Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Crochetted Presents

My mother always made so much of our Christmas presents with her hands. To me this was always part of Christmas, because it is more of a giving from self. As Christmas got closer this year and I was so busy I bought all of the presents, but then felt an irresistable urge to make something. My daughter was getting an 18" doll and so I wanted to make an outfit. I found a pattern for a long sleeved doll dress, but because I am terrible at following directions it became a short sleeved sweater, which I liked better. I then made a matching skirt. I also made her doll the necklace too along with two others and gave her all of it in a little hope chest.

My niece also has an 18" doll, so I decided to make her a long coat, hat and muff. I kind of did follow the pattern for this. I found it online, but can't find it again. I'll post the link when I can find it.

My other niece was getting a 15" baby doll, so I decided to make her doll a dress. I used this pattern for a 9" doll and tweaked it as I went. http://www.crochetnmore.com/nineand1halfdolldress.htm I love this dress. I think the ribbon adds so much and it has little rosebud buttons on the back.

After I did all of this I realized that my daughter was getting a horse for her doll, but would have no pants so Christmas Eve I made a pair of pants for her too.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was my favorite part of Christmas. We got together with my husband's side of the family at his Aunt's and Uncle's house. We ate ham and many, many goodies as we caught up on all of the news with the extended family. Then we dressed the children for a Christmas play.

Before the play began my older three children along with two of their cousin's put on a preformance. It began with Justin playing Jingle Bells and the other for children singing adding an additional fun ending of their own to it. Then Kamron and Justin played a self created duet of We Three Kings. The Aubrey and Savannah sang a pretty and animated version of Silent Night. Then Kamron wrapped it up with Jolly Old Saint Nicholas on the piano.

Of course, after this several other cousins had to preform various Christmas songs. These less polished versions, were darling sung by two-year-olds that forgot half the words and trailed off and then jumped up and down while clapping.
After this, Devan and his dad, Uncle Steve read Luke 2 while the other children acted out with occasional pauses for the whole family to sing several songs.

After the children were done, Uncle Steve played Mary Did You Know on Guitar, while Aunt Kelly sang. It is so much fun to hear them sing. This was followed by everyone singing several songs, including the traditional 12 Days of Christmas with a twist. We got to make up our own gifts for the day we had and then everyone had to sing with us on the next time around. We had kissing near the mistletoe, 5 babies crying, and 8 candy canes. Kevin, Kamron and I chose 7 lego sets at Kamron's rather strong suggestion.

After the songs the children sat on the rug while Great Gandpa Larson read The Night Before Christmas and then we sang a Santa song and Santa walked in the door bringing a gift for each of the children.

After a white elephant exchange set to a story about Rudolph going left and right as the presents went left and right, we opened gifts to each other, hugged everyone and headed home. Yes, it was late when everyone was finally tucked in---very late.

Apple's Under the Table

We walked in and saw this one day last week.

Cutting Down the Tree

We try to cut our own tree down each year. Since our cousin's don't have a strong tradition here they went with us. Our tradition goes back to my childhood of wandering around the tree farm, trying to find the best tree. After a few trees are selected as possibilities Mom decides which one is to be The Tree. In our case, after I have decided, Dad then tries to change everyone's mind, but eventually Mom gets her way=).

The boys took awhile, but they cut the tree down completely by themselves.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Logan's Vespers

I read Logan the story of The Three Little Pigs the day before yesterday. He must have been thinking about it, because last night he prayed,

"Dear Heavenly Father, bless us that our house will be made out of bricks, and that it will be full of children...and food ... and books, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Math Practicum

I started my math practicum at the Montessori school. It makes me glad that my kids are home schooled=). There were 39 kids in the class with two teachers. The kids are combined almost all of the time. I was there for three hours and not once did the kids use any manipulatives or hands-on materials and this is a 2nd/3rd grade "Montessori" school, which is supposed to be very hands-on. They did 4 worksheets and each read silently alone. The teacher sat them down and went over roman numerals for awhile, which could have been good had the teacher then followed it up with a check for understanding. At one point there was a kid hiding under the table, others drawing on white boards, kids leaving the room and a constant amount of talking with the teacher yelling across the room to hush everyone. ANd I thought our house got loud with a few toddlers. She told me at the break that she had been looking for a new job, just because these kids were so awful. By the way, this is not an inner city school. Of course, there are a lot of awesome teachers out there, but may I suggest, once again, making sure the teacher your child has is awesome, and if he or she isn't find an alternative-and there are many. I get to observe another Montessori teacher team next week-I'm really hoping for a good example of the method.