Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Book List

Hello again! ( I know, so soon right?) I had my other blog already done, I just forgot to finish posting it, so I am really not working to hard on Christmas weekend... =) But I did want to share some of the kids' favorite stories this season, and some crafts/gifts we made over the last week! We have become a family that loves to make things...anything! I hope we keep it up through the winter.....

First some christmas books we love!

I enjoyed the bible verses under each page.... it's a cute story! and I made those little trees! my first 3-D sewing project! =)

who doesn't love Harold?

My Daughter loooves this book.... I am not tired of reading it. =)

Froggy books--always a classic!

My Son Loves this story! he cracks up every time... Olive... so cute!

A staple in our library... Berenstain bears...

                      This is one of the kids most favorite books! It all started about 2 years ago.....

Here this past week they were building their snowmen, soooo excited to see what was going to happen the next morning......why?

Well it all started 2 years ago, when daddy and the kids made this adorable snowman in the front yard.....and the next day we went into town, only to return to the snowman had moved to teh front door! AND brought a friend!!! Not only, were they hilarious, but one had a sandwhich and coffee sitting out!
The whole family just about died laughing in the car... and how did this even happen???? Well... you never know what snowmen might do ...... ( thanks papa and gramma for a memory they will never forget!).. to this day BOTH my kids still talk about it, and now I think we have made a new tradtion, becuase I found myself hurrying outside early in the morning the other day, to add a sled to thier snowman, throw his hat a bit far, and change a few things that their memories can live on...=)

a Very nice story, and the original story of the candy cane is in the back of the book!

What are your familie's Favorite Christmas books? I hope to add many more for next season!

Crafts..... next!


CHRISTmas Around the world Part 3 Germany

Our CHRISTmas Around the World Study continues with Germany!

Froehliche Weinachten!!

Many of us know that Germany has many tradtions that we bring into our homes during Christmas today.
From the candy cane, to our christmas tree,  ginger bread cookies, advent calanders, glass ornaments; nutcrackers,  and the famous Silent Night carol.
There is even a neat US- Germamy comparision Christmas Chart you can look up online.

 "Holzknackl" ( Nutcracker)

But one thing we have really LOVED about being here around Christmas time, are all the Nativity displays we see at the Markets. Even live nativities, have been so beautiful this season, in such a simple way.

When we used to live in Alaska, you usually only saw a nativity in front of a local church as you drove by.

Some things we do notice in our daily life are Germans hardly decorate their homes outside for christmas. It is unusual to see Christmas lights over an entire house. They keep their decor very simple.
 And in our area, many place a real tree outside their front door and adorn it with faux lit candles. It's very pretty when a whole street participates.

There is always a large christmas tree in the middle of each Christmas market too. Those are always just beautiful.

Everything is closed early by Christmas Eve. Germans celebrate christmas on Christmas Eve, like many other european countries... many with church, a meal with family (close family) and christmas day for visits with extended family and friends. One person  usually stays behind while everyone else attends service... they put up the tree, and the presents and keep the door closed to the living room till it's "time." Another unique tradtion is the Christmas Angel. She is the one to bring gifts on christmas Eve, while St. Nicholaus is for Dec 6th.

So as we visit Christmas Markets we are always amazed by the JESUS "presence" in each place......
Come and see where we went the past few weeks!

St Wendel Christmas Markt with Live Nativity

Christmas Pyramid:
revolving on the Schloßplatz, is rather gigantic. As an oversized edition of the filigran pyramids from the 'Erzgebirge' so well known, it has a height of 12 meters and thus is unique in the Southwestern part of Germany. The pyramid has wonderful hand-cut wooden sculptures, magnificiently arranged show-cases and a generous light decoration and is mostly the focus of interest.
This pyramid also has a nativity scene....

Can't go to a market without having waffles!!!

This was in the Midevil market, live music, jugglers, blacksmith, candle making it was really neat!

Here the kids were able to make candles.

This was so much fun for them!!!

Is SHE eating again??? that's a braut! can't go without one of those either!
Here, in front of a Large German "Smoker" These are for sale in many places here, especially around christmas. to see some amazing ones visit the Kathe Wohlfart shop online. You put incense in the bottom and the smoke comes up and out their mouth.. so cute!

