Chili Pepper 2016

A few weeks ago Noah and Campbell participated in a walk-a-thon at their school. They both took it seriously but Noah and his buddies took it super seriously. Instead of walking they ran to get the most laps possible. Noah was able to knock out 16 laps, 4 miles, in the allotted 35 minutes. Campbell did 11 laps or almost 3 miles!

Of course, he was stoked because so many parents were asking him if he ran much. The truth is Noah doesn't run much but between swimming and simply playing I can't imagine many kids being in better shape cardiovascular wise. One parent, in particular, asked him if he was going to run cross country...and of course he had no idea what cross country was.

So after a Google search, he both knew what cross country was and that a huge cross country race was coming to town in 2 weeks. He has been dead set that he wants to do a triathlon and dad dropped the ball and missed signing him up for the Bentonville MS Trifest last month. Dad was not going to fail again. 

So I signed him up and since it would be his first race and needed someone to do it with him, I went ahead and signed up for it as well. Wait! Did I say I signed up for it? I totally meant, I signed Jenna up for it as well. Phew!

He was really nervous. Mamaw and Papaw were here and Papaw gave him a lot of advice about running his race and ignoring the pace of others. The plan was Jenna was going to pace him at 9-minute miles for the first 2 miles and then let him just run as hard as he could the last mile. 

Well, the gun went off and he left her. He didn't full sprint out but he wasn't jogging with his momma either. At the first viewing area he came through looking strong and he was easily 2 minutes ahead of Jenna. At the second viewing he was so far ahead of her I didn't think we'd see her before he got to the finish so I booked it over there to see him finish in 23.56!!! The boy ran 7 1/2 minute miles on average! I'm not sure who was more proud, us or him. Truth be told it may have been his sister. She can't wait to run next year. 


Buffalo River September 2014

I'm enjoying the new Memories section of Photos in iOS 10. This popped up as 2 years ago today and it made a video. I tweaked it for 2 minutes and BAM. 

I thought I'd share it here since it was so easy but if you are interested here is the link to the original trip.


Quick getaway

We have been on the lake more this year than any I can remember. We headed to Stillwater Resort on Tablerock a couple weekends back thanks to Jenna's keen eye on Groupon. It was a great recharge as a family as the beginning of the school year feels like we are being pulled in 4 directions simultaneously. Kayaks, paddle boards, pools, and hot tubs were nice but the jet skis stole the weekend for fun. 


Summer 2016 Montage

The next iOS has a collections tab that pre-populates with pictures in a certain range. This one popped up today as the "The Past 3 Months." I took a look and other than the random opening picture of kayaks I think it did a pretty solid job of capturing our summer so I decided to throw it on here. No telling how good it could be with a little effort but then it goes back to that whole time thing :) 

Better get started...

Tonight at dinner, Noah announced he had to finish 30 books this year. Back to that in a minute.

 In third grade Noah loved reading and I really thought he was going to have a lifetime love affair with books like his Rotton family (and his momma too) does. he read the Harry Potter books, Rick Riordan, and countless chapter books. 

In fourth grade it was a struggle for him. In today's culture it's hard to tell a kid to not go outside and play so we didn't. Last year Noah played and played hard until bedtime almost every day he had free. When he went to his bedroom to read 30 minutes before bed he'd almost instantly drift off to sleep. It wasn't long before he "had" to read to complete assignments and of course the joy of reading quickly vanished.  

Back to 30 books this year. If they are 300 pages they can count as two so it isn't as bad as it seems but we did the math for him tonight. That's 7.5 books per 9 weeks or almost a book a week. He has a book he started last weekend. He's on page 22. He said he had to get started and marched upstairs. We'll find out if it is the 3rd grade or 4th grade Noah that starts book number 2. Fingers crossed. 


An Ode to Valerie

An Ode to Valerie

This is the story of our friend on the trail,

Who went too fast and had to bail!

It started with friends, laughter and stories told,

Those types of days never get old. 

Then dinner and many more miles,

leaving nothing in our wake except music and smiles.

Almost dark and good times had one more chance,

Valerie said, “I’ll ride like the Tour de France!”

We parted ways and down the hill in a flash

The birds flew off from her awful crash!

Her husband, so brave and strong,

couldn’t figure out what went wrong. 

Traumatized and full of doubt,

He called back his friends, “Val wiped out!”

We arrived and the leg didn't look like it should,

The friends held her hand "this can't be good."

They waited (not so quietly) in the dark,

While the paramedics found a nice place to park.

One EMT, said “Wow, this is no joke!”

The other was thoughtful, “Ma’am we think your leg is broke!” 

Never losing control, Val chose her med,

And off she went to her shiny hospital bed. 

Now she sits in a medicine induced stupor,

“I wonder if we should’ve called Uber?”

Her misadventure is a cautionary tale gone by,

This can happen when you ride a bike...and try to fly.


