Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's STILL not over!!

Bear and Deco both agree that they got EVERYTHING that they could have possibly wanted!
We had a WONDERFUL Christmas, but it's still not over yet! My brother is still in town, so it's good to get to spend some more time with him. Plus, this Saturday, Ched's dad and step-mom and one of his sisters and her family are coming over and we'll celebrate with them. THEN Christmas will officially be over!

And I've got to say that I'm already fighting the Blues! I love Christmas SO much that every year, when it's over, I feel really down and want to rewind time and do it over again. Of course, I said to Ched that all I have to do is remember how many times in November I said "Wow, I can't believe that Christmas is right around the corner!" and realize that I'll be saying that phrase again before I know it. He had some good suggestions for combatting the blues: organize all the pictures, journal about the holiday, and take some time out and just play with The Kids and their new toys. I've also been singing a lot of praise songs which always lightens my mood. I'll get over it quick enough, but I really wish that I didn't have to go through it at all.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas!!

What a wonderful weekend we have ahead of us! This Christmas is kind of special for us because it's the first time Ched has had a three-day weekend in almost 7 years. When Christmas falls on a Monday or a Friday, he actually gets a three-day weekend. Unfortunately, the last time Christmas was supposed to fall on a Friday, it was a leap year so Christmas went from falling on a Thursday to falling on a Saturday! Boo!
BUT, not this year!! He's off for 3 full days and we're going to his sisters house today to celebrate with his two sisters and his mom and step dad. Then, on Christmas Eve, we'll go to my dad's house, Christmas morning here, then to my mom's house...and then next weekend we'll celebrate with Ched's dad and step mom. Whew! As frantic as it sounds, it really isn't because I love being with all of our family, even though it means celebrating Christmas 5 times!
Merry Christmas, everyone!
I hope that your holiday is as blessed as mine is!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Oldies but Goodies!

One thing that is so neat to me is seeing how much of a mix of Ched and I our kids are! Bear is very linear-minded and Ched. But she LOVES musical movies, just like me! (He HATES them!) I was raised watching "The King and I", "The Sound of Music", "Gigi", and many others where the actors simply burst out into song and dance. We were at the library yesterday and I saw "Kiss Me, Kate" on DVD, so I picked it up for me to watch while I wrap presents. As I was watching it, I thought Bear would like it...and I was RIGHT! I put it in this morning and she has watched every minute of it!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Enjoying Our Break!

