Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Perot Museum of Nature and's worth the drive!

We ventured out to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and thought it was an amazing adventure for the kids. Below are some tips and guides if you are traveling over to Dallas for a visit. And we would love to hear what you enjoyed the most.

1. Pack snacks and lunches. You have to exit the museum to the first floor to eat. There is a cafeteria and an outside area you can picnic on instead of standing in line to buy food. And it would be a good treat to eat at the cafeteria if you have older kids, but with kids ages 6,4 and 2 - I always find it easiest to have something ready to eat immediately and to their liking.
2. With small kids it worked nice to view a floor of exhibits then take a snack break. We did not get overambitious to see everything but kind of floated around to what the kids found the most interesting.
3. If you arrive early go to the sports exhibit underground first and the energy exhibit because they have exhibits that you have to stand in line for, and the lines will be shorter earlier in the day. Trust me - your kids are going to want to race a dinosaur!
4. When you reach a point and need a break, again if you are with small children, go to the bottom floor in the Children's Museum section. It is free play and you can grab a seat on a bench while they run free and have fun.
5. Don't be scared to ask a question, museum staff is floating around everywhere. In a few exhibits, my kids had questions and we located the staff - not only did they have an insightful answer, but then wanted to show my kids more!
6. Encourage Interaction. Every exhibit seemed to have different levels of interactions. Touch, feel, watch - it was engaging, so let your children be engaged!

Hand off your iphone and let your kids take the pictures. My children still talk about the ones they took, and can't remember the items in the pictures because they were the photographer. It gave us something to talk about after leaving the museum - and something they wanted to share with others! Here's a few of our favorites that my son took:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Don't miss Discovery Place Museum's Exhibit!

If you and your kids want to be a part of the dedication of the new Discovery Place Exhibit, Musical Tesla Coil, join the community July 10th at 12 p.m. to celebrate the 157th birthday of Nikola Tesla.
The Tesla Coil is named after inventor Nikola Tesla. William H. Terbo will be the speaker at this dedication. William is the closest living relative of Nikola Tesla. He is also a Founding Director, Chairman of the Executive Board, and since 1988 the Executive Secretary of the Tesla Memorial Society, Inc.
You may be wondering, “What is the Tesla Coil exactly?”  The Tesla Coil is an electrical resonant transformer circuit. They are unique in the fact that they produce extremely powerful electrical fields. This new exhibit at Discovery Place Museum will allow visitors to interact and explore the combination of music and electricity in a safe way.
The opening is July 10th, however; Tesla Days will continue through July 13th. There will be food booths and lots of fun. Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Plan A Stop With Tiger Bookmobile Summer 2013

Tiger Bookmobile Summer 2013

You can’t miss the 48’ mobile unit when it is traveling down the street. With a brightly colored exterior aesthetic featuring children and animals all enjoying reading, the unit has been outfitted with mobile satellite technology, thousands of books, iPads, Kindle e-readers, reading benches and seats, flat screen television, Wii gaming, bean bag chairs and colorful rugs. The look is complete with an additional exterior seating area featuring a canopy, bean bag chairs and more fun rugs. 

Open Monday thru Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., the Tiger Bookmobile will travel throughout the community to various partner sites from June 17 thru August 23. A story hour will be featured at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. daily. Tour dates & locations are: 

 July 15, July 22, July 29, August 5, August 12, August 19:
     The Oaks at Rosehill - 2100 West 12th Street
 July 9, July 23, August 6, August 20:
     Hands On Texarkana – 1915 Olive Street
July 10, July 17, July 24, July 31, August 7, August 14, August 21:
     Splash Pad at Spring Lake Park – 4303 North Park Road
July 11, July 25, August 8, August 22:
     Nash Elementary School – 100 Burton
July 12, July 19, July 26, August 2, August 9, August 16, August 23:
     Pecan Ridge at Rosehill – 2210 West 15th Street
July 16, July 30, August 13:
     Highland Park Baptist Church – 2401 Hazel Street
July 18, August 1, August 15: ONLY OPENED FROM 9:30 A.M. - NOON
     Salvation Army – Center of Hope – 316 Hazel Street

For more information on the Tiger Bookmobile and their 2013 Summer Tour, contact: Tina Veal-Gooch, 903.794.3651 ext. 1013 or visit

Protect Your Children From Extreme Heat

Protecting Children from Extreme Heat: Information for Parents


Extreme heat can cause children to become sick in several ways. Make sure to protect your child from the heat as much as possible, watch for symptoms, and call your doctor if you see any develop.

