Thursday, January 26, 2012

Overdue Post

Remember this?

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These two girls were pretty excited about their Kindles. They’re also pretty excited about these:

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These are the Kindle Covers I made for them! It took a couple friends’ help in order to find the right books and figure out the process exactly, but we were all really excited to finish them before the end of Christmas vacation.

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I can’t really provide a good tutorial, because it was kind of a “see-as-you-go” process, but I used the cover of an old book, some quilted fabric (which comes two sided), elastic, hem tape (the stuff you iron on), and hot glue. I used the Kindle itself as my guide for measuring and made it up as we went along. I think they turned out great!

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The left side, with the button, is for storage and transporting the Kindle. The right side is for holding it while you’re reading, though sometimes they prefer to just take the Kindle out while they’re reading it. It’s nice, though, for those times you just want to hold a book in your hand, or might need to put it down fast.

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I cut a slit in the elastic and used Fray Check in order to make the button holes…real technical.

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It really was an easy project and someday when my sweet husband buys me a Kindle Fire or an iPad, I’m going to make one for myself and for his iPad.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Serenade

This afternoon I was serenaded by Becca, Elise, and 3 neighbor girls. This was their song:

“This is the Mom Song. Moms are great! Moms are better than chocolate cake!”

Thank you very much.

I sincerely hope that tomorrow the roads will improve and we can venture out and go…somewhere. Anywhere. I can’t even remember the last time I didn’t leave my house for 4 days straight. Cabin fever has come upon us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The last Snow fun before the wind…

Today was cold. The northeasterly winds began last night and we woke up to frigid temperatures. Like 19 below zero with the wind chill. The snow from yesterday had turned into interesting swirls and drifts around the yard and there was no more playing outside in the white stuff. But before the wind picked up last night and the sun set completely, I got a few more pictures of the pretty scenery.

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Evidence of the wind beginning to pick up…no more snow on the bare branches and sliding off the roof in interesting patterns…

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The big field out back is great fun when it snows.

Tomorrow is another snow day, and then we have off school on Friday for a previously scheduled teacher work day, so that equals a full week off from school. We’ve only had two weeks of school since Christmas break, so it was a little long, but we definitely made the most of the situation! Movies and organizing and reading and relaxing and games and baking and gazing at Pinterest, blogs, and Facebook. The kids have had fun, too! Winking smile

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow Fun!

We finally got our snow! After two years of waiting for another dusting of the white stuff, it came this past Saturday morning. But just a dusting. Other places nearby (Lynden! Which is only 7 miles west and about 100 feet higher!) had a bit more, maybe an inch or two. Sunday morning we had none, but had heard Lynden got a bit more. We packed up our snow pants, boots, gloves, coats, scarves, hats, socks, etc. so that the girls could play outside at my grandma’s after church. It was a beautiful day with sunshine and warmth and sparkling snow on the ground! They didn’t even need their coats or snow pants! Unfortunately, the crispy, sparkling snow wasn’t good for much, but they found ways to have fun!

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Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so there was no school, but we woke up to about an inch of snow and got a couple more inches in the afternoon. It was a Snow Day, but since there was already no school, it didn’t quite qualify.

The morning began with lots of neighborhood fun, despite the minor amounts of snow.

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They were building snow forts for the much anticipated afternoon snow ball fight. Good thing we got a bunch more snow before the actual snow ball fight because I don’t think this fort was offering much protection!

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The little girls did a great job making a snowman all by themselves!

The picture below is from my neighbor who is a photographer. I have a nice camera, but I wish I had hers! She was kind enough to share this picture with me – I love it!

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Then I hosted a neighborhood hot cocoa party!

Afterwards, the girls spent pretty much the rest of the day playing outside with their friends with a lunch & snowflake-cutting break around 2:00. We sent the girls to bed under the impression that there would be school Tuesday, even though we knew there was a pretty high likelihood of at least a late start and, if the snow that was forecast actually did fall during the night, a snow day! Sure enough, 6:00 this morning I checked online and SCHOOL CANCELLED! Woo-hoo! An honest-to-goodness snow day!

We had 5-6 inches of snow overnight and it was a beautiful snow fall. No wind (yet) and light, powdery stuff. I went out before it was completely light to try to capture our tree in the  blue light of morning and the light of the lamp post. It wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for, but still pretty.

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I went out later on in the morning to take a few more photos around the homestead.

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Snow on a lilac bud:

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And on my winter berry plant – Beauty Berry or callicarpa??

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We started the morning with homemade waffles:

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And the outside fun didn’t last as long today since it’s much colder and a bit windy. The girls did manage to eat snow cones and make some snow angels before getting cold and heading inside. The little girls are now at the neighbor’s and the big girls are playing American Girl dolls with the neighborhood “big girls”. (YES! I have 2 teens and 2 pre-teens playing American Girl dolls together by their own free choice! LOVE that.)

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(I actually took this one with my camera and I love how it turned out!)

And as I write this it is practically a blizzard out there, so we’re anticipating some more Snow Fun tomorrow! By Thursday I think I’ll be ready for routine, but the forecast doesn’t look too promising for normal routines to be in place by then. Ah well – it happens once every couple of years, so we’ll just take it and enjoy it!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A quick little project

Take one old dictionary.

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Tear out a few key pages (such as ‘love’, ‘family’, ‘laughter’). Then use a heart cookie cutter and some scissors to cut hearts out of those pages.

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Then you’ll need some twine. Or some cording of some sort. And a stapler.

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Staple the hearts to the cord (you could also stitch them, but stapling was quicker and this project was about cranking it out quickly to satisfy my creative cravings on my day off in a hurry).

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Then use as you wish as simple Valentine d├ęcor.

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Strung in front of a I-Corinthians-13-painting-by-your-teenage-daughter-on-canvas-as-a-Christmas-gift-to-her-parents is perfect.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Good morning, God

We are often asked why we choose to send our children to a Christian school if it costs so much money, and I must admit that sometimes the answers are hard to articulate well. My answers that include phrases like “Christian worldview” and “Christian psychology of education” tend to cause people’s eyes to glaze over. How does one really explain what it is we are getting in return for our investment?

Every morning in the Kindergarten classroom where I am an aide, after the Bible Story, comes prayer time. The students are already quiet, calm, and their hearts are full from hearing the Word. The teacher tells the students that it is time to pray and they all get ready. They close their eyes and fold their hands on their laps as they sit on the rug in the corner of the room. The teacher always says something like, “We are going to talk to God now and if you haven’t said Good Morning to God yet this morning, you can do that right now.” And she begins her prayer with “Good morning, God.” Then she is quiet for a moment and you can hear the murmurs and the whispers of the children on the rug, echoing her voice and saying, “Good morning, God.” Sometimes there’s only a few voices, sometimes I hear all 18 voices. Sometimes I even hear other phrases, like “Thank you for the sunshine” or “Please help {student} to feel better.” The teacher then continues with her morning prayer, which is complete with adoration of God, confession, thankfulness, and supplication – a time of asking God to meet our many needs and for the many prayer requests that are in our classroom, school, and community.

The first time I heard the teacher lead them in prayer this way, it was moving. I thought to myself, “And that, right there, is enough.” Enough reason to invest in Christian education. To have other adults emulating this for my children, especially when I fail (and honestly, sometimes children listen better to others than they do to their own parents!), to have my children be purposefully taught that the most important part of their day is to say Good Morning to God and commune with Him, to have my children witness that God is the center of it all, the beginning of it all…just that is enough for me.

Friday, January 6, 2012