Chickadee Thursday

We stopped by Belleville’s Christkindlmarkt today, so I had to get Chickadee’s picture with the Christmas count-down calendar (I refuse to call it an Advent calendar since it has only 24 doors).


She also stopped to see one of the Nutcrackers…I think she was surprised by how tall it was!


The Tilley Building

The Tilley Building on West Main Street is another of my favorite of Belleville’s buildings, and another one I don’t know much about. I do know that we got to watch an artist finish a painting of this building for the plein air art auction recognizing beloved Belleville historical sites that was held downtown as part of the Belleville200 events in September.

If you know about this building’s history, please let me know!

The Fairground Mixer

Turkey has been saving his money for the last six months or so to buy the relatively new Lego Fairground Mixer, his first expert-level Lego set. He finally had enough to pay me for it (since I bought it at the Lego VIP event last month), and spent yesterday afternoon putting it together.

The set came with three instruction books. Book one contained the instructions for the small truck, which carries the dunk tank, ticket booth, and high striker game:

Book two focused solely on building the mixer truck:

And book three contained the parts for the mixer itself:

This set came with a lot of minifigs, including my personal favorite, a guy with a sick face!


I had received two “free with purchase” sets earlier this year (a balloon stand and a hot dog cart), meant to be displayed with the mixer, so I gave them to Turkey, too.


Turkey loved putting the set together, and seeing all the nuts and bolts of how it works, and I really enjoyed seeing how it came together, too…it’s a very well-designed set!


He’s already planned which expert set he wants to build next…he just has to save up enough money to get it!

2014-15 School Year–Week Fourteen

Last week was insanely busy, both in school, and at home in general. We worked really hard to get a lot of stuff done as we approach Christmas!

We skipped ahead in our religion lessons so that we could study some of the Christmas prophecies, as well as John the Baptist. We’ll keep up with that theme until we’ve made it through the Christmas story, and even Epiphany…after our vacation, of course. It’s always nice to read those old, familiar verses prophesying Jesus’ birth, and who He would be!

Math was mostly review for all three students, although Ladybug is working on learning more of the times tables. Thankfully, nobody had any real problems with any of their assignments, which makes me hopeful that our last tests before Christmas next week will be a rousing success!

Language arts was fairly standard. Everyone did an excellent job on their spelling tests this week, and the writing assignments didn’t involve too much complaining or rewriting. Ladybug has moved on to adjectives in grammar, which is always fun…students get a chance to be a little silly when describing nouns, and it’s good for a giggle to hear what they come up with!

We finished our stem study in botany. Our celery hung around until the middle of the week, and it was amazing to see just how dark the “veins” turned! We also watched some interesting time-lapse videos following both the life cycle of a sunflower, as well as how they follow the sun in just one day. The children really want to grow some sunflowers next summer now, so we’ll what I can come up with, given that I’m a known plant-killer.

We again abandoned our history lessons in favor of Christmas Around the World. This week we focused on Russia, and especially Sweden, since St. Lucia day was Saturday. We spent a lot of time reading about how Christmas is celebrated in those two countries and reading Christmas legends from both countries. We also worked on making St. Lucia crowns and Star Boy hats, which turned out really well, if I do say so myself!


We sampled a lot of foods from around the world (well, from Greece, France, Italy, Sweden, and Russia, anyway!), in the last two weeks, some of which were new to us, and some of which were old favorites. I think this is one of my favorite parts of Christmas school, and now that the children are older, and more open to trying new things, I think they really enjoy it, as well!

Last week was our last full-ish week of school before Christmas. We’ll still be having school this week, including finishing A Christmas Carol, but I have some special things planned, and less actual work to do…stay tuned!

Tuba Christmas 2014

We missed Tuba Christmas last year, because snow closed the top level of the Galleria parking garage, making it impossible to find a parking spot, even after 45 minutes of circling. We didn’t have that problem this year, though, and we were there to hear (and see!), all of the tubas in their Christmas-y glory!