Day 302: Misty of Chincoteague

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I just finished the book Misty of Chincoteague. I know it’s an ancient little kids’ book but there are so many people defined by stories like these.

The writing style was dated but sweet. I imagine if I read this when I was eight or ten years old I would have begun saving every penny to buy a pony.

Can I borrow someone’s little girl and read this story aloud to her?
Okay…that might have sounded weird.

This whoops on the back of the book had me confused for a while. It says Phantom has a male baby, when all through the book, Misty is a female.

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Day 246: Christmas Tree Procurement

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Getting the Christmas tree is a big deal to me.

As a little girl, I remember my father and I suiting up (my mother had me layered in clothing so I looked like Randy). Then heading out to our farm to hunt down the perfect Christmas tree. I would typically lose a layer of the heavy clothing on the long drive to the farm.

Once we arrived at the driveway leading up to the hippie property my parents owned, we would traditionally attempt driving up the snowy or icy, washed out, gravel road. Inevitably, we parked the car and we began our hike. I typically lost a layer in the car, because I knew that hiking up to the top of the highest ridge in the county would be toasty. Even in December.

Once we arrived at the farm property line the verbal tour through my dad’s memories would begin. Even though I have never spent the night on that farm I could tell you how most of my adult siblings spent their summers there.

The pond that was dug out. My siblings swam in this in the summer time and had to watch out for turtles or small fish. Grown over now.

The tiny farmhouse. The home of many games of the survivalist child “North Wind.” Wasps nests decorating the eves now, but all silence in December.

The large piles of rocks; set a good distance from the house where a mangy dog had been put to rest after wandering up and scaring the wits out of my siblings and mother.

The white pine forest on the backside of the property. I don’t know how my sisters and brother saw this part of the property but it may very well be my favorite part. The forest floor is so dense with pine needles that one cannot walk through it without feeling like a proficient Native American stalking his prey.

My father and I would wander around and around until he finally decided he had found a decent tree. It would, of course, be about four times the size of a tree that could fit in our house.
My father would bring hand saws and axes, which meant that this part of the day would take the most time.

Making sure the tree was short enough and then dragging it back down the knob is a haze in my memory. Perhaps by this time I was exhausted. I have a good habit of forgetting things I didn’t enjoy as much.

Chapped lips, cold noses and a mostly empty belly–excepting jerky and some water—We would begin our drive home.

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Today, Kit and I go for the easier route. Perhaps less adventurous but getting a live tree is the house is a marvelous goal.

Our tree comes from a store and is a variety not quite so prickly for decorating. The smell is sweet and is perfect to bury your nose in when you come home.
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This is part one of three of my posts of Christmas tree pictures. The rest will be shorter. 

Make a Story! Game Instructions

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In my Christmas Adventivities blog for kids I had a link to some printables and promised I would get instructions to the game soon. I’m sure there are similar games out there. In fact I have heard of this storytelling game in the form of dice blocks instead of cards.

Name: Make a Story!
Time: 5 minutes
Location: Anywhere not too noisy
Group size: 2 to 8
Equipment: Printed pictures prepped.

Preparation: Print off desired pictures and cut them out so each item is individually represented on a card. Shuffle and pile up cards facedown for game play. Giving the cards cardboard backing or laminating them will help to keep for many games.

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Introduction: Explain to players that they will able to make up a story. Whomever is ‘it’ is the storyteller for that round. The story can be about anything you want, but there is a catch, the storyteller must draw three cards from the pile. Those three items s/he draws must be somewhere in the story being told.

Play:
Pick a child to be the storyteller, draw three cards and tell a story. Once the story is finished, play continues with the next child picking three cards and telling a story.

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Tips and extensions:

Shy children may need coaxing or assistance in telling a story, while more outgoing children may need the leader to remind them they have a time limit. This could be as simple as saying, “what is the reindeer’s favorite food in this story?” Or “How will your story end?”

Show instead of tell. Younger children may need the leader/teacher to tell a story first so they understand how to play.

For the Christmas-time theme, I chose cards related to Christmas. This game could be played with any holiday or theme that compliments what your child is learning.

Instead of pictures they could be a list of spelling words your child has that week. Scraps of paper and a pen are easy to create a game while waiting on dinner to arrive.
This will also help children understand usage of their spelling words in addition to raw memorization.

This game would also compliment learning if the children were working on a writing section in school. Knowing the parts of a story would help in writing parts of a paper. After a story is told, ask the rest of the participants to find the beginning, middle and end

Take Aways from the game:
-Encourages creativity
-Enhances story telling and communication abilities
-Reinforces words/pictures
-Reinforces idea of taking turns

As always, please share suggestions or awesome anecdotes if you play with this game with your class or family!

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Once upon a time…..