Saturday, December 24, 2011

My traditional Christmas Eve devotional

This is my 3rd year hosting Christmas Eve for my family.  It also marks the third year of giving my traditional Christmas devotional reading following the legacy my late grandfather left.  Normally these take me hours to prepare, but as of yesterday morning I still hadn't written anything and wasn't even sure exactly what I would write.  I had prayed about it and felt strongly that the Christmas story (from the bible that is) should be told even though most of us had heard it many times.  I wanted to find some unique way of telling it so I began researching online and found lots of neat ways to share the story.  So I admit, most of this idea is stolen and therefore only took about an hour of my time.  You can find the original idea here, but I had to tweak it some to add my personal flare.  Basically I have a piece a candy that represents each part of the story.  At then end of the story, I will have the candy in favor bags for everyone to take home with the bible references on a gift tag.  Here's the story:

I saw a fun and sweet way to remember the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth.  We all know that Christmas time is a sweet time of year.  Not only are our kitchens filled with sweet smells of all the holiday baking, but it’s sweet because our Lord is sweet and was born as a sweet baby so many Christmases ago.  The story of Jesus’ birth should be as sweet to our ears and hearts as our holiday baking is to our tummies. 

Here are some sweet things to remind us of that wonderful sweet Christmas story.

1)    Bridge Mix (Journey of Joseph and Mary). This “bridge” mix resembles the Journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.  We all know that a bridge provides a way of passage to the other side.

Luke 2:4-5 says "Because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home.  He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.  He took with him Mary, his fiancĂ©e, who was now pregnant.”
2)     Baby Ruth (Reminder of Sweet Baby Jesus) (I could not find Sugar babies or sugar daddies!!!)
How exciting that God sent His Son down from heaven in the form of a sweet little baby.  A little child would change history and save us from our sin.  Luke 2:7 “She gave birth to her first child, a son.  She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.”

3)     Candy Cane (Reminder of the Shepherds).  The candy cane reminds us of the staff of the shepherds and how they were busy taking care of their sheep while Jesus was being born.  If you turn it upside down, it looks like a J –for Jesus.  The red represents His blood and how He died for us and the white represents how He washes us white as snow.  Luke 2:8-9 “That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.  They were terrified.”

4)    Almond Joy (Reminder of the Angels Announcement)  Luke 2:10-12 “But the angel said to them (the shepherds) ‘Don’t be afraid.  I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.  The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!  And you will recognize him by this sign - You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manager”

5)    Dove Candy (Reminder of Peace).  The dove has always been a symbol of peace.  Because Christ was born we can have peace.  In John 14:27 Jesus says “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.”

6)    Smarties (Reminder of the Wise Men)
Even the wise men of Christ’s day looked for the Lord.  The wise men followed the star to Bethlehem until they found the house where the baby Jesus lay. We are not certain how many wise men came. We can guess that maybe at least three came because that is how many gifts they brought.  The wise men worshiped the baby Jesus as God the Savior and gave him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts were very meaningful. Gold was fitting for a king. Frankincense was a resin from a balsam tree used as a medicine, which was rare in those days. They knew this king would heal his people. Myrrh, an herb used in burials, was the most unusual gift. It pointed to the importance of this child-king’s death which would occur later in life and would save the world.  Christmas is the day we celebrate the birth of Christ our Lord. These wise men came to worship the newborn king. Today, men who are wise still worship Jesus.

7)    Starburst (Reminder of the star)

The star was used to guide the wise men.  Today, God has ways of guiding us too. When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced.  When we see the Christmas star, this should be a good reminder to rejoice as well.

Matthew 2:9-10  “The wise men went on their way.  And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem.  It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star they were filled with joy!”

8)    Hershey’s treasures of other foiled wrapped coin candy (The gifts from the wise men).  When the wise men came, they brought treasure with them to give to Jesus.  We should always bring our gifts to Jesus such as time, talents, and other things we know He ultimately blessed us with to give and glorify Him.

Matthew 2:11 “They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chest and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

9)    Reison (Jesus is the Reason for the Season)

Jesus came to earth on Christmas Day so that we could live with Him forever and that our lives on earth might be more meaningful.  Hi is our reason for the wonderful holiday season.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”

Let this be a reminder that Christmas is sweet not only to our tongues and bellies but to our hearts.

