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".