The Olympic Spectacular in St. Louis

Earlier this year, it was announced that St. Louis was going to receive an “Olympic Spectacular.” What is an Olympic Spectacular? you might ask. Aren’t all Olympics spectacular? And what does St. Louis have to do with the Olympics? An Olympic Spectacular is a large-scale sculpture of the Olympic Rings granted only to cities who have hosted the Olympic Games. It’s been 114 years, but St. Louis was the host of the 1904 Summer Games (the III Olympiad!), and the city was finally granted the right to display a Spectacular of its own!

Last month, the sculpture, which sits on a podium-like base, was unveiled on the campus of Washington University, adjacent to Francis Field, which was the site of many of the events at the 1904 Olympics. We stopped by to see it after church yesterday, and as someone who has loved the Olympics since I was a small child, it was a thrill to see it!

Eventually, a second Spectacular will be installed at another St. Louis Olympic site, possibly in Forest Park or near Creve Coeur Lake, which hosted the 1904 rowing competition. For now, though, St. Louis has finally been recognized as an Olympic city!

Chickadee Thursday

Today’s Chickadee Thursday is going to be a little bit different, because instead of just sharing a picture of Chickadee, I want to show you what she’s been working on.

She really enjoyed the Winter Olympics, and she especially thought the mascot, Soohorang, a white tiger, was adorable. We have a picture of him hanging up in our school room:

One day, Chickadee was sitting at her desk, drawing, which is in no way unusual for her. But I was surprised when she brought me the picture she had been working on:

I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed that a five-year-old can copy a picture hanging on the wall across the room so well!

Chickadee’s elephant family has been busy this week, as well:

And finally, a picture from our trip to Target on Tuesday…Chickadee loves the Target dog!

2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics Wrap-Up

PyeongChang 2018 was another fun Olympiad, and we’re sad it’s over! Here’s a look back at all the fun we had learning about South Korea and the Olympics!

In addition to reading lots of cool stories, we did several crafts projects:

We tried a variety of foods, not just from South Korea, but all around Asia, as well, and we threw in a wintry tea party just for fun!

I even did a segment on KFUO’s “Coffee Hour” about homeschooling through the Olympics:

The Coffee Hour – Olympics Homeschool Style

And a final look at our medal chart…we tracked seven of the top ten countries!

It’s always sad to see the Olympics come and go so quickly, but I’m sure Tokyo 2020 will be here before we know it!

Quote

Quote of the Day

“The Olympic Games are an homage to the past and an act of faith for the future.” Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee

One Last Korean Feast for the Closing Ceremonies

Just over two weeks ago, I shared the Korean dinner I made for the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics…tonight I made another special meal for the Closing Ceremonies. I used the same cookbook, and we tried two new foods…Sundubu-jjigae (spicy soft tofu stew) and Gaji-namul (steamed eggplant). Once again, I got to work with some new ingredients and cooking methods.

One of the ingredients in the stew was kimchi, so we had that as a side dish again, along with short-grain rice. I even found Jinro, a brand of soju (a distilled beverage), for the adults in the house! I strained my stew because I wanted to make sure I found one of the eggs, but everybody else enjoyed it as soup like you’re supposed to.

I left the gold and silver table linens we used at our tea party on the table, to complete our Olympic look:

When I was researching Korean food and culture, I discovered that we know as Moon Pies in America are quite popular in Korea. I managed to find Choco-Pies made by the Orion Confectionary Company, a South Korean confectioner!

This meal was even more foreign to us than the one I made for the Opening Ceremonies. It was also quite popular, but I will confess…I didn’t like the stew! I’m glad the children enjoyed it, though, and I really liked the experience of making something new and special as we say goodbye to the Olympics!

Just Desserts–A Tea Party Celebrating the Winter Olympics and the St. Louis Blues

I’ve been wanting to have a St. Louis Blues-themed tea party for a long time. I thought that would coincide nicely with the Winter Olympics, so I planned a Blue Note and winter tea party for last night. I originally had planned on it being bigger and fancier…one of the dinner “afternoon teas” we like so much. But there just wasn’t enough time, so I went with a desserts only tea party, and while it may not have been as grand as we’ve become accustomed to, it was still fun, and I even had the gold and silver table linens to complete the Olympic look!

