Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Advent Calendar Days 13-19 & December School Wrap Up

Ok - I have gotten a little behind - sorry - things have been hectic.  I thought though that I would update you on our advent calendar and do a final December School wrap up all in the same post...if that's ok with yall :-)

Advent Calendar Days 13-19
I think the theme of our Advent activities has been "flexability".  I have made so many changes LOL but I guess the important thing is that we have kept up with it and kids are really enjoying it.

Look - that puzzle is almost completed!!

We are only missing 5 pieces from the nativity!!
Christmas is almost here!!

So last week was a bit of a rough week  :-(.  Alyssa had a fever Monday and Tuesday so that threw plans off a bit.  She got better on Wednesday and Thursday, but then woke up Thursday night with croup!!

And if that wasn't bad enough...we haven't seen Rocky, our dog, since we got home from Huntsville last Sunday :-(... We held up hope as long as we could...but it's been over a week now...I don't see any hope of him coming home now...

so with all that going on - doing Advent activities was a little on the difficult side...and weren't quite what I had originally planned...but I think we still pulled it off ok.

Day 13
Tuesday Alyssa was still not feeling well and we were a bit bummed over Rocky not being home...but Daddy came in to the rescue on Tuesday night!  He let the boys stay up a bit later and we watched a Christmas movie - The Santa Clause 2!  (I find it kind of weird that Netflix has The Santa Clause 2 but not the first one...oh well).

Day 14 
On Wednesday we actually made it to the classroom for a bit.  Alyssa was feeling better.  And I found a couple of Christmas crafts at the store on Tuesday when Aaron and I were out for speech therapy.  So our activity for Wednesday was to complete these two crafts.  One was decorating a glitter foam tree with foam stickers and the other one was coloring wooden stand up Christmas figures.

We displayed them on the mantle when we were done.

Day 15
On Thursday we had Christmas pizza for supper!  I was going to make snowmen on them with pepperonis, but my pepperonis were bad :-(  So I just cut up red and green peppers and put all around the pizza.  It was super yummy!!

Day 16
Our activity on Friday was going to Christmas party - our homeschool group Christmas party :-)  Of course Alyssa didn't make it because of the croup...but the boys had a blast!

Aaron had fun trying to open a Christmas gift with oven mitts on!  LOL!  This was very funny for the parents to watch!
 We also had fun making gingerbread houses.

Day 17
On Saturday we made hot chocolate and watched A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Day 18
On Sunday our activity was to attend a Christmas play - well actually Alyssa just attended, the boys actually performed in the Christmas play at church :-)

Day 19
Well yesterday, Monday, I was sick... :-(  Still battling it some but am doing better today.  Yesterday I spent most of the day either sleeping, or in my chair.  Just really had no energy for anything else.  But my hubby was home all day and took the boys with him and his dad to go finish up some Christmas shopping - so I guess their Christmas activity for the day was Christmas shopping :-)  Alyssa just spent the day with Mommy.  We even took a nap together in my bed.  So hopefully that is not too big of a stretch for Christmas advent activities yesterday.

December School Wrap Up
Well we are officially done with December School.  Last week we only made it to the classroom one day due to Alyssa being sick and all.  But even on the days we didn't make it to the classroom we still watched our daily Christmas movie and every day the boys would all pile in the chair with me and we would play some of our school games on the ipad.

The day that we did make it to the classroom we had fun playing a scrabble game (one of the Scholastic games from my mom).  I used the bananagram tiles though and am hoping to, soon, introduce Seth to the game bananagrams  :-)  He really enjoyed the scrabble game.

And we won't be having school this week or next - so that we can have our Christmas break :-)  I have to admit though that I am looking forward to getting back at it in January (probably more excited than Seth - LOL!!!)

But it will be very sad that we won't have our lazy mascot joining us anymore.  I really wish I knew what happened to Rocky :-(  It is very sad.  He will be very much missed in our family.

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Advent Calendar Days 6 - 12

Well, the calendar is starting to look bare...

The puzzle has been completed halfway...

And half of the nativity cast have taken their position...

It's hard to believe we are halfway through the month - almost to Christmas!  This month is FLYING by!!

Here is what we have done days 6 - 12.

Day 6
On Day 6 (last Tuesday) our activity was to make ornaments.  I found a cute little foam ornament kit at Dollar Tree...the kit makes 3 ornaments - one for each kid.
 Aaron did the Snowman one, Seth made the stocking and Alyssa made the wreath.

Day 7
Our activity for Day 7 was to make our Christmas cards.  We had a lot of fun with this one!

