Thursday, December 31, 2009


Why Jesus is Better Than Santa Claus

By Rev. James Spellman of Ohio

*Santa lives at the North Pole... JESUS is everywhere.

*Santa rides in a sleigh... JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

*Santa comes but once a year... JESUS is an ever present help.

*Santa fills your stockings with goodies... JESUS supplies all your needs.

*You have to wait in line to see Santa... JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

*Santa lets you sit on his lap... JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

*Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi little boy or girl, what's your name?"... JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our head.

*Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly... JESUS has a heart full of love.

*All Santa can offer is HO HO HO... JESUS offers health, help and hope.

*Santa says "You better not cry"... JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you."

*Santa's little helpers make toys... JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

*Santa may make you chuckle but...JESUS gives you a joy that is your strength.

*While Santa puts gifts under your tree... JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.

Its obvious there is really no comparison! Jesus is still the reason for the season. Yes, Jesus is better, he is even better than Santa Claus.
This Is my heart! I loved this poem. It reminds me to show my children of Jesus love this time of year, even more so as they get wrapped up in the Santa story, and the gifts.... it's so easy to get wrapped up in the holiday songs, the traditions, the "to do lists" of the season... which are all so wonderful; and forget Jesus IS Christmas. I pray the Lord will help me to focus more on Him with the children this season . Amen!
This was posted at 1+1+1=1 Blog christmas symbols lapbook with free templates!

Let Everyday be Christmas! 2009

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself...
~Norman Wesley Brooks, "Let Every Day Be Christmas," 1976

As we all said the past few weeks.... I WISH IT WAS CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY!

This year we made our own wrapping paper! It turned out so cute!
i just bought brown parcel paper, and the kinders used their finger prints to make snowmen with white paint. i drew on their black hats, we used Christmas stamps, and markers. We still have enough for next year!
we did SO many crafts this holiday season. I tried to do one everday.. but it was more like.. 5 a day take a break, 3 a day... etc.. =) I mean, once you get all the craft supplies on the table you may as well go all out right? =0)
I made cinnamon rolls from scratch! this was huge for me! i am learning to be a better baker, chef... and so far these were a hit. Phew!!

Papa and grandma K gave the kids christmas gifts and an advent calander for each day, they loved it! it was so thoughtful of them.

And who's heart wouldn't be touched from this? JT got this for me! isn't that so sweet for our school room tree? =) Wink!

Daddy was off work for 9 days! look at all the fun we had. We were snowed in for 3 days, it was probably the best 3 days we have had in a long time. Here, JT and daddy play checkers, buster the beagle snoozin, Jt shoveling the drive at 7am, baking cookies, playing "perfection game", fireplace time.. and Christmas movie night! The kids were each given a candy cane, and smashed it up with a hammer, and we mixed it into vanilla icecream for a yummy candy cane treat! yummm... Some of the christian children's movies we watched were

What's Christmas in Germany without a Christmas market? we had a very nice time there, even teh poocher got to go! And more people came up to us asking where we got his sweater. =) that's what i should sell ...=) poocher sweaters to german grammies.
If you look closely, that's the trash can...isn't that the cutest trash can you hve EVER seen? it's like they stole it from disneyworld or something.. and the little tree tables? everythign was so stinking cute and themed! There is JT waiting in line for Schneeballs ( snowballs) a german cookie shaped like a snowball, with all kinds of flavors. yum! that santa is a giant Lego santa.. very cool in JT's opinion!
There was so much more we did this year, and not enough time to write... we had christmas with my parents and brothers too, a great year for our family!

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nature Walks

We love our walks. If the season allows, every night after dinner we go for our family walks around the village. This is down the road, we live in the beautiful German forest... some of our best heart to hearts are on these walks... I hope we never forget those moments....

We explore, discover new things, answer lots of questions about Gods green earth ( as boz the bear says) and collect things for our nature shelf.

Kids love this part of the walks

What is your favorite family time?

A day in our school life

They still love school! Praise the Lord for eager learners! There are good days and then the bad days. This day... was a good day....
how could it not be in these outfits?

Ballerina Days...

Here are some of KT's ballet classes this year. She is doing so well. She is more the gymnastic type, and i was afraid this wouldn't be to thrilling for her, but she is so graceful, and a natural. she really loves it. ( JT and I work on some school while at her practice) This is GREAT for the winter time for her excersise =)

Alphabet study: Letter T

Letter T.
this i think was our first lapbook...( we did this one in a day, it was very easy for them) The kids loved it. they learned a verse that week, and we studied turtles, went around the house looking for things with T, made a Turtle craft ( forgot a pic!) etc...
sorry this one hasn't much info... it was my first week! =)

Alphabet Study Letter F

I think this picture says it all!
we are doing our F lapbook & the Fruit of the Spirit lapbook. will post those when we are done.

This was one of those days.. the kind where you feel like nothing is getting done, and the kids are in their jammies till 3!

Chore List - Pre-k Kindergarten

Earlier this Summer I was desperate for some sort of schedule in our home, one that the kids could refer to, and we could all benefit from. So, we made this schedule.

