Lego Chicago

On the last day of school last week, Turkey, Bunny, and Ladybug built the Lego Architecture Chicago skyline. While we’ve built a number of landmarks in the Architecture line over the years, this is only the second skyline we’ve constructed. I was shocked at how fast of a build it was, but just because it was completed quickly doesn’t mean it’s lacking in details!

The assortment of pieces was more colorful than I was expecting:

As always, the base was the first thing Turkey assembled:

And then the landmarks: The Bean and Big Red, which were both built by Turkey, Willis (Sears) Tower, which Ladybug begged to build, DuSable Bridge, the Wrigley Building, and the John Hancock Center, all completed by Bunny. The Hancock Center was an especially fascinating build to me!

It’s a beautiful little set!

For our first day of school in August, we’ll be taking a break from the Architecture series for something extra special…stay tuned!

2016-17 School Year–The End

And just like that, my ninth year of homeschooling is finished!

There wasn’t too much work this week. Turkey and Bunny took their last science test, and they both had perfect scores. We went through the study of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” that I had prepared. I think we were all surprised by how many of the pop culture references from the 50s that they recognized from watching I Love Lucy!

The only other thing we did this week was attend the final homeschool day of the school year at the Missouri History Museum. This month’s topic was war (particularly WWI), and how St. Louis was involved. We got to attend a flag folding workshop hosted by a retired colonel of the Air Force, which was really interesting. Not only did we learn how to properly fold an American flag, we also learned the meaning of each of the 13 folds. We studied propaganda posters from WWI, and talked about what kinds of emotions they were trying to stir up. There was a fun poppy craft, and an opportunity to write letters to soldiers. We missed the WWII rationing workshop, so I led my own workshop in that gallery, instead, which was interesting…my children had no qualms about serving liver and onions for dinner, but I have my doubts about whether or not they’d actually eat it!

This morning, Turkey, Bunny, and Ladybug built the Lego Architecture set that I had set aside for today. Since they visited Chicago last May, they had a pretty good idea of what the skyline looks like, and we were able to discuss the specific landmarks they built: Big Red (the CNA Center), the Bean (Cloud Gate), the Sears Tower (Willis Tower to some of you, I suppose), the Wrigley Building, the DuSable Bridge, and the John Hancock Center.

So that’s it for this year. Turkey and Bunny have now completed K-8 at home, and are looking forward to starting high school here in August, and we celebrated their eighth grade graduation with a trip to Starbucks this afternoon.

Ladybug has now finished fourth grade, and can’t wait to begin fifth grade in the fall. And Chickadee will be a kindergartener come August! Time flies here at Veritas Academy!

The Top Five–Photos of 2016

Last year, I forced myself to pick my top five photos (ok, 10 total…five from my Canon DSLR, and five from my iPhone), that I had taken over the course of 2015. I thought it was a fun little project, so here are my top five (and only five…fine…five plus one, from either camera) photos from 2016.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is always one of my favorite places to take pictures, especially the beautiful Japanese Garden:

IMG_1760

Our town square (which is actually a circle, but I digress), is always beautiful, but especially at sunset:

Another favorite photo spot is Forest Park, especially the view outside the Art Museum in the spring:

IMG_8208

I took many pictures when we were in Chicago last May…this is my favorite lakefront/skyline shot:

IMG_9582

Back at the Botanical Garden, and the always-photogenic Climatron:

IMG_5452

And because I can never leave well enough alone, a bonus picture of a sea-lion, mid-wink, following the sea-lion show at the St. Louis Zoo:

IMG_4215

This list is a little different this year, because not one picture of our family made the cut. I did get a lot of great photos of the children in 2016, but really, they deserve a category of their own…it’s just too hard to choose!

The Wrigley Building

I’m no expert on the Wrigley Building (although I know that Sinatra mentioned it in “My Kind of Town”), but I do know it looks really cool!

IMG_8962

I love the clock…it’s beautiful and utilitarian. It was quite helpful to us on the day we spent in Chicago! It was modeled after the clock tower at the Seville Cathedral in Spain.

IMG_8980

Version 2

William Wrigley Jr. (yes, the chewing gum guy), wanted to build a headquarters for his company in the 1920s. He chose what I think is the perfect location on Michigan Avenue by the Chicago River. It was also the first office building in Chicago with air conditioning!

The 30 and 21 floor towers are now dwarfed by their neighbors, but I imagine they were quite the sight when they were first built.

IMG_8959