Thursday, December 22, 2011

Truth in the Tinsel: Days 18-24

We have finished our Truth in the Tinsel activity-- a bit early-- because we will be traveling....overall it was a really fun activity for the girls and I.  It was a great opportunity to learn about the birth of Jesus Christ and to teach them the truth surrounding the events and sort out what they see in movies or in storybooks.

Day 18 & 19
Luke 2:8-20

These two days focused on the angels that appeared before the shepherds in their fields.  We do not know what angels look like, but we used feathers to recreate the common look.  We also don't know how many shepherds there were that visited baby Jesus, so we just made one.  The account of the shepherds in the Bible gives us a good indication that Jesus was not really born in the month of December...check it out for yourself:) 

Day 20 
Luke 2:21-40

When Jesus was 8 days old they took him to the temple to be dedicated to the Lord.  While they were there two people who recognized him as God's Son (Simeon & Anna). 

Day 21 & 22
Matthew 2:1-12

The star in the East led the Magi to Jesus.  We do not know exactly when they visited him, but guesses are when Jesus was between 17 months-2 years old.  Kind of funny that you see nativity sets with the Magi giving baby Jesus the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  I guess it isn't funny...they must have missed that part in the Bible.  We also don't know how many magi there was that visited Jesus.  The Bible does not give an exact number.

Day 23

This was supposed to represent the fragrance type gifts that were given to Jesus...they smelled really good...but it was a total flop.  I guess I was supposed to maybe grease the cookie sheet or something.  They were supposed to be cinnamon and applesauce ornaments.

Day 24
Katelyn made a little cross to represent the ultimate story in the Jesus didn't stay a baby forever.  Yes it is a sweet little story...however the ultimate...ultimate thing he did was give his life.  He took all of our sins on the cross with that we would be forgiven...if we believe in him...that he did this and then rose again.  That's it. 
The magi from day 22 & the cross from day 24.

And Jocelyn's summary of our month!

Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.  Not of works lest any man should boast.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Getting kind of excited!

My friend Erica was telling me about a homeschool group that she was a part of and she put a little plug into my ear and told could start a group too....(thanks Erica) starting on January 13...that is exactly what I am doing...and I am really excited to see how this goes.  My girls have quiet a few little "girl" friends that homeschool, but 99.9% of these little girl friends live over an hour or more away.  We need to get connected more with local homeschooling families.  Need to.  It has been a little harder to connect since we don't go to church here and most of our local friends have boys.  My girls don't seem to mind playing with boys and I enjoy the company of my friends, but they comment here and there that they wish they had more little girl friends here to play with. 

So far I have had a really good response to this new little group.  Mostly families with 6-7 year old boys, with a few little girls mixed in, so I am praying more families with girls will join.  I have so many fun ideas spinning in my head and just wondering how am I going to fit them all in.  I can't wait. 

If you are Lincoln local...and know of any families that home school with kids preschool age- 2nd grade-ish pass it along...who knows, maybe they are looking for a connection also.

I created a blog for this little group...check it out:  HERE.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why on earth did I not think of this before?

I love taking my kids to the Omaha Zoo.  It is ranked in the top 10 zoo's in the United States.  If you have been there, you completely understand why.  That place is awesome!!  We are lucky enough to live an hour and 15 minutes away from this wonderful zoo.  It is getting a bit trickier taking all four kids to crowded places by myself.  We try to go to busy places when public school kids are in school or during off peak times.  So why on earth did I not think about tackling this zoo when it is cold outside?  We had a decent day last week...a whopping 44 degrees!! Heat wave!  Most of the "cool" animals are inside, so we ventured to the zoo for a few hours.  Oh my goodness!  We had such a good time.  We were maybe 1 of 5 families there.  Maybe.  My kids didn't have to fight other kids to get a view of the animals.  Some of the animals seemed to be really excited to see human beings....a little baby gorilla put on quiet a show in front of us...and begged us not to leave...seriously...I am not joking...he clung to the glass and screamed when we walked away.  People started coming as the day progressed, but since the place is so large, we pretty much had it to ourselves.  It was great!  Here are a few pictures from our day....and a few links to our other visits:  HERE  & HERE!

