Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Field Trip to Boyert's Farm

Back on October 9th, I went with Bennett on his first Kindergarten field trip. We loaded up a few vehicles with kids and chaperones, and off we went to Medina to Boyert's, which is a family farm that provides an educational experience for local kids.

After a car-ride full of the antics of three, 5 year old boys (I was very amused), our first activity was a ride on the straw wagon. The children were adament that it was NOT a hay-ride. Hay is green not yellow, they had learned. So this was obviously a straw-ride. Duh.

As a sidenote, all the adults on the ride were truly afraid we were going to get stuck in the mud and have to bail out. It had been raining for the last several days, was sort of drizzly that day, and the ground was like dirt-soup.


Bennett and friends Mia and Alex:

B with Cooper and Alex:

Our ride's destination was a pumpkin patch, and Ben was the LAST child to pick out his pumpkin and get back on the wagon. Contrary to popular belief, not all little boys like dirt. Ben despises being dirty, and before you assume, I swear I did not create that in him. Other kids were trudging on through the mud, while Ben looked rather horrified by the prospect of getting a speck of dirt on him. One little girl came up to him and said, "Hey Ben, I dare you to kick in that rotten pumpkin." He looked at her with disgust and said, "No way. My boot would get dirty. That's so gross." HA!! He didn't want to touch a pumpkin if it had dirt/mud on it. Finding a non-grody pumpkin was a rather tall order under the circumstances, but I eventually found one he approved of.

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Happy to be out of the mud, and back on the ride...

...and even happier that Mrs. Williams (his teacher) had the forethought to bring plastic bags for the kids' pumpkins. Now he could hold it without getting dirty.

We stowed our pumpkins back in the cars, and then we were off to see the farm animals. There was a mama pig with her piglets, and the kids got to see them eat. The mama pig came over to see Ben, which he was both nervous and excited about. When I took this, he was saying, "I want to touch her, but I'm scared!"

His teacher and I encouraged him, and he braved touching her with one finger. Mrs. Williams told him he showed courage, and he was so proud of himself. He mentioned to me later in the day that he "had a lot of courage for touching that pig." :-)
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We also visited some cows (the kids were both perplexed and weirded out when the guide told them that their hamburger was once a cow), and rabbits.

After that, we went through a smaller pumpkin patch that grew those giant pumpkins you see in the "biggest pumpkin ever" contests on TV. The kids loved climbing on them, sliding off them, and standing on top of them. Good fun.

Learning about where milk comes from, and what products you can make from milk.

Learning about corn and its byproducts.

Mrs. Dragovich, the Kindergarten aide, helped B feed the goats some dried corn.
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The kids lined up to learn about the birds on the farm - peacocks, chickens (meat and egg), and turkeys.


Checkin' out the turkeys.

We were lucky, because that morning, chicks were hatching. This really captured Bennett's attention, and he didn't want to leave. He and I hung back to watch the little baby chicks totter around, while the group moved on to look at all the "meat" chickens. I was happy about that. Chickens stink, in case you didn't know.
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Sts. Peter and Paul Kindergarten class of 2009-2010! (minus one kiddo who was on vacation.)
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Ben and Alex with a slobbery dog, who begged while we ate our lunch. One of the other moms had brought her 15 month old in her stroller, and this giant animal slurped Cheerios right off of her tray. Blech.

Mia, Bennett, Cecelia, and Lily.

Alex and Ben, with yet another slobbery dog in the maze. He was also a culprit in the Cherrio incident.

Each of the kids got a turn trying to rope cattle! Bennett almost got it this time!
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Bennett played in dried corn with Cooper...

...and Trevor and Jacob.

The very last thing we did was play a game of tic-tac-toe, boys v. girls. To earn an "x" or an "o", the teams had to answer questions about what they had learned. Neither group missed a question, and they were very strategic with their "x/o" placement, so it ended up being a "cat game". Just goes to show you what little smarties these kids are. :-)
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Its just amazing what little sponges children's brains are...

Ben is learning to read, spell, and write sentences more quickly than I ever would have imagined. He knows punctuation already. "Mom! You forgot a period there!" And I have to admit, I'm a little sad he doesn't mix up the name for this ---> ?, anymore. He used to call it a "martian quest." LOL. I'll miss that.

