Everything Beautiful in 2013~

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

No secret how much I love Instagram
so tonight I made a very quick flipagram~

Small snippets of sweet moments...  
 Everything Beautiful in 2013!

And the Best is yet to come...
Happy New Year~ May God bless us All!

29 Weeks~

Friday, December 27, 2013

Savannah is spending a few days with us~
LOVE being this close to sweet baby Dove!!!

Christmas Day {Payne & Evie's 1st}~

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Another first for Payne and Evie...
Up @ 7:15 for Christmas morning.
After they jumped on our bed to make sure we were awake,
we met on the stairs so I could get my camera.
Their eyes as big as saucers as they walked into the sunroom to see their gifts~
 I think everyone loved everything they received and played and played and played.
Bigs with plenty of new things to wear!
Mama, Daddy, and Papa all came for lunch~
Mama had baked a cake so I had each little add a candle and we sung happy birthday to Jesus... 
sweetest part of the day!
Christmas Day... all they had dreamed of and more!


Christmas Eve with Savannah and Josh~

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Eve is always a very long day for little ones so we planned to go to church and dinner with Savannah and Josh.
Josh was singing a solo so we wouldn't have missed it for anything~

SO so proud of him~

We ate dinner and then all headed home to open gifts together~
We have saved the cradle we bought for Savannah when she was born 
so we gave it them for Ben Curtis with some new bedding.
Getting more and real that we have a grandson on the way!
 Josh and Savannah always give the littles EXACTLY what they have been hoping for... Stuffies~
 We opened our Christmas pjs, got everyone in bed so stockings could be filled and presents sorted.
A very Merry Christmas Eve with all our children!


Snowman Pancake Morning~

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I found a cute idea online and we enjoyed it this morning~
Snowman Pancakes... And now we are off to Savannah and Josh's church to hear Josh sing. So proud of him and video to come! 
Merry Christmas Eve!!!

Christmas W/ Marcia's Family~

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My sister and her family are home for a few days so we celebrated Christmas with them last night.
We made dinner and had the kids open presents before~
 LOVED having Josh and Savannah home too!!!
 IS there any time sweeter than that spent with family?
Thankful we are spreading it throughout the holidays!!!

My Day in Instagrams~

The morning began with sweet Evie practicing her name~
 No place I'd rather be~

This beautiful sight took my breath away. 
Two sweet ones dreaming of their very  first Christmas along with their best friend {brother}~

Middles received beautiful blankets from Ms. Lori~

A nap before night festivities~

We all dressed and headed to dinner then our church Christmas service tonight @ NewSpring~

Sweet story about this photo...
Evie and I were sitting out in the lobby watching service on big screen and a lady walked up to ask if I had a phone to snap a photo.
I said yes and how sweet that she would ask!
LOVE seeing Evie and I together in front of this magnificent tree~
A beautiful day and tomorrow is sure to be even more so since ALL my children will be home for Christmas!!! 


A Wrapping Kind of Day~

Friday, December 20, 2013

We wrapped up school today and lots of gifts~
With a little help from my Velcro baby as we call her. LOVE!!!

Gifts, Gifts, Gifts {Fun Friday}~

Our Gift lesson yesterday was just a warm up for today.
We completed all of our ornaments for Truth in the Tinsel and read all about the gifts given to Jesus.
We also decided Jesus is the Greatest Gift ever given to us!
As we read, talked, and prayed, I had the same small gift box sitting out for them to see.
My sil Amy suggested we read God Gave Us Christmas and when it came I remembered I had ordered God Found Us You for Christmas so I grabbed it too!

As we read God Gave Us Christmas, we talked about the many gifts God has given us with Christmas and Jesus being the best.
"Jesus is a present for everyone, grumpy or happy, mean or kind. God gave us all Christmas."
Then we read God Found Us You and we had more discussion about the bigs growing in my tummy, them growing in their China mommy's tummy, and the amazing gifts they are to our family.
This comes up often in our home and we feel the more we talk, the more comfortable they feel about their story.

