Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas in Dallas and such stuff

The beginning of Christmas Day started Christmas Eve with the kids getting Santa his cookies and drinks.  Yes, drink plural.


See, Batman had noticed Santa drinking coke in the commercials and on the coke box.  He was quite insistent we needed to leave Santa a coke too.  We were out of coke, so I tried to suggest Dr. Pepper, which Princess quite happily agreed to, but Superman wanted Sprite as well.  So, Santa had to eat 3 cookies, drink milk, Sprite and Dr Pepper.  He might have sloshed as he left our house.



Santa was quite generous and the kids all were overjoyed at the contents of their stocking and their present from Santa (Dinosaur Train figures).  Santa was quite nice to me and I got several comics and chocolate.  Jeff was amused that Santa left him whiskey flavored coffee.  All I can say is Santa thought that was hilarious.



Nana and Granddad very much enjoyed the books Batman picked out for them for Christmas.  He was quite insistent that Nana likes birds and she NEEDS this bird book.



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Princess thoroughly entertained everyone with her pillow hiding antics, and I had fun trying to get pictures of her flyaway hair as a result of the static electricity.

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She continued to amuse us with her pants as a hat antics.  Really, it’s hard to keep a straight face to her yelling in a deliriously tired voice, “My hat!  My hat!” as it keeps falling off.


All in all this was a fabulous Christmas!  Much less stressful than last year, for more reasons than I can even start to list, and the kids made out like bandits with all family members.


Bother, it didn’t publish like I thought it had.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ta Da! My new blog look!

I guess I should have written this post first, but I didn’t.


Introducing my super cool new blog look, Jolanthe over at Homeschool Creations also has a blog design company she runs.  Company just sounds so formal, it’s more of her talking through it all with you.  And if you’re curious about blogs she’s done head over to Relevant Designs and you can see some other blogs she’s made over to look TOTALLY AWESOME!  And the super cool part, she doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and I get to support a friend while making my blog look cool.


So, I now have a button and it’s so cute!  I just love it.  All that to say, if you’re thinking about redesigning your blog you should totally check out her work.  All I had to do was say, “Yes I like this, no I don’t, or how about this?” and she did all the rest.


And, yes I will finish Christmas and have some other fun posts soon, but this was important to say too.  That’s kind of being held up by a sick husband, and way too many post-Christmas errands to run.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It’s been an awesome Christmas!

And I know you really want to see my super cool Christmas pictures.  Oh wait, that’s just me who wants to see them, and since it’s my blog I get to show them to you :)

First, on Christmas Eve Eve we gave Aunt Tara her new puppy.  Unbeknownst to her a whole slew of people got together to buy it for her.


Needless to say, she was thrilled.

We sent the kids to bed with dreams of opening presents.  Then about 45 minutes later one of the boys came out with, “Is it morning yet?”


Ummmm……  No.


Then Christmas Eve morning the kids woke up and looked at the clock and it wasn’t time to come open yet, so they went over to Mimi’s room and said, “Mimi the clock is broken it can’t get past 6 and 2 and a 4.”

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As you can see adults got presents too.  Aunt Tara might have been inundated with Christmas socks and toys for her new puppy, but she enjoyed it.  Mostly, I think.


And, score for me I got a spiffy new camera that can do everything but take the picture itself.


And just so I remember in the future, Batman is wearing the Transformer pajamas and Superman is wearing the red ones.  Oh, and obviously Princess is in pink.


Then we headed to my Mom’s for Christmas two.  Yes, my kids celebrate 3 different Christmases, wow there actually is a plural of Christmas.

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Aunt Jenn got a box full of dog food.  Uncle Sean got a G.I. Joe doll and a dancing hamster.  Okay, those weren’t the real presents but those are the fun pictures.  See Batman explaining to Aunt Jenn what she got.  And see the sparkliness of my new camera pictures?


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This was the night of duplicate presents.  They are all much appreciated presents, but it was amusing, and I had fun getting pictures of them together.  I especially liked Uncle Sean and Jeff hamming it up, nice knife Sean.  And I still remember you threatening me with your first pocket knife……..


