Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Girly Girl Date in Claremore

I had my favorite "girly" date with my girls today and some friends joined us which made it even more fun! We went to the Pink House in Claremore and had a DELICIOUS lunch - I had their Chicken Enchilada Casserole and their Baked Fudge was to die for!!!

It was such a nice day today that we decided to go antique shopping downtown after lunch. The first store we went to was a new store that sells dolls - The Doll Castle. Our girls were in heaven! They had every kind of doll you could imagine - everything from Pippi Longstocking to Fancy Nancy to Precious Moments. We spent the rest of our time just moseying around antique stores trying to find a good bargain. It was a very fun day!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Do-A-Dot Class at Classroom Corner

The girls took another fun class today at Owasso's Classroom Corner. It was a Do-A-Dot Art Class and they got to create a huge poster with Do-A-Dot Dobbers. Classroom Corner is offering some fantastic classes for the month of January! Check them out here! You can even sign up for them on-line! They are also offering some super deals right now - many items are 25-40 percent off!

The class was great fun with friends ;-)

Christmas at Nanny and Poppy's

We had our final Christmas celebration last night at Steve's parent's house. We had a great time eating, visiting and opening gifts.

My favorite gift of the night was 2 snowmen the girls made for us (with the help of Nanny). They turned out so cute!

And of course, more singing...

Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa

My dad, step-mom and sisters came for a visit yesterday from OKC. We had lunch together then the girls made cupcakes and decopauged some cardboard boxes. It was a short, but nice, visit ;-)


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas at Aunt Glenna's House

After opening presents at our house this morning, we went to Steve's aunt's for lunch. We had a lot of fun celebrating Christmas with his aunts, uncles and cousins. I especially enjoyed getting a tour of their beautiful new house. It was decorated so pretty for the holidays and the views from the back balconies were spectacular.

Of course, the food was great and we also had fun playing "Dirty Santa" - which was a bit of a difficult concept for the kids to understand. We received such "lovely" gifts, but somehow they got left at their house - perhaps accidentally on purpose ;-)

Here's a video of our girls and their cousin, Riley, singing the Chipmunks Christmas song. What talent ;-)

Christmas Morning

The girls waited as long as they could before waking us up at 7:30 this morning - I actually thought they were pretty gracious to allow us to sleep in that late! However, they were a little disappointed to find out that Santa didn't leave them a letter this year - apparently, "someone" didn't think that little detail through since the girls don't believe in Santa anymore but they do like to pretend like they do. At least he left cookie crumbs and an empty glass of milk!

We had a lot of fun opening our gifts and Steve and I especially loved all the homemade things the girls made for us. The girls were so sweet and had bought gifts for each other this year out of their own money. "M" also surprised "A" by making her a felt scarf. When asked about their favorite gifts, "M" said hers was Dance Praise (a contemporary Christian dance game that plugs into your computer) and "A's" favorite gift was the Prince Caspian movie. After gifts, we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, watched the Christmas parade on TV and of course, had fun playing playing with our new toys ;-)

Christmas Eve

We began our Christmas Eve with a candlelight service at church last night. It was a beautiful evening celebrating the birth of Jesus with singing, prayer and communion. Afterwards, we went home and put on our Christmas jammies and got ready for bed. (Steve's mom made the grandkids matching Christmas pajamas this year - they are sooo cute!) Steve then read a bedtime story about the birth of Jesus.

It's kind of funny how the girls don't believe in Santa anymore but they like to pretend that they do. We still had to do "cookies and milk" for Santa and check his progress on NORAD. They also had to check the sky before they went to bed to see if they could see Santa heading our direction - and they did, by the way!

Here's a video of the girls wishing everyone a Merry Christmas...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Don't Forget THE Reason

It's fun to celebrate Christmas with Santa, giving gifts, going to parties and looking at colorful lights, but of course the main reason our family celebrates Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. How amazing to think that God would want to leave his perfect home in heaven to be born on earth in the form of a baby - knowing the persecution, pain and sorrow He would soon face. The greatest act of love ever - all of this because He loves us so much and wants us to be with Him for eternity.

Here's a few websites our family likes to visit to remind us of the REAL reason for the season...

The Christmas Story - Animated story of the birth of Christ

The First Christmas - listen to the story on-line

Build a Nativity - Interactive and fun ;-)

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus! - Post a birthday message to Jesus

The Christmas Story - Comic book style

Adventures in Odyssey - Christmas episodes on-line

Audrey's Christmas Page - Coloring pages, puzzles, games, recipes and stories

A Kid's Heart - Lots of fun Christmas activities

Did you know that Santa has a blog?! Yes, it's true! You can find it here along with lots of answers to questions you might have like "Why is Santa's coat red and white and not blue and green?" and "How does Santa get down the chimney?" It's very informative, so check it out!!! And you won't believe this, but the reindeers even have a blog! Check theirs out here.

Here's a few more of our favorite Santa sites we like to visit...

Santa.com - Includes Santa's storytime, Christmas activities, crafts, recipes, printables and music.

