2018 Japanese Festival

Last year, I went into great detail about all the things we saw at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Japanese Festival. This year, I’m just going to share pictures…lots of pictures! This continues to be my second-favorite event at the Garden…the Garden Glow will always be my very favorite!

2018-19 School Year–Week One

We are back to work in our 11th year of homeschooling!

Monday was basically a fun day, with all of our traditional 1st Day of School activities…getting all the new books organized, opening the schultüte, and building a new Lego set.

After that we, dove right in. Turkey and Bunny are studying algebra 2 in 10th grade this year, so they began by reviewing exponents, absolute value, factoring, and order of operations. To go along with algebra 2, they’re also studying chemistry, and they practiced converting from one set of units to another to begin that text. They also started their creative writing books and the first chapter of their medieval history book. They only thing they really haven’t gotten into yet is their first literature study of the year, which is Romeo and Juliet.

Ladybug is excited, because her 6th grade year is somewhat horse-themed. She dove right into her equine science lessons, learning about the anatomy of the horse, and the differences in a few different breeds. She’ll begin her horse literature next week with White Stallion of Lipizza. She also worked on some review in math, focusing mainly on place value and equivalent fractions.

Chickadee is very excited about being in first grade! Her reading skills have improved tremendously over the summer, which is weird, because we didn’t practice too much. Her math skills also improved, which is no surprise, because she’s very numbers-oriented. She no longer needs any help counting to 100 or counting by fives! She’s already enjoying reading through In Grandma’s Attic (and I think her siblings are enjoying hearing those stories again, too!).

We also almost always go on a field trip the first week of school. This year, I had a few options, but I decided we should check out the new museum at the Gateway Arch. It’s very well done!

Picking the museum downtown turned out to be a good option, because we discovered that Fredbird was making an appearance at Kiener Plaza, and we always love an excuse to stop and say “hi” to him!

Next week, we’ll pick up the few remaining subjects we haven’t already started, and really get down to the business of learning!

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!

RSCM Camp 2018

For the last two summers, Turkey has attended the RSCM St. Louis summer camp…this year, Bunny and Ladybug joined him!

After a week of singing, singing, and more singing (plus some other fun activities!), they sang for the Choral Evensong service at 1st Presbyterian in Kirkwood last night.

They accompanied the congregation in singing one of my favorite hymns, “Christ, Mighty Savior.”

They sang another favorite of mine, the Magnificat:

This morning, they sang at the 10:00 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis. After the service, the Archbishop even commented that while they were singing, it sounded like the gates of Heaven had opened up, and I agree!

One of the pre-service pieces they sang was “Praise the Lord, O My Soul.”

Anglophile that I am, I couldn’t help but love hearing them sing “I Was Glad!”

We really missed having them at home all week, but it was very exciting to hear them sing, and hear all of their stories once they returned home!

The Linnean House–July

Originally, I had planned on our going to “Flora Borealis” this month, which would have provided me an opportunity for a rare evening photo of the Linnean House. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out, so I took a standard morning picture yesterday…everything is definitely in full bloom!

Next month I should get my evening photo, because I now have our “Flora Borealis” tickets in my possession!

Powell Hall

One of my favorite parts about this year’s Kantorei Kamp was getting to tag along on the field trip to Powell Hall, the home of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (which is the second-oldest symphony orchestra in America). Of course I knew about the Symphony, but I had never really thought about the building in which they play. Powell Hall was originally the St. Louis Theater, which opened in 1925, and was host to live shows, Vaudeville acts, and movies. It wasn’t until 1968 that it reopened as the new home of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.  I really wasn’t prepared for the grandeur of the building, which I noted the moment we walked in the door:

The Grand Foyer, which was modeled after the royal chapel at Versailles, is amazing to look at. There are beautiful crystal chandeliers and gold ornamentation taking the form of fleur-de-lis, dogwoods, and even instruments throughout. It is an amazing sight!

We stopped in the Met Bar, which, as the name suggests, contains a piece from the bar of the old Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. There are more beautiful decorative elements in this space, as well, including the only original chandelier from the St. Louis Theater:

We got to see the view from the Grand Tier, which made me feel like I was in an episode of I Love Lucy:

And from the Grand Circle. You can really appreciate the gold leaf on the ceiling from this viewpoint!

We then went to the very front of the hall. We didn’t get to go onstage, but we did get to take a look from the wings, and get an idea of what the musicians see:

We then got the real backstage tour, where we saw the “locker room,” if you will:

As well as the musician’s lounge:

We saw a lot of signed photos from famous entertainers who have performed at Powell…my favorite was Jack Benny (of course!). We also saw the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Grammy award.

The outside of the building is quite grand, too.

This was a really fun trip, and I enjoyed getting the chance to see something really new. Now we just need to go to a concert, so we can get the full experience!

The Ottoman Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Out of all of the gardens at the Missouri Botanical Garden, I think the Ottoman Garden may be my favorite. It is so colorful, especially in the spring and summer, and so peaceful with the fountain running in the center. I think my favorite thing about it, though, is its size…it’s fairly small, which gives it a nice, cozy feeling!