Sunday, December 26, 2010

From Our House to Yours

Merry Christmas!

We did a lot of celebrating this year, so grab a cup of coffee and get comfy.

Christmas Eve was the annual gathering of the neighbors from the street where Jay lived as a child.

Jack passed out around 10:30; Alice is just trying to do what he's doing. In reality, she was still going when we left the party around 11:30.

By the time we got home, both kids were out.

Jay and I got to work on the Christmas preparations.

I know this isn't the most Christmasy picture, but it makes me laugh. It looks like Hordak is leading a Horde parade and trying to get the onlookers to cheer, doesn't it? Or maybe I am still a bit delirious from all of the celebrating.

Jack enjoyed his presents.

Alice did a pretty good job, too. And we actually have photographic evidence of it this year.

It didn't take her long to start eyeing Jack's He-Man stuff--or as she calls it, Me-Man.

One of my favorite pictures from Christmas morning.

I think this may be my most favorite Christmas picture ever. He was so surprised.

We headed over to my parents' house for lunch and more festivities. Jack got Zookeeper, so he took it to show my mom, who loves Bejeweled. (And you can see Alice in the background getting my dad to take off her socks.)

Alice and Jack and their cousins--You can tell from the boxes behind them that these poor children are seriously deprived.

Pogo stick! I hope this doesn't come back in a later post about an ER visit.

Alice loves her dress up jewelry!

Playing a new game

We went over to my aunt's on Christmas night, but I only have a few blurry pictures of the kids spinning around the living room. I was so tired by the time we got home!

Today Jay's sister and her family came over to finish up the celebrations. I am almost sick of ham. Almost.

Trying out Jack's new game

The boys used Jack's new chess board tonight for the first time.

Tomorrow we do nothing!

I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Fun

The bell ringers let Jack take over!

The poor gingerbread man met a terrible fate while waiting for his house to be built.

We went to the Art Play Center to paint ornaments.

We went to see Christmas lights with cousins--thankfully it was warm that night!

Each year we get an ornament for each member of the family. This year, Jay and Jack had just finished reading The Wizard of Oz when we went to pick them out and Jack was thrilled to find a Tin Man for him and a scene ornament for Jay.

Instead of making sugar cookies like we have in the past, we made gingerbread cookies using the recipe from Gingerbread Friends. They were tasty!

This was our second year to go see the scenes from The Nutcracker Suite. Alice loved them and kept asking for more, even after we were on our way home.

Our Christmas muffin tins have been put to good use this month, too!

It has been busy this month, but we have had a good time--except for the stomach bug we all got which caused Jack to miss his Christmas choir performance. Thankfully we were all on the mend rather quickly and ready to have more fun! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

FIAR Ornament Exchange

This was our third year to participate in the FIAR Ornament Exchange. We now have so many ornaments from our FIAR friends around the country (and around the world!) that we have them on a little tree in our school room.

The families who want to participate sign up and a very nice, patient person--this year it was Kendra--takes the time to put everyone on a list and send out all the addresses. Then you make ornaments (usually FIAR-themed) and send them to the other families on your list.

After that, you sit back and watch the ornaments come in! Actually, this year we were on the late side with ours. Jack had picked the book we were going to do a while back and I had an idea of what we would do, but when I tested the idea (the week before we were supposed to mail the ornaments), it didn't work at all.

We got this ornament from The Rag Coat last year (?), but we were rowing it this year when we got the ornaments out and Jack was excited about it.

He was also very intrigued by the ornaments for The Giraffe That Walked to Paris. I told him that it was out of print and very expensive, so we probably wouldn't be rowing that one, but guess who lucked out and found one on Amazon for $48?

This is the ornament we made this year. We used Model Magic to make the ornament and then Jack drew the moonjellies and we mod podged them. Not what I had in mind originally, but they turned out fine and Jack enjoyed the book so much that he really wanted to use it for the ornaments this year.

This was a new addition this year that we are using as our tree-topper!

Thank you and Merry Christmas to all of our FIAR friends!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...

Alice is going to need therapy when she grows up.

I'm almost sure of it. Poor baby.

This is new territory for us since Jack has always liked visiting Santa. When he was two, he was so excited that he just sat there patting Santa's face and talking to him until I finally had to pull him away--still yelling back to Santa as we paid for our pictures and left. He has decided that this is probably not the real Santa, but one of his helpers instead.

Alice was slightly calmed with the addition of a reindeer hat.

She almost cracked a smile on the carousel.

I'd better start talking up next year's visit on December 26!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

School Lately

You may have noticed that there have not been many posts about school lately. We actually have been learning, but for some reason I am having trouble finding time to blog about it. I have been working on getting the school room picked up more and organized, so we have been spending quite a bit more time in here lately.

Sometimes we even find a moment to kick back and relax.

Today, though, it was all shrieks and giggles. We played the silly sentences game that I got form Kendra's blog. This is actually from an idea from a Peggy Kaye book and I had it on my list to make, but then I realized Kendra had done the work for me! Jack liked it so much that I may come up with some more phrase strips, though.

The "game" is really easy to play: You have three different sentence parts (color coded) and you take one of each and read it to see what you get. We played this for over an hour today and Jack never tired of it.

It also worked really well for us because it didn't matter if Alice took off with a strip. Here she is, holding the oh-so-appropriate "without stopping" strip.

If you haven't before, be sure and check out Kendra's blog. She has tons of great ideas--this week we are using her lapbook for The Rag Coat--which I will hopefully blog about soon!