Archive | September, 2013

Advent Jesse Tree Ornament Swap & Ornaments

30 Sep

It’s hard to believe that we’re in the 10th month of 2013! Time flies when you’re having fun, right?!?!? Well, October always reminds me that Christmas is just around the corner. It also reminds me that NOW is the perfect time to plan your Ornament Swap for your Advent Jesse Tree! 🙂 Plan your Ornament Swap this month (or for early November) so that you have your ornaments made, swapped and ready 2 months early in order to avoid the holiday craziness! What’s an Advent Jesse Tree? You can read my post here where I wrote about our family’s TWO favorite Advent calendars (one of which is the Advent Jesse Tree!)

If you are wanting to coordinate an Ornament Swap for the Advent Jesse Tree but don’t know where to start, have no fear! I wrote a post giving you detailed instructions about how to plan one!

For those of you signing up now to participate in an Ornament Swap, I thought I would include pictures of the 25 ornaments that my family has. I received these when I participated in an Advent Jesse Tree Ornament Swap 5 years ago. Hopefully, this will help to get your creative juices flowing. Remember, the ornaments can be SIMPLE…and don’t have to be Martha Stewart-esque. Since you’ll be making 25 of these guys, I suggest the simpler, the better. 🙂

Advent Jesse 1-5

Days 1-5–My personal favorite from this batch–the snake painted on the apple. It’s easy to find apple ornaments and paint a snake on it! Now, I could even do that 25 times! 🙂 I LOVE this globe for day 1; it was above my craft skills (the continents are painted accurately on the globe!). However, I am thankful that someone with mad-craft-skills made it. Awesomeness, that’s what it is.
Advent Jesse 6-10

Days 6-10–A few of these are super easy for the craft-challenged folks (like myself). The ladder is made out of popsicle sticks painted brown. The 10 commandments were made on construction paper and laminated. The grapes were purchased as-is with a loop of raffia added for “hanging” purposes. The sheaf of wheat is hot glued in an “x” shape to a loop of ribbon.

Advent Jesse 11-15

Days 11-15–The stump with a shoot growing from it is an actual piece of wood with a silk leaf hot glued to it. The Bible ornament could also be a scroll. The Bible shown here is made out of foam. Or, you could chose the scroll option, roll up paper into a scroll, and you’re done! (The lion and the lamb and the dove with a crown are two of my personal faves! Again, thankful that non-craft-challenged friends made those; they’re amazing. I could not have pulled off these crafty gems.)

Advent Jesse 16-20

Days 16-20–These are some other marvelous ornaments that take little effort. The cross was purchased at a craft store, painted, and viola! The “heart with writing on it” is made on construction paper and laminated. The scene of Bethlehem was printed at home, glued to a navy background with a gold star drawn in the sky. The coolest part of the scene has been lost. 😦 The lower half of the original ornament had a strip of sandpaper cut to fit below the city scene. It made it look appropriately desert-ish. The last one is my personal favorite! It’s the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. My friend used a tea light candle, removed the candle and hot glued orange mesh inside the empty tea light shell. It’s hard to see in the picture, but she drew stick men, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and the angel, on the outside of the tea light. Clever and oh-so-cute!

Advent Jesse 21-25

Days 21-25–I made the star–a salt dough ornament (SOOOOO easy! Remember, I’m craft-challenged). My friend made the CUTE pine-cone angel from a packet. I remember her commenting that it was 1)expensive and 2)difficult to make. She had to buy 25 angel ornament kits, and they were time consuming. Keep that in mind as you select your ornament. You will make 25 of these, so think through that as you decide from the myriad of options that you’ll find for, say, an angel ornament.

Advent Jesse NamesA list of participants–One of my favorite moments each year is unpacking our ornaments to gear up for our 25 days of Advent. I anticipate the unpacking because I unearth this piece of paper shown above. When I participated in the Ornament Swap 5 years ago, the swap coordinator included a list of the ornaments and their ornament makers. I knew these wonderful women from our sending church, which sent us out to plant a church 3 years ago this month. Seeing their names and remembering their faces is one of the highlight’s of my year. 🙂 If you are coordinating your Ornament Swap, I would encourage you to make a list like this, as well, for your swap participants.