NORAD Santa Tracker - NORAD provides aerospace warning and control for North America 365 days a year. On Christmas Eve, they turn their attention to Santa, tracking his yearly gift-delivering journey from the North Pole. The Santa Tracker itself goes live at 6am EST on December 24th. In the meantime, you will find the unique history of the Santa Tracker, holiday-themed games (a new one released each day) and updates from the North Pole at www.noradsanta.org, the official NORAD Tracks Santa website.

NorthPole.com - Enjoy the joy and magic of Christmas in Santa’s Secret Village! You are invited to experience a traditional look at Christmas through the many free activities at northpole.com. Write to Santa, read stories, enjoy Karaoke, send e-cards, find recipes, play games and puzzles, print stories to color—even put you or your child in a personalized story! The stories and activities combine traditional feelings of Christmas goodwill with state-of-the-art computer technology—all richly illustrated with original artwork.

EmailSanta.com - Celebrating more than 10 years on-line & more than 1 million letters a year! And Santa still replies to every letter faster than reindeer fly! Promise!

Santa calls - Send or receive a call from Santa for just $2.49. (We did this last year and the girls LOVED it!)

Photo of Santa at your house - I just discovered this fun site! Their website says, "Our team of elves has made it simple to turn your photo into a memorable keepsake in a few easy-to-follow steps on our Web site."

Step 1 - Upload Your Photo
Take photo of your room as it will look Christmas Eve
Follow the prompts to upload your photo to our Web site for editing

Step 2 - Select Your Santa
Follow the prompts to choose one of our Santa images to insert in your photo
Choose from a variety Santa poses - sitting, standing or kneeling
Follow the prompts to blend the Santa into your photo using our simple controls to resize and match coloring

Step 3 - Download and enjoy
Follow the prompts to checkout when you are happy with your Santa and photo adjustments
Enter payment information via our secure server process by Authorize.net
Follow the prompts to instantly download your magical photo
Print or display on your computer screen Christmas morning

Christmas Crafts and Kids in the Kitchen - includes fun recipes like Rudolph Poop, Candy Cane Cookies and Frosty's Juice!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas with Grand Mama & Aunt Angie

My mom and sister and her family came to see us this weekend to celebrate Christmas at our house. (We typically go see them in OKC but they were able to come here this year!) We had a great time visiting, opening gifts, playing games, watching Christmas movies, and of course, eating! Close family is such a blessing ;-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

"A's" Rockin' Video

"A" would like to wish everyone a rockin' Christmas ;-)

Our school week...

This week, we've had some unusually cold and icy weather. Public & private schools were even closed for three days! Being the mean, homeschool mom that I am ;-) we continued to do school but made it a little more fun with some extra crafts and we even did school in our pj's most of the week!

Here's where we did our lessons all week - in my bedroom in front of our little fireplace to keep us warm!

The girls created "Sand Art" and made lots of other Christmas presents to give away.

We had lunch and a playdate with friends. What lovely outfits the girls are wearing and yes, "A" raided the make-up drawer.

We dressed up and sang Christmas carols - believe it or not, this is not our "homeschool uniform". :-)

We built things with cards...

And played dominoes...

All in all, it was a relaxing week. It made us slow down and enjoy life at home, which doesn't happen as often as it should!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Nutcracker Ballet

We saw The Nutcracker Ballet yesterday with some friends at the TCC VanTrease Performing Arts Center, performed by the South Tulsa Children's Ballet Company. The backdrops were fantastic and we especially loved all of the pretty costumes! It was a very fun time!
If you are interested in lesson plans on The Nutcracker Ballet, go to the following sites:
The Nutcracker at pppst.com (Great site with lots of links!)

Celebrating Christmas at Utica Square

We love to go to Utica Square every Christmas to visit Santa and look at the Nutcracker vignettes. Unfortunately for me, the girls stopped believing in Santa last year, but they still took time to talk to him in his Santa house. (I think they were more interested in getting the free cookie and having me hear what they wanted for Christmas!) We still had a great time and I hope they'll let me take them there for many more Christmases to come - they just have to appease their mother sometimes ;-)

Toby Mac Winter Wonder Slam Tour

We took "M" and a friend to see Toby Mac in concert this past Saturday night for his Winter Wonder Slam Tour. It was good, but I don't know how many times I said to myself that night, "Oh, I'm getting old!" Whether you like Toby Mac or not, you have to admit he has taken Christian music to an entirely new, creative level and it's so much better than it used to be!

Here's a few pics of the girls before the concert began. They were so excited! And yes, those are blackberries in their hands. Steve let them borrow some from work so they could shine them during the concert - they thought they were pretty cool.

The opening bands were B. Reith, Relient K and Family Force 5. Family Force 5 was not our cup of tea - here's what we did while they were playing...

I have no idea who this lady is but I just had to take her picture. She actually brought her knitting to the concert! I'm sure her son was so proud. I was feeling old at the concert, but not that old!

