Chickadee Thursday

Chickadee and I were outside at 6:45 this morning, now that it’s not so bitterly cold. She had a great time “mountain climbing” on all the snow piles. She doesn’t have that opportunity often around here, but in the last week or so, we’ve had about a foot of snow!

2020-21 School Year–Week Nineteen

Hymn of the Week–“‘Tis Good, Lord, to Be Here” (Lutheran Service Book #414)

First things first…we finally had a “snow day” this week! No, we didn’t take the day off…we almost never do. And it really wasn’t even that much snow…just two inches or so. But it’s the most we’ve had so far this winter, so we took a break to take a walk in the snow, and we even built a (small) snowman!

That was our excitement for the week…the rest was business as usual. Turkey and Bunny applied what they’ve learned about derivatives in calculus to physics problems…it was like last year all over again! In advanced biology, they started learning about the peripheral nervous system. They continued to learn about developmental psychology, focusing on adolescence. They started The Lively Art of Writing, a book that was fundamental to my development as a writer in high school.

Ladybug worked with complex fractions in algebra. She started learning about Isaac Newton’s contributions to science. In history, she and Chickadee read about the Great Depression and FDR. She’s nearing the end of Treasure Island. We read about the separation of powers and checks and balances in our study of the US Constitution.

Chickadee practiced reading thermometers in both Fahrenheit and celsius in math. She finished the chapter on bats in science, learning about breeding and bat nurseries. We’re already nearing the end of A Bear Called Paddington.

Next week is the start of February, which has historically not been my favorite month for homeschooling…without any field trips or activities to look forward to this year, I’m afraid it’s going to be more challenging than usual, but at least it’s a short month!

Snow Day, Animal Crossing Style

This has been the most disappointing winter I can remember. While we have had a dusting of snow once or twice, we haven’t enough snow to shovel or play in so far, and I’m beginning to think we just won’t this year. Luckily for me I’ve had quite a few snowstorms on my Animal Crossing island, and I’ve even been able to make snowmen and dress for the weather (I’m really liking my new ski suit!). While I’d really like to have an actual snowstorm, an Animal Crossing snow day is better than no snow day at all!

The Top Five–Photos of 2019

Time to take a look back at my five favorite photos from 2019! Notable this year is that a lot of my pictures were taken (or cropped) in “square” mode, since I’m using Instagram more than ever.

First, a picture from early in the year, when we enjoyed a snowy day in the Japanese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden:

Another winter picture, this time of two snow leopards at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago:

A spring photo featuring cherry blossoms in the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Japanese Garden:

The Red Arrows in flight!

Fall at Forest Park’s Pagoda Circle:

And an honorable mention…a photo taken at the holiday flower and train show at the Missouri Botanical Garden just a few days ago!

Obviously, I have my favorite places to take pictures, but I like that I’m constantly finding new ways to highlight them!

A Markel Family Snow Day

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!

Chickadee Thursday

It’s a lovely fall day today!

But just three days ago, it felt more like winter, and Chickadee was excited to make a snow angel in the first snowfall of the season!

How quickly the weather changes in the midwest…for all I know, next week, she’ll be wearing shorts!

Unexpected in November

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!

Markel Family Winter Weekend Getaway–Day Three

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!