Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Fun

This has been a very busy week of crafting for us. Lip gloss, candles, and salt dough ornaments all in one week. Wheeeewww!! One of our activities for Christmas Eve was to paint our salt dough ornaments.


Even John, Mr. anti-art, chipped in and painted his one ornament.



The girls also got in a little time outside in the snow. They decided to turn the slide into a sledding hill.

Here is Lori watching our neighbor girl demonstrate.


Then after a night of going to a Christmas Eve service and looking at lights, the girls came home and opened their new jammies.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Homemade Candles



I found these fabulously easy instructions on making homemade candles in the book I Can Make a Rainbow, and I have been itching to make some. So the girls and I decided we would make them as Christmas gifts this year for the Grandparents and miscellaneous friends. We made Layered Candles and Sand Candles.

Here is what you will need to get started:

Paraffin Wax ( I bought a 5 lb. block at Hobby Lobby)


Tin Can

Cheese Grater



Containers to put your wax in (We used Dixie cups but you could also use yogurt cups or small milk cartons)



For the Layered Candles

Step 1: Chop up your wax into small pieces and place in the can. You only need to fill it up 1/4 of the way.


Step 2: Grate up 1 tsp. crayon. This will be your color.


Step 3: Boil some water in a pan on the stove. When boiling, place the can of wax in the pan. When the wax starts to melt, add the crayon and a couple of drops of fragrance.


Step 4: While the wax is melting, prepare your mold. We used Dixie cups. Place your wick in the bottom. To hold it in place you can put a little warm wax on the bottom of the wick to hold it to your mold, or you can wrap the top part of the wick around a pencil and let the pencil rest on the rim of a cup that you have placed your mold inside of.


Step 4: When the wax mixture has liquified, pour in into your molds about 1/4 – 1/3 full. This is your first layer. We made 4 layers but you can obviously do as many as you want.


Let the wax set up and then repeat steps 1 – 4. Allow to cool for about 2 – 3 hours and then remove mold. Trim your wick and admire your homemade candle!


Sand Candles

For these you will need a box of wet sand. Not sopping wet sand but wet enough you could make a sand castle out of it.

Step 1: Form a mold in the sand using either your hands or cookie cutters. We used both.


Step 2: Repeat steps 1 – 3 for the layered candle. Stick your wick in the sand, and then pour the wax into your sand mold. Unfortunately with these you have to hold the wick in place until your wax sets. Otherwise it will flop over.


When the wax has cooled your candles are done. Just pop them out of the sand.



We had a lot of fun making these and can’t wait to give them as gifts. We hope you try making some too. Enjoy!



Homemade Lipgloss




Lori decided this Christmas she wanted to make lip gloss to give to her sisters. We found a recipe in an American Girl Christmas book and got our supplies at Hobby Lobby.

Here are the ingredients we used:

Vasoline, Vitamin E Oil, Food Coloring, Parafin, and Fragrance ( We used Pepermint)


The recipe actually called for a candy melt but I figured that would just encourage the girls to eat their lip gloss rather than put it on their lips.

Step 1: Combine 1 tsp. Vasoline, 1 tsp. Vitamin E oil, 1 Candy Melt (if using), 1/4 tsp. parafin finely chopped, 1 –2 drops food coloring (optional), and 2- 4 drops fragrance into a small cup. The recipe also said to use candy flavoring but we opted for the stuff you use to scent body lotion.


Step 2: Pour some tap water in a glass measuring cup and heat in it the microwave for a about 1 minute. Place the cup of lip gloss mixture on top of the water and let it sit till the gloss turns to liquid.

Step 3: Remove from the water and let it sit for 1 hour. Then put it in the fridge for 15 minutes. Now you have homemade lip gloss!


P.S. If were to do this again, I would use cocoa butter or shea butter instead of Vasoline.

Monday, December 20, 2010


This year the girls are in a Celebration Children's Choir. They are loving it! They got to perform their Christmas songs they have been working hard on at 2 nursing homes here in town. They couldn't wait to dress up and sing in front of other people.
Perhaps I have some stage performers on my hands

Here are the girls performing at the first nursing home.

Christmas Bell Craft

Today was our first day of Christmas craft week. We haven't had any time this month to do them so we are making up for it this week.
Today's craft was Christmas bell made from a egg carton.
First we cut out an egg cup from the egg carton, and then we painted it.

Next came the glitter.

Finally, we threaded a 12 inch piece of yarn into a needle, and then we threaded it through the bell. Then we threaded the jingle bell onto the yarn and then poked the yarn back through the cup.

