A few weekends ago, we had the pleasure of going with our friends to their "little cabin in the woods". Actually, it is a stunning log cabin nestled into a few hundred acres of a pine tree farm. It is so completely charming that our family decided to name it "Pine Tree Palace".
I've always wanted to live in a log home. There is something enticing and cozy and warm about them, and this precious place did everything to further fuel my desires. It was, in a word, the perfect spot for fun and rest.
I wouldn't let you down by not showing you a glimpse of the inside. The cabin itself is wonderful, but it is the spectacular decorating that really makes it a showcase. Every inch is carefully tended to and finely feathered. Lots of beautiful antiques, old quilts, rustic artwork, and comfy furniture. It's the kind of place that begs you to get comfortable and kill some major time.
And that's just what we did. See that rocker? Mine. All mine. I'm pretty sure I logged a thousand miles of rocking back and forth while sitting and visiting with our friends. Okay, I occasionally moved to that dining room table to consume untold amounts of amazing food. My friend Erin is a great cook and she did a crock pot pulled pork that was to die for.
It was a huge blessing to have wide open land for the boys to go explore. Pine trees and deep woods as far as the eye could see. I'm pretty sure beautiful farms like this are why God decided to make Oklahoma.
Goin' on the Gator was a big highlight of the trip. Plenty of trails to explore. There's nothing like four wheeling with a bunch of buddies.
Emma kept asking to "ride that motorcycle", so the kids were great about taking some slow and gentle rides with her. She was all about being the Pine Tree Palace Princess.
In fact, when she talked about riding the gator she'd get so excited she'd do a little wiggly dance. We called it the Gator Girl Groove. Yes, we made up plenty of names during our time there. That is what one does while rocking in a rocking chair. You send all the children outside and sit around and name things. It's the good life.
On one of our little rides we stopped at a clearing in the woods and collected "snow cones" that looked a lot like pine cones. :) This photo makes me smile because if there is one place in life this girl thinks she has a right to be, it is in the driver's seat!! Ha!
This is our friends' dog, Liberty. Emma wasn't bothered by the technical aspects of ownership. Emma's name for this dog was "mine". In her mind, possession was nine tenths of the law, so she kept poor Liberty on a (very short) leash the entire time we were there and drug "her" dog around everywhere. Poor Liberty had no liberty at all. Here's Liberty, dreaming of an escape, and Emma, assuring her she wouldn't be far behind. (As a cute little aside...I want to always remember that at age two she was the exact same height as a miniature schnauzer!)
Little boys by the window stood..
Saw a rabbit hopping by..
Grabbed their 22's!
What can I say? Three boys + open land = target practice. They set up a shooting range and Jeff and Bill supervised. The squirrels and rabbits were feeling smart that day, so there was no rodent stew for supper.
This snake wasn't so lucky. We named him Dead Meat. The boys were positively thrilled with this little development, but I will mercifully spare you the gory details of this critter's demise.
Lest you think the little boys had all the fun, let me assure you that there were big guns for the Big Guns! Bill about gave me a heart attack when he started letting Old Buzzard play with his toys! I'm going to call this an SKS, although I'm not sure I'm remembering my lingo correctly. Aunt Jackie will be commenting to set me straight, I am sure. I tell you what I do remember is L-O-U-D....this bad boy nearly blew me right out of my rocker! (Don't you love the outfit? He's Dirty Harry, but with a touch of whimsy!)
Y'all know Hayden's heart beats true for any green and yellow John Deere thing under the sun, so can I just tell you how pleased he was by this dandy of a ride?
Brad is an awesome friend to the boys, and was a superb host during our visit. He made the boys feel right at home, and really showed them a good time. I am thankful for solid relationships that I pray will last a lifetime.
Pine Tree Palace Pals. Sweaty, smelly, and profoundly satisfied! It was a perfect weekend. Thanks, Bill and Erin!!!
Erin's Pine Tree Palace Pulled Pork Recipe
2 t. dry mustard
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground red pepper
4-5 pound boneless pork butt roast, cut in half (Erin used a pork loin)
2 T butter
1 large onion, chopped
18 ounce bottle KC Masterpiece bbq sauce
12 ounce bottle Lawry's Baja chipolte marinade
Rub first three ingredients over pork. Melt butter and brown pork evenly on all sides. Place chopped onion and pork in 5 quart slow cooker. Add sauce and marinade. Cover and cook on high 7 hours until pork is very tender. Shred with two forks.
We ate this the first night on buns, and had left overs the next day on baked potatoes. So yummy!!!