Thursday, December 31, 2009

Favorite Christmas Books

School for December was mostly just the basics and reading Christmas books. There are so many good books that I have trouble fitting them all in during the season. Here are some of our very favorites:

We just found this one last year, but it's already on our must read list.

Everyone gets in pajamas to read this one and then we watch the movie. For the last two years, I've made tickets for them and punched them like the movie.

Sadly, we didn't get time to read this one this year. I made sure to buy it the other day so we will definitely get to it next year.

We love Santa here and read many books about him and the reindeer, but I also try to choose books that show the real meaning of Christmas. I really like that this book has Santa explain that Jesus' birth is the reason for Christmas.

We've been reading this one for a while. It was out of print so we had to get it from the library. It's now available again and we gave it to Colin as his Christmas book this year.

We love Jan Brett books. My kids think all the books about the gingerbread man, baby, boy, girl, cowboy, etc. (we've read a lot of them) are fun.

There are many other books we read every year, but these are the ones that came to mind when I tried to think of the ones we like most. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas pictures

This one just makes me smile every time I see it.


While we were putting up the Christmas tree, the girls decided to lay down under it. They said they were the presents. They have no idea how true that is.

Holiday Happenings

We've been checking out holiday events in the area.

We went to see a play, A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas. I thought it was really good.

We went to a tree lighting where they were making fake snow to cover the ground. The kids enjoyed making snowballs.

We went to a craft show, where the kids got to see Santa.

We saw a live nativity called the Living Christmas Story. Instead of just one scene like these usually have, they had 19 different scenes including Gabriel coming to Mary, different parts of Bethlehem, and the nativity.

We also went to a drive through light display.

They had a place to get out for a gift shop, Santa, a sand sculpture

and a trail to walk through with displays.


Our New Town

Along with unpacking, work, school, and holiday preparations, we've been trying to get out and see our new town.

One really cool thing is that we're very close to the beach. The kids love that.

It felt kind of strange to go to the beach the day after putting our Christmas tree up, but it was nice to be able to go play in the sand for a few hours.

We spent a day looking around downtown. Here is the pineapple fountain at Waterfront Park.

Here you can see the Ravenel Bridge in the background.

We also visited the Market Hall and went to the Christmas parade while we were there.



We spent November going back and forth between our house and an apartment since Chad had already started his new job. We didn't get to do everything I had planned for our Thanksgiving study, but I think it was pretty good that we were able to do a lot of it.

In the First Thanksgiving- inside they wrote about who, when, where, and why. Under that are Thanksgiving words with letters missing that they had to fill in. The other books are about where the Pilgrims landed and where was Plimoth Plantation. There is a map to show the path the Mayflower took. For the blessings pocket, they drew pictures or wrote what they were thankful for and put the pages inside. We used Draw Write Now to draw pictures of the Mayflower, pilgrims, Squanto, and other Thanksgiving related things.

We talked about why the Pilgrims left England, their journey on the Mayflower, what it was like when they arrived, the Wampanoag Indians, the Mayflower Compact, and the first Thanksgiving.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Duchess Bakes a Cake Notebook Pages

 I just realized that I never came back and posted these. I had planned to get some pictures of the kids dressed as knights and at the Renaissance Festival to add to the pages before posting them. I still haven't done that and with so much going on, I'm not sure when it will happen. So I'm going to go ahead and put them up. There will be blank spaces where the pictures will eventually be placed.

These are Caleigh's:

On the left is a map of where knights lived and a castle you can open to see a list of characters from the book. On the right is a paper piecing of a knight she put together and colored. There is also a list of weapons knights used. She glued pictures under the flaps to match them.

You can open the label the knight booklet and she put the names of each piece of the knight's armor. On the left is a castle with the parts labelled, a book about yeast, and a book on the progression to becoming a knight (page, squire, knight).

Here is part of Colin's:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Molly funnies

The kids were having an argument. It kept going and going so Chad told them to just drop it. A few minutes later Molly says, "I'm trying to drop it, Dad, but it's still in my head."

On Thanksgiving, Molly asked us if turkeys know they have chicken inside them. Yes, she confuses her birds sometimes.

