Redecorating

At the beginning of the school year, I was…I don’t even know what the right word is. Disappointed? Confused? Relieved? That the school room hadn’t undergone any major changes. It, for the most part, looked the same as it had the year before (and maybe even the year before that!). You have to understand, this is unusual for me, because I’m always moving stuff around, looking for the best possible use of space.

Well, I lasted exactly two weeks into the 2019-20 school year before I made a major change. Really, it all started because I was desperate for more seating downstairs in our living room, so I moved the over-sized red chair that was my seat in the the school room, and that, of course, was the beginning of trouble.

In the end, you might notice four major differences in the school room. The new recliner (the first brand-new, just-for-me, chair I’ve ever had!), is maybe the most noticeable. If it’s not, the curtains I purchased to replace the old ones, which were hand-me-downs from our kitchen years ago, probably catch the eye first. But there’s also a new lamp, something I’ve been meaning to add to our school room for years, and a signed picture of Rick Steves, which was sent to us as a recognition of our summer school this year from his company.

So. it took a few weeks, but I finally made some noticeable changes. And they’re improvements to our learning space that I really like, and hope will make our educational endeavors even more successful!

2019-20 School Year–Week Four

Honestly, the busier our weekends are, the more exhausting the school week is…and last weekend was very busy! We went to the St. Louis Science Center on Friday night, where we learned a bit about biology as it relates to Pokémon…that was a lot of fun! And on Saturday, we spent the day at an air show, where not only did we get to see groups like the Aeroshell Aerodynamic Team and the Blue Angels perform, but also the Red Arrows, all the way from England on their tour of the US and Canada! That was a complete thrill…it’s something I’ve wanted to experience pretty much forever!

So, it was once again hard to get to work on Monday, but as always, we persevered. Turkey and Bunny used trigonometric ratios to determine the lengths of sides of triangles in pre-calculus. They studied the derivatives of equations in physics. In health, they learned about mental illnesses. They also both started their choir season, and are looking forward to singing some new pieces, and having a few special performances!

Ladybug worked with radicals in pre-algebra…she was thrilled, and I had some flashbacks to the last time I taught seventh-grade math. In history, she read about the Mayflower, and also the founding of New Amsterdam (and how it became New York!). She finished her second chapter in science, which focused a lot on using the scientific method. We’re both continuing to enjoy her study of the The Hobbit…and even though I have read it before (and taught its literature study), a lot of it seems new to me!

Chickadee spent a lot of time practicing her subtraction facts in math. We got to read my second-favorite chapter of Little House in the Big Woods…the one about the dance at Grandpa’s. In science, she read about solar eclipses, and she was excited that she’s had the chance to see one. She also enjoyed learning about New Amsterdam in history…I couldn’t believe how much of the information she retained over the course of the week!

And time for a school room update. Two weeks ago, I mentioned that I did some rearranging…it’s finally complete, so here’s a look at the updated portion of the room, including my very own, brand-new, teacher recliner!

We have a fairly relaxed weekend planned, and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to not setting an alarm tomorrow after so many busy weekends in a row! We’ve done some amazing things, and had a great time, but I need to just chill!

Chickadee Thursday

I can’t believe I didn’t mention it last Thursday, but Chickadee started catechesis last week! Here’s a picture of her right before class began yesterday, deep in thought, and ready to turn her first sermon report in:

It’s hard to believe that this is the last time I’ll be going through this process with one of my children…I’m trying to make sure I slow down and enjoy it!

Tasty Tuesday–Guy’s Grocery Games

I am a huge fan of the Food Network. I’ll watch just about anything they broadcast, but one of my very favorite shows is Guy’s Grocery Games (or, Triple G, if you will). Aside from the fact that Guy Fieri is super entertaining, they judges he has on are some of my favorite Food Network personalities, and the games are so ridiculous they’re amazing, it’s also about as close to my favorite part of the old Supermarket Sweep as you can get…because if you win, you get to run with a cart through a grocery store, and who wouldn’t love to do that? (Also, really excited about Supermarket Sweep being rebooted with Leslie Jones as the host, but that’s a topic for another time.)

Anyway, I always enjoy watching Triple G. Actually, one of my favorite things about recently changing our Hulu subscription from a basic package to Hulu + Live TV is that more episodes are available in the archive, and I can watch new episodes live. I didn’t realize just how important that little detail would be until today, however. Why? Because I learned that David Sandusky, of Beast Craft BBQ fame, is going to be competing on the September 11 episode! I’m already a huge fan of Beast (obviously), as well as the new Beast Butcher and Block, so getting to see this episode is going to be a total thrill, and I can yell “I know him!” at the TV while I’m watching.

