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Week 4 of Advent Printables!

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Week 4 of Advent Printables!

If you missed weeks one, two, or three, feel free to click on the links to catch up!

Our last week is a short one: only 3 days of coloring pages! On the last day, Christmas, I hope you all will join me in reading Luke 2 with our families to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
I also skipped the activities, music, and art altogether, because if you are like me, you are doing a TON of last minute gift wrapping, shopping, and/or other activities! Enjoy these last few coloring pages, and the blog will return to regular programming in the New Year. That being said, I do have another exciting project in the works for the future, but one I will take a LOT more care and time creating. Perhaps I will try my hand at an E-book or curriculum package. Time will tell.
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Without further ado: The coloring pages.

Day 22-Dec 22
Day 23-Dec 23
Day 24- Dec 24
Day 25- Dec 25 – Read Luke 2 aloud with your family, using your own nativity figurines as players on the stage! Get the kids involved, give everyone a character to act out as you read aloud (and hopefully they are able to recite with you!)

Before we all dive into the last few days of our Christmas prep, I want to end this series with this thought: Slow down a minute and think about Christ’s incarnation, and how this is an integral part of the gospel. How does this affect me today? My children? I know this horse has been beaten dead, but what are we doing as we celebrate Christmas? Every day I am reminded by what my children see as my priorities by what comes out of their mouths. “From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” I am giving an example to my children on what Christmas should be focused on. Enjoy this Holiday with your children for what it truly is.
Peace on Earth is a phrase so overused by everyone without much meaning, but it is  beginning to have a different meaning for me now. At some point it was an ambiguous thought. But it is not any more. Peace on Earth? How can that be possible this Christmas when it seems as if our world is changing its ideas of peace, love, joy, hope, and Jesus? Christ did not come to institute an earthly Kingdom *right now* he came to save that which was lost. This does not mean he is not King (He is!) or that he can’t have a material change on the world around us (He can!) But it does mean that the peace on earth begins with the gospel. Because without the gospel, we have no peace. The Holy Spirit brings about regeneration in men’s hearts, and changes men’s lives, and through this, we can see “Peace on earth, goodwill to men.”
Remember too, that God has the power to bring this about, and he did 2000 years ago, starting with one small baby in his Mother’s womb. I am encouraged by the account in Luke 1 of Mary’s submission to some very scary circumstances, that only got harder as she became older. I am amazed by God’s planning and working, even while Jesus was yet in the womb. I am blown away by how God prepared the way for Jesus, using John the Baptist, giving him the Holy Spirit while he was even yet in the womb (Luke 1:15.) God can and will accomplish all his Holy Will, and this Christmas, I am remembering how he did that very thing 2000 years ago, is doing it today, and will accomplish all his holy will tomorrow as well. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Take comfort in the beauty of the incarnation, Christ becoming sin for us, who knew no sin, and taking upon him our own sins. Peace comes when we recognize God’s Sovereignty, his plan, and  submit to it. From our own hearts, to training and preparing our children as well. Keep it up Dear Mama, God can accomplish all his holy will!

Merry Christmas!

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Advent Free Printables Week 3

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Hey all and welcome to week three! If you missed week 1 and week 2 of our Luke 2 Advent coloring pages, feel free to check them out!

This week was really my favorite to draw because this is where we get to the meat of the story, the angels telling the Shepherds, the Shepherds becoming the very first to not only see Jesus, but also to tell others about him. Their response isn’t just overwhelming personally, but something they can’t HELP sharing! Also, the response of those who hear the story. It doesn’t say whether they all immediately fall down and worship him, or acknowledge the truth of the story by passing it on, etc. This account simply states: “They wondered at what they had heard.” The hardest part of passing on what we know about God’s plan for mankind, and about a proper response to his Word, is knowing that we might only see wonder. Perhaps joyful wonder, maybe incredulous wonder, or perhaps, sneering wonder. We’ll see the wonder! But as Paul wrote: “I planted, Apollos watered, but GOD gave the increase!”

Remember, as we get into the thick of this season, dear Mama, and as we have chances a plenty to not only tell our little ones about this precious story of incarnation, and the Word becoming flesh, but to tell others too, remember that we can’t always see what happens once that wonder wears off. We can’t guarantee that our declaration of Christ’s gift will end the way we imagine, and that that soul will come to know Christ, but we can know that God will accomplish his plan.

