Tuesday, December 22, 2009


What a wonderful Christmas season we had at Pre School. The snowstorm in early December threatened to slow us down but we got past that safely. Our main emphasis this month was the story of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem. Children can relate to the smells, sights and wonder of the stable where Jesus was born. The Heavenly Host of angels that appeared to the shepherds and the star that shone down on the stable are easy for them to imagine. What a blessing God chose such a familiar setting to introduce his love to mankind! After hearing the story our classes acted out the story for themselves and their friends.
Of course, on party day, Santa came to read us a story, "The Night Before Christmas," and give us a bell necklace and a hug (if we wanted one .) He said the bell was from the reindeers' harness and that made them special!
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
The Pre School Staff

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Wow! A whole month has flown by and I haven't had time to blog about what's going on at Pre School. I hope your month of November was a good one. One of the big events of the month was the Fall Program put on by the Blue, Purple, Red and Yellow classes. The children did a marvelous job singing and dancing! Thank you all for joining us and making our evening so special. I intended to take a few pictures to post for you but, one, you parents seemed to be taking a ton of pictures yourselves and, two, it takes a lot of concentration for me to run the music and the slideshow :)
Our second big event in November was the Thanksgiving Feast that we had a school. Each child made his or her own pizza for the lunch we ate together. The teachers added apple slices, milk and a Rice Krispie bar. The four year old classes came to the feast as pilgrim men and women and the three year olds came as turkeys, as you can see by the photos. (Although our pilgrims and turkeys look very serious in the pictures, we did have a good time eating together.)By the end of the day the teachers were busy making the transition to Christmas. There is never a dull moment at school.
Are you are needing a fun project to do with your children during the Christmas season? Making play dough together can be lots of fun. Using cookie cutters to make Christmas shapes and letting them dry for a few days (or putting them in a slow oven for an hour or two) can be the start of some cute ornaments. They can be painted, colored with markers or left plain. When making the dough you can add food coloring of choice, glitter or a fragrance such as peppermint or almond. Here is the recipe if this sounds like a project for your household.

Mix together: 3 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups salt
3 tablespoons powdered alum
Add 3 T. oil and food coloring, if desired, to 2 1/4 c. BOILING water. Pour water mixture over dry mixture and mix quickly. Use rubber gloves so you can knead the dough while hot; knead quickly and thoroughly. Store in a plastic baggie once the dough is cooled to room temperature.
Have fun!

Before I go, I want to encourage all of you to consider donating a "Birthday Bag" for the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf between now and December 12. Just fill a shopping bag with the fixings for a birthday party; napkins, plates, cups, small favors, a little candy, cake mix, frosting, candles, etc., whatever would make a child's party fun. On the outside of the bag write the age and sex that the party items would be most appropriate for, for example, "Four year old girl." Drop the bag off at school. We will see that it gets to Ralph Reeder Food Shelf. The bags will be distributed in the coming months to children who would not otherwise be able to have a birthday party. Thanks for your help with this project!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Our Halloween parties were a great success! The costumes you people put together were fantastic! Our costume parade took us upstairs to visit the church staff and they had treats for all of us. Some of you brought us treats also and for that we say, "Thanks!" It all added to the festivities. Each class carved a pumpkin during the party. Some were scary, some happy and some just plain cute. We hope you all had a great Halloween. Thought I would share some pictures of the kids!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall Fun

We have had a very busy fall at Pre School! Our fall program for the Blue, Purple, Yellow and Red classes is coming up on November 12 at 7:00 pm. We have been taking pictures of our activities which you will see at our program. Every day we practice our songs and dances so we will do our best!
The four year olds had a wonderful day at Aamodt's Apple Orchard. It was one of the few sunny days in October. The children enjoyed a ride out to the orchard to pick an apple, a tour through the apple barn and a trip through the hay maze. The bus ride was also lots of fun!
Once we were done learning about apples we had a visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog. You can see him in one of the pictures on this blog. We fingerpainted with red and made darling Clifford headbands!
Halloween is our main focus now! Spiders are the theme for the week. Stories, art work and games revolve around them. They might seem creepy at times but we are learning that they are really our friends! (They eat bugs!)
Have a safe Halloween!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Making Friends at School

