I can't even describe to you how beautiful the weather is right now in good ole Auburn, AL! It is a perfect, breezy, clear, sunny, pollen-free(!) day! I am reallllly struggling to do anything related to school as I am in no way tempted to shove my face in a book right now.
Well, I missed blogging yesterday. So let's recap (without pics for hopefully the last time--Im off to get a new memory card this afternoon!!) I had to leave Auburn at 730 yesterday morning and head to Birmingham for a class field trip. 6 of us went to the Harris Early Learning Center to observe the lunch service and to interview the directors of the program and the head chef. I can honestly say that I hope one day my children will be lucky enough to attend daycare at a place like that! It was so cool! The facility was built as a model daycare for the HDFS department at Auburn. It is in downtown Birmingham and is seriously one of the most kid friendly centers I have ever seen! It had a kid size kitchen with low counter tops and a low range top and oven/microwave center. We were told that the children use the kitchen for special occasions or when there is an experiment that can be done in the kitchen that deals with what they're learning. It was adorable! And every room/hallway was named after a children's book, so the kitchen was called "Stone Soup Kitchen". The hallways were things like "Curious George" Drive and "Cat in the Hat" alley. Each classroom, which was perfectly decorated with anything a kid could want (including a treehouse reading nook!!) and also had an attached "water room" that was completely tiled. The rooms are used for painting and there are water tables for experiments as well. Clean up is a breeze because there are sprayers that you literally just spray everything in the room with and it drains and dries easily. Also, there was an outdoor play area for each age group, and each of those areas has a built in water feature for the summer time! I am telling you this place would be like heaven for a toddler!! The younger children had a water wall for more of a sensory feel, while the older children had a huge tunnel with sprinklers--AWESOME! Finally, after seeing all of that amazingness, it was lunch time.
The way they serve the children lunch there is so cool! On the menu yesterday was chicken 'n' dumplings, broccoli, and pears/oranges. The children are each assigned a lunch duty. One sets out a plate for each student, one the silverware, one cups, and one napkins. The children then find their assigned seats and patiently wait for the blessing. Then, each of the three tables receives one bowl of food. For instance, one table received the bowl of broccoli, one the bowl of dumplings, and one the bowl of fruit. The children then served themselves one by one from the bowl. sort of family style-ish if you will. The served using a measuring cup because a) It is easier for them to grasp and manipulate and b) to teach them proper portion sizes for each food group. None of the children began eating until every child had served themselves all 3 foods. It was seriously the neatest thing!
For breakfast yesterday, I ate in the car on the way to Bham, so it was a Nature Valley Oats and Honey granola bar kinda day. I love those things!
For lunch, I had the same meal as the children--chicken and dumplings, broccoli, and pears. (and we got a chocolate chip cookie). The chef, Mr. Bobby, was incredibly talented. The meal was delicious!
Yesterday evening. I went to Tuskegee with my roommate Allison and good friend, Katie. We met up with Allison's mom and a group of geocachers. They grilled out hot dogs and then we had some tasty snacks! I don't eat hotdogs though, so I had a heaping portion of baked beans with some chips and salsa, and veggies and ranch. I tried dehydrated green beans for the first time and they were wonderful! I need to look up the nutritional value for them and see if they are really a healthy alternative to potato chips, or just a phony. There were some delicious homemade cookies there too, so I may have over-indulged. Then, we went for a 4 mile hike through the forest and found some night-caches. It was such a cool experience! I recommend checking out geocaching if you haven't already. It is a great way to get outside, get some exercise, and have fun with friends and family!
Well, I am off to run a 5K! Be back soon with a recap and today's meals :)