Back at Busch

Yesterday, for the first time in I’m not even sure how long (at least five years!), the whole family went to a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium! We took a walk around Ballpark Village when we arrived downtown:

It’s changed a lot in the last few years!

We stopped to say “hi” to Stan, of course:

And then got in line almost an hour before the gates opened:

The reason we got in line so early was to make sure we were there in time for the giveaway…Molina and Wainwright Mystery Championship Replica Rings. This is my favorite type of giveaway, and they’re really nice!

Our seats were excellent…we were in the last row, so we had a nice breeze, and we were in the shade for pretty much the entire game! Plus, we could see the Arch, which is always nice.

When we were walking around, we found this cool life-size bobblehead of Ladybug’s favorite player who isn’t named Albert Pujols:

And Bunny, Chickadee, and I went in search of Fredbird:

Ballpark food is the best!

It was the perfect day. We got to see everyone’s favorite battery (Wainwright and Molina) start their 316th game together, putting them in a tie for second place on the all-time battery list! And we got to see Tommy Edman get his first walk-off, which was a total thrill! We couldn’t have asked for a better ending!

It was so good to be back at my favorite place!

The only thing that could have made today better is if we had gotten to see Pujols bat, but we did see him in the dugout, so we’ll call that good enough, and the perfect day at Busch!

2021-22 School Year–The Final Field Trip

The 2021-22 School Year officially ended a week ago, but yesterday, we took our final trip of the year…we visited the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station, something I promised Chickadee we would do after she finished her science course about swimming creatures. Since Bunny is done with finals, she was able to come along, too, so we had a full girls’ day out!

There were lots of hands-on opportunities…we even got nibbled by “Doctor Fish” and high-fived by sting rays!

It wasn’t too crowded when we arrived, so we had lots of good views and were able to take our time:

We walked around outside for a bit after we were done:

And we even went inside the Union Station hotel to take a look at their beautiful lobby:

This was a fun field trip, and a great way to wrap-up our school year!

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!

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!

2021-22 School Year–Week Thirty

We started this school week with a field trip to the St. Louis Zoo! This is basically a spring tradition (except in 2020, which we don’t talk about), and I really look forward to this particular zoo trip every year!

We were fortunate to get see a fairly young Somali Wild Ass with her mother while we were there…she’s so cute!

While we were in Forest Park, we also stopped to see the tulips on Art Hill, which is one of my favorite spring scenes in St. Louis!

Ladybug learned about trigonometric functions in geometry. She read about the different classes of arthropods in biology. After completing the play last week, we finished our discussion of Henry V…she just has to complete her final paper on the book. In history, she read about Julius Caesar, Caesar Augustus, and Tiberius. We discussed the Analects of Confucius in her study of religious texts. She learned about the asteroid belt and the different types of asteroids in astronomy.

Chickadee created line, bar, and pictographs in math. She learned how to diagram interjections in grammar. We read about jellyfish and sea anemones in science. She learned about Texas and Oklahoma in geography. We started reading a book about the White House…we probably won’t get to go on a tour on our trip this summer, but I figure we might see it from the outside, so she should know something about it!

Just nine days left in the 2021-22 School Year!

A Morning at the Sculpture Park

Chickadee wanted to go to the St. Louis Zoo on her birthday (which is tomorrow), but it’s supposed to rain, so we decided to go today. So how, you may ask, did we end up at Laumeier Sculpture Park instead?

The zoo is still requiring (free) reservations for admittance, and much to my surprise, when I went to request our tickets last night, they were already sold out. So Chickadee decided we should go to the Missouri Botanical Garden instead. But when I went to reserve those tickets through the member portal, I discovered that they’re closed on Mondays. So Ladybug suggested Laumeier Sculpture Park, a place we haven’t visited since pre-COVID, and it was a great idea!

We saw a lot of familiar art:

And we took a path we’d never been down before, and saw some really cool things (and did a lot of climbing…those steps were just as steep as they look!):

It was a beautiful day to be out and about!

Up next…our second March birthday!

2021-22 School Year–Week Sixteen

Is there ever a good time to get back to schoolwork after a vacation? I don’t think so, but at some point, you just have to jump in, and that’s what we did this week!

Ladybug worked on calculating the surface area of different solid figures in geometry. She started a unit on Calvinist church bodies in religion, beginning with Presbyterians. Her new literature study is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In biology, she began to learn about genetics, how different traits are passed on from parent to child, and how to create Punnett squares. She worked on using foreshadowing in a story in writing. We also took a break yesterday to visit the Beyond Van Gogh exhibit that is currently on display in St. Louis…it was really cool!

