Friday, December 23, 2011

Traditions on the Eve of Christmas

December 23rd. The most anxious day of the year for many. It's the, "OH! CRAP! I forgot...!" or "OH! I so wanted to do that this year! Maybe next year!"

So, it's December 23rd...and I am going through my Christmas Eve tradition list...

1.) Fake snow for Santa's footprints - CHECK

2.) Small gift from Santa left in the boy's room for when they first wake up - CHECK

3.) New blankets for the boys to open - CHECK

4.) Cake to be baked or cupcakes to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus - WILL BE CHECKED - today or tomorrow

5.) Read, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas - CHECK - HAVE THE BOOK

6.) Read the story of Jesus' Birth. - CHECK - HAVE THE BOOK ;-)

7.) Set out Reindeer food for the overworked animals! - Pretty sure they will eat anything.

8.) Cookies and milk for Santa.

We still do the big things like Christmas Eve dinner and Service, but these things I pray they remember.

This year, my one thing I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to do is this:
We added a Jesus Stocking this year.

So, at the time we sing to Celebrate Jesus' birthday, I will give whomever is present a piece of paper. Their job is to draw a picture of themselves as their present to Him all that they are...themselves. I plan to put these self-made portraits into a book that will grow each year. We will put it into Jesus' stocking. (This ideas was given to me by a friend). Come Christmas morning, there will be a heart or a star of some sort for the kids to have. Hopefully it is to remind them of Jesus' love or the Star that told the world of his birth.

And since we moved into a new house this year, YIPEEE! - we do not have a chimney...but do not be dismayed! We have found a way! We crafted a Magical Santa Key that we will hang on our door knob before we go to bed.

It reads: "Dear Santa, We don't have a chimney, as you plainly see, but we still want you to visit, so here is our magic key. - Love the Kerbs Family"

So the only thing left I have to figure out what will be in Jesus' stocking on Christmas Morning.

So, it's December 23rd...what are your traditions for the Eve of Christmas - and are you ready??

Monday, December 19, 2011


When looking at my friend's blog over at A Study in Domestic Bliss, she shared her peeps' Gingerbread houses. I thought, "HEY! I can do that!" yeah...right...we did them...but not with the grace she did. We, unfortunately, did it "our" style, which isn't graceful at all. Actually, not even a teeny, tiny bit.

See for yourselves.

I'm pretty sure we could give the witch in the Hansel and Gretel tale a run for her money!


Looking at lights this year proves to be a bit more entertaining with Tank.

$5 Treasure

I've been looking for a little tray to do some schoolwork on the floor with Tank. His stuff seems to be strewn across the floor and we seem to lose things...All. The. Time.

I found this tray at Michael's for $5. Not too shabby!

Tank insisted on wearing his daddy's shoes while doing school this morning...I guess whatever helps him to concentrate!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fact Families

Today I introduced Turbo to Fact Families. Easy concept, sometimes hard to teach. I FINALLY FOUND A USE FOR ANGRY BIRDS!

I assigned each bird/pig a number. Using the lingo, I taught fact families:

Hi my name is 8.
Hi my name is 4 and my name is 12.
We are a fact family.
We can do 4 things together.
8+4=12, 4+8=12, 12-4=8, 12-8=4.

At first, it was difficult, but near the end, Turbo totally got it.

Tank, focused on reading and identifying his colors. He doesn't "speak" English yet...still gibberish/Chinese/Latin/Greek - but he knows his colors...Odd man..

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Our Christmas Guest

I found this activity on another mom's blog and I really want to do this. I'm pretty sure that Tank will be "lost", but Turbo may understand it.

From another mommy:
"This year we've been working to emphasize to our 4 littlies the gift of Christ in our lives during the Christmas season, instead of focusing on being good so Santa will bring presents. Still, Santa's name has been popping up more than I would wish. One night as I was getting into bed I had an idea that I quickly wrote down. We used it as our lesson for Family Home Evening last night and it went over really well!

First, I held up a picture of a door I drew on a piece of paper. This door was covering a picture behind it. I said, "Pretty soon we might have a special guest visit our house. You never know! I'm going to give some clues that describe this person and you guess who it is." The clues included:

he sees you when you're sleeping.
he knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good.
he has a beard and a kind face
he spent his life giving to others
he's often pictured in red and/or white clothes
he loves little children
he gives the very best gifts
you can never see him, but you can feel him
he gives us a wonderful, special warm feeling
he can get into our homes even if the doors are locked
he has special, wonderful powers
we want to give gifts back to him, but he doesn't need anything we could buy;
he just wants us to give to other people. (My kids have been talking about giving a present to Santa.)

