One Last Day of Festivities:

We are officially finished with our Christmas activities…whew ūüôā !!!

Our homeschool group had a party this morning.¬† Unfortunately¬†with so much sickness going around, the group was pretty small.¬† We missed those who couldn’t be with us today and pray that everybody feels better very soon.¬† The kids that were able to come had fun playing games, making crafts, and eating more food – LOL!

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After the party, our group headed to the local food bank to stock the shelves with donations from church. The kids all worked hard and fast…we were done within 30 minutes!¬† Great job guys!

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Merry Christmas!

What a WONDERFUL Christmas!!!¬† This¬†has been one of the best that I can remember in a long time, and I know it’s because we spent time truly focusing on the birth of Christ and doing things for others.¬† We are soooo blessed and it was fun sharing¬†just a tiny bit of that joy with “strangers.”

Our favorite activity this year was sharing “Random Acts of Kindness” with people in our community.¬† I can’t take any credit for the idea…I totally copied the ideas and printables from Pinterest ūüôā¬†. ¬†Justin declared that this would definitely be a new yearly tradition and the kids loved it too!

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Another FUN activity was our “tacky sugar cookie sweater” contest (this may be a new tradition too) ūüôā :

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Nice “photo bomb” Ryan ūüôā !!!

 

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On Christmas Eve we attended¬†a Christmas service at church and¬† spent the evening at my¬†Mom and Dad’s house:

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Christmas Day:

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 THANK YOU to our family and friends for the cards, goodies, hugs, joy, and laughter that you shared with us! 

We love you all very much!

 

The Early Bird Gets the Worm…

…Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

A Watched Pot Never Boils…

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin is the person responsible for many of these popular sayings that we still use today?

Ryan and I have been learning lots about Ben Franklin: his life, almanac, jobs, contributions to society, and inventions (I had no idea that he invented swim flippers!!!).

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¬†¬† We’ve also been reviewing recognizing music notes and¬†enjoyed reading about¬†about how Charles Wesley wrote Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

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    Ryan learned how to draw a dragon during one of his art lessons:

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                  We have finished our study of animals and have now started Botany:

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Brendan has been working hard on his schoolwork and…

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¬†…his Christmas preparations – LOL!

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Here is a “sneak peek” of one our upcoming Christmas vacation family activities ūüėČ :

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Last weekend we had a BLAST with friends and family at a Toby Mac Concert!

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We also went to a missions dinner at church which was a fundraiser for the Lottie Moon Christmas offering.  It was neat hearing directly from several missionary families about how God is using them in other parts of the world!

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Ryan recited his memory work at our book report group this afternoon.  He said James 1:1-21 and did great!  He also shared his Bible notebook and the different methods/activities that we use to memorize scripture in our homeschool.

 

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I went to a FUN Christmas party last night with some local homeschool moms!¬† One of them shared how each year her family tries to “keep watch”…they intentionally try to “find” Jesus wherever they go during the season (nativity scenes, songs, angels, decorations, etc.).

What a wonderful idea! 

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***Here’s a challenge for you:

¬†See if you and your family can “find” Jesus¬†as you attend parties and¬†run errands!¬†

I’d love to hear your stories – just leave¬†me a comment – thanks ūüôā !!!

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‘Tis the Season!

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Does this time of year have you feeling frazzled?

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Do you sometimes feel like hiding?

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There is so much to do and so little time!

Shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping, taking pictures for the annual Christmas cards (and then addressing and mailing them), checking and rechecking the gift list, church activities, school programs and parties, ….the list goes on and on.

How can we possibly keep Christ in Christmas?

He is the reason that we celebrate this special holiday, so why do we so often put Him last?

It is so easy to get “sucked” into the commercialism of the “holiday season”.¬† We are bombarded daily with pictures of beautifully decorated homes and commercials showing every “must have” gift and gadget imaginable.

Over the years our family has adopted various activities that have helped us keep our focus on the true reason for the season. I want to share some of those with you tonight.

Each year we try to incorporate some sort of Advent activity.¬† Some of the things we’ve¬†used include the traditional wreath and candles, “What¬†God Wants for Christmas” kit, calendars, and various devotional books.¬† This year we are reading a short verse each day from a printable that I found:

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And then we are reading Bartholomew’s Passage¬†which is part of a wonderful Advent series¬†by Arnold Ytreeide.¬† I love that Justin is willing to read aloud to us every night at dinner…he is a good sport and I enjoy just being able to listen¬†to somebody else read¬†ūüôā .


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We also try to¬†be intentional about serving others and enjoy¬†activities like packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, caroling at a local nursing home, packing food for our local food bank, collecting toys and making cards for St. Jude’s Hospital, etc. I think it really helps¬†the kids (and¬†mom and dad ūüôā )¬†to remember¬†how blessed we are and how we are called to be a blessing to others.

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Other traditions that our family likes to participate in include live Christmas pageants, going to church on Christmas Eve, having a birthday cake for Jesus, and watching Christian movies (like The Nativity).

These are just a few ideas¬†that help our family stay focused on Christ.¬† There are many, many other¬†ideas out there!¬† I hope that you have fun finding special ways to keep Christ in your family’s Christmas!

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Ok, so the worm experiments were FUN this morning ūüôā !¬†¬†Ryan and I went to a bait and tackle shop yesterday to buy¬†red worms because he was having a¬†hard time finding any earthworms¬†in our yard.

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We put them on a wet paper towel and tested their sense of touch and smell.  We tried four different substances:  vanilla extract, lemon juice, nail polish remover, and white vinegar.  The worms reacted to each one, but seemed to dislike the nail polish remover the most.

I promised a picture of¬†Brendan, so here ya’ go:

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…and here is a picture of him throwing a worm¬†into his brother’s lap ūüė¶ :

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Thankfully,¬†Ryan “saved” the day ūüôā :

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