I'm considering it a mixed blessing that the kids were both home from school today because we were able to go over all the components in a leisurely fashion and really talk and learn about Alabama. They are most taken with seeing where they are as compared to where what we are talking about is. We touched on everything from the state song, flag, bird, flower, tree, motto, and nickname to some of the places and things special to Alabama (US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, antebellum housing, the Civil Rights Movement (specifically Rosa Parks), the Mobile Azalea Trail and we couldn't forget our love of sports by mentioning Auburn University (who we'll be cheering for tonight - War Eagle!) and The University of Alabama)
We also did a great project - we made our own Mardi Gras masks! My research on Alabama turned up the fact that Mardi Gras celebrations in the US actually originated in Mobile, Alabama. They actually start celebrating there in November! (If you have 5 minutes, trust me this one is worth the wiki read on the link that I set. Anyway, we set out to make our very own Mardi Gras masks as the big kick-off in Mobile actually happens today - 12th Night! (Known as the Epiphany otherwise) It had been my intention to make a King Cake (tonight in Mobile starts the King Cake celebrations. Whoever finds the baby in the cake hosts the party next week. Cool, huh?) but being snowed in and not having all the ingredients, we had to skip it tonight. Don't worry, I had a Plan B ;-)
We won't be having Alabama meals all week, but we do plan on trying out some of the foods over the week. Tonight we started with some White BBQ Chicken, some Southern Coleslaw and of course some authentic Sweet Tea. We finished up with some Alabama Mud Cake for dessert - quite the hit around here.
I'd say our first day of celebrating was a huge success! Looking forward to what tomorrow might bring - other than my twosome home from school yet again. I know we won't be able to be this involved every day, or even every week for that matter, but it was fun to get this started in style. We're looking forward to getting some mail and continuing to plot out on our map where we've gotten things from.
And have to tell you, we got a little bit of snow. Scratch that, we got a whole lotta snow! Grant was home today as well and we're guesstimating that since last Thursday we've had a total of probably 16 inches or so. Now it is starting to get super cold and the winds have been picking up. Grant's going to attempt to get to work for at least part of the day tomorrow, but the kiddos and I are going to continue to enjoy their extended break. So until then...
Alabama Fun Fact of the Day: The town of Enterprise houses the Boll Weevil Monument to acknowledge the role this destructive insect played in encouraging farmers to grow crops other than cotton.
We are here, Alabama is here
Hanging the State Flag
Our Alabama Fact Wall
Making Mardi Gras masks
The Bean's mask
Homemade sweet tea
White BBQ Chicken, biscuits and coleslaw - doesn't get much more Alabama than that :-p
Alabama Mud Cake