Sunday, March 25, 2012

Goodbye Spring Break

Well, I guess it's time to head back to reality.  I just had to tell hubby goodbye until next weekend.  We got spoiled having this whole week to spend together.

We spent the beginning of the week at Mount Nebo State Park.  The rest of the week just felt like if flew by.  We got home in Central Arkansas on Wednesday afternoon.  We spent the rest of that day and Thursday hanging out at home, grilling, catching up on some TV, and made a point to go walk at the City Center for some exercise.

On Friday, we got to go see The Hunger Games, which we really enjoyed.  That evening, we headed back to Northwest Arkansas for the weekend.  We have had a busy, full two days here.  We ate out for practically every meal, got the oil changed, and he even helped me get some work done at school.  We were also able to go bowling with the 20s and 30s group at church yesterday afternoon.  We made our stock-up trip to Sam's Club, too.  We try to do that about once a month and end up spending more money than intended.  I always look at it as I won't have to buy it again for a while.  This morning, we went to the early service at church and went for a walk on one of the trails before he had to head back.

Spring Break seems to go so fast, but we actually got quite a bit done.  We ended up walking around 15 miles this week, which has to be good for us.  We also got to job applications done for hubby so that hopefully we can live together next year.  I also got to spend a lot of quality time with both hubby and my mom.  That is always a great thing, but makes this afternoon even harder since I am alone again.

One more thing I wanted to mention is that if you love shopping at Target like I do, you should definitely check into getting a Target Red Card.  We just got ours and I love it.  We got the debit card version, not the credit card.  It's just like using our regular debit card, but we save 5% on everything and get free shipping on things we buy online.  Another plus is that a percentage of what we spend is donated to the school where I work.  If you want more information about it click here.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Break Getaway

Most of you know that this summer we are going on the Great American Road Trip, as I like to call it.  To save money and energy we decided to keep Spring Break a little low key.  We went to Mount Nebo State Park for a few days and really enjoyed it.  We had a cute and cozy cabin.  We spent our time hiking (more like walking), eating, reading, and watching movies.  I have several picture to show of the park and the signs that spring is here!  All of these pictures are from before the torrential rains set in.  All of the pictures of us are still on hubby's camera so I'll have to post a couple of those later.  Enjoy a peek into our mini vacation!



Our home away from home.




The view from our cabin.



The view from Sunrise Point.



Some deer friends we saw eating in the woods.  The blend into their surroundings very well!



The view from Sunset Point.



We went on two hikes.  One was about 3 miles and the other was about 4 miles.  Here are some of the sites we saw along the way.







This is the view from our cabin as the rain started moving in.  We were above the clouds.  Eventually, we were in the clouds.  That was a neat, but eery feeling.



I love the state parks for a quirky, easy, and relatively inexpensive getaway.  What a relaxing Spring Break!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Where Have I Been?

I have spent this last week trying to survive.  Anyone that is a teacher will understand.  The last week before a break seems to last a month.  We are all so ready to get away.  I think this year may have been worse than the last couple.  Two years ago, we missed 8 days for snow and last year we missed 10 day.  This year we haven't missed any.  I'm really not complaining.  We have made it to Spring Break!  Once we go back, we only have about 7 1/2 weeks left.  We will all be doing the happy dance on May 23.

I love my job and the work I get to do with my students.  Spring is the hardest time of year for me.  As a special education teacher, I have a conference with each student's parents to discuss their progress this year and to make their plan for next year.  While I love getting to share with parents all the progress their child has made, it does require me to prepare a lot of paperwork.  Paperwork is always the highlight of any job.  By the time the last day of school get here, I feel like I have been on a paperwork marathon.

So I will enjoy my time off this week.  That way I can go back to work refreshed.  Normally, we take a vacation over Spring Break, but this year we are keeping it a little more low key.  We have rented a cabin at Mount Nebo State Park.  Our plans include to do only what we feel like each day.  Hopefully, we will feel up to a little hiking, grilling, and enjoying the fantastic view.  I will try to post pictures.

The other thing monopolizing my little bit of free time this past week is reading.  I want to read the Hunger Games Trilogy.  I have started it and really never want to stop reading.  It has totally sucked me in.  I am almost finished with the second book and will be taking the third one with me.  I can sit outside and enjoy the fantastic weather while getting my Peeta and Katniss fix.

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Garden Time

Last weekend Hubby and I bought seeds to get our garden started.  We bought a couple varieties of tomatoes, squash, zucchini, okra, cucumbers, onions, peppers, basil, and some flowers.  All we have left to get is eggplant.  We already have rosemary, parsley, onions, and peppers.

While we were at Target, we also picked up a seed starter kit to so we could start our seeds inside before actually planting them.  After a week, we now have some seedlings.  We are off to a good start.  Here is where we are.







Hopefully, it will keep growing and we will have some veggies this summer!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Great American Road Trip (AKA Summer Vacation)

This past weekend we planned and made reservations for our summer vacation.  I just have to say I am so excited! It is going to be a 2-week trip through some amazing parts of our country. 

To start out we are heading to Chicago for our our annual family picnic/reunion.   While there we will be visiting the Field Museum.  It never gets old; there is always so much to see there.



After we leave Chicago, we are heading to Spring Green, Wisconsin, to see Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin.  We have visited several of the homes he has disigned before so we are excited to see one of his favorites.  There is a lot of history and tragedy here.



After touring the estate, we will be heading to South Dakota.  We will be spending at couple of days at Badlands National Park.  The landforms are so different here so I am excited to see a different kind of natural beauty than what we have here in Arkansas.



After the Badlands, we are heading to the Blackhills.  We will be staying at Custer State Park and visiting Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, and taking some scenic drives.




The final stop on our trip will be in Yellowstone National Park.




These are the main places we are stopping at so if you have any suggestions, advice, or some must sees, please let me know.  These places are all brand new so the more advice I can get from those that have experience the better our trip will be.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Highlight of the Week

I'm sure you all know how much I love the Arkansas Razorbacks.  I really love all the teams, but especially the football team.  One of the advantages of living in NWA is the easy access to all the athletic events.  We are football season ticket holders, but we also have been to basketball, volleyball, baseball, and gymnastics.  Another highlight of living in this area is when the athletes visit our school.

Last year this group of football players came to visit.

football players

Of course I had to get my picture made with them.  I know how big of a thrill it is for me to get to see them, but the look on the kids' faces is priceless.

Last Friday it happened again.  We had special visitors.  Former Razorback and current Green Bay Packer D.J. Williams came to school!  He brought another Razorback, Zhamal Thomas, with him.  One of our university interns is friends with them and invited them to come.  The best part is they came during recess, which the kids loved.  They guys ran and played with the kids, gave them autographs, and took endless pictures.  What an awesome thing for them to take take out of their busy lives to play with these kids, a lot of whom didn't know who these big guys were.  (I put stickers over the kids' faces to protect their identity, but still wanted to share so you could get an idea of how awesome these guys were.)

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The kids just gathered around and followed them across the playground.  They also chased them and tried to tackle.

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The pictures were impromptu.  I had recess duty and just happened to have my phone in my pocket.  The kids were so enthralled. I have to admit I was too.  Watching these big football players interact with these kids was really special.

autograph

Trying to sign autographs on a windy day was a little challenging.  He was using the kid's back as a table, not writing on his shirt.

I had to get in the action, too.

DJ Williams

I know it was a great day for me and I'm sure it was for the kids', too.