Snow Boot

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!

2018-19 School Year–Week Fourteen

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!

Chickadee Thursday or “Unexpected in November”

It’s not unheard of for the St. Louis area to have flurries or even a light accumulation of snow towards the end of November. But to have a snow event big enough to send Weatherbird into “French Toast Map Mode” and cancel schools across the region this early in the month…well, it almost never happens! Chickadee was delighted to see how much snow there was when she got up this morning, and she couldn’t eat breakfast fast enough…all she wanted to do was play in the snow!

French Toast Mode

They’re forecasting our first significant snow of the season tonight and tomorrow. Actually, they’re saying it might be one of the biggest November snowstorms in St. Louis history! In honor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Weatherbird’s “French Toast Map” and all of the people who hit the grocery stores to purchase large quantities of milk, eggs, and bread before a storm hits, I made French toast for dinner. It’s a win-win situation…we like the snow and don’t freak out about it like so many in St. Louis do, and French toast is one of the children’s favorite special dinners!

A Markel Family Christmas

Our traditional Markel Family Christmas was a three-day affair this year!

Because Christmas Day fell on a Monday, our church schedules were a little complicated this time around. There wasn’t a large enough break at home on Christmas Eve for our traditional “pick out dinner,” so I decided we’d have it a day early. But before we got to that, our day Saturday started in a most pleasant fashion…the first snow of the season, and Christmas Crunch for breakfast!

And then the best dinner of the year. I love how it’s always a little bit the same as the previous year’s feast, and a little bit different! This year, in addition to the standard summer sausage and crackers, cheeses, buffalo Chex mix, and sausage squares, we also had Greek spirals from Trader Joe’s, meatballs, Rotel dip and jalapeño popper dip (both served with festive red and green tortilla chips), deviled eggs, pizza rolls, mozzarella sticks, Ranch dip with assorted veggies, and Dino Nuggets. As always, there was way too much food, which is how we like it, because we can enjoy the leftovers for several days!

As it turned out, we were fortunate that Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday, because if it hadn’t, we wouldn’t have been able to attend our regular church at all. Even though it was still technically Advent, I wore my new Pinup Girl Clothing ornament print skirt:

The children’s blue Christmas outfits fit right in with Advent 4 (and the snow falling outside!), though, and I was able to get our annual pictures at our church…including one where Bunny insisted on giving her youngest sister bunny ears!

After lunch and a little downtime at home, it was time to drive into St. Louis so Ryan and the four oldest children could sing in their respective choirs. I wore my standard Christmas Eve dress, but I added some Splendette bangles to give a more retro look:

Of course I had to get another picture of the Fab Five:

Bunny sang the first verse of “Once in Royal David’s City” solo, and she did an amazing job!

I always love hearing the children sing Stille Nacht:

Back home for even more pictures:

And Jesus’ birthday cake:

And everyone opened their one Christmas Eve gift…new Christmas jammies!

After stuffing the stockings, Ryan and I played Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries, as we always do…and I was once again a poor sport when I won, repeating last year’s victory lap around the kitchen table. For what it’s worth, I did apologize for my bad behavior.

A last look to make sure everything was ready before bed:

We were up extra early this morning, to make sure there was time to open the stockings before driving back into the city. For some reason, I rarely get pictures of the boys that early in the morning…it may have something to do with the fact that they’re always annoyed with me for waking them!

We also managed to find time for our traditional Christmas morning cherry coffee cake:

I had to wear my ornament print skirt again, because it’s so gorgeous, but at least I styled it a little bit differently this time!

I’m a sucker for pictures of the Fab Five!

Only the adult choir (of which Ryan, Turkey, and more recently, Bunny, are members) was scheduled to sing, but some of the children were also recruited to fill out the soprano section. “See in Yonder Manger Low” was my very favorite piece they sang!

After church, we even managed to find time to get a picture of the whole family!

After lunch, we opened presents. I am so thankful that everyone was thrilled with their gifts!

The aftermath was…something:

I spent what felt like an eternity in the kitchen preparing our very festive meal. The dinner table was a little low-key this year, but it still looked nice:

We had a very nice spread this year. The star of the meal was new for me…Beef Wellington. I think I did a pretty good job! We also had two kinds of potatoes (mashed and roast), two vegetables (carrots and Brussel sprouts), a shrimp ring, cherry Jell-O and dinner rolls…it was delicious!

And for dessert, an Oreo truffle Christmas tree!

This Christmas season has seemed especially hectic, and the last three days were no exception. But we had a lot of fun, and hopefully made some happy memories in the process, so all the work was worth it!

Winter and Spring

I knew when I saw the snow-covered flowering crabapple trees at the Missouri Botanical Garden back in January that I would have to take a comparison picture when they were actually flowering in the spring. I got my chance yesterday…I love how different, and how beautiful, both views are! There is truly no bad season in Shaw’s Garden!

Snow Removal

In honor of Moose’s first “snow” day of the school year, I thought I’d share a few photos I took last week at the Missouri Botanical Garden. I was very interested to see how they handle snow removal on some of the paths at the garden, and the huge roller brush was a big source of amusement to me!

The First Snowfall

On Thursday, we finally got some snow. Not a lot, which was a disappointment to the children, but at least it wasn’t a tiny bit of snow mixed with some ice! And because there wasn’t too much, and the roads were pretty clear, I was able to take a walk around the Missouri Botanical Garden, which is uniquely beautiful when covered in snow:

Hopefully this first real snowfall for the winter won’t be the only real snowfall…I’m still hoping for a snow day at some point!

A Last Look at Christmas

On the 12th Day of Christmas, one last look at some of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Christmas decorations, covered in snow (finally!):