Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pre-Christmas happenings

Just wanted to post some of our pre-Christmas happenings in one post.  Between the sickness that has plagued our family on and off for the last month, I don't always feel like we have gotten much done.  Its fun to look back at the pictures and see these sweet times.

We were late picking out a tree, but found one locally and at a good price.  (Good thing too since we all pooled our available money and had just enough to get the tree.)  

 This is the one that we picked.
 We visited the Journey to Bethlehem with friends again this year.  Its a fun tradition that we all enjoy.   There is always a long wait which is perfect for playing games and having snacks.

 And coloring.  And just being with family and friends.
 Our decorating was postponed several times due to sickness and so we had our tree decorating when Christopher came home!  It was fun having him with us and two of his friends too!  :-)
 Daniel is so excited about all of the traditions and couldn't wait to put the ornaments and the star on the tree.
 While we were pulling out ornaments, someone found the freshly baked cookies.  Looking a little guilty here, isn't she?
 So many ornaments.  The kids have one from each year of their life.  (Except this year which I haven't done yet!  Eek!)

 Always fun to play and laugh and enjoy friends.

 Decorating a gingerbread train and house were also on the agenda.  Daniel was pushing to do many of the activities that we did this year.  I'm thankful for that too!  Christopher and Isaiah worked on the train while Rebecca and Daniel worked on the house.  Joshua was planning to be the judge.  LOL

 I need to take some "final" pictures with everyone and their creations.

We also attended church at the DPAC this year.  (Durham Performing Arts Center.  Its a really nice place  which none of us had been to before.)
 I tried to take some photos, but nobody was really wanting me to do that.
 Willing to smile if you ware with a friend.
 I just loved Eliana's dress and you can see some of how full it is in this picture.  Daniel and Joshua came up with their outfits this year.  Looking sharp!
 A picture in front of the tree on Christmas Eve.
 A picture of our meal.  We do a nicer meal on Christmas Eve and then snack food on Christmas day.  This year we had salmon, sweet potato casserole, tomato and mozzerella salad and asparagus.

More later of Christmas day.

We have more sickness at our house which I hope will be gone soon.  This has been a hard month.  Thankfully most of what we have had has been gone in a day or two.  Praying for health.

I hope your Christmas was filled with the joy of knowing Jesus as God's gift to us!

With love

Thursday, December 27, 2012

FIAR Ornaments

We host a wonderful Christmas ornament exchange with our Five in a Ro  homeschool group.  We've been doing this at least 6 years.  Each of us makes an ornament to represent one of the FIAR titles.  The first couple of years, we didn't sign up for what we were making, but ended up with some duplicates of titles.  With that in mind, we decided to sign up for the book titles and are working on having a complete set!  :-)

So we sign up for a book (choosing from the titles that have not yet been done) and make our ornaments.  We swap the first Sunday in December.

This year, we set out the ornaments with the book.  It was a really fun visual and especially nice for the books that might have been unfamiliar to some people.  We put the Before Five in a Row books together.

 And then the Five in a Row books.

Having the books out also served another purpose for my family.  It prompted us to read them before hanging up our new ornaments.
I really liked doing this.  It was especially fun for Daniel as he wasn't familiar with all of the books yet. I think next year I will plan to put up this tree early and read the books as we add them to the tree.  I need to put a reminder in my calendar to do that!
For those that aren't familiar with Five in a Row, its a curriculum based on wonderful children's books. The are books for the younger ages (Before Five in a Row), early elementary (Five in a Row) and upper elementary/early middle school (Beyond Five in a Row).  We read the books and then use the book as a springboard to learn so many fun things!  Since we have been doing this now since 1997, we have a lot of memories tied to these books!  Its fun to have a tree and ornaments that bring back so many of these memories.

So here are our new ornaments for this year.  First the books that are part of Before Five in a Row.
Goodnight Moon

Angus Lost

Yellow Ball

The Carrot Seed

Katy No-Pocket

Caps for Sale
 The six Before FIAR book ornaments.
The rest of these are all part of the Five in a Row curriculum.
The Glorious Flight

Andy and the Circus

The Finest Horse in Town

The Hatmaker's Sign

Babar, To Duet or Not to Duet

Katy and the Big Snow

The Story of Ferdinand

Grandfather's Journey

Here are the 8 FIAR ornaments.
I wish that you could see them all in person.  The details on each are so perfect!  Like the snow that shakes in the Katy ornament.

Or the musical score that really is the song with Babar.

Each one is just perfect and one of the sweetest parts is having memories of my friends to add to the tree too!

These books have been a huge part of our family in so many ways and this is a delightful reminder of the sweet memories that we have made!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

We hope your day was filled with the delight of knowing Jesus as your Savior! 

With love and best wishes,

The Nelsen Family