Friday, December 23, 2011

W & X

W is for Worship.  Worship is to give praise, honor and respect for God.  We honor God when we celebrate Jesus birth each year, when we go to church, when we pray, and when we obey. We should not idolize anything but God.  When we choose a toy over praying or going to church or over our sibling, we are idolizing the toy...this does not honor God.
We are going to talk to about Wisdom and Wisemen and color a sheet with the 3 wisemen on it.  I actually found a child's sermon on the wisemen worshipping Baby Jesus here.  We will look at our Christmas book to see other pictures of wisemen.

X is for eXaltation (yes, sometimes you have to be creative).  In the Bible "exaltation" most often refers to the lofty position of God and of Jesus Christ. The most common Hebrew terms for "lift up, exalt. 
The Exaltation of Christ. (retrieved here) As the God-man, Jesus Christ entered the world to redeem humankind from their sinful condition. Through his death and resurrection Christ was exalted to the right hand of the Father. Both Isaiah 52:13 and the Gospel of John ( 3:14 ; 8:28 ; John 12:32John 12:34 ) speak of Christ's death in the double sense of being "lifted up" and being "highly exalted." By humbling himself and submitting to death by being "lifted" onto a Roman cross, Christ paid for the sin of humankind, and in so doing was exalted by the Father to the highest place and given "the name that is above every name" ( Php 2:8-9 ). It was through the resurrection from the dead that Christ's death was demonstrated in a powerful way ( Rom 1:4 ). By the resurrection Christ's human nature entered the glorious state of the unending life, and the risen Lord swallowed up death in victory ( 1 Cor 15:54 ).
Having finished his work on earth, Jesus was taken back to heaven and seated at the right hand of God. David had spoken of the Messiah's sitting at the Lord's right hand ( Psalm 110:1 ). This most exalted and honored position confirmed Christ's glory and authority as the supreme ruler ( Eph 1:20-21 ). Christ's exaltation and lordship are evident in the titles "Prince" and "Savior, " which are ascribed to him in his heavenly session ( Acts 5:31 ). The "prince" or "author" of our salvation was made "perfect through suffering" and then "sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" ( Heb 2:10 ; 12:2 ). The son of David was now a king far above any earthly ruler.
At his second coming the King of kings and Lord of lords will return to earth to defeat the nations and to rule them with an iron scepter ( Rev 19:15-16 ). Christ's sovereign authority will be displayed; every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord ( Php 2:10-11 ).

A little over their head but we will go through it anyway.  No craft for this one :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

U & V

U is for upright.  Upright means raised or directed vertically or upward; adhering to rectitude; righteous, honest, or just; being in accord with what is right; being of moral excellence.
Proverbs 2:7:  He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is bleamelss, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Proverbs 15:8...the prayer of the upright pleases Him.

Titus 1:8 - Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined

Titus 2:12 - It teaches us to say "no" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

We will look at the story of Job.  There are a couple of color sheets here and here. 

V is vision. A vision is a dream from God.  We will talk about Isaiah's vision of Jesus' birth again.  This will tie in the letter P for prophet and again repeat the story of Jesus' birth.  There is a color sheet here with the memory verse.  I like these activities too - Reece is at just the right age to do them:  here

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

S & T

S is for Scripture.  We looked at few verses:  "All Scripture is God Breathed" which the kids learned in Awana this year.  And that "All Your words are true" and discussed that all the stories and words in the bible are true.  Since we don't have time to do a craft each day and we are still finishing up the scroll craft from the letter P, I will use this to show them a version of scripture.

T is for Tithing.  We give back 10% of the money we earn to the church.  This goes to the missionaries and towards our church expenses.  God gives us the money and we are to give back to Him.   We will look at Malachi 3:10 and ask the following questions:  Who gives us the money and all things/blessings?  The world and everything good in it was given to us by the Heavenly Father who loves and cares for us.  We show our appreciation by obeying the commandments and doing our part to help the church grow.

