pinterest-dd591.htm Oak Creek Academy: December 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Eve 2012

2012 is winding down as I type ~ less than 6 hours until 2013 is welcomed in.  Our boys are having fun with friends while Kevin and I chill.  Animals are use to the new folks around and sleeping.

Looking back at the year, high lights would be:

JANUARY ~ boys turning 12 and 9, friends over for a party, making a tye dye cake
FEBRUARY ~ Thing One earned his green belt in Tae Kwon Doe, Valentines Day Party with our co-op group at a bounce house (big bouncy things, indoors!), Kevin and I celebrated 15 years of marriage
MARCH ~ finally saw the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. after living in the area most of my life; Thing One learned to ride a two wheeler; Thing Two began the Spring season of kid pitch baseball
APRIL ~ celebrated Easter at our church home of Burke Community Church and had a friend and her daughters over for dinner after; boys continued to be busy with baseball, TKD, scouts and life; we began wrapping up the school year.
Three tangerines & a lime!
MAY ~ brought the end of the school year; gearing up for VBS (yes it wasn't held till July, but when there are hundreds of kids and volunteers, lots of time to plan is needed); the year end party for co-op; sports and scouts are still going strong
JUNE ~ baseball winding down; Thing One earned his advanced green belt in TKD
JULY ~ biggest events are Boy Scout Camp and VBS!  All three guys are in the same group this year.  Dad leading, Thing One assisting, and Thing Two's group!  I was off with the wee little one's this year.
AUGUST ~ brought the start of a new school year with a 7th grader and a 4th grader;  there was a trip to Florida (by van even!);
SEPTEMBER ~ fun ways to celebrate back to school for the public schools, this year we all went out for lunch in Parent 1, Parent 2, Thing 1 and Thing 2 shirts; fall ball is in full swing, scouts is still going strong
Steven Tomlin's foot!
OCTOBER ~ we took a trip to Skyline Drive;  school pictures being sent home (oldest wore his orange VBS shirt and youngest wore gray for the 2nd year in a row); choir practice begins for Children's Christmas Choir; Hurricane Sandy hitting the upper east coast; Thing Two tested for Advanced Green Belt in TKD and passed - great pictures from that event (that would be the foot of my friend's husband); field trip to Cox Farm - annual event for our co-op
NOVEMBER ~ end of the season for baseball; youth retreat for Thing One; Thanksgiving at home; ending of an era - reading the Hardy Boy series, all 58 of them;
DECEMBER ~ brought bronchitis for me and lighter school for the boys; lots of extra movies, books, and mad libs loosely tied to Christmas; staying home on the 24th and 25th ~ first time since Kevin and I have been together; a lot of time goofing off and hanging out; wrapping up 2012 with the boys and a couple of their friends.

And with as long as it took to write this post, there is about 4 hours 20 minutes lefts.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

T minus 10 days and counting

December 15th ~ what is it for you?

   ~ just another day ~

Was it another Saturday full of chores, shopping, and sports (if any are going for you)?

                            ~ a lot to reflect on for me today ~

Most of the time, the 15th is pay day (unless the 15th is a Saturday or Sunday, then the Friday before is payday), so a few bills needed attending today.  Not to bad though.

Went to a few stores looking for Christmas presents for the boys.  They've been heavy on my heart after the shooting, in an elementary school in Connecticut yesterday!  Was often reminded of when they were so much smaller than now.  Found myself going to the toddler or young boy section to look for things for them.  Hard to grasp that they're growing up so quick.  Oldest is excited to be almost taller than mom and will happily tell you he is growing facial hair.  Youngest is just happy to be double digits!  Parts of me so misses the little baby stage, being able to put them into a sling/vest thing and carry them around! I do enjoy the young men they are becoming though.  To see them step out in their talents, is such a blessing.

Realized earlier today, also, that I graduated college about 20 years ago.  Thought it was the 15th, but might have been a different date as I thought it was a Saturday.  The 15th didn't happen on a Saturday in 1992!  Close enough to be reminiscent!  I have friends, from college, who have teenagers already, not just young teenagers, like our oldest, but driving teenagers.  Just weird.  Don't feel old enough for that!  Also weird to think, that those freshman in college weren't even born when I graduated.  Anyway, shaking the cobwebs out of my brain now.

Not a whole lot of Christmas type things going on today.  Kevin and Thing Two are up at church, doing the choir thing for the 2nd night of three.  Both are enjoying themselves.  Thing One and I are home, playing with electronics and playing card games.  Hope to get some wrapping done tonight and possibly baking of some sort tomorrow.

