Wednesday, July 27, 2011

TCBY, here we come!

Finally it's Wednesday. The day known in my brain as Waffle Cone Wednesday.

There is a TCBY shop across the street from our church. I managed to attend church there for fifteen years (oh wow. I'm old.) without ever setting foot in TCBY. I'm not a sweet-tooth person - I want dessert if it's being served, but I don't crave sweets (I'm too busy craving chips and salsa. Or chips and guacamole. Or chips and queso. Or chips). I think James had taken the kids over there once but I didn't go with them. But then a few weeks ago we walked over for their Wednesday special: the 99-cent waffle cone.

And now I'm obsessed.

It might be because I quit drinking diet sodas (which means all sodas, since I only drank diet) or maybe the yogurt is just that good. Or maybe it's the cone itself. It's a kid-sized waffle cone filled with an adult-sized portion of any of their soft serve flavors, which change by the day. I have been wracking my brain trying to remember if I've ever actually eaten a waffle cone before now. I may not have - it's usually an upcharge and it's messier than a cup and all that.  Either way, I'm really keen on the waffle cone now.  My kids are happy with my current obsession with the waffle cone as well.  Since I'm waiting all week for the special (which is a good way to avoid just splurging on frozen yogurt every day of the week), I can't very well pass up the waffle cone just because it's getting to be past bedtime, can I?

Now I just have to make it until 7:30. The time known in brain as Waffle Cone time.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thinking of You card

Hello! I thought I'd pop in to show you another card we made with the service project group at my church. I was really impressed with all the individual coloring-in work by all the ladies! They think they aren't artistic but it was really pretty. The card background was embossed using the Big Shot and the butterflies were cut and embossed in one step using a Stampin' Up! Embosslit. Simple but pretty.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Diamond Crater State Park

Zack is crazy about collecting rocks.  He is convinced his finds are very valuable.  He stores them in treasure boxes varying from paperboard boxes from the craft store that he painted himself, to clear stacking screw-top organizers, to shoe boxes, to the old dog house in the back yard.  He even has some extra boxes from my jewelry on which he as written "PResHus RocKs GeMs".  Sometimes I have to do a sweep of the house and send a big pile of rocks back outside.  James had the idea to structure some actual rock collecting into our summer trip, so one of our destinations was Diamond Crater State Park in southwestern Arkansas. 

We spoke to several people who thought it might not be worth a day but for us, it was great. This may not be something the kids will love in a few years but they loved it at this time!  The diamond area in the state park is a field in which diamond-containing rock runs seven miles deep.  Every month or so they plow the field, exposing new soil and rocks.  You pay an admission fee and dig as long as you want (all day! It's only 100 degrees!), keeping anything you find.  There are diamonds found regularly - mostly yellow or brown but some white too.  Half-carat diamonds were found right before our visit so they are definitely there! 

You can walk along and look, dig in the furrows and do "dry sifting", or use the ramadas (shade!!) to do "wet sifting".  Zack dug, Sammy roamed around, and I did wet sifting.  It was more work than Zack was expecting and the weather was really hot but we all had fun. 

By mid-day we'd had our fill of dirt and heat and not found any diamonds so we decided to call it quits and headed to the attached splash park and pool.  Now, someone was really thinking with that pool attached to the hot, dry diamond field!  That was at least as good as the diamond hunting.  The pool was mostly two and two and a half feet deep - a great depth for our young kids.  With the slides, fountains and play structures, it was a great place to play.  Before this both Zack and Sammy had been really timid in the water, clinging to our necks or the side of the pool.  But there the shallow water and beach entry gave them a chance to play without being nervous - I think they gained a lot of confidence that has been benefiting us going forward!  

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Vintage Rail in Grapevine, Texas

Well, I had really good intentions for posting pictures right away!  But, here are some from the Grapevine Vintage Railroad in the Ft. Worth area.  It leaves from a cute little station in Grapevine and chugs to the Ft Worth Stockyards (or you can ride it the other direction, or take an excursion from there, or get a round trip). The Stockyards are only a few blocks wide but pretty interesting - though a little touristy nowadays.  You can adjust how much time it takes or the cost by going one direction and having someone pick you up or taking the open air car if you can take the heat.  This is a good activity for little ones or train nuts - our family is full of both!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Fill up the backseat with books and start driving!

We are just back from a trip to Arkansas - we decided to go on Monday, planned it on Tuesday and Wednesday, and left (a night early!) on Thursday evening for a week of checking out various sights. We were planning to leave on Friday when our Thursday evening plans were unexpectedly canceled James declared, "Let's leave tonight!" and promptly left for work. The boys spent the day crying, "I want to go on a trip, I want to go to hotel, I was to go to museuuuuuuuuum!" so I packed as best I could (I am LOUSY at packing!) and James got us on the road just a couple hours after he got off work.

We just went to Ft. Worth the first night. It would have been an easy drive except the highways were closed for roadwork at TWO different places on the way to the hotel. It was midnight and we were stuck stopped on the road with all the other late-night drivers even though the hotel was only two miles away. The boys were so excited to be going that I don't think they even slept.  On the bright side, they seemed to have learned to love road trips! 

I'm hoping to post some travel highlights over the next few days.