Noah the whale shark

Saturday after Noah’s swim meet at UA, he and I went to eat. Jenna and Cam went to Rachel Platten's concert so it was just the two of us. I offered every place in Fayetteville I hadn’t been to in awhile.
He wanted seafood so BAM-off to Powerhouse we go. First thing he saw was the calamari. He was so excited to try squid. We have always been proud of how he will try anything so as a parent, you have to reinforce that right? So we order the squid for an appetizer. He asked if he could order a non-kid’s meal and after the day he had we were both a little excited so I acquiesced. 
He had his eye immediately on the Orleans Feast. It' funny because it has been a long tradition of mine when in a restaurant, the best things on any menu have “feast”, “admiral”, or “chef” in the title. I've yet to pass this knowledge down to my offspring so it was nice to see the DNA figured it out on its own. The Orleans Feast is a blackened piece of the fish of the day, covered in sautéed crab meat, sautéed shrimp, and blackened oysters on top. I gave him a long look. Finally I said ok, but I was going to order something smaller so I could finish his "feast." Then he ordered fried mushrooms as his side (an upcharge of course) and I’m now regretting letting him look at the stupid menu. 
The squid comes and I show him the different pieces from the end cap (head), to the body and why its hollow, and finally to the little crusty tentacles. His first bite had some trepidation, but after his eyes lit up he scooted the plate closer to him. He ate 3/4 of it and if I hadn’t grabbed a few handfuls it would’ve been more than that. He polished the squid off with he 2 pieces of cornbread with enough butter on them to choke most mammals. He would've gone for 3 pieces but his feast arrived, I look at my small order of pepper shrimp and I couldn’t wait for him to pass over his left overs. The kids stomach has to be close to popping… right?
Wrong. After declaring to the waitress the oysters were like a mushy steak but just as awesome, he tore into the meal like someone was going to take it away at any moment. At one point he went to the bathroom and when he came back he accused me of eating a couple of his mushrooms. Yes son I ate them, I”M STARVING OVER HERE! 
In the end he had a piece left he couldn’t finish.  About half the size of my iPhone. I can understand why they talk about swimmers eating so much. Michael Phelps' calorie intake is legendary. I just didn’t think it would filter down to my 10 year old after a day of 4 events. I mean he only swam 400 meters all day!
He told me thanks a thousand times but I told him no more boys nights for us. Date nights with his mom are a lot cheaper and I don't leave hungry. 


2016 Vacation Bible School

With Jenna's new contract back in Springdale being a week shorter she was able to be a lead teacher at VBS again. She also got the bonus of having Campbell in her group. All week we soaked in the praises from people about our kids. There is nothing like unsolicited praise about your child. Campbell makes friends so easily she's going to run for office one day. Noah's leader said he volunteered to pray every single day for his group.  It is so hard to stand up and spontaneously speak to 100 mostly strangers but its another to spontaneously pray in front of them. I'm so proud of both of them. Here is the video of Sunday's celebration. Cam is middle row to the right and Noah speaks at the 26:20 mark. 

Random Summer Fun-2016

Jenna has to keep reminding me we are only 2 weeks into June. It already feels like summer is flying by us!

Campbell as a kitten-Cinderella

Campbell's ballet school doesn't do a recital in the spring. They do a performance. This year was a twist on Cinderella. It was really enjoyable. Especially the kittens. 

Noah the 10 year old! Wait---what?

Sigh-I guess it was inevitable. Our sweet, baby boy turned a decade. By an unfortunate quirk of the calendar, Noah's birthday fell on Mother's Day this year. While difficult for his mother to share the day with him, it was fitting since his birth made her a mother. We were scared it wouldn't feel special to him so we decided to make the day before, Noah's celebration day. 

He had a small swim meet that morning so he got some time with his buddies. Then the day became all about him. Jenna got 10 things that were either his favorite of something (i.e. candy) or an expression of a favorite. Then we put hints on strips of paper and put them in 10 balloons. He randomly got to pick a balloon, pop it, read the paper, and then collect the gift. They were all fun. He got Jolly Ranchers (favorite candy), a Camaro road sign (favorite car), a Sonic card (favorite drink), new athletic clothes that were neon green (favorite color), a caricature of him swimming (favorite sport), and on and on. It finished with favorite hobbies, climbing and gaming. For climbing we told him we were going down to Casa Pollo in Fayetteville to hit the walls and for gaming he got his own laptop. The day ending with tacos for his favorite food. It was a such a fun, creative day. Jenna was really on her game for this one. 

The weekend was also full of messages, texts, and Facetimes of Happy Birthday's. He's a lucky boy to be loved by so many. Not as lucky as we are to have him though. I couldn't be more proud of the man he's becoming. 

I can't wait to see where the next 10 years take him.......WAIT! I didn't mean that-please slow time down! I know it won't. He'll be our baby boy forever no matter what the calendar says.