Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Making Melodies

Gabe and Selah learned this fun song at AWANAS and used the iPad to video themselves singing and performing (wearing their vests, of course!). I think it is adorable and is bound to bring a smile to your face! Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Harry Potter Homeschool Party

Before our Christmas Break from homeschool, the kids and I had a Harry Potter party! We had been reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone during our Reading lessons and finished it the day before our Christmas Break. All 3 kids really enjoyed the book and I had such a fun time sharing it with them! 

The night before our party, while the kids were sleeping I hung these 3 hoops in the hallway:

They would be for our "Muggle Quidditch" match. After breakfast, getting dressed and Circle Time we worked on our costumes for the day. We made Harry Potter Glasses from a printable page and Gryffindor House Ties from another page. I printed the glasses and helped the kids cut them out. We didn't use the ear pieces as they were really too large for the kids, but tied a string from the corners of the glasses around their heads. For the ties, I printed them and then punched holes in them to string around their necks. We then started our big project of the day - making wands. I used this website for the directions. We would do a step of the wand project and then while that step dried, we would move on to another activity. It took all day, but they turned out sooooo well! 

So, while the first step of our wand project dried, we played "Muggle Quidditch". Earlier that month, when we read about the sorting ceremony,  we placed the 4 house names in a hat and choose our house to be sorted. Gabe was sorted into Hufflepuff, Selah was placed in Ravenclaw, Mig was sorted into Slytherin and Daddy and I both were sorted into Gryffindor. When we played Quidditch, we played for our houses. To play, I gathered 5 pairs of folded socks and one small plastic, yellow ball. Each player had to hold a broom between their legs and try to throw the socks and yellow ball (the snitch) through the hanging hoops. Each pair of socks was worth one point per goal and the snitch was worth 5 points. It was just challenging enough for these guys to have a great time! 

Ok, I had fun, too!

Huffelpuff won the game - but we all had fun! Next, we did another step of our wand project and a little science. My sister bought Gabe this fun kit for his birthday:

So we put it to use and had our own potions class!!

Then we had lunch, worked on our wands a little more and then it was time for our treats and the movie!

I made treat boxes the night before which are really similar to the Chocolate Frog boxes in the movie. These are also a free printable you can find HERE.

I was hoping to find some Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, but couldn't find them anywhere - Barnes and Noble said the had sold out and the candy store didn't sell them - even was sold out. So, we had regular jelly beans instead. 

I also made some Butter Beer for the kids to drink.

After the movie we finished up our wands. They looked amazing! My mom even said she thinks they are better than the ones on the movie - and believe it or not - they are made of rolled paper!!

Our wands were finished so we headed outside for some pictures. Between snaps they went around shouting  things like "Alohamora" and "Leviosa" and flicking and swishing their wands all around! this not the cutest little Harry Potter ever?!?:

Selah did not want to wear the glasses - she said she is NOT Harry Potter, she is Hermoine!

It was an awesome end to our first semester of school and such a fun, fun day! Gabe even said that he likes Harry Potter better than Star Wars now! GASP!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Welcome 2013!!

For a few years, I didn't know what to do with kids on New Year's Eve. You can't go to a New Year's party, because when they are little they still can't stay up until mid-night. So over the years I have come up with kid friendly ways to ring in the New Year!

In the last 3 years or so we join Brazil in welcoming the year at 8:00 central time. We find a count down clock like at and have it up during our party. The kids love it because they still get to stay up a little late. 

This year I taped the numbers 2012 on our fireplace. Behind the second 2 was a 3 for later that night.

Our first activity every year is to hide a dollar outside. The next morning we go outside and find our dollar and bring it inside. This is a tradition passed down from my mom's side of the family. It symbolizes the year bringing with it wealth. 

Next we eat a fun, party food type dinner. This year we had chicken wings, fried green beans, fried zucchini and cheese and sausages. After dinner we had a Minute-To-Win-It competition. It was boys versus girls and SO MUCH FUN! 

Game 1 was Defying Gravity. It was Mommy versus Daddy trying to keep 3 balloons in the air at one time. Whoever had all three in the air the longest won (because neither of us could make it up to a minute!). Daddy won by a millisecond!   

Game 2 was Stack Attack. This was Gabe versus Selah. They had to build a pyramid out of 18 cups and then stack them back into one stack. 

