Collage Friday–Christmas 2012

Christmas card2 2012


Well, I’m back from “vacation” and ready to start my regular work again:  homeschooling and blogging.   The other work didn’t take a rest.  :)

We had a wonderful Christmas this year–thankfully everyone was well from the flu and colds by the 21st.

The kids enjoyed some great presents.  Several received roller blades (which they even use in the winter by roller blading in the garage!).

One son received an iPod, which will double as a birthday present.  And I got a new camera!  Hopefully that means you will see an improvement in the pictures here in 2013.  We got Photoshop Elements also, so I need to get to work on learning how to use it.

Enjoy a few collages in the meantime.

Opening Presents:

PicMonkey Christmas presents


Annual Sleigh Ride with My Husband’s Side of the Family:


PicMonkey Collage- Sleigh Ride


Oldest Son Playing Violin for the Christmas Eve Service:

PicMonkey Collage Violin at Church




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Our Week: Gingerbread Cookies, Jokes, and HooRags

What God is Teaching Us:

Philippians 4:8 says “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

I’ve been trying to help my children know that we have a choice of what we fill our minds with.  God wants us the think about things that are true, noble, and good.  That leaves out quite a lot of movies, games, etc.

I just finished listening to S. M. Davis’ presentation of “What to Expect From a 12-Year-Old.”  I have a new 12-year-old as of last Sunday, and have some good ideas of where to lead him.  I’ll share more details in a future post.

What I’m Reading:

The Lily Series books Lily Robbins, M.D. and The Body Book (review coming in a week or two) by Nancy Rue for tween girls to help them prepare for issues during puberty.

Tabitha’s Travels: A Family Story for Advent by Arnold Ytreeride as our advent daily reading.

Exercise Update:

I’m sad to say I have only exercised 10 minutes this week.  Oh, so bad!  I’ve got to get back to it.  I finally got the T-Tapp Total Workout and need to start learning it!

In Our Homeschool:

At our public speaking class this week the kids presented jokes.  I’ll share them all in a post next week, but here were a few off my favorites.

Did you hear the one about the man who lost his left leg and arm?  He’s alright now.

Why is the Christmas alphabet different than the regular alphabet?  There is Noel.

Why did the orange stop in the middle of he road?  It ran out of juice.

What did the porcupines say after they kissed?  Ouch!

Why didn’t they play cards on the ark?  Noah sat on the deck all day.

And. . .

The kids made gingerbread cookies this week!


Did you see my HooRag post?



Baby News:

She’s now rocking back and forth on her hands and knees!  If she crawls by Sunday she’ll beat my oldest son’s record of crawling one day shy of 6 months old!  Everyone is rooting for her–except my oldest son!  I am, too!  It’s harder when they crawl, but I’ve been enjoying this baby so much.  I know each stage is very short-lived, so I’m really trying to savor each moment.  She turns 6 months old next week, and will be starting solids.  Time sure flies.

Extracurricular News:

Upward basketball practice started this week.

My oldest son did not make the musical he auditioned for, but is already trying to think of a song for the next audition.  :)


Some good deals for Christmas:

20 Free Personalized Gift Tags (Just pay shipping rate of $2.25)
USE Code: FREETAGS     This offer is only available to new Ink Garden customers.

50 Holiday Cards for $15, Including Shipping & Processing!

6 Free Gifts From Vistaprint:

Shipping Starting Price:   Holiday Cards: starts at $5.23, Desk/Wall Photo Calendar: $5.23, Mug: $5.78, T-Shirts: $5.99, Business Cards: $5.99, Tote Bag: $5.26, Sticky Note: $4.77, Stamp: $5.99


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Linked to Homegrown LearnersHoly Spirit-Led HomeschoolingWeird Unsocialized Homeschoolershttp://christianmommyblogger.comfriday favorite things | finding joyBeholding Glory
 at The Homeschool Mother’s JournalCourtship ConnectionSam's Noggin

Holiday Special Gifts from Vistaprint


This holiday season, Vistaprint is your destination for inspired gifts for everyone on your list. Start by spreading cheer to family, friends and coworkers with customizable holiday cards to celebrate the season—and get them free! For a limited time, we’re giving our customers six free, customizable gifts that are sure to be the perfect stocking stuffers and holiday hits.

