Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cranberry Harvest - {Early Varieties}

The most and least anticipated time of year is upon us.  Cranberry harvest.  This early harvest is kind of a tease.  It's only a few days compared to the later harvest which will be a full 2 weeks, even longer if you count in all the days of prep, pipe pulling, water checking, and bed raking.

These harvest days are exciting for the little kids.  All morning they were begging to go out on the marsh, but first we had to pick beans.  Yes, the plants are still producing.  Another 14 quarts canned today.  We picked the last of the tomatoes and a pile of cucumbers.  I think Joseph ate 4 or 5 huge cucumbers today.

Finally, I announced it was time.  After a scramble for socks and boots we were off.

Joseph's exercising his 2nd amendment right....with a toy gun, of course.

Amber and Sam, 15 and 12, working together for their debut cleanup round booming.  It may not seem like that big of a deal, but if you've ever experienced after supper dish washing with a teen and preteen, then you can probably understand the significance of this event.  Teens and preteens don't naturally agree on many things, and they definitely don't want to be in each other's space.  Booming the cranberries involves getting in one another's space and working together.  Kuddos to them for making it work!!

Booming is the lingo we use to describe corralling the cranberries at one end of the cranberry bed and pulling them to the end where they'll be loaded into trucks.  More specifically the clean-up round involves blowing every last cranberry out of the grass to be corralled.

And there's Warren booming his side alone - that's what happens with years and years (and years!?) of experience.

This post was started last week, which is when the actual harvest took place.  I've been slow at blogging - as if you haven't noticed.  We're in week four of school; it's been a whirlwind of activity that's keeping me away from the computer.

I still have an August recap in the drafts file to finish up, and all too soon September will be in the past and I hope to share a recap of the birthdays and duck hunting and homecoming.  

Teaching reading has taken center stage here.  I have so much to say about All About Reading and All About Spelling.  I've been doing a rhyming activity with Joe that I'd like to share.  And hallelujah!  Praise Jesus!  I started teaching Peter to read using All About Reading Level 1 and it's looking like he's a typical learner (whatever that is).  B's and D's - no problem!  Remembering to sound out from left to right - no problemo!  I introduced the word "the" and he believed me when I said you have to memorize this word and never try to sound it out.  I point to "the" and he says the.  It's been 10 years since I taught reading to a typical learner and I am SO ready for this.

I wish you all a happy & blessed fall.  I'll be back soon.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Wisconsin With Kids - {Merrimac Ferry}

Way back in July (time marches on at quite a clip these days) we dropped Amber off at the 4-H bus stop and she headed to Washington D.C. for a leadership experience.  The rest of us used the day (Sam's birthday) to enjoy a couple of fun Wisconsin destinations:  Parfrey's Glen and Merrimac Ferry.
Although summer break is over, there's still time to enjoy a day trip to Merrimac where you'll find the free 7 minute ferry.  Vehicles, bikes, and walk-ons are welcome.  We like to park our vehicle, grab an ice cream cone and "walk-on" the ferry.

The ride is short and as such there's not much to see.  Seagulls, boats, jet skis - that's what we saw, but it's such a fun, quick ferry ride for little kids.  

Once on the other side we found a grassy spot to relax, watch the boat traffic, and throw rocks.

After watching the ferry travel back and forth a couple of times, we were ready to board for our return trip.

When you find yourself amidst a pile of travelers you never know what you might see.  Today we saw a woman prop her stuffed lion at her vehicle window so it could "take a look around".  Crazy, but it sure got the attention of the ferry passengers, including us.

We love daytripping.  Leave your Wisconsin suggestions in the comments here or at Facebook.  Thanks.