Wednesday, July 2, 2014


The theme for this year's Grandma/Grandkid outing was "ART", and the first stop was to see the CREATION ART of God, by visiting the Arkansas Champion Sugar Maple tree, which is located in the Confederate Cemetery in Fayetteville, Arkansas  The Arkansas Forestry Commission has designated the champion tree of each species of tree throughout Arkansas, and the location of these trees can be found on their website at  .

The grandkids are standing at the base of the champion, with its stone and bronze marker in front of them.  The sugar maple tree is the species from which maple syrup is made, so it is a great illustration of the verse in Genesis 1:29 that declares:   And God said, "See I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food."

Our next stop to view art, was in the home of former President Bill Clinton, and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton  ( )  We learned that this is an example of "Tudor" style architecture, which Kaitlyn found out from her smart phone, is reminiscent of the end of medieval architecture styles.

The  art  begins in the front lawn, with one of the painted Razorback hogs on display there.  Various renditions of these "painted pigs" can be found throughout the Fayetteville area, each one a reflection of the imagination of the artists involved.  For locations of these colorful characters contact the Fayetteville CVB at 1-800-766-4626.

Inside the museum, we were able to see examples of photographic art, as the kids had their picture taken with these photo cut-outs of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Examples of landscape art are on view in the First Lady's Garden, that has been developed in the back yard of the Clinton House Museum.  The garden contains markers that show the favorite flower of various "First Ladies" throughout history.  The markers include a portrait of the First Lady, her favorite flower, and a bit of history about her time of living at the White House.  Jacob is pointing out a hydrangea, which was said to be one of the favorite flowers of Hillary Rodham Clinton.  There are English garden benches, where the visitor can sit and enjoy the lovely flowers, or simply pose for a photo!

Our next stop was Lake Wedington, just outside Fayetteville.  This wasn't a "planned" part of our tour, but Jacob read on his smart phone that there was another  Arkansas Champion Tree out on Wedington Drive, so we started on a quest to find it.  Alas, we could not find the correct address, but what we DID find, was a place that we want to return to, with the appropriate attire to go kayaking!  The folks there  that rent kayaks (and a host of other types of water craft!) are called "Love To Float Outfitters", and you can contact them at .

Since it was lunch time, we decided this would be a good spot for our picnic.  The time at Lake Wedington brought back memories of a time I was there during the spring of my freshman year of college.  My roommate and I had gone to the lake to sunbathe, while we studied for final exams.  While there, a beautiful young woman who was an OSU student on a mission trip with Campus Crusade for Christ ( ) shared the Four Spiritual Laws booklet with us.  When we told her that we were already Believers, she shared the verse from John 10:10, that challenged us to have the ABUNDANT life that Jesus promised, through a personal relationship with him.  Her testimony to me about the truth of that Scripture has proven to be a life-altering encounter, for which I am eternally grateful!  Spending time with these wonderful grandchildren is part of that "abundant life" I have been blessed to experience!

Lake Wedington has a swim area, volleyball courts, picnic tables, cafe, and playground.  We had a great time being "Swingers" on some of their equipment!

Our next stop was the Walmart Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas ( ), which is located on the historic Bentonville square, and easy to spot because of the red and white pickup truck parked in front.

Sam Walton's actual truck is parked inside the museum, as shown in this photo.  In keeping with the "Art Theme Day", we saw how skilled museum curators can take an artifact, and make it stand out, by the use of lighting and interactive components with the viewer.

We had fun using their machine to spell out our name in the "bar code" language that is seen on every Walmart product.

The museum also has a large, touchscreen, interactive Google Earth map, that shows the location of Walmart Stores around the world.  If you know where you live from the closest Walmart store, you can find your home on the map, which the kids were able to do in a snap!

From the Walmart Museum, we walked across the Bentonville square to the new 21C Museum Hotel ( ).  The art displays start even before you enter the lobby, as shown by the luggage-sculptured bench that is adjacent to the entrance.

I told
 the kids before we went inside that "21C" stands for 21st Century, so we would be looking at Modern Art, which is VERY different from the types of art we had been viewing up to this point.

One of the exhibit rooms had a continuous feed of a video of people in ostrich costumes.  Since the room contained this very comfortable ottoman to stretch out on, while watching the video, we decided to watch the video SEVERAL times, as we rested from our busy day!

Kaitlyn and Jacob also enjoyed sitting on this very artistic couch, that is in the lobby of the 21cMuseum Hotel.

Next I told the kids we could see an example of a type of Mural Art that was used during the Great Depression of the 1930's, to provide work for various artisans across the USA.  This type of art was found in public places like post offices, train stations, and government buildings.  In this photo, Kaitlyn and Jacob are looking at a mural that was originally in the U.S. Post Office in Springdale, Arkansas.  The mural is entitled "City of Industry", and shows that the strong connection Springdale has with the poultry industry, was evident even back in 1939, when it was painted.  It is now on display at the Shiloh Museum in Springdale.

The campus of the Shiloh Museum ( ) also is the home of this picturesque log cabin, that seemed to be the perfect setting for a black and white photo of a very fine set of siblings!

This collage is an example of some "Do It Yourself" Art, by some very famous Americans.  The tile the kids are pointing to in the upper left, was laid by the hands of Bill and Hillary Clinton, in their Fayetteville home.  The tile shown on the lower right was laid by Sam Walton himself, in his original 5 and 10 store in Bentonville.    The museum worker smiled when she told us that it was not a solid color, because Sam Walton was able to get a better price, by buying the contrasting colors that were "odd lot" pieces from other installations.                                                             I am hoping that the grandkids enjoyed out "Art Day Expedition" as much as I did, because it gave me "MILES OF SMILES" that I will cherish for a lifetime!  Tricia