     Courtney's wedding was beautiful!  She was tall and slender, dressed in white with  a gorgeous bouquet of summer flowers.  Her maid of honor and bridesmaids were all smiles as she came down the isle.  They, too, were looking their best and obviously were great friends of Courtney' s.  I didn't know all of the girls in the wedding party.  Actually, I only knew two, the maid of honor and one of the bridesmaids.  But the story of these three girls is very special to me.  The girls met in our three year old pre school class many years ago.  They didn't live very close to each other but they became good friends as the year went along.  Consequently, the moms got to know each other too.  Sometimes these relationships fall apart after pre school but that was not the case here.  The girls kept in touch and by middle school they were finally in the same building.  Their friendship blossomed once again and it has been going ever since!  Alas, there they were, together in Courtney's wedding!
     The summer is behind us and we are beginning a new school year.  We will be working on letters and number, how to stand in line quietly and how to share.  More importantly, we will be learning how to be good friends with the other children in our class and in our community. It is our hope that this year will be the start of some long lasting relationships for the children in this year's classes.  Friendship is one of the most valuable gifts God offers us.  We want to teach our students to share that gift of friendship.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ribbon Cuttomg

We have a new park to go to!  New Brighton Park and Recreation has installed new play equipment at Driftwood Park, the playground area we use on a regular basis at Pre School.    The "Ribbon Cutting Ceremony"  was on July 6th and our school was among the  guests invited to be a part of the ceremony!  We are grateful for the opportunity to use this wonderful facility!

Monday, May 18, 2009


School is almost over but before it ends we wanted to invite the New Brighton Fire Department to come to our school.  Fire safety is very important no matter what your age.  The firefighters emphasized  several rules which the children were to share with their families.  First, have a working smoke detector in your home.  Make it buzz so everyone recognizes the sound it makes.  Second, choose a meeting place outside your home where the whole family will meet if there is a fire.  Third, in a fire, crawl below the smoke to get out.  Fourth, always go to the firefighter if you need help getting out.  Never hide.  Fifth, if your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop and roll!
After we talked about the important rules, the firefighters showed us the special clothes they wear to fight a fire.  Their boots and their pants are hung up together so they can step into them quickly.  They wear a heavy coat that protects them from the flames.  It has lots of reflective tape on it so they can see each other in the smokey air.  Their helmet protects their head from falling objects and they can carry their own oxygen and oxygen mask to help them breath in a smokey fire.  They look a little scary in their gear but we know that they are our friends and they want to help us.
Their fire trucks are full of very special equipment to help in emergencies.  There are many hoses, ladders, axes, picks, oxygen tanks and lots of lights and sirens.  The firefighters invited us to climb into the truck and see where they sit when they ride to the fire.  
We are very lucky to have such great firefighter keeping us safe all year long!


Have a safe summer everyone.  See you in the fall!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Como Park Zoo

There's not much that is more exciting than a ride on a big orange school bus!  And that is exactly what the Green and Orange Classes got to ride on to get to the Como Park Zoo on Wednesday, May 6.  The children packed up their moms, dads, grandpas, grandmas and teachers and headed to the zoo to see what they could see.  Como offers everything from azaleas  to zebras and if the kids could keep the adults moving fast enough they had a chance of seeing something for every letter of the alphabet.  The rain forest had a sleepy sloth.  The monkey house had several babies.  The giraffes and zebras just had a bad smell (but they are so beautiful.)  Although the flamingos weren't out yet, the old tortoise was out in that area.  I'm pretty sure that is the same tortoise I remember as a kid.  I wonder how old he is?  
To keep everyone happy, each child got a snack bag with juice and a treat to eat.  This gave the adults a chance to rest while the children enjoyed their goodies.
The weather was perfect for our trip which helped make this a great day at the zoo! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Raptor Center

