High school is upon us! Turkey and Bunny are now in ninth grade, and looking forward to studying ancient history, the Old Testament, biology, and geometry (among other things), as freshmen. It should be a very interesting year!
Today was the first day of the 2017-18 school year!
We started with everyone’s favorite first day of school tradition…opening the schultüte:
Of course I took a lot of pictures:
After everyone looked through their new workbooks for the year (and put them away), we had a short Matins service. And then we started on our other favorite first day of school tradition…building our new Lego set for the year. This time, it was the Lego Ideas Saturn V rocket, the biggest school set we’ve built so far (it took about four hours!!!)! Since we started school before Moose this year, he got to join in the fun, too!
That’s about it. We didn’t do any real work today…that can wait for tomorrow. We’re looking forward to all the new and interesting things we’re going to be learning this year!
Turkey has been wanting to make dinner for us this summer, and he had a great idea for a tri-color pasta salad (he dyed the pasta himself!), and Italian sandwiches. He finally got to make it last night, and it was delicious!
I’m not going to give away his secret recipes, but they were really good, and I enjoyed watching (and tasting!) how he put things together!
As we did last summer, yesterday we attended Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis to hear Turkey sing with the RSCM St. Louis Training Course. It was a lovely service, and the choir sounded beautiful…just like angels! And no matter how many times I visit the Cathedral, I am always amazed by its great beauty!
We’re already hoping that we’ll have the chance to go back next summer, and maybe even hear more than one of our children in the choir!
For the third summer in a row, “The Bigs” attended Kantorei Kamp at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Louis. It is definitely the highlight of June!
The sang for three different services at three different locations for camp. On Thursday, they assisted with chapel at Concordia Seminary St. Louis, where they sang a verse of “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word,” in addition to other pieces:
On Friday, they assisted with chapel at the LC-MS International Center, where they sang some of the pieces they had done at the Seminary, and some they hadn’t. My favorite of these was “Lord, Thee I Love With All My Heart.”
Another of their pieces, “For You, O Lord, Have Delivered My Soul From Death,” is based on Psalm 116.
They also sang Cantate Domino, which they have sung in the past:
They worked on a sung version of the Choristers’ Prayer at camp, although they didn’t sing it publicly. I got to hear it while I was waiting for them to finish up one day, though!
They sang all of the pieces they did for both chapel services for the Divine Service at Hope this morning, and they also sang a verse of Hope’s 100th anniversary hymn, “As Stone on Living Stone Is Set.”
And they even got to play “Lord of All Hopefulness” on handbells!
It was a fun week for everybody, even Chickadee, who got to spend a lot of time with just me this week. And she turned into something of the camp mascot…she even got her own T-shirt!
This is the last year all four of “The Bigs” will get to participate in Kantorei Kamp, because Turkey has aged (and voice-changed) out of it. The rest of the children are already looking forward to next year’s camp, though!
It’s hard to believe, but the children just wrapped another season (and Turkey’s last), of singing with the Kantorei! As was the case last year, those choristers who completed certain exams received awards. Turkey, Bunny, and Ladybug upgraded the light blue ribbons that accompany their medals to dark blue. Moose received the white surplice this year, which is a huge achievement for him!
The medal is the same (and I still think it looks cool!), and I really love the color of the new ribbon!
I am very proud of how hard the children have worked at singing and learning about music!
And just like that, my ninth year of homeschooling is finished!
There wasn’t too much work this week. Turkey and Bunny took their last science test, and they both had perfect scores. We went through the study of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” that I had prepared. I think we were all surprised by how many of the pop culture references from the 50s that they recognized from watching I Love Lucy!
The only other thing we did this week was attend the final homeschool day of the school year at the Missouri History Museum. This month’s topic was war (particularly WWI), and how St. Louis was involved. We got to attend a flag folding workshop hosted by a retired colonel of the Air Force, which was really interesting. Not only did we learn how to properly fold an American flag, we also learned the meaning of each of the 13 folds. We studied propaganda posters from WWI, and talked about what kinds of emotions they were trying to stir up. There was a fun poppy craft, and an opportunity to write letters to soldiers. We missed the WWII rationing workshop, so I led my own workshop in that gallery, instead, which was interesting…my children had no qualms about serving liver and onions for dinner, but I have my doubts about whether or not they’d actually eat it!
This morning, Turkey, Bunny, and Ladybug built the Lego Architecture set that I had set aside for today. Since they visited Chicago last May, they had a pretty good idea of what the skyline looks like, and we were able to discuss the specific landmarks they built: Big Red (the CNA Center), the Bean (Cloud Gate), the Sears Tower (Willis Tower to some of you, I suppose), the Wrigley Building, the DuSable Bridge, and the John Hancock Center.
So that’s it for this year. Turkey and Bunny have now completed K-8 at home, and are looking forward to starting high school here in August, and we celebrated their eighth grade graduation with a trip to Starbucks this afternoon.
Ladybug has now finished fourth grade, and can’t wait to begin fifth grade in the fall. And Chickadee will be a kindergartener come August! Time flies here at Veritas Academy!
I had to work to make this photo gallery happen. Back when we started homeschooling in 2008, I didn’t even really know how to put pictures on my blog! Because the pictures weren’t archived here, I really had to dig to find them, but here they are…Turkey and Bunny, together on every first day of school from kindergarten in 2008 through eighth grade in 2016!
And a final two pictures…Turkey and Bunny on the last day of kindergarten in 2009, and today, the last day of eighth grade!
This has been an amazing journey, that we’ve always taken on a year-by-year basis. But we’re not done yet…this fall, we begin a new homeschooling journey, as we begin high school here at home!
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!
As hard as it is for me to believe, Turkey is fourteen! It seems like just yesterday that I was freaking out over him being a teenager, and now he’s just two years away from getting his driver’s license.
I think he had a nice day. He received several new Lego Minecraft sets, as well as a big Star Wars set he’s been admiring ever since we saw the movie in December. I tried out a new cake recipe at his request, which included my first-ever attempt at a cooked frosting. I’m always nervous to make something new on a birthday, but fortunately, it turned out great! It’s so exciting to see him turning into a young man before our eyes…I feel very fortunate to get to be Turkey’s mom!