Saturday, May 28

Crater of Diamonds

in April we visited  Crater of Diamonds State Park with our good friends the Tenney's. we camped on friday night and then headed to the diamond mine on saturday morning to dig dig dig!

it was a little damp and overcast, but we never really got rained on and it wasn't too chilly, thank goodness.

the weather actually made digging quite pleasant because it can get pretty dang hot if the sun is out.

  owen had the morning of his life running, screaming, and splashing!

chris and jack used the "wet technique" to search, while the other kids used the "dry technique"

the only diamond we found was this view of charlie digging :) otherwise, all we found was quartz. jack had been studying geology in science during this trip, so he was excited about every little find.

they have rangers on hand that will tell you what minerals and stones you have found and you can keep anything you find. they were very patient with the 7 kids asking about every little thing and even gave them boxes (rather than the small paper bags they usually hand out) to carry all their treasures.

digging was fantastic and we can't wait to go again. the facilities were very nice. 

during the campout we celebrated brooklyn and abbie's birthdays (they share the same date!). it was a flamingo themed party, complete with homemade flamingo croquet!

we had a great time with friends, found quartz crystals, only had one tick to remove, and are ready for another camping/digging trip!

spring break 2016: austin TX

it's been a while.
i've lost the desire to blog, honestly, but the kids really love to read the books that we print, so i better pick things up and move forward. t

he first thing to recap was our weekend trip to Austin during a portion of spring break!

the main reason for our visit was to see this lady

and her little family, the Smith's

sweet carrie, how i already miss you!

it was so enjoyable to see our kids playing together and getting to know each other. i overheard charlie telling a friend the other day "i have a brother named jack and a cousin in texas named jackson". it made my heart so happy to know he loves jackson and nora as much as family.

the other reason to visit Austin was for chris to live out his bbq fantasy and visit Franklin Barbecue

chris, jack, and Cameron got there at 5 am and waited in line for the best bbq brisket in the entire world. while in line, they were lucky enough to run into THE MAN. THE LEGEND. AARON FRANKLIN. he is seriously chris's idol and i was so excited when he texted me this picture... although i wasn't as excited when he texted me "i was so overwhelmed and excited that when i got up to the counter to order, i forgot to order your food. sorry!" but it was ok. the brisket made up for it!

we celebrated easter!

jackson won our cascarones egg smashing game! 

easter morning before church with two of my handsome men

we went to lots of parks. austin has soon many great parks. and it was amazing how green the entire city is.

we were able to go watch the bats fly out from the bridge at sunset one evening. so cool!
our kids were all over that.

we ate SO MUCH incredible food. Austin truly is a foodie's dream.

we had to go to the famous Salt Lick bbq restaurant and it was so darn tasty! not as good as Franklin's, in our opinion, but still super yummy.

we spent a morning visiting some food trucks to try out some breakfast tacos and some donuts. oh man. it was hard to waddle around after that!

these migas tacos at Veracruz truck were out of this world. jack is still talking about them.

we stopped at gordough's for the most intense donuts. they called them donuts, but we thought they were more like a utah scone, both of which we love :)

our chocolate lover, charlie

after our food truck hop, we decided to walk some of it off... you know,, so we could go out for tacos again that night ;) we went and walked around the capitol building which was gorgeous!

jack has been obsessed with history, but especially...... coon skin caps! so this picture of Davey Crockett was his jam. and yes, somehow the easter bunny new about the coon skin caps and brought each of the boys one in their baskets.

i couldn't resist a little selfie with my man, george dub-yuh.

these two. 
jackson and charlie.
just chilling in the middle of the capitol staring up into the dome.

texas sure looked good on chris!

on the way home we made a few stops:

to get the biggest donut in texas. its the same one they visited on Man v. Food.

we also had to stop in waco to visit the Magnolia Market!!!

they had a big grassy area set up in front of the silos with games and activities. they had food trucks all around the perimeter and loud music playing.

owen was smitten with the goats! this boy is an animal lover for sure.

we also decided to swing by Ikea on the way home.... we ended up buying a crib, mattress, desk, and two dressers. oi vey! getting home with that was a magic trick. it was a long 7 hour drive!

heres a pic from the trip to austin:

and a pic from the drive home:

until next time, austin!