Tag Archive | gingerbread

The First Present

December 19-20

Well we really are running out of days to get things done now! Wednesday meant that one day closer to the end of the week and for the kids, really, one day more EXCITED! We have had lots of packages coming into the house but now they are coming in wrapped and going right under the tree!!!

Of course with the gingerbread theme we had to do up the last of the foam shapes. Only ladies left but each one was an individual work of art.

Very individual creations!

Such expressions

Trinity worked with some gingerbread men to create a name banner to go on our cabinet in the boot room that is all decked out with cards and other pieces of themed art. She is really a pro at writing her name now.


The kids were right there to help continue decorating the house. There was garland and blinky lights to put on the banister and the foam houses to set out. Oh and a fiber optic tree that is so pretty when the sun goes down!

Decorating the house

We opened our very first Christmas present. A vintage Christmas book sent from a dear friend in the UK (thank you Josephine ). They tore right into the paper and we had to read a story RIGHT AWAY! Though Emanuel saved a teddy bear from the wrapping to paste in his journal.

First present

Ready.. set.. unwrap

Vintage stories!!

Emanuel with his piece of wrapping paper

We got letters from Santa thanks to a wonderful local program and 5.00. Each of the 5 was different as well! It was so much fun reading each one out loud and seeing the excitement on their faces.

Santa letters

Thursday was VERY exciting as a HUGE box showed up from South Carolina, that’s right – presents from Grandma and Grandpa Reinsch and Aunty Kat and her husband. Our tree is looking so full thanks to so many lovely packages arriving in the mail! The kids are so happy and sure that Christmas WILL be here and wonderful.

The kids popping the bubble wrap

The twins worked on an exercise where they combined words to create a longer word. Like book and case. They did a GREAT job!

I love it when they work together

There was another wonderful drawing to be done on Art for Kids… an angel. As you can tell from the picture, Gavin drew one just for Trinity!

Such a wonderful drawing

We had another chapter in our vintage book… The Christmas Snowman this time. I am loving the stories and the pictures and the kids are so happy with their very first gift.

We also finished our gingerbread themed poster that I picked up at JoAnn’s earlier. I think they did a great job working together. It is tucked away in their special binder full of all our Christmas work! I have already started thinking about next year… I am thinking the history of Christmas and a super Jesus centered learning. This year I really focused on Santa and how he WILL find us here… some stability in a year of changes…


One more regular week day until we hit the weekend and the final Christmas countdown. I think Ken and I are finally done our shopping. We even found a pretty little dress at Target for Christmas day for Echo… ON SALE! With most of our immigration questions answered and forms filled we wait on a passport renewal and then do the big move – MAIL IT! So after Christmas… but before that, Saturday and onward I get to make my brain relax… I am going to make this an amazing Christmas for us all.

Our darling girls

Gingerbread Men

December 17-18

What can be better on a Monday than videos… and one of them a CRAFT video? My loyal fellow crafter Gavin and I were right on top of that! I like this project as it gave him a start at braiding with something that holds the shape. He got a little frustrated but did a GREAT job! And the supplies – pipe cleaners, SIMPLE! then I folded two he twisted together to make our bow and attach it and BANG tree ornament and proud crafter!

My crafting buddy

Our second video was a Trinity favourite and I think another that Activity Village (both of our videos are from the site) posted LAST year. It really is short but soooo cute!

Gavin continued his artistic trend with the newest Art for Kids instructions – BABY JESUS! Absolutely ADORABLE!

A beautiful Baby Jesus with artist (Gavin)

The close up

Trinity and Emanuel channeled some artistic talent as they worked on what we are calling our “gingerbread house” since we started our gingerbread man unit with the traditional story and some workbooks. We figured foam would be easier (though this kit not much!).

Working on the house

With gingerbread men comes many many printable pictures… Trinity was all over that!

Colour by numbers thanks to Activity Village – link on right for the site

We also read the boardbook we have for gingerbread men… coloured our Advent stuff, worked on finishing any unfinished previous week sheets and of course practiced our songs. I am hoping to do up the video by Friday and post it on youTube!

The Gingerbread Man

I had a special evening OUT of the house. We had all miss remembered Joe and Faith’s flight return (thinking it Tuesday when it was Monday) so Nana and Baba and cousins headed to the airport after I left leaving Ken solo. But yours truly was out for the evening with Shandai (a besty from my high school days in Canada) and her roommate Emily. Both of them are SUPER crafty ladies and an inspiration.

We went to Applebee’s for dinner (thanks again Shandai) and the 5.00 burger and sat and chatted forever. Then we went to JoAnn’s and shopped for ages, just trolling the aisles talking craft and seeing what there is to see. I picked up some super soft purple yarn for a special project and since I had coupons got a couple dollar Christmas items for the kids to craft with and TRACING paper for a project for later this week.

