Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012

We absolutely LOVED having family in town for the holidays! Mom, Charles, and Jacob were here ... along with Mike, Carole Ann, Abby, Carter, and Brody! It was so much fun. We had all the kids for New Year's Eve while Mike and Carole Ann visited with some friends in town. Trey and Abby attended Washington DC's biggest underground lock-in party at McLean Bible Church and the rest of us had fun playing games and downing 12 grapes at midnight for good luck in the New Year.

I am so grateful for these wonderful family members and the opportunity to spend this fun time with them.

Happy New Year 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

National Christmas Tree 2012

After checking out the National Christmas Tree and finding all relevant state trees, we left the White House area and had a wonderful dinner at The Hamilton.  We are having a great time with Mom, Charles, and Jacob here!

The Vietnam Wall

My stepdad, Charles, requested that we start the day at the memorial park in Washington DC.  He wanted to see his friend's name on the Vietnam Wall.  We arrived and looked up his friend's name in the directory (Jerry Lee), then located the name on the panel and row indicated.  It is always such a sobering sight to see the names of those brave souls listed on the wall and walk along the corridor.  Every visitor to Washington DC should take that walk and remember those who have gone before us to provide us the freedom we enjoy today.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

After a beautiful Christmas Eve service at McLean Bible Church, the boys completed their Lego Advent Calendar and were ready to open family gifts.  It was a lovely evening of family time, celebrating our Lord's birth so long ago, and honoring each other with gifts.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Minute to Win It Christmas Party

Joshua's class had a super fun 4th Grade Holiday party at school. The room moms put this plan together:

10:00 – 11:30 AM Watch “The Polar Express”
11:30 – 12:15 PM Read the book The Polar Express.

Discuss differences/similarities between the book and the movie.

Whole Class Craft: Make candy cane ornaments to take home.

Polar Express Activities, optional

12:15 - 12:45 PM Lunch in the classroom, snacks, and Hot Cocoa

12:45 - 1:15 RECESS

1:20 – 1:40 PM STATION ONE
1:45 – 2:05 PM STATION TWO
2:10 – 2:30 PM STATION THREE

Kids will begin stations at their own tables. When stations are complete, the 'bells' ring and students will move clockwise on table over to the next station. At least one adult will need to be at each station to conduct the activities.

2:30 PM GRAND FINALE: Mr. Wilford participates in Paper Icicles!

2:35 PM Students prepare to go to specials.

Station One: Soldiers' Night Before Christmas

Read Soldiers' Night Before Christmas by Trish Holland and Christine Ford.

Play Minute-to-Win-It game, Card Cliffhanger

Set up Christmas Cliffhanger by placing an open Christmas card on a table, close to the edge. Stand the card horizontally so it looks like a little tent. Then, stand at the opposite side of the table. The object of the game is to blow on the card to move it to the very edge of the table so that it is left hanging over the edge without falling off. No hands! You have one minute to accomplish your task.

Once all of the kids have completed the game, they can each take one card, write a holiday message to a Soldier, then put it into an envelope with their name in the return address.  We will mail these to deployed Soldiers.

MATERIALS: book, Christmas cards, pens/pencils

Our favorite Soldier reading Soldier's Night Before Christmas

Answering questions about being a Soldier

Card Cliffhanger

Card Cliffhanger

Card Cliffhanger

Card Cliffhanger

Station Two: The Great Reindeer Rebellion 

Read the book The Great Reindeer Rebellion by Lisa Trumbauer.  Have the kids make their own reindeer noses for the game by tying yarn to a pom pom.

Play Minute-to-Win-It game, Reindeer Nose Dive.

This is a fun game for all ages. Before the game starts, tie a large red pom-pom to a length of red ribbon. To get the player ready, he/she should don reindeer antlers (this is optional but really adds to the spirit of the game) and dangle the ribbon with the attached pom pom from his/her mouth. Put a little dab of petroleum jelly on his/her nose. When the timer starts, he/she must swing the pom pom to land and stick on his/her nose using only his/her mouth and body - no hands.

MATERIALS: book, 20 pom poms, 20 strings/yarn, Vaseline

Reading the Great Reindeer Rebellion

The Great Reindeer Rebellion

Reindeer Nose Dive

Reindeer Nosedive

Reindeer Nosedive

Reindeer Nosedive

Reindeer Nosedive

After the Reindeer Nose Dive

Station Three: Pirate's Night Before Christmas

Read the book A Pirate's Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates.

Take a Pirate IQ test then create your Pirate Name.
Play Minute-to-Win-It game, Walk the Holiday Plank

Prior to game start, contestant is in a standing position behind the tree ornament holding the gift box. When the clock starts, contestant may start fanning the tree ornament with the gift box. Contestant and gift box may not touch the tree ornament at any time or the game is over. Contestant must stop fanning when 60-second time limit expires. To complete the game, contestant must get the tree ornament in the designated end zone (“at the end of the plank”) within the 60-second time limit. The tree ornament must come to a complete stop without exiting the designated end zone ("the plank").

MATERIALS: book, pirate test, colored tape to mark off the 'plank' on the floor, at least 2 plastic ornaments (balls, should be the same), gift box lid

Reading the Pirate's Night Before Christmas

Listening to the Pirate's Night Before Christmas

Walking the Plank

Walking the Plank

Walking the Plank


Play Minute-to-Win-It game, Face the Cookie

When the clock starts, player may grab the first cookie and place it on the forehead. The cookie must remain in contact with the face (i.e. player may not toss the cookie from the forehead and catch it in the mouth). If a cookie falls, player may reset an intact cookie on the forehead for the next attempt. To complete the game, the player must get one cookie to his/her mouth within the 60-second time limit.

Joshua demonstrates Face the Cookie

Face the Cookie

Face the Cookie

Face the Cookie play-offs

Grand Finale: Mr. Wilford playing Paper Icicles!

Set up the streamer rolls at the player's feet with the player holding 1 end of 1 streamer roll in each hand. When the clock starts, player may begin unspooling the streamers. Player may not kick, throw, or grab the spool directly. If the spool breaks, the player may pick up the end of it and continue. To complete the game, both rolls of streamers must be unspooled and off the ground within the 60-second time limit.

Mr. Wilford plays Paper Icicles

 Extra Time options: 

Read a different version of "The Night Before Christmas" aloud to the class.

Yummy snacks for the kids

Loved joining Joshua for his Holiday Party!