Monday, 28 December 2009

Book Sharing Monday ~ Last one for 2009!!

"Let's Do Nothing!" by Tony Fucile is a short and fun picture book about 2 boys that have run out of things to do. One of the boys decides they should try do to nothing for 10 seconds...but can two boys do nothing for 10 seconds?

"How do we do nothing? Simple. We sit down in these chairs and we do not move. Not an inch. Not a fraction of an inch. Zero movement. NOTHING."

Thanks to all that participated in Book Sharing Monday in 2009! If you would like to find out more about this weekly sharing of children books, please read this post.
I wish you all a happy new year and I am looking forward to more sharing in 2010!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

A holiday smile

I thought our dog might be interested in trying to get to the turkey to eat it, but instead he sat and stared at it, growling in a deep voice..
now what is that all about ?!
Happy Holidays !

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Last minute stocking stuffers ~ bookmarks

I made these bookmarks this afternoon for the kids stockings. They're reversible! The one with the cupcake is for Adrienne,
she did the cupcake when she learned how to do embroidery.
I made one for myself too ;)
I used scraps of fabrics with a little bit of heat and bond in between.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Book Sharing Monday ~ The Lump of Coal

"The Lump of Coal" by Lemony Snicket is a great and fun little holiday story! We loved it! I have to share with you a couple of is how it starts:

"Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you'd see, and this holiday story features any number of miracles, depending on your point of view."

And, without giving the story away, I will share a bit of the ending, because it is just perfect in my point of view:

"It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season - like all the other seasons - is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them, and that's the end of this particular story."

Sunday, 20 December 2009

100 books-a-month challenge ~ december

We are at 60 books so far for this month! There are so many Christmas theme books in our library basket, it has been a lot of fun to read all these stories, and we still have more to discover!

Here is our list so far for this month:

Cardcaptor Sakura #3 by Clamp - Andre
Cardcaptor Sakura #4 by Clamp - Andre
Haunted Mansion Graphic Novel - Adrienne
One Snowy Night by M. Christina Butler
It’s Christmas by Tina Burke
Groundhog stays up late by Margery Cuyler
Cat in the Manger by Michael Foreman
Cardcaptor Sakura #5 - Andre
Angelic Layer by Clamp #1 - Andre
Angelic Layer by Clamp #2 - Andre
Angelic Layer by Clamp #3 - Andre
The World of Quest #1 by Jason Kruse - Andre
Cardcaptor Sakura #6 by Clamp - Andre
The Shortest Day Celebrating the Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer
Christmas City by M. Garland
Santa Claus around the World by Lisl Weil
Witches by Rachel Lynette (Mysterious Encounters) - Andre
Bunnicula and Friends The Fright Before Christmas by J. Howe
Cardcaptor Sakura #6 by Clamp - Adrienne
Buddha in the Garden by David Bouchard
The Prince Who Ran Away The Story of Gautama Buddha by Anne Rockwell
Nancy Drew #4 The Girl Who Wasn’t There (Graphic Novel) - Adrienne
The Cobweb Christmas by Shirley Climo
Fancy Nancy Poison Ivy Expert by Jane O’Connor
Ghostly Warnings by Daniel Cohen
Dino Riddles by Katy Hall
The Mystery of UFO by Judith Herbst
The Hardy Boys #1 The Ocean of Osyria Graphic Novel - Andre
Sugar Princess Skating to Win by Nakajo (Graphic Novel) - Adrienne
A Practical Guide to Dragons by Sindri Suncatcher - Andre
Sugar Princess Skating to Win by Nakajo Vol. 2 - Adrienne
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Justin Todd
The Imaginary Garden by Andrew Larsen
We Were There A Nativity Story by Eve Bunting
Silent Night A Christmas Carol is Born by Maureen Brett Hooper
Auntie Claus and the Key to Christmas by Elise Primavera
The World of Quest by Jason Kruse - Andre
Magic Trixie and the Dragon by Jill Thompson - Adrienne
The Twelve Days of Christmas illustrated by Jan Brett
My Penguin Osbert by E. Cody Kimmel
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen retold by C. San Jose
Christmas in July by Arthur Yorinks
Mattland by Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert
How Santa Really Works by Alan Snow
Nancy Drew #3 The Haunted Dollhouse Graphic Novel - Adrienne
Angelic Layer #5 by Clamp - Andre
Angelic Layer #5 by Clamp - Adrienne
Amazing Science Discoveries - Chemistry - The Story of Atoms and Elements by Dr. Bryson Gore
A Visit from St Nicholas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Kim Fernandes
The Family Christmas Tree Book by Tomie De Paola
The Vinegar Bottle Woman retold by Philip Hawthorn
The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer - Adrienne
A Holiday for Murder by Agatha Christie (Mom)
When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke
Kit’s Surprise A Christmas Story by Valerie Tripp
Christmas in the Country by Cynthia Rylant
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Papa’s Christmas Gift: Around the World on the Night Before Christmas by Cheryl Harness
The Curious World of Christmas by Niall Edworthy (Mom)
I Once was a Monkey: Stories Buddha told by Jeanne M. Lee (Mom)

