Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's a girl!

And we were pretty sure it was a boy.

After we caught our breath, we went into a flurry of name searching, since we'd been concentrating on boy names. Even the kids were writing name lists.

Ethan, Anna, and I love "Ruby", but apparently Kenny Rogers forever ruined that name for Brian (I may have to send him some hate mail - is he still alive?). It was so cute to watch the kids work on their lists - and see how they spelled the names. Rosie just said that she like Genevieve. I said, "Oh, we could call her Genny or Genna", "Vieve" she replied. No compromising with that one. :^)

But by the end of the evening an unexpected name had come out of nowhere and captured us - Laurie Jane. We have a few others from our combined name list that we both like, but this on is really burrowing in. Not 100% official yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's the keeper. What do you think?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Free God's World News student editions

Some of the God's World News student magazines are only released online. And those issues are available for everyone to read. Here is the December issues link. Last year we subscribed to Early Edition and this year we get Taking Off. The kids really enjoy them and I like their new format this year of fewer, but larger issues. They often come with great posters as an added bonus.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

More Christmas for kids

  1. Going carolling is easy with this ready to print Christmas carol book.
  2. At Christian Preschool Printables you can print Christmas bingo pages made up of the nativity story pictures. And on the next page is a Road to Bethlehem file folder game and a nativity puzzle.
  3. No kids activity list would be complete without The Toymaker. This year I'm planning to have the kids make the Dodechahedron of Little Snow Guys after reading (or rather looking at - it's perfectly wordless) The Snowman (this version is an easy reader just right for Anna Kate) and watching it on DVD. And I think that I have a resident artist or two that will enjoy learning to draw this Santa.
  4. And Edhelper has a lot of Christmas worksheets, some are free, some are only available with a site subscription.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas for Kids

  1. Easy Christmas Star craft - we've been slowly working on these the past few days, allowing the glue to dry and doing the next step the next day. We are covering ours in glue and glitter and they're turning out very well - we're even going to flip them over and glitter the back so that we can hang them anywhere.
  2. Lots of simple paper crafts at first-school - my girls thoroughly enjoyed cutting out the snowman and pasting him and their chosen hat and scarf to a bright piece of construction paper. I have my eye on the Christmas Bell Angel and the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus Craft for this upcoming week.
  3. We're going to see The Nutcracker on Thursday, and I'd like to work on this printable stage production. At the very least, I'm planning to make these cute Nutcracker finger puppets. You could enjoy these while watching a video of the Nutcracker (this version is my favorite) or even just listening to highlights.
  4. Isn't this Reindeer Six Pack the cutest thing ever? It would make a great gift for the soft drink-loving grandparent in your kid's life.
  5. Ooo. We have plans to use our half gallon of peppermint ice cream to try to imitate Chick-Fil-A's heavenly peppermint chocolate chip milkshakes, but if that hadn't already been the plan, I'd be making this Peppermint Christmas Punch.
  6. Build a virtual snowman at Holiday spot
  7. Print Christmas-themed math worksheets at kidzone- and here is a Christmas word problem sheet - and some more colorful math sheets here
  8. Print a Christmas Bible readings chart and let your older kids read the Christmas passages for themselves.
  9. Fun set of language arts related North Pole worksheets from Kids Domain
  10. Do your kids love the Grinch?
  11. I've got so many more links to share, but must get some shut-eye. Here's a page full of lovely links for you to explore on your own. I'll try for installment 2 soon.

Tony Perkins Asks Barack Obama: When Does Life Begin?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Remember this?

Two U.S. Border Patrol Agents are serving decade long prison terms for attempting to apprehend a known drug smuggler for illegally crossing our border with more than 700lbs. of drugs!

Almost as outrageous is that the illegal alien drug smuggler, who was given free medical care, and immunityfor testifying against the agents is now suing the U.S. for $5 million--claiming his civil rights were violated!

I have just signed a petition calling for the Presidentto pardon these two Border Agents and I'm asking you tojoin with me by clicking here for the full story and the petition:

There is a push to have 450,ooo signatures on the petition by today, so please fulfill your responsibility as an American citizen and speak against this imjustice NOW.

