Do you remember the Winnie the Pooh story where it is a blustery day? That is what today brought to mind for me. I love that series of stories! Based on a Canadian bear that found itself in the UK no less.
So our day was a cool on – 9 cel – typical fall weather for this area except for the fact that less than a week ago we were faced with the heat of summer so we are rather un-used to it. But today was the free City owned attractions day so we bundled up for the weather (jeans, sweaters and a blanket for the baby) and off we went. Due to the fact that Nathan and Ada were still feeling under the weather we chose to head over to the pioneer museum – John Walter Museum. Sean met us there.
We managed to get there right at 10 when they were starting up, so we got to see preparations as well as the actual activities. We started off with a lovely lady in period clothing who had a bunch of traditional games for the kids to try – lawn snakes and ladders, bean bag toss… wooden blocks and a ring and stick toy among other things.
Trinity gave a wooden car a try from the safety and warmth of the stroller while her brothers tried out the wooden dominoes.
After a while the adults at least, started to feel a chill so we herded the boys over to one of the 3 houses. We actually started in the most recent of the 3 – John Walter and family’s final house build when he was at the height of his fortune (not too long after there was a major flood in the valley that wiped him out financially and he never truly recouped before his death 5 yrs later. Though his family lives on and does quite well!).
This house was gorgeous and had been restored (out of necessity multiple times as years back vandals through burning logs through the back half and destroyed a large portion of the house and some of the artefacts there in!), though the upper floor was not done up in period as it is used for events. Apparently towards the end of her lift Mrs. Walters had her bedroom in the downstairs level.
The stairs leading to the upper floor were narrow but gorgeous… the entire home had lovely wood borders and doorways! A definite favourite for Ken.
The wood burning stove in this house was also the fanciest of the 3 and put off a marvellous amount of heat. And the smell… mmm I love the smell of a wood burning stove!
The pantry was lovely – I so wish I had something like that here in my own home, a whole room off the kitchen and the sitting room – I LOVE the couch!
Our next stop was the middle house… built when John Walter got married and began his family (he had 2 sons). This house had a VERY low ceiling to its stairway! Apparently Mr. and Mrs. Walter were not tall in stature and he had built his house himself to suit! One of the guides there told us that he so loved the spot his original house was in that when he married and needed more room for the family he simply MOVED the other house over to build this one! What an endeavour! Of course build with his own lumber and the likes which is how he made a lot of his fortune!
In this second house the upstairs was made up in the original rooms. Small but quite a few!
And in the lower level in the kitchen was another guide baking COOKIES! We got there in time to watch her set up and get started on her first batch of oatmeal raison that she of course asked the boys to help with! First was measuring the things you could easily do with a spoon.
Dealing with the butter…
And then washing hand in the freshly pumped water! Brrrr!
Then handfuls of raisons into the mix…
And the best part – forming the cookies by hand!And then into the oven they went and on we went to the final house to check it out.
Of course Sean and I tried the tea with fresh mint in it! The 3rd house was John Walter’s first… hand cut logs and all… and with the least fancy of the stoves.
Here we learned about wool and how to dye it and make it into a thread!
The boys were VERY intrigued when she explained that it was vegetables that made the colours! (even the big boys!) Beets for purple, onion skins for red(!), carrots for the orange and spinach for the yellowy green.
Apparently boiling the wool in vinegar for an hour before putting it into the colours made the process faster and more durable!
You couldn’t go upstairs in this house since it was a simple ladder but it was amazing to see where he started out when he moved out of the fort.
After we finished at the 3rd house we went across the wooden sidewalk to the carpentry display. There a lovely older gentleman taught the boys how to make their own shingles!!! We got to bring them home which made the boys’ day!
Then the got to try out drilling a hole the sloooow way.
And tried a yoke on for size. Gavin refused and we would have DEFINITELY had to shorten the ropes for Emanuel!
Sean tried his hand at plaining.
And we discussed carpentry methods and the relaxation potential with the gentleman before the boys remembered about the cookies and dashed off to ask the lady if they were done.
Talk about yum! I tried a piece myself – much sweeter than my own oatmeal applesauce but delish.
After cookies and Ken warming himself by the fire we headed over to the open fire pit where another guide had split pea coffee and bannock bread. While we did not try the bannock bed Sean and Ken tried the coffee – apparently even with sugar Folgers is MUCH better.
This of course had the boys back with the first lady and the toys! So Trinity and the menfolk and I sat around the fire and enjoyed ourselves while the boys did the same in their own way.
Before we left the grounds there was a craft table set up to try out. Here they had paper and chalk to draw a picture and then glue and seeds to pretty it up! Emanuel and Gavin went relatively simple – Zander on the other hand, decided to go with a sun! I think all 3 were happy with the results.
While this was going on a fiddler came over and played a happy song just for Trinity who was enthralled! Her first experience with a fiddler close up and she LOVED it! Though at this point we were all feeling the chill and about ready to go home for the day. Trinity passed out before Ken got out of the parking lot and all 3 boys were yawning!
Our afternoon was much less exciting. I took a nice long nap, as did Trinity and Emanuel, but AFTER my nap I finished TUX! Talk about cute! I am more than pleased at how it worked out. I am thinking I will offer a stitched version on 6×8 inch pieces of white 14 count aida cloth for 20.00 plus shipping costs. Though I am not for sure on the cost… it does take at least 2 days of sewing to make one on top of the cost of materials though. What do people think?
I am trying something new with our homeschooling schedule… last night I sat down and made a day by day list of the things I want to accomplish with the boys for the week. I think I have a nice amount for each day but this will definitely be our experimental week to see how it works out.
letter “U”, colour experiment printed out and discussed, shape song, start insect lapbook, nature walk with Ken, write a story about Sunday and illustrate
letter “V”, shapes and the words for them, continue insects, finish cover on numbers lapbook and add flap to extend to #20, glue painted puzzle pieces, review last year’s poems
letter “W”, start sorting out the colour and shapes lapbook, continue insects, review last year’s songs, learn a new song or poem, make either a new ornament or gift
letter “X”, start sorting insects lapbook, continue finished shapes and colours and add projects etc if there is room, review numbers 1-10 and continue on, stamp an insect page for lapbook
letter “Y”, put together insects lapbook, finish cover on colour and shapes, start fall lapbook, fall themed craft (maybe leaf rubbing?), discuss more gift/craft ideas and maybe make Grandma’s gift
I am also planning a trip to the library for insect and fall books either Monday or Tuesday depending on time and starting work on the preK workbooks with Emanuel that Grandma and Mike brought him. With at least one trip to the park and if the the weather warms up using our free family pass to the Fort! Flexibility is still key after all!!
So a terrific day! I was able to leave my worries and concerns here at home and truly immerse myself in time with my family with is certainly my goal and a gift in an of itself!