RSCM Camp 2018

For the last two summers, Turkey has attended the RSCM St. Louis summer camp…this year, Bunny and Ladybug joined him!

After a week of singing, singing, and more singing (plus some other fun activities!), they sang for the Choral Evensong service at 1st Presbyterian in Kirkwood last night.

They accompanied the congregation in singing one of my favorite hymns, “Christ, Mighty Savior.”

They sang another favorite of mine, the Magnificat:

This morning, they sang at the 10:00 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis. After the service, the Archbishop even commented that while they were singing, it sounded like the gates of Heaven had opened up, and I agree!

One of the pre-service pieces they sang was “Praise the Lord, O My Soul.”

Anglophile that I am, I couldn’t help but love hearing them sing “I Was Glad!”

We really missed having them at home all week, but it was very exciting to hear them sing, and hear all of their stories once they returned home!

Markel Family Summer Vacation–Day Two

Last Thursday, we had one vacation event planned, and it was a big one, especially for Turkey…we went to Legoland! While everyone was looking forward to going, Turkey in particular has always dreamed of visiting Legoland, but he was starting to think that our trip to the Legoland Discovery Center in Chicago last January was as close as he was going to get.

We had such a fun time! We went on as many rides as possible, including Chickadee’s first roller coaster (she was not a fan!). We also really enjoyed the Miniland, which included landmarks from Florida, the U.S., and, of course, Star Wars!

One of the highlights of our visit was the water skiing show, which included life-size minifigs on water skis!

When the regularly scheduled afternoon thunderstorm popped up, we decided we had seen everyone we wanted to see, so we stopped at Publix (again), which was conveniently located across the street from Legoland, and then at the Wawa gas station, which Ryan was very excited about. Along the way, we even saw actual orange trees along the side of the road!

Back at the hotel, we went for another swim, and then took a walk around to see more of the retro sights.

Thursday was a busy day, but wait until you see all we did on Friday!

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:

Awards on Ascension Day

As has become our tradition, we attended the Divine Service for the Ascension of Our Lord at Hope Lutheran in St. Louis. The children’s choir always sings at this service, and they also receive the RSCM awards they have earned. Bunny and Ladybug both tested for the red medal, and Bunny passed with honors, and Ladybug passed with distinction! Even though he’s no longer in the children’s choir, Turkey also took the test, and like Ladybug, he also passed with distinction. Moose didn’t receive an award this year, but he’s still thrilled to be part of the choir!

Six Years Ago…and Today

Exactly six years ago today, Chickadee became a member of God’s family through the Sacrament of Baptism, and Turkey and Bunny were confirmed and received the Sacrament of the Altar for the first time. That year, April 1 was Palm Sunday, which was exciting, but it’s even more exciting to celebrate those anniversaries today on Easter Sunday!

Fifteen!

Today is Turkey’s fifteenth birthday! After a busy morning at church and choir rehearsal, he was excited to get home and open his presents. Lego sets are still one of the best gifts you can get him!

We had a late lunch/early dinner at Red Robin, which is probably Turkey’s second favorite place to order a burger (after Seamus McDaniel’s, of course!).

This year, he asked me to make a Black Forest cherry torte for his birthday cake:

This should be an exciting year for Turkey, and for us, because learning how to drive is looming on the horizon! Happy Birthday, son!

Chickadee Thursday

Turkey has a Darth Vader mask in his closet. And for the longest time, Chickadee was terrified of it. She didn’t want to see it on the shelf or on any of her siblings, and sometimes, she would freak out if she saw Turkey approaching the closet, because she was certain he was going to put it on.

And then, this week, she decided that she loves it. She follows Turkey around when he’s wearing it, instead of running away shrieking:

And sometimes, if she asks very nicely, Turkey will even let her wear it!

2017-18 School Year–Week One

The first week of the 2017-18 school year is already behind us! This year, I have two ninth graders, a fifth grader, and a Kindergartener!

We started on Tuesday, so it was a short, four-day week. And the first day of school is always mostly fun…finding out what’s in this year’s schultüte, handing out books and organizing desks, taking lots of pictures, and building a Lego set. The latter took several hours, as it is the largest Lego set (the Lego Ideas Saturn V), that we’ve ever built in school. It was a fun project that everyone got to help with (we intentionally started before Moose’s first day of school so he could participate), and was educational, thanks to the fantastic extra details in the instruction book.

On Wednesday, we had a pretty full day of school, beginning most of our subjects for the year, from high school geometry and biology to fifth grade math, spelling, and vocabulary, all the way down to reading Ramona the Pest out loud and Kindergarten handwriting. But then we took a break from our work on Thursday to go on our first field trip of the school year, to see The Discovery of King Tut at the St. Louis Science Center. It was a fantastic exhibit, full of extremely well done replicas from Tut’s tomb, and was also a great way to kick off our history studies for the year, as everyone is going to be studying ancient history in one way or another.

Today we finished off with another regular school day. The only subject we haven’t started yet is our various literature studies (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to start for Turkey and Bunny, and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for Ladybug), which we will add to our schedule next week. I’ll close with something new for this year…I chose a Bible verse to be our theme for the year for the first time ever, and I think our chosen verse of Philippians 4:8 is an especially good reminder with all the chaos in the world right now:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”