Tasty Tuesday–The First Disney Dinner

If you know anything about me, you know I love themed meals and hands-on activities. When I started planning our Disney-focused summer school (details to come!) to coincide with our postponed family vacation, I knew I had to find some kind of cookbook to go with our experience. I really hit the jackpot, because a new cookbook created for the 50th anniversary of Disney World was recently published, and it contains recipes from all kinds of park locations!

I planned our first “Disney Dinner” to go with the last day of the 2021-22 homeschool year last week…a real kick-off to summer vacation! We started the meal with a Disney classic, the Orange Bird Flip. Yes, it contains raw eggs, which might be scary or disgusting to some, but we liked it!

The main course was Puerco en Salsa Verde from the Mexican pavilion at Epcot. In addition to cooking the pork, I also fried the potatoes and made the salsa verde from scratch (which may have been a mistake, because now my family wants me to never buy jarred salsa verde again!)…I was pretty proud of the effort I put in!

For dessert, I made the Brown Derby’s grapefruit cake:

Yes, you noticed correctly…I even bought two special serving pieces to go with our Disney Dinners…and Orange Bird cup and what is technically a Mickey Mouse pasta bowl, but also works well as a plate. In the end, they’ll make good souvenirs as well as dishes! I’m looking forward to trying more recipes from this cookbook (and one other one I already had) this summer!

From Super Moon to Eclipse

Last night was not only a Super Flower Blood Moon, but there was also a total lunar eclipse. I got some pretty terrible pictures of the moon rising and the eclipse, but really I’m just glad we got to see it, because based on yesterday’s weather, I was pretty sure we were going to miss the whole thing!

A Return to Art on the Square

For the first time since 2019, we visited Art on the Square in beautiful downtown Belleville!

It was good to see that many things haven’t changed:

We made sure to visit our favorite artist, Mark Hurd, and discuss what pieces we’d like to add to our collection next:

We also stopped by the food court and listened to a fun quartet for a while:

It was so good to be back at one of our favorite local events!

Sartorial Saturday–Clearance Shopping

Sometimes, you find a deal that’s just too good to pass up!

I’ve been wanting to try a pantsuit from Miss Candyfloss, but I was really worried about the fit. Knowing that their sunsuits worked for me helped a little bit, but I hadn’t been able to commit to buying one. Until I found the Mare-Minty on clearance at one of their online retailers, Boho-Chic Clothing, for only $30 (American!)!!! At that price, I really had nothing to lose!

The color scheme of this beautiful pantsuit made accessorizing lots of fun…I added a beautiful Splendette stack with matching necklace, and one of my favorite headpieces.

I also added my first-ever pair of Erstwilder earrings, from their Wizard of Oz collection:

I love how elegant this look is, and also how easy it is to wear…it’s super comfortable!

I’m so glad I was able to take a chance on this outfit. I know how their pantsuits fit now (I just need to have the hem raised a bit), and I know I like to wear them, so I don’t think this will be the only one I add to my wardrobe!

2021-22 School Year–Week Thirty-Two

And just like that, the 2021-22 school year has come to an end! The week was mostly spending time outdoors (our daily walk is now at about four miles, even in the unpleasant heat we’ve been having!) and wrapping things up.

Ladybug took her final geometry exam (and got an “A”!). She finished the chapter on mammals in biology by reading about learned and innate behaviors, and various forms of conditioning. She also finished her astronomy course by learning about celestial navigation…she even used Google Earth to find the approximate coordinates of our house! We finished her study of religious writings by reading about the Book of Mormon. She read about Constantine in history. To conclude our study of Henry V, we watched The Hollow Crown, episode four.

Chickadee also finished up math by reviewing equations, fractions, and how to cross multiply and divide. We read about sponges in science (we do still have one field trip left related to her study of aquatic animals…stay tuned!). She reviewed all of the parts of speech she’s learned by diagramming some fairly long sentences. We wrapped up our study of US geography by learning about Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington D.C.

As always, we built a Lego set to celebrate the last day of school (and since Turkey and Bunny were home at an unusual time due to their finals schedule, they were able to lend a hand):

This was a different year for all of us, and it took some getting used to. I’m really glad we did some very different things this year instead of trying to force things to be “normal” (reading Little Women, especially outside under our tree when the weather was nice, and cooking together were my favorite moments of the school year), and even though things felt strange a lot of the time, as always, I’m sad to see the school year end!

Chickadee Thursday

After being probably the only people in the St. Louis area who hadn’t seen it, Chickadee and I ran into Tally, the inventory robot, at two different Schnucks in the last week!

Scrooge and the Penobscotts

The Fab Five gave me a really cool gift for Mother’s Day!

Even before we watched Turkey play through the Kingdom Hearts video game series, and long before we started planning our trip to to Disney World, I’ve had a fascination with the extended Duck family. Donald and Daisy are my favorites…his temper always cracks me up, and I love her fashion sense. And one day, I was doing some reading about the Ducks, and their associated relatives (including the Goose family), and I realized that Donald Duck’s mother, Hortense, was Scrooge McDuck’s sister. Which means her maiden name, if you will, was also McDuck, and if she had wanted to, she could have hyphenated her name to McDuck-Duck, and that thought made me happy.

But then I thought about it further, and realized that one of Hortense McDuck-Duck’s children could have married a member of the Goose family, and that hyphenated name would have been McDuck-Duck-Goose, and that thought made me practically delirious!

All that to say, I love the Ducks and McDucks. But wait, there’s more! Because Huey, Dewey, and Louie, the Duck triplets, have also become one of my favorite M*A*S*H* jokes. There’s a scene in my favorite episode where Frank Burns is rambling on about Margaret’s fiancĂ©, Donald Penobscott, and he imagines them introducing their children, Huey, Dewey, and Louie Penobscott. It’s probably the funniest thing Frank ever says, and now whenever we talked about Huey, Dewey, and Louie, we always tack “Penobscott” on at the end!

I love how thoughtful my children are in choosing gifts!

Fifteen!

Today is Ladybug’s 15th birthday! We did a lot of our celebrating yesterday, because it’s more fun to have a birthday on the weekend, but she waited until this morning to open presents:

I think she liked them!

Her birthday dinner came entirely from The Ultimate Final Fantasy XIV Online Cookbook…Pixieberry tea, cabbage rolls (her birthday dinner of choice for three years running!), and rye bread:

For her cake, I re-created (or tried to) a chocolate cake she had a few years ago, with white and milk chocolate mousse fillings and chocolate ganache. I wasn’t entirely thrilled with how it turned out (the mousses weren’t as stiff as they should have been, and I wanted the ganache to drizzle, not cover so well, so you could see the fillings), but she liked it, and it was delicious, which is all that really matters!

Happy Birthday Ladybug!