Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Maple Syrup!

On Friday we took a drive... a long drive... to a mom with two kids who get carsick.. any drive is a long drive but this one was 1.5 hours... that's a very long drive.   Okay enough about the drive.   We took the drive.. no one got sick... Success!

So where were we driving to?  We went on our very first real field trip!  When I first started thinking about homeschooling I dreamed of all the field trips we would go on.   In reality, taking four kids by yourself somewhere educational has proved somewhat daunting.  So when the local homeschool group here announced a field trip to a Maple Syrup camp almost 2 hours away, I was thrilled but disappointed.  Going to a maple syrup camp was one of the field trips I remember best as a child and I really wanted to do the same for my kids.  Unfortunately I couldn't figure out a way to take four kids into the woods and not have one of my babies lost or eaten by coyotes.

Thankfully my wonderful sister said that she would take my littlest baby for the day.  This worked out for both of us.  My neice is only 4 months older than Sweet Pea and they are great friends.  This meant for my sister that she was off the hook in the entertainment department for the day.  This worked out equally for me because it meant that I had enough seats in my car that my friend Beth and two of her kids could come with us!  I didn't have to do it alone!!  Maybe just maybe, the remaining three kids would not get lost in the woods...
Now when I was a kid and went to on a maple syrup camp, we saw the trees tapped like this.   A lot of things have changed in the maple syrup business in the last twenty years.   Here is the new fandangled way to tap maple trees.

The sap comes out of the tree and down the white tube into the blue one.  Then the sap travels through the blue one into a black one.  That one runs down the forest and drips into a big tank.  They then take the tank to the place where they make the maple syrup.  Unfortunately, I neglected to take the camera out until we had already seen the evaporator and had pancakes and syrup so you don't get to see that.  Just the forest.  I did get some fun pictures in the forest though.

 The kids had a blast running through the forest and Beth and I each had a few heart attacks as we lost sight of one child or another... "I" was constantly falling in holes which like the good mothers we are, we laughed at.  One time and I wish I had thought to take a picture of it but I stepped backwards into a large round hole.  He kind of looked like a turtle who had fallen on his back.. The way he had fallen made it very difficult for him to right himself and get out of the hole.  Of course I just laughed and watched him struggle.  That's just how I roll.  In my defense, I was laughing too.

This may have been just before one of his falls.

J with her always beautiful face.

My boy.. And note to all you who are thinking of taking a trip into the woods with your kids.  Do not put a camo coat on your kid.  It creates havoc with your mind and you end up convincing yourself that a stump is really your son not moving when in reality, he's been behind you the whole time.

Beth's boy C... I think maybe he saw a coyote and was contemplating going to live with them?

Another pretty face.  Beth's B

Note the smudge on his left cheek?  Your left, his right.  That's maple syrup  I think.. Or maple butter.  He enjoyed that pancake lunch a little too much.

I think here "I" was contemplating joining C with his coyote adventures.. It looks like he's trying to start a fire the old fashion way.   Lets face it, just because you live with coyotes doesn't mean you can't keep yourself warm.

There was also a balance beam available.  The kids mastered that one.

And this one.. although "I" fell many many times before successfully crossing it.  Again we laughed. 

 Beth and I... adventureous mom's wandering through the woods with 5 small children.  yes we are crazy and that explains the laughing.

All tired out and ready to make the trip home.

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