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    #31
    Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

    Originally posted by Nerdmom View Post
    Scouts is a long family tradition, so we're in it for the long haul (ie- til all the boys make Eagle). The Christmas before our boys cross over from cub scouts to boy scouts, we get a zipper binder and organize all the rank requirements, eagle required merit-badges requirements, and some elective merit badge requirements of our choice. They have clear protective pockets for important papers and blue cards (what they use to keep track of progress on each merit badge). I also collect letters to them from some of the older eagle scouts in the family.

    That year, they generally also get some "big gift" related to a merit badge we think they'll be interested in. Last year, my son got a bugle. This year, my crafty kid will get a woodcarving kit - the merit badge booklet, a decent case of woodcarving tools like this, and some wood pieces to carve).

    They're also getting the Basketry merit badge stuff (the booklet, and the materials to make the 3 required baskets), and Fly Fishing (a fly fishing rod and what not...). Other ideas might include Aviation (with a model airplane kit, ticket to an aviation museum, etc), Bird Study (binoculars, notebook for bird journal, bird field maps), Insect Study (insect board kit), Radio (ham radio set), etc.

    Most of the merit badges require some stuff. I just try to get the stuff together and make it look like fun. Voila, Christmas present They're going to need it anyway. If I can pawn it off as a Christmas present, AND they're excited about it, all the better!

    HTH!
    Thank you so much for posting this! We have our first Webelos 1 this year, so I'll be saving this for next Christmas!
    ~ Carrie
    Catholic mom to four - ages 10, 8, 5, and 3
    7th year homeschooling, 2nd year MP!
    2019-2020: 5M (LC year 2), 3M (LC year 2), and K enrichment!

    Comment


      #32
      Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

      Originally posted by 3Blessings View Post
      I didn't realize there was an AC adapter. That might be a cool stocking stuffer. I need to get some rechargeable batteries. I'm sure it would wind up making sense down the road, we don't have a ton of things that take batteries, but every little bit helps!
      YES! DS owns a few sets of Snap Circuits (two boards and one remote-controlled rover unit). We bought the AC adapter for the boards and it has been a lifesaver.

      DD likes those, as well, but she has moved a bit outside of the Snap Circuits realm. My parents got her the Elenco 130-in-1 Electronics Playground for her birthday - this is the same company that makes Snap Circuits. It is more advanced than the Snap Circuits but it comes with a very detailed book that gives both written instructions and circuit maps. She has had so much fun with it (and, admittedly, so have I).


      As for other gifts, my kids had trouble this year, too. They're getting older, they're not into the usual "stuff" and we all struggle to find ideas to help others purchase for us. Also, they already have a wonderful collection of games and books and good movies/series on DVD, so it's increasingly difficult to think of...stuff. Here's the rundown of what they have on their lists:

      Sleeping bags (the Bigs have outgrown their kid-size bags)
      Bikes (the Bigs have outgrown their kids-size bikes, which means little E has 2 bikes and a Big Wheel now - ha!)

      DS 11 wants Asterix comic books, Erector/Meccano building sets, Rocky & Bullwinkle DVDs, the Mr. Lemoncello's Library series in audiobook form and a Tinkering Labs wooden build-a-car kit.

      DD 14 wants more long, flowy nightgowns; a rolling sewing machine tote; books; and the entire LOTR series on audiobook.

      DD 7 wants the entire Calico Critters collection**. If it's Calico Critters, she wants it. Paddington audiobooks and a Mister Roger's t-shirt round out her list.


      Me? I want new landscaping, a new sectional couch, and I'd love to rip out all of the carpeting in this house and put in wood floors to match those in the dining room, kitchen and hallways. *dreamy sigh* What I'll actually get is more along the lines of socks and a Princess Bride t-shirt. My husband and kids forget that the Amazon account is in Mom's name and that she gets an email confirmation each time an order is placed. *cracks up laughing*


      I hope this is helpful.



      **I am NOT a fan of the "collect them all!" kinds of toys and trinkets. However, I must say I like the Calico Critters sets (especially when procured at bargain prices). The animals are actually fuzzy and cute - not cartoony or "cheap" looking. They wear beautiful dresses and suits and the little village stores/buildings are very detailed. E will sit in her room with an audiobook playing in the background and play for upwards of 2 or 3 hours with her little sets. It's really neat!
      Mary

      DD14 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek I & Latin IV + VideoText math
      DS12 - 7th core + Novare Earth Science + CLRC HS Latin I + VideoText math
      DD8 - SC level 2

      Comment


        #33
        Just following up...anyone get really cool stuff for Christmas? What was the most popular? We have one kid birthday coming up close on the heels of Christmas. Here’s how ours went - My 10yo got the Elenco Electronic Playground 130 that Mary mentioned, the 13yo rece a build your own AM/FM radio (not started because my husband hasn’t been into work to get the soldering iron), and the 5 yo got ticket to ride (regular version) and everyone loved it. The 10 and 13 yo got cobi sets from grandma - those were dug into first. The Uboat is done and the Turpitz is close. They are like Lego, but are historical models of tanks, airplanes, and ships. The unexpected thing was my husband ordered them (himself?) a raspberry pi. It is a little mini computer that they built this afternoon and my 13yo is learning to program a bit so that they can build some of the cool projects. My daughter got clothes for her American girl dolls.

        like Sarah there were supposed to be warm socks, but I can’t find where I put the bag. I just hope I find them before winter is over! Reasons not to buy things early....
        Dorinda

        For 2019-2020
        DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
        DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
        DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
        DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

        Comment


          #34
          Dorinda! How does H like the Electronic Playground?