Also, don’t forget to buy a copy of the devotion book to use with your ornament set! Also, you can download a list of the 25 ornaments here: Advent Jesse Tree ornaments

Come back and let me know your your Ornament Swap goes!

Pronoun Packet–free download

18 Sep

photo 3 (2)

I am a visual learner. I am thankful to know that and have figured out how to use my “visual-ness” to my advantage. For example, I have to take notes during the sermon on Sundays. The sermon notes aren’t so much about the “sermon notes” as it is a way to help me stay focused on the sermon. The moment I stop writing, the moment my brain runs in a million directions, and I am thinking about something totally unrelated. I wish that I were an auditory learner and could just sit in church, take it all in without writing and leave fully grasping everything. However, that’s just not me. 🙂 One advantage to understanding my learning style is that it has helped me in homeschooling. Because my sons and I share genes, I knew that one of them would be a visual learner like me. Son #1 and I are on the same wavelength, which has helped me know how to help him. 🙂

As a visual learner, I “think” in pictures. (I know, I know, it sounds weird!) When I was perusing through my CC Foundations Guide for the next several weeks, I noticed all of the pronouns, the variety of pronouns, and got slightly overwhelmed. For starters, my knowledge of English Grammar is, well, not that great lacking. As I looked at everything we would be memorizing, I immediately thought of a picture in my head and how to organize it. I knew that my sweet, little Abecedarians would appreciate a visual for the pronouns (and their sweet, little Tutor would to!) So, this is what I came up with here below. Of course, I incorporated my wonderful, fantabulous, DIY Tri-Fold Dry-Erase Board . Here’s what I did:

Pronoun Grid.small

First, I made a “grid” on the back flap of my board (similar to the one I used last year for Latin). It has 6 rows (for all 6 components of the order of the pronouns) and 2 columns. The second column allows me to include the corresponding pronoun with 1st person singular, 3rd person plural, etc. This is how my “mental picture” looked, so this is what I “drew.” This is going to help me, as well, remember which pronoun corresponds with which person and singular/plural. (If only I had learned these as a kid! Sigh!)
photo 4 (1)

Then, I added the cards from the packet to the 1st column, showing the order of the pronouns. In the subsequent weeks, I will use the second column to include the pronoun cards.

This was a glorious tool in my Abecedarians class this past week! I used the song “C2 W3 Pronoun Order.mp3” uploaded by: loriberlie from CC Connected to teach the kiddos. We sang through the song a few times. I ended our time by pulling the cards off the board and turned them face down on the ground. Each child had to pick one card and put it into the correct spot on the grid. They did it PERFECTLY the first time! Wahoo!

Also, I used this at home today with my boys. They just couldn’t remember the order of the pronouns. So, I taught them the song, pointed to the cards as we sang, and then played the same “game” I used in class with my Abecedarians. By golly, the order finally “clicked” for them too. 🙂 🙂 Happy sons, happy Momma!

photo 2 (1)

You can download the Pronoun Packet here: Pronoun Packet

I hope this will be helpful to your family or your class! Even if you don’t do Classical Conversations, you could easily use this at home to help your children master pronouns! Enjoy!

This is a part of the Cycle 2 Weekly Link Up at Half a Hundred Acre Wood. Go there now for other great resources. 🙂

Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

Cycle 2, Week 1 resources

5 Sep

I have a few resources to pass along for Cycle 2, Week 1. I post these with fear and trepidation. I’ve come full circle in how we’re approaching our 2nd year of Classical Conversations. We’re doing less “match ups” for each CC week and focusing our efforts on memorizing the Grammar, since my 6 and 8 year olds are in the Grammar stage. 🙂 I’m writing a “Lessons Learned” post, which is quickly turning into a “series” of posts because I guess I had more to say than I realized when I sat down to write. I’m hoping to have those posts ready in the next week or so. All of that to say…here are a few of our favorites from week 1.

