America Feed

Happy 4th of July!

Betsy ross flag 1

"When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect."

~ Adlai Stevenson

**

Wherever your home may be, I pray it is filled with the blessings of peace, health and happiness. :)

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends ... see you here again very soon!


Rabbit, Rabbit ~ Happy July!

4th of july flower basket

"Like a little sailboat in the harbor at eventide, we are becalmed in July. Even the birds seem quieter; all through the day there are periods of deep quiet, a "pervading symphony of peace." We seek the coolest corners, the easiest tasks. From the fields wafts the scent of new-mown hay, and from somewhere in the distance drifts the sounds of the mowers ... On the Fourth of July we tug at the bell rope in the barn and put up the flag to wave in the hot breeze, remembering that after John Adams signed the Declaration of Independence on the first American Fourth of July, he wrote his wife Abigail that he hoped Americans would always make this day one of rejoicing and merrymaking. We follow his wishes willingly."

* 🇺🇸 *

(From The New England Butt'ry Shelf Almanac by Mary Mason Campbell, ilustrated by beloved Vermont artist and Americana icon Tasha Tudor. One of my very favorite seasonal books!)

Things I love about July ...

Celebrating the Fourth with my family, hearing fireworks at night, bright orange daylilies popping up along roadsides, the steaminess of Summer, local honey and fresh raspberries at the farm, afternoon thunderstorms, morning muggies, the soothing drone of a fan at night ...

What are your favorite things about July?

If you have a moment, leave me a note in the comments box below.

:)

Well, I hope your day's going well, my friends ... I just got back in from a jaunt across town with the boys. We first stopped at a local farm for some pies and honey. Then another stop at the library for this week's hold ... and now we're back home for lunch. A nice, quiet day ... very hot out there though! ... looking forward to another episode of "Father Brown" this evening.

Enjoy your Tuesday, my friends ... see you here again very soon!

P.S. If you're looking for more July ideas, you might enjoy an older post of mine from 2008, Themes & Plans for July. I have it filed in my seasonal planner for annual reference. :)


Happy Independence Day!

Stars and stripes

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag!

**

Enjoy your Thursday, my friends!


A Day for Apples!

According to the Farmer's Almanac, it's Johnny Appleseed Day - the day the American legend died, not to be confused with his birthday which takes place in September. September may seem the more fitting month to celebrate apples - it being harvest time and all - but it's always a great time to enjoy an apple! And though I do enjoy a fresh apple now and then, there's something about cooked apples that really appeals to me ...

Baked apples

They go so well with those homey scents and flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove ... 

I know people can be quite partial to one variety or another, and I have always been fond of McIntosh apples since they were the kind my grandmother cooked with the most. (Her "pink" applesauce was the best!) I think of them as a traditional New England apple, but it is my understanding they originated in eastern Canada. There are several varieties that have been bred from the original Mac - the Macoun, the Spartan, Cortland and Paula Red to name a few ...

So of course, now I'm wondering: Is there an apple you like best of all?

Here's a recipe for the apples seen above, a delicious baked version filled with dried fruit and honey. Wouldn't these make a cozy, nourishing breakfast on a cold March morning? And if you're looking for some more appley ideas, here's a link to a post I did on Johnny Appleseed Day last year.

In the interest of keeping it simple with little ones - why not head to the library to pick up a book or two on apples (there are bound to be lots!) and perhaps stop at the market to buy a few apples? (See how many varieties there are!) Or if the weather is cooperating, visit your local orchard and see how the apple trees are faring. Are they showing signs of life yet?

By the way, this is one of my favorite apple books, a lovely Swedish story:

Our apple tree

Our Apple Tree

Beautiful illustrations, and a sweet imaginative story. It nicely describes the different seasons in an apple tree's life.

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So there's a few thoughts for this Tuesday, my friends ... but wherever your day takes you, I hope you enjoy it! Thanks so much for stopping by ... I'll see you here again sometime soon!


National Lighthouse Day!

I had no idea that yesterday was National Lighthouse Day (or that it existed at all), but in its honor I'd like to show you all a picture of Earlybird's bedroom door ...

Lighthouse door

My mum painted it before he was born. :)

And here are lighthouse curtains made by Bill's mom ...

