Sunken Cities

This has been a great year for St. Louis museums and traveling exhibits. In addition to Destination Moon at the St. Louis Science Center, the St. Louis Art Museum also hosted a very special exhibit…Sunken Cities, which focused on the discoveries of two Egyptian cities by Franck Goddio in 2000 that had been hidden in the Mediterranean for over 1,000 years. Both of these wonderful collections have recently moved on to their next stops, but in case you missed Sunken Cities, here’s a look at what was included.

The Sculpture Hall was the temporary home of three enormous statues:

The main exhibition space housed all sorts of artifacts, some from the sunken cities, and some from other historic sites.

This was an excellent exhibit. It was quite humbling to be in the presence of such ancient history, and was also a nice to companion to last year’s Science Center exhibit about King Tut’s tomb. I can’t wait to see what kind of special exhibitions the St. Louis Art Museum will host in the future!

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:

2017-18 School Year–Week Thirty

This week has seemed like it’s been about a year long, so forgive me if I don’t cover everything!

Math continues on. I think this was the last lesson about proofs for Turkey and Bunny…Turkey is disappointed; Bunny is relieved. The Math-U-See instructor said at the beginning of our journey into proofs that about 50% of students love them, and 50% of students hate them, so at least we’re statistically correct! Ladybug did some more work with ratios and percents…next up is the metric system! And Chickadee is still working on subtracting and telling time.

Our science studies have continued to focus on both arthropods and vertebrates. If learning about tarantulas didn’t do me in, the lesson about fish innards should have, but I’m still ok. Next week, though, we finally reach the day we’ve been awaiting (dreading?) all year…dissection day!

We finally began our study of Henry V. Even though my children are familiar with Shakespeare, and his influence on the vernacular, they are still sometimes shocked to discover phrases they know and use were coined by him! Turkey and Bunny are also reading through Julius Caesar, so Shakespeare is a big theme here right now!

Our history lessons have continued to focus on Rome and the aforementioned Julius Caesar. We also had a great opportunity to visit the St. Louis Art Museum today to see the new “Sunken Cities” exhibit. While it focuses on the Egyptian city of Thonis-Heracleion, that city was at its best around the same time we’ve been studying…we even saw statues dating to the time of Ptolemy II, who we learned about just a few weeks ago!

We have a special weekend field trip tomorrow, and then just about four weeks of school left after that!

Reigning Men

It has been a very fashionable year at the St. Louis Art Museum!

Earlier this year, we saw an exhibit dedicated to Degas and the Paris Millinery trade. We also went on a fun scavenger hunt looking for hats designed by British milliner Stephen Jones. But that wasn’t the end of the fashion exhibits! Last week, we also had the opportunity to tour the Reigning Men exhibit,  which showcases men’s fashion from 1715-2015, thanks to “Free Fridays” at the St. Louis Art Museum!

Reigning Men is divided into five sections. First was Revolution/Evolution, which focused on both the more aggressive, political side of fashion, as well as a general resistance to traditional menswear, evidenced by a change in colors and patterns. There was much in the part of the exhibit that felt familiar, due to our studies of history:

Next was East/West, which showed how events such as the Crimean War changed then-current fashions in Europe. The changes have persisted, and have extended to Japanese-inspired fashions, among other things, becoming popular, even today:

The third section, Uniformity,  was the largest. As the title suggests, military uniforms were displayed. More utilitarian outfits worn by civilians, as well as business and formal attire considered socially acceptable, were also included:

There were even several pairs of unusual shoes on display in this part of the exhibit!

From there, we moved on to Body Consciousness, which focused on clothing that flaunted a youthful, trim silhouette. In addition to some rather sheer styles, there were even underwear on display here, which caused some giggling from all of us. We also saw a swimsuit made of the material that was banned following the 2008 Olympic Games!

The final area was The Splendid Man, which focused on bold colors and adventurous styles, including heavy embroidery and even a suit covered in sequins! Let’s face it, we don’t normally see men dressed in the fashions displayed here, so it was the most foreign to us!

This was a fascinating exhibit. We saw suits of clothing that looked as if they had been lifted from the pages from history, tuxedos we recognized from movies, familiar military uniforms, and even the closest thing we have to “National Dress” here in America, in the form of a Ralph Lauren design. But as is the case with most high fashion, much of it was completely alien to us, and unlike anything we’ve ever seen on the streets. It was still interesting to see how men’s fashion has evolved, and I don’t imagine that I’ll consider menswear “boring” again!

2017-18 School Year–Week Three

It was another busy week of school!

We are in a fairly comfortable routine now. The teacher is still working on handling everything for three different grades, but I’m getting it figured out. Surprisingly, religion has been one of the hardest things for me to learn how to balance. Turkey and Bunny do all their Bible readings on their own, but we then discuss all the questions from the lesson together. Meanwhile, I still read the stories (from two different books) out loud to both Ladybug and Chickadee, in addition to going through the questions for each with them. Sometimes, I can’t keep up with who I’m talking to at any given moment, but we’re managing.

