We Are So Blessed!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Our 2014 Halloween Display!!

The kids are super excited this year about our Halloween display! They're so funny, they act like they're in Disneyland in our front yard! They have been telling people about the "Big Cat" and "Banjo Skeletons," "Smoke Machine" and the "Witch Book" and I can tell for people that haven't been over to see it- they have no idea what the kids are talking about. They give me a confused look :)

The kids had a great idea, "We should take a video and share it with everyone!"
I did NOT do the best job with the video, and some of the special effects, just will not show up on video - but at least we have a video that the kids can share and even enjoy themselves when the display is taken down (especially while they countdown until next year). The kids will love to hear what you think of everything when you see it!

This year, I had so much going on so I decided to ask my hubs if he could set up the decorations. He was nervous to do it without any input from me- haha, but I assured him I would love whatever he did! Can you believe he did this all by himself?? I was so impressed! He arranged everything better than I could have thought of!! He's so hired right?!?!

Below is VIDEO of the outside...

Do you want to see the inside too?

Funny story about this skeleton:
The skeleton in this picture is 5 feet tall (life size) and fully posable-- so the kids and I thought it was SO funny to drive around with him in the car. We sat him in the front seat (seat belted in) like a regular passenger- and other drivers would FREAK and do double takes all the time! The kids found that so hilarious, and so did I! When we would walk towards our car in parking lots, (with skeleton still sitting shotgun waiting in the car for us)- we got to laugh at people's reactions as they walked by the car- people were so surprised to see a skeleton looking at them, HAHA!

We received lots of funny comments like "that's a great carpool buddy" haha!!
Since he is really pose-able and holds his pose- we were able to do all sorts of funny things with him, put him in funny places and positions and even dressed him up in clothes and accessories!
He was another new addition this year and we love him!

Below is a VIDEO of some of our favorite indoor animated decor ...

We had a fun idea for the Family Room and fireplace mantle, but we didn't finish it- so I won't post pics until next year when that's all done!

Note: For some reason the blog layout is cutting off the right side of the videos ( a lot of it)- so you might want to watch them on YouTube for the full screen shot.

I will share pics of our Halloween costumes and from the Disneyland Halloween party soon!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Field Trip!!! Pilgrim Thanksgiving Adventure!!

Well, I cannot even believe how long it has been since I have posted! We have been so busy with so many fun adventures, and we would love to share some of the highlights!! Since I have no idea where to even start catching it all up, I'll just jump right into something current and go back and forth, ha!

So I created a "Thanksgiving Unit Study" that we have been working on in our homeschool. Our unit study consists of several books, videos, worksheets, crafts, projects, and experiments- all centered around learning about what Thanksgiving is all about, why we celebrate it, and learning about the history of the Pilgrims and The First Thanksgiving- so fun! What better way to bring it all home than a Field Trip right?? Woot! Let's go!!

We went on a Pilgrim Thanksgiving Adventure! What a wonderful family day full of fun, education, history and adventure!
We got to pretend to go back in time and experience what life was like back in 1620 (and pretend we were pilgrims) following our super friendly tour guides wearing Pilgrim attire!

The kids got to go on the "Mayflower" and learn about what it was like being at sea for such a long period of time.

After that, the kids got to sign the ship's "Guest Book" using a quill pen and ink just like the old days!

Sariah just needed a little boost to reach :)

After that they got to go on a "Turkey Shoot" where they got to shoot real BB Guns at "turkey targets!" If they hit their targets they were rewarded with Candy Corn- sweet! Hehe!

Learning how to line up the sights! 
I love this picture!
Yay, they both hit the targets!

The kids also enjoyed learning how to "Tool Leather" too! They made leather necklace medallions that they tooled/embossed themselves, and got to keep them!
First, they soaked the smooth side of the leather in water for 10 seconds.
Then they embossed  using tools!
What a great souvenir that they can be proud of! Maletch embossed an acorn design on his leather, and Sariah embossed a flower design on hers.

To top it all off, we got to take a ride on "The Thanksgiving Train" for more education and to take turns sharing what we are thankful for! That train ride was surprisingly long, very beautiful and relaxing!
We rode in open coaches/ miner's train car style on the narrow gauge rails with the wind in our hair! 

All Aboard!!
You know this was a HUGE treat for my 2 train enthusiasts!
At the end of our adventure, we got to enjoy a picnic in the beautiful wooded mountainous surroundings, and as we were preparing to leave we were served popcorn, just as the Pilgrims had enjoyed with the Indians at The First Thanksgiving!

 Walking to our picnic!
Our little Pilgrims feasted on Cheetos and juice pouches just like the real Pilgrims did in 1620 :) 
Okay, maybe the original Pilgrims didn't, but we can't really know for sure, right? Hehe! Hey, don't judge!
This is definitely one of the many benefits of homeschooling- having the freedom to plan fun educational outings like this! This is certainly not a field trip any public schooled children would be allowed to go on because: there was discussion about our almighty God, our government (past and present in an honest way), and of course the kids got to shoot guns- "oh no"- LOL!!
John and I really appreciated the good old fashioned fun and it was such a pleasure being among so many like-minded families! We had lots of fun while making many new friends- doesn't get better than that!

We hope you all have a fun, safe, and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

If anyone is interested in using our Thanksgiving Unit Study, I would be happy to share what we did in detail in a separate post- just let me know! I created several unit studies this year, which I will be sharing about and giving peeks into- in more upcoming posts! We love Unit Studies- so fun and always so memorable! It always surprises me how much the kids retain from our Unit Studies, from lots of fun facts -to- oftentimes a much deeper understanding of so many questions of the world!

I am sure Maletch and Sariah will be happy to share what they have learned about The First Thanksgiving with you! Even at ages 3 and 6, they understand quite a bit! They can tell you that the Pilgrims (really called Separatists) were trying to get away from the bad King, and what the bad King was doing! The kids also understand a lot of people died in the voyage, due to the conditions. They both told me that the Indians were heroes for helping the Pilgrims learn how to plant good crops! During our studies, we even learned some of the "planting secrets" such as fertilizing using a dead fish for every planted seed! In our house, we choose to give thanks to God everyday, so Thanksgiving is no different in that respect. But they understand that we celebrate Thanksgiving thanks to President George Washington's proclamation for a day of prayer and thankfulness, family togetherness and also to honor those that came before us! This was the perfect way to wrap up our unit study! If you should get the chance to go during this time of year, I highly recommend it- definitely worth the trip!

I have some great videos from our adventure too, I will upload soon!