Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Playing with Light

I have been saving this activity for the letter L week and it is finally here.  I was super excited and I hoped that both Hannah and Ethan  would enjoy.  This activity has popped up all over thee mom blog scene, so where I saw it first is uncertain but I am pretty sure that it was at Play at Home Mom.  

My first problem to work out before we could even do this activity was how to rig up a light box/table.  Here is how I did it:

First, I  took a picture frame (bigger than the container you will use underneath it.
Removed everything from the back except the glass.
Then tape a piece of wax paper onto the inside of the frame to make to the light more opaque.

Then I took a plastic bin and filled it with some Christmas tree lights.
Finally, I duct taped the frame onto the bin to hold it secure.
I was worried the kids might lean on it funny and hurt themselves
or some how break the glass if it shifted off, so the duct tape worked well to prevent any problems.

Then I turned it on, added some colorful gem stones, and a container with more.

I took this picture with the flash on by mistake, but it such a lovely picture of the two of them playing side by side.

Ethan "choosing" his gems.

I gave Hannah a marker later on and she drew on the glass.

I have some more things I like to try on the light box. So stay tuned.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our Jesse Tree

Last night, we lit our first advent candle (see the post here) and hung an ornament on our Jesse tree.  This is the first year we have done a Jesse tree, but I did them every year when I was in school and I LOVED it.  A Jesse Tree is a really fun and easy way to learn about the story of Jesus' lineage all the way through the Old Testament through to His birth.  The name Jesse tree come from Isaiah 11:1, A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 

Our Jesse tree.

We made our tree out of sticks from out yard held together with an elastic, put in a jar filled with river rocks.  I made our ornaments out of  wooden disks, a bead, and some twine. Some other Jesse trees I have seen are made out of felt, paper, or even a Christmas tree.  Here are several that I really liked: wooden Jesse tree, felt Jesse tree, Christmas Tree Jesse tree.

Each night, we read a story from the kids toddler bible and hang an ornament on the tree that corresponds to what we just read.  Then we sing a song and close in prayer.  Pretty simple and it takes less then five minutes.  We are following ebook "How to Celebrate Advent with a Jesse Tree" by Tara Ziegmont at Feels Like Home Blog.  It is wonderful.  It is well suited for young children, very straight forward, and its free.  Several other great resources include: The Jesse Tree resources found on RCA's site here.  They have a devotional series as well a really nice ornament printable, these are the ones I used. I really liked Ann Voskamp's (A Holy Experience) Jesse Advent devotional, this devotional is suited for an older audience, Finally, the book The Jesse Tree by Geraldine Mccaughrean.  I've ordered it but I'm still waiting.  This is a story about the Jesse tree.

Our first ornament, the earth (Creation)

To say that kids enjoyed it would be an understatent.  Bith Ethan and Hannah took a turn hanging the ornament and listened well.  They bounced during the song we sang.  It wonderful to sit together as a family, to reflect during this season on Advent, and to draw our hearts closer to God.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Jokes on Dad

Last week was hard!  Andrew had meetings every night, which is very unusual.  Normally, it is only 2 a week and almost never back to back.  My kids are very much children of routine.  They like how we normally do things and really don't appreciate deviations.  Each night got progressively worse  (with the exception of last night and that was because my sister was over, thankfully).  Ethan was especially difficult.  Wednesday, I threw in the towel after 1.5 hours only to find that Ethan had been playing with the buttons on the clock and it had actually been 2 hours.  I finally got them asleep each night, but I was so happy to have Andrew home tonight.  

On a lighter note, Hannah decided to play a joke on her dad last night.  She thought it would be very funny to  switch pajamas with Ethan and see if Daddy would notice.  He did notice when he went and checked on Hannah when he got home.  

Hannah is wearing Ethan's sleeper, and Ethan is wearing Hannah's pajamas.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lollipops, Laments and Window Pictures

Hannah has not been napping well the last 2 weeks, its hit or miss at best.  Missing completely seems to becoming the norm.  I am not ready to give up hope.  But neither can I ignore the fact that she is awake when I deeply desire her to be asleep.  She still acts like she needs a nap.  Here is what we did the other day during nap time:

Homemade window clings:
Craft foam cut into shapes.  Add some water and stick.

Hannah happily creates her picture.

Very eclectic masterpiece.

L is for lollipops
Glitter, glue (white glue works better but I was out), tape, paper circles, and  straw pieces.

Using the glue stick make a swirly pattern,

Dump on some glitter.  I used the cookie sheet to catch the excessive amount of glitter  that accumulated.
 Then I put it back in the glitter container.

