Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Card 2011

Preschool Parties

Jonathan and Coleman had their preschool parties on the same day this year, at the very same time. It made it pretty difficult to get pictures of both boys, but here is what I came away with. I was in charge of Jonathan's party this year. We had a pizza lunch, sugar cookies for dessert, and they exchanged a Christmas book with their friends.

When Jonathan opened his book, it had a reindeer on it. He immediately started singing, "Rudolph." I didn't know he knew that song, and when I asked him about it, Ms. Darlene said, "Oh! He knows all the Christmas songs!" We got very tickled at what a songbird Jonathan has become!

Coleman's party was down the hall and was a lot of fun too. I snuck out of Jonathan's room and was able to get some pictures of Coleman and his friends. They had a pizza lunch and then decorated cookies for dessert. Here's our boy and his buddy Blake.

Then they did a book exchange, and to his great delight, Coleman got a book about Mater's Christmas!

Coleman with our sweet Ms. Sharon

I'll tell about their favors and the sweet gifts they each made in another post.

Christmas Fun

We splurged this year and got a new, pre-lit tree. After 14 years with our old tree, and wrestling the lights on and off, it was glorious to put it together and plug it in. Andrew and Coleman helped put the ornaments on.

They like the clustered look.

Here are the pictures of the rest of the activities from our advent chain. There were a few things that didn't get photographed, like seeing the church Christmas program, peppermint milkshakes, peppermint ice cream with magic shell for dessert, and watching different Christmas specials on tv. Here are Andrew and Jonathan watching "The Polar Express" together. Coleman was in the recliner, but Jonathan stayed right next to Andrew and watched without moving until his bedtime.

We had Christmas pancakes for supper one night.

We took Aunt Mer Mer to see the Muppet movie.

We made lots of cookies together.

One night Andrew and Coleman made sugar cookies shaped like the Nativity.

While the cookies baked, Brent read the story from Luke and Matthew and the boys did a sticker picture as he read each character.

Then they got to eat their cookies when they came out of the oven.

We made gingerbread boys for Santa.

Here are the two bigger boys with the Jesse tree this year. Jonathan knocked the ornaments off every time he came by, so we waited for the picture until after his bedtime. I am pretty sure this was the only time the tree looked like this.

We also made our most successful gingerbread house.

And we made some reindeer art.

The Pink Pig and a Visit with Santa Claus

This year we did an Advent chain again. Each day before Christmas we broke a paper link in a chain which revealed a special, fun activity for that day. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, our activity was to ride the Pink Pig and see Santa at Lenox Mall. Despite their expressions in the first two pictures, the boys were very excited.

After we rode the Pig, we headed down to see Santa. We had a short wait in line and then got to visit with The Big Man. You'll notice it was not such a happy time for all involved.

Andrew and Coleman each asked for a Leapster explorer and some surprises. Andrew also asked for a pair of handcuffs. Santa gave them a reindeer hat and some candy before we left. Jonathan got his candy and even gave Santa a high five, but I couldn't get it on camera. Brent tried to make a cute picture of them in their hats. Andrew and Coleman cooperated nicely. Can you find Jon Jon in the photo below?

He's under Coleman's elbow. You can see his red hind-end poking out from the Christmas tree.

December Science Club

At the beginning of December, we had our monthly science club. This month's topic was dinosaurs and fossils. The presentation was from the popular, yet incorrect point of view that the earth is millions of years old. I was a little worried about Andrew's take aways from the afternoon, but he wasn't even phased by the timelines that were presented. Overall, we enjoyed our afternoon, and were very glad a hike wasn't part of our experience on that cold day!

We started off with a lecture from a paleontologist who brought many, many fossils to show the children. It was good practice sitting and listening. At the end, they got to examine the fossils up close.

She even gave the students their own bag of fossils to keep!

Then we headed to the classroom where they did some digging and identifying of fossils on their own.

A timeline activity

Miss Melissa had Andrew pretend to be a dinosaur that turned into a fossil. He loved getting to do some acting!

Trying to move a piece of petrified wood

Our last station was to make a fossil of a leaf using plaster of paris. It was super cold outside, but they turned out really neat.

This has got to be one of the funniest expressions ever captured. The caption possibilities are just endless.

And here is our sweet friend Wyatt. He was in swimming lessons with us this summer, and he has two older brothers. His mommy and I have lots to talk about each month! His family visited the Creation Museum over the summer, and Joy had him wear his shirt as a protest that afternoon. It says, "God created me on Day 6." I loved it!