As we continue to attempt to declutter, organize and progress as a family I find myself often debating what to keep… do you keep every paper and piece of art? Choose the best of the bunch? Go random? Well, when I think about it… this blog IS my memory book. Every day I write down the mundane, the whimsical, educational, emotional… all the milestones are here, the art, the interest, the quirks and more… do you think my children will look back at some copy of this and sigh? Or maybe reminisce? More likely, with my bunch, they will shake their heads and wonder at the time mommy spent on this site… the insane focus on each and every step, the massive amount of photography… But I bet they WILL look back and I can say SEE you did this!! Now WHY am I thinking about this? Well on top of the above reasons I got an email last night that deals with keeping memories. You can check out the blog entry on the Confessions of a Homeschooler blog. She has a great free download for dealing with all the wonderful things you have around created by your children. For a schooling OR homeschooling family.
Speaking (er typing) of milestones, today Echo did TWO shuffling steps! YAY! She was VERY unimpressed by it, would rather I had just swooped down and picked her up… BUT she did it! The twins were right there and saw it, I caught it out of the corner of my eye… and were very congratulatory. What wonderful big brothers she has.
Standing on her own
Advent has begun here in the Reinsch-Johnson residence and we actually have quite a bit to do each day. We start with our regular calendar and a discussion about the day, then there is the I’ve been good chart that Santa WILL see, they have been told! After that our Perler Bead Advent countdown calendar that we add a shape to and then count the days left. Whew! And then this year the boys brought some items home from church. A little Advent calendar that you flip up a flap for each day and it has a verse and a book… a finding object book with a bit of the Bible to read each day. Today’s reading was Genesis 3, 1-7 about the apple. You then looked at the picture, found the apple and talked about trees and fruit and such.
Some of the learning fun
But there’s more… today marks the beginning of Activity Villages’s Advent Calendar as well! This is a favourite of ours as it is daily and last year had us end up with 100 new ornaments! This year you make your own village! Most of the kids have opted to string their houses up but Zander is doing the table version. Added to that they have activities and such for each day too. Today was a focus on stockings. Emanuel did the colour by numbers to go with it! I love the series, especially with the time difference as I can access the next day early and get my print outs done and supplies organized early! I can’t wait to see our villages unfold!
Colouring their houses
And the final portion of our Advent season – this is for the twins really – our Polar Express lapbook. Today we did the first two mini books, read the story again (a first time for the little ones to sit through) and folded our folders so we can start piecing it together as we go. Our lapbook is from www.ajourneythroughlearning.com. When I checked their site briefly I was not able to find the exact one we used but if you search on Currclick there are a few options connected to the book. Once we finish the lapbook we will watch the movie again. It really is a very good rendition.
Gavin has decided HE wants to sew some gifts as well. I am keeping one of his personal designs but after that am giving him free reign to gift out. Right now he is working on a UK pattern (they are great as they don’t use half stitches). It is a joke card and very cute. He has a lot of patience for this and persists even when he gets knots and stabs his finger.
Hard at work
Zander has opted NOT to sew, instead he focused on time with Echo (he is my sheet holder when I attempt pictures), fun with Lego and he was the first one out the door this afternoon to build a snowman. His exuberance did finally convince Gavin it was a good idea and they BOTH built snowmen… all I have for today is the works in progress but they went for the REAL deal… rocks for eyes and mouths and a carrot for the nose!
Well on its way
Work in progress
Emanuel was my indoors boy with his workbook excitement and a mini craft… We couldn’t find my 3 sided beads (I have them in holiday colours darnit!! But I will find everything in the end… I am down to my last closet to organize). What we did find was a bunch of Christmas ornament craft supply my friend Kathy gifted us a year or two ago. With some pipecleaners, imagination and careful creation of patterns Emanuel was the proud creator of TWO beaded candy canes. The blue and green one (not pictured) was VERY short and chunky but we managed. I am sure AFTER Christmas is over I will find my bead stash!
Traditional Candy Cane
In order to get in a bath I needed 5 min to myself so I dug out my surplus stickers and embellishments, got everyone a piece of paper folded into a card, had the boys help the little ones and snuck off. We ended up with 4 very different Christmas cards (including two pinks!). I just have to add in our moo cards to each one going to someone and check them off my list. Slow going as I am trying to keep organized but it is going! Last night I finished TWO gifts and crossed off some more people. I hope to do the same with a US package.
I received some mail today! I ordered some blue hair extensions off of eBay and they finally got here today. I will have to play around with them and trim them down to size but I am so excited! I wanted to dye my hair blue but have heard some real horror stories so this is the next best thing! AND they were under 3.00 for all 3!
So with snowmen, Advent calendars, talk about trains, sewing and all the other random occurrences we seem to have kept busy! I wouldn’t say the time has flown by but I blinked and it was past 3pm! Yikes! Take a look at THIS Lego creation! The boys now want that many Legos too!
And the crafting goes on… for me as well. BUT I did manage some time in between crafts to clean up my ribbons (the kids dumped one container and the other container was a mess by my own work). Now the kitchen table… well… yeah let’s just ignore that one for now! I know I have! That leaves my laminating to trim up, a house to “assemble” for Zander…and of course a hunt for something for Trinity to “do” tomorrow…
Echo's embellished pj's
Baby with her cube