Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas: F is for Fa-la-la-la-la

F is for Falalalala


Sorry I didn’t get my post out last night……..busy, busy, busy!  Here’s the craft we did for Fa-la-la-la –la….we made the notes with our thumbprints.

We spent a little bit of time trying to learn “Away in a manger” – it’s going to take some more practice :-)


We are also taking part in a “Kiddy Christmas Card Exchange” over at “ The Toy Box Years. What a wonderful idea! My two have been running to the mailbox everyday to see if there’s something in there for them! We completed our cards yesterday and will pop them in the mail today.

F is for Christmas tree pic

Today’s book was (nothing to do with Fa-la-la-la la) “Once there was a Christmas Tree”. It is such a BEAUTIFUL story! If you don’t’ own a copy, I would definitely recommend it! The story tells of the bear family who go out to get a Christmas tree and then see Mr. Fox who doesn’t have one. They cut their tree in half and give it to him. Mr. Fox sees that Rabbit doesn’t have one, so he cuts his tree in half and gives half to Rabbit. Rabbit sees that Mrs. Mice doesn’t have one, so he cuts his tree in half and give it to her – what a LOVELY book about sharing!

I made a cut and paste activity to go with it and then I re-vamped a Christmas tree activity that I had available on m blog last year. Count  the ornaments and add the correct star to the top. You can click the picture above if you’d like a{free} copy.

I have to say that over the next week at least, my posts are going to be short and maybe just involve a picture of our ABC craft. I have to get all my ISP’s written for our big boys, I have a Student home “Christmas Dinner” (involving Reindeer games), and then our home is being Commandeered over Christmas Break (which means another set of house parents will be in our student home (not in our apartment) while we are off for 2 weeks) so we need to have  a lot of stuff packed up. I thought I would be a bit more ahead of my game and have posts written etc.…….but it didn’t happen!

If I get some other things done, I’ll add them but I just wanted to warn you that there may not be downloads every day…..

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas: E is for Elf

E is for elf pic

Today we read “The Happy Elf”. I wasn’t sure if Channing was going to be a huge fan because it had quite a few words – he loved it! That kid has been surprising me a lot lately :-) Anyway, if you haven’t read it, its about a little elf named “Eubie” who really wants to join Santa on the sleigh. Due to the fact he was so happy all the time (and annoying others with his great mood), he was places on the naughty/nice list checking. He notices that there is a whole town on the “naughty” list and decides to help them. It’s a good story and comes with a fun music CD too :-)


Here is the E if for Elf craft that we did.

e is for busy elf pic

We made this cute little days of the week and counting book called “Busy Elf!” Click on the picture above if you’d like a {free} copy.

e stack the sleigh pic

I had all these little gift ornaments sitting in my school stuff stash, so I decided to make a game for the boys. I came up with “Stack the Sleigh”. Basically you need a dice and a playing mat for each person (and at least 10 gifts for each person playing)… could always play with some other kind of trinket or candy if you want. Roll the dice and put the correct amount of gifts in the sleigh. For younger kids, the game ends when someone stacks their sleigh…..for slightly older kids, when you stack the sleigh, trade your gifts in for a reindeer. Keep playing until you have all 9 reindeer (and then play once more to make it to 100). You are welcome to make up your own rules but that’s how we played it :-) Click on the picture above for your {free} copy – once again, it looks blank on 4shared but it’s NOT!


We also made some elf stocking patterns………super easy!


How can you pass an elf day up without a “you’ve been elfed” experience :-) Channing and Sully put on their little elf hats and put these cute little tins on all the boys beds dressers while they were  at school.


Our own little elf “Trix” left up the movie “Prep and Landing” which we watched.


elf pic

After I put the little ones in bed, I was pondering what I should do with all the broken ornaments we have in our student home so I came up with this little guy……I think he turned out cute! If you want to see how I made him, head over to The Crafty Community.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas: D is for Drum

D is for drum pic


Today we read ” Drummer Boy”. Both of the boys really enjoyed it and asked for me to read it again later in the day. We didn’t get a chance to do much because:

a) We’re working this weekend and trying to decorate our student home.

b) Sully has a double ear infection and is EXTREMELY clingy.

c) Channing still has the weird swollen eye…….it’s not so much swollen anymore but it is red.


We did do our craft and watch the VeggieTales “The Little Drummer Boy” too.


