National Cornbread Cook-off 4-H Style

We were at the festival early in the morning to explore and settle in. We visited the lodge store and bought some new skillets and other items. When the festival opened we went and saw a cool corn grinding demonstration.

We walked back to the car, which was parked by the Lodge Store, and took the tour again before grabbing all of Emmerson’s stuff for the contest and heading over to where he would cook. E got some really cool swag for being in the contest. We goofed around to try to keep him from stressing out. He was super nervous. E got to get up on the stage and get up his station. The contest got started with some photos and introductions. E makes his heart out. He struggled with oven temperature and the fact that everyone else finished before him but he got through it. He did great! We were all super proud of him.

National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, TN

Emmerson competes tomorrow but today we got to play at the festival. I loved the giant Mayfield cow! South Pittsburg is a small town with all the flare you would expect. The local theater changed their marque to support the festival. All the high schoolers volunteer at the festival. It was quite amazing and well orchestrated. We stopped at the photo booth for some silly photos! We waited in line at Cornbread Alley. For $5 you get a lot of samples of cornbread. Then you vote for your favorite with money. Each participant is a charity and they keep all the money from votes for them! We didn’t really enjoy many of the cornbreads from the alley but some were yummy. We won little prizes at the Lodge Cast Iron booth and the Cracker Barrel booth. We got “Dieters skillets” they are super small for people on a diet! haha There was a kids corner with lots of arts and crafts and other entertainment. We took silly photos and made fun crafts. We were able to take the tour at the Lodge Cast Iron Foundry. It was amazing! The building was HUGE. We followed the assembly line through all the steps in making the cast iron items. We walked through a few times to get the full experience. They recycle all the scraps! Some of the products that they are making this year. It was really spectacular to see the skillets on the line. The line was shut down for the weekend so the tours can come through. This is the only time they do tours!

After our tour we decided to head to Russel Cave NHS to explore the National Park Services site. We learned about ancient hunting using an atlatl. We worked on our junior ranger books and explored the cave. The ranger made us do silly dances to earn our badges! We had to balance on one foot, flap like a bird and then hop around. We all had a blast!

A Trip to Tennessee

We drove up to Tennessee in Luna to attend the National Cornbread Festival for Emmerson. He was selected as a finalist in the 4-H cornbread cook-off. We stayed at Raccoon Mountain RV park. We had a wonderful time in the cooler temperatures. Friday we signed up for a wild caving tour, called the Echo Tour. We donned our yucky clothes and planned to get muddy. We had to crawl through some tight places, slide down walls and even swim through a little river! Dad about to go under water to the next room. Mom went through on her back so her front was mostly dry. This is Emmerson before a slight meltdown. He didn’t want to get cold. Before I got really dirty.Going through the hole. Boy was that cold! Dad coming out a different squeeze. Don’t fall down the hole! Filthy, exhausted and HAPPY! We survived 3.5 hours of wild caving! No-one is permanently broken, just a little bruised.

Tree Planting, Chemistry and COOKIES

Our 4-H Club, Earth Explorers, participated in an Arbor Day tree planning at the Seminole Recreation Center. We helped to plant a tree. The previous tree was damaged by Hurricane Irma last fall. We were amazed with all the city staff and politicians that showed up for the event.

I am chugging along in my honors chem class. I love the labs a lot. I really enjoy the hands on part of science. We also took a trip over to Disney Springs to visit the Polite Pig for an early dinner. We got some of the 4pm chocolate chip cookies. Boy were they HUGE and delicious!

Earth Day at Honeymoon Island

We went to Honeymoon Island to celebrate Earth Day today. We started with a new early hours on the quiet beach.
Emmerson and I had a great morning of critter catching. It was right after a storm but the water was oddly calm, so no boogie boards today!  I caught a beautiful yellow lined arrow crab. We found all sorts of urchins, fish, shrimp and even a pipe fish. Around 11am we headed over to check out the Earth Day celebrations. We enjoyed seeing all the marine tables and learning more about the ocean and its creatures. I rocked Marine Jeopardy! We had fun doing some crafts. It got super sunny and hot out so we packed up and headed home to cool off out of the sunshine.