Showing posts from 2016

Christmas Vacation (year 3, week 1)

We've all taken turns being sick.  It's been a long time since I've had to get up in the night with the kids, but they've been waking up a lot this week.  The good thing is that I've gotten lots of snuggles.  We've also had a lot of Family Movie Date Nights with Christmas movies.

We had our little family Christmas on the 18th.  Dragonfly got her first set of Playmobil toys, a fairy set.  Her brother, Tadpole, got the Green Toys ferry boat.  Dragonfly commandeered the boat because of the commonality between the two words.  She calls it the "fairies' boat."

The boys only wanted monster trucks for Christmas.  They each got a Hot Wheels truck.  They love them!

Joy's Journeys (post 2)

This is part 2 of Joy's adventures at our house.  Part 1 can be found here.

The kids thought it was funny to spin the paper towel roll to make Joy go round and around.

Hanging out on the coat rack by our main door.  The kids are having so much fun finding her every morning.  It's even made the husband laugh a few times.

Joy went Christmas shopping!

Dancing with a stormtrooper.  They both needed a bit of help to be the right height.

If you leave your underwear on the floor, it might be stolen and used to decorate the Christmas tree.  This trick made the kids giggle.

Dragonfly chose Joy's position today.  The kids spent the day snuggling her and giving her lots of love.

All the kisses and hugs from sick kids gave Joy a cold.  She spent the day in bed.  The kids were sad that she wasn't feeling well.

This morning we woke up to Joy working on a felt food project.  We were all very curious to see what she was making.

The next day, she had finished and we could see that she …

s is for snow (year 3, week 13)

We got snow over the weekend, which was perfect for this week's homeschool unit about snow/snowmen/snowflakes/snowangels.

This is our last unit until the New Year!

We stayed home and played in the snow!

My sister came to spend time with us before she goes back to college in the new year.  She taught the kids the water cycle and explained how snow is formed.

Auntie was still at our house.  She made them pancakes for breakfast and watched them so that I could sleep in.  It was amazing!

We looked a micro pictures of snowflakes and talked about their basic designs.

The majority of the family was sick.

Still sick.

Blog Posts About Snow
- w is for winter homeschool unit
marshmallow counting file folder game

snow globe roll and cover
land, sea, and air arctic animal sort
sorting types of extreme weather
winter preschool pack
winter clothes match game
3-part cards for the Safari Arctic toob
snowman pasta snowflake counting

Joy's Journeys (part 1)

Just 1 more Monday until Christmas!

We've had a special visitor at our house this month, Joy, our Kindness Elf.  Just looking at her reminds us to be kind to each other.  The kids have loved seeking out all her new positions every day, and even the grown-ups are having fun with her.  Here's the first round of ideas for her.

Joy's first day in our house.  She perched herself on the top of the homeschool cabinet with her travel case and a note for us.  The note read: "Hi Kids, I'm Joy.  I've come to spend Advent with you.  I want to remind you to do kind things.  What kind things could you do today?"  We used Joy's letter to launch a discussion about kindness and true joy.  We did tell the kids that she isn't real and that she's just a Christmas game.  But, all day, they were asking, "Do you think Joy thought that was kind?"  Joy doesn't do any spying or reporting, but she does serve as a visual reminder to speak and act with kindn…

C is for Christmas Cookies (year 3, week 12)

It's Christmas time!

Gymnastics class!  We stayed home because of sickness.

The kids and I watched "The Gingerbread Man," "Gingerbread Baby," and "Gingerbread Pirates" and talked about some of their similarities and differences.

Read a gingerbread man book at acted it out a bit with chases through the house.

AWANA day!


We made homemade cookies together- peanut butter snicker ones!  Skimmer thought the mixer was fascinating and loved actually getting to help with the baking.  He pretend cooks all day long (he'll be so excited to get the pretend kitchen for Christmas) but I rarely let them help me cook (the kitchen is my space- you know).

