Monthly Archives: November 2012

Christmas 2012

It’s hard to believe the Christmas season is already upon us once again. It seems like just yesterday we were taking down the decorations and talking about how we can’t wait for the next Christmas, and now it’s here! We’re excited to continue some traditions we started last year and begin some new ones. Our hope for our kids is that they look back and treasure the experiences and memories we created, not so much the things that we gave them and we feel that Christmas is one of the best opportunities we have to do this.

Last year, I collected up twenty-three Christmas books that we unwrapped and read each evening in December before Christmas (with the the Bible as the last one on Christmas Eve). It was a really fun and sweet experience that the kids looked forward to each evening. Over the last few weeks I’ve mentioned our Christmas books and the kids get very excited about doing it all again this year. I’ve made just a few changes in the books this year, as I felt a few of them from last year were a little “young” for my kids and wouldn’t grow very well with me over time. If you’re looking for some ideas, here’s the list of what we’re reading this year:

1. Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry

2. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

3. B is for Bethlehem by Isabel Wilner

4. Silver Packages Cynthia Rylant

5. The Legend of the Christmas Rose by William Hooks

6. Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Julie Stiegemeyer

7. Night Tree by Eve Bunting

8. The First Christmas by Carol Heyer

9. The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown

10. Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck

11. The Christmas Tree Ship by Jeanette Winter

12. All is Well by Frank Peretti

13. The Candymaker’s Gift by Helen Haidle

14. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston

15. Lucy’s Christmas by Donald Hall

16. A Certain Small Shepherd by Rebecca Caudill

17. Why Christmas Trees aren’t Perfect by Dick Schneider

18. The Story of the Three Wise Kings by Tomie DePaola

19. The Fourth Wise Man by Susan Summers

20. The Legend of the Poinsettia Tomie DePaola

21. The Gift of the Christmas Cookie: Sharing the True Meaning of Jesus’ Birth by Dandi Mackall

22. Cranberry Christmas by Wende and Harry Devlin

23. The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Hunt

24. Bible (Luke chapter 2)

Twenty-four books wrapped! It was a very time consuming task, but well worth it!/strong>

20121130-145836.jpg

Another thing we’ll be doing this year is putting even less emphasis on presents for ourselves. We’ve tried to be pretty consistent with our message to the kids that life is not about gaining possessions and we’ve tried to carry that over into what we’re teaching them about Christmas. They’ve even been known to remind us or eachother “What’s important is not stuff and things!” so I think they’re getting the message. Our kids are not making lists of things they want and we don’t really talk much at all about presents for Christmas. There’s plenty of opportunity to make gifts a big part of birthdays, but Christmas is about the gift that Jesus is to us and how we can give back to Him. I was greatly impacted when I read this post by Ann Voskamp about how we can give gifts to Jesus by giving to those who are in need rather than just collecting up more stuff for ourselves. So this year we’ll be spending most of our Christmas spending money on things from gift catalogues. We’ll each have a budget, make our selections, cut out the picture or description, and wrap it up as a gift for Jesus. We’d love it if our tree had more gifts for Jesus under it than for any one of us. On Christmas we’ll get to open them up and celebrate all the wonderful things we were able to give as birthday gifts to the King!

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:40

20121130-155605.jpg

Comments Off

Week 15

Memory Verse: I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:12-13

Hymn: O Holy Night

Artist: Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

Composer: Ludwig Van Beethoven

Five in a Row: Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (studying the American Revolutionary War)

Pre-K Literature: The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting (focusing on the importance of learning to read)

Read Aloud:Abel’s Island by William Steig

Photos from the Last Week:

I made a “Bible Verse Puzzle” with some popcicle sticks. I timed them to see how fast they could put it in the correct order and we’re going to try to improve each time we do it.

20121126-130457.jpg
Done!

20121126-130506.jpg

Sight Words and Letter Tiles

20121126-130641.jpg
This was another pinterest find. We call these our “Bob Blocks”. We can make (and practice reading) sentences with them that are much like the sentences found in her Bob Books.