Two--HUGE snakes!

My goofy kids!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Oh sweet...Yummy....goodness!!

Is it just me or am I the only one that likes to look at pictures of food....preferably that someone else has made...and better yet shared with me...ok..maybe I am just weird.  In the past few weeks it feels like I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen baking and cooking...feels...oh wait I have...maybe that is why it feels like.  I had my list of people that I wanted to bake for and my time has expired before we head out of town....just not going to get everything done this year:(  I did get my baking done for 3 events that we were/are planning on attending, so if you will be at one of these events with will be able to enjoy these sweet and yummy treats!  I have also included the recipe links so if you are scrambling at the last minute trying to find something good to are a few ideas!

 In clockwise order: 

1.  Chocolate round things with sprinkles:  Ritz crackers with peanut butter in the middle dipped in chocolate bark.  Topped with kids say everything is better with sprinkles!

2.  Round pretzels dipped in white almond bark.  Easy!

3.  Peanut Butter balls:  I believe just about everyone at church who was lucky enough to try these has asked for this here it is again:  Recipe:  HERE

4.  Fudge:  Followed the recipe on Kraft marshmallow cream container....did not cook the sugar long my are grainy...I think they are live-in fudge expert disagrees.

5. Oreo balls:  Oh how yummy....seriously.  Recipe:  HERE

6.  Chocolate Peppermint Bark:   My friend Mary posted this on her cooking blog.  They are really, really good...and so easy to make.  Recipe:  HERE

and last but not least.  I made lollipop looking sugar cookies for the families in our little homeschooling co-op.  I thought they were pretty cute.  Recipe:  HERE

and sugar cookies-- Recipe: HERE

Friday, December 16, 2011

Truth in the Tinsel: Days 11-17

We are on our third week of our Truth in the Tinsel unit study....and we are almost done!  As I mentioned last week the girls just love doing the little crafts each day and learning the real story about the birth of Christ. 

I might have a pop quiz next week of some sort to test your knowledge about the events surrounding the birth of Christ vs. what we see in movies, books, and commonly told stay might be shocked at what the Bible actually says.

Day 11:  Matthew 1:18-25

We discussed how God told Joseph what to name his little baby.  I was limited to grocery ads for this activity and couldn't find enough J's to put together the name Jesus, so the girls made out Christ instead.  We made little houses and put our families names around the house...because Christ is the center of our home!! 
Day 12:  Luke 2:1-7

On this day we discussed why Mary & Joseph went to Bethlehem to have baby Jesus.  Do you know why? 

Katelyn filled a little bag with a whole bunch of dark beads (representing all of the people in Bethlehem) and then she put in 3 little white beads representing Jesus, Mary, & Joseph.  It was supposed to represent how little they were in this large city...however they weren't so little after all were they?

Day 13: (same reading as day 12)

We discussed about Bethlehem and how it means the "house of bread."  Hmmmm....Jesus Christ also called himself the "bread of life" in John 6:35...Coincidence that he was born in Bethlehem?

Day 14:  (same as 12 & 13)

The Bible does not say anywhere that Jesus was born in a stable...however mangers are typically animal feeding troughs, so that is why we think he was born where animals Jocelyn made a stable ornament.

Day 15:  still in Luke!

This was a fun little my yesterdays post on the exact details....  but the girls both made little mangers with baby Jesus in it. 
Day 16:  Still in Luke!

Katelyn made a little baby wrapped in cloth...Mary wrapped baby Jesus in cloth when he was born.  This is how the shepherds were to recognize him.

Day 17:  Luke 2:8-20

We read about the shepherds today.  How many shepherds came to visit Jesus, Mary, & Joseph.  We don't know exactly...the Bible doesn't say.

and there you have it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kids in the Kitchen: Not really sure what these are called!

