Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Civil War Weekend

We had a great field trip on Friday for the Student Enrichment Day of our local Historical Festival. The festival centers on the Civil War time period. I planned the field trip for our homeschool co-op. The kids all had a great time. They got to learn dances from the period.

They played period games.

They learned about instruments that would be played by young boys in the army. This was taught by one of the co-creators of the Civil War Kids Club. He is the eleven year old boy kneeling in the center of the picture. He did a wonderful job teaching and sharing with the kids. I think all the moms were impressed with him.

They learned about clocks (which was not as interesting...Ellie and some of the other kids look really bored in that picture). They did get to do an experiment, which I think they all enjoyed. I didn't get a picture of that though, because I was trying to help.

They learned about spinning and weaving and Civil War Military "stuff" (no picutures of that). The man who taught them about the Civil War Military "stuff" also had hard tack for us to try. Wyatt is now in love with hard tack. I got a recipe off the internet and another from one of our librarians today. He cannot wait for us to make hard tack. He says, "Hard tack is better than ice cream".

They also got to go on a wagon ride. Everyone got a chance to drive the horses! Ellie declined, because of her allergies. I drove the horses though. I told Thomas that I'm ready to get a team. My great-grandpa Edgar had a team of horses. Their names were Closer and Sweetheart! True story!

The wind was blowing like crazy that day, so unfortunately Ellie's allergies were also going like crazy. She is allergic to dogs and horses, both of which were present, and has some seasonal allergies. I wasn't thinking, and left her allergy pills in the car. I had to run against the wind to get them for her. Meanwhile, all the kids (except for my two...Wyatt is really careful of his and Sister's allergies) were petting the horses...then she is pushing them away when they try to hug her. Ugh! Also, almost all the families with us have dogs in their houses...so they could have been "carriers". Ellie is so sensitive that one day my sister had been at her future mother-in-laws (who keeps a large indoor dog) and then sat down with Ellie at our Mom & Dad's with her same clothes on; Ellie had a really bad allergic reaction. Since then, my sister is always careful to change their clothes after they've been there and are going to see Ellie.

My kids and I continued with the Civil War weekend fun on Saturday (while the Hubby was playing in a Tennis Tournament...which he won his division). Since they joined the Civil War Kids Club, they got to dress up and reenact at the actual festival on Saturday. They participated in three reenactments. I wish I would have posed them while they were still in costume at the festival, but I will think better next time.

They also got to do a cool thing called Pioneers in the Woods; which someone took a lot of care and time to put together! They went to different stations learning about life in pioneer days (based on the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder). At the end they got to eat squirrel stew (which my children declined, but I thought looked yummy) cooked over an open fire, apple cider, apple crisp, and cornbread muffins.

Here is a funny one. You've probably heard the expression: "You got a bee in your bonnett?". Well, Ellie literally had a bee in her bonnett on Saturday! Then we bought her a mob cap at one of the booths for $2.50 (the guy had everything 1/2 off, because he was going out of business), and she got a bee in her mob cab!!

There was a homeschool family (who also taught dance at the Student Enrichment Day) who had a camp site where they were making biscuits and apple butter on an open fire. I don't know if I've ever had biscuits made with lard (I always make them with butter or shortening), but they were delicious. The apple butter was really good, too. The kids liked them, too. Guess I need to learn to cook on an open fire.

Everyone there volunteered to do what they were doing. It was really awesome. After the big battle reenactment, I took my kids home to change clothes. Then we came back for the dance.

Oh, my goodness, the dance was so much fun!!! The homeschool mom, who taught at the Student Enrichment Day, taught this huge group of people all these folk dances like Red River Valley, the Virginia Reel, and many more that I don't remember the name of. The kids joined in, people got mixed up, we ate a lot of barn dust, but everyone was laughing, smiling, and having a great time.

I knew some of the moves like do-si-do, swing your partner, alemand left & right, chain, and star from learning square dancing, and couple of folk dances, in school. My parents and I took square dancing, and line dancing, lessons my Senior year of high school. I also remembered that I took square dancing for one of my PE credits in college. I don't remember the last time I had so much fun and got exercise at the same time! My legs were sore the next day, but it was worth it!

Oh, no! I just realized that the date on my camera is showing European style (day, month, year) instead of American style (month, day, year). I need to fix that, or I will be really confused on the date of my pictures!


  1. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun!!! The dancing sounds like great fun!!! I always loved that time period and always thought that's the time period I would have liked to live in. But modern conveniences (and medicine) of today (and no civil war) have me thinking otherwise now.

    Ellie and Wyatt, I love your costumes! You look great. :) And, Wyatt, you seem like such a caring little brother! I think (and hope) my little Cael will be like you!

    Oh, and congrats, Tom!

  2. Love the photos guys! What an awesome and fun thing to be a part of!--Aunt Lori