Today we had a snow day! This was a special snow day, because not only did Moose’s school close for the day, the homeschool event we were supposed to attend at the Missouri History Museum was cancelled, so we were all truly home for the day!
Of course we had to play in the snow:
When a snow day happens the week before Christmas, you bake Christmas cookies. And while we baked, we watched not only the unbelievably fluffy flakes fall outside the kitchen window, but also the Nutcracker, something we do every year around Christmas. We watched three different productions today: The Dutch National Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, and my personal favorite, the San Fransisco Ballet. Three Nutcrackers and 13 dozen cookies later, and all of our “fancy” baking is done!
We also made “stained glass” Christmas ornaments while we watched White Christmas. I love how they turned out!
We found time for a nice walk in the snow:
And had our standard Markel Family snow day dinner!
The Fab Five had time to build two bags of their Lego Hogwarts Castle set today. Here’s a look at some of the detail:
After shoveling (something that I really enjoy doing!), we watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The older I get, the more I relate to Clark Griswold, which is a little bit scary!
This was one of the nicest days I’ve had, and I really enjoyed the chance to both slow down and get a lot of work done!
I mentioned that Moose was very excited about the five-day weekend he got to have surrounding his birthday. Well, the five-day weekend turned into a six-day weekend, thanks to what I think may be the earliest snow day he’s ever had! And when you add in the meteor we saw streak through the sky last night, it has been quite a birthday long weekend!
In all honestly, I think closing the schools was ridiculous. We got maybe two inches of snow, and yes, it was really cold this morning, and there was some ice, but if they’re closing schools this early in the season, I’m kind of concerned about what’s going to happen come January. I will say that it definitely looks pretty, especially since so many of the trees still have their beautiful (and now snow-covered) fall foliage!
Last Saturday we woke up to the winter storm that had been forecasted…in the early part of the day, even the highways were covered, and from what we could see from our eighth floor hotel room, it was rough going out there. I was a little concerned that we would have to spend the entire day in our room…
We did have fun watching even more Food Network, and I went out to clear off the car at one point, but eventually I got kind of restless, so we walked over to the Oak Brook Home Show, which was being held next door at the Drury Lane Theatre. The show was kind of a bust (I hate high pressure environments), but I did enjoy seeing the inside of Drury Lane for the first time since I was a child. We were especially impressed by the beautiful chandeliers and ornate ceiling:
Back in our room, we noticed a bit of winter drama down below. One of the hotel snowplows had managed to get stuck in a snowbank, and we rather enjoyed watching as first they attempted to plow it out, then tried with shovels, and finally gave up and towed the thing out.
The snow did finally stop, and at some point I realized that the cars in the parking lot down below were no longer spinning their tires and the highways looked pretty clear. So we decided to venture out. First we stopped at Mariano’s, which is a new grocery store chain from when I lived in the Chicago area. We were very impressed with it, and decided we’ll probably need to go back in May, if only to sample the offerings from their “mochi bar.”
Then we went to church at St. John, Wheaton:
We even managed to stop back in at Frosty Faustings one more time, where we caught a bit of the cosplay contest and took a few more pictures.
Once we were back at the hotel, we dug into the treat we picked up at Mariano’s…an Eli’s Cheesecake sampler! We really enjoyed the specialty from “Mama’s Little Bakery, Chicago, Illinois!”
More Food Network, plus some Friends on Nick at Nite before bed on our last night in the hotel. We went to sleep wondering if there was going to be more snow overnight, but at least I parked in the theatre’s parking garage this time!
Here are a few more pictures from my walk in the winter wonderland that was the Missouri Botanical Garden on Sunday. While the garden is beautiful in the spring with all the flowers blooming, I think this might be my favorite way to see it, covered in snow!
I know I just shared a picture of this year’s “MoBot Through the Year” location last week, but St. Louis was lucky enough to be blanketed with 10 inches of snow this weekend, so of course I have to share another, this time including a frosty white blanket:
We had a series of somewhat unexpected snow showers yesterday, including one that occurred right during the time that I went to pick Moose up from school. Now, I’m not one to mind the cold, and with a few exceptions, I haven’t even bothered to wear a sock on my foot under my CAM boot, which means my toes are usually exposed to the weather. That also doesn’t bother me. I was surprised, though, at how quickly the snow accumulated on top of the boot, while my good foot in a normal shoe didn’t see accumulation like this. I don’t know why it happened (I’m guessing the greater surface area had something to do with it), but it was kind of amusing!
I think this week of school felt a bit more “normal,” although we haven’t had school in the actual schoolroom since I broke my ankle. We’ve been making do with having our lessons in either the living room or even my bedroom.
Turkey and Bunny worked more with factorials this week, and they both scored 100% on the test, so it was a good math week! In chemistry, they learned about physical and chemical changes, as well as density, and did a few experiments to illustrate those concepts. Next week, they get to balance chemical equations, which was always one of my favorite parts of chemistry! They finally finished Act Three of Romeo and Juliet, and got to write a short story in the style of experimental fiction in creative writing, which was a lot of fun to read!
Ladybug worked with fractions in math, which was a nice follow-up to her review of decimals last week. Her science lessons focused on horse health, especially as related to the digestive system and vision. She also started her literature study of Justin Morgan had a Horse. In history, she learned about the feudal systems of medieval England and Japan, and their knights and samurai.
Chickadee practiced more subtraction and learned how to count by 2s in math. She also reviewed counting coins. She did a great job on her spelling lessons this week! She is continuing to improve in reading and handwriting, and she loves the stories in Treasures from Grandma.
We also had an unexpected mid-November snowstorm this week, which gave Moose a snow day. Since we had already taken the day off on Monday with him for Veteran’s Day, we still had school, but the children did have time to go out and play in the snow for about an hour yesterday afternoon. Bunny came in and grabbed my phone to take a picture of their snow creation to show me (snow and a broken ankle don’t really mix!)…I love their interpretation of Iron Man and Spider-Man:
The one thing we didn’t do this week that we normally would have was our annual “Thanksgiving School.” I place the blame for that partly on my ankle, and partly on the fact that Thanksgiving is so early this year. We weren’t going to be able to take our normal field trip to Cahokia Mounds, because there’s just too much climbing there for me right now, but I didn’t mean to skip over the books and crafts we should have been doing. I’m hoping to make up for it a little bit next week, with the reading of at least some of our favorite Thanksgiving books, and our favorite Thanksgiving craft: hand and footprint turkeys, but we’ll just have to see how it goes. At least we’ve more or less kept up with our Thankful Tree…I am thankful for many things, especially this CAM boot that allows me to walk around more than I would have been able to in a cast, and all of my helpers who have kept the house running!