Toby Mac put on a great show and the girls had a great time!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Extreme Homeschool Room Makeover - Girly Girl Style

I would like to redo our school room/game room upstairs. It has been green, purple and blue for way too many years now and the girls and I are ready for something new! I asked them if they wanted to be involved in the process or if they wanted to be surprised and believe it or not, they want to be surprised. Their only request was that it involved, of course, P-I-N-K!

For some reason, I am seeing pink, black and white as the color scheme. Girls are pretty much the only ones that go up there so we can make it as girly as we want ;-) In my mind, I am seeing hot pink on the bottom third of the wall, then a black wood trim border with white painted on the upper two-thirds of the wall. We also have a shelf all around the room near the ceiling that I plan on painting black. Of course, I can't leave the white plain, so I'm thinking of painting big, black, swirly designs everywhere. Something similar to this...

Here's my wishlist I'm thinking about for the rest of the room...

Black and White Rug (in front of the sectional)

Bean bag chair to flank one end of the sectional

Padded Club Chair to flank the other end of the sectional

White desks - The girls would each have their own. Unfortunately, they are out of stock right now so I'm hoping they'll get more in soon!

Black bookcases - with pink tubs for storage. The girls would each have their own bookcase next to their desk. I'm sure this would keep them well organized - yeah, right! In my dreams!

Black curtain panels - with pink, fuzzy trim hot-glued to the top, of course!

Steve's Wish List...

Flat panel TV (not imparticulary SONY) - Hey, at least it's black!

And I would finish the room off with more black, pink and white accessories. I'm sure this can all be done in a quick weekend (with the help of Ty and his possie)! Let me know what you think or if you have any more suggestions! It will probably take us a little while but I'll post pictures when we're done ;-)

Oh To Be Thankful For God's Little Blessings

As some of my close friends and family know, I have been battling some health issues for the past few months. In a strange way, keeping up this blog has been healing for me - I suppose because it takes my mind off of not feeling well and I can escape for a little while, even if it takes me a few hours just to do one posting sometimes. Anyway, this posting isn't a sob story about me being sick, but it's a reminder to myself to be thankful for God's little blessings in life.

A few weeks ago, I wasn't feeling well and I probably had gone too long without going to see the doctor. I finally went but spent a good 2 hours at the doctors office. I then had to go get my prescription filled at Wal-Mart which took another 1 1/2 hours. During this time, I tried to do a little shopping and avoid anyone I might know because I looked so bad. Of course I ran into everyone under the sun that I know that day. One lady even told me, "Yeah, you don't look so good." "Thanks for that little reminder," I told myself ;-)

Anyway, I was experiencing a lot of pain and just wanted to get home. It was cold and drizzly out and as I was walking my shopping cart to my car to unload the groceries, I said a little prayer, "God, I just want to get home. Please send someone to take my cart for me." But just as I was saying that prayer, in the back of my mind I was thinking, "Now why in the world would anyone do that for me? No one ever has ever done that before and they probably aren't going to start today." Needless to say, as I looked up, a little old man wearing a Santa hat followed me to my car and asked, "May I take your cart for you, mam?" I just about kissed that man, fell over and died right there in the parking lot! Oh me of little faith! I don't know if he worked for Wal-Mart (I didn't recognize him as a worker) or maybe he was just a customer doing a kind deed. But I was definitely reminded that day to be thankful for God's little blessings and He reminded me that I need to be a blessing to others, as well.

Art Gallery Night

I've been co-teaching an Art Class at our church through a program called Kid U (U for University). It's a great program where kids get to choose a class that they'd like to take and each class lasts about 7 weeks. This classes this session included Martial Arts, Basketball, Cooking, Chess and Art. In addition to learning or developing a new skill, we also have a Bible devotional, snack and Large Group Worship time. I have really enjoyed helping teach the class - not just because I love art, but I especially love and appreciate kid's art - almost more than "grown-up" art. It's just so creative, uninhibited, colorful and happy!

Last night, the kids got to show off some of their art work from this past session at an Art Gallery Night. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it because I was a "little" under the weather. I really wish I could have been there but I heard it went really well and the kids enjoyed showing off their work to their family and friends. My girls participated in the class and here is some of their art work...

"A's" ARTWORK...

This fish was drawn in black glue (made by mixing a small amount of black paint with Elmer's glue. You mix this right in the tube then squeeze out your design. Simple and fun but be sure to let it dry thoroughly before adding paint or color!). Bright pastels were used to color in the picture and background.

This heart was drawn with black glue then color was added with watercolor paints.

This picture was inspired by Eric Carle. He made most of his illustrations by painting on paper then tearing or cutting the paper into different designs to create a collage effect.

Again, fish drawn with black glue and colored in with bright pastels.

Picture drawn with black glue and colored in with bright pastels.

Another Eric Carle inspiration.

"M's" ARTWORK...

An Eric Carle inspiration - paper collage of a castle with a princess and frog prince

An Eric Carle inspiration - paper collage of a "fashion girl"

Picture drawn with black glue and colored in with water color paints

Picture drawn with black glue and colored in with bright pastels