I had the kids cut out images from magazines of the things we do during the day, then i used clocks so that JT could practice telling the time (and i also wrote the time next to it )... we came up with this large poster. I hung it in an obvious place. and it REALLY helped my 3 year old know what was coming next. this helped  a lot with the "I don't' want to's and the But i want to do this or that..." attitudes. My Son loved it because he is an organized person who loves maps, and plans and so this was right up his alley! he loved knowing what was ahead for the day...

But now , as we have started kindergarten, I need to come up with a plan that involves our schedule now with more school time... this worked great.... and i am so bummed i glued all this together... but it will be fun to make another one! =)

Over the holidays we totally forgot about the list, and my kids are in their jammies till noon some days including mama! So it's time to put it all back into practice =) I just wanted to post it, because this was so awesome for my 3 year old to see at her level what the day was going to be like. we didn't always stick to it by the time frame though.. but the things we did we tried to do each day.

Each day we do have a time when I set the timer and for 15 min we "Bless our house" ( thanks fly lady!)

We do this mid day to clean up the morning fun time, put things away and run the laundry etc.
This doesn't count as their Chore time or their getting ready for the day time.
It works great, and when i say "it's time to bless the house, " they start to look for their toys right away. but when the timer is done.. so are we! Loosing the timer is the worst for me!

This is KT doing her morning chores. =)  This was a day we did our little wall schedule and was dressed first thing! =) She looks so sweet here!

KT chores
  • Empty the silveware in the dishwasher
  • Line up the shoes by the front door
  • Take her little laundry basket to the washer ( it's just her size.)
I have pics of each of these, to print out for her on a card... but i haven't printed them yet.
JT Chores
  • Wipe down the dining table after each meal
  • Pick up trash around the house that's on the floor( we have a beagle who eats things, so there is alot of odd trash items laying around once he has gotten to it!)
  • Brings down his laundry basket to washer
  • Brings up his clothes from washer & puts away
  • Feeds dog and lets him out

Their Morning Routine is called the 5 Fingers .

I am sure I got it from my favorite book called Creative Correction by Lisa Welchel...

I traced their hands and wrote their 5 morning chores for starting their day on it. It's on their bedroom door. They LOVE it. we are going on a year for this one, and they still do it well.

  1. Eat breakfast
  2. Get dressed
  3. Brush teeth
  4. Make bed ( I help KT with this one)
  5. Bible verse of the week

I will post more of how our new daily calendar goes.  I would love to hear other ideas that work for you and your family!

Nature Hunt

There is this amazing lake out by our old house, that we say we are going to visit all the time... and it usually turns out we make it there once a year.. =(... We went on a Nature Hunt. It was one of the most fun family days we have had!

I wish i could read these signs! My German is terrible! They were posted all over the nature trail.. and the kids LOVED running up to them to see what other parts of the world they came from, or where else they grow!

We fed the Swans, and the duckies....

I took along a basket from home, and made my Nature hunt book from a piece of construction paper, and glued some leaves on it really quick.. and inside made a list of things for us to find.

  • Acorn
  • tree branch
  • red leaf
  • orange leaf
  • flower
  • bird feather
  • chestnut and shell
  • rock
  • snail shell
  • pine cone
  • red berries
note to self bring 2 baskets ( one for each kid) and more bread for the ducks! and a pen to mark of the list... (oops)

Here are my Tree Huggers!
we stopped and measured tons of trees... some BIG some small... they loved that part!
we talked about God's beautiful creation, and pondered funny shaped branches, tiny bugs and had the best day!

PE- With Daddy

In the begining of the school year, the kids joined Kuk sool Won. Daddy has been taking it a while now, ( he is a Blue belt! ) and they just opened up a class where KT could also join being 3! This was a very exciting blessing from the Lord. KT has been wanting to join for so long. Daddy has volunteered to help teach the class. It's been so fun for all of them!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Alphabet Study : Letter C Lapbook

Letter C Labook Week..

The kids had a GREAT time on this lapbook. We made Cookies, did a C - Craft of melting our old Crayons and making new giant CIRCLE ones, we read the Carrot Seed ( a favorite of JT) and that's why we did the Carrot for the theme of the Lapbook, and and KT decided to COLOR her belly... =) with marker! ( will note where i got the lapbook papers soon)

KT practicing the letter C with water on the chalkboard.

Alphabet Study: Letter B

Letter B... let's see, that was a fun week! we made a BEE craft, JT actually caught his first Butterfly, KT started up Ballet again, They read lots of BOOKS, KT had her BABIES next to her for school all the time, we practiced the letter B in new ways, searched the house for things that start with B .. Very Fun for Them!

Handwriting without Tears - Pre-k And Kindergarten

Handwriting without Tears is so great!

Update- we have really been enjoying the program ( January  here the kids use play doh and the laminated letter cards. KT loved this!

So, we got this wonderful program,. I was so excited to show it to JT... Who knew you could have THIS much fun with it?