Next month I will be sorting the books by categories, but at least this month I remembered to write who read what. If there are no names next to it, it means "read aloud", by me.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

First week of holidays

We have had a great week! We started our holidays this past Monday, which means we put the regular school books away and do fun stuff.
During our time off, we read a lot of books and do a little unit study, learning about Christmas through the years using the historical stories from the American Girl series. We have used these in the past and enjoyed them as a starting point. The first 3 days of this week we read "Kit's Christmas Surprise" and talked about Christmas during that time period (the Great Depression).
We will be reading more about that time period next week and about Amelia Earheart, who was mentioned in Kit's story. I will share more next week of our study.

We made some homemade ornaments like pomanders and cinnamon-applesauce ornaments.

Andre wanted to learn how to knit, I showed him and he continued on for a couple of hours that afternoon! He wants to make a little blanket for his stuffed animals.

We also made our own snowflakes (using borax), since there hasn't been any snow around here and a 3D paper snowflake too, mostly done by Andre. That paper snowflake is easy to make and looks great!

Adrienne made these adorable little books. Right now they are in our Christmas tree, but I think they will end up with the dolls after the holidays.
This first week off has been wonderful. It has been so nice to relax and enjoy our time together. Adrienne baked a few times too, but I didn't take photos this time (how odd!).
We have had 2 different homeschooling families visit us on Thursday and Friday, and it was great to connect with them.
I am looking forward to this weekend to catch up on the presents I still have to make for's coming fast!

*note: I have included all the links to our activities, you can click on the coloured words to visit the sites for the instructions *

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Holiday Lego Fun!

I gave my kids a little challenge a few mornings ago, to build some holiday-theme Lego. I showed them a couple of ideas from the Family Fun website, they ran downstairs and started building away.

My favourites are the big sleigh and the present, both made by Adrienne. I couldn't print the instructions for her for the sleigh from the websites, but after a few minutes of her telling me she had to have them, she went downstairs and built her own version! She then created all the other pieces, she loves playing with Lego. Andre made the colourful tree/pyramid, and Celeste made the little tree with the tree skirt and the little presents! The red and white sleigh was my creation!

Here are a couple of websites with some inspirations for your Lego fans:

Monday, 14 December 2009

Book Sharing Monday

This week I am sharing a book from a mystery series that has become one of Adrienne's favourite (Adrienne is 12). Our librarian had suggested the series to her. Elona Holmes Mystery series is written by Nancy Springer and so far there are five books I believe. Adrienne is now on the fifth one and just devoured the fourth one "The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan"over this past weekend!
Adrienne loves this historical mystery series because the main character is a young girl about 15 years old that has to help other people and solve puzzles and mysteries. She also uses disguises and aliases so that her brothers won't find her, because she doesn't want to live the life of a lady. (as told by Adrienne to me when I asked her why she likes the series).

"Enola Holmes is the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft Holmes, born in July 1874 to Lady Eudoria Vernet Holmes and her husband. Her brothers Sherlock and Mycroft are about twenty and twenty-seven years older than she is, respectively.
Her father died when she was four. Enola and her mother live in the family home, Ferndell Hall, near Kineford village. Sherlock and Mycroft have not returned to Ferndell since their father's funeral, due to disagreement with their mother's ideologies. Mycroft, the eldest son and heir to the estate, has left management of the estate to his mother for the ten years following their father's death." from

Friday, 11 December 2009

News from my create corner

Below is a copy from my personal blog "my create corner". Between Book Sharing Monday participants and the 100-books-a-month challenge, I think it's safe to say that many of you love to read, so I thought you might be interested in this new personal challenge for 2010 that I just signed up for.

Here is a copy of the post, or you can come over to my create corner and read it there!

December is the month for "december views" and I hope you have been enjoying my daily photographs. I wanted to interrupt the silence to share with you information about a challenge (I love challenges!) for 2010.

52 Books in 52 Weeks. That is the name of the challenge and there is a blog where you can sign up.

Here are the rules:

"The challenge will run from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010.
Participants may join at any time.
All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc.
Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2010.
Books may overlap other challenges."

