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Christmas

Teacher Christmas Treasure Tree

Well I am here on my Christmas (I still call it Christmas) break putting away all of my unit materials that I used for December in my little teacher shed……

So happy and blessed to say that I survived December with my kinder cubs!!

Yes!!

It was a tremendously busy time with them, but a fun time and a time I won’t soon forget.

If any first year or veteran teachers for that matter saw my plans for December they would have thought I was absolutely CRAZY!!

Which I am in some ways

BUT…..

It is a good CRAZY….if there is any such thing as being GOOD CRAZY!!….maybe I should say CRAZY GOOD…anyway….

I just LOVE all the units that can be taught in December so I practically teach all of them and then I’m “slap wore out” (another phrase for tired) by the time the last day of school for December gets here.

BUT…..

it is a happy tired!

Even though I was tired, I was still able to smile on the day before we checked out for the holidays!

This pic was taken of my cute little kinder elves on the day we had our Polar Express Palooza!!

The Polar Express Palooza was our party.

I don’t know if anyone else ever does this, but I take a class photo and I use my local Walgreens to create a Christmas card to send to my kinder families! Do any of you do that? This year I had to take 2 photos, due to kids being absent.

It is really soooo inexpensive!! I ordered a box of 20 cards for $11.00 (that was with a 30% discount). Adding the postage to it was about $20, When the families receive them in the mail, I always get positive responses back from them. I love doing this because I believe it builds that rapport that I always feel is important with my families!!

This year’s card turned out so cute!!

Another special thing that I do in December is put up my Teacher Treasure tree.It is a little table top tree that is filled with teacher ornaments that I’ve received throughout my teaching career.

I didn’t take ANY pictures of this special tree when it was in my classroom, so I put it up in my house and took a pic of it. I am getting to a point where it is almost too small to hold all of the ornaments! I try to remember to write the child’s name and the year on the back of each one so I don’t forget who gave it to me.

Here is the star on the top!! It makes me smile every time I read that quote!!

This year as I was putting the tree up in my classroom, I got this bright idea!!

Why not take a picture of each student, make the pictures into little paper ornaments and put those on my Teacher Treasure tree!!

I would also explain to the students that the reason their picture is on my Treasure Tree is because I consider each and everyone of them a TREASURE to me.

Then, on the last day before our holiday break, I would give the ornaments to the parents.

So, I would take a picture of each student, create each picture into an ornament and put a cheesy but cute little poem on the back.

Then…….

I got too busy to finish them up and to get them on the tree!! (insert sad face here)

I’m just going to send them home when we get back to school in January.

Next year, I’ll be READY!!

If you would like to have a freebie of the template and the poem, then just click

HERE !!

 Next year, I’ll be sure to blog a picture of what my Teacher Treasure Tree looks like in my classroom with the Teacher Treasure ornaments hung on it as well.

In the meantime, I’m going to get busy and finish the ornaments I have now and get them sent to my parents.

Blogging about it has given me the motivation. That is another good reason to blog!!

Wishing you peace, love and joy this Christmas season!!

Making New Christmas Memories

IMG_5397Today, being Christmas Eve Eve :), I just have to share my heart. It’s a bittersweet day for me, because my precious granddaughter of 10 years has arrived in Virginia with her mom and stepdad and sister for a visit with his family. They left last night around midnight from a rainy night in Georgia to travel to a cold morning in Virginia. They will be gone only for a week, but it is one of the most important weeks in history!! Christmas!! Hello!? Don’t you know that I want my granddaughter with me during this important and eventful week!?!

Jaden has lived with us ever since she was born. Even though her mom married 2 years ago, she continues to live with us because well, she just wants to, and we don’t mind it. Her mom lives only a couple of miles away, so the living situation is all good. You see, for the past 10 years we have been blessed with a granddaughter who has spent every Christmas with us and now we are left alone with no presents  left under the tree, no toys hidden away upstairs ready for Santa Claus to put under the tree, and no little girl asking me, “Grandma,  when are we going to bake Christmas cookies?”

What I’m left with today are two little sheets of paper with artwork that she did for us before she left last night. By the way, when her mom came to get her last night, we all cried and cried. It was pretty heart wrenching and a time I’ll probably never forget. But Jaden did go willingly, and as long as she did that, we knew it was the right thing for her to do.

