Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Activities

Last week we got a light dusting of snow!! We really had to look for it, but it was there. We delayed starting our school day to go play in it!

Last week we also had another homeschooling family and dear friends over to do Christmas crafts! We had so much fun! We made these super sweet edible Christmas trees:

They are just icing covered ice-cream cones decorated with sprinkles and candy - and they were GONE in no time!

Gabe just dove right in:

We also made Cinnamon Salt Dough Ornaments.

  • These ended up being a lot easier than I thought they would be and turned out so cute!!

    Here is the recipe:

    1 cup salt
    2 cups flour
    10 teaspoons of cinnamon
    3/4 cup water (with maybe a bit more).
    Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the water slowly. Mix it together until it forms a ball. If you find the ball to be crumbly, add a bit more water, a teaspoon at a time, and knead it between teaspoons. If you find it to be sticky, add a bit more flour, a teaspoon at a time, and knead it between teaspoons. Eventually, you’ll find a happy medium – not too sticky, not too crumbly. That’s just what you want.
    Once the dough is ready, wrap it up and put it in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to stiffen the dough. Then, roll the dough out to roughly 1/2″ thick (about 1.25 cm) – you can be approximate on this – on a lightly floured surface.

    • Use cookie cutters to cut the dough into shapes, then use a straw (or another device) to make a small hole on the top of the ornament shape. Then, bake until dry at 325 F – this usually takes about an hour. I recommend using parchment paper on top of a baking sheet to bake the ornaments.
      Once the ornaments are baked, we can paint them, glue on glitter or just leave them plain. I found the original recipe here: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2010/11/12/homemade-gift-series-9-handmade-ornaments/

      This whimsical tree was my favorite!

We also had to make a Cowboy Star for Mig! How 'bout them Cowboys?!? 

Are you doing any fun Christmas Crafts this year?

Our Christmas Pictures

We had a great time taking Christmas pictures this year! We headed out to our backyard with props and I let the kids help set it up. They LOVED the huge ornaments and were very cooperative. I was able to get some fun shots of the three of them!

Aren't they the sweetest?!?

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Gabe and Selah have joined the AWANAS (Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed) groups at our church and they are LOVING it!! Gabe is a Spark and has already memorized 10 verses and received his first patch (after only 3 meetings!!). Selah is a Cubbie and has memorized 8 verses and will receive her first patch at the next meeting. At AWANAS they sing, play games, do crafts, and work on scripture memory. They  earn patches according to the verses they memorize. They are making friends and look forward to AWANAS during the week. 

Don't they look adorable in their AWANAS vests!!

Mig goes to childcare while the others are at AWANAS and Daddy and I go to a home small group. We are all enjoying getting plugged in and making new friends!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Breakfast with Santa

While we were in Temple, we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn. On Saturday morning, Santa came for breakfast!! Gabe asked him for a Robot Kit and a lava lamp and Selah asked him for a Cinderella baby doll.  Mig was frightened of the sweet fellow and refused to get close.

I did get a shot of the three of them in front of the hotel's beautiful tree, though!! 

Gabriel is SEVEN!

The day after Thanksgiving was Gabriel's birthday. We went out to see our sweet family friends, the Clemens that morning. The kids fed and pet their horses and donkeys, picked vegetables out of their garden and had a great time playing. It is always so fun to spend time with them!

Then it was nap-time and GiGi, Rachel and I went to see a movie!! Thank you, Daddies for watching the kids while we had some fun girl time! By the way - Breaking Dawn part 2 is SOOOO goood!!

After nap and movie time it was Party Time!! GiGi made a beautiful Star Wars cake for the birthday boy!

We also had yummy brisket, sausage and sides! Gabe was blessed with some fun gifts, too!

And a birthday wink! I guess that means it was a successful celebration!

Nature in Lights

We spent Thanksgiving in Temple with family. We had a great time visiting family and friends, celebrating Gabe's birthday and eating yummy food! After Thanksgiving dinner, we went through BLORA's Nature in Lights. I love BLORA and the kids do, too! The light displays are animated and creative - such a fun way to kick off the Christmas Season!

