Friday, December 23, 2011

Countdown to Christmas–Day 23

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On our 23rd day of Advent activities, we read our book called “A Special Place for Santa”. I didn’t get any pictures, since I was the one reading it :) See last year’s post for pictures and a better explanation…

~S

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Countdown to Christmas–Day 22

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On our 22nd day of Advent activities, we played a game called “Don’t Eat Pete” (received from the craft exchange, thanks Carly!) It’s a marshmallow-eating game, so the kids of course wanted to play all day :) I was busy playing and then making sure they didn’t just eat all the marshmallows, so I didn’t get very many pictures…here are the two that I did get.

2011-12-22 Don't Eat Pete (1)2011-12-22 Don't Eat Pete (2)

~S

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Countdown to Christmas–Day 21

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On our 21st day of Advent activities, we wrapped presents. It was also Kahlen’s birthday :) We took her on a date to Red Robin and Chuck E. Cheese without her brother (Thanks, Melissa!)

She wrapped the presents she got her brother and her daddy, and really seemed to want to learn this year about how to do a good job. She even picked out both presents with very little help from me (except for paying for them, of course).

2011-12-23 Kahlen Wrapping

~S

Happy 5th Birthday, Kahlen!

Happy 5th birthday, my sweet girl!
2006 Kahlen Day 12008 Kahlen is 22009 Kahlen is 32010 Kahlen is 42011 Kahlen is 5
I love you! I love your kind heart, your wildness, your adventure-seeking, and your creativity.
Love, Mommy


See previous years:
4th birthday
3rd birthday
2nd birthday

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Countdown to Christmas–Day 20

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On our 20th day of Advent activities, we did a whole bunch of Christmas crafts from the craft exchange I mentioned earlier. I even got Nate to do them too!

Nate is doing so much better, and is actually enjoying at least the first half of an activity. I’m now working on getting him to finish the craft or whatever instead of just giving up because he knows I will help him. Here’s a few pictures from the day:

2011-12-20 Christmas Crafts (1)2011-12-20 Christmas Crafts (2)2011-12-20 Christmas Crafts (7)2011-12-20 Christmas Crafts (4)2011-12-20 Christmas Crafts (10)2011-12-23 Nate making Candy Cane (4)

~S

Monday, December 19, 2011

Winner of the Little Leaf Diapers Wet Bag

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The winner of the Little Leaf Diapers Wet Bag has been picked!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats, Cherie! Watch for it in the mail soon!
~S

Countdown to Christmas–Day 19

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Could this be me getting caught up??? Day 19 of our Advent activities was today! We watched the classic “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”. Okay, Kahlen watched it, while Nate wandered around the house and I tried to get dinner started.

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Kahlen had never seen it before and decided by looking at the picture on the box (see above) that it was going to be too scary. I told her to trust me, it wasn’t scary at all. But this is the girl who didn’t like the pirate fight scene in Peter Pan because she was worried for Michael’s teddy bear. She did watch the whole thing, raptly, but informed me later that she did not like the beginning when he is mean. We did get to talk about why he was nice in the end and about materialism versus having a happy heart at Christmas, so I think this one was definitely a success!

~S

Countdown to Christmas–Day 18

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Day 18 of our Advent activities was to make paper snowflakes. I was so glad I planned something low-key…between recovering from her party and going to a Christmas party for our fellowship team last night, there wasn’t much time for activities. Oh, and Nate and I went shopping for Kahlen’s birthday present from him (more on that in a minute).

With all that, I didn’t get any pictures of the creating of the snowflakes, just the creations. Kahlen and daddy made them while I went to the store with Nate.

2011-12-19 Snowflakes (1)2011-12-19 Snowflakes (2)

These are now decorating our house, thanks daddy! (Yea, we don’t have a mantle, so the stockings hang on the wall…Santa still finds them just fine)

So about taking Nate to the store…he really is a sweet boy (someone remind me of that when it’s 10:30 at night and he’s still awake). I told him we were going to the store to get a present for Kahlen. He remembered all the way to the store and all the way home that it was for her. He did a good job at the store not asking for much but carrying Kahlen’s present around. He even carried the bag to the car. I wish I had thought to take a picture of him walking down the sidewalk with it. Of course, I had to let her open it as soon as we walked in the door, because I didn’t expect his memory and generosity to last *that* long. She loved the purple sequined purse that we picked out and he liked letting her open it. I Red heart my kids!

~S

Countdown to Christmas–Day 17

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Day 17 of our Advent activities wasn’t really an advent activity at all…Kahlen turns 5 (!!!) on Wednesday, so Saturday we had a girly birthday party for her at my mom’s house. We invited a few of her girlfriends and a bunch of her grownups (grandmas and the like). She had a blast!

