Today Caelestis Valores Academy (our homeschool) went on a field trip of a delicious sort! It's our first of 3 field trips planned for this week.
We toured the Jelly Belly® factory and brought along a homeschooling friend. Everyone loved the 40 minute tour.
• Everyone gets a hat and must wear it throughout the tour. If you have an unusually large head, they provide hairnets.
• Did you know it takes 7-10 days from start to finish to make a Jelly Belly® jelly bean?
• Imagine the overpowering sweet aroma of the flavor room being prepped in these 3 flavors:
Yes, Toothpaste! That's one of the new bean boozled flavors.
• This jelly bean mosaic of President Ronald Reagan took between 10,000 and 15,000 jelly beans! He was my favorite mosaic. The oldest girl was most impressed with the Elvis mosaic.
At the sample bar you can try 3 different beans at a time. (If you want to try more, just get back in line again.)
• Guess what they do with the beans that fall on the floor any point during the process. FEED THEM TO THE PIGS! They contact the local farmers who come get the beans to feed their pigs.
• The section where the beans are tumbled to a beautiful shine was too much noise for my more sensitive children and they covered their ears until we passed that section. It sounded like a rock tumbling machine polishing thousands of rocks at a time. The employees had protective ear wear.
I asked the kids what their favorite part about today's field trip was. Here are their replies:
13 year old: I think what was most interesting was the tour showing how the jelly beans were made.
11 year old: What I liked most was learning about the bean boozled beans like baby wipes and stinky socks.
10 year old: What I like most was the history of the family of the Jelly Belly® makers.
8 year old: I liked that now I know that jelly beans were so popular back then. Well, basically I liked it all!
6 year old (Tater): I liked the little guy in the big balloon.
6 year old (Squdge): I liked the big jelly bean guy, the HUGE one!
4 year old: I liked the free bags! (Sample at end of tour)
3 year old: Jelly Belly® Beans!
And last but not least, if you are curious about favorites, the top 3 favorites of Jelly Belly® jelly beans are:
He was born as blue as my jeans and with the cord wrapped around his neck. The OB said he had black hair before rushing him off to the NICU. He was in the NICU for 16 days for under-developed lungs-- intubated for 8 of them.
I wouldn't let them bottle feed him. He nursed when I was there and he tube-fed when I wasn't.
The day I took him home the doctor tried to convince me that he wouldn't gain weight and it wasn't normal for him to be nursing every 2 hours like he had in his final 24 hours there. He said he should feed every 3-4 hours. This neonatologist also said I wouldn't be able to keep up with that frequent of nursing having a 21 month old and a 3 year old at home too.
I lectured him on what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends and then quoted several breastfeeding statistics and recommendations from the World Health Organization. The nurses watched in stunned silence. I assured the doc that even if he wanted to nurse every half hour, I would. If I had any worry about his weight, I knew how to contact the pediatrician.
And then I left. He thrived. He was the first of my children to actually be on the growth charts.
As a baby we called him Chubba Bun, Chubbalicious, or Bun Bun the Great.
I am so grateful Heavenly Father saw fit to let me be his mother. He is full of kindness, friendship, integrity, and service.