Monday, October 24, 2011

Cracker Country

Friday we took a field to Cracker Country
Cracker Country is an outdoor living history museum at the state fair grounds.  When we walked through the gate we stepped back into the year 1898. 
The kids had so much fun learning about life in Florida during the pioneer time period.  We took a guided tour of the museum and in addition to learn lots of interesting information, the children also got to participate in some hands-on activities.  They got to help make a rope, wash clothes on a washboard, learn about how a train depot operates and go shopping in the general store.  Emma Jane and Libby each bought a bag of marbles and John got a wooden train toy. 

They also got to make candles,

learn how to make butter,

and experience a one room school house. 

Here is John hard at work "writing" his name on his slate.

 All of the boys sat on one side of the room and the girls sat on the other side and when the children lined up to go outside the girls always went first!   

There was a lot about the simpler life we experienced at Cracker Country that was appealing to me.  There were also aspects of my modern life that I appreciate even more now.
Such as my washing machine, indoor plumbing, electricity, air conditioning, my king sized bed...

Yeah, two fully grown adults slept on this thing! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apples, from tree to table

Just a week ago, my kids were frolicking in this beautiful orchard,

picking fresh,

 picture-perfect apples! 

 Since Emma Jane is learning letter A this week, so we just had to continue the apple fun by making applesauce!

The girls did the peeling themselves.

   And they managed only one small injury!

 Emma Jane helped me man the stove as the apples cooked.  She only almost grabbed the hot pan once!  (Teaching them to cook is going to take years off my life!)

 John didn't help with the preparation, but he was all over the finished product!

Poor Ryan was really bummed when he heard how good it was.  
He hates to miss out on something tasty! :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Little Turkey and a Spanish lesson

One of the highlights of our day in Boston was visiting the Boston Children's Museum.  It is three floors full of hands on fun specifically geared for the kiddos.  And the best part, on Friday nights starting at 5:30, admission is only $1!!

The kids had so much fun!

While we were there, we ran into a couple of college students that were that were participating in a study on children and emotions.  One of them asked if John could sit a play a game with them.  He seemed interested, so we sat down and the college student (whose name I don't remember so we are going to call her Mary) explained the game to John. 

Basically, John had a piece of paper in front of him with a black square and a white square on it.  Mary showed him a little picture of a stick figure and said, "This is Mr. Stickman and when he feels happy he goes over here on this white square.  But when he feels bad, he goes over here on the black square."  And she showed him how to do it.  Easy enough.

And John cooperated the first two times Mary asked him to show her where to put Mr. Stickman.  And then he decided to shake things up a bit.

Mary said, "John Mr. Stickman feels happy.  Show me where Mr. Stickman goes when he feels happy."

John gave a devilish little laugh and said, "Nooo.  He feels too bad!"  And then John put Mr. Stickman on the black square.  Mary corrected him and then said, "John, now Mr. Stickman feels bad.  Where does he go when he feels bad?"  To which my contrary son replied, "He not so bad!"  And then John placed Mr. Stickman on the white square.

John continued to do the opposite of what Mary asked, laughing all the while, for several more rounds before saying, "All done" and hopping down.

Mary smiled at me and said "He is just too smart for me!  And so verbal for his age!"

I think that is research study-ese for "Your son is a total smart a55 and he just spent 5 minutes screwing with me. Thanks!"

He is quite a little turkey.  But so cute!

After leaving the Museum, we took the subway back to the Prudential Center.  Libby was super pumped about riding the "underground train."  I think she was expecting something along the lines of Space Mountain.  Needless to say, she was sorely disappointed! 

A few days later, she was still reeling from her disillusionment.  She said to me, "They really should call that underground train dirty, unfun, smells bad, trash cans everywhere stupid train!" 
I stifled a laugh and said, "Yeah, but for short most people just call it the subway."
She thought about that for a moment and then said, "Mommy, is subway Spanish for dirty, underground train."

I said yes.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sermon Notes of a six-year-old

Tonight at church, Libby grabbed a piece of paper and started "taking notes."  Seeing as she is 6, her method of note taking was to simply write down random words and phrases she heard the pastor say.  At the end of the service, her paper said:

Pastor Kens sister
like a bodl (bottle)
isent (isn't) that werd (weird)

I seriously almost wet myself trying not to laugh!  

Thankfully I managed not to pee my pants (which is harder than you might think after giving birth three times!) and just gave her a kiss and told her I was so proud of her for paying such close attention.

I just love that kid!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Make Way For Snellings

Ok so I know it has been a million years since I posted anything on this blog.  And it is entirely possible (and probable) that no one other than my mother is actually even interested in what I have to say anymore.  (And even she isn't really interested in what I say...she just wants pictures of the grand kids!)
But even so, I have too many cute pictures of our trip to New Hampshire not to blog about it, so Mom, this is for you!

We just returned from our annual trip to experience all things Fall in New Hampshire.  We packed as much New England fun into 5 days as humanly possible, including apple picking, mountain climbing and leaf collecting.  (Blog posts about all of those topics to come!)

We also drove the hour south and spent a day in my new favorite city:

If you have never been to Boston, you have to add it to your bucket list!  We had the most fun day there!  There is something for everyone: history, culture, great food, a wonderful children's museum, and we were able to walk everywhere (which helped counter the awesome food)
I absolutely LOVE Boston!  I was dreaming up ways to convince Brad that we should move to Boston, when something happened to change my mind.

You see, while I love Boston the city, Bostonians
Not so much.

Now, I don't say this to offend any readers that might be from Boston or the surrounding areas, but seriously...why are Massachusetts people (and by people I mean drivers) so angry? 

There was just so, so much honking!
Like the woman who honked at me and Emma Jane as we crossed Beacon Street.  (With 4 seconds left on the crosswalk timer, I might add!)  I mean, did it make her feel good to give the finger to a four year old?  Did having to wait that four seconds to make her turn really ruin her day so much?  What exactly is the point of honking at a pedestrian already halfway across the street? 


  EJ and I were far too excited about this place to let anything get us down! 

What trip to Boston would be complete without paying a visit to Mr and Mrs Mallard and Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack!
 (I could not convince the kids to get off the ducks long enough for me to take a picture of the sculpture!)

In fact John took a turn sitting on each of the ducklings.  Here he is teaching Lack the ABCs.

We even discovered the "real" Mr and Mrs Mallard in the pond. 
Unfortunately, there were no ducklings to be seen.  Emma Jane was especially distraught by their absence.  I tried to explain to her that ducklings are born in the spring and that the ducklings had simply grown up, but she just kept repeating "But they are supposed to be babies!  They are babies in the book!"

I didn't even bother pointing out that the book was written 60 years ago and any actual ducks that may have served as inspiration have long since gone to duckie heaven. 

John was not concerned by the missing ducklings.  Her wasn't really interested in the ducks at all.  He preferred chasing pigeons (which he kept calling ducks) and squirrels. 

Now John is a seasoned squirrel chaser and he thinks it is really funny when they scamper up the trees away from him.  He was not prepared for the somewhat tame Public Garden squirrels that are probably used to being fed by humans.

I have never seen my boy turn and run so fast as he did when that squirrel started to chase him back! (heehee!)

Squirrels, pigeons, ducks.
We had fun with them all. 

Thank you, Robert McCloskey!
We are all children again in the Public Garden.