2018-19 School Year–Week Nine

If I were being completely honest, I would just say imaginary numbers, and end it there, because that’s about all my brain can handle right now…

…But, there were other things this week, even for Turkey and Bunny (although, the imaginary numbers did take up a lot of their brain space!). They also learned about Lewis Structures in chemistry, as well as more on how to “read” the Periodic Table. They finished the first act of Romeo and Juliet. Their creative writing assignments continue to impress me!

Ladybug has started mixing some more complex equations with the order of operations in math. She finished her study of the White Stallion of Lipizza. She also learned the importance of center of gravity to both horse and rider in science. And in history she read about Clovis and the Kingdom of the Franks.

Chickadee learned how to “read” the quarters of the hour on a clock in math. She read some longer stories out loud, and they included “qu” sounds! Her handwriting is improving, as are her map-reading skills. Her enthusiasm for school is a lot of fun!

Chickadee Thursday

These are my favorite days…the ones where we can enjoy the beautiful, cool fall weather on the walk to pick Moose up from school. Chickadee clearly loves them, too…like Anne Shirley, we’re both glad to live in a world with Octobers!

Greenway Motel

In my continuing search for great vintage road signs, I came across the Greenway Motel in the Granite City/Mitchell, IL area. I’m sure it looked even better when it still had neon, but it has that great retro shape and aesthetic that I love. Old Route 66 may not be a major thoroughfare anymore, but you can still find some great throwbacks to when it was!

Tasty Tuesday–Fajitas

Would you believe I’ve never tried to make fajitas before last weekend? I wanted to try something new, though, so I made chicken and steak varieties, and messed around with the recipe a bit until I got the spices right. Everyone loved them, so I think it was a success!

  • 6-8 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice
  • 3 tsp. kosher salt, plus additional to taste
  • 3 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or flank steak, cut into thin strips
  • 3 bell peppers, thinly sliced (I like to use a variety of colors)
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced

Make marinade: In large bowl, combine 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil, lemon or lime juice, 3 tsp. kosher salt, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Toss with chicken or steak and refrigerate for 3-5 hours.

In large skillet, saute peppers and onions with remaining oil and salt to taste on medium heat until tender. Remove from skillet and keep warm.

In same skillet, saute chicken or steak for five to six minutes until cooked through (do this in batches so you don’t crowd the pan). Discard remaining marinade. Add peppers and onions to pan with meat and heat through.

Serve on tortillas with favorite toppings such as rice, lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, and avocado.

The Olympic Spectacular in St. Louis

Earlier this year, it was announced that St. Louis was going to receive an “Olympic Spectacular.” What is an Olympic Spectacular? you might ask. Aren’t all Olympics spectacular? And what does St. Louis have to do with the Olympics? An Olympic Spectacular is a large-scale sculpture of the Olympic Rings granted only to cities who have hosted the Olympic Games. It’s been 114 years, but St. Louis was the host of the 1904 Summer Games (the III Olympiad!), and the city was finally granted the right to display a Spectacular of its own!

Last month, the sculpture, which sits on a podium-like base, was unveiled on the campus of Washington University, adjacent to Francis Field, which was the site of many of the events at the 1904 Olympics. We stopped by to see it after church yesterday, and as someone who has loved the Olympics since I was a small child, it was a thrill to see it!

Eventually, a second Spectacular will be installed at another St. Louis Olympic site, possibly in Forest Park or near Creve Coeur Lake, which hosted the 1904 rowing competition. For now, though, St. Louis has finally been recognized as an Olympic city!

2018-19 School Year–Week Eight

Can I be totally honest for a moment? I’ve been having a really hard time writing these weekly wrap-ups this year, and for a pretty silly reason. I’m finding it hard to remember everything we’ve done across three grade levels, even within the span of just a week this year! I find that I have to quiz the children on what they’ve covered in their subjects (not a bad thing, I guess), and look back over my lesson plans at the end of the week just to keep up. Even then, I’m sure there’s stuff I’m forgetting, which is probably why the wrap-ups have been so short! Anyway, I’ll continue trying to keep up with it, but you’ll have to be patient with me, and assume if there are big gaps in the reviews, it’s not because we’re slacking off or not doing every subject, it’s just that I can’t remember everything!

Turkey and Bunny started working with fractional exponents in math, which looked intimidating at first, but turned out to be not too bad. In grammar, they identified participle and gerund phrases. Their study of Romeo and Juliet has been going really well, and even though Turkey still says he hates the story, I don’t think he actually minds the work too much.

Ladybug has continued to learn some basic geometry in math. Her history lessons focused on the Aborigines in Australia and the Maori in New Zealand. She was surprised to discover that she knew some of the information from watching Moana! In addition to outlining, she also created narrative summaries in writing.

Chickadee has now had several spelling tests, and is doing a great job! She learned how to rewrite horizontal math problems vertically. Her reading skills improve daily. She also loves listening along with everybody’s lessons…it will be interesting to see how much of it sticks as she gets older!

Ted Drewes

Would you believe that with all the vintage road signs I’ve photographed, I’ve never intentionally gotten a picture of the iconic Ted Drewes sign? I have photographed it once before (it’s actually the first use of the “vintage road signs” tag on this website!), but it wasn’t a great picture, and I wasn’t even getting the shot for the purpose of capturing the sign…instead, I was capturing a moment of celebration after a Cardinals game. Anyway, I figured I should correct that oversight, with a picture of the Ted Drewes sign in all its glory!