Weekly Wrap-Up # 18: The One with Two Fun Field Trips and a Special Visitor

"Don't like the weather? Wait a minute; it'll change."

Such is a common saying here in Wisconsin, where it's not unusual to experience weather extremes over a very short amount of time. And so after last weekend's frigid temperatures - during which I exchanged all the girls' summer clothes for winter wear...and Jeff and the girls were out camping, no less! - we've naturally been experiencing Indian Summer for much of this week, including a beautiful day in the mid-70s today.

Not that we're complaining! Quite to the contrary, we've been reveling in it since we know autumn will soon come to stay, followed all too quickly by a long Wisconsin winter. And so Jeff took advantage of the reprieve by bringing the girls to Bay Beach Amusement Park this morning.

The park is mostly closed for the season, but today our mayor - who is always willing to pose for a picture with anyone! - hosted a special event to highlight the acquisition of the park's newest ride - set to open in May, 2011 - the Zippin Pippin Roller Coaster.

It's been the talk of the town for several months, as the all-wooden coaster has quite a history - it was ridden by Elvis! - and was purchased and trucked in from out of state to make Bay Beach an even nicer attraction than it already is. Today spectators were allowed to see the progress of the reconstruction and sign beams that will later be placed within the framework. And the park's little train opened for rides, which the girls clearly enjoyed.

We've never actually taken them to the park during its regular summer season. However, I have a feeling it'll be on agenda more than once next year!

As we continued our study of Canada this week, we enjoyed Leif the Lucky, an excellent biography about Leif Ericsson by Edgar P. and Ingri D'Aulaire. We also kept practicing both Canadian and North American geography and learned about food chains.
And the girls tried their hand at imitating Inuit carving - which the Inuit do using wood, soapstone, or bone - by trying to create small sculptures from bars of Ivory soap. Rachel made a basic igloo, and Abigail carved and painted an image of her cat, Sparkle.

By the way: Abigail has not recently converted to Hinduism, lol! She likes to stick the plastic game pieces from our geography games on her forehead while we play, and she insisted on keeping one on during our crafting time. :^)

The girls' storytelling efforts for the week actually came from a dictation sentence in our spelling book, All About Spelling - Level 2, a couple of weeks ago. They understandably thought the sentence - which serves as the title of the pieces - was a very funny sentence and have asked several times to write stories answering the question. So we took the time this week:

Why Is the Pig in the Hall?
by Rachel (Age 9)

Jackie was walking down her hallway, and she saw a pig in the hallway. She screamed, “What is a pig doing in the hallway!?”

Then the pig jumped at her, and she jumped on it to avoid being hit. And then it gallivanted all over the house.

An hour later, she came into the living room with the pig. And the pig ran outside.

She asked if anyone knew why the pig was in the hallway. And her brother said it was joke that he had put there. She got so mad at him, she shut him outside until he howled, “I’m sorry!” a hundred times. Then she finally let him in.

Then everyone in the house had a great day. And then they went to bed.


Why Is the Pig in the Hall?
by Abigail (Age 8)

One day, Lucas was running through the hall. He lived in a big farmhouse with his mother, his father, three sisters, and two brothers. Then, suddenly, he stopped.

There was a pig in the hall! And it was lying down. He looked over it to see eight little piglets in the hall! He decided to shoo them out right away.

Then he tried to push them out, but they would not budge. So what he did, he called his father.

His father came and said, “We’ll have to throw them out!” But they were too heavy so he called his wife.

She said, “Tempt them with milk.” But they didn’t like that kind of milk because it was cow milk.

So she called her three daughters. Then they said, “Tempt them with pigs’ milk!” But it did not work.

So she called her two other sons. And they were the wisest of all, and they said, “Call the animal expert!”

When the animal expert came, he said, “The room they are in, make it into an indoor pig sty so they can live in it.”

So they did, and the pigs were happy. And that’s why the pig was in the hall.

The little girls learned about apples this week as they also reviewed the letter A and its short-vowel sound. We read lots of apple-related books, enjoyed various apple snacks, and even learned about the Trinity by reading a book - 3 in 1: A Picture of God - that compares the three parts of an apple to the three persons of the Godhead.

N. and Anna especially enjoyed using their new "big girl desks" - which are the same as some portable desks Rachel and Abigail sometimes use - to do much of their coloring, cutting, and pasting.

But a highlight of the week was undoubtedly our field trip on Thursday to Apple Valley Orchard. We've actually been to this orchard - which also has a neat little walking trail and "zoo" - at least twice before and would have gone sometime this year regardless of what either Rachel and Abigail or Anna and N. were studying. But it was nice that we could arrange the trip during "apple week" - and doubly nice, of course, that it fell during Indian Summer.

Anna took a day off with her momma on Friday, but N. took a few minutes on Friday morning to dictate and illustrate a little story about the trip:

My Day at the Apple Orchard
by N. (Age 4)

We saw some chickens, goats, and llamas. We saw some pigs [and] a guinea pig. We saw peacocks. We picked apples. We ate lunch. We played in the train.

Our other excitement came when N.'s new brother, Baby H., came for a two-hour visit on Friday afternoon. H. will start coming here full time in early November, but his mom had an errand to run that was more easily accomplished without him in tow - so I happily agreed to a short test-run with him. That was a delightful way to wrap up the week because he's a very sweet, alert little guy who didn't even mind how everyone hovered and cooed over him. Of course, it'll be adjustment when he starts coming every day, but I think it'll work out just fine, and I'm looking forward to it. Clearly, everyone else is, too.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

I loved the girls stories about the "pig in the hall." Good job, girls. We, too, have been enjoying Indian summer. This next week looks to be nice as well though not as warm. It helps as I know the winter won't be quite as long. It's neat that we are in about the same place in our Kindergarten. I love MFW!

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