Enjoy!
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Music Content: Hymn study- O Come O Come Emmanuel

Art Content:
This painting is by Cima da Conegliano (1459-1517)
Cima Painting
The Coloring Pages:
Day 15- Dec 15,  Luke 2:13

Day 16- Dec 16, Luke 2:14

Day 17- Dec 17, Luke 2:15

Day 18- Dec 18, Luke 2:16

Day 19- Dec 19, Luke 2:17

Day 20- Dec 20, Luke 2:18

Day 21- Dec 21, Review: Luke 2:13-18

Craft:
As we get closer, and our time is filled with parties, wrapping gifts, last minute shopping, and lots of other fun, I’ll trim down the crafts. I’m including one recipe, and one craft this week.

This week’s craft is fun, but involved. I was able to do it with my 2 yo, 4 yo, and 6 yo, but there was a lot of supervision and obedience required. Everyone had to be careful of hot items, and obey limits, rules, and boundaries.
That being said, it was a wonderful exercise in trust, patience, and obedience. And, it makes a great gift for anyone.


Sand Candles:
Materials:
(Easily found at Hobby Lobby, A.C. Moore, or Michael’s. I bought all these materials using a coupon for less than $15. We made enough candles to give to all on our Christmas List.)

Wicks
Wax Block
Scent Oil
Glitter
Seashells

Instructions:
 Fill a deep box full of sand. Using a cup, press into the sand to make cup shaped indentations. Make them as deep as you wish your candle to be.  Press the wick down into the bottom of the indentations. Into the sand of the indentation, press seashells, or sprinkle glitter etc. Pour hot wax into the indentation. (melt wax using a double boiler, or if you don’t have one, use the redneck version: a metal mixing bowl placed on top of a pot of boiling water.) Allow to cool until wax is hard. Pull candles out of sand, dust sand off, and Voila!

Recipe:

Edible Glitter Berries

I found the original on an Australian website, but the measurements were ahem… Australian, and so I adapted the recipe to my American tastes, and measurements.

1 Clam Shell of Strawberries
1 pack of white chocolate melts
1 container of green sugar sprinkles (the sparkly crystal kind.)

Melt white chocolate in mocrowave. Using short increments, stir in between until chocolate is fully melted. Place sprinkles in bowl for dipping.

Dip berries in chocolate. Dip berries/white chocolate in crystal sprinkles. Place on wax paper in fridge to cool and harden.  (Approx. 15 minutes.)

Advent Free Printables Week 2

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Advent Free Printables Week 2

This week may differ a bit from last. Last week was a LOT of Advent activities. This week will focus on just a few, all laid out here. And of course, the Free Printable Pages.  Enjoy! Did you miss week one? That’s ok! Check it out here.

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There is one activity that I KNOW is a lot of fun for this age! Making your very own salt dough ornaments. I stretched it out over DAYS, and it suited a week of “Christmas time” for me. By the time week 2 of Advent rolls around we have parties and meet ups and play dates galore! Something about this time of year lends itself to overwhelming activities. So when it comes to throwing yourself into Advent things to do, this week will be noticeably quieter than last. But the most important part: scripture memorization, is still front and center.

Music contentA beautiful cantata written by Bach. Complete with translations and a bit of backstory in the video description.

Art content: Norman Rockwell is one of my favorite artists, and he has a plethora of beautiful Christmas Artwork. The one linked here is adorable, but a warning, if you do a subsequent google search of Mr. Rockwell’s Christmas Art, be prepared for a lot of typical American Christmas fare, a lot of Santa Claus, Tree trimming, and gift giving. If this isn’t your scene, this one artwork in particular is pretty tame, but if it is, I highly recommend a good stretch at google with your wee ones snuggled in. Lots of laughs to be had, since Mr. Rockwell’s sense of humor shines in his art.

The Coloring Pages:

Day 8- Dec 8 Luke 2:7

Day 9- Dec 9 Luke 2:8

Day 10-Dec 10 Luke 2:9

Day 11- Dec 11 Luke 2:10

Day 12- Dec 12 Luke 2:11

Day 13- Dec 13 Luke 2:12

Day 14- Dec 14 Review: Luke 2:7-12

Now for the activity for this week: Salt Dough Ornaments. We tried these in our house, and it took us almost a full week to do them. We spent one day making the dough, rolling, cutting, and baking it.
The next day, we painted it. It took a lot longer to dry.

