Today’s Chickadee Thursday post had me thinking back to the only other time Chickadee Thursday fell on the Fourth of July, six years ago…what a quick six years it has been!
Happy Fourth of July!
I wasn’t really feeling the Fourth of July this year, so I wanted to do something different for our holiday dinner. I decided that a meal that celebrates part of our family’s heritage would work, so I set out to make a German Feast for the Fourth.
We started by making pretzels this afternoon, which is always a family favorite food and activity! In addition to nacho cheese (so not German!), we also had a delicious German pub mustard for dipping.
For dinner, I decided to make pork schnitzel with a Jaeger sauce, German potato salad, gerkensalat, sauerkraut, and homemade spaetzle. The dinner was a big hit!
For dessert, I made a Schwarzwald Kirsch Kuchen. Also a big hit!
This wasn’t our usual Independence Day dinner, but it was festive and delicious…what more can you ask of a holiday meal?
As part of this year’s 200th birthday celebration, Belleville actually had an Independence Day fireworks display. On the 5th of July, but still…this is the first time Belleville has had fireworks since we moved here eight years ago!
The show started late, but it was worth the wait…I hope our town considers doing this every year!
I’ve been wanting to have a semi-ironic Independence Day tea party for a few years now (you know, Boston Tea Party and all). I had a few ideas last month, so I decided that this would be the year!
It worked out well, because our kitchen is decorated for this event all year:
Since I already had red, white, and blue table linens, I only had to spend about $5 for a fully decorated, very festive table! (No china this time, because if there was ever a holiday where china doesn’t work, it’s the Fourth of July! I should have just used paper plates…)
We had iced tea, to make sure our tea party had the proper American twist, plus lots of red, white, and blue, and stars. Blue and red jello stars, red, white and blue strawberries, marshmallow “firecrackers,” Stars and Stripes Funfetti cupcakes, blueberries, star-shaped sugar cookies in the colors of the flag, and white cheese on red and blue toothpicks were all on the menu:
I did make scones (star-shaped, of course), and served English muffins (with blueberry jelly), so it wasn’t completely American. Plus, have you ever noticed what color the Union flag is? Hard to tell what we’re celebrating! Again, semi-ironic, which was exactly what I was going for!
This was a particularly fun tea party to plan, and I’m glad I finally came up with ideas for a very American afternoon tea!
“From the bottom of my heart, I thank Mr. Wedderburn for everything he has said against me. My gratitude is sincere. You’ve answered a question which has troubled me since boyhood. But you have finally put my mind at ease. The question is fundamental and when my fellow colonists arrive at the same answer as I, a great empire may fall. Mr. Wedderburn says I’m a traitor, but this is not true. The question he has answered for me is thus: ‘Am I a British subject? Or am I the citizen of a new nation? A country distinct and different from England?’ And today I declare my answer: ‘I am not British. I am an American!’ And man can only betray his own country. My country is no longer England. My country is America.”
Every summer around Independence Day, I like to make sure that the children are learning about the time of the American Revolution (and the time from about the French and Indian War until about the time of the War of 1812, just to provide some context), even if we’re also doing something else in summer school. We’ve found quite a few books that we all enjoy that focus on that period of time, as well as American symbolism and history in general:
- Children’s Encyclopedia of American History
- Struggle for a Continent (This is the third in a series of books.. the first two, Exploration and Conquest and The New Americans, are also excellent!)
- Liberty or Death
- A New Nation
- A More Perfect Union
- Paul Revere’s Ride
- Revolutionary War on a Wednesday
- American Girl Felicity Series
- American Girl Caroline Series
- You Wouldn’t Want to Be at the Boston Tea Party
- If You Were There in Colonial Times
- If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution
- If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution
- Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia
- Benjamin Franklin: A Man of Many Talents
- Ben and Me
- Mr. Revere and I
- Who Was George Washington?
- George Washington’s World
- George vs. George
- George Washington and the General’s Dog
- George Washington’s Socks
- Who Was Thomas Jefferson?
- Abigail Adams: First Lady of the American Revolution
- Molly Pitcher: Young Patriot
- Toliver’s Secret
- The Secret Solider
- The Fourth of July Story
- Johnny Tremain
- Letters for Freedom–The American Revolution
- The American Revolution for Kids
- Great Colonial American Projects
- Red, White, and Blue–The Story of the American Flag
- O, Say Can You See?
- Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution
- How the U.S. Government Works
- N is for Our Nation’s Capital
Of course, we have to add a few DVDs to our studies:
And a few CDs, as well:
While we don’t have lots of special activities and crafts in school for this holiday like we do for Thanksgiving or Christmas, it is one of my five favorite holidays of the year, so I like to make sure we’re at least doing a little something special! Stay tuned for details on our Fourth of July tea party!