Another sign of growing up: Ben WILL NOT permit me to hug/kiss him in the lunchroom at school where the other kids are when I drop him off in the morning. He stops me short of the door way everyday, pulls me gently down by the arm and whispers, "You can hug me right here, Mom." WAAAAHHHH!!! He's FIVE!!!! Man, I expected this in first grade, but this is only the second month of Kindergarten! What's going on here?! At least he still holds my hand. I'm clinging to that ... (until that's embarrassing too...) :-(

Xavier is doing great in school too...continuing to learn to use a 'switch' for communication, and he's definitely picking up more consonants. He's saying "Dadada!" now for Nick. And I can't be sure, but I THINK he has said "Bububu" for Ben in the last couple days. He's also learning a great deal about being patient and tolerant of differences in routine.

Last Sunday, we were working on Ben's homework for Monday. He needed to find an item to put in the "secret bag" for school...a guessing game to share with his classmates. He was to write four clues to read to the class, and have them guess what he hid in the bag.

After MUCH deliberation, he chose an item and wrote these clues. He came up with them entirely on his own. I helped him sound out and spell the words he didn't know...(click on the picture for a closer look)


Ah-ha! Its a bike bell!
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Here's Bennett, posing cheesily with his spelling test from Friday. Go Ben!


Xavier, babbling away at me on the couch after school on Friday. :-)

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Wayne County Fair

I'm behind on posts again! Monday, Sept 14th, we went to the annual Wayne County Fair. As mentioned in a previous post, we live out in the country. I mean, the kids in the county get the day off to go to the fair, for crying out loud. And its tough to say this without sounding pretentious, but I'll say it anyway -- the collection of folk and their wares assembled at the fair always provides us with a certain amount of entertainment...sometimes its laughable...and most of the time, disturbingly so. I can't even write what some of the t-shirts said that were hanging on display directly next to a church's booth at the fair. Who decided to place the two adjacent to each other, I'll never know. But, to further explain things, let me just say, it takes a special talent to create and then openly display a t-shirt with profanity, a misspelling, and bad grammar all in one. HA! (Why didn't I take a picture?!?!?!)

But I digress.

First and foremost - the fair is for eating enjoyment. Here's Ben, discovering, without a doubt, the fair's largest fry, while Nick ate a steak sandwich of questionable origin.

In search of more food... found! Here's Xavier, with the telltale remnants of an area-famous Lerch's donut. Cinnamon sugar. MMMM.

B pointing out some poor kid's balloon floating away.
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The boys, marvelling at the pint-sized roller coaster.


B, on his first coaster!

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No! They're not! And shame on you for thinking so! Really, I put this picture in here, because a goat like these almost ripped the sleeve off my tshirt. I was taking a picture of B (the one after these goats who, in this picture, are trying to eat their neighbors hay, people. Stop thinking otherwise!) and the goat grabbed hold of my tshirt sleeve, and started pulling. It was a battle of wills and cotton's tensile strenth. And I'm very pleased to say, cotton and I won. :-)

B and X LOVE goats. We spent quite awhile in the goat barn.

Quote from B:
"MOM! Why is this phone hooked to the wall?! Why are the numbers on the wall part? What?! You put MONEY in it?!"
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Why are these cows spots ringed in turquoise?

I used this opportunity to explain in detail where milk comes from. Bennett knew milk comes from cows, but I wasn't sure if he knew exactly how. My explanation which took place right next to an actual cow that desparately needed milked (lol) was met with astonishment and disbelief. He was so stunned, that a couple minutes later, he said, "Mom? Cheese is made from milk from cows, right?" I said, "yes, that's right." He looked very troubled by my answer, and said, "But where does the CHEESE come OUT of a cow!?"

He got over his distress from the "origins of milk" conversation, and enjoyed his 3 scoop ice cream cone.

Xavier was tired and wanted to go home. (But he still got some ice cream too.)
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Ben was wound, and this is the only way I could get him to stop and pose with me and Xavier.

Passing the Wooster courthouse on the way home...
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Late to bed for the boys on a school night...but worth it for an evening full of discovery and interesting people watching. ;-)