Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Link Up - Highlights

I am so blessed to have so many amazing Teacher-Authors link up their great products.  I am sure they will keep coming between now and Christmas.

This one really caught my eye because I was thinking about doing something like this in that week after Christmas to focus on what we are thankful for over the this year.

Head over to Eugenia's Learning Tools to get yours.
Hands-on learning is my favorite!  I love how engaging it is.  Check out what is going on over at A Neighborhood Kindergarten.

Addition while making gingerbread cookies.  
I also love how this Teacher-Author is using free apps to make them educational.  Check out Erintegration.

Check out all the other great resources below.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas A to Z: H is for Hope

This is not shocking - I fell off the wagon with this series.  I am determined to get get caught up and finish A to Z Christmas on Christmas day. This post will be exactly why I fell off the wagon.

We are up to the letter H.

H was going to be for "Holiday", how much I hated that word, and why I changed my mind. Then life throws you a curve ball. Striking you out without even giving you a chance to swing.

Now H is for Hope.

When you are small you are filled with hope.  Hope that the thing you want most in your little life will be there from Santa on Christmas morning. As you get older those hopes change. Then you have the hope that maybe this will be the year that you will have someone to share the holidays with. Then you become a Christian and you are filled with the hope that comes from Jesus.

This season I was so focused on giving. I was able to give. I was so excited. God blessed us to be able to give this year. Until 13 days before Christmas that is. The enemy stuck us big time. The "Christian" company my husband was working for decided at 6 pm on 2 weeks before Christmas to eliminate the department he worked in, without any warning.

Let's be honest. It shook my faith. How could a company that claims to have strong family and Christian values do this to families 13 days before Christmas?

I am doing everything I can to hang on to hope. Hope that this is only a momentary set back. Hope that things will finally turn around. Hope that we will live on our own again. Hope we will be out of debt. Hope my children won't remember too much of this and what they do remember are the good things.

So, instead of all my typical Christmas jolliness I am drowning myself in the HOPE that only Jesus can provide.

As Christians we share the hope of Jesus more this time of the year.

Jesus is our hope.

Link up your Christmas posts below!  (Link you TpT Products Here)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas A to Z: G is for Giving

Christmas A to Z has been so much fun!  

Like I need a reason to be focused on Christmas. 

Today's post doesn't have many pictures - mainly because I forgot to take them.  We started something about 4 years ago and it has just stuck as a tradition.  Our donation day. Great thing to talk about since G is for Giving. 

We all give at this time of the year. We think about it more. It's easy to think about people that don't have as much as we do. When are the one at the other end of the giving, it is a really humbling experience. 

Donation Day is always early in our countdown to Christmas time.  In November we have Little Mister's birthday, so there has been an influx of new toys.  Things become less loved and out grown. What a great time to give away what we don't love anymore.  There will also be an influx with Little Miss's birthday and Christmas(es).  

We will be did this on Monday. I have already gone through their clothes and pulled out the outgrown items.  Usually I just take everything to The Healing Center at our church and call it a day. This time I put it on Facebook - I have 3 and 4T clothes for boys - anyone need them?  Well my friends that run a daycare  responded saying the center could really use them. I had set them aside in a nice big box. Well when we returned from Wisconsin I wanted the kids to go through their toys and add to the box. 

Little Mister gave away a racetrack since he now has 3 of them and prefers smaller cars. He included a bunch of cars that he never touched. We added in the last few "baby" toys we had. Little Miss wanted to give books and a few dolls. 

Here is the best part. We took everything to the center. My friends faces were priceless. The best part - the kids got to see just how happy they made these kids with the race track. Seven 18 to 24 month old "babies" were over-joyed with the gift. 

It was great to see how appreciative my friends were. But to see my kids seeing their actions bring that joy to others - that was my gift from God. 

When I went to the gym today and saw a giving tree. I am so blessed to be able to pick two small gifts wants off that tree this year. I think that is truly my focus this year - giving back and finding more and more ways to do it. 

Later today we will be starting our treat making for 4 Christmas parties at church. I am so looking forward to my serving role at Thursdays party. I am handing out gifts!  More about that later. 

Don't forget to link up your blog posts below (and your Teachers Pay Teachers products here)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas A to Z: F is for Family

Welcome back!  Today it is letter F. 

This is actually a hard one for me to write today.  I am rather frustrated with my extended family. 

It has not been a secret that I was "back home" for 2 weeks. I have blogged about it, I have shared all sorts of things about it on Facebook and Instagram.  But that is a different rant for another time.  

F is for family. When family is in three different states you have to be flexible about the holidays. Last year we were all able to be together.  You can read Christmas Review here

This year we were not all able to be together.  Joe couldn't make it up from Atlanta and Keith can't take 2 weeks off work when you are new with the company. So Christmas #1 was my parents, sister, kiddos and me.  

The kids and I at Christmas #1 in Wisconsin.

The kids picked out all of their own gifts with minimal guidance.  Little Miss even wrapped all of her own gifts.

Thoughtful gifts (and possible a hot toy of the season with all the struggles my sister had getting this bad boy.)

And fun time #selfies.  

Link up your blog posts below. (TpT Products Here)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas A to Z: E is for Eddie the Elf

Welcome back for today's installment of Christmas A to Z.  I would love to see what you are doing for the holidays.  Link up your posts at the bottom!  

E is for Eddie the Elf.

Eddie is our "Elf on the Shelf"  He mostly just sits there and watches, reporting back to Santa. 

He shows up with this kick off breakfast every year.  He brings a small gift or two.  This year he brought a little more than most years since we were out of town.  He brought goodies for everyone.

This year he brought the ingredients to make Eddie's Crazy Candy Bark.  
The kids made it with Grandpa and it was dessert one night.  

My parents got a huge kick out of getting involved.  My dad would move him randomly throughout the day.  Eddie was found in the penny jar.  He must have been looking for cookies.  He was found in the bathroom and creeped out Auntie.  He was on top of the refrigerator.  He scared the daylights out of Max (the chocolate lab) and had to be relocated a time or two.  We were careful not to touch him.  

He wrote a note to Santa about behaviors. That same night he lost his magic and didn't move since he was touched 3 times!

The day we left there was a post-it note tree on the wall and a note, see you in OHIO!

Since we have been home he has been found trying to play games and in the wreath.    

I thought I had a close up picture of Eddie, but it appears that I do not.  I will add one later when I get a great picture of him. 

Be sure to link up your Holiday Blog Posts below.  (Products here)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas A to Z: D is for Decorations

Today's installment of Christmas A to Z - D is for Decorations.


I don't mean to offend you with my all caps exclamation, but it completely fits.  If we lived on our own it would be hard for me to not start decorating November 1st.  I have done it before.

The kids help decorate.  They put the ornaments on and get help from Auntie and Triple A {Adopted Auntie Andrea}.

 Since this is how the ornaments usually end up after the kids have gone to bed we move ornaments some.  

 You take silly pictures in front of the tree.  Because what is life without silliness?  

Then you sit back and admire the beauty.  

This is my parents tree.  I am looking forward to setting up ours when we get home.  That is of course if Husband hasn't already done it for us.

Share your Christmas Posts below!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Product Link Up

This month I am highlighting Christmas Products.

Each and every Saturday I am going to highlight 3 products from teachers who have linked up.  Next month I will create a list of product themes to link up.  I focus on Pre-K and Kindergarten products, but you can link up for any grade level since homeschooling parents and teachers of all grades are readers of the blog.

Feel free to post free and paid products.


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