I got my children's piggy banks out and we took out 10% of each.  They will set that aside and eventually we can cash it in and give it in the offering plate.  I also found this cute idea - matching the different money around the world...the don't understand all of that but they do know how to match (tithing around the world)

This is our craft from the prophet lesson and also tying it into S - scripture lesson.  We took a white piece of paper, printed the verse from Isaiah, and crumbled it up.  Before we left this morning we dipped it in coffee (to make it look old) so that way when we got back it would be dry.

Look how old it looked...we made a scroll by rolling the ends over pencils and gluing it.
Reece with her rudolph the red-nosed-reindeer that we made at the library

We were making Christmas cookies and trying to make red frosting...but the kids thought it looked like blood which I so smartly tied back to letter R - the blood of Christ.

R for resurrection, the story we read, and the tomb craft.

The tithing activity...we roped in daddy since he's better at math.  It's hard work counting all those coins from the piggy banks...especially being rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer.
 This is where Reece had to match the tithe to the amount of money - all in different countries.  The shapes of the money were outlined so that was why it was easy for her. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Q and R

Q is for Quiet.  We will be looking at several verses from this link.  I found a color sheet of children listening quietly to Jesus here.  We will be practicing our "quiet" skills while I read the bible verses!

R is for Resurrection.  We will look at Matthew 28:1-10 and do this craft.

Our wall is filling up!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lies Women Believe

You may have noticed that I haven't been writing much the past 6 months.  Or even more annoying that my "monthly" tip has turned into a bi-yearly tip if that is at all possible.  Knowing the word more than the world is probably the most important "tip" we should follow and I have been struggling with this since I published it on the blog.  So I continue to leave it on there as a reminder for myself! 

The last 6 months to a year have really been rough for me. It all started with my trip to Costa in June.  I guess I expected so much to happen to me because of that trip but I am still struggling to see why God had me go.  I still feel like I haven't been able to process the trip and I feel like it is so unfair to my experience.  I know that is a selfish thought, but that is how I feel.  I went to bed feeling like a missionary, and woke up a mom and wife who felt very unappreciated for her efforts.  I guess that should just be expected in the season of life that I am in, but I just thought it would be different.

The summer continued to go downhill for me.  I had for the past 3 years, religiously (no pun intended) gotten up early to get my exercise and quiet time done before the kids got up.  I was unselfishly always ready for the kids when they got up and things almost always ran smoothly.  I felt great doing that and it stopped suddenly with my trip as I was preparing to leave and so exhausted when I reaturned.  Then I just decided or believed a lie that it wasn't worth one cared anyways and I should cut myself some slack and sleep in like so many other moms of young children do.  I still stayed in the word, finished reading the bible in one year, and continued on for a 2nd round doing 100 days in the word with the women from my church.  But my relationship with the Lord dwindled and He felt so distant.  I was feeling more and more like I had done something I continued in believing lies and sinning and going down wrong paths and making unwise choices (with money, friendships, parenting, being a wife).  I have been drowning and overwhelmed trying to be a good parent and wife.  My husbands long hours at work have been pulling us a part and its so hard to find time to connect when we have such small children that require so much of our time.  In my heart, I know that we just need more of Jesus in our every day lives...putting ourself aside and doing what He wants...but we both continue to listen to and believe lies or half truths that the WORLD is telling us.  I have to keep reminding myself to see what the word says...not what the TV, my friends (even good Christian friends), radio, input from others, etc say.

Things have come to a climax this past week or so.  The anxiety that I thought I had under control, has been controlling me.  I want to run away sometimes because I get overwhelmed by loud noises (due to the anxiety) heart palpitations are back as well as some spurts of insomnia and excessive sweating.  I even had a rash and weird break outs!  I have been feeling so out of control.  I decided to try getting up early again.  So I set my alarm and Monday I did it...worked out and showered and ready for the kids and we had a really great day again.  I know that this is not the answer to my problems but it certainly helps and I know that is what God wants from me.  I knew it three years ago when I started doing that and saw the many changes He brought on in my life because of it. 

