Well, I started off the year well, then I got busy. So, here's a review of the week.
So on Tuesday Eli started at his new school. In short, he loves it. Everyone in his class wanted to sit next to him on the 1st day. Our former neighbor is in the class next to his and they occasionally play on the playground. Emily was excited to get back to school as well (especially since she got to take her pillow pet with her).
Eli's rock polishing project that he started right after his birthday finally finished up. It worked pretty well.
We wrapped up the week with Alicia going to dad's doctor's appointment to talk with Dr. Baltz about histone deacetlylase inhibitors (see the other blog for an explanation). Seems he hadn't heard about them but he took one of her journal articles. We'll see where it goes.
Today we celebrated paw-paw's 60th birthday. My sisters, spouses, and kids came into town. Friends from high school and college, neighbors, church friends. Rachel's friend Jessica coordinated it for us. A good time was had by all. The kids got to stay up WAY past their bedtime so tomorrow could be interesting.
It's not often that I get to spend the day with the kids by myself, Alicia usually gets solo kid duty. It's primarily been that way since she didn't have a job outside of running the house. But, now that we're a dual income family it just doesn't make sense for both of us to burn a vacation day just because school is out, so, I get the privilege of playing with the kids all day.
Anyway, we had a fun day. We built with Legos for awhile, tried yet again to get Alicia's Christmas present from Sam's Club (it's still not in - when the website says "pickup in club" it should be ready to pickup in the club), went to the toy store, went to the book store, had lunch, walked to the park, finished a puzzle, played with Legos some more, researched polar bears, etc.
Today wrapped up the kids vacation. They seem excited about going back to school Tomorrow Eli starts at his new school, he's excited. He's got lots of new supplied (different school different supply list). From what we've heard and observed it's a great school.
Wow, 3 posts in 3 days, I'm on some sort of a roll.
If you'll recall from yesterday's post we climbed Pinnacle. While on top Eli noticed a different set of blazes (those for the East Summit trail). So, since that trail is a bit more challenging I decided that perhaps I should try it first before attempting it with Eli.
So, today Alicia and the kids dropped me off at the East Summit trailhead and then headed back around to play at the playground (and await my arrival). Let's just say that 1/2 of Little Rock was at the playground (and the other 1/2 were on the mountain with me).
Anyway, back to the climb. Let's just say that Eli needs to grow a bit before he tackles the East Summit trail. You walk basically flat for about 1/3 of a mile, then you head straight up a boulder field. On the west side they have arranged the rocks to make them step-like. Not so much on the east side. They blazed a pseudo trail to guide you, but you essentially climb over boulders up the side of the mountain. There's a nice view but whew, I was beat by the time I got to the top (and I sill had to get back down). Here's a map of the trail.
So then I headed back down the west side. I kept getting caught in traffic on the way down. There was a ton of people on the mountain. Here's the west route.
Took me an hour to go up and over. By the time I hit the top of the mountain I was questioning the coat I was wearing (but it had been cold and windy yesterday). By the time I got down to the playground I was glad I had it.
Happy New Years. We may start a new tradition of climbing hills on new years day. Last year we climbed the Olympic hill in Munich, Germany. This year we climbed Pinnacle Mountain.
First some background. We've been using a marble based reward system for the kids for the past 6 months or so. It works kind of like this. You do good things, you get rewarded 1 or more marbles. Do bad things, you loose 1 or more marbles. When you fill your marble jar up you get to trade it in for money as well as a family outing. We started out with 2 rather good sized jars. A couple of months ago we decided to downsize to make it a more reasonable goal. Both kids polished their jars off last week.
Eli decided for his family outing he wanted to climb Pinnacle Mountain (2nd highest peak in Pulaski County according to the literature). It's a nice 1 1/2 mile round trip treck. The 1st half isn't too bad. The 2nd half is a boulder field that's challenging to adults and mountain goats. The kids tackled it though (and conquered it I might add).
We were joined on the climb by several exercisers (one older gentleman wearing way too little clothing for the temperature passed us several times, he said he climbs it 6-10 times a day). Don't get in their way, they will run you over - or will cut around you off the trail just so they don't have to stop.
Here's some pictures. You can see the fun the kids had climbing the rocks.
Here's Emily "bouldering" her way up
A nice fellow at the summit took our picture for us. It was chilly up on top so we didn't spend much time (plus it was time to get down so we could eat lunch).