Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 Holiday Card Exchange

Each year Jen, from Projects by Jen, hosts a Holiday Card Exchange. This is our 3rd year participating in this project.

This project was open to all PreK-6th grade classes around the world. Classes were teamed with 29 other classes (we ended up with 31 altogether - 30 to mail out) to exchange cards.

Everyone was sent a document with all the names and addresses of the classes in their group and we had to mail one card to each one on our list. We have received 29 cards so far.

The theme this year was snowmen. The boys didn't care for the card templates so we ended up designing one of our own on the computer and added our school information right to the card. They then signed their name to each card. We made our own envelopes this year too. That's a bit more work than I want to get into next year! :) I addressed them and the boys put the stamps and return address labels on.

Here is a picture of the front of our card. The boys picked out what snowman we used.

Here is the school information that each card was to have in it ...

This was the message the boys picked out and where they signed their names. Since we just learned cursive writing I told them to write in cursive, but they started off with print and that happened to be the card I grabbed to take a picture of. :)

Here are some pictures of the cards we received ...

Last year we hung up a map of the United States and we took a piece of yarn and strung it from the card to the place it came from. This year we're doing world geography so they were just hung up on the same wall as that map. :)

Here are a few close ups of different cards.

All in all it was fun. The boys have been excited about all the mail they've been getting! :) They have to read them to me then find a place on the wall to hang them up. We'll certainly do it again next year.

Here is a list of schools we exchanged cards with this year:

  1. Lincoln Elementary; Lincoln, AL
  2. Senator Buchanan Elementary School; Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada - this is the only one we haven't received yet ... but I'm guessing that it takes longer to get here from Canada :)
  3. Hampton Elementary; Hampton, AR
  4. Legend Springs; Glendale, AZ
  5. CCM; Murrieta, CA
  6. San Lauren Elementary; Bakersfield, CA
  7. Flagstaff Academy Charter School; Longmont, CO
  8. The Independence School; Newark, DE
  9. Wolf Lafe Elementary; Apopka, FL
  10. Sweet Apple Elementary; Roswell, GA
  11. Kula Elementary; Kula, HI
  12. Cardinal Elementary; Eldon, IA
  13. St. Joseph Wilmette; Wilmette, IL
  14. South Adams; Berne, IN
  15. Jefferson West Elementary; Meriden, KS
  16. Walter Samuel Academy; Flatwoods, KY  -  this is us so we didn't send ourselves a card ;)
  17. Estelle Elementary; Marrero, LA
  18. West Elementary; Plymouth, MA
  19. Lakeland; Baltimore, MD
  20. James H. Bean; Sidney, ME
  21. Michener Elementary; Adrian, MI
  22. McKinley Elementary; Owatonna, MN
  23. Branson Elementary; Branson, MO
  24. Oak Grove Lower Elementary; Hattiesburg, MS
  25. Highland Park; Havre, MT
  26. Rutherfordton Elementary; Rutherfordton, NC
  27. Isenberg Elementary; Salisbury, NC
  28. Eustace Intermediate School; Eustace, TX
  29. Tess Corners Elementary; Muskego, WI
  30. Community Learning Center; Neenah, WI
  31. Madison Elementary; Madison, SD
We have really enjoyed all the cards this year (and the ones from past years too). This is a super fun project to do with the kids!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Swagbucks Code Extravaganza 12/19/11 : Extra 70 Swagbucks (100 SB Bonus for New Members)

Who's ready for an extravaganza??!! Some of you probably already know that the fun has already begun. The first code was released this morning - worth 6 SB.

Collect all of the codes and write them down - you'll need them later!

Join my SwagBucks Team and enter code: HOLIDAYSWAG at registration to start yourself with 100 SwagBucks!!!

Happy Hunting!

Hot Air Balloons and Santa

Kentucky Highlands Museum has what they call Super Saturdays. Our last Super Saturday was anything but super in my book. This one was A LOT better! The teacher of this one came prepared. I was very happy with this class.

The class was Dr. Bob's Science Sampler ... Hot Air Balloons

Below is what the kids learned about ... hot air is lighter than cold air so that's why it rises ...

Here are some pictures of the class ... listening to the teacher ...

Here they are constructing a hot air balloon out of tissue paper. We took pictures of the directions so the boys can make their own at home. This was a whole class project, but only 3-4 of the kids really worked on it ... including my 2 : )

This is just Sammy being Sammy ...

More construction ...