Lighthouse curtains

And even a lighthouse lamp!

Lighthouse lamp

(In case you couldn't tell, Earlybird's bedroom is done in a lighthouse theme!)

Also, here's a link to my Portland trip last September - my friends and I visited several lighthouses that weekend, so naturally there are tons of pictues! And here's a link to the "Open Lighthouse Day" website - lots of great links to explore there! (Fyi: Maine's annual "Open Lighthouse Day" is Saturday, September 15th this year.)

Finally, how about a few "lighthouse book" recommendations?

The Little Red Lighthouse and The Great Gray Bridge

North American Lighthouses Coloring Book

Lighthouses for Kids: History, Science and Lore

Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie

The Lighthouse Cat

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Have you ever visited a lighthouse before? They're such an interesting part of our maritime history!

Well, my friends ... have yourselves a wonderful Wednesday, and I'll see you again sometime soon!


Happy Flag Day!

American Flag

Well, I've got my sparkly flag pin on, and I've added little flags to all our planters ... I also hung our large front door flag this morning. Here's a post from last year with a bunch of ideas for celebrating this national holiday and here's an even earlier post about flag eittiquette.

It also happens to be National Strawberry Shortcake Day, so that's a must-do ... we'll pick up some fresh strawberries at the farm this afternoon and I'll whip up some shortcakes and cream to "go with." Add a little flag stick to each serving and voila ~ a tasty and timely dessert!

Hope you all have a great Thursday ... I'll be back later, my friends!



Remembering Memorial Day

Good Tuesday Morning, my friends!

What a lovely, long holiday weekend that was! Very festive and fun - but it's hard now to shift back into the "workweek!" Before I launch into my busy Tuesday, I thought I'd share a few pictures from our holiday ...

Mem day 16

I just liked this shot ... our front door open to let in morning light, the neighborhood waking slowly ...  Bill hung our American flag yesterday, and the cats were absolutely fascinated! I didn't get a shot of it, but Ollie in particular just could not take his eyes off this big, new, strange, waving thing ...

Eventually, they curled up and fell asleep in the doorway - I could not resist a picture of this:

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Midday, we hosted a cookout for family and friends ...

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I love setting up the buffet. :)

Here we have leftover Pentecost cupcakes - candles removed, flags inserted - made into Memorial Day treats!

Memorial cupcakes

I love the label on this ketchup bottle ...

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The dining table set with a patriotic display ...

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For our meal we had hamburgers and hotdogs, pasta salad, baked beans, chips, dip - the usual cookout fare. After lunch, we all meandered outside - some to sit and chat, some to play ...

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I served desserts on the deck ...

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There were cupcakes - both the aforementioned vanilla and sprinkle-topped chocolate (brought by Uncle Matt's lovely friend, Erin) - as well as ice cream with fresh berries and homemade raspberry sauce. Yum!

Love this picture of Crackerjack (with Bookworm in the background) ...

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Later on, after the guests had left, the kids lingered outside - it was such a beautiful, "summery" evening ...

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Bill tossed the football around with the boys, while I spied on our robin's nest ...

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Isn't it gorgeous? It's tucked just inside the lilac bush, sitting securely on the fence railing.

The sunset was lovely ... golden and soft. 

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A Memorial Day to remember ~ for family, friends, food, fun ...

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... and the blessing of freedom to enjoy it all!

***

Hope you all have a GREAT Tuesday ... see you here again very soon!


Memorial Day Monday

American Flag

It's Memorial Day here in the US ~ a day of parades, cookouts and cemetery services. On this day, we honor those who have fallen, and give thanks for all those who serve. Freedom is not free ... but it sure is precious.

Today is also the "unofficial" start to summer when pools are opened and grills are fired up. We don't have a pool, but you can be sure we'll be grilling today!

However you plan to celebrate - playfully, prayerfully, patriotically - I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day!

And God Bless America, our Home Sweet Home.


Happy Flag Day!

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Here are some ideas for celebrating this lovely American holiday:

Listen (or sing if you're inclined!) to patriotic music.

Make a flag cake or flag-shaped cookies.

Serve up a "patriotic" breakfast: spread a piece of toast with cream cheese, dot a few blueberries in the upper left hand corner and make stripes with lines of diced strawberries. Or, even easier, just sprinkle blueberries and strawberries (or raspberries) over vanilla yogurt.

