Arkansas’ Summer Fun Place

Lazy River at Wild River Country

This is a sponsored post by Wild River Country. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.

As a new teacher, I’ve relished in my first summer break since I was in college (long, long ago). My kids and I have just been hanging out, having playdates, visiting family, and enjoying lots of pool time. So for my last week of freedom (my school starts mid-July), we decided to go to Wild River Country again. Quinn, Maya, Lucy (Maya’s friend) and I hurried out the door, and we were the first in line to get in when the gates opened at 10 a.m.

Wave Pool at Wild River Country

Locker Link Wrist Band at Wild River Country

It was cool being the first ones there — seeing all the Wild River Country staff and lifeguards stationed at their assigned posts for the day. We walked over to the lockers near the little kid Tad Pool. The small lockers are $8 for the day, and the large ones (which we got) are $12 for the day. You get this wristband (or multiple ones if you need them) to open your locker whenever you need to throughout your visit. The central location of these lockers makes them my choice of all the lockers at the water park.

Cyclone Raft at Wild River Country

Ironically, we ended up not playing in the Tad Pool at all this visit. (Last visit, Quinn and I spent the majority of our time there.) Instead, we went for the big guns right off the bat — the Cyclone, the largest raft ride in Arkansas! Quinn got fitted with a life jacket, then we got our raft and climbed the stairs to the Cyclone. The raft for the Cyclone seats four people, so we all got to ride together. (Little ones like Quinn can ride these big attractions if accompanied by an adult.) The Cyclone looked innocent enough from the bottom, but once the friendly staff person helped us get in place on the raft and gave us a push off, we swayed back and forth, zigzagging down the curvy, tube oscillating between darkness and light. I screamed like a little kid and held onto Quinn’s hand tight. But when I looked over at her, she was laughing and having a ball…not scared at all. My kids are so much braver than I am. As soon as we got to the bottom, she screamed “Let’s go again!” I told her that we could later — after my momma heart recovered.

Cyclone at Wild River Country

Lily Pad Crawl at Wild River Country

We splashed around in the Ole’ Swimming Hole for a while and Lucy attempted the Lily Pad Crawl. She made it almost half way before falling in. She also went down the Vertigo, a high thrill, body-sliding experience that launches you from a tunnel slide into a giant funnel-looking thing before free falling into the splash pool below.

Pipeline at Wild River Country

Next we rode the Pipeline. It’s a 500-foot roller coaster-type slide made for one or two people at a time. Maya and Lucy rode together; Quinn and I followed. The twists and turns were exhilarating, and again I screamed in a crazy mixture of fear and fun. I really wish I had a GoPro camera on my head to capture the experience. My words seem inadequate to describe the fun and laughter we shared on these slides.

Lazy River at Wild River Country

Lazy River at Wild River Country

Lazy River at Wild River Country

After all this excitement, I convinced the girls that we needed a slow, relaxing float around the Lazy River, then we hit the Wave Pool. Quinn, holding my hand, dove face first into the incoming waves, unflinching in her determination to conquer each one.

Wave Pool at Wild River Country

Wave Pool at Wild River Country

Quinn worked up a thirst riding the waves, so we left the older girls to play while Quinn and I walked over the concession area for a drink and a snack. Quinn discovered that the straw makes a neat whistle and “entertained” the surrounding tables.

Snack bar at Wild River Country

Snack bar at Wild River Country

We met back up with Maya and Lucy and did the Cyclone another time. Then we rode down the Sidewinder, a much gentler slide for kids of all ages.

Sidewinder at Wild River Country

I’m sure I’ve left out other attractions that we enjoyed, but leave it to say, we had a great time at Wild River Country once again.

Steps at Wild River Country

Wild River Country is open through Labor Day, so there is still plenty of summer left to go. For a full calendar, go here. It really is Arkansas’ summer fun place. For ticket info, visit their website.

Ole Swimming Hole at Wild River Country

Wild River Country           
6820 Crystal Hill Road
North Little Rock, AR 72118


Six Simple Ways to Use Storytelling as Teaching Tools

storytelling book

By Jim Weiss

Stories are spectacularly successful learning tools. Many studies show that children whose parents tell and/or read stories to them from an early age turn out to be better readers and students later on.

Furthermore, you are twenty times more likely to remember information if you learn it in a story than if you learn it simply as data to memorize. In part, the more stories we encounter, the more effectively our brains learn to work within the structure that most stories follow.  We not only absorb the stories’ contents, but at the same time, our brains get used to organizing what we learn into a usable form. We learn how to learn through stories.

Continue reading “Six Simple Ways to Use Storytelling as Teaching Tools”

Sounds of Summer

playing in wave pool

This is a sponsored post by Wild River Country. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.

child playing in poolWhat does summer sound like to you?

  • Crickets chirping while you camp under the stars?
  • A boat motoring across the lake?
  • The beeps and booms of video games?
  • The crunching of grass and rocks under your feet as you hike a state park?

Continue reading “Sounds of Summer”

Summer is the Season for Kidnappings

kidnapping kid

By: Gloria Marcott, Soul Punch Self-Defense

2017 Statistics identify that the number of children abducted or that go missing every day in the United States is 2,160. That is enough kids to fill an entire large population size school that do not return home every day.

The National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrown Away Children (NISMART) has found that 41% of abductions occur during the summer months of June, July and August. 74% of non-family child abduction victims are girls and 80% of child abductions by a stranger occur within a quarter mile of the child’s home.

kidnapper in the park

Continue reading “Summer is the Season for Kidnappings”

Paris in Springtime — Yes, Please

Montmartre, Paris

Anthony and I try to get away just the two of us at least once a year — usually to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, or somewhere else nearby. This year, in honor of our 5th wedding anniversary and my 50th birthday, we are going to Paris over spring break…and I’m completely giddy with anticipation.



I found us incredibly inexpensive flights on WOW Air, an airline out of Iceland. I’ve also rented us an adorable studio apartment on AirBnB in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris. Since Anthony and I have both seen all the major touristy spots in Paris, I decided that we’ll stay “local” and experience a true Parisian neighborhood. We haven’t been to Montmartre — and from what I’ve read, it’s quintessential Paris.

Stay tuned to my Instagram mid-March. I’m sure I’ll bombard you with photos pastries and coffee shops.

Tips to Raising Healthy Kids, Starting in the Kitchen

kids in the kitchen

By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder

The incidence of children with obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Currently about one in five school-aged children (ages 6-19) are obese. In addition, “about one-third of American youth are overweight, a problem closely related to the increase in kids with type 2 diabetes, some as young as 10 years old,” the CDC reports. And the longer children are obese or overweight, the more likely they are to remain so as adults.

We have to change these statistics. And a recent study suggests the place to start is in the kitchen. Continue reading “Tips to Raising Healthy Kids, Starting in the Kitchen”