Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1st!!!

I have been SO excited for December to start! Traditional Advent started this past Sunday, and our Jesse Tree started on Tuesday, but most of the Christmas countdowns and other Advent calendars start today! I was so thrilled because we finally finished our wonderful "Birds" homeschool unit, and I decided that all this month's lessons will be Christmas themed!

This is our Jesse tree, so far. It is a small, inexpensive, fiber-optic tree that we plan on reusing every year. The ornaments were print-outs included in our Jesse Tree devotional book. I printed the ornaments in color, and Kurt and I cut them out and mounted them on red paper. We thought it looked pretty cute with sparkling ribbons to hold the ornaments in place on the tree.

This is our Jesse Tree devotional book. I printed the free ebook, put the pages in sheet protectors, and stored them in this binder. Kurt picked out the green colored binder, I love that he helped me with this project, and it felt like our own little mini-date! Carter is pictured in the background, being a little goof-ball! Our Advent wreath is pictured at the right.

 My parents bought this countdown Advent calendar for the boys. Each window opens to reveal a small treat. Every single window that opens prompts the mechanical Santa and elf to dance, with lights that illuminate the dancing scene. Each of the twenty-four doors not only makes the Santa and elf dance, but each one plays its own Christmas song! Twenty-four different songs!

Sadly, Harrison is not feeling well at all today. While Harrison rested, Carter had some special morning time alone and enjoyed a cup of hot cocoa. The boys are allowed to have candy-canes occasionally, and Carter asked if he could put his inside the cocoa. His sweet little face is so adorable!

 I am using a ToddlerBites ebook as the foundation of our homeschool studies. The ToddlerBites book is the "Reasons for the Season" and explains a lot of the reasons that we have certain decorations or traditions- ranging from why we hang Christmas lights to why we make gingerbread men. Every day, the book starts with a theme, gives the week's biblical family memory verse, contains a discussion starter, has a discussion plan, includes an activity idea, prayer, and has a "further activity" to enrich the lesson more! I printed the book, put the pages in clear sheet protectors, and am using a binder to keep it all together. I love this ebook! It was offered on the ToddlerBites site, free of charge, and contains so much information! The discussions are full of historical information about the different "reasons" at elementary-school age-appropriate levels. The activities are cute, inexpensive, and fun! I am supplementing the daily "reasons" with additional print-outs, crafts, and fun activities. I love this month!

The "Reasons for the Season" page and just a few of the additional print-outs for today. Today was the reason behind Christmas trees! It was a nice history of the early Christmas trees! I can't wait to finish today's craft with Carter, I have been putting it off, hoping Harrison will feel well enough to join us. Let's hope!

With all of these activities and plans for the kids, I have found that I have been forgetting to take care of myself. Wouldn't ya guess that today I found yet another Advent calendar? Only this time, it is a calendar for me! The calendar is free, and was created here. The goal? To get twenty-four people to sign up to follow this Advent challenge for better health. I am so excited! What a wonderful way to remind myself to be healthy! Between finals (ick!), my birthday (AHHH!), and Christmas- there is a lot going on this month! One of the first things that falls through the cracks, for me, is taking care of myself- so this is the perfect reminder!!! If you would like to follow along, just print this calendar, and tell Amy you are accepting the challenge!

Happy December 1st! I hope this is the best holiday season yet!


  1. Don't you LOVE Ann's Jesse Tree Devotional. It has become a staple for us! Merry Christmas remembering Him, always!

  2. I adore it too!!! I love reading scriptures like this! I see she has an Easter one as well, I already downloaded it! LOL! Merry Christmas and thank you for commenting!