29 May 2013

Petit Jean

WARNING:::: lots of pictures!

We took advantage of a day off and went exploring this beautiful state of Arkansas.  About two hours from our town is a state park called Petit Jean.  We ventured out with our friends, the Bomars.  Mom is Anissa, who is raising three lovely ladies - Parker who had other plans than hiking this weekend, and the twins - Ryan and Drew.  Ryan and Drew are Charlotte's age and since they only live a street away, we are frequently swapping kiddos.

We hiked, we picnicked, and we swam.  It was a great day!  James had serious troubles with the hikes, even though we only tackled the easy ones.  Luckily, Anissa brought along Casie - their huge black lab.  She pulled James up the hike.  Literally pulled him as he walked.  It was a godsend.  Good girl Casie!  He was able to join us on a beautiful day in a beautiful place.

Here are a few pictures of our amazing scenery:

We hiked two trails - James only managed one, then took the rest of the day off.  This ravine is from the second trail - down and around through tall rock formations and trees growing in strange places - amazing.

James atop a rock.  This will give you an idea of the size of this "cave".  It's a huge hollow rock.  You could literally fit a basketball court under this rock overhang.  It would be really cool to be there in the rain.

Jay Michael in the same cave, different rock.  This little man had a huge day exploring and playing.  I was worried that he wouldn't keep up with his sisters - HA! - they had to keep up with him!

Josephine in a hole in the cave.  She said it was almost cold in there!

More vistas!  It was a beautiful day.  Truly.

Silhouettes of Rachel and Josephine in the "cave".

These are called the turtles rocks - sleeping turtles!

James and Tina - in a cave!  Look at us on the blog...

This tree was growing up the side a huge rock formation and then reached for the sun.  Amazing.

If you look closely you can see the mountain across the valley through the trees.  The whole landscape was mountains and forests and it was so cool and quiet in the trees.  I'm a beach loving flatlander, so this park really was impressive to me.  The mountains have a lot to offer.

The group - well, some of us.  It's hard to see in the shadows, so I'll tell you who these people are - standing from the left we have Rachel and her friend Hunter.  Sitting on the rock from left to right we have: Josephine, Jay Michael, Drew, Charlotte, Ryan and Reagan.
 
I highly recommend visiting this park if you are in the area.  There are more trails - some of them have waterfalls and grottos.  Plenty of exploring awaits us.  I'm hoping we can go again in the fall - the scenery will be amazing then, I'm sure.  You are ALL invited.  Come visit us, too!
 
James and his trail buddy - Casie the Black Lab!

24 May 2013

Lunch with the Big Ladies

Rachel is in ninth grade and Samantha is in eighth grade.  They still think it's cool when Mom brings Subway and eats lunch with them at school.  Warms my momma heart.  Or maybe it's the subway....either way, I'll take it.   May 2013

23 May 2013

Central Elementary Talent Show - 2013

video
Josephine (eight years old, second grade) decided that she wanted to be in the school talent show.  I thought that was pretty brave and I was all for it.  She choreographed this one minute section of "This Girl Is On Fire", by Alicia Keyes herself - with some suggestions and useful criticism from her older sisters.  The field of competition was about seven other acts, ranging from a karate demonstration to solo vocalists to a "cup song".  Josephine stole the show.  First place for an individual performer.  You ARE on fire, girl!

17 May 2013

Find the Differences....

The first day of school and the last day of school.  Wee Care was so good to him.  The teacher was wonderful.  The director was fantastic.  The friends he made are sweet.  There is not a single part of Wee Care that did not serve our family well.  Jay Michael is ready for kindergarten and excited for "big" school, as he calls it, to begin.  That's the best we could ask for!

12 May 2013

School Notes

As the ladies are quick to inform me, this school year is quickly drawing to a close.  I wanted to pause and list a few facts from this year.
 
Walking:  our ladies are walkers.  Charlotte and Josephine walk to school and home from school - even in the rain.  Rachel and Samantha walk home every day, even if they have after school practice until 6.
 
Separate:  This year we have two ladies in elementary school and two ladies in junior high, with Jay Michael in preschool three days a week.  That's the easy part.  Next year it will be one in high school, one in junior high, one in middle school and two in elementary.  Five kids, four schools?
 
Sports:  Rachel and Samantha participate in school sponsored sports, so they practice at school.  Charlotte and soon Josephine, will be participating in sports outside of school.

11 May 2013

Charlotte's Pond

Charlotte's fourth grade class has been learning about the water cycle.  As an incentive, each table of four students was given a water gauge.  The first table to fill their water gauge could expect a special treat.  The students who sit at your table filled the gauge by class participation, good behavior and high scores on schoolwork.  Charlotte was thrilled to announce that her table filled their gauge first.  The treat was to stay after school and work with their teacher on renovating the run down pond on the playground.  They dug it up, cleaned it out, replanted some flowers and mulched.  It looks great.  Good work, Charlotte!

05 May 2013

The Yellow-ness

I have been telling the ladies for the last week that we are taking this month's splash picture in the yellow-ness.  I mean, what other word is there in the English language that better describes this field near our house.  It is The Yellow-ness.

So it's been raining.  A lot.  Rain is great, don't get me wrong, I like rain.  But, if you want your kids to go traipsing through a field, rain is not helpful.  Neither are snakes.  We were always looking for snakes.  Snakes in Arkansas are as scary to me as the tornadoes.  We have copperheads and rattlers.  No.  Thank.  You.  But I digress....

Anyway, this field, the yellow-ness, is not going to be in bloom long.  So I wanted to capture it in all its yellow glory.  My splash pictures will come and go with the months, so I added these snapshots while we were posing, too.  And just look at those clouds!  Cumulus clouds, according to Josephine.  (She just finished a weather unit in science, so we are all learning these tidbits.  I just love my kids.)

Charlotte chasing Jay Michael through the yellow-ness.

Rachel (15), with yellow-ness in her hair.
Samantha (13), contrasting the yellow-ness.

Charlotte (10), reclining in yellow-ness.
 
Josephine (8), yellow-ness in mid-air.

Jay Michael (5), Here, Momma, yellow-ness to go.
 

02 May 2013

Cute Kid Quote

This photo is Samantha (13 years old), as the ref, and Jay Michael (5 years old), as the soccer star.  I just think it's a adorable the way they both put a foot on the ball together.
While putting on his shoes this morning:::::
Jay Michael, five years old:  Mom, I have brave toes.
Mom:  Really?  How do you know that?
JM:  Because it's dark inside my shoes and they aren't scared.

Dag.  So cute.