JT in front of the Nutcracker display... He is fascinated by nutcrackers this season~
Kt at the Live nativity....freezing...

Camels...Nice touch.

Large hand painted nativity

There were several Nativity sets displayed on the street of famous german artists.....

Lots of food!

Today we were snowed in and church was cancelled.

 Our village barn put on a little Live Nativity presentation, which was so simple and sweet, and a great break in our snowy day.

We walked down, and had some gluwein, and yes...more waffles and bratwursts...
they read the christmas story in German... and that was that!
here are some pictures:

A traditional Drink at all christmas markets is Gluwein. Spiced Wine... it's toasty and yummy! They pour it in a keepsake mug, for a 1-2 euro deposit. if you don't want the glass, you take it back when you are done, and get your deposit back.

For crafts we made our own Nativity with the paper tubes. They loved this craft! And it will be one we save for years to come....

Christmas Around the World Unit Study
During our   Study of Germany we colored the German flag, colored a picture of a Germany boy and placed them on our Christmas Study Wall (that's about all you are getting out of me for school this past week!)

A GREAT movie to watch for your study, the kids watched tonight was  the

It's nearing Christmas in a small town in Germany. Hans the shoemaker works into the night, purposely shut away from the holiday festivities around him. Alone in his shop, with no family and few friends, Hans has never learned the true meaning of Christmas.

While he mocks the townspeople’s merry preparations, Hans is visited by an angel who brings the promise of a very special gift. Hans eagerly awaits the return of this angelic messenger and crafts a gift to give in return--the finest pair of red boots ever made. As the story unfolds, Hans learns the joys of sharing and fellowship, and finally embraces the spirit of Christmas as he does indeed receive the ultimate gift--a gift from God. A wonderful program to teach children the true meaning of Christmas.

It will touch your heart!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

CHRISTmas Around the world Part 2 FRANCE

Our CHRISTmas Around the World Study begins in France!


There are MANY tradions around the world, but I really wanted to focus on the Christian traditions this Season with the children, and how others celebrate JESUS!

taken from World of Christmas

"Almost all French homes decorate their homes at Christmastime with a Nativity scene or crèche with little clay figures called 'santons' or 'little saints' that are still made from molds that have passed down since the 17th century. Figures of local dignitaries are often added to these Nativity scenes along with the Holy Family, shepherds and Magi."

What I find so interesting about one of their traditions, is not only is it the Magi that visit on the scene but several people from their village come too! The baker, the farmer, etc...some of them are exact replicas of people in the village coming to see the baby jesus! Below you will see some pictures of "Santons" at the Markt.

We located France on the map, Colored the France Flag and a coloring page of a French child for our Christmas Wall..see the little Pierre on the left =)

This past Friday we "sneaked"  out to Strasbourg France located in the Alsace Region for the Christmas market. And by sneak, I mean shouldn't have been driving according to the weather man... But the roads were really okay, and once in France it was no problem driving... Strasbourg hosts France's largest christmas market. It is absolutely FANTASTIC! This is our 3rd year going... and every year we are impressed even more. If you are local, I suggest adding it to your Holiday list of things to do! =) This market has been ongoing since 1570.

Several markets set up all over the town...

French pottery booth
Here the kids were able to ice skate in their own little kinder rink.... they had so much fun!!!

The decor was amazing...

JT with his little gingerbread man! a whopping 4 Euros!!!

If you have ever been, everyone comments on these AMAZING chandeliers that hang in the streets....

Store windows filled with beautiful displays......

A street perfomer. as he moved his foot, the little puppets danced to his music... very cool.

Here is a Nativity Booth, with many "Santons" For sale.
Overload???? to many to choose!

These are clay ones, like the originals made hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

we choose a Nativity for our home, and will add a piece each year!

Can you see those eyes??? It was FREEZING!!!!!!! My little troopers did amazing!

I hope you enjoyed our little French Tour!

Christmas Around the World Unit Study Printable's:

Activity Downloads for France
Tradtions in France
Bake a Christ-cake
Christmas around the world unity study by home-school share

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