Knights Wanted: In-Squire Within

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Oh happy day! Yes, we are indeed still alive. I'm so sorry to have left you all hanging for, I don't know, maybe a year?! A lot has happened around here, but we are still happily homeschooling. "A lot" includes a flood, a 2-week-notice-move, a health crisis, and a job change for my husband. I think it's safe to say that "life happened" this year. We survived while also homeschooling our first year of high school. Phew. Thankfully the first day of spring arrived with fresh hope for the rest of the year. O' blessed sunshine! We have around 7 weeks left on the yearly clock, but I wanted to finally get back around to blogging. 

You've probably heard me mention more than once how I love to listen to podcasts or videos that Julie Bogart from Brave Writer shares. I've never quite had a name for the book celebrations we have had through the years until she coined the phrase "Party School." I love the idea of breathing life into learning with fun and memorable celebrations, recipes, and trips! With all the upheaval this year we had little time (or shall I say I didn't have the energy) for the fun things we have normally done to bring books to life as we have in years past. I wanted to make up for it to put a stamp of fun somewhere along the way in our year. 

This year Silas and I have studied the Middle Ages and Renaissance period. We planned to have a medieval feast in the fall before my living room was transformed into an unexpected lake. It turns out that the end of the year was even better for a Medieval Feast. Our history reading last week said something about closing the door on the middle ages and renaissance and opening the door to the Age of Reason. A little celebration is the perfect end to our studies of this period. Silas told me he was sad I was taking fewer pictures and not sharing our memories this year. He wanted to make sure I preserve our fun times because he likes to look at them sometimes to remember. For the record, this year we have had a pretty simple year. We don't have Party School every week, for goodness sake! 

Silas serendipitously had a king's cape in his costume box which he proudly wore for the occasion.

OCD alert (BEEP, BEEP, BEEP.) See that exclamation mark? Now you can't un-see it. Bahaha! Or is that just funny to me? (Runs and hides.)

Ok, y'all - You can never outgrow Five in a Row books. I don't care how old my kids are. Sorry teenager, but you might have to endure this book one more time. Just sayin'. Please tell me, reader, that you have had the enjoyment of reading Duchess Bakes a Cake. Back when we read this book in FIAR, I, with all my ever lovin' little cake making heart, wanted to make a lovely, light, luscious, delectable cake. Somehow we never got around to it, but that guilt-producing Pinterest King's Cake pin has ever since burned a hole right through my soul, imploring me to finally make it. More on that later.

I obviously don't mind wasting printer ink on every possible cute printable item. I found these great editable Knight's Party printables here. 

This wasn't really mutton, but that sounds a little more medieval right? The Nuts for Knaves were really yummy and easy to make. If you like that sort of thing, here is thy recipe, M'lady!

One of our history projects last week was to make pears in honor of Shakespeare and the Globe theater. We made them sliced in half last time. They are really easy and quite delish. They would be lovely with a little ice cream. Brush sliced or halved pears with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or longer if you like them more tender. 

Buuuut, the most exciting thing to make was King's Cake!  Ok, so somehow in my life I failed to experience this wonderful little O-shaped piece of heaven. According to Southern Living this is their most traditional King's Cake recipe. The lady who makes it on the video sounds like a true southerner, so I trusted her to not steer me wrong. It's basically a cinnamon roll doughnut. Hello! Yes, please! Instead of slicing the rolls, like you would with traditional cinnamon rolls, you make an O shape. This basically means that all of the pieces are like the center roll that everyone fights over. The inside is slathered with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. You are supposed to bake a small plastic baby inside. The tradition (depending on who you ask) is that whoever finds the baby in their slice has to have the party and make the cake next year. This is what it looked like before it rose the second time.

 I mean....This looks like it's going to end well right?

Huzzah! Perfection!

 You drizzle the icing and sugar on top. The shape, color, and baby all represent something for Holy Week. I just loved that it was a king's cake for our feast and that it had yeast just like the lovely, light, luscious delectable cake that the Duchess made.

 A medieval party must have refreshments!

Silas said that of all the things, well water sounded the least appetizing. Ha! 

 Non-alcoholic mead for the babes of the crew - 2 quarts of cold water, 3/4 cup of honey, half a cup of OJ and orange slices.

I had crowns, tiaras, knights' helmets and tunics, swords and a jester's hat for our lords and ladies.

 One of the best things we have done for our homeschool happened this year. We decided to form a small tribe of friends that meets twice a month. We call ourselves The Quadfecta (for the four families.) Sometimes we just do simple things like meet at the park or a science museum. Sometimes we might have a little party or an art project we do together. It's been such a great thing for my boys. It's something that all the kids look forward to. It's far less pressure than an all day co-op, but it gives them a chance to really get to know one another in a comfortable setting. This is a win-win for parents and kids because we all love each other already. One of the families had to stay home sick this time, sadly. I'm going to have to have another party for her boys who are the most fun kids in the entire universe to feed! 

 One of the teens graciously humored me and read the book whilst having a hard time not laughing often at the mishaps of the Duchess.

I planned to have a few outdoor activities for the little kids who couldn't make it, but it ended up raining anyway. We still got to slay the dragon!

We put a tack in the end of the sword.

Here is 3/4 of our crew. Best.kids.ever!

Of course I am the queen of this castle, so I had to have a crown. The next time we plan to have an around-the-world party since Aedan has studied world geography and cultures all year. Each kid is going to learn about a country and bring a food item from that place, also sharing what they learned.  

The end result of all that fun was a very tired Silas. Our cat Genevieve (how aptly named for a Lord) is always happy to snuggle with him.

Thank you for sharing your memories with us! What have been your favorite memories this school year?
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