2023-24 School Year–Week Fourteen

Back to work after a light week for Thanksgiving!

Ladybug worked with the Law of Cosines in pre-calculus. In physics, she learned how to calculate frequency and period. She read about the fifth and sixth (unsuccessful) Crusades in history. In religion she read about the Arian controversy. She got to write a fun paper imagining she was interviewing the mice from “Three Blind Mice”…it was very clever! In health she read about digestion.

Chickadee learned how to borrow when subtracting mixed numbers in math. In religion, she read about some of Israel’s bad kings, as well as Elijah. She started the chapter on the cardiovascular system in science. In grammar, she learned the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs. We continued reading The Hobbit. In history, we read about El Cid and Saladin.

To welcome the month of December, today we took a walk around our town’s Christkindlmarkt and checked out all of the displays from the local gingerbread contest…our town does Christmas well!

Next week will be a mixture of regular subjects and the start of our annual “Christmas School”…this year, we’ll be focusing on Christmas carols!

Chickadee Thursday

The Day After Thanksgiving is a big deal in our house…almost as fun as Thanksgiving itself! Chickadee was very excited to go see Moose march in the town Santa Parade for the final time and collect candy while we were there:

And she and I went back downtown for the town tree lighting after dinner, which is always a lot of fun!

Thanksgiving 2023

“And that’s how Milly and Mr. Macy started a new holiday tradition. It looked a little like the old country, and a little like America, and a little like something entirely new.”

That quote from Milly and the Macy’s Parade describes pretty well how I felt about Thanksgiving this year. Our holiday was a little different, because this is the first time we’ve had a child away from home who returned to us for the holiday celebration. It was kind of familiar and kind of new, and still lots of fun!

One thing that was different this year was that instead of having “Pie Day” on Wednesday, I started my annual pie baking on Tuesday…I made three pies that day (two s’mores, another new thing because I’ve never made two of the same pie before, and a chocolate hazelnut) plus the cranberries. I got to work on baking early so that I wouldn’t have to be in the kitchen as much once Bunny returned home on Wednesday. The other six pies (plus the stuffing) were made that day, and Bunny even had time to make the caramel apple like she usually does!

Thursday was pretty normal…we watched the Macy’s Parade (Bunny and Ladybug tied at parade bingo) and the National Dog Show and some of our favorite Thanksgiving shows that we didn’t have time for on Wednesday. Chickadee took care of folding the napkins while I set our tables:

And dinner was even ready a little earlier than I expected, which is much better than it being done later! We had a fairly standard meal…turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, green beans with almonds, cranberries, and rolls. I also made roast fennel for the first time, and it was delicious!

Another change this year involved our Lego Winter Village set. Usually, we build it the day after Thanksgiving, but Bunny had to leave pretty early that day, so we built it after dinner. I love that it looks like it was lifted right from the Alps, and it has so many lovely details…the fireplace is especially cool!

Here’s a look at the previously-mentioned pies. The pineapple pie was the only new addition this year, and it was a good one…I will definitely be making it again!

In the evening, we also played “Chandler’s Dumb States Game” for the first time. I was the undisputed champion…all 50 states in four minutes, and my children are still wondering how I did it! Of course I also had to check in with Franklin and my Animal Crossing neighbors before the day was over:

The day after Thanksgiving started with one of my very favorite traditions…pie for breakfast!

We went to see Moose march in the town Santa Parade for the last time…Bunny was able to stay long enough to see the band, which was nice. After all these years, I can’t believe he won’t be marching in it again!

Of course we had turkey sandwiches for lunch:

And more pie for lunch dessert:

Dinner was another favorite…turkey soup:

After dinner, Chickadee and I went to the town tree lighting, which is always a nice event.

We walked through Christkindlmarkt:

And checked out the gingerbread houses on display on Main Street. There are some very creative and beautiful pieces done by some very talented artists!

Back home, we had even more pie:

Last night, we had one more leftovers meal…Thanksgiving casserole (one of the few casseroles I actually like!):

And one final round of pie for dessert:

So, our celebration was a lot the same, but a little bit different. But we were together for the holiday, and that was the most important thing of all!

Sartorial Saturday–Oktoberfest 2023

Time for a look back at the outfits I wore to various Oktoberfest celebrations this year! I attended a record four Oktoberfests, which means I got to wear 2/3 of the dirndls in my wardrobe. I wore my very first dress from Rare Dirndl to Belleville’s Oktoberfest, but with a fairly new apron:

I wore one of my newest dirndls to St. Charles Oktoberfest, but I again switched out the apron:

I decided to go for a lot of color at Zootoberfest at the St. Louis Zoo:

And I paired my new “Surprise Me” apron with one of my oldest dirndls at Oktoberfest at Das Bevo:

Looking back at the places I went, I can say that Belleville’s Oktoberfest is still the most disappointing to me, while St. Charles is the biggest and best. Surprisingly, though, the zoo had the best pretzels!

St. Charles might have the best Oktoberfest, but you just can’t beat the setting of Das Bevo. It was the smallest one I attended, but just look at that gorgeous building and fun tent!

I’ll leave you with everyone’s favorite call for a toast!

Mural Bridge

I love public art projects and all of the murals that are popping up around our town’s Main Street thanks to the Belleville Mural Project, as well as the other, unaffiliated projects that have been inspired by it. I saw this one for the first time when we went downtown for Oktoberfest, and I love it, not only because it’s of one of our area’s most famous bridges, but also because the car parked in front of the building looks like it’s about to drive right across the river!