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-Two

Things are both winding down and speeding up at the same time…the end of the school year is always so crazy!

Turkey and Bunny had a brief introduction to trigonometry in math. There’s something comforting about knowing they’re still teaching SOH-CAH-TOA the way I remember it from over 20 years ago! They also started the last chapter in their science book, and it’s a big one, covering reptiles, birds, and mammals. They’re almost done with both Henry V and Julius Caesar, and especially looking forward to acting out Act III, scene i of the latter.

Ladybug worked on reviewing different types of charts and graphs in math this week. She’s also on the final chapter in her science book, and they saved the grossest chapter for last, because we’re reading all about flatworms…ick! She’s almost done with history, too…this week, she learned about Constantine, and up next is the fall of Rome.

Chickadee is finishing up her study of the alphabet…she only has “X” and “Q” left. She’s also been doing some simple word problems in math.

Because it was so nice on Monday, we took a field trip to the St. Louis Zoo. This was very timely, as Turkey and Bunny recently learned about sharks and stingrays, and we were there in time for the free hour of the up-close-and-personal stingray exhibit. And since Ladybug just learned about insects, we also spent some extra time in the insectarium (much to my chagrin!).

I’m working on one last field trip, and just about two weeks of school left!

Chickadee Thursday

Today is the rare Chickadee Thursday picture taken not on a Thursday. We went to the St. Louis Zoo on Monday, and this picture of Chickadee, with her beloved elephant fountain, is just too cute not to share!

A Beautiful Spring Morning in Forest Park

Yesterday we headed to Forest Park for an end-of-the-year field trip. Most of our morning was spent at the St. Louis Zoo, where we finally got to see the new grizzly bears. Before we went home, though, we also needed to visit beautiful Art Hill, where we saw the tulips in full bloom. We also finally got see a St. Louis Mounted Police officer go by, which was amusing, and something of a shock even though we knew the mounted police patrol the park…there are just some things you don’t expect to see on Art Hill!

Atlas Moth

This picture really doesn’t do the Atlas Moth at the St. Louis Zoo justice. Each of its wings was about the size of one of my hands. I’m so glad the zoo employee pointed it out to us so we could admire it, but I’m very grateful that we saw it resting on a tree, and not flying directly at us!

2016-17 School Year–Week Thirty-Two

We’re almost done!

Turkey and Bunny continued reviewing what they’ve learned in Algebra 1 this week, and had their last exam of the year…they both got As! We’ll do a little more review next week, but not much…I think they know it! Ladybug also reviewed what she’s been learning and had her final exam of the year…another A!

Ladybug finished her final chapter in science, on all the other “stuff” that lives in the water. So, pretty much worms and microscopic stuff, neither of which you really want to think about too much if you’re say, planning on swimming on the ocean. Good thing that’s not on the schedule for this summer! Turkey and Bunny finished the chapter on electromagnetism in their science book, but they still have a test to take before they’re done for the year.

We finished As You Like It, which, because it’s a comedy, had a happy ending that we enjoyed. We continued reading Little House in the Big Woods, as well. We won’t finish that before we’re officially done with the school year, but no one will mind reading it at the beginning of our summer vacation!

Turkey and Bunny both finished their final papers for their writing course a few days early! I had given them until next Wednesday to get them done, since we didn’t make it to the library until this week (call me crazy, but I hate visiting the library when it’s pouring rain like it was last week…I hate worrying about keeping the books dry!), but they didn’t want to worry about it over the weekend. Ladybug has finished up her writing course, as well.

We also finished The Story of the World volume four this week. This was the stuff that I really remember well…the first Persian Gulf War and the end of apartheid in South Africa. I have a fun study of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” planned for next week, to wrap up everything we learned since the end of WWII.

We even managed a fun day off this week, to celebrate Ladybug’s 10th birthday. We spent the day Tuesday at the St. Louis Zoo, and made our way around the whole thing. We got to touch the stingrays and ride the carousel (both free the first hour the zoo is open!), visited the orangutans and other apes, wandered through the sea lion exhibit, walked up the hill to see the giraffes, camels, wild asses (yes, my children love an excuse to say “ass” in an appropriate way), and zebras (and walked through the monkey house along the way), walked back down the hill and took a break by the main entrance, then through the whole River’s Edge exhibit where we saw both rhinos (the female is pregnant!), a cheetah, painted dogs, and the elephants, and finally back over to The Wild to see the penguins (who were unusually playful that day!) and polar bear before we came home. It was a fun and exhausting day, and I think pretty much every school in the St. Louis metro area was also there for end-of-the-year field trips!

We don’t have too much to do next week. A final history wrap-up, a last homeschool day at the Missouri History Museum, and the aforementioned science test are pretty much it!

A Birthday Trip to the Zoo

Since we don’t have too much school work left to do, we took the day off and spent Ladybug’s birthday at the zoo! I think just about every school in St. Louis was there on a field trip, but we still had a fun time, even though we had to battle the crowds to see anything. The animals were unusually active and playful today…we especially enjoyed getting splashed by the penguins! It was a fun way to celebrate a birthday!

The Top Five–Photos of 2016

Last year, I forced myself to pick my top five photos (ok, 10 total…five from my Canon DSLR, and five from my iPhone), that I had taken over the course of 2015. I thought it was a fun little project, so here are my top five (and only five…fine…five plus one, from either camera) photos from 2016.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is always one of my favorite places to take pictures, especially the beautiful Japanese Garden:


Our town square (which is actually a circle, but I digress), is always beautiful, but especially at sunset:

Another favorite photo spot is Forest Park, especially the view outside the Art Museum in the spring:


I took many pictures when we were in Chicago last May…this is my favorite lakefront/skyline shot:


Back at the Botanical Garden, and the always-photogenic Climatron:


And because I can never leave well enough alone, a bonus picture of a sea-lion, mid-wink, following the sea-lion show at the St. Louis Zoo:


This list is a little different this year, because not one picture of our family made the cut. I did get a lot of great photos of the children in 2016, but really, they deserve a category of their own…it’s just too hard to choose!