When we finished the story, I had the gift box sitting on the floor and asked what they thought was in the box...
SJ said, "I sure hope NOT nothing again!" haha
Nope! Not today!!!
I told them ONE of the most beautiful gifts I had ever been given was in that box and I would show them IF they promised to keep it a secret.
Each one came up, peeked inside, had a puzzled look on their face, and then a HUGE smile appeared as they figured out what was going on.
As they looked inside, I had a mirror for them to see themselves.
THEY are ONE of the greatest gifts to me!
Under the mirror, I had cut circles from foil and they each glued a piece in their journal to write about The Gift of Them!
 When they finished I snapped a photo of them and declared 2013 School Year COMPLETE! DONE!! GO PLAY!!!
 When they came back to the table later, they found themselves on the little mirror. Big smiles again!
You will also notice School is gone from the center of our sun room... off to the side in order for Christmas to take front and center. :)

Yesterday while I was gone to get my hair done, I came home to find two girls had worked the whole time to make and wrap Gifts for me and Dad~
 They have talked about them ever since and can barely wait for us to open them but insist it will be Christmas Day!
I know it is going to be a great holiday break and we are SO ready for it!!!
Merry Christmas from Ankerich Academy!!!
We will see you next year!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

I could NOT be more thankful to spend my days with~
 These 5 sweet littles!
The holidays have been sweet and perfect...
Tomorrow is our last school day of 2013 and we are looking forward to a wonderful break until 2014!!!

The Gift of Nothing~

I found the sweetest book called The Gift of Nothing and thought it would make a great springboard for a discussion on gifts and giving~
 I read the book and we discussed so many ideas shared!
I had a little green gift box that contained 'Nothing'...
I had each one close their eyes and wait to be handed the Gift box.
Each one took the box and made a wish of what they hoped was inside.
When they opened it... Nothing~
In the end we decided we could always find something to do with our nothing.
I had some left over wrapping paper so we glued a piece in our journals and they lifted it to draw their gift 'wish' underneath.
We each wrote 3 clues and played the Gift guessing game~
 It was fun to wish and share our gifts.
Last line of the book~
"So Mooch and Earl just stayed still and enjoyed nothing and everything."
 Thankful my littles can pretty much make something fun out of anything... even a green gift box with 'Nothing' inside. :)


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Sweater Day!

Christmas Tree Game & {GLITTER}~

Twitter is sometimes my best friend as I follow lots of homeschool moms and bloggers and they post great ideas.
I happened upon a great one this morning and added it to our morning plans.
I chose two books to read today:
In order to relate them to our game for the day we decided the juggling balls were like Christmas ornaments in The Clown of God and relation to other book to come.
I printed everyone a Christmas Tree sheet and grabbed small wooden cubes/smelly markers~
 Each one made their own color die using cube and markers then they rolled to color ornaments/gifts.
Just something more fun about coloring with smelly markers.
I had the big two complete the math section on their own and did individually with the boys {EC only named her colors}.

You should have seen their faces when I had them bubble cut around the tree/gifts and glue into their journals...
THEN I showed them the GLITTER. :)
Evie lit up like a Christmas tree!

In Cobweb Christmas, spiders decorate the old woman's tree with webs and it glistens like tinsel.
I had each one swirl glue {webs} all over their trees~
and sprinkle glitter all over {with close supervision} their tree.
They are dry and here they are~
 They LOVE them and are forever tucked in their journals
{so they can rub their fingers on them every time they open their journals and I can find glitter all over the floor :)
I mean cherish them always.
{Disclaimer: the smelly markers are NOT washable}
so today when I take Rosie to dr, all my littles will have marker stains all over their hands because it will not come off and they look like ragamuffins. :)
All for a great day's fun!!!

Date Night~

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

While almost ALL of my Christmas shopping was done online, Scott and I had a few last minute things to get 
{stocking stuffers} 
so what else to do besides Date Night in Greenville?~
 {Funny story~ We were in the restaurant taking our selfie and the waiter walks by to say Instagram? Busted. LOL}
Date night is only possible because of one AMAZING 18 year old, Rosie, able to love on 5 littles, make dinner, do the bedtime routine, and have all 5 sound asleep on time!
Hey Rosie~ Thanks for loving your mom and dad SO well that we're able to recharge to love you all right back.
Date night is an occasional splurge but very healthy for a strong marriage.

Cranberry Christmas~

Today our selection was Cranberry Christmas and just like our Thanksgiving one, it is one of favs.
They especially loved the page of Mr. Whiskers Christmas tree decorated with shells~
 Yesterday I pinned a cute Christmas tree craft and thought I might use it sometime... today!
They loved the Christmas tree page so much I knew we would make our own.
I hot glued three craft sticks into triangles with a brown one for trunk.
They crumbled green tissue paper squares and glued to three sides.
We added colored pieces for ornaments and it just so happens I picked up a jar of sequins this weekend...
there were SHELLS in there!
Made 5 littles super happy!