I have a few fun things planned for “E is for elf” so I’m hoping my boys are feeling better soon :-)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas: C is for Cookies and Candy

C is for Cookie Pic


We read “The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher” today as part of our ABC’s of Christmas Countdown. This was a new book for us this year – I decided to get it from Amazon a few weeks back due to some great reviews. Can I just say that is books is ADORABLE!!! so much so that I even read it to the big boys (our 12 middles schoolers) who thoroughly enjoyed it to! It is a cute story about a sprinkle snitcher who steals everyone's sprinkles on Christmas eve so the moms don;’t have any to put on the cookies that the children are all dreaming about eating the next day. The whole town is devastated and no one is brave enough to go after the snitcher but a little boy. He tracks the snitcher down and they devise a plan to make the wrong, right! The text  is written in rhyme and the illustration are equally as good.  The book was written in the 1960’s and has recently been re-published…..I would get your copy before they run out! I know this book is going to be read MANY times over the years (today alone I read it at least 5 times!).


Here is the C is for cookie craft that we did. Just use equal parts of paint and white glue, mix together and paint on the “C” to look like icing. While it is still wet, sprinkle on some real sprinkles and let it dry. It dries all glossy just like royal icing :-)


We also did this cookie beginning sounds sorting activity. If you’d like a {free} copy, click the picture above.


The boys made their names with cookie letters. The letters came from this cookie alphabet.


C is also for “Christmas Candy” so we made some candy patterns. There are 5 or 6 sets and a blank one to make your own. If you’re interested in a {free} copy, click on the picture above. The download also includes the activities in the pictures below!



I stuck some “candy pieces” on the end of clothespins and the boys used them to clip onto the candy jars. The candy jars go from 1-10 and the candy pieces are included.



Candy……..what a great opportunity to learn about sharing! I made mats for sharing between 2,3 and 4 people (or cutesy animals!). Pick a number card to put on the mat, count the correct amount of candy and then see if you can share it equally between the people. Click HERE to download all the “Candy Math” activities.



Each year, our student home teams up with another home (elementary boys) and we go caroling around some of the other elementary homes. Then we head back and make cookies………it really is one of my favorite things! It was the first year we took our little guys along and they had a blast. Do you see Channing’s swollen right eye?! It has actually gone down a lot in the picture but he woke up with it out of the blue…….weird! I did call the doctor and they said to give him Benadryl…..which I did and not much improvement – has anyone had this happen before?

{As of 7:18 Saturday morning, it’s still swollen!}.



We had a fun (and LONG) B day :-)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas: B is for Bell


B is for Bell Pic


Today we read “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell”. My boys LOVE these silly stories :-) Below is the craft we did for “ B is for Bell”.





We used some little craft bells with this counting mat. Put the green number and word in the green box, put the matching tally marks in the red box, put the correct number of bells in the yellow box and then use craft bells to make the correct amount in the 10 frame. I have included the numbers 1-20…….HOWEVER, I couldn’t fit  two to frames on the mat so I made an extra frame that you can stick it at the bottom of the mat. You can click on the picture below to get your (free) copy.

B is for Bell Counting




The number cards also came in handy for threading bells onto pipe cleaners!




We also did a color/word match, some silver and gold bell sorting and we made a “Jingle Bell Pattern” book. If you’d like a (free) copy, click the picture below.

Bell Activities


We also took a big jingle bell (I think I got it from Dollar Tree last year) and played a game of “Who Has The Bell?”. It would work MUCH better in a classroom but my guys loved it all the same. The four of us sat in a circle (I didn’t really play though as I was “helping”) and everyone put their hands behind their back and had their eyes closed. I carefully put the bell in someone’s hands and said “Jingle bell, jingle bell,,,,where is it? Can you tell?”….the person with the bell then jingled it and a select person had to guess who had it. Like I said, my boys LOVED it but it would work MUCH better with a bigger group of kiddos :-)

Bell - Old lady pic

Last but not least, I made up this quick emergent reader adapted from the book we read today. It includes everything that the old lady ate in the book and my guys thought it was a crack up – there’s also a “puppet” of the old lady “eating” for you to make and glue on the end of a popsicle stick. You can click on the picture above to get your (free) copy.

The clip art I used to make the printables comes from:



Scrappin Doodles

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas: A is for Angel

A is for Angel Pic

In our Christmas bag today was “Alabaster’s Song”  by Max Lucado. Channing has been asking me for a while if he will ever see an angel so he thought this story was great.



Here is the A is for Angel craft that we did. We used a coffee filter for the wings and basically just glued the rest together. The boys (even Sully) did a great job so I know it’s definitely simple enough for even a 2 year old to do :-)

A is for Angel Alphabet

I also cut out these alphabet cards and stuck them on the wall of the boy’s room. We used flashlights (we were pretend modern day shepherds) to find different letter. If you have older kids, you could do this and have them spell out words etc. You can click on the picture above for a copy of the cards.

A Heavly Host game pic

We also played the  “Heavenly Host” game (The favorite of the day). Every player needs a red mat (I laminated ours and put them on a cookie sheet). There are also angel circles  (to go in the circles on the mat) – I cut these out and hot glued magnets behind them so they’d stick on the cookie sheet. You’ll also need a dice.