Well, so far we're really enjoying our Christmas break! On Monday we just did some shopping. I was searching for men's Christmas socks for Ched because we both LOVE Christmas socks and thought it would be a neat tradition to exchange a new pair every year. However, apparently retailers are not so hip to that idea because I could not find men's Christmas socks ANYWHERE!! I went to 3 different department stores in the mall, two shoe stores, and several random stores (like Hallmark) and there were NONE to be found!!! Weird! I may go and try Target and WalMart, but I'm not holding my breath!
Yesterday my mom was off work (yay!) so we went running around, like we always do. She always says that she should use her extra days off to get some practical things done, but it never happens. We almost always end up going shopping and out to lunch! We took The Kids to see Santa at an outdoor shopping center here in town. This is my favorite place to go because Santa is in his own little house, rather than sitting outside the JC Penney's at the mall, and it makes it more festive. Plus, Mrs. Clause is there, too, and she gives both of The Kids a cookie and the pictures are only $5 per picture and it comes in a Christmassy little cardboard folder. It's a much more festive than going to a mall Santa. The funny (and fantastic) thing is that The Kids don't believe in Santa - they know the true story of St. Nicholas, but we've never led them to really believe that a fat man comes down the chimney - and they still want to go and see him and have fun pretending that he's going to bring the presents! This aspect of the season is something that I LOVE, and I'm so glad we went about Santa in this manner. We get to have fun and pretend that Santa's coming, but, in the long run, we don't have the stress of "What are they going to do when they find out he's not REALLY bringing the presents?" or the concern about 'lying' to them.
Today we went to the library and ran a couple of errands and then came back here and started on Thumbprint cookies. Now, I love the taste of thumbprints, but I reeeaaaalllyyy don't look forward to making them. They're not hard, by any means, but it's just a lot of truckin', as my mom would say. You make the dough, roll it into little balls, dip the balls in egg white, dip them in pecans, poke your thumb into the center (hence: thumbprint cookies!) bake them, let them cool, THEN you have to fill them with icing, which must be homemade or it's just not a thumbprint cookie...whew, it's a process!Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Both of The Kids got a chance to help me make the little dough balls, so it was nice that they could get in on the action! Bear and I were having a great time belting out "Winter Wonderland" as we rolled the dough. It was so funny to see her hamming it up! I wish Ched could have been here!
We've also done some crafts - little reindeer jingle bell ornaments and some snowflakes out of beads - which have been fun. Mainly it's nice to just have some time off of having school!
I got all of The Kids presents wrapped last night and that feels great...although I have a huge crick in my neck from sitting on the floor!
On a completely unrelated note: Deco has always pronounced "breakfast" as "bwek-shee-ast" (He still says his r's like Elmer Fudd!). Tonight, after I was done singing songs, he asked me if we could have pancakes for "bweak...ff...fust" and then said "Hey! I can say it! I can say bweak..fff...ff....fust!" Then a few seconds later he says "Bweakfwust....well, maybe I can't!" It was so cute! I love it that he's getting so big, but at the same time, part of me wants him to stay a little guy forever. He had trouble getting to sleep so finally, after the 3rd time of going back in there, I took him to his rocking chair and rocked and rocked him until he was alllllmost asleep. I was singing "Shout to the Lord" and he said, "I weally love that song!"

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Did You Know?

This evening I was in the kitchen, making pancakes for dinner (Yes, pancakes for dinner. The Kids only asked 15 bajillion times, "Really? Are we REALLY having pancakes for dinner?!") and Deco came in and said, "Mama, you're the best doctor I know. You know how you take care of us while we're sick? You really could be a doctor!" and patted me on the leg and left.
I didn't know I could be a doctor. Did you?

On another note, he said to Nani K the other night, "Nani, if you pwayed 'Dear God, I think you're stinky' that would be a sin." Very serious, very straight faced. My mom practically busted a seam, trying not to laugh. Where does he come UP with these things?!?

And, on the very last note, I've started a new blog which is actually more of a list, of my favorite things. Check it out! The link is on the sidebar.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Our Christmas Party!

We had SUCH a good time at our homeschooling Christmas party yesterday!! I just absolutely love it that I have so many good friends who homeschool. And, between us all we have 14 children of varying ages when we get together - talk about socialization!
The only thing that went "wrong" yesterday was that my friend, Shelley, at whose house the party was supposed to be held, got sick about 30 minutes before the party started, so we had to move the location from her house to ours. This was not a big deal, my mom happened to show up and she helped me "blitz" the house so it was more presentable, and I was able get ahold of the other guests without any problem. Shelley's mom, bless her heart, brought the crafts by that all the kids were going to do, and the gifts that Shelley's boys were going to bring for the gift exchange so that they could at least take part in that. (Shelley decided to not have her boys come, lest they pass on to all of us the stomach thing that she apparently came down with!)

So, first, all the kids played. (What was REALLY funny was that the girls (there were 11 of them!) went in Bear's room and played school!) After they played awhile, everyone had lunch(which they had brought) and then we did the craft. We had sugar cookies to decorate with icing and sprinkles and suncatcher ornaments to paint. After everyone had gotten to do a cookie and an ornament, we went to the livingroom where Julie read The Christmas Lizard and then the kids did their gift exchange. (Everyone had brought a dollar store gift.) It was such fun! I really hope this become a tradition!

