"Crater of Diamonds State Park"... just a short 6-hr drive to Arkansas brought us one of our most treasured and memorable family vacations ~ digging for diamonds in the DIRT, I mean MUD! It's the ONLY 'finders keepers' diamond mine in the world, and the 8th largest. We kind of forgot to think through the packing, as evidenced by the fact that we wore our new school shoes, Mom's new crocs, and totally forgot to bring any digging shovels or buckets. Lucky for us, it was all rentable. Except for the shoes... we just fire-hosed them down at the end. Like with a real fire hose.
In our brains, we saw it going a bit differently ~ more like sifting dirt like gold prospectors, rather than sludging thru mud. The rain sort of changed it all up.
And yet the mud made it so enchanting.
Daron LOVED this vacation.
And look at all the nice Arkansas folk we got to hang out with. (Neer na neer na neer na neer na neer... sing to the tune of the backwoods banjo song)
Stephen and random duder, hearing other lucky diggers excitedly yelling over their finds.
Fire hose provided by the site
Kas: "Dad, where's the ipad?"
Daron: "Didn't bring it. Look out the i-window."
We took our kids to the Texarkana First Baptist Church for a riveting experience ~ they had never been to anything other than our church services, so it was fun to watch them enjoy it all ... passing the money collection trays, having the band and orchestra play like we were at a rock concert, and hearing the pastor intro his sermon with country song lyrics like "If you can't live without me, why aren't you dead yet?" It gave us much to discuss, including how great it is that people worship God, everyone in their own way. We had to stop when Kenny asked, "that was such a cool fake church!" - didn't know where that came from, but he explained he thought it was fake because it doesn't have ALL the truth ours has, just part. So we helped fix his terminology. 8-)