

A couple of weeks ago, we headed to Tennessee for a week filled with spring time fun up in the Smoky Mountains.  We normally head to the Boone or Asheville area, so this was a new experience for us all.  We rented a cabin with great views and a fun game room, but to be honest, we all mostly just hung out on the big porch.  It had a picnic table, a swing and a plethora of rocking chairs.  In the morning, Darryl and I were out there with coffee in hand, at night, a beer or was perfect!

We ate all of our meals on the porch.
 The breeze was nice and cool and the kids loved smelling the honeysuckle and watching the bumblebees and birds.

Little miss is waiting for her hamburger.

After a relaxing lunch, we headed to Dollywood.  The kids have been itching to get back there.  We went for a short time a couple of years ago, but it was 30* and raining, so we didn't stay long.  
Little Joe wanted to ride the steam engine, so we made a beeline there as soon as we entered the gate!

Dollywood has a new attraction called, The Firechaser.  It's a rollercoaster and Joseph was tall enough to go on so we figured we would let him.
It wasn't a good idea.
He was scared to death!
I blamed Darryl, because, well I can...

He had much more fun in the kiddy area with Juliana.

The big boys loved all the big roller coasters.  
I will say though, I went on the Eagle with Nicholas.  It's a pretty scary roller coaster, but I kept my calm.  He was FREAKING.OUT! 
He was so scared the buckles would release and he would fall out.
I couldn't help but laugh and laugh.
Does that make me a terrible mom?
I hope not.
I couldn't get a picture because I was on the ride with him, but here he is on the swings.
I'm literally cracking up behind the camera.

Little miss was tuckered out!

O.k., after one afternoon at Dollywood, we all felt like we had had enough. But,  we had the next day free, so we figured we would go again and see some shows and ride some more rides.  While the theme park is nice, it's not really anything we felt that we needed to go see again.
But, we went back.

Juliana and Joseph loved the cars.
We visited the museum and rode a couple more rides.
We all agreed the Coal Miner is the best ride there, and Joe had a blast on the steam engine.

Overall, it was a great time!

Our little strawberry patch here on Pleasant Hill Acres has been prolific this year!
We planted the plants last fall and the kids have had a blast running out to pick fresh berries!
Almost every morning, Joseph asks to run out to the garden to see if those berries are red and ripe.
He then runs in to report if there are fresh berries to eat.
It's such a joy to watch all the kids go out and enjoy the simple pleasures of a spring garden.

Even my big boys (who say they don't *care* for the *farm life*) love to find garden suprises!

 On Joe's birthday, he requested pancakes and the park.  
So, mama made some yummy gluten-free chocolate chip pancakes and daddy made the bacon and sausage.
Afterwards, we headed to the park for a lovely morning of kite flying and sand play.
The weather was perfect, the wind was just right and the company was priceless. 

Playing with his new digger Nana got him.

Joseph is 4!!!

We celebrated with extended family the night before with gifts and good food!
Tracey made these great, green gluten-free cupcakes for Joe.  He had some cupcakes with green frosting on St. Patrick's Day and hasn't stopped talking about them since.  Well, since Tracey knew he was really into bugs as well, she coordinated the gifts for him with a bug theme.  All kinds of bug catching gear and green bug cupcakes.  He loved them!

We got him his own tool belt with all the accessories.  Real hammer, screwdriver, measuring tape and safety glasses.  He has had a ball *building* things!

Along with green cupcakes, he requested mama's ice cream cake with strawberry ice cream.

Of course, my little Joe!

Happy Birthday Joe!
You are such a sweet, caring, smart and inquisitive little boy.
It's such a joy and blessing to have you in our lives and we love you so much!


 A bit behind on posting again, but trying to keep up.

Last day my little Joe was 3!
May 7, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

 Aren't big brothers' the greatest?!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

 What happens when you decide with your twin brother it's a great idea to cut your own hair with mom's clippers.

Nicholas kept saying he was o.k., he looked like Caillou.
Matthew thinks he looks like Gargamel or a Franciscan monk.
Either way, I had to buzz cut the entire thing.

There was no laughing about this at the time, but it's funny to look back on. 
We all chuckle about it now, but at the time Matthew was devastated!

 Our garden pictures here on Pleasant Hill Acres.
We have really improved our garden this year.
We have rearranged the garden beds to better suit our needs and it's working out great!
We have tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, peas, several lettuces, horseradish, fennel, squash, zucchini, corn, a large herb garden, a large strawberry patch, blueberries and a large flower garden.
That will be lots of work this summer, but the kids really enjoy going into the garden and harvesting the fruits of our labor~

This kids love to go out into the strawberry patch every couple of days to pick ripened fruit.
Joseph gets so excited!