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Saturday, August 27, 2011

playing pioneer

so we've been gone for a little while.  yep, we packed up the van, loaded up the kids and traveled across the country to visit my brother and his family.  and then got the pleasant addition of my baby brother flying in for the weekend to visit too!  it was amazing, but those details will come.  so let me start you at the beginning as we enjoyed being a family, traveling, and seeing, doing and experiencing all kinds of fun things.

for a little while now mia and i have been reading the little house series.  it was a series i loved when i was young.  the simplicity.  the focus on family.  the love of the Lord.  the being happy right where you are no matter where that is.  so we journeyed to laura's little house on the prairie...and it was amazing!!

we arrived in the morning and we got to see what the claim shanty looked like.  what the house that pa built looked like. and we got to see the dugout where their adventure on the prairie began {well, okay so it was not the actual dugout but trust me it was a dugout and you truly understood how little it was and how simple life was}

the kids got to lie on the beds and realize that the mattresses were truly made out of hay.  to see what the quilts looked like and how thin they were compared to our thick comfy ones.  ma's red checkered table cloth was on the table.  the stove was there.  the house had a pump organ the kids could play on and a sewing machine {without the needle} to explore.

there was a water pump outside where water had to come from.  each of the kids got a turn pumping the well and feeling the cold, clear water that poured forth from their efforts.  the water was so inviting that little sips had to be taken and gulped by all to help with the heat of our prairie day.  and we realized that we are so blessed to be able to simply turn on the water anytime we want it.  how blessed we are that we don't have to walk to a well, to pump the water, to carry it home. {ok, yes, we are going to africa and this will likely be part of our life but running water is still a privilege}  how blessed we really are.
we also got to try our hand at laundry.  yep, hand washing it with the washboard and hanging laundry on the line and old fashioned clothespins and such amazing simplicity. 

then we headed to the barns.  we got to see the calf, the cats, the horses, the ponies.  we were allowed to touch and play on everything.  we could barely get the kids to do anything else for the rest of the day.  they were in heaven running around the barn, playing upstairs and being with the animals. 

eli and daddy tried to lead one of the ponies.  he didn't seem too interested.  so eli opted to ride instead.  this little pony was quite happy to wander around the prairie with eli in tow and nibble on grass.  the animals were so great with the kids.  they were gentle and tolerant and even ethan got a chance to ride and sit and get comfortable and take as long as he wanted.  it was such a wonderful experience for all of them.

the kids got to drive a small cart pulled by the ponies as well.  they loved it.  they took turns and sat patiently waiting while the worker taught them how or drove a little himself.  but the little moments were the best and so happy that we caught some of them. 

the pictures abound from our day and it was hard to pick which ones to put here but i had to include this one from the barns.  it was simply one of my favorites.

after the barns we headed out to the covered wagons and a trip to the school house.  yep, we went to school.  mia got a chance to drive the wagon on our way to school.  yep, the reins were handed over and way she went.  when we got to the school the kids got to dress up a little and listen to the differences between a one-room school house and school today.  mia got to recite some lessons and everyone got a chance to ring the school bell.
asher got a chance to take the reins on the way home.  he loved it and was having a great time "steering" the wagon and truly driving us back to the barns. 

then we got to do some demonstrations including making rope {picture below},  grinding flour the way mary had done in the coffee grinder all that long winter, and making corn husks dolls like laura had since they could not afford any other dolls for her.
to end our night - we all slept in a covered wagon.  oh yes, all six of us in a little covered wagon.  complete with a prairie storm.  not so much rain but plenty of wind.  oh my!  it was an amazing start to our family trip and we all had a wonderful time.  simplicity really is amazing and needs a bigger place in for sure.

1 comment:

Adventures In Babywearing said...

These photos are magnificent!!