Deco decorates his cookie

Bear decorates her suncatcher ornament

Story time!

Present time!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


IT'S CHRISTMAS BREAK!!! *does happy dance*
Yup, you heard it! We're officially on Christmas break and I'm so excited that I can hardly stand it. I'm just ready to have a break and I've been so excited for Christmas that it has made it hard for me to concentrate anyway. We're going to our homeschooling Christmas party tomorrow, so that will be fun. I've gotten some cookies to decorate and one of the other Mom's got a craft to do. There are going to be 14 kids there! Everyone is going to bring their lunch and all of the kids will play and the Mom's will socialize and pick each other's brains for good ideas. I'm excited! I'm going to use the next week to wrap presents and do the Official Christmas Baking (I've got thumbprint cookies and fudge left to make, and also some more Chex mix, I think...I love Chex mix and there can never be enough!) I've gotten some crafts for The Kids to do when they get bored. Or when they get too close to killing each other, whichever comes first!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Return to Normal

(OK, well, as normal as I usually am!)
My headache was finally gone this morning, so we returned to our regular routine. I'm having a hard time concentrating on school as Christmas break gets closer and closer...I swear, time has sloooooowed to a craaawwwwlllll! But we did a "reading packet" this morning (from Scholastic Phonics) and then some math facts flash cards. I also read another chapter in a book that we're reading called "A Frontier Christmas", so hopefully we'll have another page to add to the book that we're making.
I had Bear write a "paper" on "What I Like About Winter". She wrote, "I like giving gifts on Christmas. I like having snowball fights." Unfortunately, I can't find the actual paper that she wrote it on! One thing I love about doing writing assignments like that is the mini-lessons that it leads to - like how you drop the "e" at the end of "give" and "have" when you add -ing! This isn't something that I would have thought to just teach her outright, but I know that it will stick in there and resurface when it needs to. We also made some Christmas decorations to take up to our friend Myra who will be in the hospital on Christmas. We made some hanging Christmas trees and a looooong paper chain, and the The Kids decorated a couple of bookmarks for her. We took the decorations up after lunch and spent a little time there, talking to her.
I'm not really sure how much school will get done tomorrow. We are having a Homeschooling Christmas Party on Friday with three other families who homeschool, and I've got some things I need to pick up for that. We're going to decorate sugar cookies, so I've got to get cookies, icing, and sprinkles, and all of the kids are doing a "gift exchange" so we need to go to the dollar store and pick up two gifts. I'm planning on doing at least another reading packet and finishing the Christmas book. After that, who knows?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Argh, a Sick Day!

We actually had a "sick day" this morning - not because The Kids were sick but because I woke up with a MONSTER migraine and then my medication to get rid of the migraine knocked me on my hiney! I'd promised Deco that I'd make pancakes this morning, so I did that, then told The Kids that they could watch movies. I put in "A Christmas Story" and laid down on the sofa and drifted in and out while they watched. When it was over, I put in the Jim Carrey "Grinch" and drifted while they watched that. Bear was so sweet! She brought a cold cloth and put it on my forehead and a cup of water...and the cat, because everyone knows that cats cure migraines!!

I'm feeling a lot better now, although my headache isn't completely gone. Right now they're eating and watching "Reading Rainbow". I told Bear that after lunch we'd go and get stamps and then come home and have "Math Day"...meaning, we'll learn fractions by doing some baking! Needless to say, she's pretty excited about that!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Around the World

For the last week or so, we've been reading books about Christmas in different countries and different time periods. So far, we've done Cristmas in Sweden, the Phillipines, France, on the prairie a loooong time ago, and in the Victorian times. It's been a lot of fun! We learned that in Sweden, the family puts a straw goat by the tree to "protect" the presents and that Santa Clause...excuse me, Pere France doesn's say "Ho ho ho!" he says "Tralala, tralala, bouli, bouli, boulah!" What I found interesting was that, sending Christmas cards didn't become popular until the post office started charging the sender instead of the sendee! We've been reading the book and then Bear dictates what she's learned and I write it in red and green for our "Christmas Around the World" book we're going to make.

