The Nutcracker is special in our family around Christmas time. Our family likes to go see the ballet of it. We have about 15 nutcrackers sitting around our house in different places in our house right now.
This year my mom and I went Black Friday shopping. It was my first time and I thought it was very fun. The first store we went to was Target. We arrived to a huge line outside at 4:00 A.M. We also went to WalMart. We found some great deals at both places. We came home at 9:30 A.M. and wrapped most of the presents. I loved the exciting experience and look forward to doing it next year.
It's December, and our family is in the post-Thanksgiving/ pre-Christmas swing of things with our school work. As I had mentioned early on in my blog, I have had lessons planned for this month since summer. Allie was going to fill her school time working on the typical subjects that she has been working on since late August. Once the holidays arrived, though, I could tell that I was going to want to incorporate Christmas into more of our "school time". We love the holidays, and I wanted to read and talk and think about them instead of the things that we have been focusing on for months. I feel like we have our "sea-legs" with full-time homeschooling now, and I am more confident in teaching Allie what she needs to know, so I was excited to rearranged our lesson plans to include more holiday-themed things than I had thought to in the summer when I was scheduling.
For instance, instead of reading the book that I had planned for her to, this month Allie is reading short stories with a Christmas theme. Her vocabulary and spelling words will come from those. Her writing assignments will be Christmas-themed. We will learn about prophecies that told of Jesus' coming and how those were fulfilled. We will research traditions that we have in our culture and why we have them and compare those to cultures around the world. Allie has written to some of her grandparents and aunts & uncles asking them about their personal Christmas traditions and memories, and hopefully through their responses she will see where some of our family traditions have come from, how we have made our family our own. I am hoping that she will appreciate the traditions that our family has even more and will feel connected to the whole of the family that she comes from even more than she currently does. And one other thing that Allie was assigned to do is to blog about this season. I want her to use her photography skills to document things from this season and her writing skills to put into words her thoughts on Christmas, the things that we do as a family each year, the experiences that we share this year, etc.
Yesterday Cooper and I were in Target and they had mini boxes of Alpha-Bits cereal for a dollar. I thought that that would be a fun, different (and yummy) way to "play" with the alphabet. He really enjoyed digging through the dry cereal looking for different letters and spelling words.
~ my favorite ~
The back of the cereal box even had some instructions for games that you could play with the Alpha-Bits. Cooper and I took turns choosing a letter of the alphabet then spelling words that begin with that letter.
The boys have begun their fall team-sports. Our Saturdays will consist of uniforms, balls, water bottles, lawn chairs, Gatorade, and cheering for 2 of the cutest little guys on earth for the next 8 weeks or so.
Jack is playing flag-football through the YMCA on a team that is made up mostly of boys from his school. They are called The Lions. Ideally, after spending time playing together this season, the boys will be used to playing together and have a good sense of "team" by the time they are old enough to play on the school's official team. Jack has been a little challenged with the amount of work that he is having to put in at practice - the extreme Texas heat has not helped. After his first practice, he said, "If that had not been football, it would have been horrible." But it is football. And he loves it!
For the first time in our family's history, we have a soccer player. Cooper is is playing and Corey is coaching a soccer team made up of 5 year old little boys. They are called The Sharks. Corey and I have hardly ever been exposed to this sport and do not know much about soccer, so we are learning and laughing our way through this (very cute!) experience. At Cooper's first soccer game on Saturday, I realized that I have watched my kids play approximately 400 - 500 games, and this is the first time I have ever officially been a "soccer mom".