Thursday, April 24, 2014

Eno River State Park

 We have gone on some great field trips this year and this was definitely one of them. We met up with co op friends at the Eno River State Park to learn about life as an early American and life as a Native American living in the area. There were several old buildings that I had to get pictures of:).

 the mill

 the dam

 seeing how early Americans started fires

 churning and tasting butter

 exploring and playing

 learning how the Native Americans used trees in their trapping, medicines, transportation, and every day living.
 Learning to start a fire without flint...the Native American way

 Ephram was in heaven as he usually is when he's in nature:)

 playing games using vine hoops and corn cobs...just like games children played 100's of years ago

 throwing a spear

Me and my babies


     We went on a field trip to Eno River State park to learn about the Indians who lived there 600-1000 years ago. The tribes who lived there were Eno, Cherokee, and Creek. A tour guide taught us how they made fire, trapped animals, and created weapons. 
     We also learned that children had a lot more work to do than we do today. Some of the things that the children had to do was take live animals out of traps, collect wood for fire, and start fires. The Indian children had to wake up before the sun rose to do their many morning chores before breakfast. 
     The weapons that the Indians used to hunt their food were bows, arrows, and spears. They made weapons out of sticks, rocks, animal parts, and vines. The Cherokee used every single part of the animals they hunted. The Eno Indians used the deer brain to soften the deer hide so it would be flexible. Women and girls made beautiful baskets out of reeds and berry dye. The baskets that they made were woven so tight that they could hold water. 
     The Creek Indians lived together in longhouses. The Indians ate meat (including buffalo), berries, plants, and bread made from cornmeal and water. Indians continued living there until Americans kicked them out in the 1500's. 


     Today we toured Eno Park in the city of Durham. The field trip was focused on settlers who lived there 300 years ago and the Indians who did up to 1000 years ago. As soon as everyone arrived we were introduced to the tour guide and he told us what we would be doing. After we were split into two groups, Grant (our tour guide) took us to see a creek. It had a mill on it which was used for grinding corn into corn mill. 
     Next we trekked to the Eno River and saw two great blue herons. Grant explained that men had dug the creek all the way from the river to the mill's water wheel. Then they made a gate under the bridge that could open and close when the water supply was low.
     After exploring the Eno river we headed back to a grassy area for a few activities. Grant showed us how to make some simple traps and set them off. One of them was made by burning out the inside of a log and putting wood on one end. Then they would cut out pieces of wood and tie them together with string. The next step was to make holes in the log and put bait on the end stick. Last they put the sticks into the holes and wait for a small creature, such as a rabbit, to hop in.  The pioneer children had a daily job of checking the traps every evening.
     Then we walked to a different area where Grant showed us how to start a fire out of flint and steel (like the pioneers would have done). We all got to take a turn striking the flint striker to see how it worked. Back in the 1700's the settlers children would have to wake up early to start a fire. For our last activity before lunch we shook a jar of heavy cream until it turned into butter. We were able to taste some of it on a cracker and I thought it was yummy.
     After lunch we trooped into the woods and looked at a special tree. The bark was rough and bumpy but the tree itself was perfectly straight. 1000 years ago Indians in the area (mainly the Eno, Creek, and Cherokee) made canoes out of this tree by slowly burning out the middle of it. During spring, since the trees would have water soaked in the middle, Indians would cut out a square of bark and bend it into a bag shape. Two of these wood pieces tied together with  sinew string from a deers tendon made an Indian basket to wear. 
     We continued to hike for a while then stopped under a tree and sat down on logs. There, Grant showed us some skins, dishes, and arrows that the Indians would make. We also saw a fan that they made by putting leather on the bottom of a turkey feather and decorating it. Then we went to another spot and he taught us how the Indians made fire. They used a thick branch from a tree, get a board of wood, cut notches in it, then make a bow out of a thin piece of wood. Next they tied the end of it with a long piece of sinew string. Finally the Indians were ready to make a fire. To start it, Grant wrapped the sinew string tightly around the stick. Then he put it behind a notch and started turning the stick in a half circle shape. Soon he created a reddened coal of sawdust, dropped it into a nest of soft birch bark, and blew on it which started flames. 
     After extinguishing the fire we walked to a field to throw darts and spears. We played a game where everyone threw darts made out of corn cobs and feathers trying to make it into a hoop made from vines. Next everyone got to practicing throwing a long spear. Before leaving we all met at the barn to hear stories like ones that were told long ago for entertainment. My field trip to the Eno River State Park was interesting and fun.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

FREE pancakes!