20121126-130649.jpg

20121126-130701.jpg

20121126-130710.jpg
Speaking of Bob Books, I also found a great little check list with all the books on Pinterest. She is super excited to mark one off each week. She’s almost done with the second pack.

20121126-130921.jpg

After finishing our Medieval Era unit, Elliot and I went on a fun date together to Medieval Times.

20121126-131055.jpg

20121126-131116.jpg

20121126-131124.jpg

20121126-131131.jpg

20121126-131138.jpg
We were rooting for the yellow knight.

20121126-131152.jpg

20121126-131200.jpg

Our yellow knight ended up being the champion! What fun!

20121126-131208.jpg

Comments Off

Week 14

Memory Verse: I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:12-13

Hymn: O Holy Night

Artist: Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

Composer: Ludwig Van Beethoven

Five in a Row: The Duchess Bakes a Cake by Virginia Kahl (studying the medieval period)

Pre-K Literature: Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco (studying weather and storms)

Read Aloud:The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

Photos from the Last Week:

He was able to watch the election results for a while and color in states on his map as they were won.

20121112-140632.jpg

He usually comes up with his own ideas for creative writing, but every now and then he gets stuck. I got this great little story starter flip book at Mardel that gives him ideas for different characters, setting and plot of a story.
20121112-140648.jpg
She’s got number order down pat.

20121112-140943.jpg

She’s getting close to finishing book one of Explode the Code.
20121112-141013.jpg

Though I’m not a big fan of frequent sweets, I decided we’d do something special and bake a cake since both of their books have a cake theme. In Elliot’s book, the duchess gets herself into trouble by haphazardly throwing ingredients together and not following a recipe or measuring things out, so we talked about how important that is and practiced doing the measuring of ingredients.

20121112-141208.jpg

20121112-141221.jpg

20121112-141229.jpg
Caroline got her chance to help as well. Her book, Thunder Cake, is all about overcoming fears, and she faced a fear of her own as she used the beater. She’s not a fan of loud things!

20121112-141612.jpg

20121112-141625.jpg

Here is our finished Thunder Cake/ Lovely, Light (ok, maybe not at all light), Luscious, Delectable Cake. Boy was it good!
20121112-141641.jpg

We have enjoyed these as read aloud books so much! They are simply adorable and my kids have never rolled around the floor giggling as much as they have with these. They’ve just strengthened our Winnie the Pooh love even more. Caroline is dying to go back to Disney World to have breakfast with Pooh and friends again!

20121112-142044.jpg

Josh, who is the artist of the family has been wanting to do some painting with the kids for a while now. The kids have been very inspired by the artists we’ve studied so they’re been eager to do “real paintings” with Daddy, so we got some canvases and let them go for it. Josh also taught them all about making new colors since we only had the three primary colors and black and white.

20121112-142255.jpg

20121112-142330.jpg

20121112-142344.jpg

20121112-142702.jpg

20121112-142713.jpg

1 Comment

Week 13

Memory Verse: Finally, Brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. – Philippians 4:8

Hymn: Be Thou My Vision

Artist: Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

Composer: Ludwig Van Beethoven

Five in a Row: The Duchess Bakes a Cake by Virginia Kahl (studying the medieval period)

Pre-K Literature: Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco (studying weather and storms)

Read Aloud: Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

Photos from the Last Week:

He begs to be the one to do our daily reading and has no trouble navigating his way through the Bible. I’m so proud of him and his growing interest in it!

20121105-135529.jpg

We’re working on a list of Bible verses pertaining to taking care of the needy. There’s a lot in there about it!
20121105-135542.jpg

She practiced writing her cousins names.

20121112-143557.jpg

After learning all about the electoral college and how a candidate wins the election, they came along to observe the voting (early voting).

20121112-143905.jpg

20121112-143921.jpg

Math

20121112-144111.jpg

We finally got to get out my “Place Value Village” that goes along with her math lessons. I found the perfect boxes at The Container Store that are just the right size, very sturdy, can be stored inside one another when put away, and have magnetic closures, which Caroline is obsessed with!
20121112-144128.jpg

Counting Ones (pinto beans)

20121112-144338.jpg

A new group of ten moves to the Tens House.
20121112-144412.jpg

20121112-144422.jpg

Comments Off