Friday, December 23, 2016

Operation Christmas Child

You know how you can fill up those shoeboxes for the Samaritan's Purse every year.. Operation Christmas Child??  I always love the idea, but somehow never actually get around to making it happen. Well, this year, precious Grammie picked up shoeboxes for all the kids and decided to take them all shopping to pick out things for their box!!  The kids were THRILLED!!  They enjoyed this SO much..  They all gathered in the living room, laid out all of the items they had picked out, and began to pack it up!!

Of course, everyone had to pack a bible first!!  It was most important!!

Precious Rylie!!

Callie cut up wrapping paper to use around these little light-up glass churches they had picked out!!

Heyyyy!  I want one of those!!

Grant wanted to keep a light-up glass church, too!!  Ha!!

Grammie got everyone's boxes exactly as they should be and gave them each $7 to ship it..  Thank you, Mom!!  What a sweet and wonderful experience this was to do together!!
This kicked our holiday season off.. and what a beautiful way to begin!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

CCHSA Fall Semester 2016

I probably should have split this post up into two parts.. but I'm going to smoosh ten weeks into one blog post and hopefully this will all make sense, ha!! Stay with me.

On August 26, we started our second semester at our local Christian homeschool co-op.  I'm sure you've all heard me rave about it before, but it is so hard to imagine life without it!!  It's been so good for not only the kids, but for myself as well!  I've met some precious moms, cute kids, and made some dear friends.. and the like-mindedness we all share is a gift I didn't even know I needed.

I taught my first class to 6-8 year olds, called "Timeless Tales: Story Time with the Classics."  Fancy, right?!  Haa, I enjoyed it so much!!  Here's a little recap of some of the experiences we had! 

Every week, we read a well-loved, but lesser-known, children's story, completed a worksheet (that would be stored in a binder each week and given to the parents, as a surprise gift, on the last day of co-op!), played a game, ate a snack, and made some sort of craft..

Week 1 - The Ice Cream King by Steve Metzger
After reading the story, we talked about our favorite flavors of ice cream, completed our worksheet while eating Hot Fudge Sundae Poptarts, played "Pin the Cherry on the Ice Cream"... 

..all before making an ice cream cone magnet!!

Week 2: How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A. by Marjorie Priceman
I thought this would be an appropriate book for Labor Day!! We made cherry pies from paper plates, tissue paper, and cotton balls, ate Cherry Nutra-Grain bars, and then played Musical Chairs using my Patriotic Songs CD!! ;))

Did I mention I taught a second class, too..??  YES!  I was Andrew's "Playground Fun" teacher!!  Here is his sweet little class of 4-5 year olds during snack time!!

Week 3: Summertime in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
It can't really be called a classical story time class without a book from Laura Ingalls Wilder!!  We read our story under our make-shift covered wagon.. (It was also Pirate Day, can you tell?? Ha!)

Laura made cheese and got honey out of a tree in our story.. so we snacked on cheese cubes and honeycombs while writing about our "Covered Wagon Adventure," before building log cabins out of pretzels and marshmallows!

The girls made masterpieces while the boys moved on to building entire cities out of blocks!

This must have been Picture Day for my beautiful babies!!  I sure do love these two!!

Week 4: Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco 
I remember reading this in my Children's Lit class at LC and loving it.. Such a sweet story!!  I shut off the lights and we read this book by flashlight!!  We didn't make a thunder cake (a chocolate and strawberry cake that you make during a thunderstorm in order to take your mind off of all that thundering and lightning!), but we ate little Funfetti cakes!!  We worked on our worksheet, describing things we like to do when it rains, and then made an actual thunder storm in a cup!!

Lastly, we played Hot Potato with that flashlight. ;))

Week 5: May I Bring A Friend? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
We talked about our friends and what we love about them..

..ate animal crackers, and then played animal charades and animal races, before ending with another story called, Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley.  The kids and I found this jewel hidden away at the library and I ordered it right away.. such a perfect book to get kids up and moving and loving every minute of it!!

