Summer is here and so is baseball. I grew up in the Midwest and lived there my whole life…until a month ago. When spring and summer come, so does the excitement of baseball! While girls and womens softball is hot hot hot now, there was a time when womens hard ball baseball was the place to be and that was in the mid 1940s to the mid 1950s. One of the most well known All-American Girls Professional Baseball League teams was the Rockford Peaches, based out of Rockford, IL. You might know them from a little movie called, A League of Their Own. 🙂 Today, Rockford is home to the Rockford Starfires, a new hard ball team looking to revive women’s baseball on the Peaches old stomping grounds. However, that doesn’t mean the Peaches are gone, or forgotten! They live on through the WWII Girls Baseball Living History League! They play at different historical reenactments, museums, and events in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana and we had the pleasure of seeing them play at Cantigny Parks and Garden before our move west. They are fabulous and you should really get out and see them play if you can(or even join their league if you have a passion for baseball and fun–I was seriously considering it myself if we weren’t moving)! Check out their schedule at the link to their site above! The ladies were happy to talk to the kids and spread their love of history and baseball. They even asked Big Sister and Little sister to come try their hand at hitting the ball and running the bases DURING their game! How fantastic is that?! They even let Little Sister keep their practice ball. I have to say the kids really felt like they hit the jackpot and so did I! Such a great experience and memories! These are some of my favorite photos to date! Please enjoy!
Fourth Step: Jane Austen ~Conclusion~Standard
After all this tea and partying we had to try it ourselves at home! The kids each got a little toy tea set of their own to play with and I got my grandmother’s tea set out of storage so that I could play too. 🙂 We prepared by making some yummy cookies. I got 3D printed cookie cutters of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, and also 3D printed cookie cutters of my kids silhouettes to make cookies with(links on my Pinterest page here). We decorated them and baked scones and got some Jane Austen inspired tea by Steep Show Teas(Miss Bennet’s English Pear black tea and Jane’s Regency Rose green tea). We didn’t make tea sandwiches like I had originally planned and cut them out with cookie cutters, sigh. In the end it was hot dogs. You win some and lose some I guess. 😉 Next time(and there will be a next time)! The kids at least tried the tea(not without some lumps of sugar of course), but in the end drank mostly apple juice in their tea cups. We had a fun time and definitely plan to make this more of a regular activity. It’s kind of amazing how a little nice china and beautiful plating and food can bring out the civility in your kids at the dinner table. I’d do this more often just for that!
Fourth Step: Jane Austen ~Exploring~Standard
Ack! Life has thrown me for a loop the last couple of months and the blog as suffered for it. Time to get back on the wagon! After moving from my lifelong home in the Midwest to the Oregon Coast I have finally settled in enough to whip out a couple of blog posts. Admittedly, part of the problem is that it is summer too. The kids are home. All day. It is exhausting and I don’t get a minute to myself. The days keep slipping by without much getting done, but I’m going to try and embrace it rather than let it drive me crazy. 🙂
For Jane Austen I had intended to do some different activities, but due to the interest of the kids, all activities pointed toward tea parties! I was perfectly fine with that! We got to bake and learn about the history of tea and how to make a good cuppa. A book that I really enjoyed reading and was a great resource was, ‘Tea with Jane Austen,’ by Kim Wilson(see links for many things mentioned and pictured on my Pinterest board for Jane). I also found some Marvel graphic novel adaptations of Jane Austen books such as; ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ and ‘Emma.’ They were right up my alley as a comic fan and fun for the kids to look at because of all the pictures. 🙂 Another fun find was ‘The Beautifull Cassandra,’ a story written by Jane Austen when she was 12 years old. It was great to show the kids that even as a young girl Austen was writing and honing her craft, she didn’t have to wait until she was an adult to do something she loved! While searching for activities for the kids I came across some Jane Austen themed temporary tattoos and had to get them. 🙂 The kids loved them and I’ll admit I got a kick out of them too. Temporary is a relative term for these tattoos, lol! They adhered to the kids skin for weeks! Finally, we used some alcohol wipes to clean them off when we wanted some new ones. I was really impressed with their staying power! They obviously don’t fit in with the Regency era of activities, but I couldn’t pass them up!
We had a few fun outings during our time as well. We went to a lavender festival at Helvetia Lavender Farm here in Oregon and had some lavender tea and scones with berries while enjoying the most beautiful view up in the hills. We also got to cut our own lavender to make some lavender infused goodies for tea parties at home. The lavender lemonade was delicious! We also visited La Tea Da in Tillamook, Oregon, a wonderful tea house that really knows how to enjoy tea! We ate among antique decor on a myriad of beautifully decorated china, and all the accouterments that comes with a proper tea party. They also had a back room with some dress up items for the kids to enjoy. It was so fun, and the food and tea so tasty, we went back again a week later! I think we may finally be ready to throw a tea party of our own! 🙂