Green tea seemed like an appropriate choice for the PyeongChang Olympics. Even though we’ve sampled many kinds of tea over the years, the children had never tried green tea before, and they really liked it!

I made three desserts in variations…sugar cookies, Rice Krispies treats, and Jell-O jigglers. I had fun using my snowflake and music note cookie cutters, and adding in blue wherever I could!

We’re sad that the Olympics are almost over, but I still have one special meal left to make, so stay tuned!

Chickadee Thursday

Today was our much-anticipated Winter Olympics/St. Louis Blues themed tea party, and Chickadee was very excited about it!

2017-18 School Year–Week Twenty-One

I think last week just might be one of the busiest school weeks we’ve ever had! Because it was so crazy, I’m just going to hit the highlights…and there were a lot of them!

On Monday, we had our 100th Day of School (Observed). We technically hit the milestone a few weeks ago, but as far as our “Doodlebug Countdown” was concerned, Monday was the day. I always try to make an extra big deal of the 100th Day when we have a kindergartener, so I assembled 100 of various objects from around the house…Lego bricks, safety pins, m&ms, cotton balls, popcorn kernels, crayons, pennies, and flashcards, all so Chickadee could see that 100 of different things can look (and feel) very different! She even counted to 100 all by herself…twice! To continue our 100th Day celebration, we also took a trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden, where we visited the Orchid Show, and took a walk around the Chinese Garden in anticipation of the Lunar New Year:

Wednesday was also a busy day, as it was both Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day. We were busy at church with acolyting and altar guild, but we found time for a Valentine’s Day craft, as well…”Valenswines!”

And on Friday, we continued our celebration of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and added in a Lunar New Celebration, as well. This gave us an opportunity to learn not only how the holiday is celebrated in South Korea, but several other Asian countries, as well. We had two more fun craft projects to add the shield kites we made last week…fans and lanterns:

An another fun dinner, where we tried foods from several Asian countries:

We’ve also kept up with our Olympics medal chart all week:

Don’t be fooled…we did all of our regular school work, too. But that’s not nearly as fun to write about when we’ve had such an exciting week!

Sartorial Saturday–Inspired by the Olympics

I love a themed outfit. And I love the Olympics. So I’ve been thinking about what kind of Olympics-inspired outfit I could put together. At first, I had no ideas. It’s not like I have a skirt with the Olympic Rings on it! But then, I had a moment of inspiration. I have the gorgeous Skeleton Band print skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing. And skeleton is one of my favorite Olympic events to watch, probably because it completely terrifies me. Seriously. People are going 75+ mph on a sled inches off the ground HEADFIRST. On ICE. So my Olympic-themed outfit was born:

We’ll just call this Luxulite UFO brooch a “curling stones” brooch for now:

And “All that glitters is not gold (medals)” when you have Splendette Duchess glitter bangles to complete the look!

Maybe it’s a stretch, but I think this is a fun outfit, Olympics or not!

A Taste of Asia to Celebrate the Lunar New Year

When I was planning our special meals to celebrate the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, I realized that the Lunar New Year was going to fall right in the middle of the festivities. China is probably the first country that comes to mind when you think of Lunar New Year celebrations, but Korea, Vietnam, and several other Asian countries also observe this holiday. I also discovered that while it no longer is, it also used to be on Japan’s calendar, too. With that information in mind, I decided to make not just a Korean meal, but a whole “Taste of Asia!”

I did most of the cooking from scratch. I made shrimp egg rolls (which I’ve done once before) and Japanese pork gyoza, as well as more of the Korean fried tofu we enjoyed last week, and some light Vietnamese shrimp spring rolls. We also bought a package of frozen pork buns from the Asian market, and I used my bamboo steamer for the first time to prepare those. And Ryan went out and bought some crab rangoon from our favorite Chinese restaurant…they make them so well, there was no way I was going to bother trying to replicate them at home!

It was a nice selection of foods, from a good variety of Asian countries!

I even tried some Japanese sake for the first time:

I confess…I didn’t make any of the dessert from scratch. But we found two varieties of mochi (red bean and green tea) at the Asian market, and I bought a bag of fortune cookies, as well:

This was another fun meal, and gave us all the opportunity to try some new things. I’m planning one more big Korean dinner before the end of the Olympics, so stay tuned!