Steilacoom Field Trip

Remember when I said I planned all our field trips in advance for the school year? Well, this past Saturday we got to go on our first big field trip! So, Field Trip Friday, became Field Trip Saturday because this one was a long one and we needed Husband there to help.
We are studying early modern history this year and many of the preserved historical sites in Washington fall into that time period. In Steilacoom we combined region and religious history by visiting the oldest Catholic church in Washington!

Church of the Immaculate Conception. We didn’t get to go inside but the kids were throughly impressed and we especially noted how small it was; the doors especially are an indicator of how much smaller the people were.

Two blocks down the hill is a house that is an original from 1852 built by Nathaniel Orrs and was only ever lived in by his family. After electricity and plumbing was added virtually nothing else was changed. His son lived in the house until he died in 1973 at which point he donated the house. Much of the furniture was built by Nathaniel too. Check out his story here!

Behind the Orr house is the orchard Nathaniel planted with the knowledge he gained in Oregon. Many of the trees are the original trees he put in the ground! All the other trees were planted from the seeds from original trees replacing any that died, making it a heritage orchard! We were encouraged to pick as many pears, apples, and plums as we wanted. I resisted the urge to pick all the trees clean, although they would have welcomed it as they said they don’t have many visitors.

Original cider press the town used
I played in the orchard with Pickle while the big kids got a private tour of the wagon shop. We had the place to ourselves!

Next door to the Orr house is the Steliacoom museum. We had an incredible time there. It is small and run by the greatest volunteers who led us through all the amazing artifacts and history of the Orr family and Steliacoom. Behind the museum is Nathaniel’s workshop. He was the only wagon maker in the Puget Sound and his shop was amazing! Here there were more volunteers who gave the kids a fun hide and seek quiz and the prize for finishing was getting one of Nathaniel’s original nails!

Those volunteers were so kind and truly care about their town’s history. I was quite touched and inspired. Did you know Steliacoom was once going to be the capitol?!

After our amazing historical adventure we stopped by Dutch Brothers and played at a nearby playground- which was huge and built in the style of the old Fort of Steliacoom. On our way home we had a great time chatting about what we liked best on our adventure. We had dinner and watched a movie the kids earned by working on meals during the week. Once the kiddos were all asleep Husband and I ended the evening by having a diy pizza date night to celebrate getting meals done that morning(!) and our epic field trip.

Sourdough crust- still working on perfecting it.

If you have the chance, you should take a trip to Steilacoom! It was well worth the time and really made history come to life for us.

Finding Our Rhythm

Well folks, we wrapped up week two of school and so far it is going swimmingly. I’ve been able to find a happy medium between accomplishing the daily goals and rolling with the punches.

I’d like to say that we have a set schedule each day, but it seems that in this season of life, that’s just not going to happen. True, we get school done, but sometimes it ends at 9 am (yes, that early!) and sometimes it ends at 2pm (did we decide to move the coop again because the chickens are escaping? Push school back 30 minutes. Did we decide we seize the glorious morning and go for a jog?! Push school back an hour.) That’s the beauty of homeschooling I’m trying to embrace more; just roll with it baby! All those little “distractions” ARE school!

However, i haven’t completely thrown in the towel on our schedule. I’ve set a schedule for myself of waking up at 5:30am to get myself prepared for the day by starting breakfast and having some quiet time. It has been life changing these past two weeks and I cannot recommend it enough. Normally, I’d let Cosima wake me up at 6 but giving myself the extra 30 minutes has been a great gift to myself and to my family. This night owl has reformed y’all.

We’ve been so busy with house projects, freezer meals, field trips, canning food, and all the sweet little kiddos moments like loosing teeth, watching Pickle master new milestones, and starting new family read aloud books. The last two weeks have flown by. I really am so blessed. This is the least hectic our year will be and I am trying to savor it. Soon all the extra curricular activities will start and we will be doing an extra class or lesson And that’s on top of our regular school! Knowing this is the calm before the storm is helping me live in the now.

one of our chickens started laying and we are all super duper excited!

Our kitties and chickens have been keeping us extra busy with their daily antics but we are enjoying them so much! I’ve especially appreciated how much responsibility it has given the big kids; they really are blossoming into loving pet owners. Cosima in particular is so confident in her sometimes overwhelming affection for the very patient animals.

Well, I think that’s all for now everyone! We have found our new school rhythm with much less of a rocky start than I anticipated, and I am grateful! I’m sure it will be a whole new adjustment mid-September when things get hectic, but I have no doubt we will adjust accordingly then too.
I have some new recipes and field trip posts planned in the next few days so stay tuned!

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