Ok….I know this sounds really sad and it is, but what I have to remember is now that my children are all grown up and they have new families that we have to share time with, it is time for me and Dan to make some new memories that may not be as traditional as what we are used to but are still sweet memories nevertheless. I guess you would call it a new season in our lives. Is it easy? Absolutely not!! Not for a person like me who loves to keep with traditions when it comes to Christmas. But in order for us to continue living the wonderful life God gave us, we need to do that….(by the way, my dear friend Donna had to help me realize this). 

So, here is what we did this year. It may not become a new tradition for us but we definitely had fun.

IMG_5358This is Dan and me at my stepmom’s house on Sunday afternoon. My half brother and his wife were in town and so we all got together with my brothers, half sister and and their families at my step mom’s house. We had a great time, eating wonderful food, watching football, and we all brought gifts to play “Dirty Santa”. I love the fact that even though my dad is deceased, my step mom and half sister try their best to keep us connected. This event definitely did that and it was a lot of fun!

Since my son is only a few miles away from my stepmom’s house, he invited us to come to his house to go ahead and exchange gifts with each other. So, my daughter and her family came too. We had crockpot vegetable soup which was made by my son and cornbread (made by Publix 🙂 ). It was yummy. Then we gathered around their living room and exchanged gifts. We like to go around and unwrap 1 gift at a time. Jaden had so many gifts, that we got her to unwrap 2-3 gifts at a time. She needed to unwrap her Santa gifts too! That’s why she had so many!!

I sat there the whole time just letting this memory soak into my heart so I could remember it forever. I knew that even though it wasn’t the “REAL” Christmas day, it was OUR Christmas day!

Now of course being me, there was definitely some mishaps. I left out a giftcard  from my son in law’s stocking (which by the way was a Publix Christmas reusable bag….I loved using these instead of bringing the stocking from my fireplace…that way, it was easier for my kids to just take the stocking goodies with them) and I shorted my son a giftcard….I’m all about keeping the gifts as even as possible. But, all in all it was a fun time and everyone was happy.

IMG_5360Here is a pic of my son and daughter in law’s Christmas tree. They pin their Christmas cards on it with clothespins. I love it!!

IMG_5362

Do you ever find a gift that you buy more than 1 of because you think other people would like it? Well I do. This year it was this adapter that you plug into any outlet and it has 6 multiple outlets with two USB outlets on the top. My son (on the right) and son in law (on the left) . They were really excited to get this little contraption!

IMG_5363Here is a pic of me with my two granddaughters and my sweet daughter, Whitney! By the way, the baby’s name is Virginia. They are precious ones in my life. I am also blessed with 1 terrific daughter in law!

Ok so that is how we made a new Christmas memory this year.

Yes, since we’ve already celebrated Christmas, it is very quiet in our house….Dan is actually working (he works from home by the way) on his computer and I have the TV turned off while I’m typing.

I’m missing Jaden terribly….

but she did call us this morning and she was fine and excited to be in Virginia and the family there had breakfast waiting for them…..

and I may bake cookies or not…..can’t decide yet……

….I still need to go and get my son a giftcard….by the way he and his wife are spending the night with us Christmas Eve before they see her family on Christmas morning….we have Christmas Eve dinner at my mom’s house.

….and now I’m looking at a Christmas tree that is sparkling and dripping with ornaments that have been bought throughout the years, and I’m reminiscing over all of the past Christmas memories and pondering these treasures in my heart. However, I’m also excited thinking about the new memories that are yet to come and all of this is making me feel

MIGHTY BLESSED!

God bless you and I hope you create some great Christmas memories, too!

Make a s”ELF”ie in class!

Slide3For about 2 weeks, I have had an idea to create elf patterns to use to make  s”ELF”ies of my students. As you can see from the above pic, I was able to get it done before I go back to work after my wonderful Thanksgiving break!!

After I had my husband create the elf patterns, I took a picture of my granddaughter. Once I downloaded the pic and printed it from the computer, I cut out her head (along with her hair) and her neck. Then, she colored the costume patterns and cut them out. Next we positioned her picture with the hat and shirt and glued the 3 pieces together. Then we glued that onto a sheet of paper with the word sELFie at the top that she also colored. Voila! There is my granddaughter’s sELFie!! If you click HERE

you will find my TpT s”ELF”ie resource. It also has some writing prompts, an emergent reader, and labels to create a picture graph. All of this with a fun elf theme! I can’t wait to get to class on Monday and start working on it in my classroom!! Enjoy your week!!