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 Continue reading “Arkansas’ Summer Fun Place”

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”

Arkansas Soybean Month

Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board

Governor Hutchinson proclaims November Arkansas Soybean Month, recognizing the impact of the state’s top row crop, soybeans.

Ranked 10th in the nation for soybean production, the 3.1 million acres harvested last year in 41 of Arkansas’s 75 counties yielded 145.7 million bushels valued at $1.4 billion. Grown in more than 50 percent of the state, soybeans are the largest row crop in Arkansas, covering more acres than rice, corn, sorghum and wheat combined. “The miracle bean” is found on almost every aisle of the supermarket and hardware stores, in biodiesel and more.

Continue reading “Arkansas Soybean Month”

Soybean Industry in Arkansas: New Documentary and Website Launches

Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board
The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board (ASPB) released its Arkansas soybean documentary this week. The documentary covers the 91-year history of the soybean industry in the Natural State. Viewers will learn how Arkansas received a top-ten ranking in the U.S. for soybean production and more about Arkansas’s largest row crop.

Continue reading “Soybean Industry in Arkansas: New Documentary and Website Launches”

Family Camp

hikers

Fellowship North hosted it’s first “Family Camp” last Sunday – Wednesday at Castle Bluff in Newton County, Arkansas. For as long as I can remember, the church did a snow camp in Colorado, but this year, it was decided to stay closer to home and utilize our beautiful camp in the Ozark Mountains. There were 13 families there — including mine.

family camp

The weather was beautiful until the last half day. We hiked, played GaGa Ball, ziplined, rappelled, sat in rocking chairs and visited with friends old and new. It was very relaxing, and the kids ran and played until they collapsed in their beds each night.

It was a fun 72 hours with great people! Hopefully this will become a spring break tradition.

November Events at the Clinton Presidential Center

The Beatles

The Fab Four at the Clinton Center

Beatlemania has taken over the Clinton Center! Our new exhibit, Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles!, includes more than 400 pieces of memorabilia, as well as a sing-along booth where guests can record their own version of “Yellow Submarine” with Ringo Starr, and a wall graphic of Abbey Road where guests can recreate the iconic album cover!

clinton centerClinton Center November Calendar
Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles! – Now –  April 2, 2017
FREE Admission Day for Veterans –  November 11
12th Anniversary FREE Admission Day –  November 12
Ideas Matter Essay Contest Deadline – November 19
Deadline to Order Thanksgiving Dinners – November 19

Thank You, U.S. Veterans!
To honor and thank our country’s veterans for their service, all active and retired military members and their families will receive FREE admission to the Clinton Center on Veterans Day. 
The Clinton Center Celebrates 12 Years12years
Each November, the Clinton Center celebrates its grand opening with a FREE admission day. Tour the permanent exhibits, as well as the current temporary exhibit, Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles!, free of charge, on November 12.
essaycontest
Ideas Matter Scholarship Essay Contest, Deadline: November 19
For the sixth year in a row, the Clinton Foundation invites Arkansas students in 11th and 12th grades to participate in the “Ideas Matter” essay contest. First prize is a $2,500 scholarship.
Start Holiday Gift Shopping Early!
The Clinton Museum Store is your one-stop shop for gifts this holiday season! From our new Maya Angelou collection and lovely scarves to toys, books, and autographed items, we have something for everyone on your list!
Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinnersturkey
Let Forty Two, the Clinton Center’s award-winning restaurant, do all the cooking for your Thanksgiving dinner this year! Order your turkey, dressing, side dishes, and desserts by November 19, and enjoy your holiday with family and friends.

Day at the Arkansas State Fair

swings at the fair

cowYesterday was Arkansas State Fair day for the Valley family. Maya entered a watercolor in the Kids 5-8 age category, and I entered a pecan pie in the pie competition. Maya won Best In Show, and I got nada. But we did get to sample all the pies, so that’s a win. Maya's painting

pie competition

After eating deep fried fair food, Anthony took my left over pie to work, and the girls and I stayed at the fair another few hours. I bought them armbands so they could ride all the rides they wanted, and lucky for me, I didn’t have to ride a single one! fair ride

fair ride

fun house

fun slide

It was incredibly hot for mid-October, but the girls had so much fun. Seeing them holding hands and smiling really made me so happy. I love that we get to have these carefree moments that will create fond childhood memories for them.

The Arkansas State Fair runs through October 23. Who knows — maybe we’ll go again this year.

Family Roadtrip to Bentonville



Last Friday, anemia Anthony, viagra Kennedy, artificial Maya, Quinn and I loaded up the car and drove to Bentonville for the day. I had wanted to take the kids to the Scott Family Amazeum since it opened, and we finally got a free day to go. Our 12-year-old Madison was at church camp, so unfortunately she missed out this time.

amazeumAmazeum lives up to it’s name! We all had such a great time. Even though it’s geared toward kids ages 4 though 9, it has two play areas for toddlers, as well as managed to peak the imagination of our teenager. Anthony and I enjoyed watching our daughters have so much fun.

We had lunch at Crepes Paulette, a food truck in downtown Bentonville — not too far away from the Amazeum. There was a long line, but the wait was worth it. Maya got a strawberry and Nutella crepe.

Crepes PauletteAfter lunch, we went back to the Amazeum. We had 2:15 passes to the Hershey Lab. I thought we would get to play with chocolate (as in EAT chocolate) in the Hershey Lab, but instead it was an experiment about weights of items. This was my only disappointment of the day because I WANTED CHOCOLATE of course.

