Thursday, April 1, 2010

Field Trip - Rocky Study

A few weekends ago ( yikes, it's been 2 weeks since I posted!) We took a day and headed out on a family field trip.

We visited the Gem Stone caves in Idar -Oberstein and then went digging for precious stones! It was such a fun and WARM day! Its located about 40 min outside of our area. So if you live in the area, make sure you is great for ALL ages. =)

The walk from the parking lot to the caves is about a 10 min walk... coming back it's all up hill =) phew!

We arrived at 11, and were the only ones there. =) But the "tour" didn't start till 11:00 ( check online for tour times beforehand) so we brought our lunch and hung out....

And the tour begins! I should say our own private tour.. he he he...
The tour is in german, but the guide spoke pretty good english and gave me a script to read aloud every few minutes... (psst. have your kiddos bring a flashlight... it will be cool for them! )

Also if you think to bring a water bottle, you can fill up from the natural spring that is inside.. full of minerals.. yum!!!
It's amazing to think of all the hard work that went into mining... The tour was fantastic for what it was... they incorporated video of miners in past as well, the kids really enjoyed it. KT was scared of the dark but she was fine after a bit. It took us about 30 min to go through, and at the end they have an exhibit of old tools, and many stones that have been found in that cave.

old tools

And here, our lovely Tour Guide...=) She was so sweet, she let the kids use her flashlight, and then at the end gave them a fancy stone.
Afterwards, we hoofed it back to the van, then drove to Historical Agate Hill for our next adventure, and the kids most favorite part of our day!
We weren't sure what to expect. We did have to make a reservation, again we were the only folks out that day.. The owner spent the whole time with us, and helping the kids find rocks... you get 2 hours to dig , and they suggest you bring a pail, which we did, but they had bags ready for the kids just in case. They also provided the shovels and sifter. you can read all about it for more information in English here.

And let me tell you, these kiddos had to dig dig dig!! It wasn't easy... =) Although the owner kept dropping them right in front of KT to "help" her out a bit. Germans love the kinders.
yep, even the poocher got to hang out with us for the day!

when we finished digging, we got up to leave, and the man said no no no, and then took the kids over to sand their rocks down, and then polish them, and then wash them! A great learning process...
and with our family being the only ones there, it was so relaxing, and the kids were able to take their time... I was so greatful for that.
Here they are using an old Geode Cracker. =)

Another cool part of the day!
Danke Mr. German Man for a great hunt!

When you are all done you can look at the chart and see what stones you got, and what parts of the world they came from.

Idar -Oberstein has so much to offer! Make a whole day of it, and visit the church in the Rock, and for more Gemstone fun visit the Gemstone museum, and the Idar oberstein museum ...and there is always the Castle. =0) Bring Euros... there are also tons of places to stop and shop for precious stones, jewelry etc.. we did find that the kids had found so many rocks, we didn't need to buy any! They had such a variety. =)
This past week Daddy and I went to Venice Italy for 4 days. The Grandparents kept the kids, and it was a great trip. We also finished some lapbooking, I hope to post on soon. I am working on next years curriculum and wish I could do them all! =) So in my spare time, I have been doing more researching and I also just finished a book called Homeschooling with a meek & quiet spirit by Teri Maxwell. What? A meek and QUIET spirit? yep... the Lord knows what we need doesn't he? =) I wish I would have had this book a long time ago. It really helped me put things into perspective . This week, I started reading Season's of a Mother's Heart , by Sally Clarkson.. I would love to hear what you are reading..Any Suggestions?
I love adding books to my nightstand.....
May the Lord Bless you This week, as we remember all He has done for us..

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