And now you have a beautiful Christmas bell!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More Math Fun

More Christmas tree math today. This time the girls had to role the dice and add the numbers to decorate their trees. I drew the trees ahead of time and then made a color code for what color or type of ornament to put on the tree for each number 1 – 12. Lori could put bonus ornaments on if her role equaled more than 12. The first person to decorate their tree all the way was the winner.


 Lori’s Tree. She had to add a six sided die and a twelve sided die.002

Audrey had to add two six sided dice.


Lori loved this activity. Audrey was thoroughly bored. I guess one out of two isn’t bad. Smile

In addition to this activity, I also made Lori a “Lori’s Math Fact Book.” She will be writing or drawing pictures about new math facts or concepts she learns.


Her first entry for today was the addition facts she learned while playing the decorate the Christmas tree game.


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Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Puzzling Advent

I've been racking my brain for a couple fo years now, trying to come up with something special to do for Advent. The whole advent wreath and candle lighting doesn't really do for me so I chose the Jesse tree instead. I went to the Reformed Church of America webiste ( and printed off the ornaments and the readings that go along with them each day. I won't lie. Cutting out all the ornaments was a PAIN. But I won't have to do it again,and the girls LOVE putting the ornaments on.

The second thing I decided to do was to put puzzle pieces in our Advent calendar for them to pull out each day as they count down to Christmas.

On Christmas day they will get their first clue which will send them on a treasure hunt to find the rest of the puzzle.

Lori is very excited about this. Audrey and Natalie could care less.
Anyways, that's our Advent fun for the season!

Making Math Fun

Math is Lori's least favorite subject so I have to get creative when it comes to the math lessons.
This week I cut out Christmas trees from green construction paper and put a numbered star at the top. Then I wrote out addition and subtration equations on stickers for Lori to put on the correct trees.

I simplified this for Audrey by having her put the correct number of stars on each tree.

They both enjoyed the activity and I didn't hear one complaint. Whew!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Melting the Calories Away

This was our 2nd annual Halloween candy melting experiment. I got the idea from a Family Fun Magazine article. The girls had so much fun doing it last year that they wanted to do it again. Last year only the candy no one wanted made it on the cookie sheet, but this year no candy was safe. They probably would have done the whole bag if we would have had room on the cookie sheet.
When they were finally satisfied with their conglomeration we put it in the oven at 350 degrees. The girls ooooed and awed as they watched the candybars become puddles, and the Lifesaver gummies become a mountain of foaming bubbles.

After the candy came out of the oven the girls poked and prodded it see how the heat had changed the texture of the candy.

I think this is going to be a yearly event in our house. So if you've got some candy lying around that you don't want. Melt it in the oven, and watch those calories melt away!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Secret Garden

It is amazing what kids will come up with when they are bored and "there's nothing to do!" Last week Lori had one of those days, and "The Secret Garden" as it is now called, was the product of that need for something to do. Lori has never seen the movie "The Secret Garden" and we have only begun reading book so this was purely out of her imagination. She gathered sticks that we had picked up on a walk one day, rocks from around the house, sand from the sandbox, and rotted tomatoes that were still laying in my garden. From there she, and later Audrey, formed each little place in the garden.
Here are the girls demonstarting the path you take to get into The Secret Garden.

This is the playhouse.

This is the fire pit.

This is a food storage area.

Lori also made a bridge today out of clay and sticks, but I don't have a picture for that.
Perhaps Lori has a landscaping career in her future!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Autumn Fun

We took the girls to Center Grove Apple Orchard this year to pick out our pumpkins. What a blast we had! There was a giant trampoline, a train for the kids to ride on, a corn pool, and the giant slide. The kids were pooped when we left but we had a fabulous time.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Winter Fun

My it has been a while since I've updated the blog! It has been a busy winter. Teaching Lori kindergarten with Audrey and Natalie underfoot has been interesting. We've had a lot of fun though. One of the fun things we did was have a Valentine's Party. We got together with some other homeschool friends and made valentine crafts, decorated cookies, and had lunch together. We all had a blast and plan to make it an annual event.

John and had a great idea one cold Sunday morning. Build a snowfort! Audrey and Natalie weren't so thrilled but Lori and I had fun helping. The fort had a front and back entrance. Once the fort was completed John had some fun scaring the kids by pretending to be the snow monster (in honor of Lost of course). Audrey was scared out of her wits, even though she could clearly see it was daddy.
The fort is melting now, but we are glad it is Spring!