Summer School 2021

It seemed like the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics would never get here, and now they’ve already come and gone. Here’s a look back at our Japan-themed summer school.

We visited Origami in the Garden at the Missouri Botanical several times over the summer. The large-scale art installation was the perfect field trip to coincide with Tokyo 2020 (and was also postponed from last summer).

We also visited the Olympic Spectacular in St. Louis at Francis Field, home of the 1904 Summer Games:

I made a few fun treats for the Olympics…Olympics torches (white chocolate covered pretzels) and Team USA CHEERios treats.

We did a lot of cooking and tried a lot of Japanese foods. I worked really hard to find things we hadn’t had before, and used a variety of cooking methods and unfamiliar ingredients. We tried:

  • Spicy Ramen/Udon
  • Pork Gyoza
  • Coffee Jelly
  • Okonomiyaki
  • Matcha Mochi Cake
  • Vegetable Tempura
  • Potato Korokke
  • Fluffy Japanese Cheesecake
  • Kani Cream Korokke
  • Chicken Katsu Sandwich
  • Matcha Green Tea Cookies
  • Oyakodon

We were supposed to go out to a Japanese restaurant this summer, but COVID-19, so we got a party platter of sushi instead:

I’ve been holding on to the Lego Architecture Tokyo skyline since last year, and we finally got to build it!

Our American Girl dolls got into the Olympic spirit:

In between watching as much of the Olympics as we could, we also did some more traditional school work. We learned about Japanese history and culture, as well as the history of the Olympics. We read a lot of books…some I read out loud, and some were book basket choices. We also watched a selection of Olympic documentaries:

  • FirstLondon 2012
  • The Everlasting FlameBeijing 2008
  • Atlanta’s Olympic GloryAtlanta 1996
  • 16 Days of GloryLos Angeles 1984
  • Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory
  • Seoul 1988

And we also did several crafts, including origami, paper lanterns, Koinobori (Japanese carp windsocks), pipe cleaner and tissue paper cherry blossom branches, and medals (of course!):

I’ve been holding on to Ticket to Ride: Japan since last year, and we finally had a chance to play! I really enjoyed the new game mechanics introduced in this edition, and it was fun to get to know the geography of the area a little bit better.

We updated our medal chart every evening…here’s a look at the final results…we were very excited that the US won the gold medal race and had the most medals overall!

And, better late than never, our Family Olympics, which was delayed due to heat. We only had four events this year (frisbee throw, broad jump, soccer kicks, and a running race), thanks to time constraints and a lack of basketball hoops on the backboards we normally use. Technically, Turkey came in first, but since we participate as a family, we all won gold!

This summer school was a long time coming. I think we all still have mixed feelings about the fact that the Olympics were held at this time, but we had to just accept that that was out of our control, and embrace the Olympics as we usually do. It’s always hard to say goodbye when they extinguish the flame, but the Winter Olympics are less than six months away, and we only have to wait three more years for Paris 2024!

Mother’s Day Lunch

I knew that Turkey was planning a Mother’s Day surprise for me…it’s been pretty obvious that he was working on the logistics of it for weeks. But I didn’t know what it was, aside from the fact that it was something that would require Ryan’s assistance after church today. Well, I think Turkey did an excellent job!

He knows how much I enjoy sushi, and how unlikely I am to buy it for myself. So he and Ryan went out to buy me a special lunch today, and Turkey arranged it on the platter himself when they got home. He¬†was also surprised, though…he didn’t anticipate that they would have heart-shaped sushi today! That made my lunch extra special, and was a treat for both of us!

Mother-Daughter Sushi Lunch

I promised Bunny that I would take her out for sushi sometime this summer, so today we went to Wasabi Sushi Bar.

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It was the first time either of us had been there…the decor was very nice.

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Bunny loved the tiny soy sauce dishes.

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Bunny told me she didn’t want to eat any raw fish, which was fine with me…she got a vegetable roll, I got a Central Avenue roll with salmon, and I also got us a California roll to share, since the fish in that was cooked. The sushi boat was a big surprise to Bunny! She was very happy with the vegetable roll and the California roll, and she even tried a piece of my Central Avenue roll…she was so proud of herself for trying raw fish (and she even seemed to like it!)!

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Sushi is really very pretty:

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We even splurged, and each got a green tea cheesecake pop for dessert…yum!

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What a fun way to spend an afternoon with my oldest daughter!