          My kids got bikes this year and we've been outside riding around in the backyard since Christmas. Those were the hit this year.

          Other favorites this year that *may* be helpful for birthday ideas:

          **Forbidden Desert game (similar, kind of, to Catan, but much faster/easier for newbies to figure out)
          **"The Giver" quartet (appropriate for your 13- or 15-year-old)
          **Othello game
          **Tinkering Labs electric motors catalyst (ds11 got the car)
          **Erector set
          Mary

          DD14 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek I & Latin IV + VideoText math
          DS12 - 7th core + Novare Earth Science + CLRC HS Latin I + VideoText math
          DD8 - SC level 2

          Comment


            #35
            Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
            I'm in search of gift inspiration for kids who can't seem to think of much to put on Christmas lists this year. What gifts are you excited about giving this year? What gifts do you have that you still enjoy and think fondly of long term, even when they are cluttering up your house?

            I'll start--excited about a few quirky used instruments my husband found to add to our collection. They are surprises for the kids, which should be fun.

            Gifts we are so thankful for and enjoy constantly: magatiles, pin blocks (the 1st grader plays with them every day), wedgits, legos, good books...

            Feel free to share for any ages and stages, I know everyone likes to discuss this because it's also helpful for birthdays. ✔️ They are so annual.

            For me? The thing I really want most this year is a glass cake stand and dome. And, maybe a copy of Paradise Regained. Maybe my kids' list making failure is a direct result of being my children! 😂

            TIA for ideas!
            It's time to BUMP THIS THREAD! First Sunday of Advent. <3

            What I've already bought for my littles:
            Picasso Tiles --- magna tile style, bristle block style, and a super cool pipe building block set.
            Legos (and I'm planning on making a LEGO binder, with LEGO instructions downloaded from the site, or brick building challenges)
            Paints/brushes/canvases

            My focus is open ended play -- my littles love to build with LEGOs, then bring in Imaginext people/Playmobil people and play for hours. We also get a game or two. Catan is on its way to my house, and I've had a request for TWISTER from my boys!

            My big boys want new BB guns -- so they will likely get a target to go with that

            My teenage daughter --- is definitely the hardest. She got a HUGE gift last year (a saddle) and really doesn't want much this year.

            My adult daughter -- wants a vacuum. It's fun buying house things for her.


            What Momma wants:
            Electric Griddle with ceramic plates
            LL Bean toiletry kit

            Looking at Jessica's list above, I'm thinking that my glass cake stand met an untimely death last year. It might be time to replace it.



            Let's hear from everyone.

            Plans for 2019-20

            DD1 - 24 - College Grad and rocking her own bakery business
            DD2 - 13 - 8A Louisville HLS Cottage School and MPOA
            DS3 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
            DS4 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
            DD5 - 7 - MP2, Louisville HLS Cottage School
            DS6 - 5 - MP K

            [url]www.thekennedyadventures.com/all-about-our-memoria-press-homeschool[/url]

            Comment


              #36
              Originally posted by Mary View Post
              Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...



              Sleeping bags (the Bigs have outgrown their kid-size bags)

              All three of my kids ended up with new sleeping bags last year --- these were a great purchase!

              Another thing to mention that's been a HUGE hit at our house ----

              A hammock.

              Adam asked for one for his birthday last year (I think, or it might have been Christmas). He loved it so much, as did all the other kids, that my husband bought a second, bigger hammock.
              Plans for 2019-20

              DD1 - 24 - College Grad and rocking her own bakery business
              DD2 - 13 - 8A Louisville HLS Cottage School and MPOA
              DS3 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
              DS4 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
              DD5 - 7 - MP2, Louisville HLS Cottage School
              DS6 - 5 - MP K

              [url]www.thekennedyadventures.com/all-about-our-memoria-press-homeschool[/url]

              Comment


                #37
                Originally posted by Hahcook View Post
                Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                I’m thinking my crew will each get their own deck of cards, hopefully via Shutterfly-type service with a pic special to each child.
                Oh
                MY
                GOODNESS

                You just gave me an idea for my teenage daughter. Deck of cards with horses from the barn and show pictures.

