Thursday, August 25, 2011

Christmas In July

One of my FAVORITE things we did this Summer was having a Christmas is July party! But, this wasn't just any Christmas in July party, it was a party to benefit Operation Christmas Child! :^)  If you are not familiar with OCC what they do is collect shoe boxes filled with fun items for kids and then send them around the world, along with a comic book tells them in their own language about how to have a realtionship with Jesus Christ.

My family has made these shoe boxes and donated them every year at Christmas time for years and years.  But, this year we decided to make it a service project that our homeschool community could do together.  So we put out an invitations.  We asked for everyone to bring 20 of the same item to go in a box, and most of us brought 20 of 2 or 3 items.  (Crayons, paper, glue sticks, flip flops, wash clothes, etc.  You can learn all about packing boxes HERE.) We also asked each family to bring a Chirstmasy snack to share and for everyone to come dressed in red or green.  The night before the party we went in and decorated to make everything look festive.  My kids made a ton of decorations, which was a lot of fun on a HOT Summer day!

The day of the party we had each child write a letter to put in the boxes.  Then we sang Christmas carols, read the story of Jesus birth from the Bible, watched a couple videos about OCC, prayed for the kids who would get the boxes and then packed our boxes! I was VERY pleased that we put together 40 boxes!  When all the boxes were packed we ate our wonderful treats and just enjoyed a special time seeing each other over the Summer.  (Which we don't do enough of!)  It was a GREAT party and it was super easy to host.  The church is storing the filled boxes for us and the sweet lady that is in charge of OCC at our church even came out to help!

Here are a few pics from the day...

Kids writing their letters.
Praying for the children who will receive the boxes.
Watching the OCC video.
Singing Christmas carols.
Teens getting the boxes set up and ready to fill.
Listening to the story of Jesus birth.
Cookies!  I am SO impressed with the mom that went the extra mile and made these! (It wasn't me! My food contribution was pathetic.  I thought it would be "cute" to drizzle red icing on top of rice crispy treats and then sprinkle with green sugar.  Well, the icing looked like KETCHUP! Let's just say, they tasted fine if you closed your eyes! LOL  The kids ate them without complaining! :^)
 Filling boxes! (The boxes themselves were donated by OCC.)
My littles filling boxes.
The whole festive gang!
It was an awesome day!  We will be doing this party again next year for sure!  I can't wait!

Happy Homeschooling,


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nook Case

My daughter saved up her money and bought herself a Nook. Once she had the Nook there was no money left for a case.  So we made one...

It's amazing what you can do with cardboard and Duct Tape!  

She has been carrying it in her purse for over a month now.  It is holding up really, really well! 


Happy Homeschooling,


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to School Wreath

I saw the idea for this wreath HERE and I HAD to have one!

So here is my version...

I LOVE IT! It makes me feel like Fall is right around the corner!  :^)

Happy Homeschooling,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Change O' Plans....

So, I was so excited about doing Book Club with the Heroes Then and Now Series with my 9-11 girls...then I started reading them.  Sigh....I had read Glady's Aylward many years ago with my older son.  We LOVED it!  I had always wanted to read more.  What I didn't think about is the fact that a lot of these books will be dealing with a lot of behavior that I just don't want to share with 9-11 year old girls!  (The books say 10 and up, but I say High School for many of them!)

So...Plan B...

My new plan for 9-11 Girls Book Club is to read classic books that have been made into movies.  I am calling it:

From the Page to the Stage!

The books I have chosen are:

  • Sept. - Pollyanna (1913) Eleanor H. Porter
  • Oct. - The Story of Dr. Doolittle (1920) Hugh Lofting
  • January - Gladys Aylward (1930) Janet and Geoff Benge
  • Feb - Mr. Poppers Penguins (1938) Richard and Florence Atwater
  • March - Charlotte’s Web (1952) E.B. White
  • April - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  (1964) Roald Dahl
  • May - Nims Island (1994) Wendy Orr
I carefully chose these to span from 1913 10 1994. This way we can still do a timeline of what else was going on in the world at each time period. And I will have a World map for them to mark the ones that take places in "real" places. As far as the lapbook, I have changed it to a notebook. The girls will be filling out a sort of movie poster each month. (You can see it HERE.) This will be printed on card stock and then on the back we will do a few lapbook pages for each book.

Lot's and lot's of ideas!  I am jazzed about the new plan, even though I am bummed that we are not studying Missionaries.  My daughter and I will still be reading a few of the others that I had already bought.  

Happy Homeschooling,


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reving Up For the New School Year

WOW, I can't believe I didn't post at all in July!  What a crazy, fun, busy Summer we have been having!  I guess I have been having SO much fun with my kids there just hasn't been time for blogging.  :^)

We are only 3 days into August, but already I am in full prep for school mode!  LOTS of prep to do! The main things I am working on right now are organizing Book Club, Young Writer's Club and a Lapbooking Class I am teaching.  Yep, I like to be BUSY...

Now that American Girl Club is finished this opened up time for me to put together a Book Club for kids of all ages.  Our homeschool group will be hosting 7 groups of kids who will meet once a month all at the same time, in the same place.  I am leading the 9-11 Girls.  I have chosen to use the Christian Heros: Then & Now books.  The ones I have chosen for this year are:

Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar (1848-1915 Africa)

Ida Scudder: Healing Bodies, Touching Hearts (1870-1960 India)

Lillian Thrasher: The Greatest Wonders in Egypt (1887-1961 Egypt)

C.S. Lewis: Master Story Teller (1898- 1963 Europe)

Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime (1902-1970 China)

Corrie Ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels Den (1892-1983 Holland)

Elisabeth Elliot: Joyful Surrender (1926- Present Ecuador)

My thinking is that we will do a BIG lapbook over the year and add booklets for each of the Hero's we read about as we go.  That is as far as the plan has gotten as of right now!  LOL  I am about to read the first book and am hoping I have lots more ideas once I am through that. 

The Young Author's Club I will write more about soon.  It's a new idea I had and think it's going to be a lot of  FUN!  Time will tell.

In the meantime I am off to do more and more prep!  

Happy Homeschooling,


P.S.  I just realized I never posted about my 16 year old finishing his first College class.  (English Comp I) He did GREAT!  He got an A!  YAY!!! There were a possible 95 points he could get in the class and he got 94.38!  I am one proud mama!  He will be taking English Comp II and Public Speaking starting at the end of the month.  :^)