Monthly Archives: November 2015

Thanksgiving in the Ozarks – day 4

Saturday, November 28 was our last day in Arkansas. It was very rainy, so we went to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The museum itself is situated in a little valley surrounded by trees and water; it is very serene.



The kids had bingo cards with pictures of paintings in the museum that they could find. Once they found the painting, they were supposed to write the artists name underneath. The pictures on the paper were just a small portion of the painting so it was a fairly difficult task to find them but they had promised them a prize in the end! The kids loved it and it kept their attention for a lot longer than we otherwise could have done.


This string art in the stairwell was really cool, I just had to get a photo. Unfortunately, I turned off the auto focus on my camera in order to take it and, as usual, I forgot to turn it back on afterward. Therefore, all subsequent photos are out of focus!


Raine loved the kid studio where she could make her own artwork.


One of these things is not like the other (although, they are all horribly out of focus)!


The grounds around the museum were gorgeous, too bad it was raining.



After the museum, we headed for home. We stopped for lunch at MarketPlace Grill in Springdale and the kids played a [long and drawn-out] game of checkers on the covered patio.



About 5 hours later, we pulled into home.

Thanksgiving in the Ozarks – day 3

Friday, November 27 Bentonville has a really neat children’s museum called the Amazeum, we headed there first thing in the morning while the heavens were pouring rain. Here are some photos from our visit — Raine is disproportionately represented because I was shadowing her most of the time.

The canopy


Making music

We had tickets to the Hersey’s lab were we did an experiment with sweet tarts.



Magnetic light bricks


The picture that Raine drew for the zoetrope was of a Christmas tree being decorated.

Once the Amazeum got too crowded, we headed back to the hotel for a swim.

Then we drove to a nearby mall for Raine to get her ears pierced. The whole ordeal was so traumatic that I didn’t get any photos until we were settled down at Carrabbas for dinner!

Thanksgiving in the Ozarks – day 2

Thursday, November 26 – THANKSGIVING

We spent a very relaxed day at the hotel, playing games and reading books.


We cooked up a yummy dinner in our kitchenette with almost zero effort — my favorite kind of meal!


After dinner, we burned off a few calories at a park in Bentonville.



Then we had some pie and ice cream.


Technically, the kids had cake. With individual serving size desserts, everyone got exactly what they wanted!


Thanksgiving in the Ozarks – day 1

This Thanksgiving we wanted to see something new, so we decided to see what Arkansas had to offer. We spent 4 days in Rogers, including Thanksgiving day.

Tuesday, November 24 we set out for Arkansas. Most of our driving was done in Eastern Oklahoma.


Wednesday, November 25 we headed through the mountains to Eureka Springs. Along the way, we stopped at Turpentine Creek animal sanctuary. They had all kinds of different animals.


Grizzly bear


This guys was hilarious. He was twirling that log like a baton and kept wacking himself with it.


Black bear


Black leopard

There were plenty of tigers,

several lions,

and even a liger!

They also had a bunch of cougars.

After the animal sanctuary, we headed to downtown Eureka for some lunch on the historic Main Street.


Who can resist a fudge shop? Certainly not us!



Next we headed down the canyon to the Thorncrown Chapel. It was impressive, even with most of the leaves off the trees.



I made the kids smile for a photo…


…so they made me smile for a photo!


After that, we headed to the top of the mountain to see the “Christ of the Ozarks” statue.


Having been to Rio de Janeiro and seen the world-famous “Christ the Redeemer” statue, it was hard to not laugh at this one. Still, it was cool, in its own hill-billy kind of way.


Back at the hotel, we did a little swimming before bedtime.

2015-11-25 17.59.35-Family

Fall Soccer

The Sharks

Sharks - Fall 2015
Coach Paul, Conner, Luke, Blake, Heath, Carter, Kale, Owen, Ryan, Coach DJ

Carter loved playing defender

2015-08-29 13.32.04

The Peppermints

Peppermints - Fall 2015
Lilly, Piper, Coach Kim, Sophia, Jordan
Amber, Payton, Raine, Zoe, Eugenia, Sophie

Raine improved a lot this season


We didn’t get many photos this season since both Daddy and I were coaching. Maybe next season we’ll do a better job of snapping pics while sitting on the sideline.

Some more school pics

I love that the kids’ teachers tweet photos of their daily adventures, below are the ones that include Raine or Carter. Mrs. Schultz dropped off Twitter around the end of October, so I don’t have as many photos of Carter as I do of Raine, hopefully she starts back up soon.

October 14 – Carter smelling a brand-new book during story time with Mrs. Kessel, the librarian.

