Thursday, September 1, 2011

They Were Strong and Good ... FIAR

We really enjoyed rowing through the book, They Were Strong and Good, recently.  This is such a sweet story about the author's grandparents and parents and where and how they lived in America.  This book touches on the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, and the importance of hard work.   

I have been looking forward to the kids being old enough to really understand more of our family history and be able to handle the delicate artifacts we own.  After reading the story, we looked at our family tree on my paternal grandmother's side.  Our certified family tree on that side actually goes all the way back to Charlemagne (!) and was fun for the kids to see.  We then looked at many pictures of family from the late 1800's and early 1900's.  The kids really loved looking at the clothes and wedding dresses.  We unfolded a letter from 1867 and gently felt the paper and looked at the lovely handwriting.  I did not attempt to read the letter since it is faded and so delicate.  My memory is that it was a rather boring tale of someone's gardens.

We then talked about adoption a bit and how we were so fortunate to know some of our two adopted children's family history.  Last year, we visited Cades Cove from where their family roots come.  I wrote about it in this post.  We looked at a book about Cades Cove and talked about when you are adopted you get to have two family trees.

In the front of the book is a picture of all kinds of things that represent grandparents and parents in the book.  We decided to do this activity for our own family.  I had the kids pick one item to describe each member of the family and arrange it in a still life.  We then took turns taking pictures of our artistic creation.

They did an awesome job.  The items were as follows ~ Goldilocks, who loves all things horses, had a horse. Tom Sawyer, who carries a Lego catalog everywhere he goes, had a a bowl of Legos.  Tim was represented by his dog's leash, since they are rarely apart.  Little Red Ridinghood, who loves babies and at one time said she was going to have 36 when she grew up, was represented by a doll.  Dh was represented by his coffee maker (that man loves his coffee).  They chose a patriotic teapot from my teapot collection because I love tea, patriotic knick knacks, and teapots.

We also talked about what items would represent their grandparents and looked at a few books that showed the development of cities.  Oh, they also listened to Song School Latin, since there were several Latin words in the book.  I just love FIAR books. 



  1. Looks great. How wonderful that you were able to add in learning about your own family history.

  2. I love that you share about both family historys, Both my husband and I are adopted. Our kids get a rich history of 4 famlies. We have spent hours logging our splintered families and found its a great way to connect history. Example: Relatives: pony express rider, famous poets, famous songwriters, royality from way back ( some not the good guys!)and so on. It is fun to place these in our history timeline.