Enough musing on my part, hope you have a great evening!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

St. Nicholas

Thing Two asked about Saint Nicholas today over lunch.  They wanted to know the origins of St. Nick and how it got changed into Santa Claus.  Here's a link we read over, but the highlights are:
  • born during the third century
  • he was born in what is now the Southern coast of Turkey
  • born of wealthy parents
  • both died, when he was young, during an epidemic
  • he believed in selling off what he owned, giving to the poor, and following Christ example
  • Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, he suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned
  • so many Christians were persecuted, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers
  • after his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325
  •  he died December 6, AD 343
  •  anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th
Many legends are floating around regarding with regards to what St. Nicholas did.  Here are some of those:
  • three daughters, of a poor man, needed dowries.  It is believed that St. Nick gave bags of gold for each girl to cover the dowry; it is from this legend that some believed a gold ball was used, at times ~ from here oranges were put in the stockings drying on the hearth
  • another tells of Basilio being kidnapped during the festival honoring St. Nicholas and being used the rulers cup bearer because he didn't know the language.  Basilio's parents prayed for his safe return.  It is believed that St. Nick returned Basilio, on the eve of the next festival, in Myra with the rulers cup still in his hands
  • "Today he is venerated in the East as wonder, or miracle worker and in the West as patron of a great variety of persons-children, mariners, bankers, pawn-brokers, scholars, orphans, laborers, travelers, merchants, judges, paupers, marriageable maidens, students, children, sailors, victims of judicial mistakes, captives, perfumers, even thieves and murderers! He is known as the friend and protector of all in trouble or need.


Info used from: St. Nicholas Center Copyright © 2002-2012 St. Nicholas Center

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Candy, Cookies, & Caffeine

Totally going off subject before I even get started.


Off subject item - read that catchy titles bring readers in.  Did this one work?  Let me know in the comments!  Thanks!!

Back on topic now ~

   Feeling a smidge more like a functioning human being today and wanted to get on to some Christmas sweets.  Usually, by now, we're on our third Christmas treat.   Not so much this year.  But it was time for some cookie making. 

 One tradition we have is Toll house Chocolate Cookies 
made with M&Ms instead.  Very easy and so good!
Just follow the directions on the back of the Toll
House back and swap the chips for the bag of M&Ms.

While the butter, eggs, and vanilla were being whipped together
it was time for a bit of caffeine!  My favorite source tends to
be coffee ~
 Pretty green light meaning it's on.  Yes, old school coffee pot;
even without a timer!

Coffee, over ice ~ great tasting any time of the year.
May I ask how this looks like coke?  I often get asked
how my "pop" is or if I am enjoying the fizz!  Huh?
It's coffee!

 The M&M's poured in.  Next time, I might still add a
cup of chocolate chips.  As much as Thing Two loves just the batter,
I love it over loaded with chocolate.

I used a small cookie scoop because I wanted a lot of cookies
when finished.  Believe I got about 80 cookies out of this round.
That would be just over 7 1/2 dozen and these still won't last all that long.
Oh!  Just a heads up, not sure how to keep the M&M colors from bleeding
into the dough and I used light brown sugar, so these look really, really faded.

Happy Eating!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas fun, please come back!!!!!!!!!!!

Woke up still feeling kind of miserable today! Made an appointment for myself. Turns out I have Bronchitis, so the OTC's I've been taking are not cutting it. Couple prescripts later, I'm starting to feel a bit better. Hoping that by the weekend our house will be smelling more like Christmas. Hope to be doing some fun activities beyond watching movies with the boys. Hope to feel good enough to read! Today, we did watch "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and Kevin read more of "The Christmas Carol"!

How is the Christmas season coming along at your house?  What activities have you enjoyed best?  What about your kids?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Choir

Burke Community Church's Kid Choir preformed their Christmas Program this evening called "The Christmas Puzzle". It was fun to see our son perform. He seems to truly enjoy being on stage and hamming it up.  Here are a few photos from the evening:

 Four cousins, snowed in and bored.
Grandma gets them putting a special puzzle together.
When certain portions are put together, music starts playing.

 The prophets sing of Jesus coming!
Who's the cute kid on the left?

 Angels singing!

 Mary's turn to sign.

Camels, wise men, a star, Harod!

Admiring baby Jesus!
(or saying "Cheese" as the cameras where going!)

Fun evening for our budding actor!  He is hoping for more shows soon.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

On the 6th day of December, my . . . .

true love gave to me, six geese a laying!  Well, maybe not, but he did go by Costco on the way home from work.  That is even better.

Today's activities have been low key again today.  Still hoping to get to some of "A Christmas Carol" and possibly a movie tonight.  Here's who visited though:
A pretty red cardinal.  To bad I had to take a photo
through the screen.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Better late the never! Right?

Wasn't certain we'd get to any sort of Christmas themed activities today. Been a "real" day here. We've all had them, but we just don't talk about them much. These days sort of just exist.

