Monthly Archives: January 2015

Fort Worth Stock Show 2015

Saturday we made our annual pilgrimage to the Fort Worth Stock Show. It was beautiful weather so the grounds were PACKED! We saw all sorts of sheep, goats, pigs, cows, bulls, and horses. These photos are from the mid-way.




Raine insisted that we watch the milking demonstration. It’s such a strange novelty to see someone milk a cow — makes me sad that my kids never got to visit my grandparent’s farm and see Grandpa milk cows.


First day of school – part B


Tuesday was Raine’s first day at her new school. She was very excited. Especially after we met her teacher on Monday and she found out that every student gets their own iPad.

So far Raine has been loving Mrs. Dean’s class. There are 20 kids in her class, including her. There are a number of kids from her Primary class at church in the first grade, and one of them is in her class. Our neighbor, Riley, is also in her grade. Raine comes home every day and tells me about the new friends she made.

Mrs. Dean asked me if I knew what reading level Raine was at, I didn’t because Temple doesn’t use reading levels so Mrs. Dean said that she would test Raine to see where she was. Not wanting to be one of “those parents,” I didn’t say anything about Raine’s reading abilities except that she really liked to read. Tuesday evening I received the following email:

“Raine is a fantastic reader! She read extremely well for me today. We use DRA2- a reading assessment tool- to pinpoint a student’s text level. Raine read a level 28 for me and then wrote a summary and answered some reflection questions. For students who read above a level 24, the writing piece is key to advancing. End of year 1st grade level is a level 18, so Raine is clearly reading above grade level.”

I looked up the reading levels and found out that level 28 is what 2nd graders are expected to be at by the end of the year. I’m not sure how exactly the levels work, but whatever Raine is doing is obviously working! They start reading groups next week and Raine is going to be with the librarian for Book Club rather than with one of the 1st grade teachers. Hopefully it will be a good challenge for her. Although, I would rather see her spend more time on math. She doesn’t pick up on that like she does reading and spelling, and I’m sure there are things that this school has covered that she hadn’t covered at Temple. But we’ll see how things go. So far she is loving it!

Bison feeding hay ride


Saturday we drove over to the Fort Worth Nature Center for a hay ride to feed bison. It was our first time out there and, even though it was’t the prettiest time of year to visit, it was great weather.


When we registered for the hay ride, we had visions of riding out into the winter pasture and dropping off a few bales of hay for the bison to feast on during the next few days. Instead, our ride took us to the maintenance area where they had lured the bison up to the fence so we could throw grass pellets to them.


They asked us to stay behind the rocks because the bison don’t like when people get too close. See that fence post? That’s what happened last year when our trail guide got a little too close to the bull!


These bison didn’t look anything like the big furry bison we saw in Yellowstone this summer. They were pretty scrawny and lacked the big heavy fur around their faces. But they were still intimidating. The big ones would run off the small ones when they tried to move in to eat the pellets.


We saw a red-tailed hawk while we fed the bison.


Here they are throwing food.




After we fed the bison, we climbed back on the hay ride and made a loop around the park. We saw a group of deer feeding in the trees.

When the tour was over, we headed down to prairie dog town. These little guys were making the most of this sunny day after all the rain we’ve had. They were running all over the place. It was really fun to watch them stand up, then drop and run into the nearest hole or scamper across the field.



We hiked around a bit, trying to avoid the mud.


We weren’t the only ones who had hiked this trail recently.



We will have to visit again in the spring, I bet it is beautiful when all the wild flowers are in bloom.

A frozen new year

Last year on New Year’s Day, we watched Frozen on the big screen. This year, we just watched the frozen plants outside.


The arctic rain wasn’t all bad, Raine had been waiting for a chance to try out her new umbrella. Although, it took more time to put on all her winter gear than she actually spent outside!


No matter, it was a much better day for making forts than tromping around outside anyway!


Let’s just hope that this won’t be indicative of the rest of our winter season because I’ve been looking forward to walking to school!