Life as a Carnival

Carnival of Homeschooling  

Please catch the Carnival of Homeschooling at Life on the Road.  It’s framed around the The 12 Labors of Hercules and it’s a good one. 

Speaking of carnivals, google news had a couple of articles about homeschoolers and Life as a Carnival.
 From the Delaware State Fair and on the midway: 
Life’s a carnival for this mobile clan

As general manager of one of three traveling units of Wade Shows, Danton, 45, is responsible for nearly 50 rides on the midway at the Delaware State Fair. His wife, Cynnimin, 38, is a food partner in the Wade Shows, and manages eight food stands.

"I was born and raised on Wade Shows, so this is home to me," Cynnimin said.

Family life for Jim and Cynnimin has meant certain concessions to life on the road.

For example, public schools were not an option for their children, Ashley and Alexander, so they were home-schooled.

Looks like it’s kept the kids happy seeing the world too.  Those cupcakes at Magnolia’s Bakery in Manhattan must be good.

A little closer to home in Dunlap, central Illinois, but Not your typical family farm:

In one direction, it looks like an average farm. There are horses, goats, ponies and a dog. Look the other way, and it’s suddenly a safari. There is a zebra, a camel and an emu. And don’t forget the two elephants and five tigers.

People attending the Heart of Illinois Fair may have seen them at Exposition Gardens, but catching a glimpse of the exotic creatures lounging around the Friscos’ yard off Illinois Route 91 is a bit more unexpected.

Father and son Joe and Terry Frisco don’t think anything of it. Instead of riding tractors and cultivating crops, their daily chores include making sure the elephants get 100 gallons of water on a hot day and seeing that the tigers don’t fight over their meat.

Terry’s routine is similar from day to day, but he spends only a fraction of the year in central Illinois. The rest of the time, he and his wife, Linda, and 15-year-old home-schooled daughter, Felicia, are on the road and heading to the next gig. And during the colder part of the year, the family relocates to Florida.

100 gallons of water a day. 

Along the same lines and because I do want to document some of the kids’ goings on here, Kelly did an animal/veterinary science 4-H poster that won an award at the 4-H Fair.  I did a little arm twisting for them to do this project.  It made perfect sense to me that Miller Park Zoo Jr. Zookeepers would combine that interest in 4-H.  They weren’t keying into that and protested a bit.  They have no regrets now, learned a lot about animals they do NOT handle at the zoo and were reminded that Mom is Always Right (unless she’s not).  Kelly did it on the Sun Bear duo at Miller Park Zoo.  (Grady covered the Red Wolves and also did well.)  The sun bears are very entertaining even as I have some mixed feelings in seeing their very routine life in a very routine habitat.  The zoo has honored the bears’ love of messiness.   Miller Park Zoo Sun Bear  ExhibitK caught the bears at feeding time and they had quite a feast.  They like to eat off the floor.  The lunch bags had treats inside that the bears could claw open.  They also had Avanti’s bread, Sun Bear Fruit and Avanti's breadwhich is a local treat for humans.  These bears eat well. Sun Bear DinnerThe Friscos spend $165,000/year on the food for their unusual ‘farm’ animals.  I can only imagine how much the Miller Park Zoo spends on little yummy treats like fishcicles.  From Kelly’s report:

In the wild:
Sun bears eat predominantly fruit, honey, insects and their larvae, small rodents, lizards, birds, earthworms, green vegetation and roots. Sun bears also like the growing tips of coconut palms grown on plantations. This kills the palms and plantation owners have shot the Sun Bears.
At the zoo:
Omnivore biscuits, dog food, meat bones, a variety of fruits, vegetables, insects and honey.  They occasionally get fishcicles (frozen fish).

Just a piece of the Ryan family Life as a carnival, which has wound down considerably in the last few days.  If for no other reason, having our phone and power blow out with another lightning strike along with no pending recitals, fairs or camps will take us off the midway for a couple of weeks, thank goodness.  The boys volunteer at the zoo on Thursday and other than that, our life is back to normal routine.

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