A Beautiful Spring Morning in Forest Park

Yesterday we headed to Forest Park for an end-of-the-year field trip. Most of our morning was spent at the St. Louis Zoo, where we finally got to see the new grizzly bears. Before we went home, though, we also needed to visit beautiful Art Hill, where we saw the tulips in full bloom. We also finally got see a St. Louis Mounted Police officer go by, which was amusing, and something of a shock even though we knew the mounted police patrol the park…there are just some things you don’t expect to see on Art Hill!

Spring in St. Louis

I love spring in St. Louis. There are so many beautiful flowers and flowering trees everywhere you look! The two best places, in my opinion, to enjoy spring are 1.) Forest Park, especially the area around the Art Museum:

And 2.) The Missouri Botanical Garden, which is always gorgeous, but especially colorful at this time of year:

Where are your favorite places to enjoy the beauty of spring?

The Restoration of a King

The Apotheosis of Saint Louis, the statue towering over Art Hill which features the city of St. Louis’ namesake, is a familiar sight to residents and visitors alike. That familiar sight is looking a little different right now, however, as it is currently undergoing a major restoration. The statue is over 100 years old, and hasn’t been restored since 1998, so I guess it’s about time!

It’s definitely strange to see such a familiar landmark look like this, but I’m glad they’re taking care of Louis, so that he can be admired by future generations of St. Louisans!

Flags of Valor

All this week on Art Hill in Forest Park, there has been a “Flags of Valor” installation. There are approximately 7,000 flags on display, one for each service member who has lost their life in theatre in the war on terror’s five operations since the 9/11 attacks, as well as a flag for every war fought by the US in which a soldier’s life has been lost, dating back to the American Revolutionary War. Each flag has an attached photo and dog tag, so you can identify who is being honored and so those brave Americans will not be forgotten.

It is almost impossible to describe the magnitude of this installation.

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When the breeze picks up, and thousands of dog tags begin jingling, it sounds like wind chimes. It’s a beautiful and terrible sound.

In addition to the individual flags, there is also a “Flag of Honor,” which has the names of each person who lost their lives on 9/11 written into the stripes.

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The display will be open through Sunday evening, and I highly recommend visiting it if you have a chance. I was able to go twice this week (and took four of the children with me the second time), and it was incredibly moving both times. Seeing all of the flags together really emphasizes how many soldiers have given their lives for our freedom.

2016-17 School Year–Week Three

We had another busy week in school!

Turkey, Bunny, and Ladybug have all continued to blow through their math review. It’s always a great relief to me to see that they retained what they learned the previous year. I’ve looked ahead, though, and next week we’re finally getting into some new material…I hope they’re ready!

Turkey and Bunny had their first science test this week, and they both did an excellent job. They have moved on to a study of air, which has included learning about humidity, something we are all quite sick of at this point! Ladybug is excited to learn about whales, and I’m looking forward to learning about narwhals with her (an animal I didn’t even know actually existed until a few years ago!).

We read about Commodore Perry and the re-opening of Japan to the west in history this week. We also learned about the Crimean War, and talked some about how you could already see World War I coming at that point. The first history test of the year was also a success for my students!

Ladybug has continued her literature story of The Blue Fairy Book. We couldn’t believe how different the story of Cinderella was in that book compared to the Disney version with which we’re familiar. Turkey and Bunny began their study of Treasure Island, a book which I have never read before…we’ve read the first three chapters, and I’m just as curious as they are to see what happens next!

Chickadee has continued to learn what sounds the letters make, and has added shapes to her studies. I was surprised to learn that she didn’t know “circle,” but was very familiar with “triangle”…I have no idea why! We have read a lot of books together…it’s a good thing she doesn’t get tired of hearing the same stories over and over!

We had a field trip day on Thursday again this week. First, we visited the Flags of Valor installation on Art Hill in Forest Park. I sometimes find it hard to believe that none of my children were born before 9/11, but it’s still a big part of their history. They were just as overwhelmed by the magnitude of the display as I was.

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From there, we went to the St. Louis Science Center. The children always want to build an arch while we’re there, and it’s getting easier to get it done now that they’re taller!

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I bought tickets to the Star Show while we were there. Unfortunately, the StarBay was closed for renovations, but we did get to see a show in the Unisphere, which was basically an inflatable dome. While the location was a little unusual (we had to crawl into it on our hands and knees, making my skirt a poor fashion choice that day!), our timing was excellent, because they were doing a special presentation on the OSIRISREx¬†spacecraft’s mission to the asteroid Bennu, which we watched launch on NASA TV Thursday evening.

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Even more excellent timing…yesterday was Star Trek’s 50th birthday, and we got to see the special exhibits set up at the Science Center!

I’m kind of enjoying this every-other-week pattern of field trips…I’ll have to see what I can come up with in another two weeks!

Chickadee Thursday

Today we went on a field trip to the St. Louis Science Center, which Chickadee still calls the “Monster Museum,” thanks to the animatronic¬†dinosaurs they have on the lower level.

While we were in Forest Park, we visited the “Flags of Valor” installation on Art Hill for the second time this week. Even at four years old, Chickadee understands that they represent something sad, and she was also shocked at the sheer number of flags she saw:

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Paper Cranes in Forest Park

When we went to the Art Museum today, we noticed that the lawn in front of it was covered in giant paper cranes:

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I looked it up when we got home, and learned that it was the STL Crane Project, which is a memorial to St. Louis fallen first responders. Sad to see, but a cool way to honor those who have died serving our area!