Attach a straw piece to the back with tape.
Hannah thought pretending to eat the lollipop was soooo funny.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I have been busily preparing for the start of Advent which comes early this year.  The first week of Advent begins this Sunday.  Advent is a time of spiritual preparation leading up to Christmas.  The word Advent means "Coming".  We can ready ourselves for the coming Jesus as a baby, but also for a second advent as we patiently wait for Him to come again.  One of the things that I prepared for Advent is a set of Advent Candles.  Traditionally, there are 5 candles (3 purple, 1 pink, and 1 white).

1st CANDLE – (purple) CANDLE OF HOPE – We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our hope comes from God. “And again, Isaiah says, ‘The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.’ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:12-13)

2nd CANDLE – (purple) THE CANDLE OF PREPARATION – God kept his promise of a Savior who would be born in Bethlehem. Preparation means to “get ready”.  “As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.‘ (Luke 3:4-6)

3rd CANDLE – (pink) THE CANDLE OF JOY – The angels sang a message of JOY! “…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:7-10)
4th CANDLE – (purple) THE CANDLE OF LOVE – The angles announced the good news of a Savior. God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)

5th CANDLE – (white) “CHRIST CANDLE” – The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! His birth was for his death, his death was for our birth! “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!‘” (John 1:29)

Advent Candles. 

5 classes/jars, Epson salts, food coloring, and some tea lights.

First, I measured out the Epson salts into each glass. 

Then I colored the Epson salts with some food coloring in a Ziploc bag.
 I just mixed it until the color was even throughout.  Then I did the purple in a separate  bag.

The I poured the pink and purple Epson salts back into their glasses and added a tea light to each.

On the mantle waiting for Sunday.

Kid friendly Advent Candles. 
Obviously, the kids really can't be involved in anything with a flame.  So I thought I would make some candles just for them.

Colored felt (2 different yellows for the flame, purple, white and pink for the candle sticks).

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the previous step.  What I did was cut two flame pieces for each candle and two inner flame pieces from the darker yellow.  See the picture below.  Leave a tab at the bottom of the flame to glue into the candle stick.  I hot glued the flame around the outside to create a little pouch which I then stuffed with a cotton ball and the glued shut.  The you can hot glue the darker yellow flame cutout onto each side.

Each candle stick is one piece of felt cut length wise.  Hot glue your  flame to the corner and fold over gluing along the edge.  Then roll up and glue the end to secure.  Repeat for each candle.

Kid friendly advent candles.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Letter L

In the box: leaf, lollipop, lettuce, lid, links, lotion, lamb, lock
L puzzles, L bean bag, and the letter L's.

Long and Short: Sort the pieces of yarn into the correct basket.

Lock Opening:  Open the lock with the right key
(This will be a great hand strengthening exercise).

Putting together and taking apart the flash light (this is an extension of
the Baby Tech tray that both kids LOVED).

Leaf Matching

Lego Play:  Each basket contains exactly the same pieces of Lego.
The idea is to build something and then have Hannah make the same thing. 
Living Life Intentionally
Homeschool Creations
Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Sun Scholar

Wordless Wednesday- There's a chill in the air.

K Activities with Dad

We finished up the Letter K this week.  We did a very cute Kangaroo craft.  I cut all the pieces out and Hannah glued everything together.

Here Ethan is pointing to the nose and saying "nose" while Hannah sticks an ear on.

K is for Kangaroo

Hannah asked to do some activities on Thursday but I really wasn't feeling well.  To Hannah's surprise and my delight, Andrew jumped in and did some activities with her while I went upstairs to rest.

Kite Counting

I love watching the two of them together.

Decorating a King's Crown.

Working hard.

Proud of her work.  She told Daddy she needed her picture taken so I could see.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Twilight Hour

You know that hour between dinner and bedtime when you think your in the Twilight zone.  Last night was particularly crazy and Andrew and I were ready at 6:30 to throw in the towel. Here is what we did:

Green Bath Water

Green water is far more exciting then regular water and therefore bath time is longer, Yeah.  Getting closer to the all important bed time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Baby Tech Tray

Some days I feel like all I do is lift Ethan off furniture(the higher the better) and take cords and other electronic accessories out of his hands.  He is all boy.  The other night I was at the end of rope (or cord as it were) and decided I needed to find an outlet for Ethan's obsession.

So I dug through the bin in my closet that holds all the bits and pieces that come from owing electronic things.  Mostly, these are things that we have from living in Korea and the cords we needed to make them compatible.  I tried to pick out things that move and come apart.  

On the tray: An old mouse that comes apart into 4 pieces, a cord, battery charger,
a USB cord that comes apart, a plug with a Korean adapter.

He LOVED it.

I have never seen Ethan so focused on something.

He was jiggling the cord and watching the ends dance.

Hannah wanted in on this tray as well.

Ethan taking apart the mouse.

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