October 16 – Kindergarten fire safety day (Carter is right behind the fireman’s left shoulder)

October 19 – Raine completed her passion project this week — she studied caterpillars.

October 21 – Dr. Booklove taught the kindergartners how to care for books (Carter is the blur on the right side)

October 26 – Raine is second from the right on the back row

October 27 – Raine is in the middle of the back row, in her mis-matched purple polk-dot outfit

October 29 – Raine and Zoe in their pajamas during red ribbon week

October 30 – Raine listening to Mrs. Marshall talk about resolving conflict

November 3 – Robby, Jules, Raine, and Mackenzie

November 4 – Raine and Zoe in the middle left photo

November 10 – I had lunch with Raine (and Zoe). On November 11, I had lunch with Carter but forgot to take a picture.
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November 10 – Robby, Jules, Maddy, Raine

HERE is a PDF copy of a story that Raine wrote for school a couple weeks ago (I typed the story below, but it doesn’t have the same feel without Raine’s handwriting and typos). I really enjoyed her imaginative little adventure, even if it is a tad disjointed! I can imagine what a fantastic adventure it was in her little mind. Someday, hopefully, her writing skills will develop to a point where she can sufficiently describe the images in her head because I’m certain they are quite impressive.

Raine’s Big Adventure
One day Raine was walking in the forest behind her house when a strange noise stopped her. She followed the sound till it stopped. She looked around and got an idea! A very good idea. She snuck away tree to tree till she heard it again then she kept going till she saw it. An old music player laying on the forest floor stopping and playing softly. So she closed her eyes for a moment. A dust whirled around her eyes. When she opened her eyes she found herself standing in a castle full of gold. Raine wandered around the castle. Then a unicorn flew down from the ceiling and started tossing her mane. Raine edged closer to the frightened animal. She reached out her hand and tried to calm the frightened animal. The unicorn looked at Raine with big brown eyes and slowly lowered her head. Raine climbed on its back. The unicorn took her to a door and nudged Raine’s leg. Raine opened her eyes and found she had a day dream back to her house.

As long as I’m posting Raine’s compositions, here is her essay for the “Mayor for a Day” contest. She spent weeks thinking about the things that she would change and I was committed to not influencing her in any way. As you can see, these are definitely her own 7-year-old thinking!

Mayor for a Day
If I was Mayor for a day, I would get the police faster cars to get to emergencies. It would be a good idea because some people have really valuable things getting stolen. When police miss the robbers, the people don’t get their stuff back.

The next thing I would do is announce that everyone should pay at least one extra dollar for the poor. Then we would have less people dying from starvation in Colleyville. It is important because we want Colleyville to stay friendly.

The last thing I would do to make Colleyville a better place is tell everyone to brush their teeth and don’t eat extra sugar. That way, the government does not have to pay extra to rebuild things bigger. That costs money and wastes trees, making Colleyville less beautiful. We want Colleyville to stay beautiful.

Those are the changes that I would make if I was Mayor.

Pumpkin Mash Dash

Yesterday afternoon Daddy and the kids ran in the inaugural Colleyville Pumpkin Mash Dash. It was a gorgeous day for running.


Daddy set off on the 10K. Then the kids took off on the 1K.

Raine is the one in purple and Carter is just right of her in the back.

The course was a simple out-and-back route. Raine was ahead of Carter on the way out, but there was no sign of Raine when Carter came speed-walking back.


I ran out along the course to find Raine and asked the police officers who were directing traffic at the road if a little girl in purple had crossed the road — rather than turning around like the 1K runners were supposed to do. They had seen her pass so they radioed down to the officers at the next road crossing (quite a way down the road) who said they could see her coming. She told us later that she had figured out she missed the turn-around because she didn’t see any more kids, so she turned around before making it to the second officers.

I ran back to the finish line to find Carter before he freaked out and found him sitting in a ditch quite a way behind the finish line. Then we headed back out along to the course to wait for Raine. Soon enough she made her way to us, but that was the end for her. She didn’t even make it to the finish line. She dissolved into tears and just wanted to sit in the car. (We found out later that evening that she had a raging ear infection. Poor kid.)


Daddy finished the 10K in 50:06 which put him first place in his age group and fourth overall.



Halloween 2015

October 17 – Colleyville Haunted Trail


October 30 – Ward chili cook-off and trunk-or-treat


October 31 – Trick-or-treating


Carter wasn’t feeling well, but he cheered up once he starting getting candy in his bag!


November 1 – Carter didn’t have to dress up in order to look scary today — that pink, oozy eye was pretty creepy all by itself!