I don't really have anything stellar planned for this coming week, which is our last week before Christmas break. We're going to a Christmas party on Friday with some other homeschooling friends, so we're looking forward to that. I think I've got at least one more "Christmas in..." book that we can read and make a page for and I'm going to do some crafts. I love crafts, and so does Bear!
Merry Christmas, everyone!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Tea Party in Bed

This morning, I was sitting on my bed, reading as I do almost every morning. The Kids know that they aren't to come out of their rooms until 7:00 (or, for Deco, until he hears his music from his clock radio), and it was right after 7 that I saw Bear heading through the schoolroom and into mine. In her hands she carried a little tea pot, a little plate, some tiny silverware, and a bowl with some plastic grapes and fake bacon in it. She was bringing me a tea party! She got up onto the bed and we had the most wonderful party, complete with cookes, fruit and tea - she had to make another trip into her room to get the rest of the things.
I could feel myself trying to say, "OK, now, let's clean it up!" or "Don't forget to get all these things out of my bed when you leave!" but thankfully, I was able to refrain. I was able to just sit there and enjoy playing, asking for more tea and complimenting her on her cookies. I know that she will all too soon not want to play tea party, so I just soaked in my little girl while I could. This was a good moment.

Is it Christmas Break Yet?

Because I'm ready for it!!!!! I don't know why, because it's not like having school takes me away from doing something...Christmas-y....that I should be doing. It's just that I'm so excited that I find it really hard to concentrate! I really need to take it down a notch because I'm going to anticipate Christmas soooo much that it will get here too fast and be gone before I know it!

This weekend is our Care Group Christmas party, which I'm looking forward to. We always do a "white elephant" gift exchange which is a lot of fun, and then we exchange names for all of the kids and get some sort of gift from the dollar store for the child whose name we have. It's a joyful time! THEN the Christmas parade of lights is on Saturday night, so we will continue our tradition of going down for that. It's supposed to be cold, but that's ok, it just makes it more Christmas-like! I love to make REAL hot chocolate (not the powdered stuff) to take down there in a thermos and we pop a bag of popcorn for a snack. It's so much fun!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Am I Becoming an Unschooler?

No, just kidding, I don't think I am...overalll...becoming an "unschooler". But it sure felt like it today! My best friend was bringing her son over for me to babysit while she and her husband took their daughter to the doctor. So Bear and I finished most of her reading packet from yesterday, and then, later on, we played "Auntie Pasta's Fraction Game" and a reading game that came with Scholastic Workbook 7. (She didn't finish her reading packet yesterday because it became a reaaalllllyyyy tough day and so I said we'd finish it today.) And then, tomorrow, I'm watching my neighbors children while they go to a funeral. That's not until 10:30, though, so we should have plenty of time to get school most of the way finished before they get here. I just don't like it when we have too many days off kilter with school because I begin to feel very out of control.
On a "Life" note, we got our Christmas decorations up this weekend. Well, The Kids and I finished putting the tree up yesterday. We actually bought it on Saturday but we couldn't bring it inside because it had huge chunks of snow on the branches and we had to wait for it to thaw! It's a beautiful tree! This was the first year that Deco really got into the decorating, so we had a lot of fun.
OH, and I went to Target today and got Bear the Easy-Bake Oven - WOOHOO! I had a rain check from an after-Thanksgiving sale, so I was able to get it for $13. The great thing is that when I was putting her to bed, she said "One thing I really really REALLY want is one of those oven things!" YAY! Oh, I can't wait to see her open it! And I'm also excited because Deco is really enjoying playing with the Playmobil nativity set that we have out, so this looks REALLY good toward him liking the Playmobil pirate sets that he's getting for Christmas!
I love, love, love the Christmas season! Everything about it!