In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff

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Birthday In The Bamboo

Lauren turned 14 on Saturday, January 28th.  I told her no parties this year, but I changed my mind.  I was scheduled to enter into a medical study for some cash for two weekends in a row, so I’d planned on putting her birthday on hold.  But.  The study was moved and canceled for about the 12th time in a row.  I decided to host a party.

My good friend and baker, Kelli, was a great sport with short notice.  Lauren has shifted from Littlest Pet Shops to alternative music, skinny jeans, Hot Topic t-shirts and hair colored in an unnatural way.  Yep.  She’s 14.  One of her favorite bands is Falling In Reverse so I had Kelli put the lead singer on the cake.

This guy is totally covered in tattoos up to his chin and Kelli said it might be a bit much on the cake.  I told her forget the body art.  I guess Lauren is into bad boys, just like I used to be.  God help me, and her.  Several kids showed up.  A couple of them had actually attended WOLF with her and the others are classmates from Jarrett.  I ran to Little Caeser’s and picked up like 6 large pizzas for $40.  I got pop at Deal’s.  Sounds like we’re broke doesn’t it?

The weather has been really crazy warm and I do like it, but my mind is in January mode.  After we all chowed down I suggested that we head outdoors to the bamboo forrest around the corner from our house.  It’s a fun place for a photo shoot, so we all took loads of pictures.  I noticed that the city was down there yesterday sawing and clearing out brush.  I have a feeling that our beautiful bamboo forrest will be gone before too long as the city makes way for the green space on Bennett.  I hope not though, we love the bamboo, but I also realize it is incredibly invasive.

We walked by the creek and then the kids all headed to Phelps Grove Park to enjoy the rest of the day.  At dark they all arrived back at the house and piled in Lauren’s room for a movie.  I am so glad I took the time to redo her space.  Though it’s not large, it has a roomier feel and 7 kids were able to hang out on the floor, the bean bags and the bed playing the Wii and having a great time.

Later that night, we unsafely piled into my small car and I drove all over town dropping each kid off at their home base.  All in all.  Better than any medical study and the compensation I would’ve received.  Great day.  Great weather.  Great party!

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WOLF School Is WOW

When my daughter was in 5th grade back in 2009, she attended WOLF (Wonders of the Ozarks Learning Facility) and it was a great experience for our entire family.

2009 was the first year that this conservation based school was in business.  The classrooms were located in the old K-Mart building just West of Bass Pro.  They didn’t have a playground.  They had a parking lot.  They didn’t have a lunch room.  The lunches were catered by Parkview High School and they ate their lunch on the floor.  The kids didn’t care they loved the school, the field trips and the teachers.  One of which is still teaching there and the other?  Unfortunately moved on.

Fast forward to now and if you live here, I’m sure you’ved noticed serious construction at the corner of Sunshine and Campbell.  We live extremely close to this intersection so getting Lauren to this school was no problem for us.  WOLF School is now located in a brand new building and it is totally amazing!

We attended the Grand Opening last Thursday evening.  Lauren still volunteers when she can and it’s getting harder with school activities.  She does travel most of the summer with my parents as well.  But we do our best to get some hours in.  After school is out most of the time.  My yoga teaching requires me to be at work when she could be attending animal handling classes.  Lauren had already been inside the new shcool once.  She attended a lock-in prior to the public opening. 

This is the Grand Hall or the entry way.  The classrooms are on the left and are completely secure.  The green wall at the end of the hallway will be removed eventually.  This will allow a connection to the Bass Pro retail store and the WOW museum.  Basically the school will be open to the public so hence for the secure location of the classrooms.  Each area has a neat diorama by the door that features the theme.  So there’s a River Room and so on. 

The classrooms are really cool too.  They have neat stuff on the ceilings just like the Bass Pro store.  One room has the experience of water and a cave system.  One room has grass and flowers like the plains.  Of course there’s no lack of taxidermy and other outdoor gear on the walls as well. 

The ceilings in the main hallway and in the convention rooms are beyond high.  Just massive and beautiful.  The  convention room has a beautifully painted wall mural of the outdoors that was still in progress.  I believe the speaker said it will also feature a real waterfall too.  The gigantic chandeliers in that space are covered with what looks like animal skins.  Real ones?  Probably.  The concrete floors are embedded with animal tracks and the bathrooms?  No mirrors and the stalls appear to be metal with scenes of the outdoors overlayed into them.  And they also have gorgeous stained glass windows and a big round stainless system for handwashing like 6 kids at one time.

While wondering about Harry Potter came to my mind with the dark, thick wood and stone in the architecture.  My favorite space was a big room with big round tables.  The West wall houses the biggest stone fireplace that I’ve ever seen.  We attended the Awards Banquet this week and enjoyed a really nice dinner in this cozy space complete with the fireplace roaring.  The walls are adorned with vintage photos (big ones of course) of the Morris family on outdoor activities. 

Once the place is landscaped the kids will have a playground.  A place for archery.  A fully stocked fish pond where they can fish, clean and cook fish.  The yard will also feature a nature trail with native plants and a cave.  Heck.  They might not need to go on field trips as everything will be in-house.  Was my daughter jealous to see all of this?  Not really.  She mentioned how her class was the first class and they were the pioneers.  I do feel like chances of getting into this great program will be harder now because the building is so incredibly cool.  But if you have a child entering 5th grade, I highly encourage you to apply.  We feel honored to have had this experience and very lucky to be part of such a beautiful new space.