Wednesday, July 20, 2016


We just spent 4 days in Arkansas with my brother and sister in law. This was our 3rd trip there and feel like we are starting to know their area pretty well. The kids love knowing what states we are crossing into as we drive. We stopped on the way up at Eisenhowers birthplace and learned a lot about his life and presidency. We asked a local where we should eat and went to Nick’s café right down the road. Adam was stocked as they had fried catfish, one of his favorite foods!!! Everything there was very good and the kids meals were huge, meaning they had plenty to snack on the rest of the drive. We were trying to give Chris and Micah a little bit of rest time as they got in from children’s camp around 2:30 that day…they are children’s pastor at a church. We rolled in around 5:30 and we made dinner for them as they were exhausted.
We woke up Sunday and headed to church with them. They get so excited to see their Aunt and Uncle in action…and the fact that Adam and I don’t stick around. Oh yeah, it was also my 32nd birthday so I got to choose lunch. We went to Newk’s which is like Panera but better. I got the best Ahi Tuna salad…and it was huge..Ribbit had to help me finish it. We then walked over to Game Stop and let Goober spend his birthday money. From there we went back to their home and hung out and caught on up on life until it was time to go to the WATERPARK. Their church had rented out a city waterpark and from 6-8:15 we swam. The kids loved the lazy river of course, the slides, doing flips but mostly just being around the aunt and uncle. I liked seeing my family in their roles, serving the community and each other..I liked hearing others brag on them and seeing how they are getting involved.
I need to also mention that every morning I ran around Chris and Micah’s sweet little neighborhood. I tried to stay out until right when I thought the kids would wake up. On my birthday morning I finished my run and walked outside while on the phone with my mom trying to let everyone sleep in. It was so sweet when my kids came out the front door and told me to come…they and Daddy had made me breakfast and wanted to give me presents. Adam got me a QALO ring….we match now! Mine is bright orange and I love it…I can’t even feel it and its perfect for working out!
Anyways, the morning after the waterpark I finished my run and gathered the kids in their bedroom. I downloaded Looney Tunes on my phone and we did an “ole timey” morning with cartoons and breakfast in bed. They were quiet until 9 and then I unleashed them into the house. The 2 littles went straight to Micah and Chris’s room and got in bed with them to “nuggle”. We had a lazy morning and ate 3 rounds of breakfast. Then we headed to downtown Bentonville, to a favorite coffee shop, Onyx. I LOVE their butternut squash latte but it’s a seasonal thing. So I got a cold lavender honey latte with coconut milk….OH MY WORD…do fantastic. We walked into some of the downtown stores and got presents for upcoming birthdays. Then to my surprise Micah and I got into their car and headed to the SPA!!! She and Chris had already given me my birthday present, an awesome soft t-shirt that says Jesus over Everything. Micah and I had a great time being girly at the spa and both had the best time relaxing. The boys took the kiddos to a BB Gun museum and we all met up for a late lunch at Slim Chickens. After lunch and a great conversation on marriage we headed to the park. We played, rode bikes and walked through the creek. Then we decided to go fishing at a local pond. One of my former students, who now attends U of A met us there and we all caught up while the kids (and Adam) caught nothing but trees, bushes and each other. We decided that dinner should be ice cream and headed to TCBY.
We got in late, put the kids to bed and the 4 of us settled in to watch House Hunters and Beach Front Bargain homes…we LAUGHED SO HARD at each others jokes about house hunting and then to our surprise a couple came on looking for a home where Chris and I grew up!!! We laughed so hard at their accents and how they really were typical Alabamians….it was great.
We left this morning as they were leaving for work. We wanted to do some hiking since our last hike in AR was beautiful. On the suggestion of my student we went to Devils Den and had a beautiful morning hike. It was shady, there were several caves and crevices that were chilly, 2 or 3 waterfalls and just a great hike for the kiddos. We hope to get home before dinner tonight and get ready to conquer the dentist, 3 birthday parties (including Ribbits), finishing the kitchen remodel (yes, we are close. I just have to paint 4 doors and Adam has one wall of backsplash to put up), an anniversary to celebrate and all the last minute things to be done before school starts!!!!

Ribbit keeps asking “what has been your favorite trip this summer? The cruise, Alabama or Arkansas”. We honestly can’t pick….seeing family trumps everything an relaxing with my little family on the cruise was amazing. We asked them what their favorite thing about the Arkansas trip was and they said…

Goober-sliding with Uncle Chris at the waterpark and going to their church
Big Man-Seeing people get baptized at the waterpark (that was neat, seeing about 10 kids be baptized in the middle of a busy waterpark!) and going to game stop (hehe, he loves seeing what his older bubba gets)
Ribbit-the slides at the waterpark and getting ice cream
Dad-talking about marriage with Chris and Micah and the BB Gun museum
Mom-the Spa (DUH) and getting my Onyx drink 

More pictures from our time in Alabama last week!
I thought this was so stinkin funny when I saw it after my run. I normally run this shopping center when we are in Huntsville because it always busy, regardless of the time. I was so engulfed in the podcast I was listening to that I just ran without thinking and then I ran past my van!

Sparklers at the cabin with cousins

Kayaking with Captain out on the lake.

Goobers birthday present from Lolly and Captain...a much wanted and very deeply discounted you can see little bubba likes it just as much!

Telling Nana Harvell something very important!

Yep...I ran a 4:42 mile...I was aiming for a 4:44 for the fourth...I promise you I died right after this on the grass in the church parking lot.

My sweeties on the 4th at the lake!

A little fishin...we caught the neighbors peer, the boathouse, seaweed and almost cousin Olivia!!!

Cousin Olivia makes the best raft!

Daddy and his kiddos out on the lake

Momma likes to swim in water that she can what is on the bottom....I get in when I HAVE TOO!!!

Kayaking with captain

Family time at the lakehouse

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