Preventing Effects of Extreme Heat:

There are several steps you can take to protect your child from heat-related illness: 

  • Plan to have a cool, air-conditioned space for your child. If your home does not have air-conditioning, find a nearby building that does. Libraries can be a great place for a cool retreat from the heat. 
  • Make sure your child stays hydrated. Encourage her to drink water regularly, even before she asks for it.
  • Plan for more time to rest than usual; heat can often make children feel tired.
  • When your child is feeling hot, give him a cool bath or water mist to cool down.
  • Don’t forget about the effects of sun exposure.
  • Never leave children in a car or other closed motor vehicle, especially when temperatures are high. The temperature inside the car can become much higher than the outside temperature, and can rise to temperatures that cause death.

When to Call Your Child’s Doctor:

Call your child’s doctor immediately if he or she develops any of the following symptoms. Your child’s doctor can advise you on the next best course of action and whether an immediate evaluation is needed.  
  • Faintness
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Intense thirst
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing faster or deeper than normal
  • Skin numbness or tingling
  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle spasms
For more information on how recognize and treat these heat related illnesses, click here.

Mental Health Tips for Parents with Teens

Advice for Parents/Guardians of Teens and Young Adults

From The American Academy of Pediatrics

Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics

  1. Is your child headed to college? Know what to do to support your teen emotionally as he ventures out into the world and away from home base.
  2. Make sure that your teen has medical coverage after high school and teach your teen how to access and use it. Many teens and young adults are covered under their parents’ health insurance through age 25.
  3. If your teen is going to college, check into the health and mental health support services on campus, and make sure he is familiar with them.
  4. In addition to making sure that the graduating patient has all of the vaccines and other preventive health care recommended for this stage of life, pediatricians also can help families to ensure they are preparing the way for their young adult’s continuing mental and emotional health.
  5. If your teen has mental health needs, develop a plan of care in advance of your teen moving away from home. For college, this can take several weeks or months to develop. Does your child have a mental health diagnosis, such as ADHD, depression, eating disorder, etc?  Be sure to ask the health center staff what kind of medical information they will need related to your teen, and how to set up prescription refills if needed.
  6. With your teen, communicate with college or university staff about their accommodations for teens with ADHD and other diagnoses. In addition, consider contacting the college’s Disabilities Office, Academic Advising Office, or Student Affairs Office to determine what accommodations are available for ADHD and other diagnoses.
  7. Once your teen is settled into the college routine, keep in close contact and try to get frequent readings about how he is doing academically and socially. This is especially important during the first month or so while teens are still trying to settle in and may not have made friends yet.
  8. Do you have a child in foster care who is “graduating” out of the system?  Depending on state laws, children in foster care are covered under Medicaid until age 18 or 21 and may need to transition to a different provider.  Some may need to transition even earlier to an adult or Transitional Aged Youth mental health provider.  Young adults transitioning out of the foster care system need help in identifying caring adults-- related or not-- from whom they can seek advice, support, and reassurance.
  9. Is your teen going straight to work rather than college? Even though she may be remaining at home for a time, her life will change dramatically from when she was in the structured environment of high school, having daily contact with friends. Be sure to give her extra space as a young adult, but realize that she may need help navigating adult responsibilities like bill paying, taking on her own health care, etc. She may be missing her high school life and friends who have moved on.  Encourage her to keep up her friendships and to form new ones through work or other interesting activities.
  10. Alcohol, drugs and sexual activity may become more accessible at this time.  Be clear about your expectations regarding drug and alcohol use are even though your child may not be living at home. Be sure your teen knows where to go—whether on campus or locally-- for reproductive health care. Continue to have conversations about peer pressure, good decisions, and consequences.
  11. Once your teen turns 18, you’ll no longer have legal access to his academic or health records.  After he moves on from high school to college or work, have frequent, one-on-one conversations with your teen as a means of staying in touch.
  12. It’s normal for young people starting at college or moving to a new place to have days when they feel sad, homesick, or a bit lost. If these feelings persist or interfere with their ability to work, they should seek help and know that it is normal to do so. Watch for warning signs and be prepared to act.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer at Sci-Port

We recently ventured down to Shreveport for the day to check out the Sea Life exhibit. I love the Sci-Port (, so it doesn't take much to get us down there.