As they dried on the table, I had an idea to add their photos to make them super sweet for years to come~
They are going to have a fit when they see them hanging on the tree after rest!!!~
Easy and cute!!! My kind of craft!!!

29 Weeks~

Monday, December 16, 2013

And Beautiful!

Monday Hodge Podge {Christmas in the Country}~

Our Truth in the Tinsel ornament was baby Jesus wrapped in cloths so I took that theme and ran with it.
We glued cloth on the ornament then I had them color a paper plate with marker, pinched the sides and stapled, tore and glued yellow paper for hay, and rolled a round clothespin with cloth for baby Jesus.
Jesus wrapped in cloths lying in a manger~
 I also found a cute Away in a Manger game online so we played and sung Away in a Manger together.

I just randomly picked a book out of our basket and read Christmas in the Country.
Sweet sweet story and great book to use for compare and contrast!
LOVE Cynthia Rylant~
 To finish off the day, we wrote thank you notes for all the wonderful gifts we received this weekend. 
Everyone wrote on the notes and EK got the envelopes ready to mail.
Thankful for a good Monday!

Christmas @ Uncle Jason's House~

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tonight we were excited to celebrate Christmas with Jason, Amy, and kids before they head to Michigan on Friday.
We had dinner and then the OH SO fun opening of gifts.
We let the littles exchange gifts and bigs do too~
 I think they all were super happy with what they received~
Let's see... EK: horses, SJ: bunny, PC: dino, WP: dino, EC: bear puzzle.
They will have fun new things to play with tomorrow~
Thank you Jason and Amy for having us!!
 Sure missed Josh, Savannah, and Amelia!!!

Christmas @ Aunt Susan's House~

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Over the last year Payne and Evie have had SO many firsts.
Tonight was another because we shared a Christmas dinner with Scott's side of the family 
along with opening the first gifts of Christmas.
Everyone had a great time with their cousins~
 Payne was so cute when opening the first gift and couldn't believe he got to open two!
It was nice to spend time with Scott's sisters, Jan and Susan, and his brother Larry plus all their families~
 Jason seemed to be the life of the party with the littles~
 They all had such a great time they were asking if we could go home so they could go to bed.
Worn out from all the fun.
Always such a fun time and so thankful for family!!!
Thank you Susan for having us.
We had such a wonderful evening!!!

Always Schooling~

All the time in any way with anyone~
 LOTS of learning going on here... with BOTH girls. :)

Hung with Care~

Friday, December 13, 2013

Payne and Evie were blessed by the Aunt Susan tonight with stockings of their very own~
 She has given all the kids one over the years and now they ALL have one 
Hung with Care...
even you Josh!!!
Thank you Susan... you LOVE all of us so well!!!

The Polar Express {Fun Friday}~

Today we enjoyed everything The Polar Express.
We began opening gift bags from our sweet neighbor Ms. Judy and found great treats for our morning.
Moving on to Truth in the Tinsel and baby Jesus being born in a stable to the manger. Precious!
Because The Polar Express is kind of a long book, we started our Reindeer project so they would have something to do while I read.
We also used our globe to find and discuss the polar regions in the world.
Reindeer were made by folding down a small flap on brown paper to create a square then fold into triangle making head.
I traced their hands to make antlers and they punched circles to make the other features.
Payne, Will, and Evie wanted hats... EK and SJ~ too cool for that.
Isn't Evie's so cute? I didn't way a word and let her make it like she wanted it. :) 

As I read the book I asked questions to keep them engaged and when we came to the first Christmas gift, I pulled out our Mystery Box and let them guess what was inside.
EK knew but played along with the littles.
Each one got their own silver Christmas bell 
and we made necklaces to wear for the day.

What would Polar Express Day be without hot cocoa, cookies, and the movie?
I made the cocoa, Ms. Judy had included a cookie in their bags, and we popped the DVD in~ 
When movie was over, we moved to the school table for a couple of crafts Ms. Melissa {Lily Hope's mom} had dropped by.
They are drying and will hang proudly on our tree I'm sure by tonight.
A GREAT Fun Friday to end a week of Christmas fun!!!

Happy birthday to my Mama~

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Today was my mama's birthday so we made her a video and some cards~

Not long after that we had a special visitor

And Tonight we had mama and daddy down for dinner, gifts, and dessert~
 72 looks Beautiful on her doesn't it???
I could NOT be more blessed to have her in my life!~
Happy birthday mama!!!
We love you SO very much and SO very thankful for you!!!