Lego Assembly Square–Night Six

The final set of bags for the Lego Assembly Square included builds for an upstairs apartment, the fountain in the plaza out front, a fun tower, and the addition of our very first Lego baby minifig!

The completed set is GORGEOUS! I love everything about it…the size, the colors, the great architectural details, the lovely homages to past modular buildings:

Since the Assembly Square has been released, there has also been another addition to the Lego modular collection…the Downtown Diner. Even though it has a cool, 1950s retro vibe that is right up my alley, I haven’t purchased it yet, because I’m not sure it goes with the overall look of my Modular Main Street. I am looking forward to seeing what the next building will be, though, and hopefully it will be something I’ll add to my Lego neighborhood!

Ready for the First Day of School!

Our super-fun summer has just sped by, and tomorrow it’s already time for the first day of school! To make our last week of vacation extra special, I prepared everyone’s favorite meal (with some exceptions…for example, no one was allowed to request Thanksgiving dinner!). Our lineup for the past week was:

  • Amanda–Reuben casserole
  • Turkey–Stromboli
  • Bunny–Brazilian black bean stew with¬†Pao de Queijo and Brazilian lemonade
  • Moose–French toast with bacon and cranberry-pineapple juice
  • Ladybug–Creamy onion soup with Irish soda bread and pumpkin fizz
  • Chickadee–Mac ‘n’ cheese with bacon
  • Ryan–Cock-a-leekie pie

Tonight we had a “Farewell to Summer” dinner of hot dogs (including Chicago-style and chili dogs) and brats, with a special cream puff dessert:

The school room has been cleaned and organized, and for once, there really haven’t been any significant changes in the way it’s arranged! We’ve either found a really good layout that works for us, or we’ve run out of room to make any changes…or most likely, a combination of the two!

And the First Day of School outfits are ready to go…we’re going with a Harry Potter theme this year!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of our 11th year of homeschooling. As always, I am both excited and terrified, but one thing is for sure…I can’t wait to see what this year brings!

Markel Family Summer Vacation–Wrap-Up

Sometimes, when I look back on our vacation, even though it was only just over a month ago, I can hardly believe it happened. For everything that went wrong on the first true summer vacation we took three years ago, something went right on this one. It was a dream come true…as close to a perfect vacation as I can imagine. Here’s one last look at all the fun we had:

  • Day One–The first day of our trip was mostly spent in the car. We drove through part of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia (for what seemed like an eternity!), and Florida to reach our destination of Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort in Orlando. We did have time for a swim in one of the hotel’s amazing pools after we got checked into our amazing room!
  • Day Two–On the second day of our trip, we made some dreams come true with a visit to Legoland! After a fun day at the park, we enjoyed more pool time when we got back to the hotel.
  • Day Three–The third day of our vacation was busy, busy, busy! We were up super early to view SpaceX launch from the roof of the hotel parking garage. We then spent the day at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure. We especially enjoyed visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter…both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. From start to finish, it was the most amazing day ever!
  • Day Four–After our busy day at Universal, we needed the fourth day of our trip to recover, so Ryan rented a cabana at the hotel, and we spent the day by the pool, playing games, building sandcastles, and swimming.
  • Day Five–The final day of our vacation meant more time in the car, but we also got to stop and talk a walk on the beach and visit¬†Castillo de San Marcos before another seemingly never-ending drive back through Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

I am so thankful we had this opportunity as a family. I know that we don’t have too many chances like this left before the children venture forth and begin their adult lives, and I hope that we will all remember this trip together as one of the most fun times we’ve ever had!

Flora Borealis

The Missouri Botanical Garden has a special summer exhibition again this year, and we had the chance to visit Flora Borealis on Monday night.

I always love having an opportunity to visit the garden in the evening, because it’s a completely different experience. And the way they lit up favorite garden landmarks is totally different from any of the other nighttime events we’ve been to!

Flora Borealis is open for another few weeks, so you still have time to stop by and check it out!

The Linnean House–August

Tonight we had a rare evening look at the Linnean House while we waited for our entrance to Flora Borealis:

 

 

Lego Assembly Square–Night Five

I think the fifth set of bags for the Lego Assembly Square contained one of my favorite builds ever!

Yes, I really enjoy the ballet studio. But the real reason I love this part of the set is because I essentially built Joe Negri’s music shop! Seriously, the minifig even looks like him!

Almost done…but there’s still one set of bags left to cap the building off!

Lego Assembly Square–Night Four

On to the fourth set of bags for the Lego Assembly Square!

The pattern of the build continued here, with the second floor being added to only two of the three sections. This time, I added a dentist’s office and a photography studio, and that also meant the addition of two more minifigs…the dentist and the photographer, of course! The build for the patient’s chair in the dentist’s office was especially cool, and the details were spot-on, right down to the color!

It’s really starting to take shape!

I can’t wait to take a look at the next section of the build!