And then I played with my new camera, and got pictures of the boys playing with my wooden sword from the Ren Fest oh 20 or so years ago……

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Gotta love the crazed go for the frosting look that Superman has in that first picture.



And I can’t end talking about our Christmas at Mom’s house (Mimi) without mentioning Jeff and I made out like bandits too.  He got a Nook, and I after much rather heavy hinting got the super cool Silhouette machine.  Now, I’m going to disappear for a while and play with it soon.


And after the craziness of all the opening we got to take some time to focus on why we have Christmas at the Christmas Eve Service.

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The kids were super excited because this was the first year they got to have their own candles (See the neat effect I got using the fireworks setting on my cool new camera).

038But, the poor little guys were all tuckered out with all of this excitement and they didn’t stay awake through the whole thing.


Okay, the Dallas side of the family and Christmas Day will have to wait for tomorrow.  I’m getting calls to sing a lullaby, and I have to admit that has more appeal than writing a blog post.


I’m looking forward to seeing everyone else’s Christmas posts.  I’ve seen a few, but not all.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope everyone is enjoying the specialness of this season.  Here are a few things I thank God for.
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Wishing you all the blessings and joy of Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

How to wrap a Christmas present according to my kids



1.  Make the wrapping paper.


2.  Take a bath, you’re now filthy, and need a bath.


3.  Find the presents again, and any random toys you want to wrap.


4.  Cut a HUGE piece of wrapping paper.


4b.  Move the dog out of the way.


5.  Don’t listen to Mom about how to fold the paper, just kind of scrunch it around.


6.  Use most of the role of tape.


7.  Convince the dog not to undo all of what you did.


7b.  Make gift tags.  (Note to self next year turn off TV, and don’t buy textured cardstock, does not work with stamps).

8.  Repeat the process for the next present.


When all done, and not a moment too soon, stand back and look at your gorgeous tree!


Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fun and quick Christmas cards and gift tags

As you know we usually make our wrapping paper……..

And if I could get this new version of Livewriter to actually put in pictures from a webpage I’d share it with you too, but it’s so not being cooperative.

So, instead I’ll just head straight to how to make the card.

Supplies needed:  cardstock for card (cut to 6x8, that’s what fit the envelopes I bought), brown paper, green paper, glitter glue, stamps)


1.  Fold paper in half.

2.  Cut out a small brown paper rectangle for the trunk.  (Can you tell how easy this will be?).


3.  Glue down a triangle for the tree (I precut out all of our triangles, but I’ve seen where the Mom drew the triangle and let the kids cut it out, and that turned out super cute!  I’m feeling lazy but the one I’m thinking of is over at Katie’s Nesting Spot).

4.  Decorate with glitter glue.


3b.  Actually before you decorate with glitter glue stamp the inside with a cute Christmas stamp and saying……….  That’d be good to do first.


Then take some of your leftover cardstock and cut into 2x3 rectangles, more or less.  Let each kid stamp one picture on each card.  Be vigilant on this or your cards will be covered in stamps with no room to write names.

Not that I have any experience with this………

And if you haven’t gotten your Christmas card from me yet it has absolutely nothing to do with my not having addressed them at all, okay it does.  I’m also struggling with what to write for a Christmas letter, it’s been a really weird year for us.  That’s been my big reason.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Around the World: Sweden

So, I’ll say this right off.  Sweden just didn’t gel for us.  I don’t know if the kids were in a bad mood, or what, but we finished it all in one day, and it just felt like the kids had no interest.  And honestly I don’t think we’re going to get Hawaii done this year, oh well.  I’ll have it for next year.

Bother, this shows how not well this study went.  I can’t find any pictures.

And, I’m having one of those down and feeling sad days, so I’m rather lacking inspiration.

So, quick walkthrough of what the plans are for it.

1.  Trace the words Sweden and “God Jul” (Swedish for Merry Christmas).

2.  Make the stick puppets, they’re Saint Lucia, Saint Stephen, Tomten (Swedish Santa), and the goat that he rides (whose name currently escapes me).

