Friday, December 18, 2009

Advent Activites: Day 2

For day 2 of our Advent activities we made a star. First I read to them the story of the Magi in Matthew. Then I had them trace stars onto thin cardboard and cut them out. To decorate the stars, the girls painted them gold and sprinkled gold glitter on them. I then put magnet strips on the back and put them on the fridge. One of the stars I taped to the wall above our manger scene.

Lori wanted to do more tracing so we made snowmen next. She traced and cut circles out of construction paper to make hers. Audrey traced cirlces on paper and then painted them. We have a very festive refridgerator.

Advent Activites

I've been wanting to get one of those advent activity books that have readings and activities to do every day until Christmas. Well this year I decided to do my own thing. I looked up the meanings of the different symbols for Christmas and then I made up crafts to go with each one I wanted to focus on. I put them each in numbered bags along with a scripture and the meaning of the symbol. Each day the kids pick a new bag and we do the new actvity each day.

The first symbol we did was the angel. We read in Luke about the angels visiting Zecharia, Mary, and the shepherds. We then talked about how we are now God's messengers, bringing his tidings of great joy to all the people.

To make the angels, we used two coffee filters, pipe cleaner, glue, construction paper, and glitter. We folded one coffee filter in half for the wings. We stuck our finger in the middle of the other filter to form a skirt. We glued the two together and taped the pipe cleaner to the back. We used the construction paper for the face.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Time is Here

Oh how I love Christmas! I love the traditions that come with it, especially now that we have kids to share them with. We took the kids to the mall on Black Friday to get out of the house and do something fun. Fortunatley we got there after the crowds had died down. When the kids saw the train they immediately commensed begging to ride it. John shot them down at first cause he didn't want to "spend $3 on a train ride!" (and he says I'm the tight wad!) Fortunately for them the train ride was free that day. They were delighted!
That night we put ornaments on our new tree that John's parents gave us. It's prelight and rotates. The kids were very impressed. Since John hates decorating the tree, it was up to the girls and I to do the deed. Audrey had been begging us for 2 days to decorate the tree, but when it came down to it, she pooped out after putting up 2 whole ornaments. So it was left to Lori and I to decorate the 7 foot monster. We had fun though, and the tree looks great!

Holiday Fun

John and I had 2 firsts this year: hosting Thanksgiving and roasting a big honkin turkey. I was a little nervous about roasting a turkey as I had heard many a horror story about burnt and tasteless turkeys. John took charge of the roasting as he is less likely to burn food than I am (burning meat seems to be my lot in life). I found a good roast turkey recipe in the recent version of Cooking Light magazine, and we gave it a shot. Getting the turkey prepped was one messy job, but boy was the finished product tastey! Everyone ooed and ahhed over its mositness and flavor.
Hosting was fun too. The kids helped me make name cards for the table so everyone knew where to sit. We had lots of good conversation and lots to be thankful for. All in all, our first time hosting and roasting was a great success!

Learning to Sew

Ever since Lori could talk, she has been begging me to teach her to sew. She is always very interested in what I'm doing and wants to do it too. I attempted teaching her last year but she didn't have the patience for it. Or maybe it was me....Anyways, this year I made an extra effort to sit down and show her how to sew. We started with some homemade lacing cards and yarn, and then moved up to a felt square and embroidery thread. She is catching on quick. I may be raising a fellow sewing nut.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Party

Today we had what I hop to be the first annual homeschool Thanksgiving party. A friend and I decided we wanted to do a fall party of some sort so we decided to do a Thanksgiving party. I remember doing them as a kid in our homeschool group and thought it would be fun to do one of our own. It was quite the undertaking to plan a put together a party for 20 some children, but we made it through and I think everyone had a good time.

To start off the event we had my friend Candy talk to the kids about what it means to be thankful. She then taught them a song to memorize Psalm 118:1.

Next, we played relay games. These included a 3legged race, spoon carrying relays, and a bean bag relay. The older ones enjoyed it. The little ones were a bit bewildered, however.

Then came the crafts. There were three stations: placemats, pilgrim hats, and Thanksgiving bracelets. I was in charge of the bracelets.

I found the idea from Each bead represented something from the "first Thanksgiving."

Last but not least, we feasted! Everyone pitched in and brought food to share. Soup, bread, pinwheels, fruit, and dessert were what we feasted on.

All in all, I'm glad it is over but it was a good time. Praise God!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A favorite Recipe

My hope is that someday this blog will be exciting and interesting like all the artsy craftsy blogs I read. But until then I thought I'd share one of my favorite recipes ( also a favorite of friends who've tried it). This is the best darn granola bar recipe I've tried. Well actually I kinda made this one up myself, with the help of a cook book for ingredient ratios. My kids beg for them every day (especially if they know there are chocolate chips in them!) for a snack. So here it is!

2 cups Oatmeal (not quick cooking)
1/2 flour (I prefer wheat)
1/2 cup dry milk powder
1/2 ground flax seed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup dried fruit or choc. chips (you could also omit this and put in peanut butter)
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1 egg beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine dry ingredients in one bowl. The wet in another. Combine and spread evenly in 9 X13 pan. I prefer a metal pan they tend to come out crumbly in glass pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes. Allow to cool and then cut into bars. I store mine in the fridge but you don't have to.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Church Wrong

So my husband and I got this flyer in the mail from a local church with the title Church Right? They were going to start a study on what the Bible says church is supposed to look like. Out of curiousity we decided to give it a try.

We could tell the minute we walked in the door it was a place we probably weren't going to come back to. It was that old familiar feeling of walking into a big click no one was interested in opening up to new members. The worship was lame as well. All songs where the same 4 lines repeat over and over and over. Aggghhhh!!! Can't song writers come up with meaningful none repeating lyrics???

The sermon wasn't too bad but once again Christ was barely mentioned. Mostly just about us and how we need to try harder. If he had just brought it back to Christ it might have actually been good. When will pastors get the clue that church won't be relevant until they stop trying to be cute and entertaining and start preaching the Gospel!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Creative Candy

After trick or treating this year, we decided to do some fun experiments with the "reject" candy, rather than just throwing it away. First we took the wrappers off the Tootsie rolls, taffy, and gum drops, and then put them in a pile on a cookie sheet. Then we put them in a 365 degree oven for about 10 minutes. What resulted was a big blob (that got smoky in the oven) of melted candy. The kids wanted to save it but I threw it in the trash. Then they spent the next hour or so putting various other reject candy(and some not so reject) in cups of water to see what colors the water would turn. I think they enjoyed this experiment more than they usually do the candy!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kindergarten 101

My daughter Lori and I began our Kindergarten homeschoolin experience a couple weeks ago. I think things would go better if my youngest was a little more cooperative. Natalie takes the time she is ignored to fuss, whine, and make mess after mess. Lori doesn't always have the greatest attitude either. She likes to play dumb and gets frustrated very easily. Agggghhhh!!! If I survive Kindergarten. Surely I can make it the rest of the way. The main thing I've learned so far is to sloooow down and don't be so annal! I've found a couple of really great websites that I've found very helpful.,, and
I've also been checking out Charlotte Mason websites like I love her emphasis on art and nature. My 2 favorite things. Thursday I will be checking out a Charlotte Mason support group. Can't wait!