Math has continued to go well. Turkey and Bunny have gotten into some new stuff in geometry, but they’re picking it up quickly, and they both like it. Ladybug has been reviewing fractions and decimals, and Chickadee is working on counting higher. She has some trouble after fourteen…she always wants to skip straight to sixteen, and I think it’s because she ignores fifteen because it’s not pronounced “five-teen!”

Ladybug has really been enjoying science. She learned all about different kinds of dogs this week, including wolves, jackals, and dingoes. Turkey and Bunny had their first test (both received As!), and are now learning about the kingdom of Monera. They’re looking forward to getting out the microscope soon, and seeing what kind of weird stuff lives in the ponds around here!

Today we took a field trip. There has been a men’s fashion exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum (Reigning Men), that I had wanted to see, but almost forgot about. Fortunately, they offer free tickets on Fridays, so we were able to get in at no cost before it leaves town. Since we’re all learning about ancient Egypt right now, we also stopped to see the galleries dedicated to Egypt while we were there.

We don’t have any big plans next week, but we are attending a Japanese Festival this weekend, and hopefully we’ll learn something while we’re there!

The Hats of Stephen Jones

In addition to the Degas exhibit, which is wrapping up soon, the St. Louis Art Museum just began a fun new millinery-focused exhibit last week…one that is something of a scavenger hunt!

“The Hats of Stephen Jones” is a display of eight whimsical hats designed by contemporary British milliner Stephen Jones, which are scattered throughout levels one and two of the museum. Some of the hats come with a bit of fame, including one that was worn by the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, Miss Pippa Middleton! You don’t have to work too awfully hard to find the hats, as you can get a list of the galleries that are home to these wonderful millinery creations, but the search may encourage you to visit parts of the museum that you don’t normally see, or haven’t seen in a long time, which is a win in my book!

Degas, Impressionism and the Paris Millinery Trade

The St. Louis Art Museum has a special exhibit which will soon be coming to a close: “Degas, Impressionism and the Paris Millinery Trade.” I hadn’t realized that it had so little time left, and we almost missed our chance to go. We got tickets to see it last week, for the “Free Friday” event, and it was quite impressive!

As you might expect, there are works by Degas on display. There are also by paintings by some of his friends and contemporaries, as well: Renoir, Cassatt, and Manet were included.

While the bulk of the exhibit focused on women’s hats, as you might expect, there was also an area dedicated to the different styles of men’s headwear.

There were quite a few actual hats on display, as well. I was impressed by how well they’ve held up over the years!

There was a small area of hat-making materials that you could touch…the children really enjoyed that! The feathers were especially popular!

We even saw a doll who had a selection of tiny hats!

This was a fantastic exhibit. I think Bunny and I could have spent all day admiring the paintings and the hats (although I think Turkey would have been happy had we hurried along a bit). There were even children’s books scattered throughout, and Chickadee enjoyed hearing me read an old favorite and a new story to her while we there. The exhibit will be in town through May 7, and I highly recommend taking a tour!

2016-17 School Year–Week Twenty-Nine

These last few weeks of the school year are so crazy!

Thankfully, math has been easy. Turkey and Bunny have been working with the Pythagorean Theorem, which is not totally new to them, so that was a simple set of lessons. Ladybug has continued to work with metric conversions, which she mostly has the hang of, so that hasn’t been problematic, either.

Ladybug finished her study of Greek Myths in literature. She can spend the last few weeks of the school year listening to me read for fun! Turkey and Bunny have finished another act in As You Like It…the one with possibly the most quotable line: “All the world’s a stage…”

Our history lessons have focused primarily around the former USSR, particularly their relations with the Middle East. We have also learned about terrorism, which I guess isn’t really new to anyone these days, but we focused on organizations like the PLO and the IRA in our studies.

Turkey and Bunny have continued learning about the forces of nature in science. They were very excited that their studies took them to outer space this week, as we learned about the solar system. We also discussed the difference between planets and dwarf planets, and why Pluto is no longer classified as a planet. Ladybug has been learning more about jellyfish, as well as sea anemones in her science lessons.

Chickadee has continued to enjoy listening to me read Beezus and Ramona. We also took some time today to visit the St. Louis Art Museum. We finally got to tour the “Degas, Impressionism and the Paris Millinery Trade” exhibit, which is wrapping up its time in St. Louis. While we were there, I had the opportunity to read Chickadee one of her favorite books, Caps for Sale, as well as a new story to us, Madeline and the Bad Hat. I love that they scatter children’s books related to the exhibit throughout! We were also there for the very first day of “The Hats of Stephen Jones” exhibit, which is like a scavenger hunt through the museum…very fun!

This was a very busy week, and we have about four more of those to go before we finish the school year! I hope I can continue to find fun things to mix in with our work!