Saturday, November 26, 2011

sneak week december kit

Just popping in real quick. Sneak week is going on over at the Green Tangerines blog. The December kit is great for festive Christmas pictures AND for school pictures . . . which is what I did.

Hope you are enjoying your post-Thanksgiving weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

gratefulness co-op with internet links

Earlier this month, with the help of some great moms, I organized a homeschooling co-op on gratefulness and the first Thanksgiving. Our church generously let us use their facility and we had 83 kids join us ranging in age from 4-11. We had a great time! Here are a few of the things that we did . . .

At the beginning of our time together, I played a 5-minute video from Brain Pop Jr. about the First Thanksgiving. Haven't heard of Brain Pop Jr.? You need to check it out! Even if you don't homeschool, it's a great supplement to your child's educational experience. They cover every topic that your state standards cover, have more videos than you could ever imagine (and they are all funny), have easy/hard quizzes, games, art . . . and more than I can describe. My girls play it at least 3 times per week--and it's completely educational--which I, of course, love! You can do a free trial for a week. Your kids will love it!

After the video, I did a short object lesson on gratefulness. From here, we split the kids by age into 5 groups. They then rotated through 5 stations--each station was 15 minutes long. These are the stations we had:

1. How to write a thank you note. Each child wrote a notecard to whomever they wanted. I purchased notecards from the Dollar Tree.

2. An interview with a Pilgrim and a Native American. We had two moms dressed up (as a Pilgrim and a Native American) and a mom that interviewed them. They talked as if they were really there, back in 1621. One little girl later asked the Pilgrim, "So, were you actually ON the MAYFLOWER?" So cute!

3. A cornucopia snack station. A waffle cone filled with popcorn, Crasins, Chex mix and mini marshmallows. This was easy and a big hit.

4. A craft station. I had the older kids make these "Thankful Journals" from Oriental Trading and the younger kids made these "Tree of Thanks" also from Oriental Trading. Totally affordable and easy.

5. A game station. The mom who always does our games is fabulous! She had the kids go through an obstacle course and at each new "obstacle," they had to pick up another gourd or dried corn--all while holding a stuffed animal turkey between their legs. This game was great for all ages!

At the end of our time together we had a question and answer session and then we handed out these "Thanksgiving Stickers" from Oriental Trading. The total time of our co-op was 2 hours. The kids had a blast hanging out together and we moms snuck some learning in as well!

We sent home some ideas with the moms to further educate their kids on gratefulness and Thanksgiving. Here are a few great sites that I found if you are interested in taking this character trait and holiday one step further!

She walks you through 12 days of teaching on gratitude. Over the course of the 12 days you will make a lapbook to show everything you have learned! (When you go to this link, click on the “Printables Part 1” and “Printables Part 2.” You can also click on “Instructions for Folding Lapbooks” if you have never made a lapbook before.)

She has many different ideas, crafts and lessons to choose from.

She shows you each step of making her lapbook with lots of pictures and internet links to things she used in her lapbook. Super cute!

And lastly, I'll leave you with this cute hand holding moment I caught with Faith and her BFF.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family! And if you have a moment, sneak a thank you note under your child's pillow telling him or her what you are thankful for about them.

Monday, November 21, 2011

turkey card tutorial

Don't those turkey feathers look cute? Do they make you want to run for your scallop punch RIGHT NOW? They are super easy to make!

Using your circle scallop punch (any size will do), punch 3 scallop circles. You'll want to make sure you like both patterns of the paper as they will both show. Next, fold 5 of the scallops down. Flip the circle scallop over so that the orange side is now facing up. Now, fold in both sides--you can see I've folded in just one in the picture. If you want, it helps to make a center fold before you fold the side in so that you know both sides are evenly folded in. Does this make sense? Let me know if it doesn't!

Adhere all three to your card, use circle and square punches to make the remaining parts of your turkey. Your circle sizes will depend on the size of your scallop punch--just make him the way YOU want to make him. For the feet I used a slit punch, but you could use the "v" letter from an orange set of Thickers. You could even use googley eyes to make this turkey more festive! Hhhmmmm, maybe I should have done that . . .

Hope you have a great week preparing for turkey day! We are off to the store to buy ingredients to make Rice Krispie Turkey Pop Treats per my kids request. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

on stands now x 2

I was excited to have a layout picked up for this issue that is on sale now!

It's a fun issue full of festive ideas for all of the holidays throughout the year. My kids are displayed in the Halloween section. This is one of my favorite layouts from last year.

Speaking of the holidays . . . are you ready for Thanksgiving next week? I am not even close to being ready . . .  better get off this computer and soon . . . 

Before I leave, there is one more magazine that I was surprised to find an old layout of mine turn up:

This is one of their latest special issues showcasing fabric and notions. I love to use my embroidery floss any chance I get (and when I have a little extra time to spend on a layout). This special issue has some really fun ideas that I can't wait to try!

You can find this layout that was originally published back in the October 2010 issue:

I didn't realize that they sometimes publish one of their monthly magazine layouts later in a special issue. It was quite the fun surprise. This is a layout I did after my girls played with my old camera for an hour during their rest time--I loved seeing what they thought was interesting and funny. These photos still crack me up!

Hope you have a great weekend . . . this is the last "normal" weekend before the holiday craziness hits!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The Monterey Bay Aquarium hosts a few FREE Homeschool days each fall and Monday was our day to participate! We had never taken our kids here before, so it was quite a treat!

I think seeing the Jellies was my favorite display.

Faith's favorite stop was the seahorse room.

The Aquarium has several kids areas throughout the displays--it is a great place for all ages! This is the girls with one of their good friends. We went to Monterey with a few other families from our homeschool group.

Hands on learning is so much fun! They had a hands on room set aside just for all of the homeschoolers.

You can go inside a tunnel and a wave crashes over you--the kids thought this was pretty cool!

The day before the Aquarium, we spent the afternoon with our good friends at the beach. This is everyone making a mad dash when an unexpected wave came in!

Seth kept telling Tim to go back for more . . . he loved when Tim waded into the water and then would tell Tim, "Water coming!" at the top of his lungs as a wave came in. He thought this was so funny!

We even found our own sea star!

If you ever get the chance to go to Monterey, there is a ton of family stuff to do. We can't wait to go back and explore more!

Monday, November 14, 2011

november kit club

The November Kit is available now! Here is what we did on Labor Day this year:

I used a Becky Higgins sketch from several years ago. I love the simplicity of this sketch.

The orange and white "graph paper" behind the title is actually packaging from American Crafts latest line by Amy Tangerine. I love using up "trash."

I outlined this detail to make it stand-out a bit more. All of this layouts products are from Green Tangerines November Kit.

I hope you are enjoying your Monday morning! We are in Monterey enjoying the Aquarium today!

Monday, November 7, 2011

cardmaking at Ella publishing

Today, you can find me blogging here at Ella Publishing. Here is a little peak at what I'm blogging about . . .

Check out their blog for a detailed look and directions!

Have you hear about Ella's latest eBook? 

I have to tell you, I think it is my favorite! There are 31 cards to choose from--all with directions--and not a card that I didn't like! Simply fabulous it is, I tell ya!

My time as an Ella Friend is drawing to a close at the end of the year. And if you didn't catch this, you'll want to scoot on over and see how you can apply to be on the 2012 Ella Friend Team. Angie and Wendy are so fun to work with! 

Have a swell day!