I honestly have some deep scars and wounds that I need to deal with from the past 6 months - many that I cannot share at this time.  I have realized there are many other things from my past even back to my childhood that I have just not dealt with and it's time.  It is likely that I will go to counseling although I am not sure where (I did research over the summer but then never committed).  I know that my ultimate counsel comes from God alone and He will work and comfort me in ways that I cannot understand.  I am leary to seek counsel and not have it come from the word...even good Christian counselors can give their own opinions and as we have seen...I am gullible and often believe what others say or others opinions.

Shortly after I was married (nearly 7 years ago), Brock and I attended a marriage conference where I purchased a book called "Lies Woman Believe and the Truth that sets them free" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  They had ran out of the book at the conference but assured me they would mail it to me and took down my info.  I never received the book.  So back in January, I found it through a used bookstore online and purchased it.  I was studying for my doula certificate and doing another study at that time, so I added the book to my library knowing I would read it some day.  I talked to a friend about the book who advised me not to read it find a partner or do it as a study.  Last week, I had another friend confide in me some things going on in her life that are very similar to mine.  I told her about the book and we agreed to do it together.  If anyone would like to join us, please let me know.  It will be more like we read a chapter over a week period and discuss once a week over the phone or meet up if it works out.  I have already read the first couple of chapters and I can tell it is definitely a book every woman needs to read.  Not all woman believe in the same lies but we are all vulnerable to believing lies and half-truths from Satan...It's in our make-up...the way God made women...we can see that it started with Eve.  Satan knows which things we will believe and he targets us for those.  In the book, she gives many different lies we might believe and gives us the truth - what the word says about each of them - replacing the lies with truth.  Memorizing these truths in my heart and mind will help me to destroy those lies from my brain!  I remember writing about Eve this summer and how weak we can be as women...and I continued to be deceived.  We can't do it on our own strength...we need the truth and word of God to help us.  I know in my heart that this book has been placed in my lap at just the right time...although I do regret not reading it before this and possibly sparing me from some hardships.  But God's timing is perfect and He is sovereign.

I'll leave you with a quote from the book by pastor Thomas Brooks: "Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst; he promises honor, and pays with disgrace; he promises pleasure, and pays with pain; he promises profit, and pays with loss; he promises life, and pays with death"

Letter O and P

Today we will be looking at O.  O is for Obedience.  We will be looking at the story of God calling his disciples and how the obeyed without delay (Luke 5:1-11)

I got some information from Ministry to here.  I also found a color page showing this story here.

We will also look at O for Ornament. 

Tomorrow, for letter P we will look at Prophets.  What is a prophet? A prophet is God’s servant who takes God’s message to the people.  We will be looking at Isaiah 9:1-7.  And also Isaiah 7:14 for our craft.  I got the craft from here.  While there I found a super neat advent thing you can do daily that is super easy.  I might try to plan that one for next year.  Has something to "unwrap" each day and a scripture for each.   Click on that link I provided and scroll towards the bottom and it's called Advent Countdown. 

We will also look at P for Presents.

Reece Update

I noticed this past week that Reece has been going to the bathroom very frequently.  I am talking 4 or 5 times in a 20 minute period or a dozen times an hour.  She is not complaining of any pain and has told me that it does not hurt.  I took her to the doctor assuming it was a bladder infection or urinary tract infection.  They tested  her urine and it came back negative for that.  They tested again in 48 hours and that also came back negative.  They have referred her to a pediatric urology specialist who she can't see until Feb 1st because there are not many pediactric doctors that specialize in this area.  In the meantime, we will be heading to St Joe on Jan 2nd for an abdominal x-ray and sonogram.  I imagine that if something was very abnormal during that visit, they would get us in sooner to the specialist.

I can't imagine waiting that long to see someone and her having this issue that has rapidly taken over her life this week.  She is beyond frustrated and even embarrassed by it.  A couple of nights ago as I put her to bed, she was sobbing out of frustration.  She told me she never wants to go to the bathroom again and asked that I pray with her and ask that God take it away from her.  This is the child who could hold "potty" for 5 hours!  It interrupts every part of her day and night.  She is not sleeping well as she gets up a lot to go to the bathroom.  She is not uncomfortable other than that.  I had her lay down and I pushed some on her abdomen to see if I could feel anything.  I didn't feel anything and she didn't complain of any pain.  I also have been going with her to try and push her to go more (because it's usually just a trickle) thinking that maybe she was not emptying completely - like they do when they are first being potty trained.  She cries out of frustration saying "that is all there is" but then returns 2 minutes later with another trickle.