Geography-I wrote last month about one of our favorite, favorite, favorite CDs, “Geography Songs.” (Seriously, we love this cd! Is it obvious?!?!?) This cd came into our lives about 5 years ago, and we still can’t get enough of it! The Continents and Oceans Song fits perfectly with this week’s Geography. In my Abecedarians class, I’ll be using this song the rest of our CC year as we review the continents and oceans each week in Geography and when Blob Mapping. (Thank you Brandy @ Half A Hundred Acre Wood for the blob map resources.)

You can download the Continents and Oceans Song for $0.99, or you can download the whole MP3 album containing 33 songs for $8.99 (which is a GREAT deal!) There is also an Audio CD and accompanying coloring book if you’d rather go that route. We have the audio CD and have about worn our van’s CD player out listening to this. 🙂 This would be a great birthday or Christmas gift for your kiddos.

8 Parts of Speech-2

8 Parts of Speech –Okay, you need to log onto CC Connected RIGHT NOW and search for username: “NoGreaterJoy5” and download her “8 Parts of Speech” song (Woo!). It’s official title is, “2013 AJT Cy2 W1 English 8 POS Song.” Amy Joy Tofte, thank you, thank you, thank you for this FUN, FUN, FUN (and oh-so-singable-and-memorable) song. My Abecedarians loved it (and so did their teacher! ha!) And, while you’re on CC Connected searching by “NoGreaterJoy5” also select “Misc” on the dropdown menu to find her “A Day in the Life of a CC Family” document. It’s a gem! She clearly, simply articulates how her family does “CC at home.”

I made a little cut/paste activity with the 8 Parts of Speech (shown above). You can download it here: 8 Parts of Speech

Also, while you’re rockin’ out singing the “8 Parts of Speech” song, have more fun with the 8 parts of speech through Mad Libs! Don’t you remember Jr. High/Middle School days and Mad Libs?!?!? Well, what a fun way to review, practice, master and laugh your guts out about the 8 parts of speech. My sons ordered Mad Libs this summer, and I love when they ask me, “Mom, can you help me think of an adverb?” They’re learning and don’t even realize it. Love, love, love! There are a million different Mad Libs options including Happily Ever Mad Libs for the princess in your life,  Star Wars Mad Libs for the boys in your life, and Mad Libs Junior for the younger kiddos in your life. Order some Mad Libs gather ’round the table or couch after dinner and laugh, laugh, laugh together!

Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

Hope that your Cycle 2 year is off to a great start! 🙂 This post is a part of the Cycle 2, Week 1 Link Up over at Half a Hundred Acre Wood. Go there to find other great Cycle 2 resources!

Free Castle Mini Model Build @ the Lego Store (Sept. 12)

2 Sep

Lego Castle Build

As a family of 3 boys, we have trillions a large quantity of Legos in our home. Our boys are always itchin’ to buy additional sets whenever birthday or Christmas money enters their wallets. When a Lego Store opened in Nashville, you could hear their jubilant songs sung passionately and without ceasing. Happy, happy, happy, they were! I love that they love Legos. I just wish they were as passionate about picking up their Legos as they are playing with them….but I digress! 🙂

Each month, Lego Stores ’round the country have Mini Model builds where children ages 6-14 get a free mini Lego set to assemble and take home. Yes, it’s free. Marvelous, right?!?!  I am excited that one of this month’s Mini Model builds is….a castle! Our boys adore all things knights, castles, and swords. Plus, with Classical Conversations this year, we are spending a lot of quality time in the Medieval Period with knights. The free castle Mini Model fits perfectly with our history studies. Thanks for that school tie-in, Lego!

The castle Mini Model build is Thursday, September 12. Before you head out on that Thursday, contact your local Lego Store to ensure that they are participating in the Mini Model build and to find the start time. To find a Lego Store near you, visit their website. The Mini Models are always first come, first serve, so keep that in mind.

And….not to be forgotten, there is another Mini Model build today, Tuesday, September 3. It’s a handsome little pirate. You can see him in the Lego calendar shown above.

Happy building!