After we left the Amazeum, we drove back to downtown Bentonville and parked near the square. We walked to the Walmart Museum and did a quick tour through there, then walked over to Onyx Coffee Lab for a pick up me before the drive home.

It was an awesome day. We definitely want to spend more time in Bentonville — and spend the night next time; maybe even a whole weekend. There is so much to do in this bustling, little town.

Maya and Quinn conked out on the drive home. I call that a sign of a good day. asleep in the car

Please share your favorite family town to visit in Arkansas. I want to do more of these family roadtrips and welcome your suggestions.

Gymboree Sale On Now!

Family Fun Days: June 4-5

Disclosure: I received free admission to Playtime Pizza in exchange for promoting AR Family Fun Days. However, prostate all opinions expressed her are my own.

Playtime PizzaThere’s a lot of good research out there about the benefits of families spending time together – how it builds confidence in kids, dysentery encourages a healthy lifestyle, breast etc.  The goal of Arkansas Family Fun Days is to create an opportunity for families to get out of the house and experience something new and fun together. Several Little Rock area attractions offering special deals for families this weekend (June 4-5):

Plus all locations are also offering two for one ice cream, courtesy of Hiland Dairy!

Playtime Pizza

I spent yesterday celebrating my birthday at Playtime Pizza, one of the participating attractions. Playtime Pizza is a 70,000 square foot indoor family entertainment center. My parents, my brother and his family, and my family were there for the fun — and we all had a blast! Not only does Playtime Pizza have a great selection of pizza, pasta, salad, desserts and more, it has games that appeal to kids of all ages. (And I got to act like I’m 8 instead of 48!)

Please take advantage of the savings this weekend and go enjoy some family time. These are memories that you and your kids won’t forget. And it’s the perfect way to start off your summer!

Big thanks to Tiffany, Playtime Pizza general manager, and all the Playtime Pizza staff for their hospitality yesterday. You were so kind and made my birthday party a smashing success. Thank you!

Studio Theatre Announces Auditions for DOUBT

I’m not 100% paleo — yet. But I really do feel better eating this way, website like this and I have found a number of delicious recipes that I can make on the regular and not get bored. Here are a few of my favorites lately (mostly from Melissa Joulwan from the Well Fed cookbooks):

Gingered Zucchini Soup

Meatballs — Cuban and Bacon-Jalapeno Burgercuban meatballs and pan-fried plantainsPan-Fried Plantains

Loaded Tuna Salad Mason Jars

Red Curry with chicken and carrots (or whatever I have on hand)curryBrussels Sprout HashBrussels Sprout Hash

For snacks, pharmacy sliced carrots with guacamole is my go-to the past few weeks. I found little individual containers of guacamole at Sam’s that are perfect to take to work with my baggie of sliced carrots. I have also discovered that I like sliced whole carrots better than baby carrots. I find them sweeter and more flavorful. Other items I like to keep on hand are eggs, sweet potatoes, avocados and apples.

Here is a link to my Pinterest board where I park many of the gluten-free and paleo recipes that I find.

I still totally fail on occasion — like yesterday when I made a BREAD pudding. But hey, my family was happy.

Designers' dresses at StyleWe
CONTACT INFO
Bob Bidewell, therapy
Director
bbidewell@sbcglobal.net
(501) 940-4646The Studio Theatre

THE STUDIO THEATRE’S OPEN AUDITIONS FOR DOUBT – A Parable by John Patrick Shanley
JUNE 18-19, link
2016

 DATES AND TIMES
Auditions will be held:
June 18 at 1:00pm
June 19 at 6:00pm

Auditions should last no longer than two hours each day.

Callbacks, if necessary, will be held June 20, and those called back will be notified by email.

AUDITION INFORMATION
Auditions will not be conducted by appointment.
Auditions will consist of cold reading from the script.
Head shots and resumes are not required, but are strongly encouraged.

Questions can be answered by emailing studiotheatreauditions@gmail.com

ABOUT OUR PRODUCTION
Performance dates are September 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 2016.
Rehearsals will begin August 15, 2016.
The production will be directed by Bob Bidewell.

We are looking for a cast of 4 diverse actors to fill the following roles:
Sister Aloysius Beauvier – fifties/sixties
Father Brendan Flynn – late thirties
Sister James – twenties
Mrs. Muller – African American, mid-thirties

DOUBTABOUT John Patrick Shanley’s DOUBT
Time/Place:  1964. Place:  St. Nicholas, a Catholic church and school in the Bronx, NY.   In 2005, it won the Drama Desk for Best New Play, the Lucille Lortel for Outstanding Play, the NY Drama Critics Circle for Best Play, the Pulitzer Price for Drama, and the Tony Award for Best Play.

 SYNOPSIS
What do you do when you’re not sure?” So asks Father Flynn, the progressive and beloved priest at the St. Nicholas Church School in the Bronx, in his sermon. It’s 1964, and things are changing, to the chagrin of rigid principal Sister Aloysius. However, when an unconscionable accusation is leveled against the Father, Sister Aloysius realizes that the only way to get justice is to create it herself. And as for the truth of the matter? As Father Flynn says, “Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty.” In stunning prose, John Patrick Shanley delves into the murky shadows of moral certainty, his characters always balancing on the thin line between truth and consequences. Doubt: A Parable is an exquisite, potent drama that will raise questions and answer none, leaving the audience to grapple with the discomfort of their uncertainties.

THEATRE LOCATION & CONTACT INFORMATION
THE STUDIO THEATRE
320 W. 7TH Street
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
501.374.2615
studiotheatreauditions@gmail.com
www.thestudiotheatre-lr.org