Monday, June 15, 2015

Grandma and Papa's visit

My parents' flight got in an hour before Emma and Tyler got home from their LAST day of school. All day Sadie was so excited and kept asking to go to the airport. That morning we went to see Emma get all her awards at school, then came home to get ready for grandma and papa.

Wow, we sure stayed busy. The first night they were here Spencer took the kids to watch Tyler's tournament baseball game and I took my parents to the Bud Walton arena in Fayetteville to see Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Hearing "Sweet Home Alabama" was definitely the highlight and everything else was pretty much just "noise." I learned that heavy rock is not my type of music. And those dudes are OLD. My mom and I realized that if we plugged our ears we could actually hear the music. :) (On another note, Train performed the night before, and I took Emma and some friends and it was SO good.)
Tyler had an incredible game that night and we probably should have stayed and watched it. :)

The next day we got up and drove to Branson to go to Silver Dollar City. It was one of the days I had free guest passes for, and my kids love an amusement park. And the drive there is beautiful, albeit pretty long. We had to leave by 3:45 to get Tyler back before his game at 6 so we packed it in.

Everyone went down into Marvel Cave while Sadie and I played with blocks they had set up, then we drove back quickly, getting Tyler to his game just in time. They played their hearts out but lost when the other team ran away with the game in inning 5. We said goodbye to baseball for the year (for Tyler) that night.

The next day was Shareholders! This is our first year here so Spencer and I didn't really know what it entailed but Spencer knew he could take two guests in so dad came with us and mom stayed back to babysit. We had to leave at 5:15 and even then we were at the very top of the arena (they save the middle and lower seats for Walmart all-stars from countries and stores all over the world). Now, Shareholders is cool. It's like a big party. The emcee was Reese Witherspoon! I love her and think we should be best friends.

She was charming and adorable, and we have heard that she is always like this. She even dressed as a Walmart associate for some clips they showed.
Reese introduced all the performers they had. When she first introduced Brian McKnight, I thought, "Hmmm, he is a 'has-been.'" He had a few hits when I was almost out of high school. But he was good! The next performer she announced was Ricky Martin! That was a fun little flashback as well! He is also a great performer. The next person she announced was Mariah Carey, and I couldn't believe it! I have always heard what a diva she is.
She did a few songs including "Always be my Baby."

The last performer was Rod Stewart! He did "Forever Young" and we headed out immediately after. I was impressed with Shareholders, and there were boring business parts but for the most part it was fun and interesting and I really came away drinking the blue kool-aid. I do really appreciate how Walmart treats its associates, aside from how the media portrays the big bad giant...

Anyway, the rest of the day we just hung out. Tanner had a game that night, his second to last...

On Saturday Tanner had his LAST game at noon, so we went prepared to go immediately out on the boat. We stopped to pick up ice and food after, and headed to the lake. It was HOT and the water felt awesome. We had to jump in quite a bit. We took turns on the tube and Papa ski'd and Emma sorta did the skis and Tyler tried to wakeboard... it was great.

3 of the 4 kids fell asleep on the drive home from the lake - so I would call it a success.

Sunday was nice and it actually WAS a day of rest.

On Monday we decided to explore Tanyard Creek; we had tried to go a few times before but it had been closed. I didn't know how much there was to do so we packed swimsuits, not knowing if we would need them.

My mom was here too but I don't have any pictures of her. They had so much fun and the boys were totally fine swimming in their clothes. It was a fun adventure.

On Tuesday we did the Crystal Bridges trails (the museum was closed) and went to the splash park. Then we relaxed. We were all tired and winding down.

I should mention the HOURS my mom spent upstairs pitching balls to Tanner, who became quite the ping pong baseball player. It is so refreshing to have FUN grandparents who just play and play and play.

We also took them to Andy's for frozen custard, and one of the coolest parts - got to discover fireflies with them here! Sadie found that if you squeezed them hard, they stayed lit up. :) We spent each night outside watching and catching fireflies, and spent our last night making a bonfire and doing s'mores.

Everyone was so sad when we took them to the airport. We came home after that and all crashed. :) Sadie has been asking me for a few days if "Papa Gamma come back Sadie house." Tanner needs his baseball buddy. We had so much fun discovering new parts of Arkansas with family here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

school's out!

Oh man I can't tell you how excited we were for this day! With three snow days factored in our last day of school was June 3. No more 6:20 bus!!

We all rolled out of bed and took our traditional jumping off the porch last day of school pictures. I got in on it this year. Different porch/house/school/city/STATE but the same sentiment. Maybe we were even a tad more excited this year to be done with school. Especially because Grandma and Papa were coming the same day!

I got to go to Emma's awards ceremony and see her receive an all A's report card award, as well as effort awards for Social Studies and Technology.

On to 6th and 5th grade!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


My friend in the ward texted me a picture on May 1. I am so so grateful she did! She happened to be at the school and saw Tyler receive this award. I am all about my kids getting attendance awards and things like that, but awards that go to their true character make my heart want to explode. So so proud! (And so glad my friend was there to take this!) I could not agree more.
That night was the Gold Rush 5k. This race is a huge deal in Bentonville, and the proceeds go to the schools. Each school wore a different color shirt, and it was a little too warm for me (I ran too!) but fun to spend the time training with Emma. Emma came in before me, and I came in before Tyler. Here they are before the race with Emma's friend Laurel.
 And after.
Melts me!
Love these two. (We were at swimming lessons and Sadie doesn't take lessons but has to wear her swimsuit and boots.)
She even brings her life jacket...

Emma and I were about to set off for girls weekend and had to be sure she had enough accessories... And then we were off!

Got to go here with my dad the first morning (can you tell I didn't sleep much?)

 My BFF growing up - Aarika. Persian princess and belly dancer. :)

Fun fun fun!
Spencer sold his beloved Altima...

 And bought a truck! And a boat! May was expensive in many different ways...
Back to the boat later. We were still in the thick of baseball. Tanner and Spencer's team...
And for Tyler...

We drove to Oklahoma to go on a pretty hike.

Tanner passed his swim class, with flying colors! Mr. I-don't-put-my-face-in-the-water!
We took the kids out of school to go to Silver Dollar City the friday before Memorial Day.

That night we got a call that our boat was ready in Austin! So we got home from Branson, re-packed within an hour, and were on our way to TX. We stayed in Dallas, and got the boat the next day. We of course had to try it out! (Spencer is so giddy here...)

It was a quick trip and we got rained on A TON but it was fun to be with cousins. ^^These two...they are adorable. Hannah and Tanner. We hauled our boat back to AR!

Spencer's truck is complete!
OK this is gross. Our first (big) snake in the backyard! Apparently it's a "harmless rat snake." It still should be a dead snake if you ask me.
 Love this boy! Tried so hard not to cry! Pre-school graduate!

 ^^She loves him. And we really love her.
This splash park turns into an ice skating rink in the winter. Having 4 seasons still blows my mind.

 Emma was one of 26 kids at her school who earned the National Fitness award.
Michael and Laura's family came to visit overnight on their way to Idaho. I tried to convince them to stay longer!! :( Sadie loved Danny, and Tanner loved Chandler. Too bad we live far from everyone. We took them to the square... and Sadie of course had to work her mischief.
May is always the most stressful month for me, and looking back at this I can see why! It is busy and crazy in the lead-up to school being over. So glad we are past that. One more day till summer!