Friday, November 30, 2012

Advent 2012- The Jesse Tree

We really enjoyed our Advent activity last year with the Names of Jesus ornaments, coloring pages and paper chain.

Over this last year we came across The Jesse Tree Advent. We decided to share this activity with several friends who wanted to participate. Each family took one ( or more) ornaments and made an ornament and we all swapped. All 20 of us have this beautiful array of ornaments starting with Creation and ending in the Birth of Christ. Our family definitively scored on this one as we knew everyone who participated and now this wonderful tradition is interwoven with the incredible relationships and each persons individual and unique take on how to represent that bible story of prophesy.

Jesse Tree

Book Resources we used:

The Jesse Tree

There are several online resources as well. Free devotionals, coloring pages, etc.
I'll post more as we go along starting December 1st

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Movies 2012

Here are our favorites this year :

The Little Drummer Boy (Veggietales)
God Made Christmas

What's In The Bible? Buck Denver Asks...Why Do We Call it Christmas?

The Praise Baby Collection: Joy to the World

Christmas Eve staple:
The Nativity Story

Becoming a parent really does change everything.  Since having children we've becomes more intentional, focused and purposeful. We are defining Christmas movies not by the winter season or the symbols but if it points back to and includes the birth of Christ. There is enough in our media, music, tv and stores that are a distraction. We aren't adding anything else in our home during an already busy time of year. 

While I support the heart and historical origin of Saint Nicholas, I think the current rendition of him and his elves, reindeer and location steal too much time, focus and attention. The heart of giving, sacrifice, charity, love and forgiveness is at the heart of our celebrations. As unpopular in mainstream culture as this is, we have chosen as a family to not lie to our children in any way, not even in fun. We simply can't reconcile giving a fictional character credit for real life activities. We can have fun with him on December 6th which is observed as St Nicholas day remembering he was a Christian and gave purposefully out of the love Christ had for him. The Advent season including December 25th is for preparing for and celebrating the birth of Christ. We pray the heart is what our children will carry with them through out the rest of the year, not just a gift they will outgrow but of the sacrifice God made for us by sending Christ to become human flesh so we would know we weren't alone. He know we needed a role model to look up to and emulate. I pray our children know God as our creator is our only source of true unconditional love, forgiveness, and acceptance. He is the ultimate teacher, protector, guide and parent.

Advent Ideas

I have to admit a fascination with Advent activities, numbers, organization etc. With my picture uploading issue still going on, all of these photographs are from the corresponding websites. This site HERE has lots of free ideas linked up on their post.

I'll fully blame Pinterest. I was brand new to the whole site last fall and there were so many stinkin cute ideas, I started 4 this year :-) My name is Lori and someone should change my pinterest password and not tell me what it is. So, I thought I'd share my finds here so I can pace myself and not feel like I have to do every one of them this year. Here is the link to the Advent board where I've pinned resources.

Last year, we did the Names of Jesus ornaments and coloring pages from Bible Story Printables. It was a little stressful sewing 25 ornaments in a week but worth it knowing we'll have these ornaments with the scriptures for years to come!

In the last year we've acquired:

Truth in the Tinsel does a daily scripture reading with a ornament craft.


What does God want for Christmas from Family Life. We got it half off on Cyber Monday :-) It highlights the 7 parts of the Nativity.

What God Wants for Christmas

The day after Thanksgiving we started our daily new Christmas book reading. Munchkin is super excited now that he understands there is a new book in the Christmas box every morning :-) I've pinned all the books we bought here. Also on that board are several other lists for older kids as our books are all toddler/ preschool focused. Our favorite from this week is:

Jesus, Me, and My Christmas Tree

All of our Christmas books this year:

We'll start The Jesse Tree Advent Saturday that I blogged about the other day. I was very glad to have started the ornament making process in May and also to share the process with dear friends.

The Jesse Tree

Another great one on my radar is:

Everyday Emmanuel from What's in the Bible

Everyday Emmanuel

I've seen Advent activities ranging from acts of service to daily crafts and activities.

There are ideas on the Promises of God, Christmas Around the World, Symbols of Christmas and the 12 days of Christmas.

There are TONS of free preschool Nativity theme packs online that I pinned on my Happy Birthday Jesus board.

I was very excited to see so many options to have fun and learn while keeping our focus on the birth of Christ.

Monday, November 19, 2012

God chooses Gideon

Week 12 of 36

This week was light due to a stomach virus that hit all four of us Tuesday in the middle of the night and lasted the rest of the week

Learning Poster
Books of the Week

Books we read

Verses we talked over, applied to life and repeated

Felt and bibles for Gideon

Veggie Tales

What's in the Bible

Letter H fun:
Leap Frog Amazing Alphabet

Android and Apple learning apps

Letter Fun

Letter Forming Rhyme

Rosey & Rusty ABCs

We read our number book several times. In everyday life, we count everything (pretzels, toys, cars on the road, etc. We also practiced writing the number and spelling it on our magnadoodle

Number Fun

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Battle of Jericho

Week 11 of 36 with ABCJLM

Learning Poster

Books of the Week

Bible books for the week

LOTW visuals

Scripture for Joshua

Character trait for the week

Memory verse from My ABC Bible Verses
Munchkin often asks me to be Goliath and he's David.

New chip boards phonics

Table top pocket chart to use with our ABC Bible Verse

Felt set up for the week

These are my top three favorite resources each week. We spend the majority
of our time and focus on these three areas

Writing out our verses and learning for the boys

Joshua from "What's in the Bible"

Munchkin on the felt set

We sang the bible song and marched around

We found a video of it on YouTube

Josh and the Big Wall from Veggie Tales

Another Joshua song from our Bible Heroes CD and Book

We used our Lilian Vernon cardboard blocks to march around and shout down

I found these great letter rhymes from Sharing Kindergarten/s Blog.
Munchkin has been enjoying the Number ones form our curriculum
Window crayons for our letter and number formation

Letter formation from a DVD called Rusty and Rosey
More G resources

Number 5 counting and ID

Other fun from the week:

Our first full week in November. We've been moving our trust label
to the current day learning days, months, season and year.
We do the starfall make a calendar at least once a week

Our Thanksgiving Books. We read a couple each day.
My favorite is "Give Thanks to the Lord"
Munchkin really enjoys finding clues