Day 8
My original Day 8 activity was to make star ornaments...but we didn't finish our Christmas cards from the day before so we changed the activity to finish the Christmas Cards :-)

For the rest of the days I don't have pictures :-(  sorry...

Day 9
The activity for Day 9 was to "Do something special with Daddy and PaPa".  I scheduled this activity on this day because I was having a Christmas party for my Ladies Bible Study at my house so the kids were spending the evening with them :-)   They enjoyed a big pizza at PaPa's house.

Day 10
Our activity for day 10 was to "attend a Christmas Concert".  This was planned specifically because we went down to my parents and went and saw Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, who were performing at their church that night!  We love this group and have seen a Christmas concert of theirs almost every year for the last 7 years!

Day 11
Our activity for Day 11 was "Go to church with Mimi and Poppy" - this was another one that was specifically planned because we were at my parents and since we had to leave straight from there to get back up here to go to church for Christmas play practice that night there really wasn't much time for any other activity.

Day 12
Well yesterday our activity was "bake cookies"... I had an upset stomach all day and Alyssa was running a fever... so we didn't get to that... we had a lazy day in the house, we watched a Christmas movie, the boys played the Wii, and we started reading our Christmas novel "The Dog Who Thought He Was Santa" by Bill Wallace.  So, any those would be a worthy advent activity for the day, don't you think?!?  (plus I have next week us decorating Christmas cookies...so they really aren't missing anything anyways...)

I'm excited about today's activity...but it won't happen until tonight...and I hope to get pictures...so I will just wait and include it on the next update :-)

I thought I would end this post by sharing some pictures of my "prettys" I did for my Ladies Bible Study party...  (just so I don't have to write another post - HA!)

Here are my cute holly and berry cupcakes - got the idea from Pinterest - of course!

 And here is my Chistmas tree - it's cream cheese with jalapeno jelly on top...then I made a star, ornaments and the trunk of the tree from bell peppers - another idea from pinterest.

Until next time,

Advent Calendar Activities Days  1-5

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Second Week of December School

WOW!  It is hard to believe we are finishing a second week of December school!  We are still having fun...but we are becoming more and more laxed - which is ok - it is almost Christmas you know :-)

Christmas Movies!
We are still enjoying watching a Christmas movie every day!  Here are the movies we have enjoyed this week:

Thomas & Friends: Ultimate Christmas (from Netflix)
The Happy Elf (from Netflix) - this movie featured the voice and music of Harry Connick Jr, very cute movie! The kids loved it!
O Christmas Tree (from Netflix)
Buster & Chauncey's Silent Night (from Netflix)

Reading Games
Here are reading games we enjoyed this week (most of them were part of that game collection I got from my Mom).

Sight Word Bingo - I actually got this one online here.

Double Trouble - This was one of the Scholastic games that uses picture/word cards and you have to find rhyming pairs.

Word!  - Another Scholastic game where you have to build words using letter cards - some cards are single letters and some are blends.

Spelling Bee - this was another fun game from my mom.  It's a board game that is a race to the finish by finding missing vowels to spell words.

Of course we had our games that we will play every week, Erudition being one of the favorites!  (of course I have adapted it so that Seth can play using sight word cards, and Aaron can play using flashcards on his level.  The boys are LOVING this game!)    (other games we repeated again this week but didn't get pictures of was Roll and Read (Hooked on Phonics), Sight Word Jenga, and Snap and Spell).

Match!  This was yet another Scholastic game - it's a typical concentration game - but you are having to match the picture card with the correct word card.

Word Construction - Another board game from my mom - you spin your beginning consonant blend and you can advance if the next ending blend will combine with it to make a real word.

Seth was so excited this week because I presented him with his Cars reader!!  I found this at Costco - it is the Step Into Reading leveled readers.  This book contained 3 step 1 and 3 step 2 Cars stories (and it was only $6.99!!  At other stores each story is about $4 so it was a big savings for me!!)  We read the first two stories this week and I was very pleased at how well he did!

Math Games
We enjoyed more card games to practice our math skills.  All of these I got online so I have provided links for you :-)  (just click on the name of the game to go to the link)

Face Cards Around the Perimeter - A game to practice adding to sums of 10.  The link includes a gameboard you can print off.

