Christmas FUN!

After Thanksgiving, I put together a list of fun Christmas activities and thought I’d link what we’ll be doing here in case anyone else is looking for some things to do. 🙂

  • We did a Santa beard a couple years ago and the boys LOVED it so I thought we’d do another this year.  Found a free printable HERE.

  • I made an Activity Advent Calendar, using ideas from Activity Mom’s Advent post and filled in with some of my own. Some of these are a little young for all of my boys, though.  Fun stuff for a toddler or preschooler!! I don’t have a list of 24 simply because we won’t get in one activity every day. Weekends are busy, illness happens, unexpected things come up, AND I want to leave room for spontaneity.  Whatever we don’t get to this year can go on next year’s list.  Also I don’t have them listed in any kind of order. I’ll just pick one that fits our day.  The only dated activities are the movie nights {ABC Family channel}, the party, and the reindeer food activity. Here is our list of activities: {those marked with an * are from Activity Mom’s blog…the printables can be found there}
    • M&M wreath *
    • tree maze
    • Bow Painting *
    • Elf Movie Night-dinner of pancakes, syrup, pasta, coke, and marshmallows (thankfully my boys don’t react to sugar like some. Give them some artificial sweetener and they go bonkers. Sugar? Nothing!)
    • Glue Snowflakes *
    • Cinnamon dough ornaments
    • Christmas Party for the Kiddos!!! {details below}
    • Christmas Tree Fork Painting *
    • Peppermint Candy Craft *
    • Polar Express Movie Night {using these fun ideas!}
    • Ice Cream Cone Trees *
    • Pop Up Christmas Tree craft *
    • Make Gingerbread houses
    • Egg Carton Snowmen*
    • Finger Print Candy Cane*
    • Rip and Glue Christmas Tree*
    • Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt {using this printable}
    • Paper Bag Reindeer Puppet*
    • Grinch Movie Night {we may change this one as the boys just watched it after I printed out our activity schedule…}
    • Ride the Christmas train at a local park
    • Make Reindeer Food*

  • Elf on the Shelf. This is SO fun!! Google ideas, check out Pinterest, or read about our elf here!

  • Christmas Party for the Kiddos!!  We’re going to watch Charlie Brown Christmas while eating popcorn and drinking cocoa with friends. Also there will be a cookie decorating station and two craft stations. I’m thinking of having one of the crafts be card-making, and then taking all of the handmade cards to a local nursing home.

  • We picked up some chocolate Advent calendars for $1 each at Aldi. Who doesn’t love a little chocolate first thing in the morning?

  • And of course there will be baking. Lots and lots of yummy Christmas baking.

There are just TOO many Christmas ideas out there! I really had to limit myself so we don’t over do it. We’ve had so much fun already and it’s only December 4th! I’ll share pictures of our fun in the coming weeks.  Hope you all are having some fun this holiday season as well!!

Merry Christmas!

    Another Pinterest Project COMPLETED!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pinterest!  I have found so many cool things that I want to recreate for my family, friends, and myself. I love being able to keep all those links organized on *boards*, just waiting for me to find a little free time.

    I found a little of that free time two nights ago.  Bo was out of town and the boys were all asleep.  I was up just relaxing, watching a little TV, and pinning away on Pinterest when it hit me that I had all the supplies needed to complete this little easy-peasy project!!

    The whole project took less than 30 minutes and look how CUTE they turned out!
    I think I’m going to do a few more after a trip to Hobby Lobby.  I think I need some paper with more reds and whites….there’s an awful lot of green! Instead of using a hoop, I’d like to find or make a wire Christmas tree stand.  Maybe I need to search for THAT on pinterest!
    If you aren’t on Pinterest and want to check it out, send me your email address and I’ll send out an invite. 

    Arts/crafts, history, and geography WILL get done this year!

