Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rainy Day Tripping

      Mia's day camp at church started this past Tuesday, and Jackson, Max, and I got to tag along.  Let me just say that Jeremy was not too thrilled that we were christening the new ride in a severe thunder storm warning for a 2 hour drive to plunder around in a cave, but we couldn't help the weather, now could we?  We dropped the 2 little boys off at Nana's around 7:30, picked Max up, and headed to church in the pitch black dark.  I had hoped the weather would hit a little earlier and it would be over before we left, but it conveniently waited until the exact moment the bus was being loaded with kids.  We ran from the church to the van (getting completely soaked) and drove in a steady downpour the entire way to Cathedral Caverns.

Mia, Kenzie, Ashlyn, and Abby

Loading the bus
     First we stopped at the Trading Post for an ice cream break.  When we first walked in we were confronted with about 25 deer heads hanging on the walls.  If it could be hunted, killed, and mounted, this place had one.  Everything from fish, to black bear!  The kids loved it.  After they ate and stretched their legs for a bit, we reloaded (still in the pouring rain) and went down to the cave.

Isaac, Jackson, and Max

Mia and Grace
     We had never been here, so it was exciting to find a new place not too far from home to explore.  This kind of thing is Jackson and Max's idea of the perfect outing, but not so much for Mia.  We had visited Ruby Falls just a few weeks earlier, so it was neat to compare the 2 caves.  This one was much more open, so we didn't feel nearly as claustrophobic. The temp outside was already cool from the storms, but they told us the cave usually stays around 60 degrees year round (which is perfect for me).  The opening to this cave is huge.  I believe they said it was 25 feet high and around 125 feet wide.  We kind of felt like we were being swallowed when we walked into it.  When we got really deep into it Lamar (our tour guide) turned out all the lights to show the kids how dark it really gets.  They were amazed, and some were scared to death.  We were there about an hour, then headed out, and back into the rain, to eat lunch and have a lesson.  This week Brother Alex has been talking to the kids about the 12 disciples.  Tuesday he told them the stories of Peter, James, John, and Andrew.  All the kids know about Jesus' disciples, but Bro. Alex made them seem a little more tangible, telling about their lives, their families, and their deaths. 

Jackson, Isaac, and Kenzie waiting to go in the cave

Cave entrance

Lamar, our guide

On the inside, looking out

I don't know what these gals were looking for, but in this weather they must have been panning for gold!

Jackson and Max

Grace and Mia off to explore
     Mia missed camp today, but tomorrow they are going to the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.  We have taken Jackson here a few times, but she has never been.  When I was little I really wanted to be an astronaut, so I've always loved going there.  It's not nearly glitzy enough for Mia, and she's already grumbling a little, but I think she will love it when she gets there.  I wanted to go with them tomorrow, but Everett has his check up and immunizations (boo) in the morning.  I know it's good for the kids to be without me sometimes too.  On a side note, I think I may submit the title of this post to Wheel of Fortune for a "Before and After".  Watch for it!

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