I can not believe today is our first baby's 13th birthday! She is such a beautiful person, both inside and out. I always tell everyone that God gave me my "little bean" first for a reason- she is such a wonderful helper, and a great big sister. She is so smart and talented, and many times we forget she is "only 13" because she presents herself with such maturity and kindness towards others. Happy 13th birthday, sweetheart. You are such a blessing to us and we love you!
Monday, December 20, 2010
Yesterday, our homeschool group H.E.A.R.T. celebrated "Christmas Around The World". What we decided to do this year was a progressive celebration. In case you have never heard of this before, I will explain what it is! There are five families in our support group. Each family was given 45 minutes to share their country project and serve a food item at their home. Then, everyone piles into their cars and we travel to the next family's house, where they do their project. This continues on until we have visited all 5 homes!
We began at our house and the country we chose to represent was Mexico. Our children have been working on this project since November and it was so exciting to see it all come together. Our journey to Mexico began in our front yard, where our oldest explained the tradition of Las Posadas, the nine days of re-enacting the story of Mary and Joseph searching for a place to stay in Bethlehem. Our other 2 children played Mary and Joseph and found the inn where they would stay.
Then, we all went inside where my oldest played Silent Night on the piano while my younger daughter sang it in Spanish. It was so beautiful! Next, each of our children presented a project about Mexico. They also had several craft samples on display that they worked on, as well as some authentic Mexican items such as dolls, money, and blankets.
Once completed, we all sat down to a delicious meal of beef enchiladas.
Soon, it was time to depart to our next destination- Japan! In Japan, we were treated to a meal of chicken and rice, soup, and dessert sushi.
Next came Italy, where we were treated to a scrumptious bowl of Irish stew and soda bread, as well as cookies.
Our 4th destination was Germany. We learned all about the Christmas Markets, played a guessing game about famous German inventors, and ate potatoes, sauerkraut, and pork. Saint Nicholas even visited before we arrived and left all of the children special treats.
Last but not least was Italy. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera in the car and so I have no pictures of our visit there, but it was just as wonderful as the four previous presentations. The children presented their projects and then we ate meatballs, baked ziti, pizza, and bread. Yummy!!! This truly was such a fantastic experience for both the children and the parents. What a neat treat to see how each family did their projects differently and gave their own personal touches to it. I can not wait until next year's progressive Christmas Around The World. My kids enjoyed this activity so much, they are already discussing what country we should choose for next year!
Friday, December 17, 2010
Last night, our family traveled to the "North Pole". We began our journey just before dark and the kids were SO excited to be going on the Polar Express.
This was my nephew Little T's first visit to the North Pole and he was thrilled to be going with his cousins!
Of course, the first thing my kids wanted to do when we arrived was see Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas.
There were crafts for the children to make, a toyshop for them to play with all kinds of trains and toys, and a stand where they could make their own bag of reindeer food to sprinkle in the yard on Christmas Eve.
We all enjoyed making s'mores by the fire and drinking hot chocolate.
This was a special field trip that our children will remember for years to come!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
We have been ever so busy with all the fun activities and crafts that we enjoy during Christmas. My oldest participated in a gingerbread house decorating contest this week with kids from our local support group. This was her very first attempt at decorating a gingerbread house and I must say, I am quite impressed! All contestants won a prize and hers was for "best snowscape".
Our kids went to visit Santa this week as well. When he asked them what school they went to and they answered that they were homeschooled, Santa told them "they were so lucky to be homeschooled because it is the best education you can have, and that they should thank their mom and dad each day for allowing them to be homeschooled." It was so funny because at first I think my kids were a bit in shock and thought perhaps I had set them up or something. Well my husband and I were as surprised as they were! It was really neat...
We have also taken the kids to see several different Christmas light displays in our area.
One of our favorites was this display with a giant sized nativity scene. We have many more activities in store. The kids are participating in a living nativity this next week, our homeschool support group is doing a progressive Christmas Around The World activity, and we are going on a field trip on the North Pole Express Train Ride. I just love seeing the wonder and amazement in my kids' eyes as they enjoy this wonderful time of year.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I discovered this Advent Calendar idea several years ago in a magazine. It is such a simple yet adorable idea! I went out and purchased several pair of baby socks in different colors and sizes. Then I clipped them to a string using mini clothes pins and wrote a number on each pin, one for every day leading up to Christmas. I fill each tiny sock with a slip of paper that has some activity written on it. I even place little candies in them. The kids just love it and take turns reading what the special note for the day says. I include things such as "make cookies" , "go to see Christmas lights", "make ornaments", etc... Lots of fun and cute too!
I know it is a week late but I forgot to post this during Thanksgiving. It's just too darn cute to forget though. I discovered this website called Bakerella.com and they had the most adorable mini pumpkin pie recipe. So, my girls and I decided to try it this year. I have to say, they are the easiest dessert to make and by far the most precious little pies. Go to their website for tons of other tiny creations.