Summer School 2023

Time for a look back at this year’s Fairytale-themed summer school!

I came up with four crafts to go with all of the stories we read, and I’m actually pretty proud of how creative I was to come up with them. My favorite might have been “Rumpelstiltskin’s straw-into-gold ornaments.” We made traditional Scandinavian straw stars, and then spray-painted them gold…they’re really pretty, and we have the materials and tools to make more at Christmas!

If that wasn’t my favorite craft, our Lego enchanted rose was. The idea was mine, and I bought all the necessary parts, but the execution was evasive to me…Ladybug, however, sat down with all of the materials and figured out how to make a beautiful centerpiece in no time!

I bought some gingerbread houses last Christmas and put them away for this summer…that’s always a fun craft, and it never turns out the same way twice!

And we also put together a fairy garden…we couldn’t believe how quickly the sprouts started coming up, and we’re looking forward to continuing to care for it!

We didn’t do as much cooking and baking as I had hoped (mainly because we were so busy making recipes from Lilo and Stitch: The Official Cookbook), but we did have a few fairytale dinners:

  • Fennel and Red Cabbage Slaw (The Brothers Grimm Cookbook)
  • Rapunzel…Angel-hair Pasta (The Brothers Grimm Cookbook)
  • Apple Punch (The Brothers Grimm Cookbook)
  • Mini Marbled Kugelhopfs (Fairytale Baking)
  • Golden Mountain Paella (The Brothers Grimm Cookbook)
  • Chocolate Ring (Fairytale Baking)

The only thing truly missing from this year’s summer school was a field trip…try as I might, I just couldn’t make that kind of connection. But it was a pretty fun, relaxed way to learn this summer, and that was really nice!

Tasty Tuesday–Lilo and Stitch: The Official Cookbook

One of our cooking projects this summer has been making recipes from Lilo and Stitch: The Official Cookbook. There are still plenty of recipes we haven’t tried, but here’s a look at the ones we’ve made so far:

  • Kaua’i Sugarloaf Pineapple Salsa
  • ‘Ohana Fruit Salad
  • Blue Hawaiian
  • Dawn Patrol Loco Moco
  • Pā’ina Haupia Cake
  • Pleakley’s Pink Stuff Frosé
  • Braddah’s Baked Spaghetti
  • Luki’s Shaved Ice
  • The Green Flash
  • Easy-Kine Kālua Pork
  • Mahalo Hasagawa Matcha Brownies
  • Island Grilled Lemonade
  • Nani’s Spaghetti Salad
  • Comforting Butter Mochi
  • Gantu’s Galactic Brew
  • Black and Blue Seared ‘Ahi with Experimental Sweet Potato Mash
  • Guava Celebration Cake
  • Pudge’s Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Banana Sandwich
  • Rock-a-Hula Açai Bowls
  • Hapa Kine Strawberry and Basil Cooler Companions

We have definitely been introduced to some new flavors (guava was a huge favorite!), cooking techniques (I’ve never grilled lemons for lemonade before!), and even culinary science (butterfly pea tea has some very interesting properties!), through these recipes, which I love, and most of the recipes have been big hits!

The Historic Canal Experience

“Low bridge, everybody down
For it’s low bridge when we’re coming to a town
You can always tell your neighbor,
You can always tell your pal,
If you’ve ever navigated on the Erie Canal.”

Did you know that while famous, “Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal” is not an authentic Erie Canal folk tune? While it does describe the canal experience accurately, it was actually written after the canal’s heyday. We learned that (and a whole bunch of other facts about canal life!) when we visited the Miami & Erie Canal Historical Canal Experience in June!

The Historic Canal Experience is part of the Metroparks Toledo system, and is located a bit outside the city in Grand Rapids, Ohio. The canal links Toledo to Cincinnati, from Lake Erie to the Ohio River.

You can walk through the Ludwig Mill, a working water-powered saw and gristmill. It’s a fascinating place, and I really enjoyed seeing all the machinery needed to get the job done. We went all the way to the top floor, and a few of us even ventured down to the basement to see where the water comes in!

I always find it interesting when a location has a flood record for posterity’s sake…1904 was a rough year!

The train bridge is a reminder of how quickly the canal’s usefulness came to an end once the railroad came through the area:

The best part of the experience is the ride on The Volunteer, a replica of an authentic mule-drawn canal boat. We got to see how the men and mules moved the boat through the locks, and we were treated to a musical experience the day we went, which made the history come alive in a unique way!

I really didn’t know anything about mule-drawn canal boats before this experience, so it was a great opportunity for all of us to learn something, and I really enjoyed it!

Mani Monday

This week’s manicure is inspired by the blazing colors of summer, with Bésame Cosmetics “Holiday Red,” plus Sally Hansen Miracle Gel “Eternally Grapefruit” and “Sunbrella” with a shimmering, golden Unicorn top coat.

Clouds Fountain

When we travel, I’m always on the lookout for a cool fountain, and this one in Toledo of rain falling from clouds did not disappoint!

Tasty Tuesday–Kewpee Hamburgers

Here’s a look at one last place we stopped to eat on our summer road trip…Kewpee Hamburgers in Lima, Ohio.

Kewpee is the second-oldest fast-food hamburger chain in the country. The company was founded in Flint, Michigan in 1923, and is thought to be what inspired Dave Thomas in his creation of Wendy’s. The first Kewpee restaurant came to Lima in 1928. The Art Deco streamline moderne style of the 1939 building is very evident inside, with lots of chrome and curved lines.

The make a “mity nice” burger and fries! Yes, it’s a square patty, just like the ones at Wendy’s.

Their slogan made me laugh!

This was a fun, historic place to stop for a meal on our way to Toledo!

Only Nineteen (But Her Mind is Older)

Today is Bunny’s 19th birthday! We started the day with a “Bunny Walk.” We had quite a bit of rain overnight, so we didn’t see as many bunnies as we would have on a drier morning, but we still saw about a half-dozen or so, which was a good way to begin Bunny Day!

As always, present-opening was the highlight of the morning. There was a dual theme of Star Wars‘ Ahsoka Tano and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

We watched some movies this afternoon, and I worked on dinner. She asked for the apple punch from The Brothers Grimm Cookbook that we enjoyed a few weeks ago to go with her traditional birthday dinner of Stromboli:

This year’s bunny cake was based on The White Rabbit from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I don’t think I got his expression quite right, but he was pretty easy to decorate!

It was a very fun day celebrating Bunny!