Saturday, December 29, 2012

First Major Snow Storm

We had our first major snow storm during the Holidays this year. The kids and their dad went around and helped the neighbours clean out their driveways and walkways. Some of them are seniors and really do appreciate the help. The kids seemed to enjoy themselves even though it was hard work. They had the hard job of shoveling. I usually don't post when we help others, but I just thought it was a good example of how helping others gets other involved in helping others. Our one neighbour was just a bit slow getting to his drive so after the kids and their dad were done he went and did his other neighbours driveway and passed along the favour even though his driveway was already done.

Most Used Gifts

 Zoe's favourite gift was her American Girl Doll. They aren't as assessable to us because we are in Canada, but we were able to get her anyway, without having to pay all of the extra costs of shipping her into Canada. She got two dolls this Christmas but this is her favourite. McKenna is the Doll of the year for 2012 and Zoe loves her because she is a gymnast! I'm so proud of her for getting rid of so many of her toys. Honestly, I can't see her playing with anything else for a very long time. McKenna hasn't left her side since she opened her up on Christmas morning. She has been making crafts for her doll. I will post about this later.

Austyn loves his mini-sticks. His favourite thing to do is play hockey, so his favourite and most used gifts are hockey related. He has said that he may even want to go to the arena more, since he has that advantage with homeschooling. He has been learning about the history of hockey, the players, awards, and some of the strange rules of the game. He has learned about quality of equipment and the science that goes into making the equipment. The Discovery Channel and some trivia games have helped greatly in this area.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Independant Crafter

Zoe has been looking up crafts on YouTube and making them all on her own.

 Here are only a few of the things she has made on her own by looking online.

 This little elf who hung out on our Christmas tree was her attempt to make an Elf on a Shelf. We didn't end up getting one this year. By the time we decided we wanted one they were all sold out. She made this guy with no video and no help from me.

Zoe has a very independent personality, so this is something she does naturally.

T'was just before Christmas

 The last few things we did before Christmas were fun.

 We made homemade cards and had treats. One treat was ginger-ale in a bottle.

 Daddy always makes cookies for Santa with them!

Usually we wait until these kits go on sale, but this year the kids decorated a gingerbread house early. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snowflakes and Stars

 This holiday season we learned how to make a crystal snowflake. 
HERE is a website to show you how to make it.

I made some paper crafts with Zoe. We weaved paper into a little coaster and we also made these ornaments. The one on the left is the correct way to make it and the one on the right I tried to do it backwards to see what it looks like. HERE you can find the directions to make this paper star. We used card stock.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Baking?! Me?!

This is my attempt to bake with the kids. Joking aside... we are all lucky the house wasn't burned down. I'm terrible at baking. Maybe I'm not so bad compared to the average person, but because there are such good bakers in my husband's family, I rate very low on that scale of skill. These shortbread cookies needed something on top, but we didn't have cherries so we used some jam that we got from a wedding we just attended. I think they turned out okay. We also made a type of shortbread squares.

Reindeer Poop!!

 I'm not sure how she remembered, but I think it was three years ago, that we made Raindeer Poop at a friend's house, and Zoe has been bugging me to make it with her. I wasn't even sure that the kids liked it, and if I recall, I threw most of it out.

 I looked it up on the internet, because I wasn't sure I'd be able to find the original recipe we used. It turns out that there are many versions of it. I did end up finding our original recipe in the recipe cupboard and that is what we used. 

Reindeer Poop Recipe:

8 C Chex cereal
1-2 C puffed rice cereal
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c peanut butter (could substitute with more chocolate chips)
2 T butter
1/2 t vanilla
2 C powdered sugar

1. Place cereal in a large heat-proof pan
2. In a microwave-safe dish melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. (Heat one minute and stir. Repeat heating only 30 seconds and stirring until melted)
3. Stir vanilla into chocolate mixture.
4. Pour chocolate over cereal and stir until well coated.
5. Pour cereal mixture on waxed paper and allow to cool slightly. Break up the big chunks. (If you are doing 1/4 at a time, add powdered sugar to the mixture in a large zip-lock bag and shake until all the pieces are well coated. Pour into a large pan and refrigerate until hard.

While searching for versions of the above recipe I came across some great poems to go along with our Reindeer Poop!

Short Reindeer Poop Poem
I heard you’ve been naughty,
so here’s the scoop.
All you get for Christmas this year
is reindeer poop.

Long Reindeer Poop Poem
I woke with such a fright when I heard Santa call…
“Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!”
I ran to the lawn and in the snowy white drifts,
those nasty reindeer had left “little gifts.”
I got an old shovel and started to scoop
neat little piles of reindeer poop!
But to throw them away seemed such a waste,
so I saved them, thinking-you might like a taste!
As I finished my task, which took quite awhile,
Old Santa passed by and he sheepishly smiled.
And I heard him exclaim as he sped off in the sky…
“Well they’re not potty trained, but at least they can fly!”

HERE is the website I found with the poems and there is a free printable reindeer poop label in case you'd like to give it as a gift.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Card Exchange

Less and less people send Christmas cards each year. Postage can get expensive and more people use Social media or email to send good wishes. This year we joined a Christmas Card Exchange with our homeschool group. There were only a handful of us who signed up. The kids went over to visit their Nanny to make cards since she makes cards as a hobby. Here are the results. I was so impressed with how well they turned out. These were sent out as soon as we could and we are starting to receive cards from other families. The kids learned about how to send a letter (if they didn't remember other times that we've done it) and they got to be creative. I think this was a great activity.

Large Paper Snowflake Craft

Ever since we made one of these at a homeschool co-op, we make at least one each year. Last year we each made our own and hung them in the window. They are so pretty, so big, and so pretty. 

Here is a video to show you how to make them.


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