They played. We made princess crowns. We ate. We had cake. Opened a few presents. Then most of the guests went home and Kahlen and her friend who is our neighbor and 5 years older than her proceeded to have a stay-awake-over. They were up until 11:30! This is one child who knows how to par-tay!

2011-12-17 Kahlen's Birthday Party (4)2011-12-17 Kahlen's Birthday Party (8)2011-12-17 Kahlen's Birthday Party (6)2011-12-17 Kahlen's Birthday Party (9)2011-12-17 Kahlen's Birthday Party (12)2011-12-17 Kahlen's Birthday Party (13)2011-12-17 Kahlen's Birthday Party (11)

2011-12-17 Kahlen's Birthday Party (18)2011-12-17 Kahlen's Birthday Party (30)

Happy Birthday, sweet girl! (more birthday mushy-ness on her actual birthday)

~S

Countdown to Christmas–Day 16

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I thought about combining posts for our Advent activities, but I like being able to look back at each one. So get ready, here comes a bunch! I really want to get all caught up tonight!

Day 16, we went to the library story time, which was different than it usually is because our main library is closed for remodeling. While I’m very excited about the changes they're making (no, seriously! They’re expanding the whole thing, which hasn’t had any updates at least since I was a kid), it makes story time challenging and a little odd. Good thing we usually go to another branch. But it being Friday, that was the only option. ANYWAY, it was held in one of the community rooms at another city owned facility. Nate wanted to sit on my lap on the floor the whole time. Problem is, I don’t really have a lap these days for him to sit on. Eh, it worked out okay and they had a good time. Kahlen likes that she gets to go to the “big girl” story time and doesn’t have to deal with her brother :)

~S

TOS Review–World’s Greatest Stories

Speak Up Saturday

It’s Speak Up Saturday! (On Monday, yea…Kahlen’s birthday party was this weekend. That’s a good excuse, right?)

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Actor George W. Sarris brings to life in the mind's eye the characters and events of some of the most treasured stories in all of history. The texts of all of the stories are taken directly, word for word, from the Bible. They are told, however, using the art of a dramatic storyteller, incorporating carefully chosen music and sound effects. The result is a very exciting story that comes straight from the words of Scripture.

Since Kahlen loves listening to audio books, and she’s about worn out her copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible, I was very excited to receive this set through TOS Homeschool Crew.

I received volume one in the NIV version. It includes:

  • The Blazing Furnace
  • The Handwriting on the Wall
  • Daniel in the Lion's Den
  • Elijah & the Prophets of Baal
  • The Prophecy of Jonah

The first time I popped it in the car, I thought, incorrectly, that the kids wouldn’t like it. The drama of the reading is, well, dramatic. Almost scary in parts. BUT my kids both really enjoy listening to it!! Kahlen will sit on the couch even and listen to the whole thing.

I really like the concept. It’s directly from scripture, with no additions or subtractions, but presented in such a way that she can still understand the story. When I’ve listened to it with her, she has asked questions during and after about what a certain word means or what that part of the story was about, which I appreciate because it opens good conversations.

I’m looking forward to purchasing more volumes of this great series. Currently, there are 5 more volumes, for a total of 6. Each one retails for $7.95, which is very reasonable!!

Here are the products currently available:

  1. The Prophets
  2. The Life of Christ
  3. Beginnings
  4. Joshua & Esther
  5. Joseph & His Brothers
  6. Defeating Giants
  7. SPECIAL: The Story of Easter ($9.95)

We give this product five stars! So glad we can listen to the Word and looking forward to getting a couple more in the next few months.

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See what the rest of the crew is saying here.

~S

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product through The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Menu Plan Monday–December 19

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With Christmas at the end of this week’s plan, we’ll see how it goes. Next week will be the real challenge because hubby will be home all week, so I’ll have to actually plan what we’re going to eat for lunch…maybe I should start now! (Not following my themes this week either, and I probably won’t for awhile. Desiring to cook anything lately has been a challenge, comes from being 32 weeks pregnant, I think)

Mix-it up Monday (something new) ~ Cheater Pot Pie
Taco Tuesday (Mexican or Oriental) ~ Cheesy Hamburger Soup 
Wow Wednesday (Date night or something like restaurant food) ~ Going out for Kahlen’s birthday. Haven’t decided yet where. 
Simple Thursday (Crockpot or less than 30 min prep) ~ Egg & Cheese Bake in crockpot
Favorite Friday (A family favorite) ~ Guiltless Alfredo 
Lazy Saturday (leftover buffet) ~ Leftovers
Saucy Sunday (Italian) ~ CHRISTMAS!! Spending dinner with in-laws, don’t know what the plan for food is yet. They’re not the planning type, we’ll probably make a plan, oh, Saturday ;)

So, what are you having for dinner this week?
Link up at Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie or leave me a comment!

