Saturday, November 12, 2011

Festive Field Trip

We had fun on a field trip on Friday. The whole family traveled a bit over an hour to Detroit to tour The Parade Company. The Parade Company is responsible for the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year will be the 81st year that the parade has been running! The field trip allowed us to walk through the HUGE warehouse where the floats are stored and created. I have been watching the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade since I was a kid. Many of the things that I saw yesterday were things I've seen over the years.

These are paper mache "heads" that people wear while walking in the parade. We learned that they weigh up to 100 lbs! In addition when the parade first started, it was run by Mr. Hudson. He employed people to walk in the parade. Now, the parade is full of volunteers. If someone would like to wear one of these heads, THEY actually pay The Parade Company $200 to wear one! My kids think it is crazy to pay that kind of money to walk around balancing a 100 lb head on their shoulders!

Sweet Baby immediately noticed that there was an elephant head, since elephants are her favorite animal, we snapped a picture of her.

I remember seeing these in the parade year after year. People climb into them and walk around with them..FUNNY!

After our introduction and taking a peek at the paper mache heads and ostriches, we went on to see the area where they are creating new floats. We were not allowed to take photos of the floats themselves but I was able to take a picture of this. The artist was sanding down this big piece of foam like stuff to make a piece to a float. The kids really thought that was neat.

Here is the Wizard of Oz float..cute!

Daddy really enjoyed the engineering aspect of the tour. The spent a bit of time telling us the materials that were used in creating the floats. This is a "float" that is powered by a bicycle. You can see that it is going to be a car of some sort. They use steel bars and chicken wire for the frame. The frame is covered with muslin, primed and painted before it is ready to go.

Peanut loved the princess carriage. Apparently the base of the carriage as donated by an Amish family. Our tour guide also mentioned that they rent the carriage out for weddings!

Here Peanut is getting her picture snapped with the carriage.

Here is another piece of the parade that I remember seeing over the years. These are rolled down the street by people dressed as clowns.

Here is a shot of the adorable Sesame Street float. I miss the days that my kids got excited over Elmo and Big Bird. SIGH...

And of course, the exciting part of the parade for little ones...when Santa makes his way down Woodward Avenue. Although the last couple years have me reassessing the whole "Santa" thing, I do adore the images of Santa and his workshop.

This is the float that Santa actually rides in on. Cute huh?

Here is one final float that Peanut liked and I thought it was cute as well. It is an "aquarium".

Anyway, what annual traditions do you have for Thanksgiving? Growing up our family tradition included going to my grandparents, watching the Thanksgiving Day parade, eating a wonderful dinner and relaxing.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This Week

We have just a couple weeks left in our study of Rome. This week we have been studying Acts and Paul's missionary journey and the beginning of the church. As we are winding down our study of Rome, we are supposed to have a Roman Feast. This week the girls wrote We will be having our feast the week after Thanksgiving. Technically we are supposed to have our feast the week of Thanksgiving, but I'm not about to do Thanksgiving at our house AND a Roman feast all in the same week so I'm tweaking things a bit! So, the girls sat down to make a Roman scroll for daddy. I told them that we would see if we could get daddy to dress up in a toga for the feast. Sweet Baby ran with that and added an instruction to hers.....

"Don't frget to be romany"

Of course she meant "forget", but what cracks me up is the word "romany"!

For science, the younger girls and I began talking about flowers and their parts. They enjoyed making models of a flower. Here Peanut is (complete in her pj uniform) coloring some pollen onto the stamen and pistil of her flower (made from pipe cleaners).

Sweet Baby enjoyed making her model - complete in her sister's Laura Ingalls Halloween costume ;)

Peanut wanted to make her flower look like her favorite flower, a tulip, so she closed up the petals a bit. It seems the girls enjoyed this hands on activity....I love smiles like this!