We finished out our “gift preparation” week with shopping at A.C. Moore for small wood crafts, and a few acrylic paints and glitter. Using a coupon, all told, it set us back less than $10 for the children to buy and make gifts for one another. Each day, a different child had “time alone with Mommy” painting her set of gifts for the other children. This took me the whole rest of the week. But the anticipation was palpable, and the fun of helping each child prepare, incomparable.

This year, our oldest, who is 7, will sew doll pillows for her sisters. The other two will buy the woodcrafts (with their own money) and use leftovers from last year’s paint and glitter. Hence why this is a “dry spell” for activities this week. I highly recommend a visit to your local Hobby Lobby or other such store.

Free Advent Printable Coloring Pages and Curriculum Ages, 3-7

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Free Advent Printable Coloring Pages and Curriculum Ages, 3-7

Every year my Mother would do this one Christmas Tradition with us. Her goal was to make Christmas about Christ. What was this tradition? A recitation of Luke 2 with the nativity as our centerpiece. Christmas morning would look like this: Breakfast, Dishes, Nativity/Luke 2, Gifts. Mom thought that to delay the gifts and focus on the story of Christ’s birth would quell selfish feelings of materialism. It did. To this day, I love Christmas, and my favorite part is reciting Luke 2 with my children. Growing up, we memorized it once, and then the tradition continued every year without much fuss or bother.
Luke 2 is a good passage to learn, if there is anything we ought to know about, it is the incarnation of Christ, his death, and resurrection. As memorizing scriptures go, this is a good place to start. There is a story, it is exciting, fun, and flows well.
From this basis, my Mother was able to have us memorize an extensive list of full passages as we grew.  To this day that foundation has left me with a decent knowledge of scripture. I thank her for that most precious gift, worth every moment of sitting in the living room, droning through word after word while watching my brother pick his nose recite along on the couch across from me. Ah, the exciting homeschool life…

We never did Advent though, my Mother grew up Catholic, and she preferred to take a less liturgical route to Christmas. But I LOVE doing Advent! It is a perfectly built in countdown to Christmas that points us to Christ, and God’s plans for mankind. I am disappointed and not at all into the advent materials I’ve found online. I need something straightforward, and simple. Also, lots of variety. I need to be flexible. To pick and choose.
The goal of this Advent pack is to memorize and recite Luke 2, ending on a full recitation Christmas morning. To help us remember, we do this with a Bible in hand (Mama holds it, and reads from it) and everyone gets a nativity character piece, to act out the story. We do follow my Mom’s tradition and do this prior to the gifts. I agree with her that gifts ought to play the second fiddle, and we often segue by reminding the girls that Jesus is the best gift, and that we give gifts on Christmas to remember that. Our gifts are nothing eternal. His is eternal.

Each week will have an artwork of the week, and music list. These are classic items meant to expose children to a classical education from a christian perspective. They are posted with the intention of Parents studying, interpreting, and translating the information to their child’s age and interests.
Each day there are a variety of activities to go with the coloring pages. Music links, art activities, cooking activities. The goal is to integrate culture, reading, math, art, Bible, memorization, service, etc. into the curriculum set that goes with each week’s worth of printables. You can take what you want, and leave the rest, don’t think you have to do it all! You know your child, and what will most impact them.

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Week 1
Music list:
Handel’s Messiah. (full)
This is a good chunk of music. I usually either break it up, a little a day, or play it in the background daily.
Here is some background info for us Mamas to disseminate:
Smithsonian history of Messiah article. (Long read, a LOT of sorting and sifting, but a few gems in there, Like how a contemporary Pastor responded to the premiere of the work.)
Messiah Lyrics (with scripture references) (easy to break into daily pieces)
Art List:
Georges de La Tour- Adoration of the Shepherds, c. 1644

Daily Coloring Pages/Scripture Memory Verses and Easy Craft Ideas/Service Projects:
Day 1-Dec 1st
Coloring page Luke 2:1
Decoration Idea-craft

Day 2– Dec 2nd
Coloring page Luke 2:2
Homemade gift idea
Chocolate Hazlenut Meringue Kisses recipe

Day 3– Dec 3rd
Coloring page Luke 2:3
Easy wreath craft
Service Project: Visit a sick neighbor, or elderly friend. Bring a card, maybe a few of your meringue cookies from yesterday, and a smile!