I have a recipe index, just for recipes that you can find on my blog. You can also get to it by going to the food tab above.

~S

Saturday, December 17, 2011

TOS Review–Vintage Remedies for Kids

Speak Up Saturday

It’s Speak Up Saturday! Stay with me, I have a bunch of reviews to post today :) And remember, I have a giveaway for a Little Leaf Wet Bag that ends tomorrow!

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First up, Vintage Remedies for Kids. I received this book through The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew, and we have enjoyed reading it together.

From the publisher:

This curriculum helps you teach little ones how to choose healthy foods, how to prepare some fun and delicious snacks, how to establish prevention based habits, and how they can participate in your family's natural lifestyle. The workbook is flexible and can be used for playgroups or as a fun family project. Children at this age learn best with active lessons, so this isn't a sit and read style picture book! It's a guide for parents that is packed with hands on activities that are perfect for little hands, but fun for all ages. Each of the 18 chapters includes a brief age appropriate lesson on the topic that parents can use to discuss with little ones while they are preparing for the projects, a featured project to teaches the lesson, additional instructions for parents to include these lessons in the family's lifestyle, and a selection of additional projects on the topic for additional fun. The book also contains sample schedules for preschoolers and convenient shopping lists for each project, complete with a resource guide and tips for parents and leaders.

When I received the package from Vintage Remedies, I was impressed with the detail and thought in just the packaging (wish I had remembered to take a picture!). It was “brown paper packaging tied up with string” (been watching too much Sound of Music). Inside was not only Vintage Remedies for Kids but they also threw in a bonus book for me called The Kitchen Herbal, which I look forward to reading after December craziness is done.

The book is broken up into 18 chapters. Each chapter includes a parent section and a kid section. After the kid section is several ideas about hands-on projects and recipes to really bring the lesson home.

The lessons are a bit lengthy for the younger ages, but Kahlen enjoyed them and sat still (enough) to listen to the kid sections. We were able to make two of the recipe suggestions, one from each of the first chapters. The first chapter introduces why we eat food with a discussion about it being fuel for our bodies and that it therefore matters what kind of fuel we give our bodies.

2011-12-03 Making Pizza (5)(making pizza)

The sections include:

  1. Food and Drink
  2. Health and Wellness
  3. Healthy Lifestyles

While I liked the overall content and I feel that there is definitely value in teaching these things to our children, it seemed much too formal to me. I feel like I will benefit more from reading the material myself and then presenting it in a more natural way. I think this would be an excellent resource for people who struggle with knowing nutritional information themselves and how to talk about it with their kids. For me, since I already include both kids in cooking, food choices, and discussions about different types of food, this book was less helpful to me.

I was also bothered by the use of “tummy” in place of stomach or intestines or whatever body part she was actually referring to. “Tummy” is where I am growing a baby, not where your food goes after you swallow it. If they’re old enough to understand nutrition, they’re old enough to know that there are different internal organs for each step of the process.

That being said, I still really enjoyed the parts of this book that we were able to do so far. I think for future lessons, I will read all the material first and prepare an activity from the suggestions. Then, while we’re doing the activity, I’ll discuss the information from the chapter.

Synopsis? Good resource, just not a good match for me the way it’s laid out. I will be incorporating the information into our lives (not necessarily school) without using as directed.

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Vintage Remedies for Kids retails for $25. You can see more of their products here and read more about the company here.

Photobucket See what the rest of the crew is saying here.

~S

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product through The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Countdown to Christmas–Day 15

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Yesterday for our Advent activities, we were supposed to go to library storytime, but I forgot when I scheduled that one that I had a dentist appointment. Right. So we swapped today and yesterday.

Kahlen started coloring this beautiful Nativity Stained Glass coloring book that Nana got for her. There are 15 pages that are perforated for easy removal that are printed on vellum so you can hang them up after they’re colored. She’s used crayons on the ones she’s done so far, and they’re very pretty. If we have time (meaning if I have energy), we’ll do some with a different media, like water color crayons, next week.

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2011-12-15 Nativity Coloring Book (1)2011-12-15 Nativity Coloring Book (2)

She cracks me up. She had to go find a storybook that we have to determine what color she was going to color everything. Her creativity is so like mine, it’s scary. If it’s something that someone else has done before, like coloring, it has to be the same. If not, though, like making jewelry with her pop beads, there’s no limits on what she can make! Goofy girl…

~S

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