Lego “Women of NASA”

I was so excited when Lego Ideas announced that they were going to be making the proposed “Women of NASA” set. We’ve always been huge space nerds, and have a whole corner of our schoolroom dedicated to Lego space sets, so I knew this was going to fit in perfectly. Normally, I would let all five children in on the build, but since there were exactly three vignettes, one for each of my three daughters, I decided it was going to be a girls-only build!

Each part of the set is fairly small, and the builds aren’t too complicated (although they are ingenious…I love the use of a trash can on the telescope!), so it didn’t take too long to put together, and Chickadee could build her part with little help.

The completed sets include computer scientist Margaret Hamilton (and an impressive stack of books!), astronomer Nancy Grace Roman with a Hubble telescope, and astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison with an amazingly detailed for its size space shuttle.

I love that Lego Ideas doesn’t just want you to build something…they want you to learn something, too! There was a page in the instruction book for each of the four women in the set, highlighting their lives and careers. It’s so inspiring to read about these real, brilliant, talented women…and even I learned quite a bit!

It’s a great looking set!

And I told you it would fit right in with our Lego space shuttle and Saturn V rocket!

This is a fantastic little set…as always, I’m looking forward to finding out what else Lego Ideas will put into production in the future!

Chickadee Thursday

We stopped by church today, so the children could get a chance to help fold the bulletins. While we were there, Chickadee got to help Ladybug put the numbers on the hymn board for Sunday!

And a bonus picture from yesterday. Since Moose had a 1/2 day of school, we all went to visit IKEA in St. Louis. Chickadee and I had been there once in June, but the rest of the children were waiting to get their turn. So we made an afternoon of it, and walked around the whole store before having an early dinner of Swedish meatballs. Chickadee saw this picture of elephants while we were exploring, and made a beeline for it…after all this time, elephants are still her favorite animal, and she loved it!

2017-18 School Year–Week One

The first week of the 2017-18 school year is already behind us! This year, I have two ninth graders, a fifth grader, and a Kindergartener!

We started on Tuesday, so it was a short, four-day week. And the first day of school is always mostly fun…finding out what’s in this year’s schultüte, handing out books and organizing desks, taking lots of pictures, and building a Lego set. The latter took several hours, as it is the largest Lego set (the Lego Ideas Saturn V), that we’ve ever built in school. It was a fun project that everyone got to help with (we intentionally started before Moose’s first day of school so he could participate), and was educational, thanks to the fantastic extra details in the instruction book.

On Wednesday, we had a pretty full day of school, beginning most of our subjects for the year, from high school geometry and biology to fifth grade math, spelling, and vocabulary, all the way down to reading Ramona the Pest out loud and Kindergarten handwriting. But then we took a break from our work on Thursday to go on our first field trip of the school year, to see The Discovery of King Tut at the St. Louis Science Center. It was a fantastic exhibit, full of extremely well done replicas from Tut’s tomb, and was also a great way to kick off our history studies for the year, as everyone is going to be studying ancient history in one way or another.

Today we finished off with another regular school day. The only subject we haven’t started yet is our various literature studies (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to start for Turkey and Bunny, and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for Ladybug), which we will add to our schedule next week. I’ll close with something new for this year…I chose a Bible verse to be our theme for the year for the first time ever, and I think our chosen verse of Philippians 4:8 is an especially good reminder with all the chaos in the world right now:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

First Day of School 2017

Today was the first day of the 2017-18 school year!

We started with everyone’s favorite first day of school tradition…opening the schultüte:

Of course I took a lot of pictures:

After everyone looked through their new workbooks for the year (and put them away), we had a short Matins service. And then we started on our other favorite first day of school tradition…building our new Lego set for the year. This time, it was the Lego Ideas Saturn V rocket, the biggest school set we’ve built so far (it took about four hours!!!)! Since we started school before Moose this year, he got to join in the fun, too!

That’s about it. We didn’t do any real work today…that can wait for tomorrow. We’re looking forward to all the new and interesting things we’re going to be learning this year!

Kantorei Kamp 2017

For the third summer in a row, “The Bigs” attended Kantorei Kamp at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Louis. It is definitely the highlight of June!

The sang for three different services at three different locations for camp. On Thursday, they assisted with chapel at Concordia Seminary St. Louis, where they sang a verse of “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word,” in addition to other pieces:

On Friday, they assisted with chapel at the LC-MS International Center, where they sang some  of the pieces they had done at the Seminary, and some they hadn’t. My favorite of these was “Lord, Thee I Love With All My Heart.”

Another of their pieces, “For You, O Lord, Have Delivered My Soul From Death,” is based on Psalm 116.

They also sang Cantate Domino, which they have sung in the past:

They worked on a sung version of the Choristers’ Prayer at camp, although they didn’t sing it publicly. I got to hear it while I was waiting for them to finish up one day, though!

They sang all of the pieces they did for both chapel services for the Divine Service at Hope this morning, and they also sang a verse of Hope’s 100th anniversary hymn, “As Stone on Living Stone Is Set.”

And they even got to play “Lord of All Hopefulness” on handbells!

It was a fun week for everybody, even Chickadee, who got to spend a lot of time with just me this week. And she turned into something of the camp mascot…she even got her own T-shirt!

This is the last year all four of “The Bigs” will get to participate in Kantorei Kamp, because Turkey has aged (and voice-changed) out of it. The rest of the children are already looking forward to next year’s camp, though!

Awards on Ascension Day

It’s hard to believe, but the children just wrapped another season (and Turkey’s last), of singing with the Kantorei! As was the case last year, those choristers who completed certain exams received awards. Turkey, Bunny, and Ladybug upgraded the light blue ribbons that accompany their medals to dark blue. Moose received the white surplice this year, which is a huge achievement for him!

The medal is the same (and I still think it looks cool!), and I really love the color of the new ribbon!

I am very proud of how hard the children have worked at singing and learning about music!