Ideas, ideas, ideas! I love good ideas. I can't implement them all, but I love to hear about them! We have actually come upon some good ones over the last few yrs. And I am still looking for more. Let's re-cap some really great ones. Let's see, there's the Christmas morning scavenger hunt to find the presents, and recently, we are trying to refine the new idea of a simple gift given to the kids,( or a special baking project, or even a service to someone) on each of the 12 days of Christmas. And on each day..we speak of the supposed christian "sybolism" that day represents. This yr. I want to find gifts that actually correspond to each day's part of the song,( last yr. I found a partridge in a pear tree ornament). I also want to do more "for others" projects in place of some of the gift giving. Our extended families are gearing towards not exchanging gifts but instead everyone giving money to charities on Christmas. Lots of people are doing that. I have also really given thought to not putting up the tree, since it isn't really anything to do with the celebration of Christ but just a lot of work and noone but me does it. It doesn't seem important to anyone, so one day, it may not appear. I will just pack up the ornaments and leave them in the attic to give to the kids when they leave home. What I do like, is the collection of nativity scenes and nativity calendars that we have and I hope to keep adding to that.
Besides Christmas ideas, we have started a memory book. One person writes a memory, then hides the book under someone else's pillow. After that person discovers the book, and reads it, they add their own memory and it keeps going from person to person. It's cute,( but the kids don't add too it much).
Also, I now have "mailboxes" for the kids in the schoolroom. I try to write some encouragement or compliment to each kid every week or so, and then write on the dry erase board..." you've got mail". I think that's neat for them and it helps me to really think out my words to them.
The other day, Francis was talking about drawing a picture on paper and being able to print a message on top of the picture, and that gave me a great idea. It's not original, because somewhere in the past I've heard of it... homemade stationary,( for the grandma that likes to write). So I told him that he can draw 2-3 designs on paper with a light colored pencils or even stamped images, and then we can make several copies of each, fold them nicely, and wrap them in a silk ribbon. What a great gift!
Family Fun Magazine has been a great source of ideas. I've wanted to do a million of them, but my kids are older now and don't want to do as much of the crafty stuff anymore. Still, this yr. we carved watermelon instead of pumpkins, and that idea was from the magazine. That was cool. And speaking of pumpkins, that reminds me of the harvest time. I looove Thanksgiving..it is my fav. holiday. However, Halloween is also in the time frame and I hate Halloween. It's such an evil day, both in it's origins and it's present day practices. I have tried to re-name it with the rest of the christian world as Hallelujah Night, but it just doesn't feel right still. I know the idea is to evangelize on that night, but mostly church people come to play and let their kids have fun. One yr. I felt God leading me to write a letter about Halloween and why we don't celebrate it and pass it out to my neighborhood,(this was in PR). This yr. my idea is to buy some Chick Publications tracts,( they are in the form of comics) and begin laying them around in stores way before the actual night of the 31st. My kids will of course want to go to church to have fun with their friends but I need more ideas on how to witness and be involved in educating people about this demonic night.
Hmm, that was kind of deep there. Let's move on. This summer, we all got way too lazy. So I made a booklet of poster board where each page has a theme,( diet, exercise, chores etc.) and pockets with strips of paper,(tickets). The pockets are at the bottom of the pages and at the top, there is an envelope glued on. Each time the kids finish another task or eat another serving of a food group, they move the corresponding ticket to the envelope. This has worked very well, and I don't have to do much checking or nagging to make sure everything is done.
Whew, well, I guess I need to finish this up, for it's extremely long already. However, I am sure that I forgot to mention something...so maybe an Ideas II will appear one day.