Saturday, December 3, 2011

First Sunday of Advent

The kids wanted it pitch black for the lighting of the first candle on our Advent wreath.  You can't see much, but you can hear Emily singing...  By the way, she insists on singing all 7 verses of O Come, O Come Emmanuel each night.  Here is a sampling of the first verse.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We travelled to Dallas for Thanksgiving to spend time with my family.  Tony and Leisa graciously hosted again this year and made it really fun for the kids with holiday activites just for them.  I was too busy visiting and eating to take any pictures of the feast itself, but I did manage to get some of the kids enjoying the festivities.  Here is Lia and Leisa working on their gingerbread house.  Lia was really excited about this project and loved every minute.

Here is my cousin Nichole and Max.  They look like they know something the rest of us do not...  ;-)
I think I may have caught Max with a mouthful of frosting!

And then, the kids made Christmas ornaments like last year.  You dribble paint into clear glass ornaments and swirl it around to make really festive Christmas decorations.  The kids wrote their names on the outside with the year so they can identify them later on the Christmas tree.

Sweet Kate.  She was the our social butterfly this year.  I think my heart melted when she toddled over to me and asked to be picked up.  Then she promptly told me where she wanted to go (outside) and when and where she wanted me to put her down.  I think she has very strong leadership skills for a one year old!

And this handsome boy, is baby Lane.  He has big blue eyes and was very smiley... just not for the camera...

Getting Ready for Advent

We decided to make our own advent candles again this year.  Ready-made purple and pink candles tend to have a floral scent, which we don't like, so we buy plain white unscented candles and try to represent the purple and pink creatively.  Last year, we tied colored colored ribbon around them and that worked well... but I wanted to try something new this year.  On Catholic Icing, I had found a post about melting crayons and then painting plain white candles.  We have lots and lots of crayons lying around here so that sounded like a good plan.  Here's what we did:

We peeled and chopped purple tone crayons and put them in an empty tuna fish container I had saved.  The Tuna tin was to be my 'disposable pan' so I didn't have to ruin one of good ones.  The smart Mommy over at Catholic Icing always has the best ideas!

Then I put my makeshift pan over low heat on our stove.  The crayons melted beautifully.  Eventually, I figured out to put a cookie sheet over the burner and then place the tuna tin on that so I had a flat surface.  That worked much better.

Very carefully, and working quickly with a cheap paintbrush, Emily painted our candle with the melted purple wax.  The lessons I learned, however, is that you really need to keep the melted wax warm over the stove as you work.  If you don't, the wax starts to harden very quickly and then you can't paint with it very well.  You can heat it back up a few times but eventually it stops working.

So... Emiy did the first candle and I did the rest because I didn't want her working by the stove.  This isn't really a good kid craft.  It is more like a 'frugal' Mommy craft because you can get plain white candles at Walmart really cheap.

Here is our finished product with greenery from our front yard.  Thank you kids!

My Little Helper

Monday, November 21, 2011

More Week 12 CC pictures

A sweet Mom posted some more pictures from our last Classical Conversations day for the year.  Here is David's class.  They sure look happy!  From Left to Right:  David, Madeline, Carly, Tori, Melody, Elizabeth, Lily and Sebastian

David's TinWhistle recital.  They played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

And Emily's class played Mary had a Little Lamb.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Party

Yesterday, we went to our homeschooling group's Thanksgiving feast.  We had a nice turn out of several families and a beautiful sunny day for our celebration.  It isn't easy to round up this many kids but here are most of them.  Many dressed as Pilgrims and Indians... you can see this by looking at the hats!  The small groups coordinated to provide an activity and everyone brought something to share for our feast.  You can see my kids making their Turkey hands below.  This is such an awesome and easy activity to provide.  Markers and paper is all you need.  The kids were happy to do the rest:

Emily is decorating a cookie here.  She looks pretty happy doesn't she?  That's because she ate it about 5 seconds after I took this picture.  :-)

Bobbing for apples.  I was also glad to see the kids eating the apples too!