Numbers In Between - A fun card to practice the more than or less than concept

Save the Ducklings - A game for practicing adding and counting skills (Aaron was able to play this one well!!)  The boys loved this one so much that we played twice!  They also asked if I could make a bigger game board and if we could play it often!  I told them I am also thinking about making a game board to keep in the camper as well.  It was that cute of a game!  You will just have to go to the link to read how it works.
 The first time we played our markers were too big for our board (we were using bears, pigs, and cubes).  This is why they asked for a bigger board - LOL!
 The second time we just used the cubes...worked better...but they said they still wanted a bigger board. LOL!

Cover Up - An addition game using dice, markers and a game board you can print off from the site.

I didn't do so well getting pictures this week... here are the rest of the math games that we played though...

Cover All - Another card game that also uses a board that you can print off on the site.  Another one for good addition practice.

Seventeen - Another good addition game - shows all the ways you can get to a sum of 17, using a deck of cards. 

More Or Less - basically the card game war - a good practice of determining what number is more, or less.  Site has scorecards that you can print off.

Subtraction War - once again a twist on the card game war - instead of each person drawing one card to sees whose is greater, each player draws two cards and solves the the subtraction problem with them (example - a person draws a 5 and a 2 they will say 5-2=3, and the one with the larger result wins all 4 cards).

Books of the Bible
Seth continues to add a book of the bible every day - we have made it up to Jeremiah now!!  Here is a video of him reciting Genesis - Jeremiah.  (If you are viewing this from email click here to go view the video on the blog)

Some Fun Pictures

Here are some fun pictures I thought I would share!  :-)

Alyssa LOVES her dollies and will play for HOURS with them!  I found her last Sunday changing a doll's "diaper" and I had to get a picture (as you can see she wasn't so thrilled with that - LOL!)

With the temps being VERY COLD this week our dog has been spending some extra time inside - and he is becoming a LAZY dog!

He loves our new heater in the school room - LAZY dog!!

Well, that's it for now!

Until next time,

Monday, December 5, 2011

Days 1-5 of our Advent calendar activities

We have gotten off to a good start with our advent calendar activities...even though we had to make up some of the activities we missed this weekend (frankly - we just got too busy and forgot...) but we did and kids had fun and it is all good :-)

Day 1
Our Day 1 activity on Thursday was for each child to choose one toy they were willing to donate to a less fortunate kid.  The kids did VERY well with this and each chose two toys on their own.  Here is a picture of us dropping them off at the donation box.
 Day 2
Day 2 was on Friday and our activity was to make paper snowflakes.  It should have been simple enough to do on Friday - but that was our last day of co-op, and then we got to spend the afternoon with Daddy running errands and stuff, and we were just all tired that night.  So we did our puzzle piece that night but decided to wait on making the paper snowflakes.  We did them today.

What I did was fold the paper for the kids and took out our pattern blocks and told them to trace shapes around the square and then I cut them out for them.  They really enjoyed this activity.

 Of course Alyssa just scribbled and I just chose some to cut around - LOL!
 But I think it made a pretty snowflake - and she was so proud of it!

Day 3
Day 3 was Saturday and it's activity was to color a Christmas picture.  We were up at Granny and PaPa's most of the day decorating the Christmas tree up there...so once again we chose to wait on that activity and did it today as well. (bad me...I just don't have the motivation and discipline on weekends like I do during the week).

 Aaron wanted me to draw a Christmas tree with a train around it on his pic - I thought I did an ok job :-)
 Aaron's finished picture
 Alyssa's finished picture
 Seth's finished picture.  He really took his time and put a lot of effort into his picture.

Day 4
Day 4 - Sunday - an EXTREMELY busy day at church for me (I was home for less than 2 hours after morning service before I had to be back up there again...and it was bedtime when we got back home again)...so it's activity of reading a Christmas story...well we just added an extra story to story time today.

Day 5
Today's activity was to make a new Christmas decoration!  Well - we decided to hang our snowflakes in the school room... so pretty on the wall, don't you think?!?
 And the kids wanted to hang their pictures that they were so proud of on their doors.  So yay!  We got our decoration in!!  (is that cheating?? I hope not...I just hope I do better from here on out).
 The boys' pictures on their door...
 Alyssa's picture on her door

Here is our puzzle...slowly getting filled in.

And I am super excited because Granny gave us her advent nativity scene this weekend!!  So we got caught up on that today and got our first 5 figures hung.

 Other happenings to share!
Look!  We got a new heater for our schoolroom!  It is a propane heater and man, it does a good job making our schoolroom nice and toasty!!  We got it just in time because it is COLD today and is suppose to be COLD all week long!

It was so toasty that Rocky napped pretty much the whole time we were in there, even snoring at one point!

Until next time,