Monthly Archives: March 2016

More school twitter pics

February 10, library – Carter smelling (another) new book

February 11, math – Raine is in the bottom left photo

February 18, maker spaces – Raine is in the top right corner (striped dress)

February 22, listening to Astronaut Scott Kelly on the International Space Station

February 23, creating 2D shapes – Carter is in the upper left of the photo, playing with Maddie

February 23, learning about synonyms and antonyms – Raine is in the bottom-right photo, writing on her desk

March 8, maker spaces – Raine with Mackenzie and Zoe

March 8, music – Carter’s class reciting “Pease Porridge Hot.” (Carter is always putting stickers in the middle of his forehead. I don’t know what started it, but he will leave them on there the entire day.)

March 9, reading – Raine is in the bottom-right photo

March 9 – crab soccer in PE

March 10, music class – Carter is in the middle wearing all gray.

March 10, reading Caldecott books in the library – Raine is in the top-right photo with her back to the camera.

March 11, Carter’s class learned about 3D shapes in a very tasty way

March 11, brain break with Go Noodle – Raine is in the top photo on the right side

March 21, using Pebble Go to collaboratively learn about inventors – Raine is in the upper-right photo

March 22, creating math problems – Raine is in the lower-right photo

March 24, magician assembly

March 27, sharing what they have learned about inventors – Raine is in the lower-right photo, in the purple jacket

March 29, peer editing – Raine is in the top-right photo in the purple jacket

March 29, Carter’s class playing sight-word bingo with a couple 5th graders

March 31, library party for all the 2nd-graders who read 20+ Caldecott Award books – Raine is in the purple dress

Easter in Arkansas – day 4

Monday, March 28

Our last day in Arkansas we spent back in Hot Springs. We started at the Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo, founded in 1902. Each of us was given a piece of bread to feed the animals in the petting zoo but we couldn’t get rid of it fast enough. Those goats were pretty aggressive! Carter climbed as high as he could on Daddy’s back to keep away from them.


Even animal-lover Raine was a little uncomfortable with the way the goats swarmed us and snapped at our bread. One of them even nipped my hiney because he wasn’t getting the attention he wanted!


As soon as the bread was gone, we high-tailed it out of the petting zoo and into the alligator building, where they handed us an alligator to hold.

2016-03-28_CDRalligator (2)

And by “us” I really mean Raine and Daddy, but mostly Raine. She loved holding the alligators. Carter tried really, really hard to work up the courage to hold one, but when it came right down to it he couldn’t bring himself to do it.


It is still too cold for the alligators to be active. They just laid there, piled on top of one another like they were fake. Every so often, one would move and disrupt the entire pile.


Outside, they had a number of neat animals, like a gray wolf, an artic wolf, and a cougar.


There was also a turkey who was strutting his stuff…


…and a peacock who was not.


Next, we returned to Bath House Row to look inside the bath house museum.


It was gorgeous inside and out. You could sense just how “elite” this place was back in its heyday. Not everyone was impressed by it though.



We were able to walk through the entire building and see it as it was back when it was operational. They had all sorts of bathing rooms, steam rooms, and massage rooms with scary looking devices that they used for electrotherapy.

The upstairs sitting room was impressive.


After that, we walked across the street to a little diner called BubbaLu’s Bodacious Burgers & Classy Dogs. We sat at the counter and watched the owner cook all the delicious food. That was the best hamburger I’ve had in a long time. The kids loved that their food was served on a frisbee.


After lunch, we continued back along Bath House Row, looking at the outsides of the bath houses that are still in operation as spas.


At the National Park gift shop, I tried to convince Raine to climb in the photo-op tub but instead, she made me climb in while she took the photo.


Ranger Carty


Then it was time to head home.



Everyone settled in with their electronic devices while I tried to take photos of the wildflowers along the sides of the roads. It was impossible to capture how pretty the drive was.


The sides of the roads were covered with flowers — Texas blue bonnets, Indian paintbrush, yellow ones, and white ones.



They are just a blur in all my photos, but here is a sample of what they looked like.


Easter in Arkansas – day 2

Saturday, March 26

We went quartz mining at the Ron Coleman Mine. It was located deep in the Ozarks near a little town called Jessieville. We saw a couple deer on our way out to the mine.

Going into it, we really didn’t know what to expect, but it was a whole lot more fun than we imagined! You get a shovel or rake and a bag then they send you out to dig in a big pile of dirt.


It wasn’t hard to find cool-looking rocks. The kids had their sacks pretty heavy by the time we headed to the washing area to see what was under all the dirt.



Raine had been wanting to ride a zip line and it just so happened that they had one at the mine. Carter and I watched as Raine and Daddy were harnessed to the line and then sent flying out over the open pit.