And dancing!  Christina and Scarlett do an awesome job every year of coordinating the dancing.  Each girl partners with a boy and they stand boy/girl/boy/girl in the circle.  The kids hold hands and circle around.  Then the boys and girls alternate going into the middle and clapping, bowing, and curtseying.  The there is the best part of spinning with your partner.  It is such a sweet way for the boys and girls to interact.  And as you can see from the video:  They love it!

I spent most of my time videoing the older kids because they caught on to the dance very quickly.  It is sweet though, to see the little ones giving it their best too!  (but I can't get the video to upload!)  I will keep trying...

Friday, November 18, 2011

David's Latin

While I was getting dinner ready, David was very busy at the table writing this scripture verse in Latin.  He was asking me for help to spell the words... but the sequencing was all his.  He doesn't understand that English doesn't translate directly word for word into latin... the order is often mixed up a little.  He did learn that there is no translation for articles 'a', 'and', and 'the,' so he didn't have any problem skipping these.  There are quite a few mistakes but I am completely impressed he wanted to try it in the first place!  He will learn the correct translation next year, verse by verse, in Latin like we learned it this year, verse by verse, in English.

Here is the English, (if you want to check his work)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  This was with God in the beginning.  All things were made through him; without Him nothing was made that was made.

And the correct Latin:
In principio erat Verbum et Verbum erat apud Deum et Deus erat Verbum
hoc erat in principio apud Deum
omnia per ipsum facta sunt et sine ipso factum est nihil quod factum est

Lango Fiesta

Lango is the Immersion Spanish class David and Lia have been attending while Emily and I go to our Essentials (Writing and Grammar) class.  They dance, sing and play games in Spanish and I can honestly say they have a lot more fun than we do!  Since this was our last week, they got to have a 2 hour Fiesta.  One of the Moms was sweet enough to share her pictures so the rest of us could see what we missed!  Thank you Bernadette!

 Here is Lia taking a turn at the pinata!  She is barefoot because she got in the car without shoes and her frazzled Mommy didn't notice till we got to campus.  You can get away without shoes at age 3.  It only makes your Mommy look bad.  (sigh)

Pin the tail on the donkey.

Tissue Paper Flowers.  Lia wore hers all day!  So pretty.

Homemade tortillas!

And authentic clothing.  This was a lot of fun for the kids!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Halfway through Classical Conversations

We completed a milestone today!  The kids finished their 12th week of Classical Conversations which means they are half way through and that we get a break till next year!  I am so proud of them and all they have learned.  They have given weekly presentations to their class, memorized a part of the Gospel of John in English with hand motions, memorized all the latin words in that part of the Gospel of John (they will recite John in latin next semester), memorized their times tables for the 1s through the 15s plus the squares and the cubes, memorized all the states and capitals, many grammar terms and several conjugations of irregular English verbs, 12 important dates in US History set to song, facts about their body systems, not to mention... lots of drawing lessons and music theory as they were introduced to the tin whistle!  Can you tell I am so impressed!  We practice our memory work every day and they really know their stuff.  To continue the praise, David and Lia completed 12 weeks of their immersion Spanish class, Lango, and have completely inspired me to learn right along with them.  They are dancing and singing in Spanish every day because the CD is so much fun to listen to.  (It really is.)  Emily completed 12 weeks of her history based writing class through the Institute of Execellence in Writitng (IEW) and has completed 12 incredible writing assignments and learned a ton of grammar through the Essentials of the English Language curriculum.  She thinks diagramming sentences is actually kind of fun... (a good challenge anyway, which is good for her)

Well done kids!!!!

Each week at CC, as they learned about their anatomy, the kids colored various organs in their body and had their bodies outlined on butcher paper.  Today, we "assembled" their bodies with all their important parts.  Here is David putting his heart in his body:

Here is his finished product.  You can lift many of the parts to see what is underneath.  It was really fun to put it all together.

