Tuesday, November 30, 2010

House Church

To see what we did in House Church this week, head on over to:
Friendsville House

Monday, November 29, 2010

12 Days of Christmas---Secret Santa version

Someone gave me this a few years back. I do not know where they got it or whether they made it up themselves. I have seen different versions in a couple of other places. I thought it was a great idea but to be honest have never lived in a neighborhood where I could actually pull this off. So I'll put it out there for someone else who might want to surprise their neighbor this year.

It's a secret...type out each days' poem on a little card and attach it to the gift for that day. Each poem gives a clue as to what the gift will be. Use your imagination. Do not reveal your identity until the last day. Enjoy and have fun!!!

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas
We'd like to give to you
Some apple cider and mulling spices, too.

On the second day of Christmas,
Gooey is the key, caramel sauce
That's yummy as can be.

On the third day of Christmas,
We'd like to share with you
A Christmas story and
Hot chocolate, too!

On the fourth day of Christmas,
A gift to you from me,
Two ornaments to hang on your tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
We "dish" you a Merry "Kiss" mas
And a Happy New Year!
(candy dish with Hershey's kisses)

On the sixth day of Christmas,
A treat for all to share
Made especially for you
Because we sure do care.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
The season's really here
Santa's reindeer present you
with ice cream and root beer.
(gift certificate to ice cream place)

On the eighth day of Christmas,
Family time is dear
A movie and some popcorn
To spread the Christmas cheer.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
A "roll" full of jelly
Always puts a laugh
In Santa's round belly.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
It's time to deck the halls
Afterwards enjoy
Some peanut butter balls.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
Stocking stuffer for you
You pick number one or number two.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
Wasn't this a hoot?
We'd like to give our last gift
A basket full of fruit.

So Many Choices...Shutterfly

Shutterfly has so many choices when it comes to Christmas cards. With over 800 different designs and combinations, how can you choose just the right one? Here are some of my favorites:

Family Memories Christmas card with up to 12 pictures. It would be perfect for baby's first year to let those doting grandparent's see just how much their little tyke has grown.

I absolutely love In His Name, with the scripture Isaiah 9:6 in a very elegant font and classic colors. In Living Color Christmas with it's simplicity and rainbow colored greetings will set off any colorful family picture.

I tend to be more of a collage type person. I love tons of pictures because "if a picture is worth a thousand words", then wouldn't 7000 words be better. These cards are great for those who love making collages: Merry Moments or Family Story

Our Ornament Story card pictures each of your family members in a ornament frame with a short caption to share what achievements or special things have happened to that individual. How cute is that!

Honestly, there are so many great choices from Shutterfly when it comes to Christmas or Holiday cards. So if you thought this was the year you might not send cards, visit their website and you will surely change your mind.

If cards are not your thing, check out some of their other projects. Every year we send picture gifts to our families. In the past, I've made poster collages, photo calendars and brag books. To this day, our moms carry those in their purses to show off their grandchildren to the world.

So many choices...so you better start now!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Happenings

It's our tradition to decorate the day after Thanksgiving for Christmas. You can have your Black Friday sales and all their madness. We always pick new ornaments each year, one for each child and a family ornament with figures to match the number of family members. I was so surprised when I opened my ornaments to find I had already purchased our ornaments at Hallmark last year after Christmas. Two less shopping trips...I'm liking this Christmas season already. The youngest child always puts on our angel, so this was Michael's first year to put it on the tree. (last year he was just too little, and Daniel was still small enough for JP to pick up). Michael has been struggling with something this weekend. He ran a fever the whole day so he felt pretty puny when it was time to put on the angel. His fever broke the next day, so he's on the mend.

Photobucket Photobucket
Our new advent wreath this year. Isn't it pretty? I like it so much. Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent, so we will light our first candle during our church service.

Our stockings
A new way to countdown to Christmas. The kids stamped small envelopes with the date and a Christmas themed stamp. I punched a hole in one end and strung it through some curling ribbon. Then put strips of paper with Christmas activities in each envelope. I strung the envelopes in the doorway of our dining room. Starting Dec. 1st, they will take turns taking down an envelope. Some activites included: reading favorite Christmas stories, Christmas movies, having hot chocolate, Christmas crafts and other special holiday things.