As I started writing this has slipped my mind what these little things are called...figurines...clay type models...things that will probably sit around and break at some point...gather dusk...taste tested...not really sure...anyways, we are participating in the Truth in the Tinsel unit study this month and one of the activities were to mix up the following:

*2 cups of flour
*1 cup of salt
**slowly add 3/4-1 cup of water
Form in a ball and shape into name it...

The kids had a TON of fun doing this activity.  You can see what they made for their unit study tomorrow, but check out some of their other fun creations that they came up with! 

I also made letters for each kid and cut out the girls hands. 

Don't you dare ask me what we are going to do with all of these trinkets...I have no clue...but fun stuff!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rapunzel party!

I guess sometimes I need to think like a little girl...I tell my girls that when they meet someone dressed up as a character from a movie or on TV...that person is just imaginary...make-believe...not really THAT person...but they still treat that person as if they are real.  Kind of funny...I guess I am not a little girl anymore.  I will keep trying.  I guess we need to be careful to respect other kids' dreams too...they have told one too many other kids that Santa isn't real already....oops.

Anyways, I surprised my girls with a little Rapunzel party that was scheduled to take place at the Millard Library in Omaha, Nebraska.  I was really excited...I was hoping they would be too.  I told spread the word to several other friends and we all met up with our little princesses at this event.  Such a cute little...FREE....activity put on by the library.

You can also rent this gal to impersonate other princesses...or singing telegrams!!  I would love to send my husband one for his birthday...but I think he would be VERY embarrassed if I did...his employees would sure get a kick out of it though....I also love that she shares a little bit of the gospel on the main page of her website..

Rapunzel talking to the girls
She sang two songs...she was a very good singer.
They had 4 or 5 different crafts the girls could make...Jocelyn made a tower.
Katelyn made a wand.
Jocelyn waiting while Rapunzel signs her autograph

My girls with their little princess friends!  So fun!
I made a little card for the girls to have signed and bought a photo album for them...Rapunzel had her own pictures there to sign.
 Rapunzel singing!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Truth in the Tinsel: Week 2

We are into the second week of our Truth in the Tinsel activity.  The girls look forward to it every day!  They love all of the little crafts and hearing about the stories leading up to the birth of Christ.  Here is a quick recap of this past week!  We do two activities (days) per day and each girl gets to do one craft per day.  I also posed some questions to well do you know the story leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ?  This is a great review for me too!!

Day 3:  Zechariah  -->  Read Luke 1:5-25
Do you know who Zechariah is and how he is important in the story of the birth of Christ?  Who is his wife?  Why on earth did we use a balloon for the mouth of Zechariah?  There is a you know it?
Day 4:  Gabriel (angel) -->Read Luke 1:26-38

Who is Gabriel?  What did he tell Elizabeth and Mary in the Bible?
Day 5:  Mary  -->Luke 1:26-38 (review)

What did Gabriel tell to Mary? 

This was a hard one to teach my girls.  We are starting at an early age by telling them they will not be having kids until they are married...I don't want to get into the s-e-x talk too this conversation will eventually shift gears when they are older..discussing what the Bible says about I am doing my best explaining the story how it was ok in this situation that Mary got pregnant without being married.

Day 6:  Mary & Elizabeth -->  Luke 1:39-45

Did you figure out who Mary and Elizabeth are?  What was Elizabeth's reaction when she saw Mary for the first time?  Amazing how the Holy Spirit was working on them!!

Day 7:  Song -->  Luke 1:46-56

Mary was so excited she sang a song...I wish I knew if it had a tune. 
Day 8:  Sun -->Luke 1:57-80

Who was Elizabeth's baby?  What was their baby's job?  We made a sun because Zechariah describes Jesus Christ as the "rising sun" coming from heaven to "shine on those living in darkness."

Day 9:  Joseph -->Matthew 1:18-24

Please tell me you know who Joseph was?  I am sure anyone who was about to get married to young lady would be upset if she turned up pregnant....thank goodness for his dream...

Day 10:  Dream Pillow-->Matthew 1:18-24 Review

Who spoke to Joseph in his dream?
 and whoola-- days 1-10 are complete!  Kind of a dark picture, but here is what we have so far!