SeaLife is a VERY small exhibit, so don't expect much. The kids loved touching the stingrays, but that was the extent of the exhibit. It was outdoors, so we went back in for some special things. The kids got to make a fossil which they loved and then we just played around on some of our other favorite displays. Grab a daily schedule when you arrive there are always special events each day.

Don't forget they also have an IMAX theater and we watched To The Arctic -, but they had several other movies playing.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Summer Camp Option - Crossfit For Kids!

Have a little athlete you are looking to train, or just a child with lots of energy? Maybe you want them to strengthen their coordination and their balance skills. Crossfit for kids can help do that! Take a look at their below summer camp or try contacting them

It is an amazing physical training program that can help kids prepare for any sport!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Get Muddy This Weekend with The Trinity Mud Trek!

Trinity Mud Trek 2013

Looking for a family friendly event, something to do with your friends or a challenge to say you accomplished? Trinity is hosting their annual fundraiser, the Trinity Mud Trek, on April 27. This fundraiser is a 5k run including 10 obstacles through 139 acres of woods, fields and, of course, mud! This is such a great event to participate in. You can use it as an opportunity to accomplish a personal goal, a fun way to get muddy, or maybe a metaphor for a spiritual obstacle. Help Trinity Christian School raise money to better their school and assist students in attending there. A little mud never hurt anyone, right?

Want to register? Here is the link to their website:

Check out KSLA’s coverage on the sneak peek of the course on March 15th.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Two Local Girl Scouts Receive Top Honors!


TEXARKANA, AR – On April 20, 2013, two local Texarkana girls received the highest honor awarded to a girl member in Girl Scouting – the Girl Scout Gold Award.  Natalie Jarvis and Destiny Williams joined eleven other girls from the Girl Scouts – Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas’ jurisdiction honored at the Diamonds Council’s Annual Recognition Ceremony Luncheon, held at the Grand Masonic Lodge, Albert Pike Scottish Rite Temple in Little Rock on Saturday, April 20.
            Girl Scout Gold Award recipients are an elite group of girls.  Annually, only approximately 5% of eligible Girl Scouts earn this award.  The Girl Scout Gold Award requires Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts (grades 9-12) to dedicate a minimum of two years to complete all requirements.  With the Girl Scout Leadership Experience at its core, the Girl Scout Gold Award challenges girls to identify issues about which they care deeply and plan and execute a Take Action Project that will leave a lasting impact on the benefiting community.
            For her project, Natalie organized and executed a community garden to provide food for the needy in the community.  After researching, Natalie discovered that Harvest Texarkana, a local food bank, had not been receiving enough produce to provide all those that they served.  Natalie partnered with Harvest Texarkana and through the community garden, provided 200 pounds of fresh produce including summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, fresh herbs and some watermelons for those in need in the community.  Natalie plans to attend Texarkana College and Texas A&M University in Texarkana to pursue a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Special Education.  Natalie is the daughter of John and Larkin Jarvis and she has been a Girl Scout for eleven years.
            Destiny created the Berry Blissful Patch program at Theron Jones Elementary School.  The Berry Blissful Patch was the first small garden to be planted at Theron Jones Elementary.  Destiny’s project combined learning and health by allowing the students to enjoy a healthy snack while learning math and gardening skills that they will hopefully take home to continue the education with their parents.  Destiny’s focus was to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity and encourage the students to grow their own gardens at home.  After high school, Destiny plans to attend college to pursue a degree in social work.  She plans to continue volunteering with the Girl Scouts and Theron Jones Elementary and hopes to someday start a troop of her own.  Destiny’s dream is to start a nonprofit organization to help children in single parent homes, those in homes of low socioeconomic status, and abused children.  Destiny is the daughter of Charles and Ericca Jordan, and Michael and Phronda Williams and she has been a Girl Scout for six years.
            In addition to achieving the highest honor in Girl Scouting, a girl who has earned her Gold Award can immediately advance one rank in any of the United States Armed Forces branches.  Special scholarships are also available for Girl Scout Gold Award recipients who meet certain criteria.