I do remember the kids being very amused at the idea of  Santa riding a goat.

3.  Saint Lucia bread (simplest recipe I could find), traditionally the oldest daughter serves breakfast on Saint Lucia day.

4.  Little booklet about Saint Lucia and Saint Stephen.  The Saint Lucia booklet is much sanitized.

5.  And a mini-book about what they do on Saint Lucia day.

6.  I also used the Saint Lucia Day doll I saw used over at Almost Unschoolers, and agreed with her about the whole drawing on underwear thing, it did look kind of creepy otherwise.

So, as you can see it’s just not inspired.  I got some good suggestions on Saturday of things to add in next year and we’ll go back there next year again I think.

Head on over to Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn for more great geography stuff.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Christmas Story

I finally got these all written and uploaded.  The story of getting it done is an event all in and of itself……..  So, here goes, right from the beginning and more or less all done.

And now that I’m a little closer to copying more pictures over I can actually write posts.

Jesus’ Family Tree
21Jesus Family Tree

I’m odd in that I find genealogies in the Bible rather interesting to try and pick out names I recognize or ones I don’t expect.  The same is true with Jesus.

The Birth of John and Jesus Announced
22The Birth of John and Jesus Announced
I always find it fun to compare the two reactions.  Mary is just accepting and Zechariah is disbelieving.  It’s interesting to me.

The Birth of John
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Again, it’s all in the reactions of the story, the neighbors trying to tell her she’s picked the wrong name amuses me.

The Birth of Jesus
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As I was reading this I realized I’d never noticed part of the shepherds’ reaction.  I’d never realized the shepherds had immediately gone out and told everyone what they’d seen.  That means all of the town knew what had happened.

Celebrating Jesus!
25Celebrating Jesus

I love the different reactions of people who see Jesus when He is born.  All of them praise God when they see Him if they see Him face to face.  But those who don’t are scheming different reactions.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Science Sunday: The Science that Didn’t Happen

So, let me tell you about my attempt at having a fun learning day on Friday.


We actually left and headed to go down to the Austin Children’s Museum fairly promptly……  That should have been my clue it was not going to go well.


First we get about halfway there and Jeff calls me to let me know I left our very carefully packed and prepared lunches at home.  So, turn around and get the cooler full of lunches.


Then we’re almost there and I get pulled over for speeding.  I hadn’t seen the speed limit sign go down.  When the officer looks in the back he thinks Princess isn’t buckled properly, so he has to check the law to find out.


Meanwhile the boys in the back start crying pitifully and saying they NEED to go to the bathroom.  And I’m sitting there thinking I can’t do anything about this.


Finally 10 minutes later we get going again.  I pull off at the first likely exit, and we head into the gas station.  And there is no toilet in the bathroom.  There’s a very large ladder, but no sign of the toilet.


Okay, we’re almost to the museum, we’ll just go there.


And then I miss the exit.  So, I take the next exit after I realized it.  Only to be stopped because of a funeral procession.


For 10 minutes.  No really.  10 minutes.

And the whole time the boys are telling me that I got us lost and “Mom you need to turn around.”


We finally get to the kid museum, and I think awesome it’s an exhibit on motion there’ll be all sorts of things we can talk about.


So, what do we spend almost all of our time there doing?



We made stuff, for over an hour.  I finally had to say we’re leaving this area.


But, the most amusing part to me is Batman’s rendition of how Jeff cook steaks.  If this has any truth I’m a little worried about the steaks.



And I had an actual experiment I had planned to do that afternoon, because for one reason or other it hadn’t worked out to do it earlier.  But, by the time we got home I was just done, so there was no experiment………


And there will be no Science Sunday post for next week to take some time off for Christmas.  If you have a post feel free to link it up to this one or the next one.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our Christmas Around the World Books and such stuff


Bother, I accidentally saved it and now it won’t let me mess with the size settings.  Oh well.


So, a few of these are not from that unit, and most of our tour around the world was not actually Christmas books.  See, my library didn’t have huge amounts of those books, so I was kinda outa luck in that area.