Fortunately, there were some good highlights today.  Here's the run down:
  • our Five in a Row (FIAR) book, "Snowflake Bentley" and Beyond FIAR book, "The Saturdays" had a similar lesson ~ snow!  Was able to incorporate both lessons into one time and use a science activity to make snow!    Really like being able to do that!
  • got the boys rounded up after dinner and finished chapter one of "The Christmas Carol"!
  • Thing Two had his last Wednesday night Christmas Choir practice.  He preforms this coming Sunday!
Unrelated to the above, my little Charlie Brown Christmas Tree has a new pot, new location, and lights!  :)  Kevin's parents have been sending us live wreaths the last few years (very awesome gift!); this years came with a set of lights that are battery powered.  When I read the directions that came with it, it said that do to weather and being outdoors, batteries may only last 7 hours.  Well hello, I'm not going to plow through a bunch of batteries for that.  It fit the little tree nicely and hopefully the batteries will last more than 7 hours.

What are the Christmas happenings at your house?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

4th day of celebrating Christmas

begins! Today's festivities are not totally firmed up.  Tuesdays are crazy days here, very crazy.  2 1/2 hours of therapy in the morning for one child (with the half hour appointment starting at 10 or 10:30 depending upon week), Tae Kwon Doe, Scouts, meals, and oh yeah that thing called an education.

Tuesdays, may turn into an easy celebration of sorts, not a lot of time required like a short movie or something easy to bake.  Today is likely to be a short movie like "Frosty the Snowman" or "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer".  We'll sprinkle in some Christmas Mad Libs, which I was able to locate yesterday and continued reading of "The Christmas Carol" ~ assuming my voice holds out.  Might just firm up a short wish list too.  We're trying to teach the boys that Christmas should not be about the amount of stuff you get, but the celebration of Christ.

What is making Christmas special at your house today?

P.S. I'll post, in the comments, the mad lib we did and movie watched later today.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Christmas Carol

Today is the 3rd and I'm thinking we'll begin reading "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, probably as an evening read aloud.  We finished up "Hardy Boys" a bit ago and just haven't picked anything else up yet.  Maybe this is the spark we need.

Many are familiar with this tale of Scrooge, Tiny Tim, the three ghosts, and Scrooges change of heart.  It's neat to hear phrases taken from this book, in everyday language.  Do you hear, "Don't be such a Scrooge!" or "God Bless one and all!"?  I may incorporate a bit of research into this and have the boys read and write about Charles Dickens and the era the book was written in.  After reading the book, we may pick up a copy, from Redbox or Netflix, and watch it (so many good Christmas Movies to watch!!)

What is your favorite version of movie for "A Christmas Carol"?  I'm not to sure for myself, but don't think the Bill Murray one is high on the list.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 2nd

We've spent the morning in church! What a blessing to have a church home that truly feels like home. It is a wonderful thing.  Our youngest, Thing Two, is singing with the Kids Christmas Choir again this year.  Today, they sang one song, as a teaser, to get folks to come to the show next Sunday evening.  (Gee, want to guess what I'll blog about next Sunday?).  His solo was a part of the song too.  We thought he did really well.  Anyway, we're into to the post lunch, week has caught up to us, crash.  Kevin's asleep, boys are vegging, and I'm working on my "December Month of Blogging Christmas".

I am thinking that today's activities, along with Kevin wanting to do an Advent devotion, will be centered around the Polar Express Movie.

We'll probably have hot chocolate, with whip cream (homemade!!) and crushed up candy canes and let the boys sack out on the floor. 

A few things to print out today:
  • Luke 2:13-14 Subway Art ~ link here
  • Polar Express Ticket - found many on pinterest, but decided to make my own.  Following is a picture of it:

I plan to print these on tan paper and darken up the lines that make the ticket.  I choose mostly "black and white" as color cartridges are expensive.  Also, in my scrapping booking software, the Santa sleigh was the best graphic I could find.

What are your plans today?  Have you done something special already?  Share, if you care, what you might be doing tonight or in the near future. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy December

Today has been a busy day around our house. Lots of kid chauffeuring, thanks Kevin, chores, and some fun.  Today, I got a few last decorations out.  One of the more "important" things is this:
 Won't play a rousing game of "Guess what this is!"
Think most know it is the Willow Tree Nativity Mary & Jesus.

Here's a larger picture of the set.  Didn't want to push
them all together to get them into one photo.

Other things that were put out:  a Santa flag, a nativity flag, grape vine wreath snowman, another santa, and our Advent Wreath.

Hope you enjoy these days leading up to Christmas!  Also, what have you done today, to be reminded of Christmas and "the reason for the season"?  Want to share?  Post a link to your blog in the comment section?  Would love to read about your holiday too!