July 2016 ~ Summertime Fun

4th of July Silliness

Magic Springs Waterslide



Fun Stuff

Time with Friends

Vocal Camp

This summer Natalie attended a week long vocal camp at Wildwood Center for the Arts.  She wasn’t really loving it after the first day and was reluctant to go back on Tuesday.  However, she stuck with it and ended up having an amazing time.  Next year if the dates don’t clash with her dance schedule she is planning on attending again.



Natalie was involved in a photo shoot to represent her dance studio, Rock City Dance Center.  She had a great time and was thrilled to see her photo on the sign in front of the gorgeous new dance studio.


May 2016

March Merriment


The Easter Bunny came


Easter egg hunt



Remy stole the Easter basket


Natalie had so much fun sleeping in my old tent in her bedroom



A kind friend let Natalie ride her big horse


It was her first time to ride bareback

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After a few hours of playing hard Natalie and her friend crawled into bed


The view of the pear trees from Natalie’s bedroom window was stunning


When it was Natalie’s turn to make snacks we painted clothes pins with lots of fun colors and made these little butterflies


Instead of birthday gifts, Natalie requested that her friends donate new or gently used books to the “Reach Out and Read” program.  She collected over 70 books.  Here she is dropping them off.

February 2016

Happy Chinese New Year!  Natalie and I celebrated with friends at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.  Over 99% of the people there were of Chinese ethnicity and were speaking Chinese.  It was a very special event with lots of yummy food and great entertainment.  Natalie enjoyed spending time with 2 girls who are in her kindergarten class at school and making a new friend.  The new friend is the little girl in the white sweater below.  We ran into her the following weekend during Natalie’s first ice skating session.  That sweet girl spent over an hour and a half assisting Natalie (who was very wobbly on her ice skates) around the rink.

On the 100th day of school students were asked to dress like they were 100 years old.  This was Natalie’s interpretation.

Also in February, Katie and I accompanied Natalie on her first visit to a nursing home.  It was a place Katie and I had visited probably over 50 times in the past, and I finally felt like Natalie was old enough to go with us.  I’m so used to Katie and Louie getting tons of attention during these therapy dog visits.  This visit was especially interesting and fun since I had not one but two gorgeous girls with me.  The residents seemed to split their attention pretty equally between my precious daughter, Natalie and my gentle giant Newfoundland, Katie.  Both girls were on their best behavior and brightened up so many people’s day during our 2 hour visit.  Natalie acted as my little ambassador knocking on doors and checking to see who might be interested in visiting with her large dog friend.  The lady below was so happy to meet Natalie and asked if she could give her a hug.  It was one of the sweetest moments I have ever witnessed.  I love seeing Natalie’s little arm around the lady’s neck in the second picture and the lady’s hands on Nat’s back.



These 3 sisters are great friends and neighbors.  We are so lucky to have them in our lives.


Natalie’s First ever spelling test



Natalie asked to go visit her old preschool class.  While we were there she read a book to the 3 year olds.  They were all entranced and hung on her every word.  Her old teachers were so proud and Natalie was also proud of herself.

Valentine’s Party at Natalie’s school

Wildwood Lantern Festival

It was our first time to attend the annual lantern festival at Wildwood.  It was a beautiful celebration of cultures from all over the world.  Natalie put a floating lantern into the pond near the Greek exhibit.  We ate lots of delicious food and played traditional games from several different countries.  



Holiday Season of 2015



Thanksgiving weekend was a  fun time with family and friends. Highlights were a visit from some of our favorite cousins from Seattle and Natalie’s annual toy donation to Toys For Tots.

After Thanksgiving, in early December of 2015, my Grandmother (Nat’s Great-grandmother) passed away at the age of 97.  She died in the house that my grandfather built over half a century ago surrounded by several members of her beloved family.  Her funeral was perhaps our last big family reunion.  We are an extremely loving bunch and it was so good to be with our amazing family at the old Homeplace where we have many happy memories as children and as adults.  Grandmother will be missed but her loving legacy lives on in all of us.


Natalie made fast friends with one of her grown up cousins.


The whole clan (except for absent members)


First Cousins

We had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.  We missed Aunt Sissy this year who had come from NY earlier in December for Grandmother’s funeral.  Click on pictures below for descriptions and larger versions.



Fall Fun (2015)

Natalie used part of her savings to purchase a bow and arrow.  The video below shows her first time using it to hit the intended target of the refrigerator.  Her form has improved a lot since, but it was fun to see her excitement and pride.



Our First Hike on the Rocky Valley Trail back in October 2015.  This was when we discovered that Natalie could benefit from hiking poles. We didn’t have any with us at the time, so Nat made do with two sturdy sticks which she kept referring to as her “walkers”.

I love it when Nat says in this video “Trying your best is all we can do.”

Halloween Carnival:


School Days:

More Pumpkin Patch photos