Finally something Sammy wanted to do ... adding paper clips to the bottom for weight ...

Now Walter is working ... Sammy got the paper clips and started building a paper clip chain ... boys : )


Getting ready to fly the hot air balloon ...

Here it is going up ... Walter looking up into the balloon ...

We didn't let the boys go play downstairs. I don't know if they cleaned it any or not but after having such a nice class I didn't want to ruin it if the place was still nasty like the last time!

There was a reporter there from our local paper who talked to the boys for a bit. There should be an article in the Monday edition ... I'll have to make sure to pick up a paper!!!

Afterwards we stopped at Kroger to pick up a few things. As we were walking around guess who found us ...

SANTA!!! : )

Neither of my boys believe anymore ... which makes me a little sad. I can still find the "magic" in Christmas through Santa, and the lights, and songs of the season ... and wished my boys did too ... but they have older brothers who didn't think twice about opening their big mouths to ruin it. Sammy said he didn't like it that Santa was talking to him. "I'm 9 years old ... sheesh"   LoL

Our Santa there had a really strong German accent ... I thought it was all pretty cool ... and Walter didn't seem to mind either. My Sammy is a drama king! : )

Friday, December 16, 2011

Teacher Book Bags Are Back!!!

Teacher Book Bag are releasing the January 2012 Book Bag in time for you to review it and incorporate it into your lesson. I have used most of the older ones with my boys when they first came out. They were a lot of fun and educational to boot! You can't beat that. : )

Each month on the 15th they'll release a new monthly Book Bag ... giving you plenty of time for planning.

They also want your feedback!!! Don't be hesitant to give them feedback about revisions or additions. They want to offer a Book Bag that best meets our homeschooling needs and other families also benefit from your insight.

The January 2012 Book Bag is all about winter. Browse through their FULL preview HERE to see what they have in store for you. The index page details each page and offers suggestions on how best to use them.

Happy Homeschooling!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Movie Exposes Government Invasion of American Families

Something I thought needed to be looked at again.

Washington, D.C., November 17, 2011 – Today, ParentalRights.Org released an online docudrama, Overruled: Government Invasion of Your Parental Rights, which outlines today’s dangers facing American parents in their ability to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

The film, which runs 35 minutes at OverruledMovie.com, focuses on three real-life American family cases in which parental rights were egregiously violated by the government: a medical care case, an educational freedom case, and a religious freedom case. The movie also warns against adoption of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child. This treaty would override virtually all child and family laws in the United States and grant ultimate authority to international bureaucrats.

Overruled describes why the adoption of the proposed Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the only means to halt the parental rights violations which are taking place all over America.

“American parents just assume that their traditional right to make sound decisions for their children is fully protected in our legal system,” said Michael Farris, President of ParentalRights.org. He added, “Overruled reveals how precarious our rights are in today’s legal climate – and the movie makes it clear that we can and must fix the problem before it is too late.”

Fortunately, the American people overwhelmingly support traditional parental rights. A Zogby poll last year that surveyed over 2,000 people found that 93% of Americans agree with the traditional definition of parental rights, which is the ability to raise their children free from government interference so long as no abuse or neglect is taking place.

Farris said, “We need to capitalize on this strong support all across the country and pass the Parental Rights Amendment to prevent government officials from unnecessarily interfering with families.”

Scott Scharpen, the film’s Executive Producer and chairman of the board of ParentalRights.Org, was proud to announce that Overruled is presented by ParentalRights.Org, a non-profit grassroots organization focused on passing the Parental Rights Amendment. Overruled is available online free of charge at OverruledMovie.com.

For more information, visit http://www.parentalrights.org/.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We are getting in the Christmas mood around here.

Tree is up ... except for some clear lights and a string of red beads on the tree that I put up ... Walter and Sammy decorated the whole tree ... they even put the skirt around the bottom.

We went to the Parade ...

Walter and Sammy are making the Christmas Train at Lowe's Build and Grow Clinics on Saturdays ... here are the first 2 ... still have the engine to make this Saturday ...

Made a Gingerbread House ...

We have several more crafts to make. We'll also be making candy. Still have to take the younger boys shopping for presents and then all the wrapping ... that is always a job and a half ... maybe I'll get the boys to wrap everything this year. : )  Ha! You should see how my oldest boys wrap presents ... looks like a cat that got into catnip went haywire with wrapping paper and tape! : )

Well, hope you enjoyed the photos of what we've been up to lately.