Design a "family" flag. What would it look like? What symbols represent your family?

Haul out, inspect, and hang your American flag for the summer.

Organize an impromptu neighborhood parade.

Research flag etiquette. (There are rules, you know!)

Learn about Betsy Ross and assemble a sewing kit for yourself. (What a fun summer project that would be ...)

Watch America Rocks!

Read a neat book about the Stars and Stripes:

Our Flag: A Little Golden Book

The Flag We Love

Stars and Stripes: The Story of the American Flag

But most of all, try to take a moment to admire our beautiful flag and honor it in any way that is fun and feasible for your family.

Have a great Tuesday, my friends!

:)


Here's to a Happy 4th of July!

Flag1

"On the Fourth of July, we tug at the bell rope in the barn and put up the flag to wave in the hot breeze, remembering that after John Adams signed the Declaration of Independence on the first American Fourth of July, he wrote his wife Abigail that he hoped Americans would always make this day one of rejoicing and merrymaking. We follow his wishes willingly." (From The New England Butt'ry Shelf Almanac by Mary Mason Campbell)


On PBS Tonight ~ Buffalo Bill

Thanks to my handy-dandy Entertainment Weekly, I just learned that the PBS show AmBuffalo_billerican Experience will feature Buffalo Bill tonight. I'm not sure if they know how great their timing is, but tomorrow, February 26th is his birthday! (I learned that fact in this book, a favorite of mine for calendar planning.)

The show is rated PG, and I'm sure it's quite tame; still I'll watch it first before showing it to the boys. You can see a preview at the PBS site and there is a teacher's guide available, too. I missed the program on Kit Carson which aired earlier this month; but it seems you can view it online here. There are plenty of resource links, too.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love PBS? :)

Of course like any red-blooded homeschooling mum, my wheels start turning furiously when I stumble upon an interesting resource. And these programs look really good. But, knee-deep in ancient history as we are this year, I'll have to keep my gears in neutral. We'll watch these shows and enjoy them and then we'll move on - because of course I'm already thinking "unit study" with a capital U. ;)

I'll keep them in mind for next year when we turn our attention to America circa 1850 onward. I've already started a folder for gathering ideas. (Natch!) And as for books, well, I already have a few in mind ...

For the younger grades, I really like the Steven Kellogg books, (Pecos Bill, Mike Fink, Paul Bunyan, etc.) as well as the excellent books by the D'Aulaires, such as the the one pictured above. In the past, we've enjoyed the detail-rich Holling books, but we've yet to read Tree in the Trail, a cowboy story. Old Sam and Brave Buffalo Fighter will make good reading for Bookworm, and these childhood biographies will be perfect for Crackerjack. Jim Weiss's American Tall Tales will warrant a listen, and then there's that Disney movie all about American folk heroes ...

Oh, there I go getting carried away with Americana when I need to stay focused on the Greek gods! Still, we'll take a moment to honor Buffalo Bill's birthday tomorrow, maybe even with some "cowboy chow" for supper: wagon-wheel pasta, cornbread and giant cowboy cookies for dessert ...

(I guess we're not called eclectic homeschoolers for nothing, lol!)

Have a great Monday, y'all! :)


For Washington's Birthday (Tomorrow) ~

Cherryhatchet

A link to my post on this day last year: Cherries and Good Cheer. :)

"Let us try through the week's talks, stories, lessons and plays, to draw a clear picture of Washington's impressive character. Let us tell those stories of his childhood, youth and manhood which will enable the children to see for themselves some of his strong and noble traits, instead of merely memorizing the fact that George Washington was a good man from our assertations. The impression upon their minds and hearts will thus be deeper and truer.

"One of my little pupils gave a very appreciative estimate of Washington in answer to her little sister's question as to whether Washington was a king. 'No," said Anna, thoughtfully, 'he was not a king. He was a president; but I think he was a king in his heart.'" (Emilie Poulsson, In a Child's World: Morning Talks and Stories, 1893)

One more quick note before evening sets in. :) Crackerjack's rebounding nicely - his brand new cherry-red backpack arrived via FedEx today ~ that sure perked him up! And so far the rest of us are feeling a-ok. Thanks for your well wishes and prayers, and thanks, too, just for stopping by. See you all sometime tomorrow ...


