I've been trying to come up with a few more dramatic play "stations" for the kids. They offer so many great avenues for engaged learning and from what I understand from my Kindergarten teacher friends even Sask school systems are leaning more and more towards dramatic play and interest based learning in K.

On our agenda this week was to create a Gift Wrap Play station and a Mail and Post Office station.  Christmas is in less than a week and so both were relevant to life as we're finishing up the last of our wrapping and trying to START getting our Christmas cards mailed out! Oi.

I saw this great idea on Teach Preschool to wrap metal tins and cookie sheets and add magnets to bows. Genius! I just cut up a magnetic hockey schedule (sorry Bruins) and hot glued them to the bottom of the bows.

The kids could then decorate the packages with bows and deliver them.

I also cut up some index cards and wrote "To" and "From" on them. I explained that we label our gifts and what to and from meant. They decorated the tags with stickers and added them to their packages.

The boy one got lots of practice writing his name as he wrote his name in the "From" section on all of his gifts.

The girl one has just learned to write the first letter of her name - H! She excited signed all of hers with said H and 20 stickers. (She also had just had a bath and I didn't brush her hair).

A few boxes I wrapped a lid and box separately so they could add toys and odd items as gifts.

 Before they came to the table I had pre-cut a few pieces of wrapping paper and had a stock of boxes from the recycling reinforced and stacked on the table. They each then got to wrap their own presents.
I showed them a few of the basics and let them go at it. It was interesting that I had to teach that each piece of tape had to touch either both sides of the paper or the paper and the box.

 The boy one liked his presents pretty clean and simple. The girl one liked them heavily adorned.

We received piles of stickers from the ladies that work with the tall one at the Post Office.

Their stack of presents all wrapped.

I didn't really want to let them open their presents but what's the fun in that? So they started tearing into them.

It was cute. They exclaimed things like "Oh look, cake! Thank you."
and "I got tissue. Yay!"

The kids had a blast wrapping and giving gifts. Can't wait to play it some more.

Today I am one of the millions (I'm sure) parents whose hearts are breaking for the families who have been robbed of their precious children in these tragic acts of violence. We are holding our littles closer, not arguing when they ask to sleep in our bed and want extra cuddles. We are breathing them in and trying not to completely fall apart when we think of the overwhelming grief these other parents are facing right now. We are praying for comfort and peace and protection.

My Facebook feed has been justifiably filled with outpourings of thoughts and prayers for these families... and questions. My own mind has been filled with questions.

I believe in a loving God. An all powerful God. What the heck happened?

I prayed. I didn't even know what to pray most of the day. I said "Jesus" a lot.  What is going on Lord?

I heard him say, "There are two kingdoms in this world. This was not the work of mine."

In these days and hours I am sure that will be innumerable prayers uttered and cried. Many will find peace, comfort and assurance - and as people find that in the Lord there will also be accusations and anger directed at those who receive peace from God and at God for seemingly standing back and doing nothing to prevent this.

As I prayed I suddenly became angered with the thought, why does the enemy get off the hook for this? Why is there hardly any mention of the pure evil that is responsible for this tragedy?

There are two kingdoms in this world. There is no neutral zone, no Switzerland in this war. One rules with deception, hatred, bitterness, jealousy, hate and malice. Did the man responsible for this actively choose this kingdom? I don't know. But I'm guessing that he believed the lies the enemy fed him about himself. I'm guessing that things of this kingdom like hatred, malice and bitterness crept in and took root in his life.

The often scary part is that all day, every day we make choices to agree with one kingdom or another. Choosing not to choose a definite side doesn't leave us in some no man's land. There are two kingdoms, no neutral zone. When we choose to lash out at our spouse and refuse to forgive, we agree with the kingdom of darkness.

When we choose to extend grace to someone who doesn't deserve it in our eyes we agree with the kingdom of heaven. When we choose to give up our grievances and choose peace we agree with the kingdom of heaven.

Today I am praying for the Kingdom of Heaven to invade this earth.
Our Father
Who art in heaven
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven...

May this situation be invaded with peace, love, compassion, grace, healing, and forgiveness. Would every choice that is made to bring heaven to earth push out and silence the kingdom of darkness.

Would that the real enemy take the blame here and that we recognize it in ourselves.

*   *   *   *  *  *  *  *

I think this situation has shook a lot of people. I know it has me. We're all processing what has gone on, how do we respond, how do we stop this from happening in the future. I recognize that I am putting this out there publicly. I appreciate how with social media every person can have a voice. Please don't take this post as invitation to debate. I'm just expressing my heart and what I feel that Lord has brought up in the last hours.


by on 6:46 PM
Today I am one of the millions (I'm sure) parents whose hearts are breaking for the families who have been robbed of their precious chil...
It's that time of year again... time for our friends to get together, let our inhibitions go, get our creativity flowing and create our annual Christmas Music Videos at our Tunetastic party!

This year marks our 5th year and a return to our boys and girls separate videos. There's just something fun about the surprise of watching what the other group has created at the end.  If you want to read the details of our Tunetastic Tradition you can check it out here (and watch last year's video).

I'm very thankful to have such outgoing and fun friends. They're a hoot ;)

It's really interesting to go back over the previous years' videos and watch how our families and lives have changed. Back in 2008, 3 of the 4 kids there were under a year old. Now they are almost 5 with multiple siblings to boot and the young kidless ones of the group have added their own precious babes.

My kids already absolutely love to watch these videos (over and over and over and over) again and I'm excited for the collection that they'll have as they grow and for the day when we can hand them their own video camera and let them have at it. Good times.

Here are the links to youtube if you want to check them out!

Girls: Mistletoe by Justin Bieber

Boys: I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas - Gayle Peevey

Merry Christmas!

Tunetastic Legacy

by on 12:30 PM
It's that time of year again... time for our friends to get together, let our inhibitions go, get our creativity flowing and create our ...