Saturday, May 10

geocaching in Ozark

because there were no soccer games this morning due to tournaments, we headed to Ozark, AR for some geocaching fun.

we found a series of caches that were super easy for the kids and they had a great time.
each one was hidden on a fire hydrant.

here is charlie finding his very first cache

he was so happy

sometimes you have to jump over streams...

and go into the bushes...

but it's always worth it!

we drove through a super small town called Altus (The Wine Capital of Arkansas!) hoping to find something for lunch. we stopped at Kelt's Pub because it was the only place with more than one car in front of it. when we walked in, the two tables that actually had customers went quiet and stared at us. it didn't take long for us to turn around and walk out.

we found this place in Ozark and it was ok. we certainly enjoyed the banana pudding and caramel pecan pie cheesecake though!

chris smoked this pork shoulder yesterday that was seriously, THE BEST we've ever had, so Rivertowne BBQ just didn't seem up to par.

all the roads were named very matter-of-factly like Gravel Rd, which was exactly that, a gravel road. Cotton Gin Rd with an old cotton Gin building. This one caught my eye, but sadly there was no actual puddin' on Puddin Ridge.

it's been a great saturday.

Friday, May 9

did you know...

in the car this morning charlie says,

"actually, i i i i just eat a booger"
(he's in the middle of a stuttering stage. its adorable)

and i say,
"eeeeeewwww thats gross charlie!"

and chris asks,
"what do boogers taste like?"

and with no hesitation charlie says,
"fruit snacks and pretzels!"

did you know that?

Tuesday, May 6

a little mash-up

ok, maybe this should be titled
a NOT SO little mash-up.
i've got so many random pictures on my phone from the past month or so. i think i'll dump them all here! there are a ton and each has a story, so proceed with caution :)

jack and ellie started soccer last month and are loving every single second they can be on the field.
one thing about this area is that they take their kids sports VERY seriously. jack has soccer three days a week. three days a week! can you believe that?! but he loves it. ellie has it twice a week. only once do their games coincide, so that means we are going to the fields 4 times a week. its insane, but luckily the fields are about 3 minutes from our house.

jack is in an older league and they are actually learning techniques and strategies which makes watching their games so much more enjoyable. 
he came up with his team name: the tornadoes.
jack is so good and he's such a ball hog, that you can hear all of the parents and grandparents on the team yelling, "GO JACK!" for the majority of the game. it's no surprise that he soaks up every second with a smile on his face and a wave to the crowd with each goal. he's even made a "header" which he thought aunt alli would be proud of. but along with all that macho-ness, he's also a softie and helps others that get hurt on the field and always thanks his coach each game. several parents have told me what a great kid he is. 

ellie's team is still in the younger, everyone-run-after-the-ball-in-a-big-group, stage. her coach is spanish and yells in spanish the whole time and even calls her Alli instead of ellie, but she loves it! she's definitely one of the fastest on her team, but can't kick the ball in the right direction worth beans. but, she gets in there and isn't afraid to play tough. two of her four goals have actually made it into the right net :) she loves it! and no, none of the other parents have told me what a great kid she is, haha. she's usually in her own little world.

and while those two play soccer, charlie has fun too.
he's usually playing in the dirt, building a "birthday cake". 
sometimes he pretends to be a puppy:

and every once in a while, he wants to cuddle with mama.

life outside of soccer has been good too.
we had beautiful tulips in the front yard for a few weeks in april and the kids had to smell them each time we got out of the car.

we also went to a spring festival here in town. it was held at Fort Chaffee, which is the same place that Elvis went when he joined the military. 

jack was fascinated by this.

we visited the barbershop where elvis got his famous haircut. they were giving away free elvis military haircuts and jack wanted one so badly, but the line was outrageous and when we walked in, they weren't cleaning any of the clippers, scissors, combs, or floors between haircuts.... it was gross. sorry jack!

the kids were able to ride a mechanical bull, which was worth every penny!
we got charlie on it first.
lets just say that he is still telling me that he doesn't want to get on a cow again.

ellie had fun, but was ready to get off after a minute or two.

when jack got up there, chris yelled "turn it up!"... and they did. it was great and jack would love to do it again.

he was bucked off a couple times, but hopped right back on. 

they also got their faces painted

this poor lady had never heard of harry potter (wait, what???) and when we asked her to do a lightning bolt on jack's forehead, this was the result. he was a good sport about it.

the first grade learned all about economics during april. jack was in love. all he talks about is scarcity, entrepreneurs, profits, etc. i guess all that time spent with aunt alli and uncle bo made an impression :) 
at the end on the month, they started a business of renting ties each morning for a week to earn money for a field trip. any kid in the school could rent a tie for the day for 50 cents-$3, depending on the tie. the first graders had to write a resume, get references, apply for a job, be interviewed, and then of course do their job during that week. jack was so happy that he got the job he wanted: sales. ha! he had to be to school early each morning, set up and then sell ties and tie them for the students.
at the end of the week, he was recognized in front of the whole school as being the top salesman. he certainly knows how to be persuasive and never (ever) takes no for an answer... we know that first hand...

 last weekend, chris and jack went to the father and son's campout. i really wanted charlie to go too, but chris was pretty set on taking him next year, not this year. he is a pretty wild and mischievous three year old after all.

doesn't everyone grill fillet mignons at their father and sons campout?!

jack had a blast making new friends, playing any and all sports, eating cobbler and smores, staying up till midnight, playing miniature golf, and fishing the next day. but he did wake up in tears because it was freezing cold at 3 am. 
ok, so i guess its probably a good thing charlie didn't go this year.

while they were camping, ellie and i had a manicure party and then got dressed up, just because we could. plus, she wanted to wear her new high heels she got for easter, so why not. we went to dinner at "the cowboy place". she's been wanting to try texas roadhouse ever since it opened a few months ago, but since chris and i aren't big fans of the food, and because its always packed (people around here take their chain restaurants about as seriously as they do their kids sports, s-e-r-i-o-u-s.) we haven't gone. well, she was pleased as punch and because they had hot dogs, charlie was too!

this was the best picture i could get of the wiggly man.
he looks like this 93.6% of the time.

then we spent the rest of the night playing uno, charlies favorite game as of late. i think we played it around 30 times in a 24 hour period. i now hate uno.

 and last, but not least, we had some pretty scary weather threats last sunday. luckily they knew ahead of time that the tornadoes were coming, and most people had plenty of time to prepare. we feel very, very blessed that as the worst of it in our area headed our way, it somehow opened right up and went around us. miracles!

all we had was a pretty great thunder and lightening storm with a little wind. we are sad about those that were hit about two hours south of us near little rock. we'd much rather deal with hurricanes than tornadoes.