Alphabet Study: M


Over the fall, the kids and i have taken photos of mushrooms whenever we see them. On our walks, at the park, in our yard... here are some of them! it's amazing how many differant kinds there are. It was alot of fun learning about them! and now i can print this out for their notebook, so they can see them anytime!

Pumpkin Lapbook Study

This was one of our first lapbooks. we had the best time!!
we picked the pumpkins on our field trip, then we measured them with string, cut them open, counted the seeds (phew!) roasted the seeds, then made pumkin muffins ( one of our favorites) and finished our lapbook! ( i need to post a pic of that in here completed soon)

Our First Field Trip - Sunshine Pumpkin Farm

We went on our first homeschooling field trip to Sunshine pumpkin farm! The kids had a wonderful time!

KT loved holding the chickens.. that is if we could catch 'em!

They choose their own pumpkins and were quite proud!

the farm also had animals the kids could visit and feed.

This lead us to our Pumpkin study !


We have workboxes! I am sure by now if you are in the homeschooling internet loop, you have heard of Sue Patricks Workbox System. we LOVE it!!
Here instead of using teh shoe box bins that are suggested, i didn't have the space in my school room, so I made my own with these awesome bins from Ikea's Trofast system. While a bit pricey, ( here in germany it's in Euros) I loved the clean look of them, and the fact that i can purchase more as the kids get older and need the full 12 bins. I love how easy it is to slide the drawers out, and that they can take the bins to the table to work out of. I was seriously bummed when ikea was sold out of the cool green and pink bins and had only white when i went! ugh! i will evenutally buy those since it brightens up the area... but for nwo this will do!

i also dont like the fact of putting the empty bins in a stack on the floor. mostly due to lack of space, and having something out of place drives me nuts =) so, i have decided to have the kids just turn the bins around when they are done.. with a star on the back or a thumbs up. The bins are large enough to hold puzzles, workbooks, and even most maniuplatives. if the box doesn't fit something, i just dump it out into one of these bins, and it's perfect! the kids are SO excited to see what's in them everyday. they even helped me put them together!

Charachter Building

Over the past year, we started a new weekly trend, from one of my favorite books on christian parenting "Creative Correction" by Lisa Welchel.

It's Called the Happy Jesus Box.

During the week I write down things that the kids, daddy or I do that would make Jesus Happy!

and one night a week, during dinner daddy takes out the Happy Jesus Box, and reads off all the wonderful things said about each family member that week. It has been one of the biggest blessings to the kids! They beam as their names are mentioned.. and it certainly has encouraged them. So often we focus on constant discipline, that we forget to encourage too! i found this box at the german dollar store, isn't it fitting? This helps me find the positive so much!

Therefore, Encourage one another and build each other up; just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

The other jar you see next to it, is called the Fruit of the Spirit Jar.

it is filled with fruity candies. Each time our children show one of the Fruit of the spirits they get to choose one. BUT I have to catch them.. they can't do it and then tell me the did something hoping to get a piece of candy. =)

this works awesome!!! we are doing the fruit of the spirit lapbook study, and i read this idea on one of the great homeschool sites ( so sorry i can't remember which one, but i will repost it when i find it!)

But the fruit of the spirit is Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness; self-control. against such their is no law.
Galations 5:22- 23

School Room

This is our School room..
It's located off to the right of our dining room, it's the perfect spot!
There is always more i want to do with it, but as of today, this is what it looks like. my desk next to the workboxes are on the left, along with my craft shelf to the far left from ikea the leskvik shelf.

this is our puzzle only cabinet. This was a cabinet i found junking and painted it. i love it and will never be able to part with it! My children LOVE puzzles, so having only a few short of a thousand is a must in our home! =)

This Yellow cabinet, is pine, we just painted it... KT and myself. isn't it cute? it's perfect for my school books, and the bottom cabinets hold all our manipulatives. ( i should get a photo of that later) each book section is catagorized by subject.

The childrens table for now, is from ikea. not sure of the name of it, as i bought it second hand.
the window shelf is our "Season" shelf... things we collect during the season outdoors, related books, crafts etc... note my wall maps and addition are french.. the joys of living in europe =)

This is my where i hang the verses after we are done memorizing them. With memorizing i have taken the time to make sure that the children learn it in the hearts, and not just memorize just for the sake of memorizing... if it takes us weeks to practice what the verse means and use it in our lives before going to the next one then we do. if it takes only one week for them to understand and write it on their hearts, super! =)

i just started this, we have an additional basket filled with seasonal books from the library. we love it!

This was our empty hallway, one that only leads to the rest of the house upstairs. what a perfect place to display the kids art! we walk past it all the time, and the kids LOVE that everyone can see them.

This is our library basket. we fill it up every 2 weeks or so... it gets VERY Heavy =)
The libary is a Family favorite stop. I usually spend about 1-1/5 hours a day reading stories to the kids, we go through books fast. i love that out of every so many trips, there are books that become the kids favorites, and i usually try to pick them up online to add to our personal collection. i am also collecting fabric that goes along with favorite stories to make a quilt someday, so they can remember all their favorites... Five in a Row gave me this wonderful idea!

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