Chickadee got right back to working on long division in math…how thrilling. We backtracked in her overview of the Bible…after going through all of the Christmas and Epiphany stories, she’s back in the Old Testament with Kings David and Solomon. The new chapter in her science book is about rays and sharks. We continued to read Greek myths, including stories about Pan, Narcissus, and Daphne. After our break from world geography over the holiday season, we moved on to Africa, where we learned about South Africa and Nigeria, and made a a cheese and apple crumble and banana fritters.

Next week may be a bit bumpy, as Turkey and Bunny start a new semester of college, and we all learn our new schedules!

2021-22 School Year–Week Thirteen+

This time, I’m wrapping up a week, plus a couple of days of school!

Ladybug learned how to calculate the area of a circle and an ellipse in geometry. She learned about Roman Catholicism in her study of Christian denominations. In biology, she wrapped up her study of cellular energy by learning about cellular respiration and fermentation. She finished the second part of Beowulf. She finished reading Invincible Louisa, and is now working on Little Men.

Chickadee is starting to lay the foundation for long division in math…I’m a little scared! She finished the chapter on primeval reptiles in her science book by learning about pliosaurs and ichthyosaurs. We’re still trying to untangle Zeus’s family tree in her literature study of D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths! After Ladybug finished it, she started reading Invincible Louisa…it’s interesting to listen to her compare the lives of Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder!

Over the last seven school days, we also read some of our favorite Thanksgiving books:

  • Native Homes
  • Tapenum’s Day
  • On the Mayflower
  • Sarah Morton’s Day
  • Samuel Eaton’s Day
  • If You Were At…The First Thanksgiving
  • Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving
  • Thanksgiving: A Harvest Celebration
  • An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
  • Sarah Gives Thanks
  • Milly and the Macy’s Parade
  • Pardon That Turkey
  • Over the River and Through the Woods
  • Time for Cranberries
  • A Turkey for Thanksgiving
  • The Night Before Thanksgiving

This week, we wrapped up a few regular school things, and had some Thanksgiving fun! We visited Cahokia Mounds and had a lovely nature walk, where we saw lots of deer and even a few turkeys. We also made the 10-story climb up Monks Mound.

And we did a couple of fun turkey crafts, including my favorite, hand-and-footprint turkeys:

Next week, we get to start some of our Advent activities, not to mention the countdown to Christmas vacation!

2021-22 School Year–Outdoors Week!

I decided on a whim that this should be “Outdoors Week.” In addition to reading Little Women under the tree in our front yard, we participated only in activities that could be done outdoors, and I even came up with themes for each day!

Monday was “History and Nature.” We visited historic Concordia Cemetery in St. Louis and found C.F.W. Walther’s mausoleum. We also learned about his life and contributions to the Lutheran church in America.

Tuesday was “Art and Nature.” We went back into the city to walk around the Missouri Botanical Garden and Forest Park, and sketch some of the beautiful things we saw:

Wednesday was “Fitness and Nature.” We finally got back to the tennis court for the first time since before the pandemic began, and we also did a fitness course on a local walking trail.

Thursday was “Exploration and Nature.” We took a five-mile walk down some trails we’ve never used before, and also tried to identify some of the trees we saw along the way based on their leaves, pods, and nuts.

And today we took it easy, and ended the week by watching Little Women (the Winona Ryder version, because it’s my favorite), since we finally finished the book. We’ll get back to our regular work next week, but this was a really fun way to spend the first week of November!

2021-22 School Year–Week Ten

This has been a really long week, so I guess I’m kind of glad it’s over. But we have had a lot of fun, too, so it wasn’t all bad. Ladybug learned about the different kinds of triangles in geometry. She worked on writing conversations for her writing course. In science she looked at the difference between plant and animal cells under the microscope. We’ve made it through the worst part of Little Women…but now there’s very little of the book left! We finished all of the main recipes I wanted to make in The Little Women Cookbook…Jo’s Gingerbread, and baked New England cod served with 1850 tartar sauce.

Chickadee continued to make factor trees in math. We read about sea snakes in science. She continued to diagram the predicate nominative in grammar. Her geography lesson focused on Antarctica, so we didn’t do any cooking this week…and we didn’t want to eat raw fish like penguins!

We also visited the pumpkin patch this week, and picked out a nice trio of pumpkins. This is always one of my favorite field trips of the year!

I can’t believe next week is already the last week of October!