Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo

Would you believe that I, the Christmas Queen, had never been to Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo?

Well, almost never.

The first year Ryan and I lived down here (I think) we did visit, so that was almost 20 years ago. But we weren’t impressed, so we never felt like spending the money on tickets again. Maybe it was because we had a pretty recent memory of the lights at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, and that is a display that’s hard to top. Or maybe it really was just that underwhelming. But after that first time, we never went back.

Until last night. I needed a little more Christmas, and from what I’d seen of pictures of the lights, it seemed to be pretty different, so we decided to buy tickets for the family before the event ends for the season on the 30th.

I have to say, it was nothing like the hazy memories of being disappointed two decades ago I had stored away in my mind. There were lots of cool displays throughout the zoo, fun Christmas music, and the smell of funnel cake in the air (even with masks on!)

One of my favorite things about the displays was that the ornaments and presents displayed with the various animals had those animals’ prints on them, and I thought that was really cool!

Of course there were plenty of opportunities to take family photos, too!

I’m really glad we decided to take a chance on this…I would definitely pay for tickets again in the future!

2020-21 School Year–Week Thirty-One

Hymn of the Week–“Holy Spirit, the Dove Sent from Heaven” (Lutheran Service Book #502)

Fun things first…on Wednesday, we actually left the house for a little field trip when we visited the St. Louis Zoo for the first time in almost two years! The weather was not supposed to cooperate, and while it did pour on us at one point, most of the time we were there it was actually quite pleasant out!

As for the rest of the week…Turkey and Bunny completed their final calculus lesson, where they put many of the concepts they’ve learned this year together to solve some real-world problems. We took another look at WWI in American culture and geography. In advanced biology, they continued to learn about the respiratory system…the slide of lung tissue they looked at under the microscope was really cool! They submitted the topics for their final term paper…I’m looking forward to seeing what they have to say!

Ladybug used what she learned about the Pythagorean Theorem to solve problems using the distance formula, as well as the midpoint formula, in algebra. She learned about magnets in science. In writing, she wrote a review of a book (that happened to be written by her big sister!). Since she’s finished with literature studies for the year, she’s reading a favorite book from my childhood, Henry Reed’s Journey.

Chickadee worked on subtracting while rounding in math. In science, she learned about different kinds of beetles, including scarab beetles and fireflies. We started reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. In history, she and Ladybug read about the Chernobyl disaster and the fall of the USSR.

Three more weeks to go!

2019-20 School Year–Week Six

We finally had the outdoors field trip that I’ve been waiting for! On Monday morning, I walked outside, and realized that the weather was too nice to stay indoors. So we headed to the St. Louis Zoo, where we enjoyed a beautiful walk and learned a few things (especially about the zoo’s resident polar bear).

The rest of the week we focused on our regular work. Turkey and Bunny worked on applying the functions they’ve learned for the last few weeks in pre-calculus to different triangles. They started the first of two chapters on two-dimensional motion in physics, and practiced the graphical method of adding vectors. Their history lessons focused on India. In their literature study of “The Purgatorio,” they began a chart detailing the different cornices of Purgatory.

Ladybug read one of my favorite obscure Bible stories this week…Balaam and his talking donkey. In math, she started working with powers of ten. She finished the third chapter of her science curriculum. In history, she learned about the Defenestration of Prague and the 30 Years’ War. The Company found Smaug in her study of The Hobbit.

Chickadee finished Little House in the Big Woods this week. (She has also started calling me “Ma,” and I assume the two are related!) In math, she reviewed adding three two-digit numbers. She continued to read about Mercury in science, including learning how many Earth days are in both a Mercury year and day.

I have one more nice-weather field trip planned before we get too far into fall…I’m hoping we might make that happen next week!

Kantorei Kamp Week 2019

This week was Kantorei Kamp week at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Louis! This time, only Ladybug and Moose were at camp, so Turkey, Bunny, Chickadee, and I had some adventures while they were making music. On Monday, we went to the St. Louis Zoo for a nice walk before it started raining (again), and then went for a treat at Ted Drewes, since the choristers went on an ice cream walk that day:

On Tuesday, we visited the Missouri Botanical Garden, and then joined the choristers for a swim at the YMCA:

We spent the day Wednesday with the choristers, first for their performance at Laclede Groves, and then to take in a performance of The Marriage of Figaro at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. It was the first time the Fab Five and I had ever seen an opera!

Today we went to the Butterfly House, and then back to Hope for an evening recital of vocal, instrumental, and handbell music!

Oh, the Fab Five and I also had a pizza picnic at Tower Grove Park for dinner:

Here’s a look at several of the pieces the choristers presented this year:

The choir not only has talented singers, but talented musicians, as well, and they joined together for a special arrangement of “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.”

They also did two just-for-fun pieces, which were very popular!

And just like that, another year of Kantorei Kamp is done. We’ve very blessed to be able to have our children be part of such great musical instruction!

Victoria Crowned Pigeons at the St. Louis Zoo

Most people who have visited a large city are familiar with any metropolis’s most ubiquitous residents…the pigeon. But did you know that pigeons can also be quite fancy?!?

The St. Louis Zoo has two Victoria Crowned Pigeons in their bird house…Ernie and Dora. They’re hoping this beautiful and exotic breed of pigeon will multiply when (if?) they become parents, and we’re excited to see how this bird family grows!