    Yes, that’s right.  We WILL do at least one craft a week, including the cool crafts in history and holiday/seasonal crafts, this year.  We WILL stay on top of our history and geography programs this year.  We WILL be prepared.  We WILL have a fun year {or at least more fun than last year}. You know how I know?  It’s all right here…planned, printed, and ready to go….waiting on us. 
    All of the printables, book lists, and material lists needed for history and geography, all of the craft details, AND all of the paper materials needed for every craft in a nice, pretty weekly schedule. I LOVE it.
    BUT.  It doesn’t stop there.  I also have all of the other printables, book lists, and material lists for other subjects in their appropriate binder placed in the appropriate drawer of their workboxes.  Everything printed and ready…waiting on us {instead of the other way around}.
    Now I just have to get started gathering the materials.  I have a storage tub just waiting to be filled with ziplock bags full of materials needed for each week’s science experiments, crafts, history projects, and more.
    My mid-school year self is really going to appreciate my summer self.  I’m excited.  Bring on the school year!!!

    Look at what I made!

    When I need some serious inspiration, I only have to log into my Pinterest account and {WHAM!} I’m off and running with projects!

    I’m kind of surprised with myself.  Usually I see projects on different blogs and think “man, I’d like to make that for myself”….and that’s as far as it goes.  I lose the blog address or just never pull the materials together or completely forget all about the project.

    Something about having those pictures all neatly *pinned* on my *boards* staring back at me that kicks me in gear.  I LOVE it. 

    When I saw this address wreath, I knew I had to have my own.  It was the week before 4th of July, and I knew my 4th decor would be packed away soon….including my door wreath.  I went with green since my living room is green and it’s my favorite color.  I LOVE the bright lime color!  I forgot to pick up the wooden numbers for my address but I still hung that thing on my door!  I’ll finish it up when we get back from our trip.

    Not all of these crafts come from Pinterest.  These I’ve had in the back of my head for a while and was inspired to get them done.  These are for our school area.  My original plan with the nut containers was just to scrub the stickers off and leave it clear.  I love clear containers.  BUT.  It took me FOREVER to do just two and there was still a filmy residue left from the glue.  THEN.  My oldest son {bless his heart} threw them away…thinking they were garbage.  Yeah so I went the easy route with the rest of my nut containers.  I got the Gerber containers from a friend since I don’t have a baby in the house anymore. 

    I wasn’t sure what I would put in the three nut containers when I made them, but I quickly figured it out when I opened my art/craft storage.   1. pom storage….I have TONS that I got on clearance for 75% off and now they are all in one place.   2.  crayons…perfect.  3.  decorator scissors.  And now I have several other ideas for them so I need to make MORE!  The Gerber containers are for pencils and pens.  I’ll probably make a couple more for markers and paint brushes. 
    I have a few more things I’m finishing up and a couple more that I guess I failed to photograph, and I’ve also pulled together supplies for several holiday kid crafts.  Each craft is in its own ziplock bag and in the appropriate weekly file in the arts/crafts container.  No more skipping fun crafts because I don’t have the necessary supplies or time to pull it all together!  I think I’m most excited about that.  After I finish more of these holiday crafts, I’ll post a blog with pictures.

    Now that I’ve actually completed a few of these projects, I just want to do MORE! 🙂  Thankfully I’ve probably pinned more projects already than I’ll ever have time to complete!

    I’m linking up with:
    The Shabby Creek Cottage

    and

    Craft project planning for July.

    I {heart} Pinterest SO much right now!  So many amazing crafting ideas…with links to the directions!

    I started a board of all the things I want to make but so far there are a couple that I’m super excited about.  I plan on getting started on these this weekend!

    The first is just SUPER cute, and looks super easy to make. 
    I found these yarn creations on THIS blog which by the way is FULL of cool ideas for a rainbow birthday party if you’re interested.
    Aren’t these the CUTEST?!  I want to make a couple sets of these to hang from the ceiling in Worship Warehouse (our K-4 large group area at church).  The theme is bright rainbow colors so these will fit in perfectly! I may make some smaller versions in Christmas colors tied with a pretty ribbon to hang from my tree later on too.  Family Fun offers this easy peasy tutorial
    Another fun project I want to tackle is this CUTE address wreath.  You’ll have to scroll down a bit to see the address wreath pictures but I thought you’d want to see the other amazing wreaths she has made.  I will definitely be making that Valentine wreath next year!  I love the colors on this wreath but I think I’m going to go with something green to match the living room.  This will be the perfect wreath to finish out the summer once I take down the July 4th thing on my front door right now.
    I have a lot of school projects planned for July too but these are the two projects I’m most excited about.  I’ll post pictures as soon as I’m done!

