We spent a lot of our time traveling in our covered wagon when we began our pioneer day. We are fortunate to have acres of virgin pasture behind our home, so besides opening and closing a couple of gates (and the fact that our animal had a motor) it felt pretty authentic. I, for one, had a wonderful time except that I did not enjoy tramping through tall grasses in my pioneer dress. Those weed seeds are not comfortable when stuck to ones stockings.
We stopped at the old water pump next to the pond, and (pretended to) fill a bucket for the animals.
As I try to do as much as possible in our homeschool (despite my tendency toward being a control freak) I let the children choose the route, the activities and the timeline of our journey. I did, however, make it very clear that if they ran out of gas they were on their own in hauling a gas can down to the pasture. (They watched the tank pretty carefully after that declaration.)
It was a perfect, beautiful morning.
We drove – I mean traveled – all over the place, changing our route to get around ravines, muddy patches, thorns.
I was so glad to have saved this costume my mom (an incredible seamstress – she made my wedding dress as well) made for me to wear during a play in high school. Little Cowgirl and I sewed the rest of our costumes, which is saying A LOT considering the fact that I don’t really sew (mostly because I don’t really know how).
Shooter and Farmer Boy were much less into their costumes – but I know they felt very ‘pioneer.’
an hour and change months of traveling, we reached the perfect place to homestead. We unloaded our wagon, built a temporary shelter out of our canvas (ahem, sheet) cover, and got to work.
The young men took turns plowing the field,
and raking up hay to feed the
lawnmower and stick horses animals over the winter.
Little Cowgirl got to work on gathering burning materials for the fire and cleaning potatoes for lunch.
We boiled potatoes from our garden, then added chunks of ham and cracked in a few eggs.
We ate in the grass and wiped our plates in buckets of water drawn from the
sink in the utility room well.
Then, we harvested our REAL LIFE patch of sweet potatoes so we would have some root vegetables to get us through the winter. Cowgirl clipped the vines for us.
As an aside, this is the third year I have attempted to grow sweet potatoes and the first year I’ve had any success at all. I think this year makes up for the two years of failures.
If I were a county fair sort of person, that purple ribbon would be mine, em effers. That is all.
After the harvest, mommy was pretty much D.O.N.E. with pioneer day, so she took a long, hot shower and sat down at her macbook. (insert contented sigh) My young pioneers, however, had so much fun they decided to sleep outside without a modern tent. The littler one made it until she could hear the coyotes. The biggest one came in when it started to thunder at around 3:00 am.
But the next morning, they were back outside immediately. Everyone wished pioneer day could last forever.
This is still not the end, one more installment of homeschool pioneer days is yet to come!