Her doctor told me it could be considered what they call a bladder spasm.  Something has caused it to spasm and that would be resolved by medicine - but she would have to wait until after she saw the specialist Feb 1st!

A nurse I talked to yesterday said that if she was constipated that could cause pressure to her bladder.  She never has had a problem in that area and goes regularly...almost at the exact time every day.  So right now we are unsure what is causing this. 

I guess I am asking for prayers for her - that we could get an answer quicker than they are saying and that she will not grow weary and more frustrated.  We ask that it would not be anything life threatening as well of course.  We know that whatever it is, God is in control and He has a plan in all of it.  We are anxiously awaiting an outcome.    Please keep this situation in your prayers!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

M and N

Today we looked at M but since I have N done for tomrrow, I'll post that here also that way if you are doing this, you can get ahead of the game.

For M we looked at Mary, the mother of Jesus.  We looked at several passages of Mary in the bible - most important - the events of Jesus birth (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-56).  It all related back to many of the other letters we have already looked at.

For N, we will look at Nativity.  We have a cute "build your own nativity" craft that I printed from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  We will all read "Come and See" book about Jesus Birth.  We will look at different pictures of nativity scenes.  We will read the story of Jesus's birth in Luke 2:1-7 and the read with me bible page 252-266. 1/2 way done!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Letters I, J, K, L

Today we got all caught up and will only focus on 1 letter a day (most days) until Christmas.  We will also be reviewing some of the other letters and really trying to discuss what we have been learning.

Letter I was for Immanuel.  Immanuel means "God with us".  Immanuel is the name of the Messiah as prophesized by Isaiah in Isaiah 7:14 and 8:8 which I read to the kids.  We also looked at Matthew 1:23.  I could not find a craft or color page for this.

Next we looked at the beautiful name of Jesus.  Jesus is the Savior of the world, the son of God.  By defintion he is a teacher and prophet (which we will look at when we get to letter P) whose life and teachings form the basis of Christianity.  We talked about his upcoming birthday and his parents Mary and Joseph again.  We did J for Jesus tracing page with a nativity color page on the bottom.  I also pulled out this Jacobs ladder activity which could be traced back to the H - Heaven we looked at yesterday and also J.  Brody colored the words JOY.

K is Kneeling.  We talked about what it means when we kneel while brings honor to God and shows we are humble.  We looked at Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 22:40-41, Psalm 95:6).  And we talked about that it is most important that we come humbly before God when we pray and with a sincere heart.

Next we looked at L for Love.  Jesus loves everyone.  We looked at 1 Cor 13, John 3:16, Galations 2:20, and 1 John 4:9:11.  We colored a picture that shows how we love God with all our heart, soul and might.  Brody did a little color sheet that shows L is for Lights which have been seeing a lot of.  We are going to the Festival of Lights next week. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Letters C, D, E, F, G and H.

We had a busy weekend so I got behind on the letters and also posting.  We did do letters C and D on Thursday, but we didn't get to E and F until yesterday and G and H today.

For letter C we looked at the Church, Christ, Christmas, and Candy Cane.  We colored a big letter C that said Christ and we talked about what that name means.  We also read the Legend of the Candy Cane which tells about how the Candy Cane was "invented".  We enjoyed eating candy canes afterward (even though it was early morning).  Here are the kids with their J for Jesus and their Shepards staff (learned about in the book).

For D we looked at the word Disciple and discussed what a disciple is and how many of them there are.  We looked at the Fishers of Men story in their read with me bible.  And we looked at several short passages in the bible (Matthew 9:35-10:8, Mark 3:13-19, Luke 6:12-18, and John 1:35-42).  They colored a big letter D that had the word disciple on it and also all the names of the disciples. 

