Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stopping by the Stockyard

After spending most of our time yesterday in the hotel, Sophie and I headed to the Fort Worth Stockyard while Brian went to work. The Stockyard is one of the most visited tourist sites in Fort Worth, TX. For cattle drivers and ranchers driving their stock on the Chisholm trail towards Abilene, KS, Fort Worth was one of the last stops for supplies before coming to Abilene and putting the cattle on the railroad. Then by 1876 the railroad made its way towards Fort Worth and thus eliminating the need to drive the cattle into Kansas. And thus, the stockyards were built to hold the livestock until it could be transported via rail.

In addition to all the history, we got to see some cowboys and a cowgirl as well as look at some longhorn cattle. They regularly keep and have named 12 of the longhorn cows in the stockyard.

Every day at 11:30 am and 4pm they will guide the cattle out of the pen and lead them in a cattle drive going basically... around the block and back into their pens.

You can even hire the cattle to make "special appearances" at your events. The only appearance I want them to make is on my plate in the form of a steak. Which bring up another point, while at the Stockyard I expected to smell a lot more manure. Instead, I was encompassed by the wonderful aroma of steak.

Yep... I could get used to living in Texas!

For more information on the Fort Worth Stockyard CLICK HERE

Artistic Architecture of Fort Worth

Brian had a business trip to Fort Worth, Texas for work and Sophie and I tagged along. We were placed in the Renaissance Worthington hotel in downtown Fort Worth. It was an amazing hotel (4 stars, valet, and bellhop fully included). Here was our view from our hotel room.

I just loved the architecture of the downtown area surrounding us! So I had to take several pictures, particularly of the windows of the surrounding condos in the area.

The Sundance Square was right outside, as well as the Fort Worth courthouse... so we visited those little areas where we could reach on foot.

Unfortunately, those shopping areas nearby were extremely expensive, so we were very lucky to have Katie living in the area and willing to take Sophie and I shopping!

By the time we were done shopping, Sophie was exhausted (and so was my credit card- just kidding) and went to bed easily.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day Trip- Arkadelphia Aquatic Park


I was thankful that today was the day planned and selected for the Arkadelphia Aquatic Park because it was sweltering hot. And nothing helps the heat like a big chlorine pool. Camden has 2 swimming pools, but one belongs to the country club and the other is "not worth it".

So techincally the nearest clean and affordable public pool is about an hour away in Arkadelphia.

Thankfully, Candi offered to drive, which was nice because she knew the area. So 3 adults and 3 kids were packed into her SUV and we hit the road. We stopped at the Burger Barn for lunch (great food by the way) and then went directly to the pool for 2 hours of fun in the water.

Considering that Sophie does not do well with the little kiddie pools you can put in the yard, she did really well. She walked in the water, and unfortunately went under water twice. However, a majority of the time she spent it clinging to me while I bounced her around and such.

I didn't take my camera with us in the pool because of all the kids and the splashing, but I did manage to get a few pictures while the kids were taking a snack break.

Ellie:

Colin:

Sophie:

Hopefully we find time to do this again, because the pool was so refreshing after days of 101 degree highs. Plus, it got the kids nice and tired afterwards. Heck, it made me nice and tired afterwards too!

For more information on the Arkadelphia aquatic park CLICK HERE

Fun with Father Peter


We were so blessed to have Fr. Peter O'Donnell, a friend of mine for at least 6 years, come and visit us here in Camden, AR before starting at St. Mary of the Universe in Salina, KS. We had lots of fun this weekend and Sophie was almost a constant companion wanting Peter to pick her up or her giving him her toys, etc...

One of the newer things that he's been doing is skateboarding and he wanted to try and take his Ripstick to as many states as possible. So, we tried to help. Here is a picture of Peter and the Ripstick in Camden, Arkansas.

Then on Sunday afternoon, after he concelebrated Mass with Fr. Hart, we hopped in the car for the 45 minute drive to the LA border. I couldn't resist the opportunity for him to skateboard at a Piggly Wiggly, and there just happened to be one in Springhill, Louisiana. So at least we helped him to cross of 2 states this weekend.

We had lots of fun talking, playing board games, and just even showing him the sights of Southern Arkansas.

Notice: Address letters are spray painted on the house instead of purchasing numbers. Guess they wanted to make sure the address was real big so nobody would miss their house.

And perhaps when we move to Dallas, Texas, Fr. Peter and Ripstick can come and visit us there as well. However, if he wants to drive the 11 hour drive from Salina, KS to Camden, AR again... well... that is fine with us too.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grandpa's Girl


We don't watch much tv at home, and Sophie watches even less. Sophie probably gets about 30 minutes of TV a month on average. So imagine our surprise when about a month or two ago, Sophie showed us that she knew how to turn the TV on and off.

Now imagine our surprise yesterday, when Sophie managed to turn the tv on (which coincidentally was playing America's Funniest Home Videos) and climb up on the recliner for the first time and watch TV.

I think she learned it from Grandpa Oney when he was here. Here are just a few of the pictures I took of her watching tv.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Getting "Raid" of Wasps!


