What I Learned This Summer

Well, the official first day of fall is only 5 days away… I hope you all have had a great summer so far! I’ve been a pretty negligent blogger (nothing since Mother’s Day, yikes!). Instead of just giving you a list of what I’ve done in my absence, I decided to tell you about what I’ve learned through the experiences. So without further ado:


Airports aren’t as scary as I first imagined.

View out the window

Aside from a flight when I was only 3 months old and a ride in our neighbor’s small 2 seater, I’ve never been on an airplane. Since plane tickets for our family would cost a small mint, the chances of me flying were almost nil. It was actually such a remote idea that I had “fly on a commercial airplane” on my bucket list! 🙂 Well, in May I finally got the chance. Emily invited me to accompany her on a visit to her great aunt and uncle who live in California!

To tell you the truth, I was a little apprehensive of navigating an airport “alone” as it was. Thankfully it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. I didn’t get detained at security for accidentally bringing nail clippers, my bags weren’t overweight, and we even managed to make our connecting flight. A bird’s eye view of the wind-turbines near Chicago was awesome, the Sierra Nevada Mountains were breathtaking and the center pivot irrigation systems were really neat!

While in California I learned:

To try new things.

Aunt Carole, Uncle Pooge, Emily, Me in San Francisco Bay
Aunt Carole, Uncle Pooge, Emily, Me in San Francisco Bay

Emily’s Aunt Carole and Uncle Pooge were two of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. They took us everywhere from Muir Woods Giant Redwoods Forest to downtown San Francisco to ride a cable car!  Aunt Carole, especially, encouraged me to be adventurous and try new things, which I did attempt to do. I even ate rattlesnake! (Not that bad actually, kind of tastes like fish) You can see more about our trip on our blog From New York to Cali.

We spent a wonderful 2 weeks in California before coming home again. I had a few weeks respite, during which time we had two wonderful visits from relatives. At the end of June Addison and I had the opportunity to attend the 150th Anniversary Gettysburg Reenactment. During which I learned:

Don’t allow the weather or circumstances out of your control to prevent you from having a good time. 

Of course it was very hot and muggy, but we still had a wonderful time. And although we weren’t able to connect with Emily we did meet up with several other friends that we only get to see at reenactments. I also discovered that the inside of your tent stays drier if you tie the flaps closed, don’t ask me how I know!

One of the only pictures I have from Gettysburg. Our camp was right in the middle of the woods! (And yes, there's a plastic water bottle in the pic, it was before the event  officially started.)
One of the only pictures I have from Gettysburg. Our camp was right in the middle of the woods! (And yes, there’s a plastic water bottle in the pic, it was before the event officially started 🙂 )

In July Addie and I went on another trip together called Love Buffalo. Several hundred teens and adults from different denominational churches across the country teamed up for a week of service in inner-city Buffalo. It was such a great opportunity to

Put my faith in action

James 2:15-17 says that “If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to him, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you don’t give them what the body needs , what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.”

Climbing ladders, scraping siding, and brushing on paint may seem like small enough tasks, but I believe that when done in the name of Jesus Christ He multiplies our poor offerings a hundred times over and uses them to bless people and show them His love.

I also learned about overcoming/not being held back by my fear of heights as I climbed ladders 2 1/2 stories up!

Scraping paint
Scraping paint (I’m wearing the brown shirt on the ladder)

Each night we ate a different authentic ethnic meal. Aunt Carole would be proud to know that I boldly tried all of it and enjoyed it! 😉

Ethiopian dinner
Ethiopian dinner
Burmese dinner
Burmese dinner
Peruvian dinner
Peruvian dinner
Thai dinner
Thai dinner

As soon as we came home from Love Buffalo it was off to my favorite reenactment of the year, Genesee Country Village’s Civil War weekend. This time I had the chance to

Share my passion with others.