Anyway, if you’re curious about the creative mind behind my favorite BBQ restaurant, I highly recommend you tune in tomorrow…I know I’m going to! Meanwhile, I’ll be over here hoping that maybe this will lead to Guy Fieri coming to Beast to film an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Not that I’ve filled out the online recommendation form and/or tweeted at Guy more than once or anything. I’m just saying.

Quote of the Day

“Chic is, in a manner of speaking, a form of architecture. The costume, like the building, must have such coherence that the separate parts are in themselves hardly visible, and both at their best are founded on simplicity.” British Vogue, 1927

Another Look at the Air Show

Based on yesterday’s blog post, you might think we just saw the Red Arrows perform (and that was definitely the highlight for me!). But there was a whole airshow besides the Royal Air Force, which included a visit from a Budweiser Clydesdale, a static display, a parachute team, and many other flight demonstrations (an F-22 Raptor and the Aeroshell Aerodynamic Team were highlights)…it was awesome!

Not pictured are the Blue Angels, who also performed, but we left right before they took flight. We did get to see them, however, because we ate dinner at a restaurant not too far from the airport, and we could see them both from the parking lot, and from the restaurant’s windows!

The Red Arrows

This weekend is the Spirit of St. Louis Airshow in Chesterfield. We used to go to various airshows (including the one in Chesterfield many years ago), quite frequently, but ever since Scott Air Force Base stopped hosting their annual event, we really haven’t had a chance to attend one. So, it’s basically been since Chickadee was a baby that we last went to an airshow. But this is a special year. Great Britain’s Red Arrows are currently on a tour of the US and Canada, and I’ve been excited ever since they announced that St. Louis was going to be one of the stops on their tour. And today was an amazing day, because we got to go to the airshow with a dear family friend.

I don’t even know where to start. We got to see the colorful smoke, which was awesome. And we also got to see the Red Arrows fly with a D-Day Spitfire, which was beyond moving. Yes, there were big feelings today. I cried, I clapped, I grinned from ear to ear, I jumped up and down…and I felt no shame.

Did I mention the smoke? It looked just like it does in pictures of the flypast the Red Arrows always make on Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday!

I loved the cool formations, including the Concorde and the Apollo:

Everything the Red Arrows did looked so cool!

So much love for the Red Arrows, and we even ran into a few of them on the way out…Bunny said they looked like they were from a Superhero movie, and she’s not wrong!

I have wanted to see the Red Arrows for YEARS. Literally, years. This was a dream come true. I’m so glad we got to experience this once-in-a-lifetime thrill…I know we’ll never forget it!

2019-20 School Year–Week Three

After a super busy Labor Day weekend, where we visited both the Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Greek Festival at St. Louis’ St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, it was hard to get back to work on Monday, but we managed.

Turkey and Bunny conquered their third pre-calculus test and first physics test this week, and I’m happy to report that they’re still doing great! Their study of “The Inferno” is almost complete, and I think we’re all looking forward to finding out what happens in “The Purgatorio.” They wrapped up an overview of the nervous and endocrine systems in health. Their world history chapters focused on China and Japan, while they learned about the constant search for the Seven Cities of Gold, particularly Cibola, in US history.

Ladybug also had her first science test, and received a perfect score. In pre-algebra, she learned about exponents and how they fit into the order of operations. She also read about Japan in history, although she’s a little further along in the timeline, and her lessons focused on Hideyoshi. She’s still really enjoying her study of The Hobbit.

Chickadee started working with thousands numbers in math. She continued to work on narrations, this week based on the story of Rumpelstilzchen. She learned a little bit about light (especially as it relates to the sun) in science. She also started catechesis at church this week, which is very exciting!

As was the case last year, tennis is our main physical education, but every once in a while, I find something fun to add in…this week, we visited a Ninja Warrior-style course at the Carondelet Park Rec Complex in St. Louis. This course was a little less intense than the one we visited two years ago, which meant it was almost too easy, but it was still a lot of fun…the climbing wall was especially popular!

We also continued to add some board games to our school days when there was time, including one inspired by some “what if” conversations we had in history (Chrononauts), and the latest expansion for Sagrada:

Tonight we’re going to the Science Center for their monthly “First Friday” event, and tomorrow we’re going to the air show, where not only will we get to see the Blue Angels, but also the Red Arrows…it’s going to be a busy weekend, but I can’t wait!