For letter E we looked at Eternal Life and what a gift that God has given us through His son Jesus.  Eternal means without beginning or end; forever; timeless.  We looked at a few passages in the bible (John 3:16, Romans 6:23, and 1 John 5:13).  Just as God gave us a gift of eternal life, I gave my children a gift to represent it.  I gave to Reece a necklace of a cross that I wore when I was a child. I gave Brody a little glow and the dark cross that I had hanging in my room as a child.  I meant to take pictures of this but got a little carried away.

For F we looked at Family.  We talked about the first family of Adam and Eve and also Jesus's family.  We looked at two stories from our Boz book that talk about how God made families special and how families love each other.   No craft for this one that I could find.  My idea was to do something fun as a family - which we have been doing alot anyway.

For G we looked at God.  We looked at all God created in Genesis 1 (Using their read to me bible since it's more appealing to them).  We talked about how God sent His only son to save us from our sins. 

H is for Heaven.  We talked about the characteristics of Heaven found in Revelations 21:3-5: no more crying, no more pain, no more evil, streets of gold, etc.  And tied it back to the letter E for eternal life and God. 

Tomorrow we will look at I and J.  I is for Immanuel and J is for Jesus.  I have had a lot of trouble finding good/simple crafts for the other letters, but there are a boat load for the letter J.  So I must go and work and that so I will be ready for tomorrow. 

Oh, and here is a picture of our display wall of all the letters and things we have been working on.  We are quickly going through them all before Christmas, but my hope is to go back and focus on each one a little more through the winter!  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Daily Christmas Activities

The last couple of years we have had some Christmas traditions with the kids.  This year I am starting a new one.  I'll try to post them daily so that you might be able to use some of it too.  It did take hours of preparing but I think it will be worth it in the long run to be able to teach and spend good quality time with the kids.  And we can reuse them from years to come.  It only takes about 10 minutes each day (although preparing took hours).

One thing we have done since Reece was born, is our advent calendar.  It's a magnetic board with numbered boxes surrounding it.  In each number, there is part of the nativity scene that they unwrap and place on the board.  Since I have two children, we rotate who takes it out each day.  They are exicted to do this as soon as they come down in the morning.

The new thing I am starting has to do with the alphabet plus parts of Christmas (mostly biblical some not).  If you have noticed, there are 26 letters in the alphabet and 24 days of December - before Christmas.  You could start it November 28th or you could double up on a couple of days.  I have to double up a lot because I started it late (due to all the reseach).  Since it is December 6 we should already be on letter I will double up the next few days to catch up.

Today we did A and B.  I found a power point on line (Pinterest) that I used to come up with the cards.  I printed them and pasted them to cardstock/scrapbook paper.  I researched each subject, wrote info on the back, and then found stories/scripture, and activities to go with each. 

A is for Angels.  There is a picture on the front of the card and then on the back it has verses and info to go with Angels and any resources I will be using...such as "read from Christmas book page 42-49 " which is all about angels.  Then I found an angel craft online and even a color sheet.  I also have A tracing dry erase cards and sheets from a curriculum book we use sometimes (this is more for Brody since he doesn't know his letters).

B is for Baptism and also Baby Jesus and Bethlehem (I used a baby Jesus for the craft since it was more interesting than Baptism, at least for the kids).  We talked about Baptism and read the story about John the baptist and when Jesus was baptised in their "Read with Me" Bible page 286-289, reference Matthew 3 and Mark 1 if you don't have this bible. 

 Coloring their Angel crafts...
 Angel craft and Baby Jesus craft complete.

I am doing these each kind of day by day but I have some started in advance.  Tomorrow we will be doing C - for Church (card picture) and for Christ, talk about Christmas and we will do a candy cane craft (one that relates to Christ - candy cane upside down is a J - Jesus and what it stands for).  I also have a book about how the Candy Cane came to be (Legend of the Candy Cane).  I also have a Christ color sheet that I found on Pinterest (see likes on my pinterest).  We'll end with having a sweet peppermint bark treat from Ghiradelli :) Or maybe just a candy cane...

D  - we will look at being a disciple. Looking at the story of when Jesus calls the disciples (Matthew 4:18-22 Mark 2).  Reading it out of our "Read with me Bible" page 290.  D color page with the disiples on it.

