Thursday, December 20, 2012

Veggie Christmas Tree

Today, we had a party with our homeschooling co-op, Home Scholars, which we called our "Happy Birthday, Jesus!" Party, in honor of Christ, the reason for this season!  We decided to make it a potluck, and I decided to make a "Veggie Christmas Tree," like the one I found at http://www.squidoo.com/veggie-christmas-tree.  Before I tell you how I did it, here is a picture of the finished product:
To start, I bought a cheap, plastic platter from Dollar Tree (for only $1) and a floral foam cone, seen here.
 Since I'd be putting food on the cone, I first wrapped it in saran wrap, then, using a glue gun, adhered it to the bottom of the platter to keep it stable.
 Here it is, ready for veggies and toothpicks!  (Did I mention you'll need LOTS of toothpicks?)
 To start, use broccoli for your tree's base, working from the bottom up.  (It seemed easier to put the toothpick on first, then the broccoli, versus pushing the toothpick through the broccoli then trying to stick it on the tree.)  
 Here's the base.  Now, work your way up.
 Keep adding your broccoli until your cone is full.
 Now, you can add "ornaments."  Using the same method, I added grape tomatoes and baby carrots for our ornaments.  (You could also add pearl onions, cuts of bell pepper, mushrooms, etc.)
 Finally, I added yellow bell pepper strips at an angle for "garland," and a yellow bell pepper star at the top.  Then, I placed cauliflower at the bottom of the platter for "snow."  
 Here is our food table at the party, with our veggie tree in the center!
 (I served ranch dip in the little Christmas tree bowl next to the veggie tree for dipping.)
 Here is Mags, at the party, decorating cross cookies with her best friend, Olivia.
 Our cake at the party!
 We lit the candle and sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus before we ate the cake!  Happy Birthday, Jesus!   

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Korea Day

Today, in our Home Scholars (our homeschooling co-op) meeting, we did another country study, this time, Korea.  These are fun meetings, as all the moms bring a dish native to that country and we have a big potluck, listen to native music, and learn together.  It's always a good time.

Here is our Korean spread!
We all put our projects on the table so everyone could see them before we started our presentations.
 Hannah brought some personal photos of her adventures in Korea to share!
For lunch, Hannah brought this delicious Korean chicken and broccoli dish!
 We made Korean cucumber salad!
 Kathryn brought Gaeran Jim, a steamed egg side dish.
 Jennifer brought this yummy fried rice.
We also brought authentic Korean Strawberry-Ginger Punch, complete with pine nuts sprinkled on top!
 YUM!
 Lunch!  :)
 After lunch, Hannah taught us a bit about Korea, and showed us where it is on the map.
We then read this great book together called Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park.  It's a great, fun read!
 We then shared our individual projects with the group.  Here, Olivia is showing us their map of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) that separates North Korea from South Korea.
 After all of our projects were shared, we got our passports stamped, complete with each child's name written in Korean!  :)  It was a fun day!
See you again soon!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Book Club Meeting

So today, in addition to the volcano stuff we did, we also had another Book Club meeting, our fourth!  Hannah hosted this time and the theme was all things Christmas, with a reading of this sweet book:

 Toot & Puddle: I'll Be Home for Christmas by Holly Hobbie.
Here is Hannah, presenting the book to the kids.
 She even had this sweet little decoration out to go with the book!  :)
After the book was read, we started on our craft, these cute snow globes, made from blue styrofoam plates, plastic wrap, white paper, black construction paper, crayons, markers, glue, scissors, and sequins.
 Ooooh, a plate of pretty snowflake sequins just begging to be tinkered with!  :)
 First, cut your white paper in a circle to fit the inside of a plate.  Draw a Winter scene onto the white circle using your crayons and/or markers.  Once your scene is complete, glue the white circle onto your plate, picture facing up.
 Next, place a small handful of sequins into your plate.
 Take a second plate, with the center cut out, and glue some plastic wrap to the inside rim so that when you turn the plate over, it looks like a window.
Using some glue, place that plate over your plate with your Winter scene and sequins.  Finally, cut your piece of black paper to resemble the base of a snowglobe and glue to the bottom of your plates.
 Here is Lucy's, with the picture of a sled in the snow!  :)
 Here is Maggie's, with a Christmas tree and her cat!  (Of course!)  :)
 Leah's, with a "Ninja-bread Man" (gingerbread man) and a unicorn!  :)
After our snowglobes were complete, Ms. Hannah served hot chocolate (Did you know that tomorrow is National Hot Chocolate Day?) with whipped cream, marshmallows, and candy canes!  Yum!
 Then, we got messy!  (Why not?)  We made edible Christmas trees using sugar cones, iced with green buttercream frosting, white cotton candy for "snow" (SO clever, Hannah!), and various candies for ornaments!  (The kids were VERY excited about this part, as I'm sure you could have guessed!)  :)
 First, we iced our cones.
 Then, Hannah had the brilliant idea of unraveling these little gummy spiral candies to use as garland on our trees!  I love it!
 After that, we added our "ornaments."
 Looks great, Luc!  :)
 Whoa!  Well, at least it tastes good!  :)
 Maggie's!
 Leah's!  
 "Can I eat it now, please?!"
 Liam!
The crew!
 When we were done snacking, all sugared up, and cleaned up, Hannah handed out these sweet little Toot & Puddle ornaments she made.
Maggie loved hers!
 She also had made us little reindeer out of candy canes and read us the legend of the candy cane, which she laminated to make bookmarks!
 Maggie was super pleased with both!  Thank you, Ms. Hannah, for all the goodies and a great Book Club meeting!  
Happy reading, everyone!