We usually don't take Labor Day off of school, but this year we did to take a little family trip to the Car Museum (Dick's Classic Garage) in San Marcos.
They have a rare Tucker Car (#50).
There were only 51 of these cars made in the 1940's by a guy named Preston Tucker. They made a movie about it in '88 starring Jeff Bridges. I watched the movie as an adult, and I must say I enjoy Jeff Bridges much more in "True Grit." But the movie did at least lend more interest to seeing a Tucker for the first time. Phillip especially was interested since he saw the movie at 13 and has been wanting to see one.
Harrison thought this toy looked like Mike Mulligan's steam shovel, Mary Anne.
Elizabeth would love to own several of the cars here. I didn't get pictures of them, but they were cool looking. And we saw two cars that Papa owned back in the day when they were just cars and not Classics.
And then today was Homeschool Day at Pioneer Farms in Austin. It was a bit of a drive, but the entry fee was much reduced. I've heard about this living farm for some time, so I was glad to get a chance to take the kids.
When I told Phillip we were visiting Pioneer Farms, he said, "Will there be pig castration? It's not a real farm if there isn't pig castration." And "I grew up on a farm, I'm not paying money to see a fake farm." I thought it was funny.
There weren't any pigs, but there chickens, rabbits, a cat, donkeys, and long horn steer.
I'm helping Harrison make a corn husk doll.
Jonathan liked the flint guy at the Tonkawa Indian Camp. I guess the tents got washed away during the flooding earlier this year, so it was a little bare, but the guy had some interesting things to say.
This was at the German Immigrant Farm. The family that lived in this house had 13 kids. I didn't get a picture of the house, but it was maybe as big as our living room. Maybe half of our living room. It was small. Thirteen kids. They probably played outside a lot.
I just really like Long Horns. There's something substantial about them.
Camps, travels, school planning, birthdays, outings with friends, breathing time, boredom.
I don't know if the kids are, but I'm ready to start school.
Of course, are kids ever ready to start school? I still have Harrison on my side; he's excited.
The youth group had a Marvel-themed lock-in last Friday. Elizabeth made a subtle Black Widow costume. She won the prize gift card.
She had a lot of fun making it (and she let me do her makeup!).
Liz is also taking another cake decorating class this year; it's all about fondant.
Her roses look pretty real.
We had our first week of school this past week. This year I did my best to "cut back until there is peace". This has to happen in the planning stage for me. I'm not sure I could drop a book that I scheduled for the year. I've never done it. Maybe I should try it one day, just to prove to myself that I can. Anyway, I have a hard time letting go of all the good books that are suggested for each child's grade. But I'm realizing that there's absolutely no way to get through all the books this world has to offer ~ not even all the really good ones. And the more we have scheduled for school, the less all that good stuff sticks in their minds. They're always rushing to get the next thing done and don't have time to stop and mull over what they are on. This is not the way a living education works.
So I took out a couple books from all of their plans and chose a couple of easier ones to replace some hard ones. I also planned for more time on math and grammar, but decided to alternate some subjects instead of do all of them all year long. Some subjects we'll alternate yearly and some we'll alternate by term. I feel like I might get good at this by the time Harrison is ready for high school.
He's in Kindergarten this year. My baby. The last year to read Winnie the Pooh to my children. I might read it over the summer sometime anyway. The kids all like to come sit in while I'm reading to him. Winnie the Pooh is fun at any age.
Having school definitely helps the kids enjoy each other more. It also gets their creative juices flowing. They spend more time doing stuff they "have" to do (mostly on their own or with me) during the morning/after lunch, so then in the afternoon and evening, they enjoy one another's company again. Summertime brings out the opposite! And then they also seem to be rejuvenated in the afternoons and weekends to try all sorts of new things: drawing, sculpting, planting, card games.... That makes me happy.
Jonathan had a couple of friends over for his birthday this year.
Elizabeth made Minecraft Diamond Cupcakes at his request.
He wanted to do the ropes course at Natural Bridge Caverns for his chosen birthday activity. This is the third time he's done it. Uncle John and Aunt Kristy started him on to something, I do believe, when they took us the first time!
It's four stories high. But you're harnessed in, and once you get used to it, the heights aren't bad. I saw a girl loose her footing on a rope and the harness caught her just fine.
There they are: Jonathan, Wyatt and Westley.
And what do you know ~ Legos for his birthday. It's like somebody knows him.
Another fun item that continues to entertain the kids.
This isn't from the birthday but from a day we had some fun roller skating.
We entered the lower western corner of Missouri in the evening and had some supper at this travel center in Joplin.
We decided to go this exact week because the fair was happening in town. We first arrived to cold rain, however, and the parade and fair were canceled for the evening. The rest of our time was mostly sunny and hot, so it all turned out okay.
Jonathan and Phoebe were the ones who most enjoyed the rides.
They rode all three nights.
Phillip met a couple of high school and college buddies at the fair and had some good catch-up time.
Those aren't high school or college buddies in the picture above ~ they're his parents. :-)
A new Vandalia Museum that we walked around.
As a kid Phillip used to play on the white scale shown in the back of the picture. It was in a bank in town.
The parade which was moved to Friday night.
Kids in the corn. This has been a bad year for crops around Vandalia. Too much rain.
Lots of time was spent hanging out at Mimi and Papa's house.
We stopped in to see Grandma Phoebe. We always have to get a picture of the two Phoebes.
Usually we mostly hang around home while we're in Missouri, because we're so tired from traveling to get there that we don't want to travel to see anything. But this time we talked ourselves into going to St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch.
And it was a hot day for it! The kids mostly wanted to go to St. Louis to see the Eads bridge. Can you see it in the background here? We were so hot and tired after the Arch that we barely tried to get very close to it to get a better look. Anyway, they learned about the bridge from "The Men Who Built America." Carnegie was a key player in its construction. He provided the steel or something like that.
After the Arch we walked to see the old Courthouse nearby.
It's famous for the Dred Scott lawsuit having begun there.
Phillip's brother and his wife also came to spend time with us over the weekend, and I went to see my college roommate Jessica in Quincy. I didn't get pictures of any of them though. I also got my school books ordered while in MO and finished reading several books. Gotta love accomplishing things even while on vacation. :-)
On our way back home to Texas. We. Were. Tired.
But the kids did excellently on the long road trip back. We made it home by midnight with almost no arguing. Pre-tty im-pressive.