Along with Addie, my little brother Mason came with us! His 10th birthday was only 2 weeks before the event so for his present we got him a set of authentic clothes! It was so much fun having my own little family there with me. We were able to camp with some friends we met there last year and it was such a blessing! Mason hit it off with their boys and was soon playing mock battles with them. Our tent was even converted into a hospital where Addie and Kezia performed “amputations” on their brothers!

Little soldier boys: Josiah, Mason, Asa and Gage
Little soldier boys: Josiah, Mason, Asa and Gage
Nurse Kezia and Surgeon Josiah prepare to operate on Mason!
Nurse Kezia and Surgeon Josiah prepare to operate on Mason!

I hope you all had a wonderful summer as well! Did you go on any exciting adventures or learn something new? Enjoy the last five days until Autumn!

This last one just because I can, she's adorable, and God is good!
This last one just because I can, she’s adorable, and God is good!


-The Farming Daughter



Mumford Civil War Reenactment

July 13th-15th was a very special weekend for Addison and I! One of my absolute favorite places in the world, Genesee Country Village and Museum, hosts a civil war reenactment every year. Normally we just go watch, but this time I was able to go as a reenactor!

Although I had already been to several reenactments this one made me feel like I a real reenactor, mainly because Addie and I bought our own tent and my Civil War mom wasn’t there until Saturday.

We had to be at the reenactment on Friday evening, so the main part of the day was spent packing and frantically doubling checking my list to make sure I didn’t forget anything. Our tent barely arrived in time for the event and Dad had to build the poles and stakes before we could use it. Once he got them done Dad helped me practice setting the tent up in the yard.

our new tent!
our new tent!

That evening we loaded up the van and Mom drove us girls to the event. On the way there it started to pour rain! I was so worried we wouldn’t get to stay because Mom said she wasn’t leaving us at the event in a downpour. Thankfully by the time we got there the rain had pretty much stopped. It took a while to find our camp spot since the civilian camp where we were staying was at the farthest end of the village. Mom helped us put up the tent and I was so relieved I remembered how to do it!

Saturday morning Addison and I got dressed, ate some breakfast, and the set off for a ride in the museum’s new reproduction of the Civil War hot air balloon, The Intrepid. The view was absolutely gorgeous, and it was clear enough out that we could even see Rochester. Our balloon operator was able to tell us about the balloon’s orignal operator, Thaddeus Lowe, the history of the Union Army’s Balloon Corps and how balloon’s were used during the Civil War. The original Intrepid was smaller than the museum’s reproduction, but went up much higher (up to 1,000 feet!).

After our early morning adventure we went back to camp to help my Civil War mom set up. The rest of the day we tried to stay in the shade as much as possible since it was very hot! We met some new lovely little friends and had a great time playing school with them. When we got bored of that we played some Civil War games and practiced our steps for the ball that night.

The ball was held in the carriage barn and looked very pretty with strings of (non-period correct 🙂 ) lights hanging from the rafters.  One of my partners was a verrrry cute boy named Josiah (he was 6 🙂 ) Dancing is definitelty one of my favorite reenacting things to do! I was also able to meet a wonderful new friend, Allison there!

By the time we left the ball it we had to find our way through the village in the dark. Thankfully Addison is very good with directions, otherwise I might still be wandering around there trying to find our camp! Here’s a map of the village. The red arrow is where the ball was and the blue arrow is where our camp was.

GCV map

As you can see it wasn’t a good recipe for a girl who can’t find her way out of a paper bag!

Sunday just happened to be my 17th birthday! Mom, Dad and the boys came and surprised me with a delicious, period correct 1-2-3-4 cake (1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 eggs, 4 cups of flour) that she spiced up with lemon juice and dusted with powdered sugar! I got even bigger suprise when I found that Addison and our little friends had set the table and then decorated it with fresh flowers, a table cloth and homemade cards! (Thanks girls that was SO sweet! Thanks for helping them Miss Kathy and Mrs. Woolley!)

Mumford Birthday Party

I recieved some lovely gifts (including a much needed fan and a beautiful flower hair comb) but my favorite was definitely getting introduced to my new best friend Emily!

All in all it was a wonderful weekend!