2019-20 School Year–Week Twelve

Today is the end of a long weekend for us, so I figured it’s a good time to wrap up what was a short week of school last week…except, I waited so long, I’m not really sure what we did! I do know that Turkey and Bunny finished the chapter on the senses in health, Ladybug learned about Frederick the Great and Prussia in history, and Chickadee worked on borrowing when subtracting in math.

Since we did have some time off, we decided to make our annual visit to Cahokia Mounds a little earlier than we normally do. We had a beautiful and brisk morning for our walk (and climb up Monks Mound!), and we spotted lots of wildlife, including many deer, while we were out!

Hopefully we can get a lot accomplished with the time we have left this week, because there’s only one full week of school in November before Thanksgiving, and we really need to make the most of our time!

The Teenage Trio

Moose has been wanting me to take a picture of our family’s “teenage trio” (as he’s been calling himself, Turkey, and Bunny) since…well, since he became a teenager on his birthday a year ago! I finally got around to it today, and it’s a good thing, too, because in less than six months, we’re going to be upgrading to a teenage quartet!


Today is Moose’s 14th birthday! We started the day with gifts (of course!):

He spent most of his day assembling Lego sets and playing the new video game his siblings gave him…it’s the perfect birthday for Moose! He was especially excited to build in front of the Christmas tree, which I made sure was up in time for his birthday…that was really important to him, and it makes the rest of us happy, too!

He wanted a chocolate cake decorated with Star Wars light sabers. I’m not terribly happy with how it turned out, but he liked it, and I guess that’s all that really matters:

This birthday was extra special, because for the first (and only) time, he has a five-day weekend because of the way teacher conferences and Veterans’ Day landed on the school schedule. I’m really enjoying spending his long weekend with him!

A Year Later

Just over a year ago, I broke my ankle. While at the time it seemed like my recovery would be interminable, it actually went pretty quickly, and my life was pretty much back to normal before I knew it.

There was one big test of my ankle left, though, and it was just as much psychological as physical. Every year as Thanksgiving approaches (well, except last year, due to the aforementioned ankle), we visit Cahokia Mounds to take a long walk, which includes climbing the 154 steps to the top of Monks Mound. I always love this outing, because we see lots of beautiful fall foliage and encounter wildlife we don’t see a lot (mainly turkeys and deer), but I was dreading it a bit this year. Not because I didn’t think my ankle could handle it (although it does still get sore sometimes, especially in the cold), but because I still have a mental pause every time I go down a flight of stairs, and the staircase at Monks Mound is way more than a single flight! I didn’t know how I’d react when it was time to descend the mound, and that scared me.

I try not to let my hangups get in the way of doing fun things, though, so off we went in the brisk weather today. Our walk was amazing as always (we saw tons of deer!), and it was a beautiful morning. And I made it up (and back down!) Monks Mounds without re-breaking my ankle or having a panic attack. We also went over to Woodhenge, something we don’t always do, and enjoyed the views there, as well.

I have a feeling that stairs will always make me a bit uncomfortable, because now I know how easy it is for something to go wrong really quickly, but I’m determined not to let that get in the way of doing things I enjoy!

Chickadee Thursday

It’s one of the best times of the year…Thankful Tree season! Chickadee is very excited to pick something she’s thankful for every day to help build our tree and make it beautiful:

The Top Five–Star Trek Secondary Characters

When coming up with a list of my favorite secondary characters from the non-Kelvin Star Trek universe, I decided not to choose one from each of the five TV shows…instead, this is a list of my top five true favorites! You can tell Deep Space Nine is my favorite of the Star Treks, because three of the characters on the list are from that show. And, yes, Jeffrey Combs is on this list as two different characters…he’s definitely my favorite Star Trek guest star!

Shran–I love how the longer you watch Enterprise, the more Shran’s story unfolds…he’s definitely more complicated than he appears at first glance. I also love the way he gestures with his antennae, and I especially love how he keeps a running tally of how much Captain Archer owes him!

Q–Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy? He’s definitely the universe’s biggest all-powerful troll, and I can’t help but wait and see what he does next. When we played Chrono-Trek, I was really hoping I would have the chance to join the Continuum and win the game!

Weyoun–Appearance number two of Jeffrey Combs on this list is as the Vorta, Weyoun. There’s no doubt he’s a bad guy, but he also has his moments, and he’s impossible to hate, especially when he talks about his background in creative genetics.

Martok–No top five Star Trek list of mine would be complete without a Klingon, and I had to choose Martok, who is not only a Klingon general, but also basically Worf’s adoptive older brother. He has an excellent sense of humor, and is also a fierce warrior…what’s not to love?

Garek–And for my third Deep Space Nine character, I had to choose the Cardassian tailor…the plain, simple, tailor. The more you know about him, the less you know, and every now and again you’re reminded of all of the horrible things he has done. But he’s also a good friend and a patriot, which makes him all the more lovable.

The Top Five–Star Trek Main Characters

This year, we’ve been watching through all of Star Trek (not including the Kelvin Timeline) chronologically. While we’re just now at the point where Deep Space Nine enters the picture, I think it’s time to list my favorite main characters from across the five series of Star Trek we’ll have watched when we’re through. I decided that since there are five shows, it would only be fair to pick one character from each, which helped narrow the list down some, too!

Enterprise: Commander Trip Tucker–I think this was the hardest choice for me. I really like Enterprise, but I’m not sure that I like any one character better than another. If forced to choose, however, I guess Trip is my favorite. You know, as long as I ignore the series finale!

The Original Series: Dr. McCoy–An irascible old gentleman, McCoy really speaks to me. The older he gets, the crankier he gets, and I know how he feels. I also really admire his dry sense of humor!

The Next Generation: Worf–I could choose Worf in not only Next Gen but also Deep Space Nine if I wanted to. He’s an interesting and complex character, and I love seeing how he adapts to serving with humans (and embracing his Klingon-ness) over the years. He may be my favorite character in all of Star Trek. Even though I could choose him twice, I had to leave a space for his wife, so next up is…

Deep Space Nine: Jadzeia Dax–Just Dax isn’t good enough, because I really, really don’t like Ezri. But Jadzeia is one of my favorite characters ever, and my list wouldn’t be complete without her. She’s strong and confident and cheeky, and she can kick anybody’s ass…there’s so much to admire!

Voyager: B’Elanna Torres–Obviously, I really like Klingons, and in some ways, B’Elanna is the mirror-image of Worf. She’s not a full-blooded Klingon like he is, but they deal with many of the same issues, and I like her unique perspective.

Up next…my favorite supporting characters!