Choose from holiday cards, photo calendars, mugs, t-shirts, business cards, and tote bags, sticky notes, and small stamps all for free—just pay for shipping and processing! And as a bonus, you can also get sticky notes and small stamps for free! Watch with joy as Dad unwraps 250 specially-designed business cards for his new business endeavor. Reminisce over your favorite memories as you page through a 2013 wall calendar featuring all of your beloved photos from 2012. And most importantly, you can be proud that you put a thoughtful, personal touch on every gift under your tree.

This year, skip the same-old stocking stuffers and create something they’ll truly cherish. And pay, well, next to nothing.

Shipping Starting Price:
· Holiday Cards: starts at $5.23
· Desk/Wall Photo Calendar: $5.23
· Mug: $5.78
· T-Shirts: $5.99
· Business Cards: $5.99
· Tote Bag: $5.26
· Sticky Note: $4.77
· Stamp: $5.99



Watch your children’s eyes widen with excitement after seeing their name on their own red plush Vistaprint stocking hanging from your mantel. After all, children and adults alike are sure to love having this memorable holiday keepsake every holiday season. Christmas stockings are easy to customize, fun to show off, and always add the perfect personal element to gift giving.

Simply choose a name and font to begin creating a holiday gift that you’ll enjoy for years to come – and that’s as unique as you.

And for only $7.99 plus FREE shipping, now you can shop once and deliver cheer to everyone on your holiday list. Just one of the many reasons to shop at Vistaprint this season.


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Busy Bag Swap- Part 3

I’m sharing a few more of our fun busy bag activities today.

See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

ABC Match-Up:  Put alphabet stickers on templates.


Road Trip Bingo and Scavenger Hunt:

Find instructions and templates here.

Meant to be done in the car (where we have them now!), but he was “pretending” in these pictures!




Popsicle Activity Game:  Match up the color printed and drawn on the popsicle stick.

Instructions here.




Category Maze:   Use magnetic pom poms on a cookie sheet to draw the paths.  The cards include finding pictures for things such as fruits and vehicles.




Ideas found Origami Fun and Family Fun.

One for my 10-year-old to work on!


Sandpaper Yarn Art:

Instructions here.



Here are some great Father’s Day gift ideas!

Forget the neck ties and tools this Father’s Day and personalize all your gifts this year. You’ll find six custom products for under $5 at Vistaprint – all are customizable and sure to bring a smile to dad’s face.
Does he have a favorite coffee mug? He will now! Upload your favorite photos of your husband and children onto a mug for just $2.99. Mouse pads make a great desk accessory for those long days at work – find fun designs for $3.99.
Create a memory book for dad with photos from years past for $4. Plus, all the photos you upload will be saved in your Vistaprint account. Use them to create a personalized $5 T-shirt and desk calendar at $2.99.
Add an engraved to the mix for just $4 and you will have the ultimate desk-kit to give to dad! All these reminders will keep him company at work day after day.

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Get a Customized T-Shirt for $2!


$2 T-Shirt! Choose from thousands of designs and customize with your own text. Help your child show spirit by customizing a t-shirt with his graduation year or create one for yourself to wear to her soccer games to while cheering her on! Available in sizes S-XXL and in ladies sizes!

Shipping starts at only $4.41


(Contains affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting I Choose Joy!)

Christmas presents

Some more pictures from Christmas!


















Here’s a cute idea when the kids need something to do:  On day one of “Snow Days” Vistaprint features Magnets! Order one with lots of blank space for drawing. When you need an activity, stick it to the fridge and let your kids draw their own artwork with dry erase markers!  Kids can draw their own colorful artwork for display in your kitchen. Today they are 50% Off, with FREE Shipping! That’s $4.99 for a small magnet (11.25” x 8.5”) or $9.99 for a large one (17.3” x 11.25”), including free shipping!  *I just ordered one of these, blank with a cute border, to write our weekly meals on and post on the fridge!

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Free Valentine’s Day Mousepad

Here’s a cute Valentine’s Day gift idea–a mousepad.  It’s free (s/h starts at $4.41).

See the deal at Vistaprint.

(Contains affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting I Choose Joy!)