Selah was slow and steady:

Gabe was quick, but kept knocking his over:

In the end Selah won!

Our next game was Movin' on Up. Each team had a stack of 17 cups of one color and one odd color. The point of the game was to move the odd cup to the top of the stack by moving one cup at a time. We played Mommy versus Daddy and Daddy won again - by a millisecond! Then Gabe and Selah had to try it. 

Our fourth game was called Junk in the Trunk and was the most popular game of the evening. We attached empty tissue boxes to the back of each child and put 5 ping pong balls in each box. On go they had to shake it until all of their balls were out of the box. 

Gabe's preferred method was cartwheeling!

It was adorable!!! 

Here's a video of the fun:

Our final game of the night was an all play and Mig LOVED it! It was called Snowball Fight. We divided our room in half and placed five snowballs (wadded up paper) on each side. On go, each team had to throw snowballs at the other team and after 1 minute, the team with the least snowballs on their side won! We played this at least 3 times - it was so much fun!

In the end, the Boys won the games for the night - but we all had a blast!

At 8:00 our time - 12:00 mid-night in Brazil we blew our horns, popped our poppers and sang We Wish You A Merry Christmas.....Gabe was a little confused about what song to sing at "mid-night". 

We changed our sign from 2012 to 2013:

And then we had a piece of New Year's cake!! Our New Year's cake always has a trinket in one piece and the person that gets the trinket gets a dollar. Gabe found the trinket this year. 

Then, exhausted from the activities and high on sugar, the kids went to bed. 

Then Byron and I played card games and watched count downs to the New Year and for the first time in a very long time, I was able to kiss my sweetheart at mid-night!! 

We wish you all a healthy and happy 2013!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Snow!

We didn't have to dream! We really did have a white Christmas! 

Aunt Rachel, Gabe and Selah in the snow:

Catching snowflakes:

It started snowing right after lunch and by the time the little ones were up from their naps, it was a winter wonderland!

Snow Princess Tali:

Sweet Charli Kate:

Handsome Adrik:

Byron and Gabe even made a cute little snowman!


Christmas Morning 2012

On Christmas morning, Gabe and Selah snuck downstairs before the rest of us, then ran back up stairs to let us know that Santa had come!! 

I got Mig up and Rachel gathered the triplets and we all headed downstairs. Mig took one look at his gift, hopped on and started driving all around! He didn't care about the other packages under the tree!

We opened the gifts left by Santa and got into our stockings:

Then we had breakfast before opening the rest of the gifts:

I love Selah's expression here! 

Gabe got an unexpected gift - and was so excited!! Byron bought both Gabe and I Kindle Fires for Christmas!

The triplets got lots of fun toys, too.

I love Adrik's face here - I'm sure he's thinking, "Wow! He looks just like Bob the Builder!"

All 6 kids got these fun, personalized "Going to Grandma's" bags from sweet Aunt Barb - or as Mig calls her - Aunt Barbie Q.

Christmas Eve

We had such a fun holiday season!! Rachel, Will and the triplets came up on Saturday afternoon and stayed until the day after Christmas. It was so much fun for all of us - adults and children alike - to have them up here! This is the first of about 4 posts I am going to do on our Christmas and New Year's celebrations. 

On Christmas Eve, Byron and Will had planned to go golfing, but the course was covered in frost because of the front that came through the night before. So instead, we packed everyone in our two vans and headed over to Arlington to tour the......


All six kids had fun running around on the super soft and bouncy field. 

Mig, Tali, Selah and I climbed up the bleachers and got a look from the seats.

We took loads of pictures

And Will and Gabe even took turns trying for a field goal.

Next, we headed into the cheerleaders' locker room.

Which was Selah's favorite part:

Then we went into the Cowboy's locker room:

Here is our crew in front of the locker room:

Mig got to get a quick picture with Romo's locker:

And Gabe wanted one with Dez Bryant's locker:

We headed back out to the field and gawked at the huge screen from the benches before heading home.

It was a super fun time!!

That evening after dinner we had a fun Hot Chocolate party. We opened one Christmas present - which is always new pajamas (a tradition from Rachel and my childhood). We all put on our cozy jammies and watched The Polar Express while eating popcorn, cookies and drinking some home-made cocoa. We saved 6 cookies for Santa and then went to bed happy and exhausted!