Monday, April 4, 2011

Benjamin West

We read the book Benjamin West and his cat Grimalkin. It was a fun story and we enjoyed going a-leafing on a warm autumn afternoon and finding clay to use to color the pictures and sitting by the fire on a cold evening. The book was written in such a way that we felt we were doing those things. Of course, it adds a bit to the story when you say, "when we go to Goodwill we pass were Benajamin West was born." Then we pause as we read about him going to Philadelphia as I try to explain "you know the main road we drive on all the time, I think that is probably the road he took or maybe the road in front of Target that goes to the city." While we read, the children color some pictures that Benjamin West had painted.

So today we enjoyed the warmer weather and the fact that Miss K didn't have therapy and we took a drive to Square Tavern.

It is open on Saturdays in July and August but we knocked on the front door and walked around.

J said the building looked new.

Benjamin was a Quaker and painting was not an approved living. According to the story the first thing he drew was so remarkable that his family was amazed. He made color from the clay on the river. As we walked around the house we saw the river nearby. He then went on to be the President of the Royal Academy in London.

He didn't stop at the meetinghouse where he worshiped. We drive past that when we go to Target. Someday we will have to stop and take some pictures. I was surprised that it is about 5 miles between the two places.

We are enjoying studying American history here where it all began.

Update -- September 2015 we went to Buckingham Palace and had saw some of the Benjamin West paintings that were hanging there. I remembered all that we had read about previously. Sometimes I think the homeschool moms get as much of a re-education as the children get an education.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Visit to the Aquarium

In February there was a special deal one weekend to buy tickets with about a $10 savings. You had to pick your day so we picked a Friday after daddy had been away for two weekends. We had planned to go at different times last year but didn't make it because of snow. We got there early and I do recommend that.

There are a number of small display areas and sometimes we did have to wait a bit for people to clear out so we could see but other all I didn't feel rushed.

There were three different places where you could touch something -- sharks (just little ones), rays and then some starfish and other things. J touched the blue lobster which was a mutation.

There was an African section which was a nice break from all the fist but still included fish and some birds and some hippos.

There are seals and penguins outside and it had warmed up a bit so were able to go outside for a bit.

It took us about three hours go to through the whole place. It was a fun time and we would return again if we could find another good deal on tickets.

On the way home we stopped in Chinatown for lunch. It has been quite a some time since we were there. I bought dumpling wrappers as we had been craving LiLin's Dumplings. More about that later.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sushi - Sweet

I actually planned ahead this year. I had my fun food idea all ready and the supplies purchased. I made sushi for an afternoon snack.

I had seen the idea in Family Fun. I thought the kids would enjoy it. I did wonder if they would be disappointed that it was not real sushi. I found the green fruit roll-up at the discount grocery store the other week and saved it just for this.

I am still working to like coconut so I personally didn't eat any. I can eat coconut in some things. For some reason none of my mother's children eat coconut. My mother does eat it.

Yes, we ate this snack with chopsticks.J said, "that would be a good April Fool's food." Hmm, I guess we didn't review our calendar yesterday. I told him it was April Fool's Day. Then he understood why we had that kind of snack.



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