We went through with our nephews and all of the kids (except Mig) took turns sticking their heads out of the sun roof. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Operation Christmas Child

Around Christmas each year, many people look for ways to give to those less fortunate than us. Operation Christmas Child is a great way to do just that! The non-profit, International Relief program, Samaritan's Purse, gathers shoe boxes filled with small toys, hygiene items and a lot of love and ships them around the world to children who are in need. I love Operation Christmas Child because it is a great hands on way for  kids to get involved. Last week we planned our homeschool day on Friday around our shoe boxes. We watched a few  of the videos posted on the Operation Christmas Child web site (http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/). This gave the kids a visual of what their gifts would be doing. Then we went shopping for items to put inside of each shoe box. Gabe chose to fill a box for a little boy his age and Selah chose to build a box for a little girl her age. We then came home and packed and labeled our boxes. On Sunday morning the kids proudly carried their full boxes into church to the collection site. 

If you have missed the deadline to participate in Operation Christmas Child and are looking for some way to give this Christmas season, Samaritan's Purse also has a gift catalog with gift options from $2.00 on up and for anything from purchasing livestock to Christmas goodies. You can find that here: https://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/Giving/gift_catalog/

Compassion International also has a gift catalog for needs of those suffering from starvation and poverty that you can find here: http://www.compassion.com/catalog/catalog-view-all-gifts.htm

‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

Matthew 25:44-45

For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,

2 Corinthians 8:3

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gabriel's Baptism

During the summer I had the most awesome blessing of leading Gabriel to the Lord during our homeschool time. This past Sunday, Gabriel gave his testimony at church and then was able to follow through with baptism. He even was able to be baptized by Daddy. It was such a beautiful service and we are so proud of Gabe and the little man of God that he is becoming. Be sure to scroll down a little to watch the video of his testimony and his baptism, too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Trick or Treat 2012

Halloween with kids is so much fun!! This year we ate homemade pizza, carrots with dip and Halloween sugar cookies. Then we dressed up and headed out to Trick-Or-Treat.

My little Obi-Wan:

My quaterback (he refused to wear his helmet, though):

and Princess Ariel - the Little Mermaid:

We like to take evening walks and just went on our normal route to Trick-or-Treat. 

The wagon came in pretty handy!

The kids had so much fun! After Trick-or-Treating we headed home where Mommy and Daddy inspected the candy while the kids watched It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. It was a super fun evening!

Hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween as well!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our Jack O' Lantern and a Yummy Pumpkin Seed Recipe

We had fun carving our Jack O' Lantern this year!


The kids decided on what eyes, nose and mouth our pumpkin should have and then Daddy drew it on our pumpkin. While Daddy carved, Gabe and Selah separated the seeds out of the gook - messy fun! 

Finally our Jack O' Lantern was done. We activated a glow-stick and put it inside the pumpkin which gave it an eerie green glow!  

We rinsed our seeds and let them dry overnight and then I roasted them. They were SO GOOD! I have cooked pumpkin seeds a number of times and decided to try a sweet and salty version this year. Here is the recipe:

Halloweenie Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
5 Tbsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp oil

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a large bowl stir together 2 Tbsp of the sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set the mixture aside. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add seeds and sprinkle the remaining 3 Tbsp of sugar over them. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts. Pour the seeds into the bowl with the spiced sugar mixture and stir to cover the seeds. Toast in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes stirring every 10 minutes. Enjoy!!

Happy Halloween!!

The Serna kids would like to wish you all a Happy and Safe Halloween 2012!!

We made our annual visit to the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch last weekend and had a blast!!

They have some super fun cut-outs:

and face painting:

And lots and lots of pumpkins!

They also had a fun hay bale maze that led to a big slide:

And a hay-ride:

We got to put Daddy in the stocks (a little pre-punishment for the trick-or-treat candy we know he will steal): 

We rode a "train" pulled by a tractor:

And had a BLAST!! 

Happy Halloween!!