Snowy Garden

I’ve really been looking forward to seeing the Missouri Botanical Garden with snow on the ground. I was starting to think I would have to wait until next winter, but yesterday we had a decent amount of snow, and today the roads were clear, so off we went. It was just as beautiful as I had imagined…and then some!

Even More Orchids

We visited the Orchid Show at the Missouri Botanical Garden again today. I love how every time we go, there’s something new and beautiful to see!

Hoping to make it back once more before the show ends in about three weeks…we’ll see if that works out!

2014-15 School Year–Weeks Twenty-One and Twenty-Two

Last week, with Presidents’ Day and an unexpected not-really-snow-day for Moose, we ended up only having three days of school, and this week, we had four classroom days, plus a field trip day, so I decided to wrap the two weeks up together.

Turkey and Bunny have been working on learning the formulas to find the area of triangles, parallelograms, and circles…very timely with Pi Day coming up in two weeks! Ladybug has been introduced to ratios, and is also still working on the times tables.

In writing, Turkey and Bunny have been writing descriptions of people. They’ve also been introduced to the idea that you can the same something about a person, but depending on what words you use, you can make it sound negative or positive. Ladybug is working on some simple dictation.

Our readings for Black History Month have focused on Reconstruction, westward migration, World Wars I and II and the Great Depression. Even though February is coming to a close, we still have to go through the Civil Rights Movement to the present day, so we have at least another week, if not two, before we’re finished.

Our science lessons moved from ferns to mosses and lichens, which belong to the strange group of non-vascular plants. It’s too bad everything is still so frozen…it makes hunting for these plants a bit of a challenge!

We’re making good progress in our Anne of Green Gables literature study. Everyone is enjoying Anne’s bold imagination, as well as her temper! Due to a book availability issue with the library, we had to skip the second-to-last Grandma’s Attic book for now, and just move on to the final volume. If our library ever actually gets the other book in, we’ll go back and read it later.

Two more weeks of school before part one of our spring break…the big week of birthdays and St. Patrick’s Day!

The International Center

It’s funny…even though I used to work at the LC-MS International Center, and have visited the Concordia Historical Institute Museum there, and even been in the KFUO studios as a guest on Faith ‘N’ Family, I’ve never actually toured the building, and haven’t seen much outside the main entrance, the chapel, museum, and of course, the cubicle in which I worked. So when I found out our church was going to take a field trip to the center, of course I decided we should all go…Moose even got to take the day off school to go with us!

Our tour started in the chapel, one of the few places in the building with which I was already familiar. Before the service, we had a chance to look around, and I learned quite a bit about the history of the building. And, as a special treat, the pastor that preached the day’s sermon also happened to be a member of our congregation!

We then got to visit the office of synod president, Matthew Harrison. Unfortunately, he was traveling, so we didn’t get to greet him, but we did get to see his very impressive collection of books (some of which are very old!) and crucifixes, and his famous banjo. I think this was my very favorite part of the tour…such an amazing personal library!

We then visited the Walther Room, where the Council of Presidents meets with the synod Board of Directors. The size of the tables in that room is unbelievable. There were also some gorgeous relief castings on the wall from the exterior of the old administrative building on North Broadway in downtown St. Louis.

After admiring the Walther Room, we then went back downstairs to the KFUO studios. We again ran into a member of our congregation, who also works for the radio station, and he explained a lot about how the studios are set up, and who is listening to the broadcasts around the world.

There’s quite a bit of stained glass throughout the building, including a large, curved piece depicting the verses of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” that stood over the revolving door at the old Broadway building, and panels of the four evangelists which used to be located in the president’s office in the former administrative building.

In addition to the stained glass, there’s a great deal of art throughout the building, including my favorite, a wooden depiction of The Great Commission, which is made up of almost 1,600 pieces of wood.

Our last stop was the Concordia Historical Institute Museum. Before going in, we stopped to admire the solemn beauty of the Walther Bible:

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We were then free to look through the museum at our own pace. It begins with, as you might expect, Martin Luther and the Reformation, and continues through the Saxon immigration, the early days of the LC-MS, the various mission fields of the church, and the modern LC-MS. Although it’s a relatively small museum, it’s very well put together, and I highly recommend making time to go through it if you’re in the area.

It’s interesting to compare the gavel on display in the museum (which is used only for synodical conventions every three years), with the one on the table in the Walter Room (which is used for the more regular meetings):

The only thing we didn’t get to see that I was hoping to show the children is the cafeteria. Not for the food, but for the flags adorning it which show all of the countries with which the LC-MS has a relationship. Other than that, we saw everything I love about the International Center, as well as everything I’ve always wanted to see!

The Best Thing I’ve Ever Eaten

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It’s no secret that our family loves going to Seamus McDaniel’s for dinner (or lunch, as the case may be). Ryan and I first started eating there when we first moved to the Dogtown neighborhood of St. Louis almost 14 years ago, and lived just down the street, and we’ve continued to enjoy stopping by for a meal, even after we’ve moved a bit farther away than an evening stroll.

I truly believe Seamus makes the best burger/cheeseburger I’ve ever had, anywhere. And my order has remained pretty much the same–cheeseburger with provel, onions (raw), and tomatoes. Over the years, I’ve ordered said burger less and less cooked, until I reached the very edge of the burger spectrum, with a gloriously rare sandwich.

We stopped at Seamus today after a fun field trip to the LC-MS International Center (details to follow), and I had the best burger I’ve ever had there (which is saying a lot, since they’re always excellent):

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It was amazing. Not just the best burger I’ve ever had anywhere, but the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Turkey also thought he had the best burger he’s ever ordered, as did Ryan, so whoever was manning the grill today was really on his or her game. We also realized that we have now gone to eat at Seamus on February 26 two years in a row, which was totally accidental, and also kind of funny. At this point, I think we just may have to make it a new family tradition…until the 26th falls on a Sunday, because that’s the one day of the week Seamus is closed!