I took the Big Eight to the Herr's Factory in PA today. I think the last time we did this tour Betsy was an itty bitty baby - might have been along in the Snugli. While JT and Ben remembered the tour from before, it was still fun for everyone. JM and David are still getting used to their status as (almost) school-aged "big" guys and were thrilled to be along for the ride. They do a great tour and it's all free.
First they showed a movie of the history of the company - started by Mr. Herr and his Mennonite (then) girl-friend. Their courtship occurred in the front seats of a delivery truck as they hauled baskets of chips to customers around the county. There's lots to love about this story. It has love, romance, faith, perseverance and family (all 5 of their children are still involved with the company). In fact, I remember the last time we took this tour - of the actual factory, no simulated assembly lines for this tour! - there were bulletin boards all over the walls in the hallways with notes posted for employees. Just about every one had notices with a post script quoting some scripture or offering encouragement to add prayer to their work day. I didn't notice that so much this time but it is rumored that employees stick around because of the great benefits, including absolutely no work on weekends.
I did let them each take home their snack size bag of free chips. Although not listed in our Feingold foodguide, they looked good - I may regret that decision later, we shall see....oils are always iffy with hidden preservatives.
On the way home I took a little detour to surprise JT. Last week I had discovered this billboard and I wanted him to see it:
Now what are the chances of that?! JT is very proud of the fact that he is the fourth JTK in the family. He is Joel Timothy, his dad is Joel Thaddeus, his Tata is Joel Terrence and his great-grandfather Joseph Thomas (I may be wrong on that one - Tata can correct me!). He's so smitten with his family history that he usually signs his name JTK4. Tata has even made him a real special little book telling the story of each JT with a picture of each generation with his own JTK in arms. So this billboard was a fun little gold mine. It got a grin on JT's face anyway.
We came home and made it through the day's history lesson - the one school item that we just can't slip on or we will fall woefully behind schedule. With a gorgeous sunshine outside and the neighborhood kids home from school for President's Day (whatever...) they all got to romp outside until the rain came.
Then it was a perfect rainy afternoon to watch a movie assigned to them by their choir director - Fiddler on the Roof. They'll be singing Tradition! in their upcoming Spring concert along with a bunch of other musical numbers so she has them watching a whole series of old musicals. I love this one. I remember seeing it in the theater with my family when I was about Ben's or Ruth's age and being woefully confused by the plot. So I made sure to watch it with them and explain the storyline. What a great storyline it is!
The evening was topped off with a momentous occasion for Ben. Thanks to some good friends, Ben has finally gotten himself in the cast of a real live play (one that isn't being performed in our basement that is). He'll be the third storyteller in a production of Alice in Wonderland and this evening was his first rehearsal. I printed his script off last night and handed it to him. He promptly carried it to bed and began to memorize every one of his 21 lines. He was well prepared for this evening and I was really proud of him. He got in there and did a great job.
The last treasure of the day we found at Wal-Mart where we ventured after Ben's rehearsal. Pickles was so delighted that I found these for her:Yes, dill pickle flavored Pringles! Nope, not Feingold approved but they sure were tasty - and very sour. All in all, a wonderful day.