Labor of Love

I posted this song a couple of years ago, but it's so touching that I thought it worth reposting.

This is a different kind of carol. A newly written carol that makes you rethink your preconceived ideas of what Christ's birth was like, and leaves you with a fresh glimpse of His overwhelming love for us.

It is from Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb.

Labor of Love
Listen here.

It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyways that night
On the streets of David's town

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
Had no mother's hand to hold

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love

Noble Joseph at her side
Callused hands and weary eyes
There were no midwives to be found
In the streets of David's town
In the middle of the night

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
But the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the Author of the faith
That could make the mountains move

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love

For little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
It was a labor of love

Words and music by Andrew Peterson

Christ-centered Christmas Decorations

The Maxwells posted this beautiful Christmas decoration idea. I liked exploring their connecting articles as well. I don't agree with the extremes of their views, I think Christmas trees have a huge amount of Chrisitan symbolism, but I did find it profitable to take the time to think about exploring more ways to make or have decorations that directly point our children and guests to the true meaning of Christmas.

Their Christmas cross is beautiful lit up at night and I think that it would be prettier during the day wrapped with ribbon and a single bow.

While we have gone ultra-lite on Christmas decor this year, we usually have a nativity in every room. We always work on memorizing Christmas carols and the nativity story from the Bible. we have lots of Christmas books and videos about the true story of Christmas. We try to observe advent, particularly on the years we stay home (we find that we lose the climax when staying out of town Christmas week).

And we also remember by Christmas lights, saying a prayer for our Chinese brothers and sisters when we see the lights on our tree, and donating $1 to Voice of the Martyrs for every string of Christmas lights we buy.

What are some ways that you focus, in decorations or traditions, on the true meaning of Christmas?

For Mothers in need of encouragement

These two articles will touch you and spur you on.

From Ann, at Holy Experience, A Mother's Work, once again she finds the sacred in the mundane

And from someone I've never read before, Sarah, at Three Little Monkeys, Growing Parents, an article to encourage moms of one, two, or three, that see all of these super-moms of seven in the blogosphere and wonder why they can't even accomplish that's all a matter of experience - and older children :^)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Free Amazing Grace DVD

By registering as a member, you can receive a free DVD of Amazing Grace as well as a Walden Media calendar! For a limited time only, of course.

Thanks for the heads up, Crystal!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Addictive little Christmas game

Your kids will enjoy it too.

"I", said the pig?

I finally bought the children a Little Pe*ples nativity. They were tired of trying to position the stuffed figures in our play nativity that kept falling over and kept trying to play with mine.

I've been eyeing it for years, but it was a tad expensive (I'm actually peeved the the Fish*r Price website has this listed for $33 and I paid $40 at Walmart and mine doesn't have the backdrop piece.) The children, however, were thrilled.

They sat beside me eagerly assisting as I removed the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, wise men, camel, shepherd, angel, goat, donkey, cart, pig... PIG???!!!!

I shook my head in disbelief and amusement and couldn't stop snickering, A pig at a nativity scene. No cow like the one in the picture above, or listed on the box. But a pig. And it wasn't exactly a fluke because the box actually had a pig pictured, rather than the listed cow, too.

I called Fish*r Price to tell them of my kid's delight, and to suggest that they might want to consider returning to the idea of a cow at this Jewish manger scene. The lady on the phone became rather amused as well as it sunk in how very out of place a pig would be in a Jewish stable. After she asked if I would like to have the Hanukkah version...of what? a nativity???!!!

I didn't go there. I just communicated that while we loved our nativity toy and would find an animal in our collection to replace the pig, there may be some Jewish Christians that might buy this in the future and go, "what the heck???!!!" with a little less amusement. She agreed that they really ought to try to correct this.

So I guess this is what happens when you buy an American nativity toy made in China. You get a pig in the stable. At least it happened to me and not to Joseph. That really would have been the last straw.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Free milkshake

A little bird told me that if you sign up to become an Arby's Extra member they'll send a coupon to your inbox for a free medium mint chocolate swirl shake.

So what are you waiting for?