Photobucket Photobucket

Our Jesse Tree and Advent Calendar. Last year, my mom gave me a set of Jesse Tree ornaments and a devotional. They were made in Southeast Asia. She has since bought two more sets, so each of our children will have one to carry on this tradition. Jesse Tree comes from the basic idea in Isaiah 11:1 which says: "A new branch will grow from a stump of a tree; so a new king will come from the family of Jesse." This was a prophesy foretelling the coming of Jesus as Messiah and Savior of the world. Each ornament has a symbol from "our story" as Christians, starting in the Old Testament and continuing through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
This year I found 25 Scriptures of Advent, so we are using those in our Advent Calendar this year to focus our hearts on the real meaning of Christmas.

I am so excited about this Advent Season---this season of expectation and anticipation. Excited to see what God has in store for us next.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Photobucket Photobucket

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Tera set our Thanksgiving table, complete with turkey placemats, napkin rings and turkey place cards. Our meal was delicious. JP did a great job with the turkey---picture perfect. We did a Thankful Turkey throughout the last few weeks---here are some of the things we are thankful for this year.

Hot tea-Hot soup-Vaporizers and Warm fireplaces
My Refuge
MumMum and Dada
well mannered kids
Free country
A mom and a dad who loves us!
Abundant Goodness
Mercy and forgiveness
Swim lessons and rocket balloons
Your love endures forever
I know Him!
that I'm alive!
Rock of my Salvation
Dirty dishes and dirty laundry (we are well fed and well clothed)
God, the Great Physician
This house
C.S. Lewis
Days when we are not sick
Soldiers that fight for our freedom
Swim lessons
God's Beautiful Creation- mountains and clouds reflecting in a clear lake.

These are just a few things we thought of to thank our Heavenly Father for giving us. We know we have so many more blessings each day that we fail to recognize. May our lives become more of a testimony to the goodness of our Lord and Savior.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

WooHoo---Final Day of Ancient Greece

Today was the last day in Ancient Greece---YEAH! I really have enjoyed the study but I'm equally glad for a 4 day weekend to recuperate and relax. We had some friends over today to share our last day of study. We started the day with an activity to calculate pi. The kids gathered cans from the cupboard. Measured the circumference (around the can) then measured the diameter (distance across the top). We divided the two numbers to find the ratio or pi. We used a calculator to divide. This activity is not accurate to the point of finding exactly pi, but we were always in the ballpark.

Photobucket Photobucket
We had a Mini-Metric Olympics with paper plate discus, straw javelin, cotton ball shoot put, big foot (measured whose foot was greatest), right hand marble grab, and left hand sponge squeeze. The kids estimated how many cm or grams before each event. Then each took and turn with others helping with the measurements. We subtracted the difference between the estimate and the actual. We also recognized the highest measurement as well as the closest guess between their estimate and the actual performance.
Photobucket Photobucket
Photobucket Photobucket

Greek Feast (fill your own pitas (veggies, cheese, yogurt and olives), fruit (apples/grapes), and everyone's favorite Greek Honey Cake)
Then we carved in wax (actually vegetable shortening)...
Photobucket Photobucket
more Batiks...
Photobucket Photobucket

and ending with Paper Name Mosaics.
Photobucket Photobucket
Photobucket Photobucket
Photobucket Photobucket

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ancient Greece: Days 6 and 7

Day 6

This day in geometry we studied and drew square/triangular arrays. We also continued to work with protractors and measuring angles by constructing a string protractor. (Basically tie a thin string through the vertex hole. Line one ray of the angle up with the 0 degrees line and then line the string with the other ray to measure the angle)

The Secrets of the Parthenon- Nova video dealing with the restoration of the Parthenon

Build a Temple Challenge

Greek Alphabet- We read about, wrote out and labelled the alphabet. Then the kids wrote their names in Greek characters.

Greek Jeopardy This is a very awesome game. 1 or 2 person option, so the kids played against each other and did fairly well with just a little frustration.

Greek Root Words Matching Game

We didn't get everything done today that I would have liked, but again we had a checkup for one of the kids so that always throws the day off.

Day 7

Parthenon- reading
Parthenon Video- short video discussing the various views of ownership of parts of the Parthenon by the British Museum.
3D Animated Tour of the Parthenon
Another 3D animation

Today we talked about circles and pi in our geometry lesson. Tera and Daniel got a lot of multiplication practice calculating circumferences of circles. We had a cool experiment
that compared area of circles with areas of rectangles.

