Pioneer Days were hard...

I got to spend my Wednesday with this kid and 80 other second graders on their field "lesson" (because apparently field "trip" is outdated and misinformed) and y'all - we had the BEST time. Seriously, the ride down and back with two of my people was enough to make the day worth it, but it turns out, the field "lesson" was pretty darn educational. 


We went to the Sam Houston Memorial Museum in Hunstville and let me just tell you that these employees (or maybe even volunteers) take Mr. Houston very seriously. We started the tour with a short video about Sam's life and learned the following:

- he left home at the age of 16
- he started a school even though he had no education -
- he was married 3 times (the first marriage lasted 3 months and no one knows what happened)
- he lived with and was accepted by a tribe of Cherokee and for a period of 3 years would acknowledge anyone that spoke English
 - he was besties with Andrew Jackson 
- he served as the President of Texas
- he is the only person to be Governor of two states (Tennessee and Texas)

And about 1000 other things I'm sure I learned at some point in life but have since forgot because I never really "needed it" except for that random trivia question at the bar. Hopefully it sticks with Radley longer. 

After the video the groups split up into classes to rotate through the 3 stations. Rad's group lucked out and got to the the "hands on life as a pioneer" station first. They were quickly separated into groups of men and women because you know, #genderroles. 

He was ready.

Their ever-so-delightful and excellent-with-children tour guide (please note the sarcasm) called them to attention. My kid loves drama so he obliged...

and then sent them off to work the land. 

Jenna and I lagged behind for a selfie in front of one of Sammie's homes.

These men listened well as they were instructed on the proper way to chop wood and what it would be used for (heating house, cooking, building stuff).

They each got to hold a "real" axe before tackling the job of chopping a real live...

twig. Haha! Smart move SHMM, but I think these men wanted a bigger challenge. 

Until they had to haul that wood to the kitchen for the "women folk" to make them some cornbread after a hard day's work. The whole concept of men and women having specific roles caught me off guard because I, like Mac from Teen Beach, believe that "girls can do anything boys can do" and vice versa. But this was historical and educational and they did a great job explaining that to all the kiddos (and parents that were seat shifting). 

My favorite part of the day may have been when the guides were explaining "boy jobs" vs "girl jobs" and Radley replied with earnest, "Hey... what if I want to cook?!" #proudmomma #sharedresponsibility 

After all that wood chopping it was time to plow that garden. But first, a picture. 

While the kids were getting a lesson proper plowing form and such, Jenna and I walked around and snapped some pics. This home is a "dog run" home meaning it's open aired in the middle which was done to keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. During hot summers they would keep the doors and windows open to create suction and naturally cool the interior. In the winter, they would shut everything and keep the fires burning to keep things warm. Plus they had 9 people living in 3 rooms, so... heat probably wasn't hard to generate. 

Jackson and Radley were pretty insistent on plowing by themselves because they are quick learners and also stubborn. :) 

Meanwhile, the women folk, were hard at working washing clothes (they used real wash boards and hand soap), churning butter, and making cornbread. 

And you can't really do many of those things without water, so the men went to fetch a pail of water. 

They each took turns carrying that pails about 10 yards or so. Radley's review of this part was as follows, "Ugh. They didn't even put water in the buckets. I am strong enough. I could have carried the water, too."

After all of that, it was time for the women to thank the men for all of their hard work by offering them fresh cornbread and butter.

Y'all. Radley was not a fan of that butter. I thought he was going to spit it out but he held it in and managed to get it down. I tried not to laugh too hard. (And we only use real butter, so I'm not sure what the deal was.) 

Next they got a lesson in how the kids back then passed the time. 

And this adorable man managed to just stand there and not say a word but was also incredible entertaining. 

Radley in action. 

Radley has been talking about Sam Houston for weeks so he really had the best time and did such a great job listening and taking it all in. He was so excited to come home and share all that he learned with his sisters and I am so glad that I got to hang with him and learn right along side. 

I kind of hit the jackpot with this kid. 

And he hit the jackpot with this class. 


  1. Ah! I loved it! So sweet (and you totally had me with the Teen Beach movie quote!). ;)