A long run for a short slide

Saturday morning we made the first official vacationy stop of our vacation. The boys have been after me to take them to the Crater of Diamonds State Park ever since they found out about it.  They wanted to strike it rich and sell the diamonds for millions of dollars. 

Baby A’s still aiming for the Botler.

I had not told the boys that we were going to Crater Park on this trip.  All I said was that there was a secret destination on Saturday that they were going to love.

I had to keep it a secret so that I could have something to hold over their heads so they’d behave while I spent hours catching up with old and new friends the day before.

Worked like a charm.

We left Arkadelphia and headed to Murphreesboro and the whole way I tried to warn my city boys that the park might be a little bit….um… what’s the right word….OUTDOORSY and they needed to be prepared to get dirty.  They swore up and down that they were ready for whatever Nature would throw their way, as finding loads of bling would be worth every grunge encrusted minute.

They were not prepared.

But this guy was.


I became slightly concerned when I saw this picture of the appropriate way to look for the stones.


This looked way too much like a typical school morning at the Casa de Carpool looking for the homework that got shoved underneath the couch.

It did not scream “relaxation” to me.

The boys didn’t seem to mind though, and they definitely did not have time to read stinkin’ instructions.  They had acres of field to conquer.

And I do mean acres.



Did I mention it had recently rained?

And this was a field?

Of dirt?

And I was wearing sandals?


While they didn’t hand out those protective shoe covers like the pest control guy wears when he’s in your house, they did hand out latex kitchen gloves to keep our hands relatively clean.

Again, reminded me of toilet scrubbing.

Not the happy place I was envisioning.




If I have any readers that have physically handicapped kids, just know that this park is NOT handicap friendly.  I was able to get T’s wheelchair down to the edge of the field, but then it was lifting and carrying to the nearest furrow. There’s no way we could make it to the sluicing tables.

It didn’t phase him. 


He dug for about 15 minutes and then announced he was ready to go to Target or play with my iPhone, whichever was more convenient for me.  I put him back in his wheelchair and he proceeded to watch videos and call China and take pictures of me with very bad hair.



The other two lasted about 15 minutes longer and came back beet red and sweaty and announced that diamond mining was not going to be a career choice in their future.  I sent them over to play in the water hoses while I continued to dig in the dirt and generally enjoy thirty minutes of quiet, albeit dirty, solitude. 

I had a LOT of togetherness over the previous 48 hours.

We finally had what we thought was a good amount of diamonds and we went to the classification center to learn our fate.


JJ was pretty sure he had a rare brown diamond, and it turned out to be a diamond of the brokenbeerbottle variety.


No valuable rocks were to be had that day, just some jasper, which sounds exotic, but really it just weighs a ton and rattles around in the car,  so we headed up to the gift shop and got a little souvenier to commemorate our adventure.


Even though we struck out, it was really a neat experience, heat and dirt notwithstanding.  The boys got to do something new, it was educational, hands on, and something that we got to check off our bucket list.  

All in all, a gem of a day.


18 responses to “A long run for a short slide

  1. Ok, you are just so good. I can hardly take mine berry-picken, let alone diamond picken.

  2. This is so cool . . . my kids would LOVE something like this . . . and my son would have totally been like yours . . . thinking he was going to make millions.

  3. Seriously, you are getting Mom of the Year this year.

    Heat, dirt, mud, AND 100 miles in the car.

    You’re just bragging now.

  4. sounds like a day they will forever remember!

  5. Now that looks like a boys paradise, haha!!! 🙂

  6. You are THE BOMB! They will never forget it…and when they have children of their own, that’s when the real awards start flying! I already feel sorry for their wives..can’t you hear it …

    “Well, I don’t know what the big deal is, MY MOM took all three of us on a massive road trip to go diamond pickin’, in the dirt, and SHE had sandals on!”

  7. seriously – i totally agree with Kellie 🙂

  8. Glad you had…uh…fun.

    Way to go for braving the place. My boys love it there, but not as much as their daddy…he would be the crazy man equipped with all the tools, down in the creek bed, in the back 40, thinking he’s going to strike it rich.

    The boys are whining to go, and daddy is saying, “Just 5 more minutes. I know there is one here somewhere.”

    Oh…and what Kellie said.

  9. Wellllllll, at least the next adventurous stop will be even better! (hopefully)
    Miss ya!

  10. I think this may be my favorite post title ever. At least there was pie later.

  11. What memories you are making…

    Your kids will remember having the “fun” mom.

  12. This post really made me smile…I grew up near Crater of Diamonds so I endured lots of “field trips” there..never found a diamond. The first trip was fun but the enjoyment vanished the older I grew. 🙂

  13. You ROCK! hehehe, funny. What state were you in? Never heard of it – but truly, you DO get mom of the year for that! 🙂

  14. You are a real trooper. You get the Mom of the Year award for braving the diamond mine with 3 boys.

    Wes would be the one on the back 40 with Mr. Rascalraiser mapping out a search grid.

  15. Hmmm…well…I think T.probably did my activity of choice. I hate to be w/o my iphone and all. 🙂

  16. But you are still mother of the year in every way.

    Because you eat dessert before dinner.

  17. It sounds like a bright, shiny experience, very similar to panning for gold, where you leave the premises carrying a tiny bottle with a tiny flake inside, convinced you are rich indeed. Which you are, just not in the monetary sense 😉 Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  18. this is on my husband’s bucket list, too. Still trying to figure out what it’ll take to make it “Hunt for diamonds with the kids while my wife hangs out in the air conditioned hotel”

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