On Tuesday, May 5, the Blue, Purple, Red and Yellow Classes had the privilege of meeting Joanne Peterson, Cinnamon, Samantha and Jamaica from the U of M Raptor Center.  The Raptor Center is a hospital for raptors and the goal is to treat the birds that are brought into the center and release them when they are healthy again.  However, this isn't always possible for various reasons.  The raptors that are permanently kept at the center have become "teachers" of sorts when people like Joanne bring them to schools to teach children and adults about the special characteristics of the raptors.  In our program we first met Cinnamon the Paragon Falcon.  She is small but very fast!  Then we learned about owls.  Cash got dressed up like an owl so we could remember that owls have big eyes to see at night, very sensitive ears to hear their food, and large talons to catch their food.  Samantha the owl came out to meet us once we were knowledgeable about these things!  She was beautiful!  We even learned what an owl pellet is.  When the owl throws up a pellet (the indigestible food it eats) we can examine it and learn about what the owl is eating.  Finally, we met Jamaica, a gorgeous hawk.  Hawks are seen all around us, on light poles, in trees, on fences.  They are busy looking for mice, moles, baby animals, etc. for their dinners.  They have large talons and sharp, hooked beaks to help them catch and eat their food.
Joanne was a wonderful teacher who kept us interested and entertained for the entire program!  The public is welcome to visit the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus to learn more!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


In the month of May our pre schoolers will meet several of our local community helpers.  The first to visit us was Nancy Olin, the Salem parish nurse.  Nancy met many of you parents at our Parent Orientation meetings in the fall.  I continue to be amazed  by Nancy and her ability to work with every age group in our church.  Last week  we invited her to Pre School to talk to the children about hand washing.  As you probably know, young children often swish their hands under cold water, wipe them on their pants and figure they have washed their hands.  We're hoping for more then that if we want to keep our families healthy.  Nancy demonstrated how to wet your hands, lather the soap on all surfaces of your hands, including the fingernails (while singing "Happy Birthday"), rinsing them thoroughly, drying them and turning the water off with the towel, in case there are germs on the faucet (especially if you are not at home.)  We all had a chance to name circumstances  when we need to wash our hands.  Any good answer deserved applause!  Then we  "pretended to wash" as we sang "Happy Birthday" together.  Good hand washing habits can be fun!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


What is the real reason we celebrate Easter?  Is it the arrival of spring?  Spring is wonderful and in a year such as this, when it snows on April 1st (no joke) and the Red River is flooding the entire northeast corner of Minnesota, we certainly want to celebrate Spring!  But Jesus is the  reason we celebrate Easter!  God loves all of us so much that he was willing to sacrifice his son, Jesus, for our sins.  But that is not the end of the story.  On Easter Sunday God raised Jesus from the dead.  He conquered death.  Jesus' friends were so excited to see him as he walked among them for a short time.  Then God took Jesus to live with him in heaven where he is preparing a place for us  when we are done living our lives here on earth.   
What a wonderful story this is!  It is so full of hope for all of us.  To tell this  important  story we invited Salem's senior pastor, Rev. Mark Patti, to join us.  Pastor Mark is an extraordinary story teller who was able to tell the Easter Story to the children in a way that they could understand and in a style that kept them interested .   As the children met the participants in the story they heard about how angry some of the people in the crowd were, how scared some of the disciples were and how sad Mary  was.  Then Pastor Mark reminded us that the Easter Story shows us that God is more powerful then anything.  Whenever we are afraid or sad we can remember that God is able to help us because he is the most powerful!
Alleluia!  Have a blessed Easter!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


     Spring break is over.  We hope you had a fun week with your children?  We know some of you were able to travel a bit, whether it be to Grandma's and Grandpa's or a vacation destination, and some of you chose to relax at home.  Or maybe the "relaxing" starts this week when the kids are back at school.  We teachers do know that the children are glad to be back.  They are so chatty and excited tell us all about what they have been doing!  So, welcome back!
     Just before break, we had a special visitor,  Ed the  Builder, otherwise known as Ed Griffin, Mrs. Shelly's dad.  Ed brought lots of his tools, both hand and electric, to school so we could see how they worked.  He also told us how important it is to build things straight and level, showing us how we can check to be sure we are doing just that.  Before leaving Ed the Builder, each child got to squeeze the power drill and make it go.  Cool!!  Back in our rooms there were hammers, nails, blocks, and work benches to keep us busy.
We are thankful for Ed and all other volunteers who are willing to use their time teaching young children about their hobbies and jobs!