Friday, November 30, 2012

Advent 2012

Andrew and I like to read through Walter Wangerin Jr's book "Preparing for Jesus" throughout the season of Advent (this year its starts on Sunday December 2, 2012).  In it he writes; "So let us enter the story one more time.  In this present season of Advent let us experience the infant's Advent in the past and so make ourselves ready for the Advent of the Lord of Glory in the future." This is definitely my heart for leading Hannah and Ethan though Advent and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Last year, I wrote a little bit about our advent candles and the meaning behind the colors, as well as a post on our Jesse tree. You can find those here and here if you are interested.  It fills me with so much joy to prepare and I would like to share a little of the preparations that I am doing for this years advent.

Our advent candles.  I was definitely inspired by this post.  I can see in the picture now that I need to adjust the colors.  It should go purple, purple, white, pink, purple. hehehe

Out basket of nativity books.  This was my very good friend Liesel's idea.  Thank you.

Our Jesse tree for this year.  Last year we did a traditional Jesse tree series.  We all enjoyed it very much, see the post I linked above for all the details.  But we found it a little to difficult for the kids to really follow.  So I thought I would do a tree with ornaments that we will stick on a new ornament each day that corresponds to the "Story of Christmas".  Each day there is a little book (you can see it in the picture below), each book is about some aspect of the Christmas story; the star, the manger, baby Jesus etc.  It's more at the level my kids are at.  I made a little matching wooden ornament that velcro onto my Popsicle stick tree.  I just need to get some 3M sticky things to hold the entire thing onto the wall.  In the picture the tree has all the ornaments on it but I will remove them all when we start and the kids will get a new one each day.  

The Story of Christmas

Finally, I made a little baby Jesus  for Hannah and Ethan to have on Sunday when we start.  I think they turned out cute especially the yarn hay.

There are a few details I still need o do.  I need to pull out the felt advent candles.  As well as our nativity set that I made out of blocks for the kids to play with together.

Our felt Advent candles.

Getting Excited!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gone but Not Forgotten

Andrew is away at a conference for a couple of days in Toronto.  I don't know how people who typically have a spouse who is away quite often deal with it.  I hate it.  The kids hate.  Maybe it is temperament.  Its not taking care of the kids alone, or even spending the evening after the kids are asleep that bothers me.  It's the middle of the night noises that get me every time.  It makes me nervous.

Day 1 went pretty good.  The kids were emotional but I expected that reaction.  They miss Daddy when he is away.  We had a pretty normal day and they both went to bed well.  Three more to go.

Belated Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Table Hammock

I came across this idea for using a baby wrap to make a table hammock.  I thought it looked simple enough and since we had a moment this morning we gave it a try.  Hannah thought I was a little crazy at first and kept saying "what ARE you doing?":

Hannah went first and I realized I needed the hammock tighter.

Ethan had a little trouble getting in but once he was comfortable he thought it was fun.

I think this will entertain them both later this afternoon as well.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My Monkeys

Here is a picture of my 3 little monkeys; Hannah, Ethan, and my nephew Ben.  Don't they look adorable in their matching toques.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Letter J - Week 11

Week 11-Letter J

Math:  For a math activity we practiced stacking blocks and identified location using the expressions "on the bottom, in the middle, and on top". I realize this isn't exactly difficult but Ethan has a habit of mashing all his words or using the same expression to mean 3 different things.  This was good practice while still being fun.  Yes, I did choose the colors to match a traffic light.  We talked about that for awhile and then did some patterns to challenge Hannah.

Nature Study: We used a jar to make a rain catcher ( if you want the in and outs of the math behind the rain gauge have a look at this link, we didn't bother this time it was just fun to see the water collecting).  It rained the first afternoon we had it out but the next day it broke so we couldn't keep watch.  

We did however look how much rain in collected after one rain storm.  I'm sure we will do this again and track over a longer period of time.  We are certainly at no loss for rain here.

We collected nearly a cm in an afternoon.

Art: Painting with jars (joined by Grandma).  We painted the bottom of jars and then stamped imprints onto our paper.  You can also twist the jar for a cool effect.

Hannah took this literally and actually painted her jar.  

This was fun, messy, but certainly worth it.