    My memory board!

    So this is what I started with: an old calendar board that we haven’t used in forever, pretty fabric, pretty ribbon, stapler, scissors, and batting.  Not pictured are the hammer and small nails I used just to make sure the fabric was secured well.
    This is the poor empty space above my laptop on my desk.  The dark brown sides are the shelves on either side.  You can see how I’ve been displaying my favorite things.
    After I stapled the batting and fabric on to the board, it was time for the ribbon.  I’d show you the back but it’s a mess! 🙂

     Can you see the glitter?  It’s IN the fabric!  I ran my hand across it several times but it never came off….I’m in LOVE!
    The finished project!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my memory board!!  I’m looking for cutie push pins in the same bright teal color as the fabric to secure the ribbon at the crosses.  Even though I pulled as hard as I could on the ribbon, it is still a little loose.
    I have a cutie little plague that matches to hang above the board. 
    YAY!!

    love tree

    I saw this super fun and easy-peasy Valentines Craft on teach mama.  So cute!!

    I thought our special people deserved to be held by a very special vase so I used a vase that Bo and I received as a wedding gift almost 10 years ago.  I stuck a piece of construction paper inside to give it a little color.

    The boys LOVED this craft!!  They had a blast making it!  I told them when it was all finished that not only are these people our most loved, but they (my boys) are most loved by these people.  Kaleb said “wow!  A bunch of people love me!”  🙂

    Preschool Corner: letter Hh

    Gabriel–3 years, 8 months.

    Our memory verse is Psalms 91:4a–He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust.

    We read the corresponding story from ABC I Believe at Danielle’s Place. We talked about how God is like a mother hen who stretches her wings out to keep her chicks out of the cold, rain, and wind.  They trust her to keep them safe and warm.  We snuggled with blankets and talked about how God’s love is like a soft blanket wrapped around us all snuggly and warm.  

    Gabriel and Kaleb made this really cute hen and chick craft from ABC I Believe as well.  I put them on construction paper so I can add their bible verse.



    He and Kaleb cut, glued, and decorated their letter pages with hand prints.


    We made haystacks…..with pretzel sticks (because that is what we had on hand).



    We had a fun time with some of our preschool activity bags.

    We played a few games.  Operation is his all-time favorite right now with the Cars Fishing Game running a close 2nd.



    I found this cool printable on Homeschool Creations blog Tuesday night.  I printed, laminated, and cut the cards apart.  Then Gabriel and I sat down to play a couple games.  First I just had him identify the numbers in order and out of order.  Of course in order he just counted to twenty.  He gets 15-19 confused, but did fairly well.  He made it to 11 out of order.  We’ll work on 12-20 now. I asked him then to put the numbers 1-10 in order.  No problems there! 


    I asked him to match the numbers 1-10 to the dot cards.  He did amazing!!  He would look at the number and then make an educated guess on the dot cards based on how small or large the number was, most times picking the right card first!  I’ve never seen him do that before.  

     





    We played with the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics letter game.  Gabriel and Drake LOVE game!!  


    Gabriel has shown an interest in writing letters so I let him give it a try on the dry erase board.


    We read books, books, and more books.


    We tried this ABC matching game that I bought from Scholastic….and he LOVED it (so did my toddler!)

     





    Gabriel played with his Color Wonder light paint set and made a beautiful picture.  I thought I had a picture, but I can’t find it now.



    We played with color a bit and you can see the pictures and link *HERE*.


    A fun week!!  If you would like to see what my older boys are up to, their post is up too!

    Temple of Ramses III






    This was a little difficult to build. The pieces didn’t fit together exactly, and some of the holes didn’t line up with the pegs. It was frustrating but the boys were determined to get it done. It took a pair of pliers and a hammer (that were not requested in the directions), but we did it!