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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle!

Everything seems to be straightening out around here, despite the broken bones, oral surgery, and microwave fire.   What  a wonderiffic, readalicious, Clark Griswold Christmas.


Little Reader demonstrated what happens when a biscuit is reheated in a microwave for 15 minutes.   Don’t worry One Guys and Dominos survived, but are retaliating by refusing to turn into frogs.  Also to note our countdown activities were a success, except for the leaky snow globes - via now @ Hobby Lobby looking for snow globe kits.
 
Quick Reflection: You could say, I’m learning to let go of preconceived notions of how I think things should be.  I’m determined to appreciate whatever comes my way and awe at the unexpected, so bring it on. Think I’ll play it safe this New Years by romp reading, de-Christmasing, solving the worlds smallest 1,000 piece puzzle, Scrabble Cooking, and Kindle reading with Little Reader.   

                                                Oh, The Things We Did

Rolled suet into balls, mixed in peanut butter, and rolled in birdseed.



Waiting to feed the birds and “chickmumps” on the tree house.


Blitzen was in an accident during reindeer camp so Little Reader was called to help Santa deliver gifts. Didn’t remember going to China, but did awake with trinkets under a little tree and hay in her bed. Oh the magic of Christmas.
Gingerbread Houses for everyone. 





                                             Oh, The Books We Liked

The Snow Globe Family
By O’Connor, Jane       



Jane O'Connor known for her Fancy Nancy, has created an imaginative winter wonderland story. The snow globe family wishes for their big family to pick it up and shake it for a snow, and the only one that notices this is baby.  Will they get a big snow? 
"If someone shakes us, will it snow here?  Watch me wiggle!"  - Little Reader
After wiggling to her sisters IPOD tunes, there’s still no snow.  But what a great escape to a winter world on the mantel. 

Snow
By Rylant, Cynthia




A girl and her grandmother enjoy the magical many types of snow.   This warm fuzzy read will take you back to delightful simpler times.  The illustrations are works of art, and you may find the book is much more than snow.  Moving on to snow flakes and a south Texas snowball fight - wadded up paper. 

Old Bear
By Henkes, Kevin




A hibernating bear vividly dreams about the seasons, including things like a summer daisy sun and blueberry rainfall.  The past and present are cleverly set apart through change in color and layout, it's visually striking, and so I give this five stars.  Little Reader quickly departed to make her own season pictures.
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Two Christmas breaks and Holiday Reads

Holiday hectic is in full swing, and to add chaos my oldest reindeer broke his knee and the middle reindeer broke his arm.  Yes that’s right, HK and C both decided to fracture themselves during a basketball game, but at least they spaced them out a day.  
But amidst all this, we are still enjoying the countdown and settling down each day for our Christmas reads.  And Scrabble has become popular with Gimp One & Gimp Two (HK &C)

‘Tis the reads of the season…..
 
A Wish to be a Christmas Tree
By Monroe, Colleen




Let me introduce our newest book addition. When one sad fir tree isn’t chosen for a Christmas tree, his woodland friends make him feel important by making him a Christmas tree. Through beautiful images it’s about true meaning of friendship.


Some of our activities

Painting pinecones and sprinkling with glitter.

 
Reindeer soup
(Hot chocolate, Kisses, sprinkles, marshmallows, stirred with a candy cane)


The Nutcracker
By Davidson, Susanna


 

The splendid Nutcracker story told on a younger child’s level and filled with vibrant illustrations.  Goes along perfect with Nutcracker activities and the ballet.

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies
By Numeroff, Laura

 
 
 
This picture book is very similar to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Pig a Pancake, but with a Christmas theme. A laugh out loud story of events starting with a mouse going the movies, leading to popcorn, decorating Christmas trees, and so forth.  Timing of this read is fitting with how one thing leads to another, and today will end with reading The Giving Tree and stringing popcorn.
 
King Hugo’s Big Ego
By Van Dusen, Chris




Follow this funny rhyme and see King Hugo’s head swell with each boast.  With bright and attractive pictures your little ones can’t wait to turn each page to see what happens next. A simple lesson of modesty.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On the 6th day of Christmas… randomness, gingerbread, & candy canes

It’s the sixth day of Christmas countdown.  But first it’s time for a random thought.  I’ve spent the past 16 years home with my children, with the last five in graduate school preparing for when they are out of the house.  The littlest is now in kinder, I finished school, and I'm not taking a liking to a quiet house.  But  something has emerged.  A crafty side, I didn’t even know I had. I spend more time now preparing for when the kidos get home from school.  I’m guilty of putting them first, and maybe this is a way of staying connected.
But that’s enough of that, moving on to our Christmas countdown.

Here’s our Gingerbread Stories

The Gingerbread Cowboy
By Squires, Janet




A western gingerbread story filled with lizards, roadrunners, javelinas, and long horns.  Thought it might be a bit too long, but Little Reader sat intently joining in, "Giddy up, giddy up as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

Gingerbread Friends
By Brett, Jan



Another jam-packed Jan Brett book.  Gingerbread is lonely and goes on a search to find new friends.  But when this fails, he returns home where a sweet treat awaits! (A pop out page)

The Gingerbread Pirates
By Kladstrup, Kristin



The Matzo Ball Boy
By Shulman, Lisa




Gingerbread man (Peanut butter & jelly, frosting, & sprinkles)   



Here’s our Candy Cane story

The Legend of the Candy Cane
By Walburg, Lori



A warming tale celebrating the miracle of Christmas.   This beautiful candy cane story has been a part of our Christmas for many years. Lucy, a little girl learns how this tasty treat is a symbol of Jesus Christ's love, and sets out to share this with others.  The teenager read to us while we nibbled on candy canes.   

Candy cane (Red & white tissue paper & contact paper)

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