Friday, April 20, 2012

Grandfather Mountain Dollar Days

Every year our family loves to go to Grandfather Mountain during the month of April because it is dollar days! (By the way, the admission has gone up from $1.00 to $2.00- ha! Still worth it, of course!) Here is some information in case you aren't sure what that means: On Sunday, April 15th, it was a gorgeous, warm day, so we loaded up the kids to take the hike up the mountain.

When we first got up there we had packed a picnic and enjoyed sitting at one of the many picnic tables to eat our lunch. Then we headed to see the animals and of course the kids wanted to start with the bears!
We then went to visit the otters (which we didn't see not even one!), the cougars (they were being super lazy in the shade) and the deer (that were also hiding from us). The bald eagles were not in their habitat for some reason, so it wasn't a great day to see the animals. We trekked on up to the museum where of course we had to take a picture with "Mildred" the bear (that Elsie was quite terrified of!).

                                      They all loved this bear, though!

We rode on up the mountain to walk across the swinging bridge. Jackson absolutely LOVED the bridge and was running back and forth on it, while Ansley held onto me with a death grip while non-stop repeating, "Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!" Elsie just enjoyed the piggy back ride daddy gave her.

After walking across the bridge we had to snap a few photos and then Jackson really wanted to go out on the rocks. This mama was not up for that quite yet, so I told him not this year.
I was thinking after taking this photo, I now have a picture with this sign when I was pregnant with Ansley, Elsie and now baby #4!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Easter 2012

(Better later than never, huh?)

First.... here is one of my favorite songs that explains so much better than I can why Easter is so important:

This Easter was a bit different than our typical Easter. Usually we are home, get up early, the kids find a scavenger hunt of Easter eggs leading to a small little gift for them, go to a early service at church followed by a delicious catered breakfast from Dan'l Boone Inn, and then make our way to Sparta to spend time with Eric's family. This year, though, the kids and I went to my sister, Tiffany's, beach house with my parents and sisters. We still got up early, the Easter bunny came and continued his tradition of leaving the eggs hidden around the house with clues to a present (only after Jackson had asked many times if he was still going to do this or not).
 (Here they are finding their goodies that consisted of some garden gloves, Reese's Eggs, &a Hermit Crab that Jackson named "Steve")

Above: Elsie playing with her new sand bucket aunt TT sent her


Left: Ansley LOVED Steve, our new pet hermit crab!

Right: Jackson was most excited to have a headlamp for Easter- thanks TT!

We then got ready and went to a church service at a church that was walking distance from Tiff's beach house, and then we spent the rest of the day relaxing by the beautiful ocean!

                The kids all ready for church!                                                                        My sweet sisters & I

      Impossible to get these 5 to stand still for a picture!                              Mamaw Di & Papaw Fred with their grandbabies

Aunt Jessica with Jackson Lee

                                              The beautiful McDaniel family

We had a great time, but of course we missed daddy who had to stay behind because he couldn't miss work at his job that he just recently started. We had such a relaxing, peaceful trip that involved spending a lot of time on the beach watching the kids play in the sand and the (very cold!) ocean!

Here are some (okay- a lot!) of pictures of our first trip to Topsail Island!

Elsie fell one morning out of her chair and ended up with a busted lip and a front tooth knocked back! Maybe one day she'll learn not to stand on everything! :)

                                           Tiffany and Amelia

The beautiful beach house leading straight to the beach!

Since their beach house is right on the beach, you can sit out on the porch and watch the dolphins swimming in the ocean, and amazing sunsets like this!
Thanks Tiffany and Mark for letting us stay at your beautiful beach home!

(PS- here is the link to rent their home in case you are interested.
 It is ideal with kids... it was so nice to not have to worry about packing snacks/drinks/etc. to go to the beach, because all you had to do was walk up the stairs! )