Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bonus Boys

My "bonus boys"

Over the course of the summer, I had these three extra "bonus boys," as I began to call them, for a handful of days. Because I'm not one to just sit at home on these gorgeous (and fleeting) summer days that we have in Maine, these three were incorporated in to any activity we were doing. And, because I would have seven boys on various days throughout the summer, I knew we'd need to do some other fun outside activities in order to keep them from getting too bored. We all know what happens when boys get bored right?

One of the first days they were here, we headed out to Vaughn Woods (aka Hobbit Land). Earlier this spring our 4H group had headed here to look for some geocaches. The place is rather large. We entered a different way this time and spent about an hour exploring. 

It's called "Hobbit Land" because it looks a lot like the Shire with it's lush landscape and stone bridge. I think the boys had a good time and it got a lot of energy out of them!

It was a rather hot day so after I opted to head to the Maine State Museum to explore a bit in the air conditioning. Because I homeschool, I can get in for free. My boys have been often because of that, but the "bonus boys" have not. I think my boys had a good time playing "tour guide." 

We also spent a day exploring Screw Auger Falls in Grafton Notch State Park. This is one place none of us had been before. It was a great place to bring boys to explore. 

We sat right on this rock to eat our lunch. The water was shallow and it was really nice to go wading in it. 

I was carrying the two-year-old I watch on my back and the trail became far too narrow to fit through with a toddler attached. He isn't that big, but he was in a baby hiking backpack. 

The boys loved it. After we explored Screw Auger Falls, we drove down the road a bit and walked around some at Mother Walker Falls as well. While I didn't think the falls were spectacular (Moxie Falls and Houston Brook Falls are pretty nice), it was still a fun hike.

Our next excursion was to Bangor to check out Cole-Land Transportation Museum. Again, this is some place where my boys have been before, but it's been awhile. Everyone under age 18, gets in for free. 

This place is just full of all kinds of vehicles. They have all kinds of sleds, bikes, trucks, cars, fire engines, and even a full size locomotive engine, box car, and caboose. It's HUGE and a lot of fun. They also have a small area dedicated to military history and have items that date back to the Civil War. 

When I saw this quote, I had to have them all line up in front of it. 

There is a Model T that is there for photo ops. We took full advantage.

Outside the museum I had the boys line up for group shots under this helicopter as well as the tank below. As we were walking towards the tank, we passed a family with four young boys. One was in a stroller and three others were running around. The dad did a head count of all the boys with me and said something like, "You have your hands full!"

I replied that they weren't even all mine but I was babysitting half of them. He then offered to leave his boys with me. I declined, but it was a fun exchange. I'm sure I had many looks on all our various excursions this summer, but I was actually pleasantly surprised at the lack of comments. I had six boys with me ranging in age from two to thirteen. 

My oldest boy didn't go with us on any of these trips for one simple reason...I didn't have enough room in my vehicle. I drive a Yukon XL that seats seven. Although, he didn't seem to mind having to stay home...alone...while we went out on these trips. 

Our last trip was an organized field trip that another homeschooling mom had planned. We headed to the coast to visit the Old Jail of Lincoln County located in Wiscasset (I'm going to do a separate post on this trip). It was fascinating. Our guide was engaging and we had a lot of fun exploring the jail. So much history there!

I think the boys enjoyed this part of the trip. After we headed twenty minutes away to check out the Pownalborough Courthouse. This tour wasn't as engaging. There was a lot of fascinating history but our guide gave us informational overload. The building was hot. I do think the boys enjoyed some of this tour. I ended up having to leave early to get back for evening activities. 

Needless to say it's been a busy, boy-filled summer. I enjoyed having our bonus boys though. It definitely gave me a taste of "large family life." I have to say, it was rather fun. 

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