Here is Hannah's jar painting.

Reading and Language Arts:  This week we read "Goodnight Moon".  I don't have anything terrible profound to say other that we liked it.  For our J activity sheet, Hannah and Ethan both decorated some jack-rabbits.

Jack rabbit ears.

Gluing on the whiskers.

I think Hannah and Ethan did a great job.

Faith Foundation:   We did our lesson on how God created our bodies to bend and stretch.  We talked about how we can reach and bend when we work and play. 

Just for Fun: For fun this week, Hannah and Ethan did their jelly bean sorting pages that I made last year.  Hannah did the sort and count by color.  Ethan sorted just by color.  I want it noted that the following pictures were taken by one of my two lovely sisters ;Teresa.  She graciously subbed for me and the kids had lots of fun.

Friday, November 23, 2012

This Boy of mine....

Words cannot describe how much I love this little boy who is growing fast.  He has his own way of doing things and does them in his own time.  He has such a sweet and gentle spirit, in a world where that is often under appreciated.  His heart has compassion for those around him and I melt when I hear him look up at me and say "do you have a headache" or "I will help you".  He strokes Ben's cheek with ever so much care and is aware of the people around him.  It is my deepest prayer that he will know the love of  God and will hear His voice and not the voice of the world.  This is what I want for my Ethan:

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:6-9

On a funny note, Ethan has recently renamed himself Pickle.  Don't ask my why.  In the words of Ethan himself : "what are you going to do with me?".  Oh  Ethan, I truly do not know.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Making Banana Bread

Yesterday, Hannah and Ethan and I made some banana bread.  Like most children they LOVE helping out in the kitchen especially if they like the final product.

Hannah is fond of measuring out the flour.  

Ethan got the job of unwrapping the butter.

Luckily, we had three bananas so every one was able to do the "best" job.

Stirring up the batter.

Peeking into the pan.

I can't believe my cheeky monkey tried to lick the batter.  I didn't notice this until seeing the picture.  

Ready to eat.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I was recently ask what the greatest gift I have ever received, hands down one of the greatest gifts Andrew has ever given me is the freedom to be at home with Hannah and Ethan.   I count it a privilege to be able to put in the time and effort at home that I do.  Being at home, I love watching Hannah and Ethan play.  Despite the number of photos to contrary we do NOT spend most of the day at the kitchen table.  Hannah and Ethan play very well together. In the words of  Bob Keeshan: "Play is the work of children. It's very serious stuff."  Well here is a look at the serious play of Hannah and Ethan. During this chunk of time I was busy doing stuff in the kitchen and I did not direct or interfere in their play at all.  

First up was baseball (instigated by Ethan and a portion of a tool-belt he decided was a base ball glove).  Hannah decided it looked like fun and joined him after watching him for a few minutes. You'll notice in the picture that they are wearing their shoes (no we don't normally where shoes in the house), this is because they "went" to a baseball game and therefore needed their shoes to get there.  Hannah likes to make their games as accurate as possible.

After their baseball game, Ethan was banging on something in the other room and since I was in the kitchen I don't really know and I did NOT check.  Hannah decided to play with the toys on the shelf.  I don't really know how to classify or describe what she was doing but it is a favorite activity of hers.  She precisely and thoughtfully arranges stuff.  She did this for a very long time.  

What you can't see is that behind the garbage can and under her jacket she has dumped out all our letters.

 Once everything was suitable arranged, she moved on to the firetruck toy. 

 Ethan surfaced at this point and wanted to also play with the firetruck.

Hannah who does not shy away from being bossy did not share. 

You can probably tell from Hannah's face (in the picture below) that she is telling Ethan what he can and cannot do.  In this instance, that the truck needed to stay on the chair and not be touched.  I thought things might get heated at this point.  Ethan doesn't like being told that he can't touch something. Hannah talked him into playing with magnets instead.

They moved to the table and played with their three bears magnets for awhile.

 Eventually, it was time to clean up for lunch and I expected some resistance (to cleaning up not lunch).  But thankfully they were helpful.

Cleaning up the hidden letters.

Throughout the course of the morning Hannah did in fact completely empty the shelves.

Back to rights.

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