And here is Daivd with his buddy Sebastian... and their bodies behind them!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Saint Presentation for the Seniors

Yesterday, our kids were able to give a short presentation on their favorite Saints to the Seniors at our church.  It was a great opportunity to dress up and share all they have learned and I think the seniors really enjoyed it.  Here is our crew getting ready to go inside:

David told me I didn't need to go up with him.  This is pretty impressive for the boy who couldn't give a presentation at all back in August.  The weekly presentations he has given at Classical Converstations have done wonders for his confidence.  The seniors expecially liked his 'dragon head' tied about his waist and he even showed them how he slayed the dragon with his sword!

And Emily as Blessed Kateri did a great job with her presentation as well.  Great job kids!

Farewell, Mr. Sloper!

Last week a reception was held to honor Mr. Sloper, our church's choir director, for all his hard work and dedication to our music ministry.  He is retiring for health reasons and he will be missed dearly.

Halloween 2011

Here is our gang in their "secular" Trick or Treating costumes.  David is a knight.  Emily is an Amazon Warrior.  And little Lia was a witch's kitty cat.  Lia continues to be crazy about cats so I was thrilled when we found this 'Children's Place' costume at a local consignment shop.  It couldn't have been more perfect for her.  She pretends to be a my little kitty cat every day.  She "meows" throughout the day and melts my heart when she says, "Purr..., Kitty's Cat's happy."  They are wanting me to hurry up and take this picture so they can get going!

Here they are in action!  And if you could hear me in the background... you would hear me saying, "Don't forget to say thank you!!!!"  We are very blessed to live in such a nice neighborhood.  The kid's enjoyed visiting with all their neighbors and of course, getting so much candy!

Look at that face!

Uncle Mario, Rest in Peace

I got to visit with Uncle Mario at Nonna's funeral.  We will miss him!  May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

All Saints Party

We were very excited to attend the All Saints Party at Tim and Wanda's farm again this year.  There was an amazing turnout with over 90 kids dressed as Saints.  David was St. George and the Dragon again this year.  He picked out some fancy armor this year to upgrade his costume but I think he soon tired of carrying around so much bulk.  The helmet, chest plate and shield were ditched pretty quickly.  Emily, not to be outdone by her brother, selected a female warrior so that she could carry around fancy armor as well.  Can you guess who she is?  St. Joan of Arc, of course.

Lia chose to be an angel again this year but this time she was more specific.  If anyone asked, she would say, "My name is Lia.  I am 3 years old and I am dressed as St. Raphael."  (The Arch Angel, of course)

As you can imagine, the tire swing was very popular!  Emily headed straight for it when we arrived.  Can you tell it was a beautiful afternoon?

We brought a picture of Nonna holding David as a baby for the All Souls chapel.  Kneelers were provided to the children so they could say a prayer for all those who have died.

Here is Lia and her friend Cecelia.  They are showing me their St. Patrick shamrocks painted on their hands.  Each family is asked to sponsor a game or activity honoring the Saints.  The children have a great time going from game to game and trying to complete them all.

And Lia in St. Peter's Boat.  It looked like such a good photo opportunity.  I couldn't resist.

David's Outing with his Godparents

Stan and Peg (and family) took David on a really fun birthday outing.  What a lucky boy!

David's Football Picture

David played football for the first time this fall.  He played on a YMCA league and his team's name was the Saints.  It was a great eperience for him and he really enjoyed it.  Coach M drilled the boys really hard at practices and we were so proud of all his hard work.  It isn't easy staying focused for a whole hour at practice but David really gave it his best.  The Saints ended up winning all their games this season and David got to take home a football signed by all his teammates as a great memory.  We will definetly play again in the spring.  He looks kind of rough and tough in this picture, doesn't he?