Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 13th, 2012

Today Sprinkles the Elf made Levi's name out of cars. 

Auntie Shawn had her wisdom teeth out, so I sewed her a little puppy, and Levi made her a card.  

Levi's friend Zach had a monkey named Mugs visiting his house from his kindergarten class, so Mugs came to our house to play as well.   I'm going to see if anyone from our homeschool group is interested in doing the same project, its a lot of fun!   Each kid gets to take the stuffed animal home for a few days, and take pictures of its adventures.  Then, they write in a journal and add the pictures.  Its fun for the kids to see what it did at their friends houses.  

I also got my first box from "Conscious Box".  They send a box of sample sized items of earth friendly items, for $19/month.  I just got one to try it, they even have a vegan option.   The products I got were nice, but they were tiny samples and not very many of them (I got an email with the packing list today and I think I'm missing a couple things).   I'm not sure that I will get another box, I'll have to think about it.  

Christmas Around the World: Mexico

We learned all about Christmas time in Mexico!

We made some hot chocolate
(almond milk, a handful of dairy-free chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of cinnamon - heat it up and thats it!)  

We learned the story of poinsettias .  We also learned about poinsettias themselves, there was a great fact sheet about them on the free curriculum I downloaded from "teach with me" .  I used that to make a worksheet that he filled out.  One of the facts was about color prefrance, stating a persentage for people who liked red, pink, and white poinsettias .  With that information Levi colored in a hundreds chart giving a good visual of the comparison. 

We made a poinsettia craft too.   We put white paper in a tray, added some globs of paint and 3 marbles and then rolled them all over.   Rinse and repeat with green.  Then cut out the flower and leaf shapes, and a pot out of scrapbook paper.  Glued everything down and I had Levi "shadow cut" around the design.  

He also filled out a journal page with the country name, how they say "Merry Christmas", the dates they celebrate Christmas, and the flag and map.   We will do one of these for each country and put them together in a little book when we are done. 

And lastly some copywork, which I had to fix because there was a typo in it!  (whoops!).   The sentience is one Levi came up with as the moral of the poinsettia story. 

Sources and the cover for this project can be found here

Christmas Around the World- Sources

These are the sources we used for out Christmas Around the World unit study.    I will update this with more as we do more countries!   This is going to be a quick unit because we leave for vacation soon!  

Homeschool Share
Teach with Me

What the Teacher Wants (the passport is free, I think you have to buy the other stuff)
This is the cover we used

World map 
Another good map (this one has some countries listed on the side)
Stickers and Charts (this has all the stamps and flags for the passport)

More Pintrest
Holidays around the world (PDF)

We didn't use this one for the printables, but its another fun idea of how to do this.  It has a worksheet for each country and lots of links to learn about each country

Template for poinsettia 
Legend of the Poinsettia

St Lucia Buns
Some info about Sweden
Star Boy hat

Pants, Pants and a Beco style doll carrier

I've been trying to make Levi some long pants for when we go to Tahoe.  Its too warm here most days to wear long pants though so its hard to get into "pants making mode".   I found this great fabric (in the form of a pair of women's capri pants from the thrift store for $1). so I made him some colorful skinny jeans: 

The shirt that I made him a while back matches perfectly, although it was a little short when I made it (the pattern is off).  He insisted on adding the Christmas tie.   

And my sister's friend gave me a basic, frumpy black sweatshirt that he didn't want, so I cut it up and made these!

I used the pattern from the above pants as a "size guide" but just cut these free-hand including the pockets.  I reused the sweatshirt waistband as the pants waistband.     The purple is left over from the harem pants I made. 

There are stripes up the sides and some color blocking.   

He had to throw in a spiderman pose.   

And I also made a doll-size baby carrier for my friend's daughter!  This is an SSC styled after the Beco carriers.  It has a clip waist and adjustable shoulder straps.   I think it turned out great and I think the recipient will like it.   

I still need to sew him some more cold-weather clothing, there is snow in Tahoe and its been 80*+ here!  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Parties, Sweaters, and Giving Back

 We went to the annual Christmas party put on by the company my dad works for.  Its a huge event with lots of fun activities for the kids. 

 Levi chose his own outfit, red shorts, a red dress shirt, and last year's Christmas tie.    He has been doing this weird eye thing every time I take a picture, its very annoying. 

There was a hay ride, and a train ride.  

And he got the balloon guy to make him a bow and arrow. 

He wrote to Santa during the wait to see him.  

I also went to a MOPS Christmas event, it was an Ugly Sweater party as well as a cookie exchange.
I picked up this sweater from the thrift store for $2 (the woman who wrapped it up said it was beautiful!).  Then I attacked it with a glue gun, felt, glitter, garland and bells!  

I won some peppermint bark for "best use of a glue gun".

 Here is everyone in there very ugly sweaters! 

They also gave out "Mommy Awards" and I got one for being crafty and for donating a bunch of stuff to a silent auction fundraiser.  This creepy, yet awesome award is now displayed in my sewing room.     

We made a little craft, which I always enjoy.  This one is made from a cookie cutter with a piece of scrapbook paper glued onto the back of it.  Add a ribbon and some glitter and ta da!   Easy but cute.   

Here is our tree by the way, its potted, we just drag it in at Christmas time.  Just a couple years ago this thing was the same size as Levi, now its twice his size (and he has grown too!)

And these are the cookies I made!   I made my own cookie cutter using a kit.  The recipe is a vegan cookie recipe and it is sooo good, they taste like classic Christmas cookies.  I made some without the dye so Levi could have some too!   Here is the recipe


 I made over 50 of them, it was a lot of work!   At the end of the cookie exchange, I had a huge box of cookies.  Because of Levi's allergies, we couldn't really eat any of them, so on our way home, we dropped them off at the fire department for them to enjoy.
They were very excited to have them and showed Levi and I around the station.  We got to see their antique map of the neighborhood, and the updated one.  He said they use that because its hard to see addresses in the dark even with the GPS, they can use the map to count how many houses from the corner a location is, or what its next to.
They also have a decorated fire truck with a sleigh on top, every night they drive around playing Christmas music and Santa rides on top to wave at kids!  Its really fun.

On Sunday, Levi was the only kid at Sunday School.  I was looking to see if there was any Christmas decorations we could play with, and I found a bag of little gifts that the previous teacher must have used for something.  So we put together 7 gift bags to donate for the "Angel tree" collection.

Levi had a great time figuring out which gift would go in each bag.  We also added some new beanie babies, stickers, pencils and notebooks along with the other small toys.   He made a card for each bag and put tissue paper on each.   
This would be easy to do at home too, just buy a bunch of small items from the dollar section at target, or even the dollar store, and have kids sort and pack them into gift bags and make cards to go in them, and then drop them off at a donation site!   Usually they ask for unwrapped gifts so we didn't seal the bags in any way, so the contents can be checked.   

It was a great lesson in giving, we talked about how fun it would be for a kid to open all of the little things we put inside.   

More elf!

Here is what Sprinkles has been up to: 

After we made cookies....

 Note the Sports Illustrated magazine.  That's a jumbo chocolate chip in there.... Levi thought this was hilarious! 

Hid in the tree (guarding the candy canes Levi tried to steal, he is allergic so they live on the very top branch)

He played a trick on Levi..... 

See his nose?  

He made a zipline down the hall, using a pipecleaner  and candy cane pen as a handle.   He borrowed the cape from "Super Levi"

Levi had archery today, so Sprinkles made his own set.    The bow is a popsicle stick and dental floss.  

I love watching Levi's reactions to what his elf has done!