Photobucket Photobucket
Photobucket Photobucket

Design a Greek Pot- online interactive

Greek Vase Printable
The kids played Greek Jeopardy again and that really helped cement some things they are learning.
Funny story: Tera is watching the Muppet show tonight, when she runs in and says "Hey, they have Corinthian columns in this opening song."

Day 8 will wrap up our unit including a Greek feast, Mini Metric Olympics, more geometry and crafts with friends.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Advent Resources: Wreaths and Calendars

I love history, but enough of Ancient Greece for now.

Advent and Christmas are my favorite times of the year. Anticipating the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior can be so much fun and a true bringing together of the family. Advent begins the Sunday following Thanksgiving, this year November 28th.

Here are some ideas to help with celebrating Advent at your home:

Advent Calendars:

We found one with doors that open at a thrift store a few years back. I fill each door with a symbol that represents a part of Christmas (bells, cotton (sheep), angel ornament, etc.)


I love this idea, but could not come up with all the pieces to pull it off. There's always next year.

Crafty Crow has a whole list of homemade Advent calendars

Creative Communications has tons of Advent devotional, calendars, and activity books for purchase.

Advent Wreaths:

Having a personal Advent wreath in the home is a great way to mark the Sundays leading up to Christmas. Some years we just use a tiered candle holder. I like the tiny one I found at a Hallmark store a few years back on clearance, but it is really hard to find replacement candles for it. (sniff sniff)

Photobucket Photobucket

Here are some Advent wreath ideas:

Use 5 pillar candles- 3 purple/ 1 pink/1 white surrounded by greenery (real or fake)

Use votive candle holders and do the same.

Homemade Wreath

How to Make an Advent Wreath

Ann Voskamp has a wonderful wooden wreath

Meredith at Life at 7000 Feet, just posted more great ideas on Advent Wreaths.

I'll come back some with more ideas on how to celebrate Advent.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ancient Greece Days 4 and 5

Day 4:

We started the day talking about the foods from Ancient Greece.

Greek Theatre click on Greek Theatre- 2,350 years link for a cute interactive activity

We read and talked about Greek Theatre and then they made these:

Greek Mask

Photobucket Photobucket

Photobucket Photobucket

Ancient Greece for Kids- The kids picked 3 topics each that interested them. Then they worked through the City-States: Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Argos, Megara. I assigned a comparison chart of the 5 city-states. They had to write 2 facts about each one.


We found this cool matching game: Ancient Arcade-match the god with their symbol.

Funny story---This site has pictures of the gods/goddesses taken from paintings. I previewed the first round and it looked pretty safe. So, I left the room to change Michael's diaper. When I hear Daniel yelling---"penis, penis". I thought "oh great, I just let them get on a pornography site or something" I came back in and said "What are you talking about?" He said "This god has the name penis." I read the name ---"Peneus", corrected the pronunciation and breathed a great big sigh of relief.

I have been using Janet Van Cleave's book Geometry for Every Kid this week. Today we did a lesson on triangles. We practiced drawing isosceles, equaliteral, and scalene triangles. Then tried to draw right, acute and obtuse triangles. Drawing triangles with the correct angles was harder than it looked, that's why I said we tried to draw them. We then made models of acute triangles.


Tera and Daniel have really been enjoying the stories found on the three story websites, today they listened to several from here, some from Mythweb and an Aesop's Fable.

Photobucket PhotobucketPhotobucket
Tera decided to do a winter fashion show with her Greek mask

It doesn't look like a lot when you list it out, but we had a full fun day!

Day 5:

Homer's Odyssey Game- choose your own adventure type of interactive

Greek Timeline click on Printable Greek Activities for a cute timeline for the kids to fill in.

Photobucket Photobucket

Today our geometry lesson was on polygons. I didn't have the materials to go with the lesson so I made up my own. Since we were headed out to the library, our assignment was on the road.

Draw, label and color the polygons you see in road signs. Here are the results:


After being stuck at home for a week now, a library fieldtrip was the much anticipated event of the day. It has been a beautiful laid back day! What a great way to end our week in Greece!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...