A Mostly Homemade Christmas (part 3)

I first read about Discovery Bottles from the amazing Theresa at La Paz Home Learning. I decided they would make a great Christmas present for Fritz. So Santa enlisted my help to make a dozen. I am so excited for Fritz to get them and really play with them (okay, so he’s done some “testing” of them already).

The basics for all of them are the same. We got a dozen of the little 8 oz water bottles and drank the water and removed the labels (and used a little Goo Gone to get rid of the little bit of glue that held on the labels). Then I filled them with various things to make them lots of fun. I hot glued the tops on so Fritz can’t get them off.

A Mostly Homemade Christmas
Crayon Shavings Bottle – crayons shavings and water
Bubble Bottle – water and a couple drops of dishwashing liquid
ABC Bottle – pom pom filler and alphabet beads
Eye Bottle – corn syrup, yellow food coloring, and googly eyes

A Mostly Homemade Christmas
Ocean Bottle – water, mineral oil, and blue food coloring
Lava Bottle – water, mineral oil, red food coloring, and a little glitter
Sound Bottle – pony beads
Quiet Bottle – corn syrup and pony beads

A Mostly Homemade Christmas
Jingle Bottle – pom pom filler and jingle bells
Beach Bottle – sand, shells, and a little glitter
Viscosity Bottle – pink hair gel and marbles
Glitter Bottle – water, green food coloring, and lots of glitter

Handwriting Without Tears… Again

I am so totally not sold on Handwriting Without Tears even though we use it. I do think it has helped Ani’s handwriting, but that could also partly be just that she is getting older and has more fine motor control now. She still writes in a weird mix of random capital and lowercase letters. I’ve heard from a lot of HWT users that because of it’s capitals-only first year that this is a common problem and some children seem to just get stuck on the capitals.

Cameron despises Handwriting Without Tears. While there are no tears, he simply refuses to write the letters. With Cameron, once he is set on something no amount of cajoling, begging, or bribing will change his mind. He does a lot of handwriting practice in his regular Sonlight Language Arts K. He has copywork twice a week and random letter writing in the Explode the Code books. I’ve decided to drop the Handwriting Without Tears workbooks. Those are what he is most resistant to and I don’t think they are helping his writing at all. We’ll keep on using the wooden pieces for making letters (we have the regular ones for capitals as well as the extra pieces you can get on eBay for the lowercase letters).

In a few months Ani will finish the last Handwriting Without Tears printing book. I’m planning on giving her a “year” (or rather, the amount of time it takes us to finish a Core) off of specific handwriting practice. She writes at least one assigned story a week, usually two, and writes random stuff regularly on her own. After that year off, I want her to learn how to write in cursive. I figure at that point she’ll be about 8 3/4 or so and will have gained even more fine motor control. I’m not sure if I will use Handwriting Without Tears cursive or not. I’m not overly fond of the way Handwriting Without Tears letters (printed or cursive) look. I’m just not sure about Handwriting Without Tears in general. It’s okay, but I definitely don’t love it.

A Mostly Homemade Christmas (part 2)

I have two younger cousins who are almost 19 and 14 (side note: this officially makes me old… I was their nanny when they were tiny). This year we are giving them mini scrapbooks all ready to have their pictures added to the pages.

A Mostly Homemade Christmas

A Mostly Homemade Christmas

To make these, I bought 6×6 scrapbooks at AC Moore. I cut 12×12 patterned paper that I already had in my scrapbooking stash into 6×6 pieces. The first and last pages in each scrapbook are single sheets and all the inner pages are double layouts. I added stickers from my stash that struck my fancy to every page. On the covers I used alphabet stickers to spell out their names.

Revising a Goal

I had made a goal of being done with the all day “morning” sickness at 12 weeks. Of course I know I can’t just turn it off like that, but I find it much easier to make it 2 or 3 more weeks than a possible 28 more weeks.

Well, I hit 12 weeks Saturday. And the nausea hasn’t gone away. It’s better. I’m still throwing up, but I feel better after I do. I think I am nearing the end of morning sickness, or at least I hope I am. I’ve had to go off the B6 due to some unpleasant side effects that of course only I would end up with. So I am revising my goal to 15 weeks. I can do this for just 3 more weeks (again)!

A Mostly Homemade Christmas (part 1)

Every year I make most of the presents we give. It takes a lot of time and probably doesn’t really save much money, but I enjoy making things for people. My minor love language is quality time and when I make something for someone I think about them and spend time with them in my mind. Somehow it works out for filling my love tank.

We are giving my uncle a cross stitched farm scene. I found the instructions in an old cross stitch magazine of my mom’s.

A Mostly Homemade Christmas

This was my first experience using 28 count cloth. The Xs ended up being 14 count since they were stitched over two squares. The barn in the background is a Mill Hill button as are the pigs in the pig pen. Those are sewn on. The roosters are also Mill Hill buttons hot glued onto the frame. The apple tree has red Mill Hill glass bead “apples” sewn on.

O Christmas Tree

On Thanksgiving the big kids decorated the tree. It was decorated like a normal tree with ornaments distributed all over it, top to bottom. Since then the ornaments have magically moved up. The decorations have been too much of a temptation for a certain little toddler. As he pulls one off we replace it a little higher. He’s getting smart and standing on tiptoe and reaching up as high as he can to pull them off now so I suspect by Christmas we will have ornaments on just the top third of the tree.

O Christmas Tree