Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Field Trip Adventures

We are members of two homeschool support groups in our area. One has over 120 families and has been around for many years. The other has just started this past year with only a handful of families. We've enjoyed two field trips with Armor LEAH this fall and look forward to many more. We're getting to know some great families that live very near to us.

Our first trip was to McPherson Orchards to learn about the process of apple cider making.

The apples get washed then wait to be taken up the elevator to be ground into mush.

Collecting the apple mush on trays lined with cloth. When the stack of trays gets high enough, they move the whole stack under a hydraulic arm to squeeze out the liquid. The juice then goes through a "sterilization" process and on to the holding tank.

Waiting outside for the apple mush to be thrown off the trays to clear them for the next batch of mush.

Flying apple mush! We giggled every time it came flying out of the barn.

Wishing they were throwing the apple mush!

The same day, we headed down the road to Coyle's Pumpkin Ranch to learn about pumpkins and enjoy some playtime.

The far building houses the animals - goats, turkeys, a rabbit and a cow. Luke loved feeding the goats. The building closest held many varieties of pumpkins, gourds and corn.

Jumping on the hay bales was a close favorite to running around the corn maze with the other kids. Fortunately there was only one main path, so getting lost was a near impossibility. The moms were able to chat outside the maze while the kids played.

Petting the soft bunny rabbit. Isaac especially loved the rabbit...but he loves anything super soft.

Asking Mrs. Coyle about the "popcorn" ears of corn. We haven't tried ours yet, but it's ready and waiting.

Last week on Elijah's birthday, we visited the Chili Fire Dept. to learn about fire safety and check out the trucks and equipment.

Little boys in their glory...Luke used to say that he wanted to be a "fire truck" when he grew up. He, he!

Watching a fireman putting on each piece of his gear. He stressed that even though he looked and sounded strange in all his gear that the children were not to be afraid if there was an emergency. I was impressed with his ability to speak at the children's level and make them feel comfortable.

Hanging out in a fire truck with a real fireman!

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