Another Week in the Mountains

The Cabin

I woke up with an extremely sore throat…


Little Helper

and so I made chocolate chip pancakes with lots of helpers, of course.

It turned into a fever later that same day.

I recognized immediately that I had the virus each of my childeren had suffered through and knew at once I had failed in the sympathy department.

I mean…

I had no idea that they were experiencing this much pain.

Suffering this severely…

This was bad.

I now understood Keagan’s profound statement,

“You never realize how many times you swallow until you have a sore throat.”

Could this be strep? I wondered.

It may very well have been, but it never appeared bacterial in nature, so I just road it out like the rest of them.

I medicated and milked it, by sleeping late and basically sitting around watching the Brady Bunch and The Cosby Show, something we never normally do at home.

I sustained myself with greek yogurt, it was all I could get down my throat, along with some hot tea.

Oh, and maybe some milk chocolate, which I allowed to melt away into a creamy liquid, before swallowing. ;)

I watched ‘Enchanted’ and realized Giselle and I have a remarkable number of things in common.

My View

We had a slight dusting of snow, which apparently screamed out to our southern-raised children, that sledding was in order.

Mud sledding

I spent more time recovering from the mud than I was physically prepared to handle.

Muddy G!

Then the next weather alert appeared on my iPhone, predicting 4-10 inches of snow, and I knew I had to get to the grocery store to restock.

We literally had nothing left.

And there was absolutely no way I’d be venturing out onto that vertical driveway with any amount of snow on the ground.

So I medicated myself heavily, prayed a lot, and made the beautiful 30 minute drive to the closest food store.

Did I mention ‘Gina’ was wrong again? (My husband’s GPS)

She mislead us for an entire week into thinking Food Lion was a good 45 minutes away…oh she can be so wickedly deceptive!

Turns out it’s a mere 1/2 hour.

So I stock-piled and the storm dropped maybe 4 inches…

Mountain Snowfall

The kids had an absolute blast while I watched from the window sipping honey-laden English Breakfast tea.

I cancelled school for a couple days and sledding became the morning routine.


Sledding Flip

Keagan and Logan Sledding

Here’s Logan trying to get over the chill he experienced:

Logan by the Fire

Maddie continued producing tempting sweet treats to fatten up the rest of us.


And cleaning out the little cubby hole beside the laundry room, to create a hideout, was the best five-minute investment I ever made…


We made maple syrup candy in the snow like Laura Ingalls did in the ‘Big Woods’…well sort of.

Maple Syrup Candy

Keagan with candy

It was a bit of a flop. I don’t think I had the temperature just right…but we tried.

All week long, I could not stop marveling over the snow-capped mountains…

Snow-capped mountains

even in my sickness.

I finally began feeling better, just in time for the weekend.

It had been 6 days, and boy was I ready to have some fun.

Friday was an absolutely beautiful day with a brilliantly blue sky and temperatures approaching 60.

We finished our schoolwork on the back deck, overlooking Watauga Lake and the Appalachian Moutains. Exquisite.

Duff wrapped up work and we headed outside, deciding a campfire was in order.


These boys of mine have some well-developed fire-making skills.

Check this out…


They were not messing around.

Saturday came and we celebrated Duff’s Big 4-0.

Maddie's Cookie Creation

I sort of let him call the shots for the day.

Duff and Luke canoeing

Maddie and Gavin canoeing

Off they went!

He took Gavin, Luke, and Maddie on a 2-hour canoe ride up the Watauga River. He said the views were spectacular.
They had lots of funny stories to share upon their return and a good bit of sunburn. Oops.

That afternoon, we enjoyed the tasty treat Maddie created for Duff’s Birthday and decided to order pizza for dinner.

Duff's Big 4-0!

The pizza…well that was a disaster.

We drove 35 minutes to purchase very mediocre pizza that wasn’t very cheap. All I could do was laugh at the absurdity of the situation once I got over my car sickness.

Sunday we ended up on a pontoon boat, against all odds, and I realized my man really is a “boat guy”.

Pontoon Boat- Duff

Or maybe it was just the combination of gasoline and an unfamiliar engine that made my husband all giddy.

Whatever the cause, he and the kids really did seem to enjoy themselves out there in the pontoon boat exploring Watauga Lake.

They all took turns driving and we even had a dance party when ‘Red’ unexpectedly blasted from the boat’s speakers.




















This little guy somehow managed to catch some shut-eye, in the midst of all the chaos, behind pink princess sunglasses.


After retrieving one lost cap that flew overboard, we headed off into the sunset to return our first pontoon boat rental.




It had been an awesome day…an awesome week, full of lots of memory making.


  1. Katie Talbott says:

    Aww! Sounds like fun (other than the sick part). We have always said we want to rent a pontoon boat someday – now I REALLY want to.

    So glad you are enjoying yourselves and God’s beauty!

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