I ended with, "He encourages us to be good so we will be ready when he comes."

The kids all excitedly shouted "Santa!" Then I had the youngest come and open the door to welcome our guest into our home.

We used this image from the Gospel Art Book. (You could use any number of pictures, including Christ in a Red Robe, The Second Coming, Christ and Children Around the World, etc. I just made sure he was wearing red and white.)

The kids all gasped in amazement that I was actually describing Jesus - there are so many similarities! We discussed how each description applied to both Jesus and Santa, and then we talked about how Santa is actually a symbol for Jesus, and everything we love about Santa is really everything we love about Jesus. We can be reminded of Jesus through many different symbols during the Christmas season, and we mentioned a few - candy canes, giving gifts, stars on the tree, etc.

We looked at a few more pictures of Jesus and even a picture of Santa kneeling at the manger to discuss how Jesus is the greatest gift. It was a very enjoyable and memorable lesson. Now the youngest keeps wanting to open the door and let Jesus in - and we let him!"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Operation Christmas Tradition: Tree Cutting

Click to play this Smilebox collage
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Free photo collage created with Smilebox

Location: Pickle Gulch
Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

A Reindeer Kinda Day

This morning started off in a usual way for school. Turbo on the computer working on his reading at Reading Eggs (So worth a look see), while Tank and I work on his letters.

(Nothing like 3 degree weather, hot coffee, a snuggly warm puppy at your feet to make letter learning cozy)

Next, Tank worked on the letter "F" while using a BINGO dobber to "write". I pretty sure most of the splatter ended up on my wall rather than the paper. UGH.

While Tank was doing this, Turbo was previewing a book and circling words that he already knew. (This seems to help his anxiety when presented with a new book, as he fears he won't know any words and the book itself becomes overwhelming).

Come to find out, he knew every word but 8 in the book. He was super proud of himself!

For lunch we settled in for some alphabet spaghetti-O's (yucko), and watched Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer with Burl Ives...sigh...childhood memories... So what better way to "top" it off? Make some Rudolf's of our own! Tank was pretty much in awe of his work...he kept walking around the house, admiring his work by literally "oohing and awing".

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Traditions

In an effort to establish Christmas Traditions, I have been hastily prepping things for the 1st of December...ehem...tomorrow!

My sweet friend, over at Divine Interruptions posted a blog about her Christmas Traditions and it got my engine revving.

Turbo was excited when he found a stocking that was used in the past for something, probably done in Children's Ministry. He asked whose it was, and when the stocking didn't have an owner, he proudly announced that Jesus needed a stocking. Now, we just have to think up of something that will go in the stocking come Christmas morning. Any thoughts?

Have you noticed that EVERYTHING for decorations at Christmas time is EXPENSIVE? So we decided to make something each year that we can use to decorate our house with. LIKE? Aidan helped to paint the letters...well kind was as team effort. Little crooked...but hey...its ours and we are proud of it.

I found this idea of an Advent Calendar, but after we nailed in the last tack, our friends over at A Study in Domestic Bliss posted her "Advent" list...and well...that will be stolen next year!

However, OURS... :-)...has a piece of tin foil over a suggested activity. Each day is numbered. Each day, the boys will "scratch" off the tin foil to reveal that day's fun. (I was too cheap to buy "scratch off" paint - seriously...scratch off?)

But back to my friend at Divine Interruptions. She wraps all of her Christmas books and places them in a basket. Each evening they open the "present" and read the book before going to bed. Her list of suggestions are wonderful, and we will for sure be adding to our collection. (At the time of posting, and due to time limits...naps and anxious boys wanting to go to the park, these books are not wrapped, but will be by tomorrow night...promise...ish)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tae Kwon Do

Taekwondo (태권도; 跆拳道; Korean pronunciation: [tʰɛkwʌndo])[a] is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae (태, 跆) means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon (권, 拳) means "to strike or break with fist"; and do (도, 道) means "way", "method", or "path". Thus, taekwondo may be loosely translated as "the way of the hand and the foot."

It combines combat techniques, self-defense, sport, exercise, and in some cases meditation and philosophy. In 1989, Taekwondo was the world's most popular martial art in terms of number of practitioners.[1] Gyeorugi (pronounced [ɡjʌɾuɡi]), a type of sparring, has been an Olympic event since 2000.

