2023-24 School Year–Week Two

Ladybug read about Gnosticism in her study of the early church. She worked with secant, cosecant, and cotangent in pre-calculus. In grammar, she continued identifying the different comma rules. She started a new chapter in physics, focused on one-dimensional motion equations. In history, she read about Pope Eugenius III and the Second Crusade. She continued to read The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Chickadee reviewed the properties of addition and subtraction in math. In writing, she started constructing one-level outlines. She read more about Britain in the Middle Ages in history. In science we started a chapter on the skeletal system. She picked up her read-through of the American Girl stories with Meet Felicity. We continued reading Anne of Green Gables. We also started making recipes from The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook. For our first dinner, we started with one of the most famous items in Anne of Green Gables, “Diana Barry’s Favorite Raspberry Cordial.” We had “Miss Stacy’s Baked Macaroni” for the main course, and a side of “White Sands Scalloped Tomatoes.” For dessert, we had the other most famous recipe from the book, “Anne’s Liniment Cake” (but we substituted vanilla for the liniment!):

“Mercy on us, Anne, you’ve flavored that cake with Anodyne Liniment. I broke the liniment bottle last week and poured what was left into an old empty vanilla bottle. I suppose it’s partly my fault–I should have warned you–but for pity’s sake, why couldn’t you have smelled it?” –Marilla Cuthbert

We also celebrated “Back to Hogwarts” today, and Ladybug and Chickadee helped me prepare all of the dishes we made from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. We started the day with Oversized Blueberry Muffins with Crunchy Tops like Mrs. Weasley might have made for Harry on the morning of his hearing in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. No Harry Potter-themed day would be complete without Butterbeer like Harry enjoyed at Hogsmeade in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. We baked Hot Rolls like the ones made by Kreacher in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. For dinner, we had Creamy Onion Soup like Mrs. Weasley cooked in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We finished with Rhubarb Crumble with Custard Sauce from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

I’m so glad it’s September…bring on autumn!

Ready for Hogwarts

Today is Chickadee’s 11th birthday, and she found a letter from Hogwarts waiting for her at the table when she got up this morning!

After the excitement of receiving her invitation to study at the wizarding school wore off, she opened her presents:

We spent most of the day watching Doctor Who…I’m always intrigued by what she chooses! While we watched, I worked on the dinner she requested…pork tenderloin and käsespätzle (plus the pickled beets I added to the menu). She also asked me to make Butterbeer, and that was before she even knew I had planned Harry Potter elements for her birthday!

I asked her if her cake could be a surprise…I really wanted to make the cake Hagrid made for Harry on his 11th birthday. I was really happy with how it turned out!

It’s hard to believe another Markel birthday has already come and gone!

Advent 2020–Day Twenty-Six

Today Ladybug completed Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, the final part of Lego Diagon Alley!

Here’s a look at some of my favorite details from the Weasley’s shop…I love how colorful it is!

The set came with a lot of minifigs…five Weasleys (I think my biggest disappointment was that Mr. Weasley was not one of them!), Harry and Hermione, Florean Fortescue, Mr. Ollivander, a photographer from the Daily Prophet, Lucius and Draco Malfoy, and Gilderoy Lockhart:

But wait…there’s more! There was a secret 21st set of instructions, which included a bonus Harry minifig, as well as Hagrid:

There are several options for display, including placing the two sections of the street back-to-back:

It’s a long set when displayed end-to-end…this is the best I could do capturing the whole thing on the card table on which we built the set!

This was a fun project, and really made our Advent a little extra special!

Advent 2020–Day Twenty-Five

We’ve reached the penultimate day of this year’s Advent Lego project! Today Moose and Chickadee added some really cool details to Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes:

Tomorrow, Ladybug is going to finish it up for us!

Advent 2020–Day Twenty-Four

Today Bunny continued the work on the second floor of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, and she added Fred to the set (she figured out which twin is which!):

I hope tomorrow more of the hat-lifting entrance gets added!

Advent 2020–Day Twenty-Three

Today Turkey built up Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and added one of the Weasley twins to Lego Diagon Alley…just don’t ask me which one!

Maybe the other twin shows up tomorrow?

Advent 2020–Day Twenty-Two

Today, Chickadee continued to work on the fourth and final building of Lego Diagon Alley. She got to add some pretty lilac bricks to the set, and built a really cool shelf in Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. She also built Lucius Malfoy, or, as he’s known around here, Luscious Locks.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s build!

Advent 2020–Day Twenty-One

Today, Ladybug started on the fourth and final building in Lego Diagon Alley…Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes! She also built Draco Malfoy and the entrance to Knockturn Alley.

Here’s a look back at some of my favorite details from the last week. Over the last seven days, we’ve actually worked on three of the four buildings, starting with putting the finishing touches on Quality Quidditch Supplies:

All of the building housing Flourish and Blotts and Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor was completed this week. This is my second-favorite part of the set, after Ollivander’s. The colors and details are really amazing!

And just a glimpse at the details from today’s part of the build:

We’re running out of room on the table for all of the components!

I can’t believe how close we are to done with this set already!

Advent 2020–Day Twenty

Today Moose and Ladybug finished the third building of Lego Diagon Alley. They added a lot of cool details (I love the 3-Dimensional sign on Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor!), and also built Gilderoy Lockhart:

Tomorrow the work begins on Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes!