Friday, July 29, 2011

Digging for Diamonds

Earlier this year, we decided that we would take the kids to a diamond mine in Arkansas and go dig for diamonds.  Now, let me be the first one to say, this did not excite me.  Think about it.....driving 7 hours with the kids to go dig in the dirt in the hot sun.  Not my dream vacation.  Well, I have to admit.  It wasn't too bad and it was an experience I think the kids will always remember.  Did we find anything you ask?  Well, it depends what you think is a treasure I guess.  I found a lot of fools gold, Megan found some cool rocks that she took home, and Jeremy found a shady spot to sit down in. 
Emilee of course was her happy excited self, Megan found the mud.  She always finds the mud.  Hunter thought he would find the diamond that would fund his dream playground set.  I guess he will have to keep dream'in.

We got to this mine about 8:30 in the morning, thinking that it would be cool enough and then as the afternoon began we would be done and off to swimming we go.  Well, it got hot a lot faster then we thought and it was humid.  I was dreaming of a white sand beach down in Florida.  There are three ways to dig for diamonds.  One way is a surface walk.  Just walking through the mine and spotting what may be on top.  Another way is digging in the dirt and dry sifting it through a screen.  Both of these consist of being out in the hot sun.   By the way, the brighter the sun the better, cause then you can see the sparkling little gems.  The third way is to shovel dirt into a bucket a sift it through a screen in the water using an area under a shaded area.  Well, once I figured out the third part.  It wasn't so bad.  The girls and I had a blast getting all wet and dirty searching for diamonds.  We talked to tons of people from all over the country.  I think I actually had a good time.  Shh, don't tell anyone though.  
Here we are, all dirty and ready to go swimming.  They had a great pool next to the mine that you could go to.  Had water slides and everything.  When we hosed off before we got in the pool, it was like a huge mud slide going down the drain.  Let me tell you though....that pool felt so good.  
The next day, we spent the day in Hot Springs.  We shopped through the downtown shops, went miniature golfing indoors ('cause it was to hot outside), went to the mid-America Science Center, and closed the day with a magic show with a master Illusionist.
This was a cool show in the Science museum.  It was a demonstration of a Telsa Coil.  Now, most of us have seen this in some sort of glass ball, but this was huge and it was very loud.  We learned that tons of things we use today came through this technology such as fluorescent and neon lights, cell phones, cars, televisions, and tons of other modern conveniences we might use today.  Afterward the kids got to go up there and touch part of the demonstration using there bodies and other objects to produce negative and positive energy.  They said it tickled their bodies.
That evening, we went to a magic show.  Because we sat on the front row, Megan and Emilee got picked to help out.  Now, they were totally excited, but when Emilee got up there she freaked out.  He rewarded her with a drink of her choice and about 3 bags of candy and a bag of popcorn.  Megan was doing great.  She had some dance moves that I didn't know she had.  She laughed tons and was having a great time until he brought out the guillotine.  Her face changed expressions very quickly.  It was very funny.  I think it was a pretty good show and the kids enjoyed it tons.
That was our trip.  Not much else to say about it, but we did have a good time.  Now it is time to get ready for school, which I have to say is very exciting.  As much as I love my children, I love it when they are learning in school as well.  By the time summer is over, I am all worn out and so ready to get things back to normal.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Almost 40

Another year has come and gone.  It seems the older I get, the faster they come.  When I turned 30, it was pretty easy.  Just another year.  I had just had my second baby girl and I had felt on top of the world.  Now, nine years later as I come closer to 40, I find that it is a little bit more difficult to take. WOW!  I always thought 40 sounded so far away, but as I come closer to it, I find out how fast life really can come racing past us.  I have noticed how we can go through our day to day events of our lives and sometimes forget to breath. 

I decided to look back and see what happened the year I was born.  Turns out tons.  First of all the average cost of a home in America was about $27,000 and gas was .55 a gallon. 

