9th Day: Lumberjack Christmas

Lumberjack Christmas (youtube)
  The ninth day was full of Minnesota folklore and forestry!  We really brought in the big guns for the kids to learn some more about their new state’s legends and sites.
  We started early this morning with talking on the communicator to Northy Jackson the elf.  He said he is Santa’s navigator, explained what a navigator is, and asked where Marshall lives.  Marshall told him Minnesota and Northy asked what some things about Marshall’s home he likes.  I used this as an opportunity to teach Marshall the cool folklore of northern Minnesota and go see some sites.

They’re kind of a big deal

 

  Northern Minnesota takes great pride in Paul Bunyan, our larger than life lumberjack, statues of him can be found in many small towns sprinkled around the north country.  One of the largest biking trails in the state is even called the Paul Bunyan trail- and it’s in good company with many streets, cafes, shops, and even an amusement park named for the legendary man.
  We drove to two different small towns.  One to visit Paul Bunyan and another to visit his wife, Lucette.
With Paul Bunyan
Mrs. Bunyan herself, Lucette
  We used the car ride to talk about Paul Bunyan and Lucette.  How, according to legend, Paul is from Minnesota but Lucette is from Iowa.  Paul’s ox that he uses to haul logs is blue and named Babe and he has a dog named Spot.  Spot is kind of like one of Marshall’s favorite movies, Frankenweenie, due to the fact that Paul had to stitch Spot back together after a lumberjack accident.
  The small town that houses Lucette even issued a marriage certificate for Paul Bunyan & his bride after a woman complained that they have a son so they were “living in sin”. Yes, that’s how serious some Minnesotans take the Bunyan family.
  When we got home our official breakfast chef (aka Brad) started making the dinner of lumberjacks: flapjacks!  While Brad worked on dinner, the kids did some high flipping flapjacks of their own.  Marshall loves to mimic his papa.
Marshall showing how to turn on the burners

 

“And then you flip it!”

 

Marshall was nice enough to cook up his sister a flapjack dinner and cocoa
She loves it!

 

  Brad went all out to make the perfect lumberjack dinner: flapjacks in the shape of a Christmas tree!  Complete with strawberry syrup garland, powdered sugar snow, and topped with an egg star.  This would seriously be the best breakfast for a large family on Christmas- there’s a skewer going through the middle so you just slide each pancake up and off.  Perfect buffet breakfast!
Marshall was so impressed with his papa’s skills!
  After the hardy dinner, we set up the kids’ camping set next to the tree and sang campfire carols and told tall tales of Christmases past.
“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!”

 

She loved whipping her roasting stick around

 

  Our kids are very fortunate, they have many people that love to shower gifts upon them (their daddy being a huge culprit all on his own as well).  So we have “sometimes toys”; toys that we only pull out to play with every once in awhile. It’s great with keeping toys appreciated, special, and holds the kids’ interest a bit longer that way.  It also cuts down on the clutter too!  The indoor camping set is one of our “sometimes toys”, so it was pretty special for the kids for it to make an appearance.  It was Violet’s first time seeing it, she was just mesmerized by the movement and flickering of the fake flame.
  We ended the night with watching Disney’s “American Legends”, all about tall tales- including Paul Bunyan!

 

  The ninth day was larger than life with celebrating the biggest Christmas tree cutter of them all while also learning more about Minnesotan tradition and folklore.  Getting out and about was definitely a bright spot for us.  But tomorrow the darkness may just creep in with another Scandinavian legend.
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