                Plans for 2019-20

                DD1 - 24 - College Grad and rocking her own bakery business
                DD2 - 13 - 8A Louisville HLS Cottage School and MPOA
                DS3 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                DS4 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                DD5 - 7 - MP2, Louisville HLS Cottage School
                DS6 - 5 - MP K

                [url]www.thekennedyadventures.com/all-about-our-memoria-press-homeschool[/url]

                Comment


                  #38
                  Thank you for reviving this thread.
                  2019/2020 - 2nd MP Year
                  S - 5, K @ home and HLN
                  D - 3, rising through minor leagues quickly
                  S - 2, the master of disasters

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                    I know that some may find this to be the least interesting, least "fun" and a sad gift to give, but one thing comes to mind after experiences over the last few years.

                    One of the best gifts you can give to your most loved ones is taking the time and working on and finalizing your final wills and testaments, guardianship directives and advanced care directives. Boring and tedious and who wants to think about such things, right? Better for you to do it than for your loved ones to do so in the most traumatic time of their lives. Or worse yet not having anything in place and letting some unknown judge decide without any input from you.

                    Save your family thousands (upon thousands) of dollars and months of pain and difficult discussions and get it done yourself now while you can. Spare your children from court battles and being placed with the state, or with family who you would never have picked in the first case. Give yourself and your spouse peace of mind that these matters are settled and stored for when the time comes, for the time will come.
                    2019/2020 - 2nd MP Year
                    S - 5, K @ home and HLN
                    D - 3, rising through minor leagues quickly
                    S - 2, the master of disasters

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Beorn , very good reminder! We have gone through this process, working with a trusted attorney friend. Even though we have it done now, we waited far too long to do it. Praise be to God we have not needed it, but we have members of our MP community here who have experienced this trauma. We know it can and does happen. Good advice, to be sure.

                      DiannaKennedy, always a timely thread to revive! I have always benefited from the suggestions folks give - even if it takes several Christmas’s to use them!

                      We are getting some version of magnatiles this year (finally!) which I know is going to amuse my dh as much as the little ones. New baby stuff for the sixth girl who has not yet had a new baby doll of her very own.

                      Train stuff!!!!!! Our wooden track is 16 years old, but we are getting new accessories this year for the little guy. So exciting - even for the bigger kids who play with him!

                      Lots of books - I know, I know....more books??? But I found a neat series from DK that is all about how different subject areas work, as an overview. Business, money, politics, philosophy, technology, etc....a historical development of the topic plus how it functions today. Also a book on different careers and what people do in those careers. We have kids growing up and wondering what they want to do in their lives so I felt like adding some resources to help them know what’s out there was appropriate.

                      Stockings will be filled with card games - phase 10, skip-bo, and blink. We just got five crowns during thanksgiving, and we have been loving that! Also two think fun games - Clue Master and Circuit Maze.

                      I am finally replacing our old easel which did not come with us to this house because it was held together with duck tape. Older kids are getting earrings, art supplies, neat coloring books, etc. Teenage son is getting a broken down lawn mower engine. Has wanted one for years!!! My job is to find space in the garage for him to tinker with it!

                      And then they are each getting a fuzzy blanket! They all requested one - something about being cold at night here in the upper Midwest!

                      AMDG,
                      Sarah
                      Last edited by KF2000; 12-02-2019, 07:30 AM.
                      2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                      DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                      DS, 16
                      DD, 14
                      DD, 12
                      DD, 10
                      DD, 7.5
                      DD, 5.5
                      +DS+
                      DS, 18 months

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Late to the party - I've been hunting Amazon lightning deals.

                        Snap Circuits - yeah...some kids love them. We are adding onto our collection this year with the Snap Circuits Bric and the Lighting set. All of these keep showing up on lightning deals.
                        Year of learning programming: Sphero, R2, Some weird Dragon, Lego Boost, Makeblock. Again, all lightning deals.

                        Lego...Sheesh those are expensive. Ninjago dragons are really cool looking when assembled, and one will combine with the Lego Boost and you can program it to move. I track these pretty closely and the prices are actually 30% worse than they were 2 weeks ago - across the board.

                        Alternative to Lego this year? Cool clock. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

                        One thing that was a big hit last year? A drafting table. We got this for my oldest last year so he could have a huge space for his drawings. He has loved it. Now the other 2 want one and they went on sale. It's been an awesome find. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I'm upgrading oldest son's table from last year with a comfy drafting chair instead of just the stool that comes with it. He has really spent some time on artwork here and this is a cherished item. Why it's any different than a desk, I have no idea. Something about the shape of it, the height of it, something...it just makes him feel more creative? No idea. Maybe it's the name "Drafting Table". It just made him feel older - like I wasn't handing him a toy. If I had any sense, I would have used these for school desks

                        Handmade from Mama: Although I"m in the middle of a mad-dash move, I'm supposed to be making 3 dragon quilts. Actually, they are coming together quickly. If you do any sewing, even boys like this stuff hand made from Mama. https://myfavoritequiltstore.com/pro...SABEgJEzPD_BwE I've got to finish the red and start the 2 blue "water dragon" quilts. My kids are funny but they are so very serious about this. I have no idea how to get this done before Xmas and still get everything else done. Maybe I should give up sleeping?



                        Melissa

                        DS (MP3) - 9
                        DS (MP2) - 7/8
                        DS (K) - 6
                        DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

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