Friday, July 17, 2009

The Amish Zoo

Max's grandparents took him on a field trip to a slightly different kind of zoo this week.

For lack of a better term, we call it "the Amish Zoo." It's a small, family-owned zoo on a local farm, and it's run by the Amish family that lives there. Family members of all ages are involved with the day-to-day operations -- there are children driving the horse & cart, handing out bags of feed for visitors to purchase, and helping to answer questions or provide assistance as needed, right alongside the adults.

It's an interesting little place. And it's funny to think that the novelty of it all for us is just another day on the farm to them. (It's also funny to imagine how happy and industrious Max might be if he lived there. Perhaps there is a lesson to be had here? - Noted!)

Much of the place is one big hands-on, petting zoo area. There are bunnies and fawns and goats to touch and feed and watch.

There was also an area where Max could try his hand at milking a (wooden) cow.

It's a lot easier to just open the fridge.

Max enjoyed ambling along in the cart while watching the animals roam.

(I wonder what the age difference is between these two boys...)

And then they got off the cart, right in the midst of those gentle creatures, with a bag of treats to share. I think the animals were almost as friendly and curious as Max was!

"Good afternoon, Mr. Goat! May I offer you a small amuse-bouche?"

There are fenced-in areas of the zoo, too, and Max & Grandpa made sure the animals in those parts were offered some treats, as well.

Feeding goats is a very ticklish business.

...But the goats were still the most fun!

Slow down, everyone -- there's plenty to go around.

There were a few exotic animals, too. Max was especially excited to see a tiger, as the memory of his last tiger encounter was still fresh in his mind....but that encounter was still fresh in Grammy's mind, too, so they quickly moved on!

No way, Jose!! This pacing tiger is NOT your old friend...and this fence is NOT sturdy Plexiglas. Keep walking!

They wisely decided to stick with the GOATS...

Hand sani-- oops, I mean FACE sanitizer, please!

...which seemed to be a VERY WISE decision, indeed!

*Shakes head in disbelief* (
That boy.......sometimes I really am just speechless.)

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Sunday, July 5, 2009


I had Max help bake some cookies today.

I thought I was going to have him roll the dough into balls, but that idea was quickly quashed. (He was into Slapstick; I was into Following Directions.) We met somewhere in the middle, and his job became rolling the balls in the cinnamon sugar coating.

A few turned into snakes (forgot to photograph those before I ate re-rolled them), but mostly he was extremely gentle and eager to assist.

After each ball had been coated with cinnamon sugar, Max put the dough balls on the pan, one at a time. The end result called for a photo.

You know how there are certain scenes that you come across occasionally that make you sort of giggle and ache all at the same time? This was one of those scenes for me. I love this delightful little grouping of cookies-to-be.

(And the pictures that follow? Priceless!)

He was very pleased with his work.

How nobly he restrains himself! How wistfully he eyes them!

Good job, Max! I think cookie baking could become a regular event around here...

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