Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our Trip Back In Time

This past weekend we asked ourselves as a family if we could step into a time machine, when would we travel to? Surprisingly, it wasn't back to prehistoric ages, or even middle ages with the knights and was early America...late 1700s to 1800s. The above picture shows two books found in this years curriculum. We finished The Diary of an Early American Boy awhile ago, and just this Friday we finished the Bell book. So we decided to take a step back in time. (and we brought a precious little friend with us too). Join us as I walk you through this picture journal of our time travel.

Every year the Pioneer Art Settlement has a Country Jamboree. There are live reenactments, live music from over 150 musicians, animals, Florida Cracker food, and tons of demonstrations of Early American Living. We had the absolute best time!!
We even brought Shane's best friend Luca with us! That made it super special for all of us too. These two have been best buddies since they were in preschool together. We love this boy!

One of the first stops was watching this man whittle.  After Kyle read a Daniel's Duck a book about a boy who whittled a wooden duck, he has been wanting to learn!

The crazy bird houses made out of gourds and of course all kinds of homemade brooms. I could have had one made with different colors.
But who wants a broom, when you can have a nice toasty warm wool hat. That was my souvenir and I actually needed it..I was quite chilly!

Kyle got to explore a little bit of what a surveyor would work with. Oh and then there was this...
Sugar cane. That was an experience. In fact if you look carefully at all of the pictures, you will probably see Kyle who was very very bent on whittling that sugar cane down with his teeth. He gnawed on his almost the entire day. There was a huge vat of sugar can syrup/juice being boiled all day long. The smell was amazing.

We were quite impressed with the size of the veggies..

Animals were everywhere looking for a friend to pet them...look carefully, Kyle still has his sugar cane.

Love the log cabin. Seeing how the early Americans slept and lived. So beautiful in their simplicity. Actually Michael explained to the children that his first home in NJ was a log cabin in West Milford. True story.
We could dream about what it would have been like for us. Hardships, lots of very hard work, and other kinds of trials...but ahhh...just our little family..trying to make it in this new land.
I could totally see Shane splitting wood in the back yard while I do the laundry.

Here we are at the cow pit. Yes. We sat around and watched this man crack his whip and explain how the early settlers laid claim to the wild cattle. (Shane was thinking..this is why we love more chicken.) No. This was one of our favorite spots of the day. He explained a few theories on where Florida Cracker got its being the sound of the crack from the whip..(and boy it is very very loud!)

We got lessons in branding..we all branded wood with our initials. Then there was the marking of the pigs. So interesting...that is in fact (as Mr. Incredible shared with the group) where we got the term earmarking from. Such a smart husband I have.

Yes, here we are in front of one form of shelter...oh and there is Kyle--look how he peeled through that sugar cane. Fascinating. 

I just love these with the covered wagon..but the best was yet to come...

This was unbelievable. Candy Corn. No I'm serious..this corn was so incredibly tasted like candy. The line was crazy long to get your ear, but totally worth the wait! As you can see...

Kyle laid down his prized sugar cane...for some sweet corn.

Luca made corn eating seem like a cross between a sport and an art. Impressive!

Brendan loved the firehouse. It has been interesting to see how this system has changed over the past 100 years.

This was probably one of my favorites. We literally just read that book on Bell and communication the day before. Still fresh in their minds and here was this man, with a Morse Telegraph machine right here. Clicking out every one's name in dots and dashes. So fun to hear and watch. He made this whole concept come alive. I love the living classroom!
Our Pop was a radio operator in the army and knew a lot about the dots and dashes too.
Pop was also a wealth of information when it came to...

The US Postal Service. This was a blast as well. Just look at Shane's smile!

No DS games, or the Wii, or Saturday morning cartoons...nope..just homemade fun and games like this.

Now this seemed like something I could use in my home. For when my superheroes get a little out of hand. Sadly not for sale.

Ok..I said that the telegraph was my favorite part of the day, well, not really. This was...lots of very cute moments watching little boys build their friendship.

Is there ever an Engel outing that doesn't include ice cream? I don't think so. We waited until after lunch for this because..well because I'm a Mom and that is just the way I do things. I did not get any, but the boys all had pumpkin ice cream..and watched as it was made. They did share a taste..and it was amazing.

Lots and lots of music..and some very unique instruments. Here we were sitting a spell and listening to one of the many bands.

Here we are making our own music. Souvenirs - why must they be so loud? As we continued to walk around into the late afternoon, the boys would follow behind us and blow their little flutes...reminded me of the opposite of the Pied Piper...just give yourself a moment to think about that.

Ahh..hanging the laundry out to dry. If we didn't have so many trees and birds..I might consider more of that. But we had fun just being silly!

From the moment we walked into the settlement, Shane had his eye on this necklace. All the boys were allowed to get a souvenir (under $2). We know Kyle and Brendan chose flutes, Luca chose rock candy, and Shane really wanted this. It is a simple Timucuan Indian turtle symbol made of clay. (Found out today how easily this could be broken). He loved it and wore it out of the settlement with great pride. We ended our amazing day with a some barbecue.

Now back to reality, but with a little better perspective on making our lives a little more simple. There is something very comforting about simplicity..but that will be tomorrow's blog.

1 comment:

Allison Reynolds said...

Thanks for taking me to the settlement without taking me...loved it!