Sundaes on Presidents' Monday

Sundaes1

And to cap off our President's Day ~ bowls of vanilla ice cream topped with homemade butterscotch sauce. Mmm, mmm, mmm! I'm not sure that ice cream sundaes are particularly patriotic, but no one raised an eyebrow when I passed these out. ;) (Hang on ~ here's a connection. And a recipe too! Don't you just love Google?)

And now Bill and the boys are waiting for me in the family room with "National Treasure" all queued up. I think we just found a new President's Day tradition! :)

But before I go, here's our family recipe for that scrumptious sauce ...

Grama's Butterscotch Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter (I used unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup Karo syrup
  • 1/2 cup cream or evaporated milk (I used heavy cream)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix and boil first three ingredients to the soft ball stage. Add cream or evaporated milk and vanilla. Stir. Serve over ice cream (or maybe bread pudding).

Have a good night, my friends. :)


Land that I Love ~ A Survey of the States

States

This winter we are beginning an overview of the United States of America, as well as an informal study of our own state geography and history. Above you see our primary materials:

The notebooks (one for each older boy) will be divided in this way:

  • Front cover: a blank map of the United States of America
  • Sections:
    • Massachusetts
    • New England
    • Mid-Atlantic
    • Southeast
    • Southwest
    • Midwest
    • Mountain
    • West

Goal: To cover two states a week till we've covered them all.

Schedule as follows:

  • M-F: Boys complete one puzzle page from the MA book; file behind MA section.
  • On Monday: color two posters, one for each state; hang up in learning room.
  • On Tuesdays and Thursdays:
    • Present new state fact card
    • Read about state in guidebook.
    • Color state bird sheet; write capital at top of page
    • Place sheet in binder behind appropriate regional divider.
    • Color in state on blank US map.

I'm not requiring memorization at this point, just familiarity. So far this has been a fun and easy way to acquaint ourselves with the country. Next year we will focus our history on America from 1850 to the present and I anticipate a more in-depth study of US geography at that time. We'll also take time to learn about the Saints of America.

But this year, like every year, we'll honor all the national holidays ~

~ National Holidays 2008 ~

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day ~ January 21
  • Abraham Lincoln's Birthday ~ February 12
  • Presiden't Day ~ February 18
  • George Washington's Birthday ~ February 22
  • Patriots Day (Boston) ~ April 21
  • Memorial Day ~ May 26
  • Flag Day ~ June 14
  • Independence Day ~ July 4
  • Labor Day ~ September 1
  • Patriot Day (US) ~ September 11
  • Columbus Day ~ October 13
  • Veteran's Day ~ November 11
  • Thanksgiving Day ~ November 27
  • Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ~ December 7

I've been keeping ideas for celebrating each of these holidays in my seasonal planning notebook (the one where I file my themes and plans outlines). I try to keep the activities simple and family-friendly, and to weave in our Faith as I can, too.

Today of course, brings us President's Day, and many (most?) schoolchildren are on vacation this week. Our little homeschool is not on vacation, though we are taking today off because Daddy is home for the day! We'll hang our American flag and talk about the upcoming presidential election, and for supper I'll serve what to my mind are all-American favorites: old-fashioned meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn, along with buttered whole-grain rolls. For dessert we'll enjoy little President's Day sundaes and then we'll watch National Treasure, a great family favorite ...

But right now I'm off to get the day rolling. I hope yours is a good one, whatever your plans!

George Washington was brave, we know; he loved this land we hold so dear. And when his birthday comes around, his noble name we cheer.**And Lincoln, who was strong and true, his birthday too, we celebrate. So raise the flag and sing the praise of heroes, good and great.

("Washington and Lincoln," from We Sing and Listen)


Links for Lincoln ~ Take Two!

(Note: This is actually a post from last year, but I wanted to put it up again in case anything is useful to you. And while I'm at it, here's our "Tea and Craft" post from Abe's Day last year.)

I just love the month of February ~ it brings with it cold grey skies and warm red hearts and we mustn't forget those February presidents! How fun and meaningful it is to celebrate our national holidays all through the year. For, according to Mrs. Sharp:Abe_lincoln

"Unfortunately, with the exception of Independence Day, little attention is paid to the observance of patriotic holidays. As the origins and meanings of these very special days have slipped through the cracks, we have lost one of the most important legacies we can pass on to our children. There is no better place to begin restoration than with a homegrown observance of Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays."