How To Play: Roll a die and put the same amount of angels on your mat. When you have covered all the spaces, trade your angels in for an “A” card. Keep playing and the next time you fill your board, trade your angels in for an “N” card. Play continues until someone spells “Angel”.

You do NOT have to use cookie sheets if you don’t want :-)

Click on the picture above for you (FREE) copy.

Little Angel Interactive Book

The last “Angel” activity that we did was to make our “Little Angel” book. Both of my boys LOVE these books so I knew it would be a winner. Simply color, cut and staple the book together. I have included a little puppet for you to glue on the end of a popsicle stick to use while you read. The book includes positional words and the kids can make the angel do what the words tell them. there are 10 interactive pages to enjoy.

Click the picture above for your (free) copy. I have to warn you that the document LOOKS blank but I assure you that when I tried it, after you download it, the document is there…..must be a glitch in 4shared’s system or something.


I hope you can use some of these activities too……write me a comment if you do :-)

Thanks to DJinkers  and KPMdoodles for the cute graphics, tracing font and frames!


See you tomorrow for “B is for Bell”.

I’m link this to:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Christmas Book List

This year we are doing the ABC’s Of Christmas so I tried to incorporate books that would fit in with each letter. I had trouble with a few so I added our favorite books on those days. Here are the books that you will see cropping up on my blog over the next month :-)

Some of these books may be out of print as I’ve had them for a while but I’ll link the best I can.

Books for 2011


A – Alabaster’s Song

B – There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell

C- The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher

D – Drummer Boy

E – The Happy Elf

F- Once There Was A Christmas Tree

G – Gingerbread Mouse

      The Gingerbread Pirates (a favorite from last year).

H – Humphrey’s First Christmas

I – Snowmen at Christmas (I’m thinking icicle….)

J – Tiny Baby Jesus

K – The King’s Christmas List

L – The Light of Christmas

M – Mortimer’s Christmas Manger

N – The Nutcracker

O – Olivia Helps With Christmas

P – The Jolly Christmas Postman

Q – A Magical Christmas

R – Olive, the Other Reindeer

S – Song of The Stars

      Oh, What a Christmas!

T – Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree

U – Merry Christmas Curious George

V- Angel Pig and the Hidden Christmas

W – Willy and  May

X – The legend of the Poinsettia (for xmas around the world)

Y – The Legend of the Christmas Kiss

Z – The Christmas Lizard


others we’ll be doing for a special day (if we have time):

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Polar Express


Some Aussie Favorites:

An Aussie Night Before Christmas

An Aussie Day Before Christmas (I had trouble finding a link)

Wombat Divine

The Golden Kangaroo

A Bellbird in a Flame Tree

Santa’s Aussie Mix up


If you are looking to get a new book for Christmas this year, my favorite book of all time is “The Christmas Lizard” (see list above)…….Amazon only sells used copies now but it id well worth it! I so wish I had have bought 2 copies as mine is getting a little worn but the illustrations are BEAUTIFUL and the story is WONDERFUL and kind of ties Christmas all together by explaining the true meaning. We always save this one for Christmas eve :-)

I’d LOVE t hear what your favorites are! Leave a comment or link to your list in the comments below – I look forward to checking them out!

Check out some other GREAT books at TBA – click on the link below!

Christmas Week

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Christmas Bag


Each year, we do a countdown to Christmas with books. In the past, I wrapped each one up and then the boys got to open it each day – they had an absolute blast! This year though I got to thinking about paper………’s expensive AND it takes me forever to wrap up all of those books (not to mention how many trees I was wasting by the amount of paper I’d be using each year to wrap my books). I was brainstorming one day and came up with “The Christmas Bag”. I think I’ve mentioned before that I am a TOTAL novice on the sewing machine and really have no idea what I’m doing……but where there’s a will there’s a way!

The bag is big enough to hold all sizes of books (and some Christmas DVD’s too) and the boys will simply open the bag each day to find what goodies are inside. I also made 25 of the little number ornaments that I can easily pop on the  bag so the boys know what number we’re up to. We’ll hand these up after each day on the wall in the shape of a tree:-)


I hand stitched the middle part of the bag. I have the pattern for the tree if anyone is interested in making their own {Click HERE}.


I even lined the inside of the bag (to a non sewer, this was a BIG deal and caused me great stress but I think it turned out).


I alternated the red and green color (material and number buttons). The buttons came from Jo-Ann but are kind of pricey (about $6 a packet and I needed 2……make sure you take a coupon along).


There is a green rope that ties the bag together (which you can vaguely see in the top picture). All in all I’m happy with how it turned out and am having visions of passing it down to grandkids one day :-)

I can’t WAIT to start filling the bag with books! Stay tuned tomorrow for a list of the books we’ll be reading.