Wednesday, May 05, 2004

We had such a great day today--one of those days when you look back on it and wonder if it all really happened in just one day.

My mother played Scrabble, Jr. with Emily this morning and Boggle, Jr. with Julia before she left to visit old friends in PA. The kids and I read through several library books--one on sound and the different ways scientists study animal sounds, one on the Statue of Liberty, one on the Wright Bros. and one on interesting inventions. Emily asked to hear about the invention of numbers, so we read about early mathematical developments in Mesopotamia, Sumeria and Egypt, the ways in which trade influenced the development of mathematics and drove the need to create a written number system, a method of multiplication and division. Excited about that, Em pulled out her DK math workbook and did a page on metric measurements, which tied into a book on measuring that we'd read several weeks ago. She might have done more, but the UPS man arrived with a package of pirate gear we ordered last week, and drama on the high seas prevailed.

After lunch we went over to a friends' farm and spent the afternoon. We held baby turkeys and saw some turkey eggs in the incubator. We met the mama and papa turkey, and learned about the wattle, snood and beard. They raise several different kinds of chickens: Delaware, Araucana, and others that I can't recall. The kids chased the chickens, and I learned about how to possible raise laying hens. My favorite animal by far was their new Nigerian dwarf goat named Strawberry Flip. She was so sweet, and I left ready to buy one myself! After we saw all the animals and had snack, the kids made a baking soda volcano, played freeze tag and had a big squirt gun fight. We stayed for a long time, and the kids were lucky enough to take a short ride on Smokey, the thoroughbred. First they helped groom him, learned a bit about how to brush a horse and how to act around horses. Emily was so excited! She's been wanting to ride horses for a long time now--I'm guessing that will be her chosen activity for next year. Julia sat on Smokey but was too spooked to ride--he's really big! Emily, Sam and their friend rode together, but at the end, they all slid off in a heap on top of each other. They handled it well, and luckily no one was really hurt, despite the fall. *lol* But Emily took it all in stride and even went back to brush him some more, which was a really good sign. She saved some of the hair she brushed from his mane and can't wait to print one of the pictures to keep. I think she's in love!

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