Well, tomorrow is Abraham Lincoln's Birthday, and in honor of this very special American holiday, here are a few fun ideas for you and the children ...

You could ...

Make a yummy pretzel cabin.

Paint a log cabin birdhouse.

Play with your Lincoln Logs.

Read Abraham Lincoln by Ingri d'Aulaire.

Or Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters.

Make penny rubbings. (Make designs from the rubbings, too.)

Make a penny pendant.

Make a lucky penny pin.

Polish your pennies.

Make a top hat. (Another version here.)

Print a coloring page.

Do a word search.

Check out lots of Lincoln websites.

View the Lincoln home.

Read a poem about him.

Read his speeches here. (Specifically the Gettysburg Address.)

Go on a virtual field trip.

Outline a report.

And then test your knowledge about Honest Abe.

How about a little copywork in praise of our February presidents?

George Washington was brave, we know, he loved this land we hold so dear; and when his birthday comes around, his noble name we cheer.

And Lincoln who was strong and true, his birthday too we celebrate; so raise the flag and sing the praise of heroes good and great.

(from We Sing and Listen, Seton Books)

And don't forget the Jelly Roll (aka Lincoln Log) for dessert ...

Have fun! Next week is Washington's turn! :)


Happy Columbus Day!

Are you on holiday today? Off to leaf-peep or watch a parade, perhaps?

Well, it's a dark, rainy morning here and I am on my third - no, Columbusmake that fourth - cup of coffee. That might sound like a lot to you, but believe me, it's sorely needed today. For some inexplicable reason, Earlybird was up really, really early this morning. I'm not going to tell you how early, it's just too crazy to say. No fever, no nightmares, no apparent discomfort of any kind. He was just up. Up, and ready to go.

So, here I am nursing my hot cup of caffeine and I've just remembered the schools have the day off. Hmmm. I don't usually follow their calendar, but today I am sorely tempted ...

Well, maybe a slower day is a good idea. Lots of sitting and reading and maybe some dramatic play. We could read EncounterColumbus by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire, and we might make these just for fun. Perhaps we'll tear apart the sectional and make a ship from the cushions. (It needs to be vacuumed out anyway.) Or better yet, the boys can pretend their bunk bed is a ship (the top bunk being the crows nest of course) while I tidy their room and fold laundry ...

Over lunch I'll read aloud that timeless poem, the one that begins "In fourteen hundred ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue ..." and I just requested Encounter by Jane Yolen at my local library. I've never read it before, but I understand it tells the Columbus day tale from a native boy's view. It should make for some interesting discussion.

Oh! And how about this: a delicious spice cake? What a wonderfully fitting Columbus Day treat! And just the thing for such a damp, dark afternoon.

All right, one more sip and I'm off. However you're spending your holiday, I hope you enjoy it.


Gingerbread & Cider: A Back-to-School Tea

Yesterday afternoon the boys and I had a little teatime in celebration of our first week back to "school." After our summer-send off last week, I wanted to serve something that just said fall - in spite of the soaring temperatures outside, lol - so first on the menu, in place of hot tea, was fresh-pressed apple cider. (It's back in the markets again - have you seen?!) I offered to warm it up but it was unanimously decided that cold crisp cider was just the ticket for such a warm September day.

Now for the snack ... I was thinking of an alphabet theme, especially for Earlybird who's beginning kindergarten at home this year. He just loves letters! Well, paging through one of my old journals the other day, I came across a clipping I'd saved from Family Fun magazine. According to the article, in Colonial America, when children learned the alphabet, their families celebrated by making gingerbread letters.

Well that sounded good to me! Any excuse to make gingerbread, right? :) And to use these lovely cookie cutters I've had for years and hardly used at all:

Abctea1

I bought our set at Williams-Sonoma years ago. They now come in a smaller tin which you can see here. These are great for cookies, obviously, as well as play dough (though I have a separate plastic set for playtime). A nice idea at the holidays is to give a beautifully wrapped box of iced cookies, spelling out a warm greeting such as PEACE or NOEL. (That is a Martha tip, as you probably know.)   

