Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fun At The Farm

Noah was really sad that Daddy had to go to North Dakota on business last week. And, I really don't like staying by myself. (How did I cope for those 3 years of living solo?) Anyhow, I decided that Daddy's business trip made a perfect excuse for the munchkins and I to head to Grandma and Grandpa's farm.
Grandpa was off on Thursday, and Grandma took a vacation day on Friday, so we had lots of company and play time.
The munchkins were awake by 6:00 on Thursday morning, and we headed out the door by 8:00. Other than a brief stop in Joplin for coffee(for me) and a restroom break (for the munchkins) , it was a speedy trip over.
We had lunch with Grandpa and then Noah and Nathan took turns doing some schoolwork with me. Then, the munchkins all spent the early afternoon riding the four-wheeler with Grandpa. After that, it was off for a nature walk in "Grandpa's forest". We saw deer and raccoon tracks, caught a spotted salamander, collected wildflowers, learned about oak galls, found "real live poison ivy" which Rosie proceeded to stomp through, collected acorns and oak leaves and looked at the new trees that were coming up under the parent ones, gathered some turkey feathers, looked at some wood ants working, watched some spiders spinning webs, and brought back lots of "treasures".
Grandma was arriving home just as we got back to the house, and the farm was promptly invaded by wild Indians. Thanks to Grandpa's collection of turkey feathers and Grandma's collection of face paint, these wild Indians really were able to get into the spirit of things.

Such fun! And, such a mess! Grandpa gave the munchkins grape soda and ice cream, so Mommy figured that we had better go find something really active to do for a while to wear off the sugar. So, we took the wild Indians to the creek for a couple of hours. Then, it was back to the farm for a hot dog roast, baths, cartoons with Grandpa, and bed.
At bedtime, Noah was a little offended, because Nathan got to sleep in my bed. Noah had decided that with Daddy gone he needed to be "the man of the house". He kept saying, "But Daddy's not here, and you need a man in your bed". Oh my goodness! He couldn't understand why I was laughing so hard and my face turning so pink.

The next morning, Grandpa left for work, and Noah and I sat down to some schoolwork. Grandma decided that we needed to bake cookies for our picnic, so Nathan and Grandma made cookies. It is infinitely more fun to make cookies at Grandma's house, because when Grandma asks what kind of cookies everyone wants and Noah says sugar cookies and Nathan says Rice Krispy treats, Grandma says okay and makes both!
We had been planning on a field trip to the Springfield Zoo, but the munchkins REALLY wanted to go back to the creek instead. There was much pleading to go back to the water, so in the end, we packed a picnic and drove to one of the State Parks that has good access to the White River.
It was overcast but nice and warm, and we had a great time. Noah is just in awe of the bluffs around the river.
We picnicked, collected some shells from the beach area, looked at wildflowers, visited with the park ranger (Noah has decided that working as a park ranger might just be the best job ever), and then jumped into the water.
Last year Rosie threw a fit if you tried to get her in the creek, but she has a great time now!
I caught several crawdads, which Noah and Rosie were finally brave enough to touch. I couldn't convince any of the munchkins to hold it, although Noah spent a long time trying to convince Rosie that she should hold it!

As I mentioned, Rosie really enjoys playing in the river now! I did have to promise her that there were no alligators or crocodiles, though!
As it was just Grandma and I, we didn't take the munchkins out into the deep parts, but the water was still running at a pretty good pace. Once, Nathan didn't do a good job of listening and fell down out where I had told him not to go. The water was running pretty swiftly, and he got carried downstream until I jumped in and grabbed him. (Don't worry, it couldn't have carried him very far. Around the bend, it calmed right down and got really shallow and he would have stopped). But, it gave him a good scare, and was a good lesson for him. It also gave me a thoroughly soaked pair of clothes, but oh well.
After that, he did a much better job of staying up in the calm shallows or on the beach. He found some great rocks. In the end, I only allowed him to carry one shoe-box full of rocks home with him. If he had his way, there would be no rocks left in Missouri; they'd all be in my backyard.
Here he is with his "alligator rock". It actually does look a lot like an alligator, and we brought it home with promises to paint it this summer. It is currently living in the garage. He was a little put out with me, because I have refused to let him sleep with it.

We spent about 4 hours playing in the water, then drove back to the farm, grabbed a quick shower, and headed to town. We picked up a couple of pizzas and took them to have supper with Grandpa. The munchkins had a lot of fun with the EMT's and paramedics. Noah got to play a game of pool with Grandpa, and they got to go look inside the ambulances and turn on the lights.
And, between the nature walk, the exploring at the creek and river, and then a trip to the ambulance barn, I can book 3 field trips in my school calendar!

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