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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Elf on the Shelf - Part 2

Oh, the fun we've had...

    with Sir Elrond.  We will miss him dearly.  I must admit, it's been nice going to bed without thinking (at the last minute)...Aaahh, I forgot to move the elf!  The picture's below are the wrap up of our fun with our little elf.  If you'll remember, he and Buzz were having a marshmallow fight on my last post:


 Day 11:

Buzz gets revenge...  Ellie is tied to the Christmas tree and surrounded by army men.


Day 12:
Late night chocolate binge


Day 13:
TP Christmas Countdown


Day 14:
"I Spy" Elrond...becoming one with the ornaments


 Day 15:
Missing & wishing he was the Big Guy...


 Day 16:
Coloring a page of Santa with "the list."  Not pictured here is the reminder note he left about bad behavior=naughty list, good behavior=nice list.




Day 17:

Elrond trapped them in their room.  I thought the boys would come plowing through, but they found a hole in the bottom and crawled through it.  They had fun ripping the paper down.


Day 18: 
The elf takes a shower


Day 19:
Trapped in the cupboard!


Day 20: 
The last day Elrond was here- bowing to baby Jesus.  He left a note talking about the real meaning of Christmas and promised to see us next year!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Our "Elf on the Shelf"

So, this is in no way school related.  It is definitely all about fun!  There's been so much hype about "The Elf on the Shelf" that I thought I would look into it.  In a nutshell, it is an elf that Santa sends to your house to watch to see if you are being naughty or nice.  He then reports his findings back to Santa.  After going back and forth about paying $30+ for "the elf", I found Christopher Pop-In Kins for ~$20.  Our little elf arrived the night of December 5th.  I thought this would be a fun way to make lasting memories with the boys (& baby "J" when she is old enough).  With a little persuasion, the boys named him "Elrond" (for all of you LOTR fans!) or Ellie for short.  You will see his antics below:

Day 1:

The Elf arrives with a letter from Santa Claus himself!



 Day 2:
He turned the milk green!  The boys loved this.  They wanted oatmeal every morning so it would be green.(My husband informed me that I was spelling Elrond's name wrong...who knew?  Unless you've read all the books :)



Day 3:
Making funny faces!  The pictures are still like this in the hall. 



Day 4:
Decorating the tree with new decor...undies!  "B" was not a fan of this.  He promptly collected all undergarments and put them back in the drawer.  I, personally, thought it was very funny.


Day 5:
Elrond decides to be a good elf.  He left magic seeds(peppermint flavored tic-tac's) from the North pole for the boys to plant in sugar before going to bed.


Day 6:
They grew into candy canes!  The boys keep asking him for more magic seeds.


Day 7:
Just hangin' around.  Hanging off the chandelier in the dining room.


Day 8:


Elrond paints their noses like Rudolph.  "C" was not pleased with this joke and wanted it off right away.  "B", my little "picker", thought it was something else on his nose (we won't say what) and picked it off before he was even out of bed.  He only admitted to picking after his brother found the evidence of red paint in his bed!



Day 9:
Doing a little puzzle-work.


Day 10:
Elrond vs. Buzz Lightyear.  Snowball fight 2013.  Who will win?




Stay tuned for the finale of Elrond's adventures.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 15- The Mitten


The Mitten by Jan Brett is an adapted version of a Ukranian folk tale.  In the story, a young boy asks his grandmother to knit him mittens that are "as white as snow."  His grandmother is afraid that he will lose them but knits them for him anyway.  Sure enough, he drops one in the snow and doesn't realize it.  Soon thereafter, a mole discovers the lost mitten and snuggles into it.  He is followed by seven other animals, including a bear.  The last straw is when a mouse tries to climb in and tickles the bears nose.  The bear sneezes and all of the animals come flying out of the mitten.  This was such a great story and wonderfully illustrated.  There was so much to see on each page.  And boy, did we find lots of things to do with it

We started the week out by making our own mitten with animals.  A great deal of our inspiration/activities came directly from the author's website (check it out here!).  Also, we made a mitten tree (see under Bible section).



Next, we started some of the lapbook activities (from Homeschool Creations).  The first was differentiating left and right mittens.  And then, we arranged mittens from smallest to largest.  I thought it would be fun to use some of our mittens/gloves to do the activity as well.



The author (website) provides instructions on how to draw the bear in the story.
They tried their best to follow the directions- this is how they turned out:

"C" on the left, "B" on the right.


I found a great writing assignment from What the Teacher Wants! blog.  The boys had to come up with a different animal to crawl into the mitten and a reason why it wanted inside.  I helped them spell some of their words.  Then they drew a picture of the animal.  We covered it up with a mitten afterward to "hide" the animal in the mitten.

The author also provides face masks of all the animals from the story.  The boys sequenced them and then used them for a puppet show.



We did some various other lapbook activities (counting, sequencing, phonics, etc):


We finished up the week by making some adorable hedgehog cookies (also on authors website):


BIBLE

   We started discussing the birth narrative this week, specifically the angel visiting Mary and then visiting Joseph.  We talked about obedience & God's promises.  Mary & Joseph believed and obeyed the messages that the angel had given to them.  God always keeps His promises.  Their memory verse was Colossians 3:20:
video
Children obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord.  Colossians 3:20

They started the week by coloring a picture of Mary and Gabriel and adding stickers, glitter & yarn.  They did remember that Gabriel was the angel that visited Zacharias!  
  They also did two other angel crafts this week:

"C" finally smiling in a picture!

