Thirteen!

Today is Moose’s 13th birthday!!! Yes, we now have three teenagers in the house!

He starts school a little later this year than he has in previous years, so he had plenty of time to open his gifts this morning. The humor in him receiving a Lego City hospital from us (which I purchased months ago) was not lost on me, considering the events of the last week.

Things were even more fortuitous than that, though. He told me a few weeks ago that he wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. He didn’t require a cake with a special shape (that would require fancy frosting), or complicated fillings or anything. So it was an easy cake to make, even with a broken ankle, and it looked really fun thanks to the Funfetti frosting! As always for a 13th birthday, I bought candles that spell out “Happy Birthday” because there are exactly 13 letters in the saying:

It was a more low-key birthday than we usually have around here (well, except for the unexpected snow showers, which he was very excited about…I don’t think he’s ever had birthday snow before!), but he didn’t seem to mind, and I was just happy to be able to celebrate with him!

The First Day of Junior High!

Today is Moose’s first day of junior high!

This is definitely going to be a different experience. For the last almost 10 years, he has attended the same school, with the same people, and has only had a few teachers each year. This year, there will be new faces, a different room for every class, and many new experiences. I hope it will be a great year for him!

A Promise Kept

While Turkey, Bunny, and Ladybug were at choir camp last week, Moose, Chickadee, and I looked for some fun things to do to help pass the time. One of our excursions was the result of a promise years in the making…we rode the red line of the St. Louis┬áMetroLink from one end (Shiloh-Scott) to the other (Lambert Airport Terminal 1) and back again!

We’ve talked about doing this for years, and it was something Moose especially was interested in, so I figured the timing was perfect, especially since he and Chickadee are both currently still eligible for the 1/2 price child fare! We’ve never been to the Shiloh-Scott station before, so that was interesting in and of itself, as it has two separate stations, one for public access, and one for Scott Air Force Base personnel.

We were pretty much the only passengers on the train when we started out, and we saw many people come and go as we rode.

When we got to the airport, we went inside (as far as you’re allowed without a ticket, anyway), and were pleased to find the Cakeway to the West cake from the STL250 year still on display:

And then we got back on the train in the other direction. We weren’t alone at the beginning of the trip this time, but by the time we got back to Shiloh-Scott, we had the whole train to ourselves again!

So that’s it for our MetroLink adventure. The round-trip took us about three hours altogether, and I think we traveled close to 80 total miles back and forth. It was a nice was to spend a hot day (we were so thankful for the air conditioning on the train!), and we had a fun time seeing different parts of St. Louis as we sped by. I’m glad this was a promise that was finally kept!

Chickadee Thursday

Chickadee, Moose, and I spent the morning at the Missouri Botanical Garden. We decided to take a ride on the tram, which is always a lot of fun, because we always learn something new!

Kantorei Kamp Week

For the fourth summer in a row, “The Bigs” have participated in a Kantorei Kamp at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Louis. It’s a busy, fun week for everybody, because while they’re at camp, Chickadee and I go adventuring…sometimes, I think she has more fun than her siblings do!

On Monday, while the Kamp had a full day of music theory, handbell practice, and choral rehearsals, Chickadee and I went to the playground in Forest Park and to the Missouri History Museum, where we visited the History Clubhouse and the new “Muny Memories” exhibit:

On Tuesday, Chickadee and I went to the Missouri Botanical Garden in the morning, and then joined the Kantorei Kamp for some swimming at the YMCA:

Wednesday was a little bit cooler, so Chickadee and I walked around the St. Louis Zoo and the St. Louis Art Museum:

We only had a little bit of free time on Thursday morning, so Chickadee and I visited the St. Louis Public Library and read some books before joining the Kantorei Kamp for a backstage tour of Powell Hall, a picnic lunch, concretes at Ted Drewes, and a concert by a quartet from the Greenleaf Singers for Make Music St. Louis Day:

And today we went with the Kantorei Kamp to the LC-MS International Center to hear them sing for chapel. After that, Chickadee and I visited the St. Louis Science Center before picking up “The Bigs” from their last day of Kamp:

And a bonus handbell piece from church on Sunday, which I managed to record while they rehearsing before the service:

Saying Goodbye to Elementary School

Today was Moose’s last day in elementary school. He started at that school when he was just barely three, in the early childhood program. After almost three full years of that, a year of kindergarten, and grades one through six, he is done. It was a bittersweet day for me, and kind of a reverse of his very first day there almost 10 years ago, because I cried when I picked up him up instead of when I dropped him off. There have been ups and downs there, especially in this last year, but it was familiar. The junior high is uncharted territory, and while change is hard for everyone, for a child with special needs (and his mother), it is downright terrifying. He is an awesome young man, and I know he will do great, but it’s still challenging to go forward into this new world!

Awards on Ascension Day

As has become our tradition, we attended the Divine Service for the Ascension of Our Lord at Hope Lutheran in St. Louis. The children’s choir always sings at this service, and they also receive the RSCM awards they have earned. Bunny and Ladybug both tested for the red medal, and Bunny passed with honors, and Ladybug passed with distinction! Even though he’s no longer in the children’s choir, Turkey also took the test, and like Ladybug, he also passed with distinction. Moose didn’t receive an award this year, but he’s still thrilled to be part of the choir!

Turning Twelve!

Moose turned 12 today…can you believe it?!? I almost can’t!!!

He wasn’t thrilled about having to go to school this morning, but there was an assembly today, so that made it a little better. And as soon as he got home, he was ready to open presents. His Lego city is getting so big, I don’t know where he’s going to put it all!

He decided to make an unconventional choice for his birthday dessert…pie! This really isn’t surprising, because S’mores pie is his very favorite dessert, and Ryan has picked pie for his birthday before, so the precedent was there. It was a fun choice, even if I did miss decorating a cake for him.

Happy Birthday Moose!