Our Week: Very Christmasy adventures

We were very much into the Christmas spirit this week.  On the weekend we went to the local garden centre with a friend to see the live animals and other family activities.  Santa was taking pictures with pets, but he took time to visit with MJ and big doggie (his stuffy friend).  The boys had their face painted, went on a scavenger hunt and bought poinsettias.

MJ came home to 'help' daddy with some building.  He got all his play tools and used them all while daddy was doing some house repairs.

I made multiple attempts to get some lovely Christmas photos of the boys.  I did bribe them a little to sit close to each other.

The boys had an amazing time at their cousin's super hero birthday party.  My niece chose the theme months ago.  My sister incorporated so many adorable details to make this party super amazing!  There were lots of games, masks to make, cupcakes and more!!

Early in the week the boys wanted to play style shop.  They did this often with our daycare girls last year.  MJ wanted to use the hair dryer.  Daddy got a make-over too! TJ brought out his nail polish and the boys had a great time.  Don't they look great.

We had a homeschool party early in the week too.  There were a large number of families, cupcakes to decorate, crafts, games and food.  A perfect party with lovely families.

Moving our advent calendar each day has lead to lots of counting.  The boys wanted to know hoe many days were left until Christmas.  So we brought out the base 10 blocks to help us figure that out.  While TJ was finding his answer, MJ made stairs with the cuisenaire rods.  He later brought the two together to make a tree.  

TJ came up with plans to make a guitar.  It's been fun watching him put on shows and sing to us.

We wanted to spread the Christmas joy to others so the boys went through all our Christmas decorations, and their toys.  We delivered items for free to several families downtown.  

This week we also made some nature inspired decorations.  MJ always does his own thing.  His tree needed to stand up and be added to his small world farm.  He also made a sun.

In our small worlds this week, MJ turned a handmade dish cloth into a hammock.  I brought out a safari themed Playmobil set.  MJ took most of it for his farm while TJ and I have been playing with Safari Sam (the only person allowed in their play at the moment).  Our little Playmobil man has been traveling around the house making movies.  TJ's animals were trying to get up into his Christmas tree.  the bean buckets came out for a bit.  Homemade microphones then turned into volcanoes and mushrooms.  This led to some interesting discussions and stories and research about volcanos and poisonous mushrooms.

We went on a wonderful winter walk with two other families into the forrest by our house.  It was a great opportunity for the boys to get some fresh air. play and explore with other kids.  Snowball fights, negotiations, exploring and lots of fun were had.  So much fun I forgot to take pictures.

I remembered that I had bought some oil pastels from the dollar store.  I set them out with paper and Christmas cards for inspiration.  TJ liked how well these pastels drew, much smoother than crayon and more solid than our chalk pastels.  I started to raw a picture and were all copied elements from each other's drawings as we went along.  This is TJ's house with a snowman and trees.  He's included a fireplace, kitchen counter and two Christmas trees with lights inside the house.  MJ drew a decorated tree inside a house and two trees outside.  One has fallen over (depending on which way you hold the paper). Mine is a house, snowman and forrest.

MJ has had a nagging cough so we missed church.  We were up all night with him and didn't want to get anyone sick.  To end our week we went to a nearby heritage village to see their Christmas displays.  We had a fabulous time.  Horse wagon ride, popcorn, crafts, print making, another visit with Santa and lots of opportunities to explore the old village houses.  The boys got to send a telegraph to the North Pole at the train station and received a personal message back!!  We even dropped in on a concert from a Children's musical group the boys loved when they were younger.

One final trip to close off our week was to outer space!!  My little guys were sitting around seemingly bored.  I suggested a few activities which weren't met with much enthusiasm.  Dressing up always sparks the imagination.  Our space explorers traveled to distant plants, met aliens, discovered some new mushrooms and a space car.

Another wonderful week together.  Learning loving and being together.  

Oh I forgot to mention a new program/game we discovered.  Teach Your Monster to Read is sort of like the Reading Eggs I've heard others talk about, but this is free so we gave it a try.  TJ completed the whole second level of the program in just two days.  He has now gotten as far as you can and is very proud.  He can't wait to go back and keep working on the games which teach sounds, spelling and reading.  MJ is doing well with the game too but finds manipulating the mouse or the tablet more difficult than the game itself.  He plays for shorter bursts and is on the first level of play learning letter sounds and blends along with a few simple words.