In history, five white house operatives were arrested for burglarizing the offices of the Democratic National Committee which was the start of the Watergate Scandal and Pres. Richard Nixon orders the start for the space shuttle program.  Movies that were popular were The Godfather and Fiddler on the Roof.  TV shows that were popular were Sesame Street, The Brady Bunch, Hawaii Five-O, and The Price is Right first premiered on CBS.  Music that most loved came from artists such as ABBA, The Eagles, Simon and Garfunkel, Don McLean, Elton John, and Led Zeppelin.  HBO was first launched, digital watches were introduced and you could buy the first hand held scientific calculator for $395.  The Volkswagen Beetle was the most popular car sold and Atari kicks off with the first generation of video games with the release of PONG which became the start of the video game craze, and the first call with a cell phone was made in New York. 

Now here in the present I have learned many things.  Patience for one.  Now don't get me wrong.  I still have a lot more to learn about patience, but after having three children growing up before my eyes can blink, an awesome husband, a live in mother-in-law, a dog that I still can't figure out became a part of our household, church callings, great friends who put up with my crazy thoughts and theories, and of course just me being me, I think I have made leaps and bounds.  I have much to be grateful for.  I often tell my kids that I am 25 again and they proceed to tell everyone just how old I really am.  Well, I am here to say, "40, here I come!" 'cause in the grand scheme, it really is not that old. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rough'n it!

One day, Jeremy came to me with an idea to buy a tent.  Now, let me tell you.  I am not much of a camper.  It's not that I hate it or anything, but I do love my blow dryer and other modern conveniences.  What girl doesn't, right?  Well, he sold me on it and we decided it would be fun to take the kids camping a few times a year.  The first place we decided to go was this KOA spot in the corner of Georgia and Tennessee near Chattanooga.  It wasn't totally without some modern conveniences.  Each site did have electricity and water.  Bathrooms and showers were available and it even came with a pool, playground, and a giant jumping pillow for the kids.  So, we packed the car, checked the list, of course, the kids had to check the list as well and we were off.  Now, I have to laugh.  We told the kids over and over not to forget certain things, including their pillows and wouldn't you know it.  After everything was set up, Jeremy and I discovered what we forgot was, our pillows.  Let's just say, I don't sleep well without my pillow.  Go figure.

After the tent was set up, air mattresses blown up, and bedding put into place, (except my pillow), the kids wanted to cool off by jumping in the pool.  Even Jeremy jumped in, which doesn't happen very often.  He is not much for swimming, but I am so proud of him.  Two days in a row he went swimming with us.  How cool is that.
Then it was dinner time.  What do you think we had.  Yep, hot dogs and smores.  Yum!  I will say, it was way fun.  I really haven't done that since I was a kid.  
I have to laugh at Megan.  She is funny.  She is definitely turning into a tween.  She spent a lot of time in the tent with her MP3 player on and drawing while the rest of us were outside.  Though Emilee did join her sometimes as they played their DS games together.  After the kids went to bed, Jeremy and I had a nice time talking and relaxing underneath the stars.  It was nice and quiet.  Like I said before, me and him forgot our pillows, so sleep was not good, but we survived and when morning came we were excited to get breakfast going.  Pancakes for the kids with bacon on the side and Jeremy made some breakfast sandwiches for himself.  I would have joined him with one of those sandwiches, but I think I ate too many pancakes.  
Now, when we went out on this little camping adventure, we had no idea what we would do the next day.  I think we thought we would hike, play around the camp site, relax, read.  Nope.  None of that happened.  Instead we decided to head to Chattanooga and go see Ruby Falls and Lookout Mountain.  Ruby Falls is a big waterfall that is in a cave in Lookout Mountain.  They say at the top of Lookout Mountain, you can see seven states when looking out at the top.  Hmm, who knew??  Now I have been in a lot of caves.  This particular cave was a bit pricey to go into, but I have to say, it had a lot of neat things to look at inside and the falls were quite amazing.  Very nice!  If you live around here and you want some place to take your visitors who come see you,  it could be a definite place to go.  Even my kids were impressed.

After the falls and lunch, we took the kids to the children's museum in Chattanooga.  That is always a kid pleaser.  
 After we left the museum, we went back to the camp site, swam, roasted, and played all night.  As soon as the kids went to bed, I enjoyed the silence once again.  I think I slept that night, but let me tell ya, after breakfast the next morning we went back home and I took a long nap.  I think I could get use to this camping thing.  We are interested in going to a KOA in the Smokies next.  I'm not sure when, but when we do, it will be  an adventure, I'm sure.