Turbo has been training in this art for about 2 months now and L-O-V-E-S it! We love it too for him. His Master Instructor is fantastic with kids and is a 7th Dan Black Belt, who is also a Coach at CU Boulder for their team and has trained Olympic Athletes.

Each belt is to receive 5 stripes. One stripe for kicking techniques, 1 stripe for punching techniques, 1 stripe for forms, 1 stripe for school, and then the last stripe is given by Mom and Dad for how well the student does at home. Which is ingenious in that of itself!

On Monday, Turbo was awarded his High White belt.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

There Comes a Time... every mom's world where you embark on a new frontier in mothering. It was excitingly cute when they found their toes. Amazingly wonderful when they went from crawling to walking. Exasperating to get them to speak, and then getting them to be quiet.

But I have found between the ages of 4 and 6, there is something exquisite about the life and mind of a boy. Not only physically do they change; hairy legs and little boy features grow into young boy features. Mentally they change where before trains were the center of their universe, but now Star Wars and the dream of becoming an astronaut are crowding the thoughts and dreams of their minds.

Today, I saw a new little boy in my world. Turbo, has come a LONG way from where he was at 2 years ago when we began down the long road of homeschooling, therapy, and figuring out why in the world was this little boy not ticking the way he should be.

Today, he helped load the groceries into the car from the cart, put the cart away, helped unload the groceries, asked in a sincere voice, "Now that I'm 6, can I put gel in my hair and do my own hair?" He chose his own gel, (Monkey Goop) - Don't ask - and came home right away to style his hair...which turned into a Mohawk...awesome.

Now, he is sitting quietly in his room, after asking if he could do his own school, come up with his own work, and begin having homework.

Where did my little boy go? Have we arrived? Have we seen the fruits of our labor from these past 2 years? Is our little boy growing up? Is it true? Can it be? Instead of having a toddler, preschooler, and "little" boy, do we now have a young man? A little boy who is growing into what he will become? A father? A husband? A responsible adult? (dare we say?) An astronaut? (I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a letter or phone call from NASA's director one day asking me to come to his office to discuss some things...oi vey).

I'm excited now to see what happens daily now with Turbo. He is growing up, and there comes a time when a mother has to let him grow up....*sigh* least I still have Tank...which is a totally different story.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Full of Thanks

In preparation for Family Night this week, I have been chatting with the boys about what they are thankful for. Apparently, the dog, Chance is winner. Mom and Dad? Well we come trailing in after the trampoline, toys, house, snacks, food, and candy. Awesome...

You've got to admit though, he is pretty stinkin' cute.

Tank is pretty enamored with him.


There are some other things that the boys are thankful for. Tank, apparently is super thankful for the Little Einsteins! Not necessarily Annie in particular, but on any given day, each character is given his full and undivided attention.

Turbo sat down and made a turkey. He went outside to collect tail feathers. I was hoping he would find some pretty fall leaves, but no dice. The snow...grr...the snow...wiped them out. So he chose these grasses. He made the turkey and then wrote what he was thankful for, or in his words, "Full of Thanks".


This weekend, while going through Turbo's outgrown clothes for Tank, I found 2T/3T underoos. OH. MY. GRACIOUS. I forgot how cute they were! Of course, Tank is all over wearing them! Potty training in our near future! NAH! He still wets himself regardless of incessant asking of needing to "GO!" And then he doesn't even care if he is wet, he goes on with his life. Hmmm...Maybe we'll hide these for a bit...maybe until Christmas and try again...then again...whats the rush?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fire Prevention Month

For Fire Prevention Month, I contacted the local fire house and asked if a small homeschool group could come and tour the facility. Fortunately, for us, they had an entire program set up for visiting preschools and day cares. They gladly fit us in! We started by watching a movie, then learned about their gear. We checked fire alarms, and what to do when they go off! They even had the kids pretend to sleep while smoke filled their "room". The door even got hot! They were to exit out the window to our predetermined meeting place! We toured the station and explored the truck! What a great experience!

Click to play this Smilebox invite
Create your own invite - Powered by Smilebox
Make a free invitation card

Fall Party

This year we FINALLY were able to host a Fall Party. We made/ate caramel apples, dressed up in costumes, took pictures, ate jello worms, sweet treats, mummy dogs, decorated pumpkins, bowled with pumpkins and made footprint ghost! We have such great friends who made the trek to our new digs to celebrate with us!
Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
This free scrapbook design generated with Smilebox