 We met some new friends who go to co op with us at IHOP for free pancakes!  All eight kids enjoyed their yummy snack AND getting to know each other. Ephram and Daniel are in the same preschool class.

 Cailey and Kayleigh, Tricia and Kinsey

Braden and David...and a view of us all

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I can still remember....

I have a horrible memory..but some things I'll just never forget. April 21, 1989 falls into that category. 25 years ago today...I was 12. I don't know what I did in the morning. But I remember emotions that came in the afternoon. I remember the weather. I remember sounds. It had to be on a weekend...I feel like it was a Saturday. I remember my brother mowing a SUPER overgrown yard and it taking him hours. I remember helping him put leaves into a bag. It wasn't our yard...or even on our street but I know we walked quite a ways up a hill then turned left to get there. (He was mowing lawns to earn money.)

I was miserably hot and probably let my brother know it. After a couple hours (I think) I looked up and saw my dad walking up the street towards us.

It spoke volumes to see him coming up that hill...something he had never done before. We never had our parents check on us or come see us while babysitting or doing yard work so I knew something was wrong.

Then came the words I never wanted to hear:

"Nonny died today"

I was 12.

I loved my Nonny (my mom's mom) so much. She lived with us three months out of the year and my cousin's (in CT) for the other nine months.

I have great memories of her sneaking me cheeto's when I was very young. She colored with me and barely pushed down on the crayon..her coloring was always so perfect. She taught me how to play 500 and we would play for hours. I just loved to be near her...I loved the way she smelled. I loved that she cleaned our house and kept it that way (she liked things CLEAN).  I loved the fancy dresses she bought me (though I now know mom and dad really paid for them).

"Nonny died today"

I was devastated. I rarely saw my mom cry and she was distraught. I was crying and didn't want to believe it. She was the first person that I really loved to leave this earth.

I wish she had lived to see me grow up, get married, and have children. I wish she could've met Brian. I wish I could have played more card games with her...and ate more Cheetos and colored.

But I have 12 sweet years of memories and for that I am thankful.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Subway walk

 The weather was gorgeous the week we got back from the DR and we sure did take advantage of it!  All the trees were in bloom, the sky was blue, and the temperature was glorious.

 Braden took this picture

 We walked a mile to Subway for a yummy lunch.

 We made it!:)

 We brought juice bags and chips to go along with the subs
Ephram and I are the picky ones who just like ham, cheese, and spinach

 Ephram walked the mile there and most of the mile home but his sweet sissy agreed to give him a piggy back ride for part of it.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


 Nonny came down to watch the three youngest while we were in the DR. She spoiled the kiddos with yummy food, and lots of love and attention!  They played games, did puzzles, went on walks, and read lots of books.

 Cailey wanted to do a puzzle with Nonny before we went away

 playground time
 I'm building a house mama!

 Nonny took Ephram and I on an ice cream date while the other kiddos weren't home

doing a puzzle that Nonny bought him

Friday, April 18, 2014

Co op

 Cailey and Kayleigh (with Kinsey and Braden in the background)

 This was the last semester I'd be teaching one of my own...sniff sniff! So I was sure to take pictures of Ephram in my preschool class.

 Ephram and his buddy, Daniel

I love this picture of Matthew and Ephram because it represents how much the older kids love on the younger ones.

I wasn't able to get pictures of the three oldest in their classes..mainly because I forgot. They had fun in their science, 'how to', and human body classes!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Braden's Birthday

 Ephram made Braden a birthday present and wrapped it all by himself. We gave Braden his gifts before we went to the DR since his birthday fell while we were gone. Mom was SURE to spoil him but we wanted to celebrate again when we came home.

Brian and I got Braden ALL the Lego characters from The Lego Movie!  He was SO excited!

 We went to subway for lunch..but since we walked, we didn't bring the B plate. Breakfast was pancakes and fruit salad.

 Braden wanted to make pizza for dinner. I helped him with the dough then he made some yummy BBQ chicken pizza.

 I also made calzones to go with it:)

 Braden wanted to go to a UNC game for his birthday date and thankfully there was
one that evening!

 Braden, Brian, and I are the only ones who love baseball in the fam. (Not sure if Ephram will like it when he's older but he wasn't a fan of the Durham Bull's game)


 he could choose ANYthing to eat...and wanted a pretzel!

 we had great seats and saw Kennedy Meeks and Marcus Paige a few rows down!