I took a video of their ride, but since I was just using my cellphone, you can’t see them most of the way down. As it turns out though, Raine didn’t make it all the way to the platform at the end. She was a good 50 feet away when she came to a complete stop, dangling over the mine. She says that when she started slowly sliding backward she became concerned that she would never get off that zip-line. Fortunately, a line-operator named Jake hooked himself to the line and zipped out to where she was. Raine held onto his feet as he pulled them hand-over-hand back to the platform. (That’s how you do things in the Ozarks!)

That red arrow points to the lower platform.

Jake gave Raine some really cool quartz crystals when she finally made it off the line. She handled it like a champ, even though it made her fairly nervous to be dangling 100+ feet above the ground. She hasn’t ruled out going on a zip-line again in the future but it will be a while before the memory of this fades enough for her put on another harness!

After that, we headed back out to the mine to dig for more crystals. While we were at the washing area earlier, we talked to the serious diggers who showed us what to look for. Our second time out we found some good ones.


After spending all day playing in the dirt, we were tired. We ate dinner at La Hacienda, in Benton, and then headed to the pool.




Easter in Arkansas – day 1

We have decided that Arkansas is a great place for a mini-vacation — we had loads of fun over Thanksgiving. This time we went to central Arkansas, in the area around Hot Springs and Little Rock, for Easter weekend.

Friday, March 25

After about a five-hour drive through the wildflower-filled prairie, we arrived in Hot Springs. We found “historic bath row,” parked the car, and wandered down the street until we found a tasty-looking pizzeria where we ate dinner.



Once we were properly nourished, we worked our way back up bath row, looking at the historic bath houses.


As the evening cooled off, we noticed that the fountains were steaming. Upon closer inspection, we learned that they are in fact fed directly from the hot springs.


Back behind one of the baths we found a couple of springs bubbling out of holes in the rock.




Then, it was time for ice cream!


We walked over to the park on the corner of Central Ave and Fountain St to eat our ice cream while standing in the steaming run-off from another hot spring.



Despite it being after bedtime when we arrived at our hotel in Benton, we headed straight down to the pool!




Spring break

We didn’t have any big plans for spring break this year, and it turned out to be a good thing that we didn’t! Saturday morning, I woke up to the sound of Carter puking. Good thing Daddy hadn’t left for his morning bike ride yet and saw the signs of Carter’s impending up-chuck. He got him into the bathroom before Carter covered everything and everybody in yuck!

Carter’s tummy trouble only lasted that morning, however, Sunday he woke up with pinkeye. There was no way that we could take him anywhere near church, so he and I stayed home. The funny thing was that Carter felt perfectly fine; he just looked scary! The sun was shining and the temp was in the upper 70s so we took a trip to the playground while Daddy and Raine were at church.



Monday we still didn’t feel like we could take Carter anywhere with kids, i.e. KidzU, so we made arrangements to stay home with them. Daddy had a meeting in the morning so I stayed with them while he was at work, but I had a trial in the afternoon so Daddy rushed home at noon to swap with me. It was spring break, gorgeous weather, and the cleaners were in the house so we headed over to Kidsville. I was there in my dress and heels, reading affidavits on my tablet, while the kids had a picnic and played hide-and-seek — real 1st-world problems, I tell ‘ya!

As soon as I got to the courthouse, I started to not feel so great. The newest attorney in my office was already at the courthouse and said that she was thinking about coming to watch my trial. I told her that would be a good idea because then if I had to puke she could cover for me. I had been joking when I said it, but sure enough, I was right in the middle of cross-examining a witness when I knew that the kindergarten cooties had got me! The witness was busy answering my question and the judge was looking down at the file on her desk when I stood up and booked it out of the courtroom — and not a second too soon!

As I was coming out of the restroom, feeling much better, my junior associate was coming out of the courtroom with a deer-in-the-headlights look on her face. She said that she had told the judge what happened and asked for a recess because she couldn’t think of any questions to ask. I went back in, finished the cross-examination, and the judge ruled in my favor! As soon as it was over, I went straight home. I barely got my car into the driveway before round-2 hit and the rest of the evening was spent violently heaving everything except my stomach itself.

Needless to say, I did not go to work the next day! The kids and I stayed home and played games. Around mid-morning, it was Raine’s turn for the stomach bug. Fortunately, she only puked once and didn’t seem to be as affected by it as Carter and I had been.


The weather was gorgeous, with temps into the 80s, so we spent some time outside. We played candyland . . .


. . . and dominoes.


Daddy had already planned to take Wednesday through Friday off to play with the kids, so they ended up spending the entire week at home. They did a lot of jumping on the trampoline with their friends.


The weather turned cold on Thursday. We didn’t get any hail at our house, but the parking lot at work was covered with this when I arrived:


That morning I had a meeting in the hospital district and there was still golf-ball-sized hail in the parking lot when I arrived. More than one person I work with had her windshield cracked by the hail. That’s spring-time in Texas, I guess!