Girl Scouts – Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas serves over 9,000 girls and 3,700 volunteers and encompasses all counties in Arkansas except Crittenden, includes Adair, LeFlore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma as well as Bowie and Cass counties in Texas. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Carnival Under the Stars Raises Money for Arkansas Children's Hospital

Carnival Under The Stars 

Interested in helping out with a worthy cause? Come join the fun at 
Carnival Under The Stars, benefiting Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Saturday, April 20
7:00 p.m.
Ramage Farms 5600 FM 560, Hooks, Texas

You are invited to an evening full of food, music and more. Ten of 
Texarkana’s finest establishments will be present with samplings of 
their delicious food. Roger Sheppard will be there performing his 
magic, there will be a silent auction as well as a live auction, and 
the band One Night Stand will be playing! Tickets are $50 per person. 
Contact Melissa Massey at 903-293-7734, or any member of Texarkana 
Circle of Friends, to purchase tickets. This is a wonderful 
opportunity to have a fun filled night, while also benefiting a place 
in great need. Come out and help Circle of Friends raise money for 
Arkansas Children’s Hospital!

Celebrate Earth Day Paddling on Caddo Lake

Outdoor enthusiasts can discover new paddling trails, soak in the sun, and explore a baldcypress forest during the 2nd annual Caddo Lake Earth Day Paddling Regatta on Saturday, April 20.
Canoe or kayaks can put in on the lake near Uncertain, Texas located 20 minutes from Marshall. Three new paddle trails, featured for the Regatta, range from four miles to 4.7 miles. “Old Folk’s Playground’” “Turtle Shell,” and “Cathedral” are part of the new designated trails established by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Registration is $10.00 per boat online at or in person at the Caddo Grocery at the corner of Cypress Drive and FM 2198 in Uncertain beginning at 7 a.m. on April 20.
Prizes will be awarded from raffle tickets dropped in marked buckets located on each tail. Drawings will be held at 1:00 p.m. in the registration tent located at the Caddo Grocery. Prizes include handpainted cypress canoe paddles by local artists, vintage Caddo Lake boat road markers, a hand thrown mug, t-shirts, photographs and other fun items. Individuals must be present to win.
Caddo Lake, located in northeast Texas on the border of Texas and Louisiana, is one of the best examples in the southern United States of a mature baldcypress forest. The area is known for its exceptional wildlife diversity.
The “lake” is actually a sprawling maze of bayous and sloughs covering 26,810 acres. The average depth of the lake is 8'-10' with the deep water in the bayou averaging about 20.' The Caddo Lake area has 10 trails designated as part of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Texas Paddling Trails system.
Event sponsors include Caddo Lake Wildlife Management Area, City of Uncertain, Friends of the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Greater Caddo Lake Association of Texas, Marshall Convention & Visitors Bureau, Texas Master Naturalist Cypress Basin Chapter, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Caddo Lake Institute.
Overnight lodging can be confirmed in Marshall at or information is available from the Marshall Convention & Visitors Bureau, 903-702-7777.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Touch A Truck - This Saturday!

Touch a Truck Blog

This Saturday, April 13th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. get the 
family to Central Mall west-side parking lot (on Kennedy Lane) for 
Touch a Truck to support a wonderful local organization. 

Touch a Truck is an annual family festival fundraiser by The Junior League of 
Texarkana. There will be many different things on wheels to explore, 
such as big rigs, construction equipment and emergency vehicles. There 
will also be entertainment such as interactive children’s 
activities, costumed characters, face painting, safety demonstrations, 
local children’s group performances and refreshments. 

Admission is $3 per person. Children under the age of 2 get in for free. Tickets 
will be available at the door. Don’t miss out on this wonderful 
opportunity for your family. Hope to see you there!

For additional information:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Scavenger Hunt With An Easter Egg Carton...and more ideas!