Abctea2

All the boys helped with the dough, which I made from a recipe that came with the tin. (I wasn't all that pleased with it, to be honest. No eggs and no molasses, rather stiff ... but it was ok for today!)

Above you see Bookworm helping with the rolling out of the dough. He really loves to cook and asked me if this year "cooking" could be one of his subjects. Hmmm, I thought, that fits in nicely with our chemistry study! (And then I envisioned biographies of famous chefs, a field trip to a bakery ... oh, the rabbit trail I could make out of this!)

Initially, our idea is to compile a binder for Bookworm filled with kid-friendly recipes that he can learn to make on his own through the year. In a future post I'll be soliciting such recipes from you all! ;)

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The younger two got in on the action too, of course. Actually this was taken near the end of baking when the scraps were left to be played with.

Earlybird enjoyed shaping letters himself and then finding those cookies in the baked batch! His favorites were E, H and Z. :)

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This is the smile of a boy who is thrilled it's apple cider season again, a culinary delight second only to the appearance of eggnog in late October.

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I shooed the boys off to play and set up the table - the platter is a wooden pineapple tray that belonged to my grandmother years ago. The pineapple was a traditional symbol of welcome in Colonial America.

The cookies looked (and smelled) good, but it was the brightly wrapped package that caught the boys' attention first.

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What could it be?

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A back-to-school gift from mum and dad: The Dangerous Book for Boys! The boys were intrigued by the title ...

"Dangerous? What's so dangerous about a book?" asked Crackerjack.

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They dug right in to find out. ;)

And so our new year was officially kicked off, and as if on cue, the mail arrived just as we finished up tea - bringing with it our approval letter from the town. What great timing!

That letter will be stored securely in our files, but the memories of today will be filed away too - slipped inside the yearbook of our hearts, a book I hope will grow fat with experiences all year long.

It is my job to envision and prepare for such experiences - to lay the groundwork and then to step back and watch. I am, after all, headmistress of a rather dandy (and not too dangerous) school for young boys ...

I seriously doubt I will ever lack for material. :)


Our Plans for the Fourth

I can't believe Independence Day is here already! It seems like we were just firing up the grill for the first time and here we are knee-deep in summer!4thofjulyclipart1

Tomorrow we are having a small luncheon for my folks, my grandmother and my cousin who is visiting from New York. In the morning I'll collect some of the pretty white yarrow growing wild along the back fence; it will look nice in my rustic brown pitcher, along with a small flag for the day. I was tempted to buy one of those red-white-and-blue bouquets at the grocery store (the waay overpriced ones) but I thought of all the wildflowers growing in our yard and decided to go the simple route.

I have a tablecloth all picked out and pressed, and since we're a small group, we'll go with the good dinner dishes, rather than paper or plastic. I had seen some adorable 4th of July crafts at (where else but) Martha's but we never got around to making them. (Go figure, lol.) We will pop in a CD of American classical music; it's been one of my favorites for years.

By the end of the day we'll start listening and watching for the neighborhood fireworks ~ that is, unless nature's fireworks kick in first. Thunderstorms are predicted for the afternoon.

So, what's on the menu?

  • baked ham
  • barbecued ribs
  • baked beans
  • corn bread
  • potato salad
  • pasta salad
  • star-shaped chocolate cupcakes
  • cherry jubilee pie
  • coffee (of course!)

Mmm ~ it sounds good, don't you think? :) I guess I'd better get off to bed, so I'm ready to rise early tomorrow! Oh, but before I go, here's a fun little acrostic for the kiddoes:

To celebrate Independence Day,

Find the letters here hidden away:

The first is in the FOURTH but not in JULY,

The second in SIGNAL but not in REPLY.

The third is in LOUDER yet not in LOUD,

The fourth is in ONE but isn’t in CROWD.

The fifth is in WING yet isn’t in FLY,

The sixth is in BOLD and isn’t in SHY,

The seventh in ROCKETS and not in EXPLODE,

The eighth is in SPARK yet not in GLOWED.

The last is in SHIVER but not in FRIGHT,

The WHOLE is _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ noisy and bright!

From a 1955 issue of (my dad's!) Jack and Jill magazine; answer in the comment box below! Happy Fourth of July!