Friday, April 23, 2010

What do Walmart, Bill Clinton and Diamonds have in common?

Arkansas, of course!

Those are our three claims to fame.

The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas is the only diamond-producing site in the WORLD that is open to the public. Pretty cool, huh?

We dug for diamonds a few years ago when Anna was a baby, and the kids had a blast. This time around we had even more fun! Probably due to the fact that there had been a lot of rain and we were sloshing through mud. Does life get any better than that?

My cute little diggers!
The big field of mud
Princess Adeline. She was not too interested in the dirt. Everyone else would bring her rocks that they found. She enjoyed collecting them in a bucket. I think in this picture she is nibbling on a snack someone brought her. She really didn't move much.

Anna had no problem getting dirty! She liked standing in the puddle and keeping the top of her boots *just* above water line. Of course, she wasn't always successful, and she ended up with a boot-ful of brown water more than once.

Abbott had no interest in digging for diamonds, but he dug some pretty amazing trenches and tunnels.

Cousin Lexi came with us on our trip to dig for diamonds. She wasn't really interested in digging for treasure either. She made a couple of new friends while we were out in the field. She's quite a social little girl! All of the kids had fun making up games to play with mud and playing with their new friends.
Aiden was the only one of my children who actually put any effort into actually looking for a diamond! He worked so hard.

I love this kid!

Daddy is working hard and princess Adeline is perched on her rock waiting for servants (I mean family members) to put rocks in her bucket.

This is not a diamond.

This is the really nice guy that identified all of our finds. We found jasper, quartz, and several other types of rocks that I can't remember right now.

The next day we went fishing
It was really windy, so casting was very difficult.

We didn't catch anything...even with these fat, juicy worms!

Luckily, this one slept through the fishing trip.

We also took a nice little hike

Tree roots taller than people!

This is a really cool nature blind. You are supposed to be able to hang out in there and the wildlife will come really close because they won't know you're there. They knew we were there. Trust me.

Rock candy! I thought that was appropriate!

Here is a close-up of the couch cushion. Nice!

We rented a little house in this little town. I kept telling the kids it was an adventure. They just said it was a yucky old house with a spring-y mattress. Aaron said it smelled like his grandma's house. So it wasn't 5 star was an adventure!

Here is the dining room. Doesn't everyone keep digging equipment in the dining room? We were just happy it was there to borrow!

Couldn't quite figure out this random plant. I think it was supposed to make the place look pretty.

Despite my spoiled children's complaints about the house, it really was a great trip. It was really slow, laid back and relaxing. Just enjoying each other and nature. Who needs roller coasters to have a good vacation? What are roller coasters to rocks and mountains?

I don't need an amusement park...but something that stays open past 8:00 would be nice! They do have a Sonic, a pizza place and an over-priced-not-very-good diner. Seriously...this is a small town. There was a little donut and ice cream shop near our little house (that's what we affectionaltely called it). One evening, we decided to go get some ice cream. It was about 8:30 on a Saturday night. Closed. No biggie...there is ONE grocery store in town...we'll pick up a half gallon and eat at the little house. Closed. Seriously. By this time it is close to 9:00. We found a gas station (that was about to close) but they didn't have any ice cream. How could we forget Sonic? Beautiful, wonderful franchise to the rescue...closed. It can't possibly be legal for a Sonic to close at 9:00 on a Saturday night. I don't care how small the town is! Lucky for us, there are TWO gas stations in the tiny town of Murfreesboro, and #2 stays open 24 hours. So everyone picked out a treat, and I was the only one that got ice cream.

This was a trip we will certainly never forget!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Tuesday Night with Jon Bon Jovi

It started out like any other Tuesday. Yoga class at the gym, pick Anna up from preschool, feed the girls lunch, lay Adeline down for a nap, check Aiden out of school for a doctors appointment. Just an average day of a mom.

I was planning to see a movie with my sister that evening, and Aaron left work early because he wanted to show me something before I left for the movie. He asked my good friend Alissa to watch the kids "for about 10 minutes" while we ran somewhere.

We start driving and I assume that he is going to show me some beautiful land that he has found in the middle of nowhere. (As a side note, I want to build a house on a LOT and he wants to build on LAND...there's a big difference. We may just stay in this house forever).

Anyway....finally I said "this is way too far out, you should just turn around". So he pulls over to "show me something". He hopped out of the truck and I looked around at all of the chicken houses thinking there was no way in heck I was living out here.

Then he handed me a big bag. Strange. I opened the bag and found a grey t-shirt and two pieces of paper. Strange.

I like to think of myself as pretty quick, but this actually took a while to register. I was holding two printed-off-the-computer tickets to a Bon Jovi concert.

Did I mention it was Tuesday? I think I did, but I don't think I mentioned that the concert was in TULSA!

Tulsa. I just could not wrap my mind around it. (Tulsa is two hours away for any non-locals). The concert started at 7:30 in TULSA. On a Tuesday. I think I just kept repeating that over and over. Tuesday Night...Tulsa...Movie with my sister...Need to work on Aiden's party...Tuesday night...5:15 spin class in the morning...Tulsa.

Let's just say that I yelled at him for about 15 minutes insisting that there was no way I was going. He said that he fully anticipated getting yelled at and that he was not turning around!

There was never a movie with my sister. She made it up to make sure I didn't make other plans. Alissa was well aware that I wouldn't be back in 10 minutes. She kept the kids until my sister got off work. (And, by the way, thank you Lindsey for watching the kids until 1:00 in the morning...on a Tuesday!)

My sweet husband pulled off a complete surprise. It's not even my birthday. He just loves me. Apparently I told him to be more spontaneous and to put more effort into our dates. I guess he IS listening! He's not usually a take-it-to-the-extreme kind of guy. He just really wanted to do something special for me. And for the record, he doesn't even like Bon Jovi! It was all for me.

We made it to the concert and, of course, had a blast. It was Bon Jovi!

I realized that I hadn't been to a real concert since the 90's. I missed an entire decade of concert going! I guess I was busy having babies :)

He played a good mix of older stuff and newer stuff. We didn't even recognize some of the newer stuff. I was most amazed by the fact that he really hasn't changed at all in 25 years. We were kids when we started listening to him...and now he looks younger than we do!

Richie Sambora joined him for a few songs

I think watching the crowd was almost as entertaining as the concert. I even snapped a picture of this pair that was sitting across the aisle from us.

The girl on the left totally got busted by the cops (during the concert) for underage drinking. She seriously could not be more than 14 (check out her braces). BUT, somehow she was able to produce an ID that must have looked pretty good. The cops left her alone and she went back to her beer. Crazy. Aaron thinks the lady next to her was really her dad!

I love Bon Jovi...

...but I love this guy waaaay more!!!

And I even feel bad for yelling at him for making me go to Tulsa on a Tuesday night. When I thought about it later, I felt like Bella - whining and throwing a fit when people want to do nice things for me. I'm a pretty lucky girl!