Biggest Hits:


Bridget and the Gray Wolves- My kids loved the story of a little girl who went from timid to brave and how it happened.


Hansel and Gretel- My kids thought the whole concept of tricking a witch was hilarious (and ummm it was not that version, just the story).


Gingerbread Man- This one it actually was that story and it was a huge hit


Elves and the Shoemaker- another big hit.  I did it with the elves saying a rhyme, which the kids thought very cool.


Not big hits, but good


Great Joy- I love the art work, and the story about a little girl trying her best to reach out to a poor man.  It’s a little too serious to be a big request here.  Come to think of it, it reminds me of “The Christmas Miracle of Jonothan Toomey.”


Jingle Bells-  It takes the Christmas song and uses that tune to tell a short little blurb about Christmas around the world.  Only problem being it tells you about each country in 2 sentences, so not really enough to explain anything.  But, it’s a good introduction.


Still looking forward to reading to the kids:


The Hawaiian Night Before Christmas-  It’s a little book (literally) and it looks to be so cute.


The Hawaii Snowman- another book that looks to be really cute, they just came in the mail at the end of this week, so it’s going to be fun to read these as part of our Hawaii unit.


Any suggestions for books about any of those countries?  In particular do you have any kid friendly ones about Saint Lucia or Saint Nicholas?  Our study of Sweden really suffered because I didn’t have any really good books to tie hooks into their Christmas traditions.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Around the World: Iceland

I have to admit when I was first creating this unit Iceland was nowhere on my radar.  But, then one of my readers kindly suggested it to me, and gave me this wonderful link.  It has all sorts of wonderfully useful information.

So, for this one I had a lot of different things, and we had a lot of fun doing the different activities. (Click on the picture to go to the printable)

Yes, that is my extremely messy table protector.

On the cover are the words Iceland and God Jul (Merry Christmas) which the kids traced.  Then there are the Iceland Christmas trees, which are decorated much like the German Christmas traditions with fruit and candles.  When you unfold the trees the kids have drawn what they want for Christmas inside.  Not too surprisingly Batman wants Iron Man stuff, Superman wants Clone Wars stuff, and Princess wants ponies.

We made Christmas Cats, and the kids were very amused by what you have to do to escape the cat (that’s one of the pages inside the lapbook).  I particularly loved that Batman drew a naked person on one side with marker and then on the other side drew the clothes on top of him.

I included a copy of one of the more popular poems about Christmas Cat (or Yule Cat), and the kids thought it was fascinating.

We made some leaf bread, which the girls in the family loved and thought was kind of like donuts, and the boys in the family rolled their eyes at it.

And finally we acted out the story of the Elves and the Shoemakers with our Yule Lad Puppets and some of the Germany puppets, which the kids found amusing.  They were absolutely enthralled by the puppet story, and I really need to do this more often.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mistletoe and the Christmas Kittens or the Christmas Cat or the Yule Cat



So, one of the traditions of Iceland is The Christmas Cat.  He’s nowhere near as friendly as the cat in this story, but this was the closest I was going to get.  I found a poem about him, and included it in the printable I made.




Now just because you can’t see the cover of this book don’t assume it’s not really good.  It’s super duper cute.  No, really.


I’m always seeing Valerie over at Frugal Family Fun blog making these cute suncatchers and using coffee filters all the time.  I haven’t done much with them because, well…..  my kids get a little over enthusiastic and it can be a bit worrying.  But, then I realized that it’s like painting.  The more exposure they get to it the less mess they’ll make.



So, I let them have at it with red and green, because Mistletoe was red and green.  And then once they had completely soaked their coffee filter I shooed them off to play outside while they dried.




Then once it was dry I found a cat outline from Microsoft clip art (actually the same one I used on the printable), and enlarged it to suitable size.  Then folded the coffee filters and cut out large numbers of them at once.  The kids finished it off by drawing the final details.  Or in Princess’ case on one of them completely covering the cat in new marker.


And finally come back tomorrow to see the summary of our Iceland events.  My kids have found Iceland to be quite amusing.


Now head on over to A Mommy’s Adventures to see what everyone else did for their projects this week.

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