Been busy

We moved a couple weeks ago so I've been busy unpacking and getting settled in along with holiday preparations. I'll try to post soon about the things we've been doing lately. We got started back with school this week even though I haven't finished unpacking all the school stuff yet.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Molly's Birthday Party

Molly had a wonderful party with all of her friends on Saturday. Besides celebrating her birthday, it was an added bonus to see everyone before we move. She just loves Spongebob lately so that's what she chose for her party theme.

Here's one of her in her Spongebob costume.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Unexpected Blessing

Tomorrow my baby is turning 5 years old. When I found out I was pregnant with her, I couldn't imagine how it would work. We wanted a third child, but planned to wait at least a couple more years. The other kids had just turned 1 and 4. I had terrible morning sickness with both of them. I was so worried about how I would take care of them and go through that sickness again. I had barely been able to care for Colin at 2 when I was pregnant with Caleigh. Now I would have two kids to care for and one of them barely a year old. Well, I was definitely sick with her, but we all still made it through that time.

Now I can't imagine our family without her. She has been such a blessing to me. She finds joy in everything and has a great time no matter what she's doing. She can make me smile even on the saddest days. She is such a fun, loving, happy child and I am so blessed to be her mother.

Here she is on her first birthday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Duchess Bakes a Cake

For our quick study of the middle ages, we started with the Five in a Row book,  The Duchess Bakes a Cake. From that, we discussed consequences, alliteration, rhyming, and the feudal society. Then we extended that to study life during the middle ages, knights, and castles.


We also discussed yeast since it is important to the story and the kids made their own cake without overusing the yeast as the Duchess does. Yes, they went a little crazy with the sprinkles and candies.

 The kids dressed up as knights and just had to do a little jousting. I was able to find helmets, shields, swords, breastplates, and small stick horses for them. We made simple catapults using cereal boxes and plastic spoons.

They decorated castles from a model magic princess set I found awhile back.  

Colin enjoyed this Klutz book that comes with building cards to make a castle.

 I still have a few pictures I need to add to the notebook pages. I'll try to finish that and post them soon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


We spent a few days reading Stellaluna and learning about bats. Stellaluna is the story of a baby bat that gets separated from her mother and then lives with birds.

Things they learned about: where fruit bats live, echolocation, baby bats, whether animals are diurnal or noctural, whether animals are carniivores, herbivores, or omnivores, and the anatomy of a bat.

These are Caleigh's notebook pages. Colin did all the same things.

Here are some of the books opened up. She pasted pictures of animals in the books to show diurnal animals and nocturnal animals. She also pasted pictures in the correct spots to show whether the animal is a carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore. She labeled the parts of a bat and colored the map showing where fruit bats are found.

Ancient Greece

I think I've mentioned before that Colin has been studying ancient Greece. We have only worked on it a couple days a week so it's taken us a while to finish it.

Things he learned about: early Greeks, dark ages, alphabet, stories of Homer, Trojan horse, first Olympics, Sparta, Athens, Greek gods and goddesses, war with Persia, and Alexander the Great. We read or listened to many Greek myths including Hercules, Medusa, Midas and the Golden Touch, and Cyclops.

Here are his notebook pages:

On the left is a map of Greece he filled in, a wheel to spin to see information about the city-states, and the Greek life book (includes info about houses, children, clothing, and entertainment). On the right is a picture of the Cyclops and an Olympic symbols and traditions book (you can open each picture to find info under it).

This is what it looks like when you open the left side:

On the left is a Venn diagram of Athens and Sparta and a book where he wrote about the first Olympics. On the right is a map showing Troy, the Trojan Horse with a flap to lift where he wrote about what was inside, and a booklet where he wrote about Homer.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Carolina Balloon Fest

After the scheduled launch time passed and they were still trying to decide if it was too windy, I was afraid this festival was going to be a flop. There wasn't much to do so the kids were getting a little bored. As the first balloon finally started to inflate, they became excited though. Eventually about 15 balloons went up. Many of the ones that didn't fly did inflate later for the balloon glow. It was really neat to see them up close.