2016 Wreath Auction

This is the second year that we’ve admired all of the wreaths available in the silent auction at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and I continue to be impressed with how creative and talented the people who made them are!


It would be impossible to pick a favorite, but I have to admit that the Peter Rabbit one, as well as the one in the frame, are especially well done!

Ice Queen

I’ve already shared how this beautiful blue ice harlequin skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing looks paired with a blue top, but I thought I’d go full on Ice Queen with a white peasant top and bolero. I think I like this look even more, and my Erstwilder snowflake brooch is still a perfect match!


Chickadee thinks I look like Elsa from Frozen in this outfit, which is about the highest compliment she could pay anyone, so I’d say it’s a huge success!

Photo Editing

One of the challenges when attending the Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden is figuring out how to best use the photo op stops. Night time photography is still a challenge for me in general, and trying to photograph people and Christmas lights together is particularly frustrating. I keep trying though, and I can usually come up with at least one decent picture.

When I was going through my photos from our visit a few weeks ago, I came upon one that I thought was pretty good, but I decided to try out the “auto enhance” feature in Photos, just to see if I could cut back on some of the glow on the children’s faces. I really don’t edit my photos much at all, beyond cropping, but I have used the auto enhance occasionally in the past, usually with pretty great results.


Version 2

I was not prepared for the difference I would get just from that one edit. I went from a warm red glow, to an almost normal picture with the click of one button. Of course, you pretty much completely lose the effect of the Garden Glow, so in the end, it wasn’t a successful edit, but it was interesting to me to just how the editing program would try to correct and balance the colors and light!

2016-17 School Year–Week Thirteen

It was difficult to get serious about school after Thanksgiving week!

Our religion lessons have really ramped up. In addition to Lutheranism 101 and church year commemorations, we’ve also added our Advent Jesse Tree readings, and the story of Jotham’s Journey to our days. This week included the rare occurrence when the commemoration date for Noah fell on the same day we read about him for the Jesse Tree!

Turkey and Bunny have been working with multiplying and dividing binomials and polynomials in math. This really isn’t new to them (although this week they learned about a new shortcut for special cases), and they breezed through the lessons. Today, the entire lesson took them less than five minutes! Ladybug has been working on more difficult division problems…I fear long division may be looming on the horizon!

Ladybug finished her chapter on primeval reptiles in science this week. Meanwhile, Turkey and Bunny started a new chapter on the hydrosphere. We also got to do a science experiment for their writing lesson, because they’re learning about writing about science experiments. We did the classic egg in a glass of vinegar experiment, and the children were thrilled with the results. I was just thrilled with an experiment that went exactly as it was supposed to!

Our history studies have taken us all over the world this week. We discussed Brazil, the Ottoman Empire, South Africa and the Boer War, and Ireland’s potato famine. We’ve also almost finished our study of the Constitution…we just have one lesson and a few amendments to go through.

Ladybug has started her literature study of D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. She has really been looking forward to this one, so she’s very excited! Turkey and Bunny are still working their way through Treasure Island. It looks like such a small book, so it feels like we should be done with it by now, but there’s a lot more content than the book size suggests!

I was looking at this wall this week, and I realized that it sums up our school year so far pretty well:


Only two more weeks of school until Christmas break!

Chickadee Thursday

Every year, we buy two Lego Advent calendars–one for the boys, and one for the big girls. This has worked out well in the past, with everyone getting 12 of the small builds over the course of December. With Chickadee getting older, however, we needed a new solution, so she didn’t feel left out.

Enter a Lego free-with-purchase I received earlier this year. It also contains 24 mini Lego builds, but because the set has fewer pieces, they can’t all be constructed at the same time. The instructions, however, are more detailed, which is great for Chickadee’s somewhat limited Lego skills. She was very excited to start her set today…the first build was a boat, and she was able to put most of it together herself. I’m really grateful Lego solved this problem for us, and without costing me any more money!

Here’s a bonus picture of Chickadee and Ladybug from Tuesday’s walk through Belleville’s Christkindlemarkt:


And a bonus story from yesterday. We were leaving Schnucks, and Chickadee kept stepping in front of the cart Turkey was driving, forcing him to continually stop suddenly to avoid hitting her. I told her she needed to move to the side of the cart, and that she needed some sense, to which she replied: “I have three pennies!” That’s a pretty sophisticated word play for a four-year-old, to go from sense to cents…I think I may be in as much trouble with her as I was with Bunny at that age!

Gardenland Express

This is only the second year we visited the Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show at the Missouri Botanical Garden, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pretty sure the theme would be different (it was), but how about the displays themselves? Would they be the same? (They weren’t.)



This year’s theme is “Home for the Holidays,” and focuses on four plant families from around the world, which include popular holiday plants. It was fun to see familiar buildings and flowers from last year arranged in new ways…it was like visiting an entirely new town!