Sunday, December 30, 2007

Rock tumbling!

More proof that our kids are nerds like us, ha ha ! Joshua has wanted a rock tumbler now for nearly 2 years. He has a rock collection and since we are always down at the river there are many rocks to be found. Sometimes they are nice and sometimes not so nice but we always tell him that "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" in terms that he can understand. He wanted to be able to see what his rocks would look like all polished up so this year for Christmas we got him the rock tumbler. I thought of this post by Gwen's sis, Shannon from way back in the year. It is definitely long but worth the read.

Many a time Joshua has come to me and asked, "Can I please have a rock polisher to polish my collection, Mom?" And I have said, "It is almost your birthday/Christmas Joshua, maybe you will get it then, but we don't have the money right now." As these two years have passed I have felt more and more urgency to get the polisher. And after reading Shannon's blog entry and the scripture

Proverbs 13:12 - Hope defered makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

I remember wanting a few special things when I was a child and my mom, against her better judgement finally gave in to one thing. It was a special growing doll. It was so cool on the commercials and I begged and begged. My mom kept telling me, it probably doesn't work as well as it seems. But I didn't believe her. I just knew that it would actually go from a 6 month old to a 3 year old in seconds! It showed it as if you pushed a button and all this transformation took place. So, for Christmas, my mom did it. I was so happy! You can't imagine how much I figured it would never be under the tree and then, there it was! She was so pretty, that little doll.

When I got it out of the package I noticed it was a crank that you turn and the transformation should take place. So I did it. From a six month old, with a tremendous amount of hair, who looked as if she should have been 3 years old, to pretty much the exact same doll, add an inch (just a small enough amount that you could use the same clothes) and some teeth came in. I didn't want my mom to say "I told you so!" Which she never would have really done. I acted as if it was everything I ever wanted. I took that doll to my room with the worst feeling in my gut. I had really wasted the gift that could have been something great. I started thinking about all the other things I could have asked for or the things that my mom might have just got me if I didn't push so hard and they would have been so much better. What a disappointment. I should have known!

Probably one of the best things my mom ever did for me was buy me that doll. It taught me so many things. Mostly, that when people buy something for us it is not because we necessarily wanted or even needed it but because they wanted to give it to us. My mom wanted to give a gift to me but she would have much preferred something else. I was not so quick to choose my own gifts after that. And more grateful for the things I got. I also learned not to believe everything you hear and see. And much more lessons were learned. But, although it wasn't ideal, I did play with that doll for years and kept it for Annabelle, also. She was pretty. No harm in the big scheme of things but I never wanted my kids to choose something that would be like that.

With that memory in my mind, fresh as if it were only last year that it happened, I went into the Teaching Tools store. I find the service is wonderful and when the owner approached me about any help, I was still looking around for the rock tumbler which I had seen in November and was so scared they had sold out of while we waited for the cash to purchase it. She helped me find it. It was the last one. What a relief! I asked her everything I could think of. Return policy, customer complaints or comments, does it really actually work? All that kind of stuff and she openly told me to the best of her knowledge. She said that none had come back. One man did say that it worked "okay" but that that was the only somewhat negative thing she had ever heard of it. She said that of course if a person wanted the rocks perfect, they should possibly pay more and get a really great quality one but that this should be awesome for a kid to polish his rock collection. I made sure that if we were really disappointed we could bring it back and she said yes. So, on I went to the till. Excitedly I wrapped it up at home and Christmas morning, Joshua was more than happy. He even came to me just after lunch and looked me in the eyes and said, "Thank you so much for the rock tumbler, Mom!" And off he went to play. It was enough to know that we had made the right decision.

So, we have been waiting since Christmas for Adam to have a day off work so that we could start the tumbling process and tonight was the night. But, Adam got called in to work till 10pm. Joshua was looking forward to it though so I told him that we would still start tonight as I had promised.

After opening his gifts Christmas day. What a handsome boy we have!
Bad lighting, but this is the polisher, freshly out of the box.
The tumbling chamber.
Inside it
Joshua, checking it all out.
The rocks that the tumbler came with that we decided to try first. They look beautiful just like this, imagine after they are polished!
Rock pictures, before they are rinsed.

Joshua's favourite rock in the bunch, before and we will see what he thinks after.
Rinsing the rocks in a bowl. Yes, I know it is almost time to get the dishes done!
And then I figured the strainer would work better so here he is again, rinsing away.
All rinsed

Filling the chamber with rock. About 8 ounces is what you are supposed to use.
The favourite, rinsed.
In the chamber.
Adding the sand.
Ready for water
Adding the water.
Into the tumbler.
Locking it up
Ready to go.
On something soft so it is not as noisy
And starting the process. This first step takes 2-4 days. The whole process takes 2-4 weeks. I will take pics of each step as we go and you all can follow the life of the rocks. So, I will know soon enough if we made a great choice in getting this for Joshua, but already he is enjoying it immensely!
to be continued...
God bless you all as you celebrate 2008 tomorrow!


Andrew Brown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gwen said...

This is great! I've never even heard of a rock tumbler before, so I will be watching your posts with great interest!

Mrs. Wilson said...

You know, that actually looks like fun!

Sharon said...

Cool!!! M ydad has a big huge rock tumbler. It's awesome. He used it to polish somse rocks he got from the Queen Charlette's. Very nice. Just one question. Where's the pics of Joel's guitar?? I see the awesome doll house that you bought Annabelle and the rock tumbler.. did Joel get a guitar??? :) Happy New year bu the way!! :)

Virginia said...

Very cool!! It looks like fun actually. I am glad to see Joshua is enjoying it so much. I can't wait to see the finished product!!

Jenny said...

I think I am the nerd because I learned from you what a rock tumbler is. They look pretty cool, I think my boys would love one!!
Keep us posted!!
Happy New Year!!!

Charlene said...

I am so glad to see there are still people checking our blog after we so neglected it for a while!

Andrew: I knew you or Adam would be so cool to want one of these! haha. I always wanted sea monkeys, too. What a weird craze hey? Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Gwen and Jenny: I actually didn't know about them either until Adam was talking to Joshua about them. Pretty great thing though! I am very interested in seeing the process. Should be a fun thing to see!

Jen: I was actually surprized at how much Joshua was having a blast doing all the little steps, too. It is fun for mama too.

Sharron: That would be neat to see. I am hoping this one works well for the small rocks anyway. And I didn't forget Joel's picture with his guitar, just only so much time each day. Happy new year!

Virgie: I am so excited. I think it will be a major let down though if it doesn't work quite well. We shall see.

Christy said...

So cool Char! I love this post and I can't wait to see the finished product!