It was a hot August evening when I signed us up for the Young’s Jersey Dairy field trip through our homeschool group. September 30 sounded perfect. The date conjured up images of sunny breezes on a crisp autumn day, with yellow and orange hues of farm fields providing a perfect backdrop for the festivities.
That, however, was not the picture that we actually lived out. Today it was 50 degrees outside, with harsh winds and drizzle blowing in our faces. I woke early enough to go running, which gave me a heads-up that I would need to make sure the kids were dressed warmly. Erm, okay…my boys have ONE pair of pants each that fit them. That one pair for each boy is nearly worn to shreds, their “cozy” pants, sweats we bought them last Christmas that have certainly seen better days. Well, at least they are warm—in the places that don’t have holes, that is.
Thankfully, Lucan is set for clothing, since I have a good portion of clothes Arden and Tobin wore at this age. He was bundled up in some adorable clothes. Kenna likewise was bundled up in some hand-me-downs from cousin Tabitha. And Charis has managed to not outgrow the last of her jeans and sweaters. I gave Tobin one of my hoodies and made him pass his jacket on to Arden, who flatly refused to wear any of my clothes.
Our group was first on the wagon ride. It was an excruciatingly slow ride behind a tractor that undoubtedly would have thrilled all the kids in great weather. As it was, it thrilled all my kids...except Tobin and Lucan. Lucan was, understandably, not thrilled about too much that happened outside, but, being 6 months, his fussing is excusable. Tobin, on the other hand...well, let's just say that he makes sure everyone knows when he is uncomfortable. (Although I have to give him credit--I think the mom who sat across from us actually wins the Whining Prize for the day. At least Tobin found that standing during the ride distracted him from the cold, and since I was loathe to make him sit down and start whining again, I let him stand and just hoped that the driver wouldn't mind.)
After our ride, during which we stopped to pick up two li'l pumpkins (not nearly as exciting as it might otherwise have been, since we have received cute little pumpkins in our Happy Box the last 3 weeks), we went back to the "Dairy Tale Theater" to see a video about the farm. Did you know that one cow drinks 50 gallons of water EVERY DAY? Me neither.
Then the kids got to "milk" a "cow" to see what it feels like, as well as see the machine that they use nowadays to milk the cows. Then we were herded over to the barn (get it?? herded?? I crack myself up!). Of course, we have been to the barn many times before, but it's always fun to see and feed the animals. The pigs crack me up. Tobin decided that they were more "Uncle" than "Wilbur," and I would have to agree with him. And if you don't, then I highly recommend reading Charlotte's Web.
Of course, what would a visit to Young's be without ice cream, so each kid got a little cup with vanilla ice cream. Teeth chattering, lips blue, shaking so hard they could hardly open the cup, but darn it, we're here for a field trip, and we WILL have fun or ELSE!!
We went inside to eat the ice cream. I ran into some old friends from Cedarville, Harold and Joanne, who are dear friends of my family's. Mom and Dad would stay with them when they came to Ohio, and I worked for Joanne in the Admissions Office. It was so great to see them and get to show them our sweet kids, two of whom were fighting with their feet in one of the booths. That's nice, boys! Let's show the general public how beneficial it is to homeschool our kids, ha! OK, to be fair, the boys were pretty well-behaved MOST of the time we were out. They also found a new friend Justin, who is 7 years old and lives on our street--what a blessing, and a direct answer to my prayer for a Christian boy for our boys to play with!!
By the time I finished visiting with old and new friends, it was close enough to lunchtime that I decided to go ahead and treat us to burgers and fries. The kids were thrilled, of course, so we got our food and sat down. I visited some more with Joanne while spooning cereal into Lucan's screaming mouth (he was not too wild about missing his morning nap), and once we were finished, we headed home for some much-needed naps, Mommy included. Whew!