Day 4– Dec 4th
Coloring page Luke 2:4
Window Snowflakes play
Pumpkin GingerBread recipe

Day 5– Dec 5th
Coloring page Luke 2:5
Christmas Card craft idea
Service Project: Send cheerful letters to sick children. This is a great way to share the gospel, and cheer up a child!

Day 6– Dec 6th
Coloring page Luke 2:6
Gift idea: home made snowglobes

Day 7– Dec 7th
Coloring page Luke 2:1-6 review
Handmade Nativity craft
Service Project: Collect and donate to a food pantry. Find one in your area here.

Enjoy! Looking forward to posting the next week’s worth of Printables and activities. If there is anything I missed, something you particularly liked, or would like to see, feel free to contact me with ideas, thoughts, opinions, etc.

 

Reformation Day! (Free Printable Coloring Book: Ages 2-5)

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Reformation Day! (Free Printable Coloring Book: Ages 2-5)

As Halloween sneaks up on us, my blogosphere and facebook are erupting with different takes on how families are choosing to meet this Holiday. Some are abstaining entirely. Some are “taking it back” and some are saying: “It is just harmless fun, we just skip the scary costumes.”
Here is a peek into our home; we don’t really celebrate Halloween, we are in a culture saturated by it, and so our children are exposed to it, but not intentionally. My personal take on Halloween is that it is a holiday that glorifies death, sin, and gore, and no matter of cute costumes can take that away. I’m not a fan of it, and our children do not trick or treat.
When it comes down to it, my 7 year old stated our thinking well:
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV)
I LOVE that her response to things that scared her, and gave her pause was to quote scripture. I know that we will be looking into the context of that verse, because as great as that little soundbyte is, the verses surrounding it are rich with wisdom and truth as well.
We choose to respond to our culture’s celebration of death and sin with love and self control. I don’t think it is about one or more things we do to abstain from Halloween, so much as it is how we react to it internally. Do we respond with the power of truth, with Christ’s love, and do we use self control?  Halloween is a time where we have an ability to share the gospel more often, and to be a witness with each person who asks the children:
“What will you wear for trick or treat?”
The way we often are able to do that is usually more than a bit amusing as well. I have to admit that watching my children learn to speak of their faith is a sweet experience that has all the more ability to catch folks off guard by the earnestness and sincerity of how they speak.
Take the dentist’s office on Monday:
Hygienist: So, what are you wearing for your costume for Halloween?
Emma: Oh I don’t wear a costume for Halloween. I get to be a Princess every DAY!
Hygienist: (confused) Oh, you don’t celebrate Halloween? I’m sorry…
Emma: No, we don’t celebrate Halloween, we celebrate REFORMATION DAY! And we have a FEAST! And we talk about Marfin Lufer. *giggles*

This usually leads into a discussion from all of the children on who “Marfin Lufer” is and why the Reformation was important, with the adult looking on curiously. If the opportunity arises, it can become a really interesting way to spread the gospel. If the person is a christian, it can become a thought provoking discussion. This is one of those cases where we are “ready with an answer” and we let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

So, however you choose to celebrate this controversial holiday, this post will serve to introduce you (or your littles, more accurately!) to another Holiday, one that is entirely overshadowed by Halloween.

Reformation Day!
A bunch of ladies on facebook were having a discussion one day, and we all lamented the lack of material for littles (2-5 years old) to educate them on Reformation Day. So, being the DIY homeschooler that I am, I got to work making material!
But, being the impetuous impulsive seat of the pants woman that I am, I gave myself only a few days to do it, in between diaper changes, nursing sessions, meal prep and clean up, and a really awful cut from the food processor. (it fought back, and I lost.) Making this group of coloring pages and the corresponding read aloud text for Mamas was a fun experience for me.  I didn’t get to make as many pages as I would have liked. Nor did I have the option to make it quite in the form I’d hoped. I am hoping it can still be useful!
Without further ado:
The FREE Printable History of Martin Luther and Reformation Day Coloring Pages for 2-5 year olds!
(Don’t mind the unwieldy title…)
MARFINLUFERClick to Download and Print (in chronological order):
Martin Luther Learns Page 1
Martin Luther And His Horse Page 2
Martin Luther Becomes a Monk Page 3
Martin studies the Bible Page 4  
God’s Plan Page 5
Man counting money Page 6
Nailing ThesesPage 7
To the Glory of God The End Page 8

Feel free to let me know if this content was useful for you!

Happy Reformation Day!