A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Christmas at Our House

Due to Paul's work schedule, we had our home Christmas on Friday instead of Sunday.  

Jack's boss gave him snacks for Christmas.  The way to every teen boy's heart.  

Hey, look, it's that blanket again.  Everyone wants to feel how soft it is.  

Grumman found his present.  It's the pink one with the gingerbread men on it.  

Katie's new backpack and lunch bag.  (Hannah got a Starry Night lunch bag that I bought after our Van Gogh experience.)  

Having Christmas a couple days early meant that Miss M could join us, since she didn't have any family commitments that day.  

Some of Paul's new books.

When I bought this flannel shirt, I was under the impression that my poor child had no long sleeved button up shirts.  Turns out, he does, it just hadn't occurred to him to wear long sleeves to church yet.  

Katie was obsessed with Ford F-250 trucks recently.  I asked Paul to get her a truck model.  They've spent a couple mornings in the garage, working on it.  I'll be sure to share a picture when it's done.  

What's in your present, Grumman?

Truck puzzle

Hannah opens books, and immediately starts reading.  

It's a stick!  

Grumman's gift this year was silvervine sticks (affiliate link).  They're said to be a good alternative for cats who don't react to catnip (which he doesn't).  

Lego flowers

Jack recently built himself his own computer, so he asked for a chair for Christmas.  

After all the gifts were open, people wandered off to play with their new toys.  

I had art supplies in my stocking this year.  

Katie's finished Lego set.

Up next, the annual faux gingerbread houses... 

Friday, December 30, 2022

Our Pre Christmas Week-ish

Without the structure that school puts into our routine, I have no idea what day it is, or what I'm supposed to be doing.  I keep thinking every tomorrow must be Sunday, because every day feels like Saturday.  Pretty sure this covers about 2 weeks.  Ish.  

You know you're a book person when a storm knocks the power out, and you grab a lantern to read in bed.  As a side note, we've had this lantern for more than 7 years, and it's been to camp several times, and only needed new batteries once or twice.  

Katie performing hand chimes at church.  Hannah played piano for the offertory the following week, but I didn't take a picture.

One of my coworkers posted a video about a mom who made her kid's teacher a pencil dispenser from a straw dispenser and then Crikey-ed on it.  I thought to myself, "I can do that."

This particular teacher's classroom is decorated in Alice in Wonderland, with old play props, so I thought her pencil dispenser should fit the theme.  It seemed to be well received.  

Jack continues to say, "You see that sign?" when we're out & about.  Makes me smile.  My boy installed that corner sign.  

The school Christmas program occurred.  It was mostly not horrible.  

Sent packages to my big girls.  Added a few stickers for that festive look.  

Expect to see more sword type books.  Hannah is going through a weapons phase.  

Paul had a birthday.  I keep the upstairs noticeably warmer than he keeps the downstairs, hence the sock hat in the house.  

I swear she's going to give me a heart attack.  She was up there, chasing her tail on the post.  :facepalm:  



There's a rose garden beside the post office.  I was surprised to notice these (and many other) hearty flowers, continuing to do their thing in winter, so I stopped and took a bunch of pictures.  Just a moment to notice the beauty around us.  

My kids give me grief for being a proud military mama, so I had to send them this over the top Marine Mom car.  Makes my single blue star magnet look downright mild in comparison.  

It's been gross foggy lately in the mornings.  This was 9:45 a.m. on the way to church.  Bleh.  

I've been working with Hannah on cooking.  She's really stressed out about it.  She's very much a perfectionist, and I'm very much a "close enough!" fly by the seat of my pants sort of girl.  We've done spaghetti, mini pizzas, and a couple other things so far, but she's still not relaxing yet.  I'm ordering up some cookbooks from the library.  We'll keep going until she mellows out.  

Fiona, you're not helping me wrap presents by napping on the gift bags.  

I guess I'll sit somewhere else.

I'm not sure how it started, but Josiah and I used to leave a potato in each other's room.  This was a while ago.  Well, with the Christmas stuff out, and some fingerling potatoes in the house, I revived the tradition last week.  It's my turn again.  I think I'mma go put it in his car.  :evilgrin: 

I made Hannah a flannel/minkee blanket while we were waiting to adopt her, and I brought it to China with us.  It's been in her bed ever since.  It's gone to camp with her.  And after 12 years, it was... falling apart.  So when I asked for her Christmas list, one of the the items listed was a new mama made blankie.  I used cat flannel and gray minkee for the replacement.  It's bigger than the old one (which was made to cover a 3 year old) so I ran out of binding and had to go buy another pack to finish it.  Grumman wanted me to know that no project is complete without cat hair, so he made his contribution before I wrapped it for her.  

I'll share Christmas pictures next time.  Hope you had a lovely Christmas!

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Christmas Crafts in the Library

I was asked if I could have the students make ornaments to sell at the Christmas program as a fundraiser.  This was a little intimidating at first, because it's hard to get a child-produced ornament with sale worthy quality.  But I'm pretty happy with how things turned out.  

I dug into my grandmother's button box for one of the options.  

With the button snowflakes, I made the first one, then I had Katie make one, to see if any issues cropped up before I tried it in the library with small children.  I learned that a grown up should be in charge of the glue.  I pre-glued the sticks using E6000 and then we used white glue for the buttons.  

These were made by first and second graders, and I think they came out great!  

This was my prototype (minus the handle, which I added with silver Sharpie later) bubblegum machine.  I used clear ornaments from JoAnn's, disposable shot glasses for the base, itty bitty pompoms for the "gum," and silver vinyl from my Crikey supply stash for the "flap."  

The 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students did a great job on their gumball machines!  

Hannah and her friend helped me make snowman faces on beads and I set up trays for the kindergarteners to be able to assemble snowman friends.  

Snow peeps are made from white beads, hat is made from a black oblong bead and a button, the ornament is strung on rattail cord, and the scarf is ribbon I had in the sewing room.  

As you can see, I ran out of red ribbon, so a couple of the snowmen have green scarves.  These came out pretty cute, too!  

My prototype for the 6th grade class.

And their finished works of art.  

This is a non-ornament, not for sale, craft I did with my 3rd-5th grade classes.  I saw a post where someone had their students weave with burlap ribbon and thought that would make a good fine motor activity.  I wandered the ribbon aisle at Hobby Lobby, looking for "just right" ribbon.  This ribbon is actually wired, so I had to pull the wires out before turning over to the kids.  Pulling the wires out of glittery ribbon dislodges a fair amount of glitter.  My desk sparkles.  Anyway, yarn & ribbon from Hobby Lobby; kid friendly needles from Amazon.  I gave them a lot of freedom with this one, and had pretty mixed results.  I think some of the kids would have benefitted from more guidance.  I let them make whatever design they wanted, and some of them ended up a tangled mess.  My mom gave me some cardstock she wasn't going to use, and I'm thinking I might make lacing cards and laminate them and give another try to "needlework" later in the school year.  

All in all, the ornament thing went better than I expected, and I'm really glad.  I was pretty nervous when I was first asked to help kids create something people would want to pay for.