Both extremes this week.

This was a week  that took us to both extremes.
We started the week off  with a Capoeira lesson that was both intense, fun, and educational all rolled into one.
What is  Capoeira?  It’s best described as a form of martial arts combined with music.  It was developed in Brazil by African slaves to resist oppression 400 years ago.  They were forbidden to practice fighting, so they masked it with dance.

We spent almost 90 minutes learning  about the different elements that encompass this art.

It’s not only about the moves, there  are other aspects such as “playing” in a roda (pronounced ‘ho-da’).  At the head of every roda plays the bateria ( like a rhythm section), with the rest of the roda clapping and singing along.  Songs are sung in Portuguese, and  follow a call-and-response style. The instruments that are used are also a work of art themselves.
There is an energy in Capoeira that can only be felt by experiencing this art form. The exchange between people in the roda, and the  energy from the those that are singing and clapping  is amazing. You won’t want it to end.
I look forward to practicing again as does my almost 7-year-old daughter who has been doing her moves in our living room all week.
If you’re interested in learning more about Capoeira, please contact Gata Brave at :
Capoeira Class and the Berimbaus instrument Capoeira Class
By mid-week we ventured outdoors to the annual Howell Living History Farm Ice Harvest 2014.
It has been quite some time since we did this event. Actually, my son was 5 at the time and he is now 13.
It seemed like a good time to revisit  it  with my daughter (almost 7).
The simple task of opening our freezer door and twisting an ice-cube tray or pushing a button on a refrigerator to have ice dispensed was not always so easy as the kids saw first hand.
We went onto a very frozen pond ( no worries about that in these temperatures). They scored and sawed blocks of ice. Each block weighing  50-60 pounds. The blocks were pushed with large picks to a ramp where there would have been a team of horses to pull them up into an icehouse. We were the horses on our trip though, and we all worked as a team to get the blocks up the ramp and stored inside.
The kids took turns picking up chunks of ice weighing approximately 10-15  pounds each with a gripping tool  and walked it  back and forth to a bucket. This helped them to get a feel for what it was like when they were asked by Mom to get ice for their icebox inside the house.
After all the outdoor fun, we ventured inside to make our very own ice cream with an old mixer.


Each family was able to make their own special quilt square that they got to take home with them.
It was a great trip and  so much fun for the kids. I would definitely suggest this event next winter if you have not had the chance to do it.
Sign up early though as the ice harvest has a limited amount of tours and fills up quick.

Scored Ice Harvesting the ice Pulling ice blocks into the ice house. Time to fill up the indoor ice box. Making the ice cream

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