Friday, August 31, 2012

Day #5

Day #5 - An Organic Farm

Yesterday I learned of a local Organic Farm that gives tours on Fridays.  Thus, our outing for the day was planned.  For me personally, out of all the places we've visited, this has been my favorite!

The farm is run by a family of six.  The dad and two of the kids gave us our tour.  We started out with the goats.

These goats are milked each day.

This hen just flew right up there, above the goats that were eating.  Since they're free-range chickens, eggs can be found all over the farm.

This chick is about 1 1/2 weeks old.

The chickens coming out of their coop to roam for the day.

The boys took their time observing.

Gummi with a double yolker.

A basketful of eggs the kids collected.
Baby bunnies which I was pretty certain Sweet Pea was going to squeeze to death.

Here come the sheep and turkeys.

The orchard - at least 3 varieties of apples, along with pears and apricots.

The pumpkin patch, which unfortunately was hit with a hail storm a little over a week ago.  They still look big, bright and orange.

The root cellar.  Here is where they keep all of their canned goods and, of course, their root vegetables.

Despite all of the animals we saw today, the kitties were still the most coveted among the little ones.

After our tour, we visited the family's market.  For some reason, I have no pictures of this.  I suppose it may have a little something to do with me eating fresh baked molasses cookies, or sampling the homemade brownies, or devouring the "still warm from the oven" wheat, orange & raisin bread.  I came home with homemade soap, some herbal remedies, and bread.  The kids came home with a better understanding of where our food comes from - a priceless lesson that we should all be reminded of and grateful for, every single day.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Day #4

Day #4 - Beads & BINGO

Today we decided to stay home and get creative.  We have an assortment of beads and although we craft with them from time to time, they hardly seem to diminish.  I found this idea on-line, and if I must say, I was quite impressed with the results.

Everyone had their own cookie sheet and their own bowl of beads

We have a nice assortment of coasters, sun-catchers and ornaments.

Wanting to include Monkey Toes in some of our "playtime", we decided to have a family BINGO night.  To shake things up, we had the winners choose their prizes from our Chore Tote.  The kids were thrilled that they could "win" their items back tonight, instead of doing a chore as we normally expect them to.  It was a loud and silly night.
Everyone had a chance to yell out, "BINGO" (I'm not pointing any fingers, but I think the game was rigged a few times!)  We played until all the tote items were claimed.

And then, we heard a sound that we find completely enchanting when we're out in the wilderness, but completely annoying when inside of our home; a lone cricket was chirping within our walls.

So to end our evening, Monkey toes and the kids went on a cricket hunt.  We think it expired, but time will tell when we're all snuggled in our beds tonight and the lights turned out. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day #3

Day #3 - Conservation Park

Today we headed out to the Conservation Park.  After we visited with the animals a short while, we  brought out a loaf of bread and fed the ducks, geese, and turkeys.

Gummi wasted no time in befriending these birds.

The little ones were a little hesitant at first, but soon they fed the birds like pros.  That is until one of the ducks nibbled at one of Pumpkins fingers.  Pumpkin repeated that, "the birdie took my finger!"

Grandma joined us on this outing.

The turkey finally came over to the fence.

This picture courtesy of Gummi.

We had heard that deer also lived at this conservation.  We didn't see any, which disappointed Honey.  But alas, as we were driving away. . .

they decided to pay a visit.  We didn't have any bread left to share, but upon seeing them, cheers erupted throughout the vehicle.

Our next stop was at the playground, where we shared in a picnic and enjoyed playing on the equipment.

We are back home now, having some quiet time (mama needs a rest!).  Tonight is our school's Open House, which the oldest 4 will be attending.  A lump just formed in my throat as I typed that last sentence.  Emotional breakdown to be continued. . .

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Day #2

Day #2 - The Zoo
The zoo is where we found ourselves today.  I honestly didn't know what our plan was for the day.  At 9:45 AM I yelled out, "everyone get your socks and shoes on.  We're going to the zoo!"  The reaction was mostly disbelief.  The little ones jumped up and down, which I found quite funny since they have never been to an actual zoo. 

This was one of the only pictures with Sweet Potato in it.  He was in charge of the map today and it consumed much of his attention and caused him to often lag behind the group.

Pumpkin was convinced she needed this floaty to take home with her.  It happened to be in the Tiger's den.

As we were leaving, we passed by the Carousel and Cucumber asked if we could ride it.  We had such a great day all together and I wanted to treat them to this one ride. 

As we boarded the carousel, the girls ran to the horses of their choice.  The boys were hesitant.  They selected the bench (is that what you call it?)  Honey was looking a bit sick - similar to his Tilt-A-Whirl experience.  I asked if he was feeling o.k. 

Honey Bunches:  I feel fine.  I'm just nervous since this thing doesn't have a seat belt or safety bar.

Me:  Honey, this ride doesn't go that fast.

Sweet Potato:  There's no way I'm getting on one of those tall horses.  I can't believe you're letting Pumpkin up there all by herself.

Me:  I'm going to stand by her.  I'll stand by you too if you'd like.

Sweet Potato:  No way.

The ride began.  I'm standing next to Pumpkin, making sure she doesn't slide off her horse.  Pumpkin starts  yelling, "Giddyup horsey!  Giddyup! Faster, faster!"  I look behind to where the boys are sitting and they're white knuckling the bench in front of them. 

When we came to a stop, these two actually had smiles on their faces.  They claim that the next time we go to the zoo, they'll for sure ride one of the horses.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Day #1

Day number one of the last full week of summer vacation has come to a close.  I have challenged myself to do something special with and/or for the kids each day until school begins.  They have no idea what we'll be doing each day (I haven't figured it all out yet), so each morning will hold a surprise for us all.

Day #1 - Hiking
Once we were ready for our day, we loaded up the van and drove to a local county park.  I had brought along a backpack filled with water and snacks.  The kids didn't know what we were doing until we arrived.  I announced that Honey Bunches was in charge of the map.  Before we even began on the trail, Sweet Potato grabbed the map out of Honey's hands, to which Honey punched him in the arm.  Luckily the dispute was settled swiftly and onward we journeyed.

The most amazing thing happened as we began our hike.  The kids were quiet.  I mean, they were taking in all the sites and sounds with very little commentary. 

Cucumber spotted these berries from afar

A hollowed out tree

Gummi Bear closely examined this insect eaten plant

We hiked approximately 2 miles, which I thought was pretty good, especially for Sweet Pea and Pumpkin.  Besides being in nature, my favorite part was the walk through a field to get back to our van.  Honey Bunches grabbed Pumpkin's hand and held it all the way to the end.

The kids were proud of themselves for making this trek.  I was proud of them too.

Upon our return home, they all played a game together while I prepared lunch.  The older ones were very patient with the little ones, as everyone scrunched in to see.

This harmony didn't last all day, but I treasured it while we had it!  They begged to know what we will be doing tomorrow.  I have a few ideas, but I'll just wait and see where the wind will blow.