We made Grandpa's "It's not Brain Surgery" peanut butter cookies and used the dough to coat Snickers bars the way great-grandma used to make them.  Unwrapping the candies was good fine motor skills practice for Dragonfly, until she outsmarted me and grabbed some scis…

u is for umbrella birds (year 3, week 11)

We did a week in South America and learned about the animals of the Amazon Rainforest.  Our "focus" animal was the umbrella bird, a type of parrot that lives in South America (and our "letter U" animal of the year).

Gymnastics class!

We had a big weekend and the kids took a hug name today.  I did too.  It was amazing.

We tasted a finger lime today!  Our local grocery store gave it to us for free when I hold the produce man that I was buying tropical fruits for homeschooling this week.  It was a very interesting food.

AWANA day!

We watched a Rainforest "Relaxation" video from Amazon Prime to learn about different parts of the rainforest.  I really liked that it was just nature scenes and instrumental (spa) music, so I would add my own narration.  We saw hummingbirds that looked very similar to the ones we have here in the mountains.  We watched the rain pound down and roll off the leaves.  We named the colors of the flowers and the f…

Elf Traveling House

3 more Mondays until Christmas!

I've been having way too much fun preparing for Joy, our Kindness Elf.  She debuts with our kids this week for the very first time.  I bought a 10 inch metal lunch box to store her and her belongings.  As you can see from the picture, they fit pretty nicely.  Here's the list of what I've put in it:

Crafts I've Made

- gingerbread cookies (buttons) on a cheery teal cookie sheet

- button Nativity scene set on a plastic canvas background

- folding bed out of plastic canvas sized to the doll and 1/2" thick

- printable Cheerios box

- printable cake mix box

- printable chocolate chip bag

- printable tissue box

- knitting: embroidery floss (variegated) on mini wood spools with large eye needles

- plastic canvas Christmas tree

- mini tea cup and saucer

- wood suitcase

- good luck minis frog and duck

- bottle of rock chips (for bath salts)

- elf dust in a bottle (elf medicine)

{Other Ideas}
- apron
- laptop
- coffee cup and newspaper
- colored …

Felt Pies (pattern)

Happy Thanksgiving!

The kids are getting a play kitchen for Christmas, so I made them some food.  Here are the pies.  They are sized to fit in a 6 inch mini pie pan like this one.

The recipe for this pie is pretty easy 😉  Use my pattern to cut out a base and sides out of off white or light brown felt.  Cut the larger circle out of red, blue, or purple felt to act as the berries.  If you're feeling very bold, use pompoms to simulate the berries.  Using another set of tan/brown felt, cut it into ½ inch strips and lattice weave it, gluing the crosses with fabric glue.  Sew the base onto the sides piece.  Cut a piece of sturdy cardboard as a stabilizer.  Set aside.  Begin sewing the "berry" top to the top edge of the pie, adding creases every couple inches to keep the top even.  About halfway around, put cardboard circle inside pie and sew another few inches.  When you have a 2 inch section left, begin stuffing the pie, taking care to keep the cardboard at the base.  Make s…

Accessorize the Play Kitchen

4 more Mondays until Christmas!

The kids are getting a play kitchen for Christmas!  My dad is building it, and I'm very excited.  I've been sewing up some felt food and collecting some clean recycling to stock their kitchen.  I thought it might be helpful for others if I did a blog post about play kitchen accessories.  I hope this inspires you in your own Christmas preparations!

Store-Bought Accessories

Melissa and Doug Pots and Pans
Every kitchen needs some pots for the stovetop.  I like this set by M&D because they're a good size for pretend play (about 5" diameter) and they look durable.

Green Toys Tea Set
In all reality, these tea cups will probably become the kids regular drinking cups 80% of the time.  They're made from recycled milk jugs, so I feel good about letting my kids drink out of them.  I can see many tea parties in our future.

Stainless Steel Tea Set
If staying way from plastic is important to you, then you'll need to check out this stainless s…