Week 6:  A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus by David A. Adler
Seeing as it was Christopher Columbus Day, I decided to read a little biography on him.. and the kids listened surprisingly well, ha!!

We ate a snack, wrote about what we do if we were explorers, and then made a water-color painting!! 

 This turned into one of my most favorite crafts.. Vannie's is still hanging on our fridge!!

Erin was my assistant.. and put us all to shame!!  She is a brilliant water-color artist, even though she didn't have time to add her ship, haa!!

Meanwhile, Brother enjoyed the heck out of that playground. ;))

 Week 7: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett (one of my personal favorites!)
We talked about the foods we wish would rain down from the sky and heard some very interesting answers - boiled crawfish, healthy pizza, and even sushi!!  Ha!! My answer was Wadie's roast, rice and gravy.. or his jambalaya.. or his chicken noodle soup.. or his smoked anything.  Clearly, I am not picky. ;))

We experimented with our taste buds, tasting things like radishes, mangoes, kiwis and pineapple!  Most kids were not fans of the radishes, hahaa!!

As our game, we played Bean Boozled, the sick and terrible game where you don't know what flavor you will pick.. it could be coconut or smelly socks, juicy pear or mowed grass. Hahaa!!  This was a HIT with these kids!!!

Week 8: Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
Another one of my personal favorites!!

We wrote about how we would make the world a more beautiful place, ate homemade gingersnap cookies, and then began our paintings!!

Look how prettyyyyy!!

Week 9: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
We ate Star Crunches, wrote about our favorite things to do with our dads, and then made chalk paintings of our owl!! 

The kids raced their rubber balls by blowing on them through a straw.. can't quite remember how this related to our book, though, ha!!

For our last class, I compiled everyone's worksheets from the semester into their own binder, complete with a personalized note from their teachers!!

Here are a few samples of their work:

Week 10: The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene

 We wrote what we were most thankful for while eating corn and cranberries - like the first Thanksgiving!!  (Except ours was candy corn and dried, sweetened cranberries, ha!)

This was an abbreviated class to make time for commencement afterwards, so the kids simply used their brand new tubs of playdough to make their own Thanksgiving feast!

Last group picture of our Timeless Tales class!!  It was truly a joy and an honor to get to teach these kids - I'm convinced I had the sweetest bunch at co-op!!

We finished our three blocks of classes and then headed to the sanctuary.. where Andrew's "Today is Monday in Louisiana" class kicked off the commencement!!

Callie was Thursday - Jambalaya!!

And Andrew was Friday - Catfish!!

If you don't know this song, you'll have to look it up!!  It's adorable and stays in your head for forever!!

Since Andrew will be 6 before the next semester starts, this is his last time in the preschool department. :(( Tears!!

Mom taught a piano class and all of her students played a little piece they had learned!!  So cute!!

And then Vannie had our friend, Laurie, as a teacher for a songwriting class!  The kids wrote a song of thanksgiving to Jesus..  It was so precious!!

Love this one since you can see some of the lyrics!! Kristen played while the kids sang!!

Such precious little people!!

Casey and her girls, Hezzy, Jason, and Kate, and Wade and our babies all came to watch the commencement!!  It was so wonderful to have them all there!!

As per tradition on our last day of co-op, we headed over to Los Portales.. the ONE time we actually plan to eat there, ha!  We ate bowls of chips, salsa, and nachos and relished the fact that this would be our last Monday getting up at 6 AM for awhile!
It's been such a wonderful semester and I am so thankful for all the sweet people I've gotten to know a little bit better these 10 weeks!! I look forward to February.. where I'll be teaching "Read Around the World," a class of children's books, games, and foods from all over the world!! I'll keep you posted on our travels. ;))

About Me

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From childhood friends to high school sweethearts, and now newlyweds and brand-new parents, Wade and I can only thank Jesus for His incredible blessings. Our three children are the ULTIMATE gifts from God and we pray that our lives glorify Him. He is our everything.