 Finally, we made a mitten tree.  On each mitten we wrote one of God's promises or a promise that they were going to keep.  We hung it on some branches I had gathered from outside.  It turned out really cute and we'll be adding to it this week.

Mommy's Learning Moment of the Week:
  I wonder what God thinks of my slow learning abilities.  I finally have these "aha!" moments and He's probably thinking, It's about time!  There have been so many "aha" moments lately that it is not merely a coincidence, but God trying to show me how I should be living.  My learning moment this week didn't necessarily come from the boys but was about obedience.  I've been listening to some messages on the Power of Words (by Joyce Meyer).  I'm usually not a huge fan of hers, but she does make some awesome points in this series.  One such point is complaining.  How often do I complain?  I'm sure I do almost every day.  She referenced the OT story of the Israelites searching for the promised land.  This was supposed to be an 11 day journey...an 11 day jouney! But ended up taking 40 years The Israelites grumbled and complained most of their trip until the very endHow quick of a trip would it have been if they would have obeyed and trusted God from the beginning?  How quickly would I get through my "tests" if I would stop worrying/complaining and relying on God?

 

MATH

   This week, the boys worked on adding 1 to 0-9.  After "quizzing" them at the breakfast/lunch/dinner table, I can say with confidence that they have learned this.  Some of their work:


HANDWRITING

 We reviewed "Magic C" capitals and started "A" and "S".  Next week we'll wrap up all capital letters.


PHONICS

  "B" & "C" keep chugging along with their reading skills.  They read 3 new books this past week.  They have added helper words "says", "this" and "of".  They learned new short "u" sound words that ended in -ug, -ub and -un.  I'll post a reading video next week.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week 14 - NO School

NO school this week!  We spent our time working to get all of the Christmas decorations in place.  The boys really seem to appreciate the changing decor and finding all of the new things that we set out.  There is an ongoing debate at our house.  Colored lights vs. White lights.  Right now, we're tied.  If only Baby J could cast the swing vote.  Maybe next year?  Next week we will be rowing The Mitten and starting the Christmas story with the angel and Mary.  Can't wait to share our fun next week!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Week 13 - Prayer For A Child


Hello to all!  I hope everyone had a splendid Thanksgiving with friends and family.  Prayer For A Child by Rachel Field is a simple book that shows a little girl praying for various things.  We rowed this book for 2 weeks since it also had a great tie-in to Thanksgiving.

To start, we made our own praying hands.   After we cut them out, the boys had to think of things that they pray for and then wrote them inside the hands.  This is one of the first times they have had to try and sound out the words in their heads and then spell it how they think it sounds.  They did a pretty good job and really tried to sound out the word.  The day we did this we read Anytime, Anywhere; A Little Boy's Prayer by Marcus Hummon.  Another great supplement book is Prayers for Children by Eloise Wilkin.


Next, we discussed the page in the book where the little girl prays for all the children far & near.  The page is wonderfully illustrated with faces of children from all over the world.  This was a great time to sing Jesus Loves the Little Children again.  They talked about where each child might live based on how they looked or what they wore.  Then we looked through the book called Children Around the World by Donata Montanari and discussed each child in the book.  We also read a book called A Country Far Away by Nigel Gray.  It is about 2 little boys who live in different countries but are doing the same things (only very differently!).  It was great to show them that not all kids have the same things, but both seemed to be happy with what they had.  We moved on to some of our lapbook activites (I used a little from homeschoolshare & homeschoolcreations) that included children from around the world.  The first one was finding the difference in each picture:

 And the second was a game.  You roll a cube that has pictures of children of different ethnicity's.  The first child to get to "10", wins.  I thought it was pretty basic, but the boys really thought it was fun.  


Another lapbook activity:

There were several pages in the book showing the little girl looking content.  We discussed what being content means.  I'm hoping that sticks around til after Christmas!  They drew pictures of themselves (like the little girl in the book) to hang above their beds.


So, I thought "B" got a little sidetracked as you can plainly see a Thomas the Train drawn in the picture.  He informed me, however, that he was praying and thanking God for his toys...to which "C" chimes in, "yeah Mom, just like the child in the story!"  As if to say, duh?!  We also discussed night time fear- as the girl in the book prays "through the darkness, through the night, let no danger come to fright."  We read When the Creepy Things Come Out by Melody Carlson.  A reminder that we just need to remember that God is always with us and we can always pray.


The first page in the story, the little girl is thanking God for her bread & milk.  So, we spent a day discussing where milk comes from, how it's processed, etc.  We read Milk Makers by Gail Gibbons and watched an old episode of Reading Rainbow (I haven't seen that show in years).

Finally we wrapped up the week with a prayer collage/thankfulness tree.  The boys went through lots of newspaper ads and cut out things that we could thank God for.  Then we assembled our tree:








Mommy's learning moment of the week:

So, as some of you know, the boys have really started to talk about salvation, heaven, hell etc.  I overheard a conversation between the two of them that really made me stop and think.  They were discussing death (I was a little fearful as to where the conversation was going but am glad I didn't intervene).  "B" asked "C", would you miss me if I was gone?  "C", with no hesitation, says no.  "B" looks surprised momentarily and repeats, "you wouldn't miss me?"  "C" immediately responds, "no Bud, because I know I would be with you again when I come to heaven."  End of conversation, back to eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  At this point, I was in tears because I was so happy that they had no fear but also ashamed that I would not be able to respond so casually at the thought of losing a loved one.  How quickly I forget that nothing I have is my own and from my own doing.  I am learning to praise God for His sovereignty and that He always makes things works together for my good.