New yarn!!

Poor Ken finally succumbed to the cold that has been kicking ALL our bottoms on Tuesday. Sore throat, sore body, you name it… so our errands consisted of the two of us heading out late afternoon with Ken driving and me doing the rest. I think I am finally done sending what packages I can before Christmas. Oh and a run to Target to ALMOST finish the random items. I REALLY need to find that Christmas dress for Echo…

So much to do we are tired out!

I had that new package of pipe cleaners so Gavin and I created wreaths of many shiny colours. I love the braiding practice. Gavin even got EXTRA fancy with his bow piece!

More wreaths

The tracing paper has come in handy AGAIN… a method learned from their cousin Gabriella of tracing pictures is VERY popular around here. Gavin decided to go with a page out of our Christmas colouring book. With the Pringles I picked up at Target we can make our pin hole cameras this week as well… Probably by Thursday since we still have a tube to eat.

Tracing paper!

The gingerbread men pages continue as does our book reading. We had an advanced copy of the Christmas themed Scaredy Squirrel book – Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Christmas… you can find our family review HERE. We absolutely adore this series and are so blessed to have a signed copy of one of the books thanks to Karyn. Our binder is filling up.

Hard at work


December 5-6

Middle of the week comes and goes and with it another busy busy day! Poor Baba is feeling under the weather but yours truly feels more the norm. I have to admit, having SOMETHING to do (aka attempt, however impossibly to find my immunization records.. yah right) and the knowledge that Ken IS talking to people and making progress just soothes the soul. It is something I have been working on and fighting with… I just do not handle massive anxiety well, though once the issue has passed or we gain control I am able to smooth right out. Certainly NOT helpful.

We have continued our making of cards, colouring of pictures and working on word searches – all Christmas themed! Trinity has fallen in love with colouring CANDY CANES! Thankfully no one else is complaining.

Today’s big family together time was baking cookies. Nana had picked up sugar cookie dough so while she was out with the weekly time with the cousins and Baba in bed we baked. Again all 5 together elbow deep in dough and flour. So much fun! Though they are definitely not our usual sugar cookie. Ken and I are a bit picky about our cookies after all and love the recipe I got from my mom. BUT everyone else loved them!

With Daddy

Echo at work

Busy bees

Can you tell which is Echo’s masterpiece?

We are hard at work on the first of our Christmas Carols for our mini concert we plan to post on youTube… Away in a Manger. It started out as just the twins and now the younger ones are trickling in to learn too. I wish we had found a Sunday School and the chance to really make it to church regularly but I think that this is our second choice. I am proud of their wish to share these moments with you all… as I was told VERY clearly we HAVE to post this, after all did you know that GRANDMA wants to hear them sing too?? (yup mom they said that SERIOUSLY)

We also did our “Things I Like About Christmas” print out, we did this one last year as well. You can find it on Activity Village. I have printed off extras so that we can continue to do it each year. I love hearing what is important to them each Christmas!

Last year and this year

Thursday was an even better day, though the twins were a little ill. We did another Candy Cane themed craft and made Candy Cane Hearts!

Yummy hearts

Again thanks to Activity Village. Trinity and I lucked out and found tri-cornered beads, so we took some of our special Christmas coloured pipe cleaners and made special beaded candy canes.  I think that each of the kids has done this craft and I was worried that this year we would not come across the right beads to make one for Trinity. She did rather well with her pattern on the one (only a mistake or two) and her yellow one seems to shine! I was so proud of her!

Stringing beads together

The golden version

We read ANOTHER book… Santa’s Snow Cat… so another journal page. Just a cover style illustration with the title written on the page. I am not making them do much more than enjoy the story and the family time with these Christmas themed books. Don’t forget Santa Bear from a previous day!

Santa’s Snow Cat

Santa Bear

I want to try an idea I saw online next year and wrap up 25 NEW Christmas books and then each day open one with the kids and read it! We also had a MATH day… we went online and hunted around for free Christmas themed workpages and printed off a bunch. A lot of adding and subtracting and recognizing which is which. I am hoping to make January a math month, the past few months we have REALLY been focused on the reading.

Joint creation

We, of course, had to work on ELVES from Art for Kids! Zander added his to his already VERY active Santa! I look forward to saving these instructions for years to come! 

So much fun!

Add to that our daily Advent with videos and colouring pages and the kids are rather happy with the direction our learning has gone. I took a poll and it turns out that the kids prefer next week to be REINDEER themed instead of gingerbread. I have been hunting down Rudolf related pages and whatever I can find for colouring for Trinity. Don’t forget our Christmas themed drawings thanks to Art for Kids!!!

Our little resting copy cats watching Christmas themed tv