Scavenger hunts are such a popular activity these days. There are 
numerous ideas you can find online for your kids to enjoy, such as 
inside, outside, holiday themed or color-coded. With spring 
approaching, nature scavenger hunts seem to be the ideal pick. Here is 
a fun and creative way to get your kids outside in the sunshine and 
interacting with nature.


Items you need- Empty egg cartons and crayons/markers/paint

Instructions- Give each child an empty egg carton. Once they each have 
one, they get to color each cup a different color with crayons, 
markers, or paint (if you want to make it more messy…I mean 
enjoyable.) When they are done coloring, send the kids outside to 
collect small pieces of nature- 1 piece to match each color in the egg 
carton. Once each kid has placed the matching object in each cup, the 
scavenger hunt is over.

This is such a hands-on, creative way to get your kids outside and 
learning nature. Also, you are helping the environment by recycling 
and you are almost expense free with this activity…even better!

If you want to see other creative scavenger hunt ideas, feel free to 
explore the links below:

A color coded hunt in which you find the clues and build a rainbow:
Scavenger Hunt with Clues

Park Scavenger Hunt. This site offers a printable PDF scavenger hunt sheet. Easy to use with pictures that your children can color when they spot an item at the Park.

Get Creative with your scavenger hunt container's, here a blogger uses a pill box to make collecting items fun for the kids.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Great Wolf Lodge - A Howling Experience!

Great Wolf Lodge is as great as you might imagine! For us, it was closer, quicker and more convenient experience than heading down to Disney World - but the same "Wow" factor for the kids.

We do have little ones, so I have to say, the trip probably would have been a little easier if we had ages 8-13. Since only one of ours can swim, we had to be hands-on the entire time. But everyone had a blast and slept great because we played so hard!

Tips & Need To Know:
1. If you know someone who has been recently, see if you can borrow their "Magic Wands" ...what you don't know is that a Quest will be the coolest thing you do while there. You need a "Wand" to participate, and it is not included in your hotel accomodations. $20 a wand can get expensive if you have numerous kids. Then there is a approximate $20 activation fee. I would happily let someone borrow our two wands!

2. Does your child have sensory issues? My daughter typically is oversensitive to sound. The water park is very LOUD! Thankfully, she was having too much fun to be bothered by it. We eased her into the situation which helped. But, you might want to consider this if you are aware of your child having sensory issues.

3. Pack a cooler and keep in your room. Maybe you don't mind eating each meal out. But we brought cereal and milk, fruit and snacks. Not only does it save money, but you want to be the first person at the water park which opens at 9 a.m.!

4. If you are trying to avoid lines in the water slides arrive when the park is open (9 a.m.) and take an afternoon break returning late in the day, maybe even after dinner so that you catch the last few hours before the park closes (9 p.m.). Those are the quietest and least crowded hours.

5. If you want to plan a trip and have the park to yourself - the lifeguards told me the entire park is empty on Wednesdays. Just like DisneyWorld, if you can manage a weekday trip - the crowds will be a lot less...just be careful of Spring Break season.

6. Just a heads up one looks good in a swim suit in the indoors lighting.

7. Bring a ponytail - don't dress up...and spend the trip getting soaked right beside your kids.

8. If you have little ones (under 8) don't forget to attend storytime in the lobby at either 8 p.m or 9 p.m. - my daughter still talks about the show. And it is a good way to calm everyone down for the night.

9. Bring as little as possible. We dressed our kids in swim suits, they did wear coverups - but we let them go without shoes to the park. I suggest bringing as little as possible to the park, there's really just no point. You go from your hotel room to the water and there's not much in between.

10. Niffty idea: You don't have to worry about carrying your wallet or room key the entire trip. So, lock your valuables in the room safe. Then you use your arm band to buy everything, and you even scan your arm band to get into your room. I was amazed and couldn't get over that the entire time - so cool and convenient.

11. Just so you know - they have life jackets for all sizes and towels (okay...the towels are so very small, but you can grab as many as you want).

12. The resort will send you an email before going. On that email will be interactive games and activities for your kids to do before going or in the car there - DO IT! Build the excitement and let them get to know the characters that they will see there.

...and have fun! We would love to hear your "insider" resort tricks...especially if it is a money saving idea. Please post comments for our readers.