This will be a challenge for me, even though I love reading, I am not a fast reader. Unless a book grabs my attention, I tend to loose focus and can take a lot longer than 1 week to finish that book. I also have difficulty sometimes with the language. English is not my maternal tongue, French is, so sometimes that slows me down! But I am determined to try.

I am going to plan my books one month at a time and will share my January list before January 1, 2010.
If you enjoy reading, you might be interested in joining the challenge. Please visit the blog
52 Books in 52 Weeks to find out more.

The future posts related to this challenge will be at my create corner, starting with my January book list.

100 books-a-month challenge ~ december so far and a good deed

We are doing great this month with the 100-books-a-month challenge, with a total of 46 books read so far! If you are taking part of the challenge, leave a comment, I would love to come and visit other blogs that are participating! (I was reminded by Leslie who hosts the challenge that she has a list of participants on her blog home-grown love..oops, I forgot!)

I had signed up for the Scholastic book clubs at the beginning of this school year, and saw their ClassroomsCare campaign. I contacted Scholastic and asked them if we could participate as homeschoolers too. They answered YES and reminded me that we had to read 100 books by January 22, 2010, and that once we accomplished that goal, we were to notify them and 100 books would be donated on our behalf to children that need them. We were also sent a chart to keep track of the books we read, by colouring in stars. The kids and I reached our goal at the end of November and they sent us this certificate! My kids are very happy to have been able to participate and help others.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Getting ready for the holidays!

our winter solstice countdown garland

Celeste's Christmas (or should I say Santa?) countdown garland

We have been wrapping our regular school work this week, and getting ready for our Christmas and Winter Solstice themed learning fun.

We have already been reading many picture books on both subject, and reading "When Santa Fell to Earth" by Cornelia Funke. Next week we will start our historical Christmas unit study, based on the American Girl books (Kit and Samantha). I also have "A Pioneer Christmas: Celebrating in the Backwoods in 1841" for us to read and use some of the craft ideas. We also have been enjoying singing together every day after lunch!

This afternoon the kids made two countdown garlands. Celeste has been asking every morning if it is Christmas yet, she is having a difficult time waiting to open the only present that is under the tree so far (home made jewelery from Adrienne!). We made one garland to help her see the days left until Christmas. We dug up our recycled magazine pile and made the simple garland together.

Adrienne, Andre and I made a second one to countdown until Winter Solstice. We have been reading a few books on that subject. I had shared one for Book Sharing Monday, the post is below this one.

I have been reading a fun little book, filled with interesting facts about Christmas : "The Curious World of Christmas" by Niall Edworthy. I especially enjoyed reading the chapter called "Farting Dwarves and Peacock Pie: How Our Ancestors Celebrated Christmas". It is definetely not a children book! I also picked up from the library a book called "The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice" by Carolyn McVickar Edwards.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Book Sharing Monday ~ Winter Solstice

"The Shortest Day: Celebrating The Winter Solstice" by Wendy Pfeffer is a wonderful book that explains the winter solstice, and also the traditions throughout history and different cultures.
There are activities at the back of the book as well, such as measuring shadows on the shortest day, hosting a solstice party for your friends and also for the birds. A short list of further reading suggestions and web sites can be found on the last page.

"Over 2000 years ago, Romans celebrated the shortest day with festivals and merrymaking. They gave evergreen branches to friends as a sign of good luck. Evergreen wreaths decorated their doors. Since these plants stayed green when others turned brown, they reminded the Romans of the coming spring."

Wendy Pfeffer, the author, has many other interesting titles, most related to science and nature. She also has written books about the Spring Equinox, the Summer Solstice, and the Fall Equinox.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Art using "Drawing with Children" ~ update

Birds from today's lesson ~ top from left is Adrienne's, next to it is mine, then Andre's.

Celeste enjoying art and her bird.

Last week's lesson : leo the lion.
Andre (left) and Celeste (right)

Adrienne's lion and detail on the mountain (Canada flag!)

my lion

We have been continuing on with our lessons in "Drawing with Children" by Mona Brookes on Friday afternoons. We have had so much fun, sitting together and drawing, listening to music, and there's always a lot of laughing too! I am not sure how much we are actually learning, but at least we are enjoying ourselves!

Irish flood quilts ~ blocks by Adrienne and I

Adrienne and I made two blocks to send to ps. i quilt last night. We chose some fresh light fabrics in hope to bring some sunshine... She helped with the position of the fabrics and I sewed them together. We enjoyed helping out in this small way. We had made some friendship starts for the victims of the Australian bushfires earlier this year too, you can read about that here.
If you would like to find out more about the Irish flood quilts, please click on the button at the top of this post.


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