Monday, November 29, 2010

Advent Activities

Since we will be starting our advent calendar soon I wanted to share the activities we will be doing. A lot of these are the same as last year but I put in some new ones too!

1. Go see the singing bears

2. Go see Santa

3. Read Mr. Cookie Baker and make and decorate Christmas cookies

4. Read Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and make reindeer suckers to give to some of our neighbors

5. Read The Gingerbread Man and decorate paper gingerbread men with paint, glitter, buttons etc.

6. Read One Winter’s Day and the girls each pick out something to donate (it goes with the theme of the book)

7. Read The Berenstein Bears Christmas Tree and make Christmas trees from sugar ice cream cones

8. Read Gingerbread Baby and decorate gingerbread houses

9. Read Rudolph Shines Again and make reindeer cupcakes from Family Fun magazine

10. Read The Littlest Angel and go see The Littlest Angel play at the Children’s theatre

11. Read Dear Santa and write letters to Santa

12. Read the Biggest, Best Snowman and make a snow man art craft and eat a snow cone

13. Read If You Take A Mouse To The Movies and take the girls to the movies

14. Read The Story of Christmas and go see The Live Nativity at church

15. Paint ornaments

16. Take the girls to Santa’s Bag. Basically the girls take some of their money (anywhere from 25 cents to $5) and they get to shop for people in a little store with elf helpers

17. Play Silver Bell Game (memory game using Hershey Kisses)

18. Make frozen hot chocolate

19. Read Christmas books by the Christmas tree in our sleeping bags at bedtime

20. Have breakfast for dinner in our PJ’s

21. Christmas movie night

22. Make gingerbread playdoh

23. Make cookies to leave out for Santa

24. Go to the Christmas play at church

25. Christmas day!!

I love Katherine Marie Photography’s advent calendar ideas! All of her advent activities are Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. Although we are not doing this in our calendar (maybe next year) I am going to use some of her ideas to incorporate into our Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jesse Tree

I have wanted to have a Jesse tree for the last couple of years but couldn’t seem to get it all together before Christmas. For those who aren’t familiar with the Jesse Tree it is a great way to countdown to Jesus’ birth (a type of advent). The name Jesse Tree comes from Isaiah 11:1 "A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and branch out from his roots." and the tree represents Jesus’ family tree.

So here is how it works: everyday you read a bible story and hang an ornament that coordinates with the story on the tree. The stories start at creation and go through Jesus’ birth. I have found some great links to ideas, bible verses and printable ornaments. This year I am going to print the ornaments but I want to start collecting real ornaments and making some as well. This is going to be a new tradition for us that I am really excited about! As for the tree, we are are using a little tree we have had for a few years. Here are the links I used:

Simple Mom: a great overview of the Jesse tree and ideas for ornaments and tree

Confessions of a Homeschooler: Links to free printable ornaments and devotions

Our Jesse Tree: she has great pictures of her ornaments

Passionate Homemaking: tons of great ideas

Tired, Need Sleep: lots of great ideas and I love her idea on also having the girls add a piece of yarn each night to the manger so when Christmas day arrives the manger will be nice and soft for baby Jesus

I would love to know if you have a Jesse tree!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tooth Pillow

Ellie lost her first tooth a few weeks ago and she already has another one that is loose! My baby is growing up! Anyway, she put her tooth under her pillow and let me tell you the tooth fairy had a terrible time finding it!!! I decided to make it easier on the tooth fairy by making this cute little tooth pillow so she can put her tooth in the little pocket (the tooth’s mouth)and hang it on her bed post. I found the tutorial for this little guy here. I am so grateful for all of the bloggers who take time to make tutorials:)

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Turkey Shirts

A friend and I recently got together and made our girls turkey shirts for Thanksgiving. They turned out really cute! We just freezer paper stenciled a turkey on the front of their shirts and back of a turkey on the back of their shirts! Doing freezer paper stencils is such a fun and easy was to make cute shirts! If you want to know how to make your own freezer stencil shirts you can read the instructions here.DSC01296 DSC01297 DSC01298 DSC01299

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanksgiving Ideas

Before I start posting about our Thanksgiving crafts and snacks that we are doing this year I thought I would re-post about some of our favorite activities from last year.

Rice Krispy turkeys

Turkey Cookies
Watercolor coffee filter turkeys

Monday, November 8, 2010


The last book that we rowed with our friends was Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. Madeline is about a young girl who lives in a boarding school in France. She has to have an emergency appendectomy and all of her friends get to visit her in the hospital. It is such a great book and we had a lot of fun with our activities. Here are the things we did:

Read Madeline

Played Madeline's house board gameWorked on symmetry by having the girls finish the rest of the pictures. I got this idea and most of our activities from Five In A Row's website under the message board. There are so many great ideas on there!They colored a Madeline picture that I printed from herepainted Madeline hats that I made out of plates. I got the idea from here but I used Styrofoam and the paint just peeled right off. Oops!
Some of the other activities that we did were:

Watched a Madeline movie, watched this hospital tour on You Tube (over and over), played doctor, made crepes which surprisingly the girls didn't love, and read Big and Busy Body book. This is a fun interactive book that we read quite often! The girls favorite activity was building the Eiffel Tower out of wafer cookies. I copied the idea from this post on Walking By the Way blog. She has wonderful FIAR ideas!! I started helping the girls build the tower but it kept falling. Luckily, dad came to the rescue and the girls were SO proud!!! Not proud enough not to devour it though:)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


We go to the library about every two weeks and when we get back we always have a tea party with our new books. The girls look so forward to this and so do I! Since it was going to be the last day to read our Halloween books before I pack them away we decided to have a tea party after lunch with our books and instead of tea I put dry ice in green punch to make a "special potion".
Soon after it was time for trick or treating. Ellie was a queen and Emily was a princess. I love this picture because Emily just noticed Ellie's hot pink eye shadow and told Ellie how beautiful it wasto which Ellie responded by giving her a kiss. It was so sweet especially since they were just fighting 5 minutes before! I just can't believe I actually captured pictures of it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tot School

Tot School
~Emily is 34 months old~

Emily's 1st week back to Tot School after taking a few weeks off went great! Here is what she was up to:

Matching Pumpkin Faces
I think I printed this from here but I can't remember for sure:(
Acorn sizing printed from here. I didn't think she would be able to do this correctly but she did fantastic!
We all made toilet paper monsters. I got the idea from No Time For Flashcards.

Read lots of books
Tracing shapes
Drawing in her workbook (Still one of her favorite activities)
Adding letters to our coconut tree
Using pattern blocks
Stacking and knocking down our Curious George blocks
and making peg castles

That wraps up our week!