Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sawmill Days {Part 1}


What a busy month we've had! Between field trips and computer issues, blogging has been very difficult. Hopefully, I can make up for it over the next few days. :)

We started off the month by heading to Parkin Archaeological State Park for their annual Homeschool Sawmill Days. A big reason the Casqui Indian artifacts are so well preserved is due to the Northern Ohio Sawmill.

The mill employees occupied the Casqui site in the early 1900s and prevented the area from being farmed. During Sawmill Days, the park interpreters so the kids what like was like during that time.

We began the day by learning about what animals were hunted and trapped in order to feed the people and then moved to learning about food preservation.

The highlights of the morning were the making of corn husk dolls and attempting to saw a log using a cross cut saw.

Mary Claire and Henry didn't want to be left out of the experience but found themselves running alongside Ty and Griffin as they did the heavy work.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy 11th Birthday, Ty!

It's hard to believe that 11 years has passed since the Lord blessed us with our first born son!

Ty has always been big for his age, he started off at 8 lbs 10 oz and hasn't slowed down since.

I think one of his very first words was tractor and he has always loved everything John Deere.

He's always been very interested in how things work. This interest has gotten him in trouble on multiple occasions when objects were found taken apart and never quite went back the same way.

He's always had a dry sense of humor and can crack most jokes without a smile. He isn't nearly as serious as he often comes across.

Ty has an amazing ability to retain information. His ability to recall facts blows me away.

He has never had any interest in any endeavour that is remotely domestic. He might mix up some brownies for a competition but he prefers to leave the cooking to Sissy.

Lately, his little sisters and really warmed up to him. They know that he has a great lap for sitting and love for him to read them a story.

Ty is my muscle man. Whenever a Sam's trip is planned, Ty comes along and pushes the cart. He unloads the groceries and carries all the heavy items.

He's the leader of the pack with the boys. Unfortunately, his younger brothers often forget they aren't quite as old or big as Ty. That doesn't stop them from trying to be just like him.

Tyler has has an awesome ability to be his own person. I've often said that he has never been embarrassed. He does his own thing and if no one likes it, he isn't the least bit phased.


Ty is a wonderful son and a fantastic young man. He's growing, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. We are so thankful that the Lord chose us to be his parents.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Back in Time {Part 2}

The heat of the day and the activity of  the morning left some of us dragging by the afternoon. Since I don't look as cute as Mary Claire when I suck my thumb and take a nap on a picnic table, I refrained {this time}. :-) 
The younger kids loved washing clothes. This sweet lady fed the same clothing through the ringer over and over and let each child have multiple turns wringing the water out.  

They had such a good time that Nana and the older kids left them there to play while they visited a few of the other exhibits.  Too bad I can't get the same enthusiasm for laundry at home!

Next they visited the Post Office/Newsroom. We've never had a PO Box so the whole concept of going to town to get your mail is pretty foreign to us. The printing press always impressed the kids. They can't believe how big the plates are compared to how today's printers.

The man at the outhouse was very informative. He told us that the star symbol on the door meant it was for boys and the moon was for girls. If an outhouse had both, then both sexes could use it.

He also had a "fancy" bathtub that Mary Claire promptly hopped in and spread out for comfort.

It got a little crowded when "three men" joined her in the tub!

Libby doesn't get much from field trips but for the most part, she's happy to go along for the ride.

Our last stop before heading home was the exhibit on pioneer games. The older kids all had a turn shooting the sling shot. Some even managed to get their rock to go the right direction!

Hoops and sticks also provided a lot of enjoyment. Henry would just roll his hoop and chase it down.

The older boys enjoyed the challenge of rolling the hoops down the ramp on the porch. I don't think we have any champion hoop rollers in the making.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Back in Time {Part 1}

Things have gotten a bit busy around here. I've had a couple of posts ready and just never got them published.

A couple of weeks ago we visited Parker Homestead. It's a great "pioneer village" type place that opens in the fall. Several of our homeschool friends joined us and the kids were especially excited that Nana came along. They have big plans for her to attend all future field trips. ;-)

We started at the Rope Maker's stand. This is always a favorite for the kids. They always jump at the chance to make their own rope.

Sisal twine is looped through a jig. When the handle is turned each section of twine twists and they all three sections twist together. The Rope Maker rigged the stand so that it only takes three people (two keep the sections separate - one at each end, and the kids get to turn the handle) to make a rope instead of four. Before his rig, a fourth person had to keep the rope taught.

Liberty and Clara had a good time checking each other out. I was hopeful that Liberty would want some of Clara's independence for herself and start walking but 3-4 steps seems to be her maximum distance.

Next we visited the man that showed the kids how the cross cut saw worked. No one in our group got to try their hand at it but they enjoyed the demonstration just the same.

Next a man from the extension service talked to the kids about agriculture, specifically crops and how they are grown and harvested. Ty was renamed Jethro and served as an assistant. My country kids know their crops!

It was a very warm day and shade seemed elusive. Some of us couldn't get close enough to the medicine lady so we played in the trees.

I think some of these pictures may be gracing the walls of our home soon.

The covered bridge is another favorite place to visit. The kids really enjoyed Nana coming and dragged her all over the homestead.

During our lunch, Griffin and Lee put their ropes to good? use and played a game of tug of war.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Little Baker


Since the big kids we away for an afternoon, Mary Claire became my baking assistant. She helped me make a batch of cookies and proved to be an excellent stirrer. :-)

She became very possessive of the spoon and took great offensive if I so much as touched it. She was quick to tell me "my job!".  She made a fine assistant and eagerly awaits her next baking adventure.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Haulin' Scrap

A few weeks ago, Daddy and Unc purchased a farm equipment package from a somewhat local farmer's family. Part of their deal with the owners was that the mess would be cleaned up.

After spending a week moving the big pieces, Kent returned with the 5 older kids to get all the scrap metal. On two separate afternoons, the kids {once their schoolwork was complete} travelled with Kent to the farm and loaded metal.

Kent bragged on what a great help they were and how much time they saved him. The kids loaded the trailers to capacity and begged to go back again.

Because older sisters and brothers carrying heavy loads isn't the safest place for toddlers, the little girls and I stayed home. Thankfully, Madisyn took the camera along one day and captured some of the action. I think when she moves out of our home my camera will be one of the things she misses most!

There is a reason Ben has earned the nickname "Pig Pen". The boy could get filthy in a sterile room!