Of all the stories from the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Trenton remains my favorite. Something about it just gets me every time. It seems to epitomize the stuff of which that generation was made. Endurance and sacrifice are two attributes that immediately come to mind. I never cease to marvel at how they crossed the Delaware River in the dead of winter, in the dead of night. I love this little chapter in history so very much.
Imagine my delight when Lynne Cheney authored When Washington Crossed the Delaware. Finally! A picture book for children focused on such a special event in history. It did not disappoint. Yes, it is very broad and not particularly full of specific historical research, but it tells the story very well for its intended audience. (It’s probably a good overview for many adults as well, especially if the Battle of Trenton doesn’t ring a bell for you.)
When I ordered the book, I was even more thrilled to discover this little quote as a preface, one I was not familiar with:
Sharing a favorite event in history is most definitely something I’m happy to have in common with Abraham Lincoln!
The book tells the story of how the Continental Army crossed the river and surprised the Germans in Trenton. It also goes on to talk about their advance to Princeton. What a wonderful little gem. I also like how there is a historical quote on each two page spread.
The illustrations are wonderful and evocative. It’s a book my children never tire of reading. Can you guess what we’ll be reading tonight?
Today is February 22nd. It’s the 278th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. I call that cause for celebration.
The more I read about him, the more I respect him. Sure, he was just a man, imperfect. But he was absolutely essential to the formation of the United States of America. He’s on my short list of people I’m anxious to meet someday. Like Lincoln, he paid a high personal price for his service to his country. I realize that countless others have done the same, others whose names I’ll never know or whose birthdays I’ll never celebrate. But if we forget people like George Washington, can we properly remember any of the others?
Want to celebrate with us? Whip up some hoecakes, Washington’s breakfast of choice. (We often have them for birthday dinner.) The Mt. Vernon recipe I have calls for yeast, and letting it sit out overnight, which doesn’t sit really well with me, so we use Lincoln’s recipe. They’re quick, simple, and a fun twist on our pancakes today. They called them hoecakes because you could put a spoonful of batter on the end of a hoe (or griddle) to cook it over the fire. You can find my recipe here.
This evening I’m making a birthday cake to celebrate. I’m using Martha Washington’s recipe for her Great Cake. I’ve never tried it before and the entire recipe is approximately 3 sentences, but I’m optimistic. I’ll share pictures tomorrow.
Until then, wave a flag, pause to remember, read the Constitution, read a book (I love this picture book), or do a little research to learn something you didn’t already know about this great man. We owe an awful lot to his leadership.
Happy Birthday to one of my greatest heroes.