Thursday, October 29, 2009

Time Travel -- Pioneers!

I introduced a new discipline into the school room today: history.

Our first attempt at discovering history began with a discussion of pioneers at the breakfast table. I think I tried to oversimplify what a pioneer was to Mr. Smackdown.

Me: Mr. Smackdown, do you know what a pioneer is?

Smackdown: No.

Me: They are people that lived a long time ago—before there were cars and electricity.

Smackdown: Before houses?

Me: No, they had houses. These people just lived before there were lights and electricity and cars.

Smackdown: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t understand how they had houses, then.

Me: OK. Let’s go visit the pioneers.

We stepped into a Time Machine called the Loser Cruiser and arrived at a little pioneer village called Conner Prairie. I think I may be setting myself up for disappointment from here on out. I won’t be able to make history come alive quite like this.

Umm . . . . God, can you reenact the parting of the Red Sea, please. I want the boys to really visualize this enormous undertaking that you accomplished for the Israelites.

We met Nickle and her children at stated location early late, which is to be expected with anyone with three children. But I knew that my two future daughters-in-law wouldn’t mind.

And so begins our field trip . . .

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The sheep was oblivious to our attempts to arouse it from its midmorning rest time. However, other animals roamed freely for the children to terrorize pet gently aggressively.

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Did you know that a cow isn’t a cow until she has hadConner Prairie 005 a calf?

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Mr. Smackdown’s future wife is making a candle for their cabin. It takes something like 45 dunks to make a candle thick enough to be considered useful to bring light to a dark place.

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I am thankful that we don’t have to make our own nails. The anvil reminded me of how God can sometimes heat things up a bit in our lives, molds us, and makes us more like Him.

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Mr. Smiley just took it all in. From his vantage point he could see much. Next year he will be able to walk Conner Prairie.

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I sometimes find myself moaning at the amount of time I spend in the kitchen attempting to make wholesome and nutrient dense foods. It takes a lot of time and work. However, after walking into a typical pioneer’s kitchen, my complaining has stopped for this week. Not only to they lack a VitaMix and running water, but they would have to work at keeping the baby out of the fire!

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I love this table. Simple. You should see what my kitchen table looks like presently.

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Seeing these kids play together is so much fun. There is never a dull or quiet moment. Expect giggles, climbing, pushing, exploring and enjoying each other.

Also note that Mr. Me-Too is sitting beside his future wife in the pink, they just don’t know it yet.

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I love how Mr. Me-Too is drawn to animals. He is longingly looking at the heifer (or steer or cow . . . but I didn’t look underneath the animal, nor did I ask the animal on 4 legs if he/she had had a calf) who is lazily ignoring him. If there is an animal around, you can bet that Mr. Me-Too will be stroking the beast, chasing it, or snuggled up next to it.

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Sometimes I really think that animals have it made. It appears that domesticated animals get to sit and relax a lot. Granted I really wouldn’t want my udders manhandled by someone other than my offspring, or my hair shaved without my written consent, or visit the man with the large knife . . . .

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This was the boys first time to play tug-o-war. It brought out a bit of fierceness in them. Hottie Hubby will be proud.

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At this point, Mr. Smiley started signing “Night-Night.”

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Good job, God. Thanks for a beautiful day, fun with friends, and electricity. Thanks for flexibility, forgiveness, and grace.

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Night night, Mr. Smiley!


Michelle said...

All of your photos are stunning, but that orange tree ~ wow! Awesome field trip and loved your play by play. *Ü*

Kari @ p.s. said...

Gorgeous pictures. Cool place for learning. Love the animal photos. We have a pioneer museum here in town and they have the live actors and it's so fun to have them take you around and show you life in that day. Makes me grateful for so much that I seem to take for granted daily :o)

Mindy said...

We live relatively close to Nauvoo, IL. Our church has all kind of opportunities to see how the pioneers lived and fun activities for kids. I look forward to continuing to bring my kids there as they get older. This looks like such a great day for your kids!