Friday we will just do E because we have a busy day.  E is for Eternal life.  I wrapped up a small cross for both of my children to open and we will talk about what all that means - haven't done all the work on that one yet. 

Saturday we will look at F.  We will focus on Family on this day.

I am also going to start this wall hanging thing, where we can hang these all in order.  I will show a picture of that once I get it up and going. 

I feel like I have done more researching and preparing then actually this how it feels to homeschool?  I realize that using this next year, it won't be as hard but still.  I feel guilty taking all this time to prepare and then it only takes 10 minutes to complete with them.  So I apologize in advance that these are only the "clif notes" versions but I am not as good as some bloggers who link to everything.  I don't know how they have time to put it all together, teach it, and share it with others.  You might have to do a little work on your own but if you are really interested in something I have on here, just ask and I can send the link, document, etc.  Some of it is a work in progress.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Santa Visit to Bass Pro Shop

I forgot about these until I just saw them in a kitchen drawer.  We had these taken the week before Thanksgiving.  I met my brother, his wife and my neice there so the kids could do the craft.  There was so much for the kids to do and see.  Brody went and saw Santa like 7 times while we there.  He asked for dollhouse and something pink...I guess you can tell he has an older sister.  We thought maybe the something pink was a gun from bass pro shop but we are still unsure what he wants.  He did ask Santa for some snow also to which his sister replied "You can't wrap snow!"

A little kitchen updating

I did a small update to my kitchen a couple of weeks ago.  I never liked the color in there but there is not a lot I can do because of the counters and flooring.  Glad the counters have specks of black in them...that helps.  I went with a coffee house type theme - black and tan - and actually decorated above all my cabinets which I had never done before.  Here are some before and afters...and some tips on how to update knobs and things for cheap!
Old light green paint - facing back door
 New - black and tan wall
 Tan with new picture
 Old - hallway with coat pegs
 Tan wall with newly painted black pegs (spray painted)
 Old - above stove
 New above stove - added lights, a couple of vases with some color and a picture - I have added a couple more things since this (hint - orange)!
 Old desk area/microwave cart area
 New - notice microwave cart.  It was an old vintage (probably from the 70s - Brock had it as a kid) brown cart covered in contact spray painted black.
 Old - view from living room
 New - view from living room
 A couple of new things - clock, vase, picture, and a couple of old things I found in the basement
 Black above cabinets - oversized coffee mug that I got for $5! did anyone notice the knobs?  In all the before pics they are white and now they are black!  I did NOT replace them - it's black spray paint!  I did some research online and found that if you use a bonding primer, it should work.  I figured if not, I'd replace them then.  So instead of at least $50 in replacement knobs, I paid around $5 for primer and black spray paint (added clear coat which I already had at home).
Here's how I did it.  Took all the knobs off and washed them in soapy water.  Rubbed a little sand paper on them (and I mean like 2 seconds per knob).  Used styrofoam craft pieces that I already had at home and put toothpicks in them.  Put the knobs on top...
 Primed them.  I let them dry for 1/2 hour and then sprayed them black.  Then did the clear coat and let them dry over night.  Super far (2 weeks in) they paint still looks great.  Based on the shape of mine I would recommend putting them top down first and spraying the bottoms until completion first.  Then hanging them on the toothpicks to do the tops.  (this bottom one was a card board box with the toothpicks - a bit harder to poke through)
I am loving the rich, comforting feel and look of the "new" kitchen.  Down the road I would love to replace the counters and flooring.  I am currently doing research on how to replace counters for cheap (including these paint kits they have now!).  Right now I am settling for some new rugs and enjoying the new decorations.

Reece get's a hair cut!

A couple of weeks ago, Reece got all her long hair cut off.  I think it was around 8 inches.  I am posting a picture of her and the new do and also her preschool picture that shows her long hair.  I thought the pre-school picture was so good so I just had to post it.  We loved the long hair but we love the short hair too.  We are easy to please when it comes to hair I guess.  I do think the short hair makes her look older though so not sure how I feel about that.  (FYI...headband in the short hair picture is a bit over the top for me but she picked it out)