Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Festivities

Well, the first holiday weekend of the summer is over already. The best thing about a holiday weekend is that my husband is home for a few extra days and we all enjoy that. This past weekend we celebrated Sweet Baby's 5th birthday. It is amazing to me that she is 5 already!

For Memorial Day we took the girls to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. It is about an hour away from us but we really love Greenfield Village and do not mind the drive at all. As a matter a fact, this year we took advantage of a sale they were having and purchased a family pass for this year. The pass includes unlimited access to the village as well as to Henry Ford Museum. I'm sure we'll get some use out of it this year.

For the Memorial Day weekend they have Civil War Re-enactment Days at Greenfield Village. I was thrilled to be able to take the girls since we spent 6 weeks discussing the Civil War and slavery. The kids each received an American flag when we entered the park and thoroughly enjoyed waving their flags as the troops marched past us a couple times.

Peanut was excited to learn that both Fredrick Douglas and Harriet Tubman were going to be visiting - we read several picture books about their bravery and compared how each one bravely fought against slavery, but each in a different way. The issue of slavery and civil rights has always been something that I enjoyed studying and reading about. In college, one of my favorite courses was African American History so I am not surprised that my girls were horrified to learn of the way that African Americans were treated in country. Fredrick Douglas showed the girls raw cotton and Harriet Tubman showed them some Underground Railroad maps.

Sissy was most excited to visit anything having to do with Thomas Edison. After studying the Civil War period, we studied the early 1900's and spent about 3 weeks working on a Thomas Edison lapbook. We were able to visit his childhood home, several workshops/laboratories, and a reproduction of his first power station. Apparently Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were very good friends so there was a lot to see relating to Thomas Edison.

Edison's Melno Park laboratory has always been one of my favorite places to visit at the Village. However, my favorite place to visit isn't always open and hasn't been the last few times we visited. Thankfully it was open yesterday...and what a treat. This is the upstairs of the laboratory:
It is an amazing collection of jars filled with different chemicals, wires, worktables and chairs (even a chair that Edison himself sat in). It always amazed me as a kid, but it hit me yesterday what an amazing mind this man had. As a wife and mother it also hit me...the man spent so much time with his inventions that he spent very little time being a husband and father. It made me appreciate the husband I have, who would rather spend his time with his family than working any day!

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