Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours....

Merry Christmas!!

Advent 2012 {Week 3}

If you are a grandparent, aunt or uncle who we have not yet opened Christmas gifts with, TURN AWAY NOW!

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:10-11

Source: via Gina on Pinterest

This was the one craft that we didn't get around to.
Maybe next year?
I think these little sheep are super cute!

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Matthew 2:1-2

Cardboard and yarn star brooch.

 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 
Matthew 2:9-11

The girls wrapped the gifts they had made for family.
They also when on a special shopping excursion to pick out something special for each other.

“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:18

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29

This was why Jesus came.
The girls painted snowflake frames and added some colorful stones for decoration.

The Journey of the Jesse Tree

The Jesse Tree is becoming a beloved Christmas tradition for my little family.
We haven't been doing it for many years so it is yearly changing in one way or another as I attempt to find the best elements to include in this daily activity.
Anyhow, I thought I'd fill you in on what we're doing different this year.
It's helpful to me to be able to look back and see what we did and what worked or didn't work too!

Last year, we had our Jesse Tree in the kitchen.
We read the readings as a family and added a corresponding picture to the tree.
Our Jesse tree came into being last year too - simply painted on brown packing paper with relevant verses and quotes added around the branches.

This year we are using the same tree but it is posted in the living room at the kids' level.
We did the readings as a part of our school time for the month of December as opposed to at supper time.
(We simply found it difficult to stay consistent with it at the end of the day. I knew if it became a part of our school routine there would be a far greater likelihood of it happening!)
For our readings, we are using The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean.
And instead of simply posting pictures, the girls colored a picture while I read.
They loved this and enjoyed getting to post their picture on the tree every day.

Although they don't quite understand the importance of the lineage of Christ at this point, I think it is important to establish this tradition now.
They love hearing all the different Bible stories and at this stage I simply focus on the fact that God keeps His promises.
In particular His promise of a Rescuer.
The journey of the Jesse Tree shouts this loud and clear!

For next year, I'm not positive I'll use the same book.
It was good but not great.
I'm half debating using The Jesus Storybook Bible since each story points out how "every story whispers His name".
The whole Bible points to Jesus.
It's amazing really - to see God's plan unfold.

I also came across the following song that I think would be really fun to teach the kids in connection to the Jesse Tree.
It makes me happy that someone could take what can appear to be a very dull portion of scripture and turn it into a catchy tune!

Advent 2012 {Week 2}

Spoiler alert!
If you a grandparent, aunt or uncle: Refrain from reading the following!!

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21

Melted Crayon Stained Glass Jesus Craft

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
Luke 2:1-5

Little Town of Bethlehem prints
(We used foam paper to make our templates.)
We had so much fun we did more another day...

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Luke 2:6-7

Instead of tissue paper, we used glitter.
Also, I prepared some contact paper for them to complete their project on - it made it a bit easier to contain all that glitter!

She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 2:7

Advent 2012 {Week 1}

If you are a grandparent, aunt or uncle, don't read this post.
(Unless you're really good at faking surprised joy.)

For Advent this year the girls did a craft each day to correspond to a part of the Christmas story.
Usually, we do this AND make gifts for family but I thought it would make more sense to combine the two.
Therefore, I tried to make the majority of the crafts gift type items.
This got a little difficult since it had to be things even a 3 year old could do so some things ended up being more on the cute, ornament side of things but I'm sure the fam will be thrilled regardless! ;)

Week 1:

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
John 8:12

 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.
Luke 1:30-33

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,"
Luke 1:46-47

An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:20-21

Angus Lost {BFIAR}

I'm up to my ears in Christmas stuff so this is a quick review of our week rowing Angus Lost by Majorie Flack!

This got very competetive.
At one point, Tait stood up, hands on hips and declared, "I'm gonna win you!" to Piper!

Dog words coloring book.

KWL chart.

Dog cookie cutting.

And decorating.

Pinterest idea: use syringes to decorate with icing.

2% less mess than normal!

They didn't seem to mind.

So happy to be able to get in on the cookie eating action!

Dog masks!

Short, sweet and to the point but it was a really fun week!
The girls always love anything to do with animals!

Delightful Learning

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Candy Sushi

A little side project in the midst of Christmas crafting.
The girls' Papa was having a sushi birthday party.
We thought candy sushi would be a fitting gift!

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Friday Favorite Things {5}

Happy moments these.
They do the heart good.
Count with me the blessings of the everyday.

Joyful together learning times.
Sisters make the best classmates.

Christmas tree choosing.

Spontaneous sentence writing.

Quiet(er) supper prep time.

New fashion statements.

 Special Auntie and Uncle date night smiles.

Blooming mathematician.

Peaceful afternoon crafting.

friday favorite things | finding joy

Caps For Sale {BFIAR}

I haven't fallen off the face of the planet, I swear!
Instead the month of December has begun, the babe is getting ALL her teeth at once and it's that wonderful time of year when snotty noses and coughs and fevers run rampant!
Not to worry - we're doing fine but I'm just a wee bit tired by the end of the day!
Anyhow, I have two BFIAR posts to share with you before I move on to all our Christmas stuff!
Last week was our last week rowing a book until the new year (I'll share that one with you in my next post).
We have now slowed things down by carrying on with reading, math and handwriting.
In place of our rows we are daily doing things related to our Jesse Tree and Advent.
We all love this time of year so much and the slower pace is much needed!

Now that you're all filled in, let me quickly share with you our week of rowing Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina.

And practiced her cutting skills by cutting strips of paper with monkeys and caps on them.

Piper counted out 50 cents in pennies, nickels and dimes and made rubbings with them.
(She was not pleased about how many pennies she had to do rubbings of. I ended up doing half! haha!)

The monkeys are their fingerprints.

We found the countries where various monkeys live and marked them on the map.
We also watched some videos of monkeys on National Geographic Kids.
There was a really interesting one about adaptation which tied in nicely to some of the things we learned the previous week during our desert theme.

Happy, happy, happy.

We also played a Monkey See, Monkey Do game.
Our vocabulary words were peddler and cap.
We took time to discuss anger and how we should react to situations that make us angry.

The kids loved this book so much.
In fact, they are still asking for me to read it!
Sadly, it's been sent back to the library.
I may just have to invest in our own copy!

Delightful Learning

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I love motherhood.

We're a smiling family.

I'm a covenant keeper.

I love my husband.

I am above self pity.

I am a nation builder.


Worth more than rubies.

“I am more convinced than ever that even in the midst of the mundane, burdensome, and oftentimes frustrating tasks of life allotted to me as a mother, God wants me to find his joy. He wants every single day of my life to be a celebration of his blessings, whether large or small. He wants me to celebrate life ~ the life He has given me.”

~ Sally Clarkson

My Hubby

My Hubby
He's my bestest.


She is my compassionate, dramatic, fun to be around 6 year old. She loves to shop, get dressed up fancy and anything else that screams girly!


She is my goofy, snuggly 4 year old who loves to sing and dance and smile all day long!


She is our one year old smarty pants! She does all she can to keep up with her older sisters and to keep them in line!

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