Perhaps I'm inhaling too much Raid fumes, but I'm going to tell you about my wasp killing adventure anyway. To hate a wasp would be too subtle. I loathe wasps. They are on the same level as snakes in my book. Last week Brian knocked off a wasp nest from our carport door leading to the house. Then this week I notice that we have a wasp nest between our screen door and our front door to the house! So if I wanted to open the door to get the mail... wasps are there. And you know how I feel about wasps. So since I discovered the wasp nest I have been getting the mail by exiting the side door and walking around the front of the house to get the mail from the mailbox... at least until Brian decides to spray and kill the wasps and their little home too.

Well today (and I'm not sure how) 2 wasps came into the home and were buzzing around the living room. With the other wasps and nests, I could close a door and contain them from our living space. But now... I had two of them within stinging capability of Sophie and I. The clock on the mantle shows that it was only 10:30 in the morning and it would be 6 hours before Brian even got off of work, let alone home to kill them. So since I was talking to a girlfriend on the phone (Melissa) she managed to help me summon up the courage to get the can of Raid and spray the wasps. I'd never used Raid for wasps but I had used their other products for coachroaches and such. But with Raid for wasps I was surprised and impressed with it's ability to shoot and kill from a safe distance, because Raid doesn't do that for say... cockroaches. I even had to laugh as I killed the second one because it was like a mini-wasp-killing- fire hydrant! Our wall by the two windows where you can find the remains of two deceased wasps are dripping with Raid solution. I think the people responsible for making this particular Raid product definitely had a woman in mind! It shoots quickly and with lots of poison to kill... or even perhaps overkill (I don't think the wasps needed quite the amount of Raid they got in order to be killed... but hey... I'm not complaining). So kudos to Raid! Now I just have to get my husband to get the wasp nest by the front door... or perhaps... maybe me and my friend Raid can get this one!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day Trip- South Arkansas Arboretum


I'm always looking for day trips now that I have Sophie all the time; so when Beth recommended South Arkansas Arboretum I was happy to bring our stroller and go!

I'd never even realized that it was nearby in El Dorado, which is only about 30 minute drive from here. It's on a 13 acre stretch of land and has trees and plants native to the area with about 2 miles of walking trails. With the heat index planning to get up to 101 degrees (again) it was good that we got there in the morning and that the shade provided by all the trees helped to cool our walk as well. It was a very nice walk (and stroller friendly thank goodness) and had we lived closer, we all said we'd probably walk here every morning.

Probably one of the better parts of the morning was that our kids got time with each other and we had adult time.

Here is Candi with her son Colin (who wanted to run around.... a LOT) and her daughter Ellie.

Beth (who suggested the day trip in the first place) with her son James.

Heather and her daughter Caroline.

And Ashley.


It was so nice just to have a relaxing walk in a beautiful atmosphere and be able to talk to each other. And then to top it off, we all enjoyed a relaxing lunch before returning to Camden. Which unfortunately had me returning home to a clogged toilet and a list of chores. So yeah... it was nice to have at least something beautiful and relaxing today.

For more information on the South Arkansas Arboretum CLICK HERE.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

She Poos in Blue


Huggies recently came out with a brand of disposable diapers that look like jeans. Their product and their commercial are cute!

For the commercial CLICK HERE!

Anyway, Aunt Dr. Suzi sent Sophie a couple boxes of the Huggies Jean Diapers and for the past few days I've been trying to get Sophie to dance in them. But with VBS, naps, canning, and making meals it just hasn't been too easy... until this morning on Father's Day. So, without further ado... this is Sophie's "Thank you" dance to her Aunt Dr. Suzi for the diapers to the song "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On"

Friday, June 18, 2010

Adopt-A-Grandma!

Sophie's grandparents are all in Kansas and therefore easily a ten hour drive away. Sometimes she hears their voices over the phone, but she doesn't get to see them very often. Well, Sophie adopted two wonderful grandmas from our church... or they adopted her... not sure which. Anyway, Faye and Florine were wonderful and spoiled her rotten all week! Sophie just relished the attention... and the snacks! Anyway, I want to thank these WONDERFUL grandmas for spoiling Sophie and giving her some Grandmas in Arkansas!

Faye:

Florine:

Spending time with them and getting spoiled!

Baobab Blast VBS- Day 5


Today was the last day of Vacation Bible School! It was much easier and more "fun-filled" I think today in part because we had more fun games and the adults genuine relief that after today it would be over.

We still had our music and dancing time:

And we still had our crafts:

And of course Sophie was thankful that we still had snack time:

But we also had a bounce house for the little ones:

And a volleyball of sorts:

And a water balloon fight!

And today, our youngest VBS-er decided to start checking out his little surroundings and seeing what the kids were doing. Perhaps... next year James will be a more active participant.

It was a big success with the few kids that came and Sophie really got into it these past few days. It is going to be tough on her to return to her normal schedule WITHOUT morning snacks and WITHOUT her adopted grandmas.