2017-18 School Year–Week Twenty-One

I think last week just might be one of the busiest school weeks we’ve ever had! Because it was so crazy, I’m just going to hit the highlights…and there were a lot of them!

On Monday, we had our 100th Day of School (Observed). We technically hit the milestone a few weeks ago, but as far as our “Doodlebug Countdown” was concerned, Monday was the day. I always try to make an extra big deal of the 100th Day when we have a kindergartener, so I assembled 100 of various objects from around the house…Lego bricks, safety pins, m&ms, cotton balls, popcorn kernels, crayons, pennies, and flashcards, all so Chickadee could see that 100 of different things can look (and feel) very different! She even counted to 100 all by herself…twice! To continue our 100th Day celebration, we also took a trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden, where we visited the Orchid Show, and took a walk around the Chinese Garden in anticipation of the Lunar New Year:

Wednesday was also a busy day, as it was both Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day. We were busy at church with acolyting and altar guild, but we found time for a Valentine’s Day craft, as well…”Valenswines!”

And on Friday, we continued our celebration of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and added in a Lunar New Celebration, as well. This gave us an opportunity to learn not only how the holiday is celebrated in South Korea, but several other Asian countries, as well. We had two more fun craft projects to add the shield kites we made last week…fans and lanterns:

An another fun dinner, where we tried foods from several Asian countries:

We’ve also kept up with our Olympics medal chart all week:

Don’t be fooled…we did all of our regular school work, too. But that’s not nearly as fun to write about when we’ve had such an exciting week!

A Taste of Asia to Celebrate the Lunar New Year

When I was planning our special meals to celebrate the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, I realized that the Lunar New Year was going to fall right in the middle of the festivities. China is probably the first country that comes to mind when you think of Lunar New Year celebrations, but Korea, Vietnam, and several other Asian countries also observe this holiday. I also discovered that while it no longer is, it also used to be on Japan’s calendar, too. With that information in mind, I decided to make not just a Korean meal, but a whole “Taste of Asia!”

I did most of the cooking from scratch. I made shrimp egg rolls (which I’ve done once before) and Japanese pork gyoza, as well as more of the Korean fried tofu we enjoyed last week, and some light Vietnamese shrimp spring rolls. We also bought a package of frozen pork buns from the Asian market, and I used my bamboo steamer for the first time to prepare those. And Ryan went out and bought some crab rangoon from our favorite Chinese restaurant…they make them so well, there was no way I was going to bother trying to replicate them at home!

It was a nice selection of foods, from a good variety of Asian countries!

I even tried some Japanese sake for the first time:

I confess…I didn’t make any of the dessert from scratch. But we found two varieties of mochi (red bean and green tea) at the Asian market, and I bought a bag of fortune cookies, as well:

This was another fun meal, and gave us all the opportunity to try some new things. I’m planning one more big Korean dinner before the end of the Olympics, so stay tuned!

2015-16 School Year–Week Eighteen

This has been another fun and busy week!

Everybody has been working on new concepts in math. Turkey and Bunny have been learning how to find the area of shapes like triangles, trapezoids, and circles. Some of this was review, and some of it was very new. Next week, they’ll be moving on to solid figures…even more fun! Ladybug is working with mixed numbers, which has been a little confusing to her. They all did well on their math tests today, so I think it’s been a successful week!

Ladybug got to start Charlotte’s Web this week. This is one of my favorite books to read out loud, and I’m already looking forward to watching the movie when we’re done. Turkey and Bunny are still working on Tom Sawyer, but we’re getting close to the end. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

In history, we’ve been learning about Captain Cook’s travels and the colonization of Australia. We’ve had some good conversations about the way native populations all over the world were treated when the Europeans began exploring. I think next week we’ll be back to the early days of America.

On Monday, in honor of the lunar New Year, we took a break from our regular history and literature to learn about China and read some Chinese folk tales. We also enjoyed a dinner of homemade egg rolls, Szechuan shrimp, and pineapple fried rice. I love taking time to learn about other cultures and enjoy some new foods!


Next week, we’ll finally be celebrating our official 100th day of school!

Celebrating the Year of the Fire Monkey

Since we’ve been learning about Asia this year, I wanted to make a special meal to celebrate the Chinese New Year. I decided on homemade egg rolls (which Turkey has been begging me to try making for quite some time), Szechuan shrimp, pineapple fried rice, and (store-bought, of course) fortune cookies for dessert (yes, I did get the world’s most generic fortune…”Your future looks bright.”).

Everybody liked at least one part of the dinner (Ladybug, my most adventurous eater, liked it all!), and the egg rolls were especially popular. It was fun trying some new foods from a different culture!