Atlas Moth

This picture really doesn’t do the Atlas Moth at the St. Louis Zoo justice. Each of its wings was about the size of one of my hands. I’m so glad the zoo employee pointed it out to us so we could admire it, but I’m very grateful that we saw it resting on a tree, and not flying directly at us!

2016-17 School Year–Week Thirty-Two

We’re almost done!

Turkey and Bunny continued reviewing what they’ve learned in Algebra 1 this week, and had their last exam of the year…they both got As! We’ll do a little more review next week, but not much…I think they know it! Ladybug also reviewed what she’s been learning and had her final exam of the year…another A!

Ladybug finished her final chapter in science, on all the other “stuff” that lives in the water. So, pretty much worms and microscopic stuff, neither of which you really want to think about too much if you’re say, planning on swimming on the ocean. Good thing that’s not on the schedule for this summer! Turkey and Bunny finished the chapter on electromagnetism in their science book, but they still have a test to take before they’re done for the year.

We finished As You Like It, which, because it’s a comedy, had a happy ending that we enjoyed. We continued reading Little House in the Big Woods, as well. We won’t finish that before we’re officially done with the school year, but no one will mind reading it at the beginning of our summer vacation!

Turkey and Bunny both finished their final papers for their writing course a few days early! I had given them until next Wednesday to get them done, since we didn’t make it to the library until this week (call me crazy, but I hate visiting the library when it’s pouring rain like it was last week…I hate worrying about keeping the books dry!), but they didn’t want to worry about it over the weekend. Ladybug has finished up her writing course, as well.

We also finished The Story of the World volume four this week. This was the stuff that I really remember well…the first Persian Gulf War and the end of apartheid in South Africa. I have a fun study of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” planned for next week, to wrap up everything we learned since the end of WWII.

We even managed a fun day off this week, to celebrate Ladybug’s 10th birthday. We spent the day Tuesday at the St. Louis Zoo, and made our way around the whole thing. We got to touch the stingrays and ride the carousel (both free the first hour the zoo is open!), visited the orangutans and other apes, wandered through the sea lion exhibit, walked up the hill to see the giraffes, camels, wild asses (yes, my children love an excuse to say “ass” in an appropriate way), and zebras (and walked through the monkey house along the way), walked back down the hill and took a break by the main entrance, then through the whole River’s Edge exhibit where we saw both rhinos (the female is pregnant!), a cheetah, painted dogs, and the elephants, and finally back over to The Wild to see the penguins (who were unusually playful that day!) and polar bear before we came home. It was a fun and exhausting day, and I think pretty much every school in the St. Louis metro area was also there for end-of-the-year field trips!

We don’t have too much to do next week. A final history wrap-up, a last homeschool day at the Missouri History Museum, and the aforementioned science test are pretty much it!

A Birthday Trip to the Zoo

Since we don’t have too much school work left to do, we took the day off and spent Ladybug’s birthday at the zoo! I think just about every school in St. Louis was there on a field trip, but we still had a fun time, even though we had to battle the crowds to see anything. The animals were unusually active and playful today…we especially enjoyed getting splashed by the penguins! It was a fun way to celebrate a birthday!

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:

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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:

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

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

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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:

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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!

Fall at the St. Louis Zoo

We spent the morning on Friday at the St. Louis Zoo. The animals were very active, which was fun…I’m not sure we’ve ever seen them so salty before! The best part, though, was spending a beautiful fall morning surrounded by beautiful fall color. I’ve been on a quest to find fall around here, and I think it’s finally arrived!

2016-17 School Year–Week Eleven

There is no denying it…this was a weird week of school!

Moose only had two days of school this week, between parent-teacher conferences and Veterans’ Day (plus, he celebrated his birthday this week…on one of the only two days he had to be at school!). I wanted to make the most of his time off, so we did things a little differently this week.

On Monday, I already had plans for a field trip. The Missouri History Museum had a homeschool day focusing on their latest exhibit: “Toys of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s.” Since Ryan had the day off work, in addition to Moose being home, all seven of us went to the museum, and then had a picnic lunch in Forest Park, followed by our annual fall walk through the park. It was a really fun day!

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I decided that on the two days Moose was in school, we’d focus heavily on a few subjects, instead of doing our normal work across all the subjects. So we still had religion (there were a lot of church-year commemorations this week!), math (we got through six lessons in two days!), current events (there was really no way to avoid that this week!) and our study of the Constitution. In addition, Turkey and Bunny focused on writing, and Ladybug finished her written work for the chapter of science she finished last week. And yesterday, with both Moose and Ryan having the day off again, we spent the morning back in Forest Park, at the St. Louis Zoo.

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This was definitely an unusual week for us, but I think we all needed something a little unusual. Next week, we’ll also be doing things a little differently, but that’s been planned all along…it’s that time of year when we take a break from our regular history studies to focus on the First Thanksgiving, how Thanksgiving became a holiday, and how it changed over the years. Other than that, we’ll be doing our regular school work, though, so it will definitely be a more normal week!

Zoo Day

Ever since we received a membership to the St. Louis Zoo as a gift, we’ve been planning a big “zoo day,” where we would use our member passes to do everything. Today was that day!

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We did it all (I think). We rode the train (several times!), touched the stingrays, went on the Conservation Carousel, visited the Children’s Zoo, and saw the sea-lion show. In between, we visited some of our favorite animals (although, we didn’t get to see as many as we would have liked…it seemed like a lot of the exhibits were being cleaned).

Five hours later, when we had seen and done everything we wanted to at the zoo, we figured that as long as we were so close to Seamus McDaniel’s, we just had to stop in for a late lunch. It was delicious, as always!

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We had the perfect St. Louis summer day!