Wednesday, December 31, 2014



Thurs., Jan. 29 and Sat., Jan. 31

Current students and alumni may register on 
Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015
9:00 until 10:30 a.m. in the  church gym.  

New families may come to our
Saturday Jan. 31, 
 10:00 a.m. until noon.

Tuition for 2015-2016

4 yr. olds M.,W.,F. a.m.      $152/month

4 yr. olds M.,T.,Th. a.m.     $152/month

3-4 yr. olds T., Th. p.m.      $100/month

3 yr. olds T., Th. a.m.      $100/month

3 yr. olds W., F. a.m.      $100/month

10% discount for Salem members and families with 2 or more children registered.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


It seems Mother Nature has taken her cue from the retailers this year.  She started decorating for Christmas a little early.  It’s feeding into the Christmas frenzy we all feel this time of year.  There are so many traditions to fit into so little time. The season just wouldn’t be right without concerts and parties.  Lefse, peppakakar, Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes must be prepared.  The fall garland on the mantel must be replaced with Swedish tomtes and Christmas stockings.  The tree must go up and lights strung inside and outside the house.  Have I mentioned gift shopping yet?  I’m getting anxious just writing this list.
Perhaps your traditions are different then mine but traditions get us ready for Christmas in the same way getting our hats, boots and sweaters out of storage get us ready for winter.  They get us mentally prepared.  They help us find the excitement that we expect to feel when it’s Christmas.  The problem comes when we are too busy “preparing” to actually get there.  Then it’s over and all the friends and family go home and the decorations come down.  The post-Christmas blahs set in.
There is another side to Christmas.  It comes without wrappings or meatballs.  Finding Jesus in Christmas is what it’s all about.  Where is He?  He is there, in the manger.  He is easy to find.  Follow the star.  Look for the shepherds and the wise men.  They point the way to the stable where Jesus was born.  Jesus is God entering our world to be a part of our lives every day.  Believe in him!  We can find Him without any busy preparation on our part.  What’s even better, he doesn’t leave when we take the tree down.  He becomes our companion when we’re anxious or ecstatic, confident or confused.  That’s a gift that will fit everyone on your list, young and old! In Isaiah 41:10 we read,

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Christmas traditions are fun.  They celebrate Jesus’ birth.  They express our love for one-another.  They bring families together.  But, to keep Christmas in your heart year ‘round you need to go “Finding Jesus” this year!  Bring your whole family to the stable to worship!  It’s the only tradit

Saturday, October 25, 2014


The Thankful Challenge

Does the daily news get you down?  Ebola, ISIS, political infighting, and negative NFL  behavior can be discouraging.  “What is this world coming to?” you may ask.  We aren’t the first generation to ask this question.  We are, however, one of the first to be bombarded with the negative news all day long through social media as well as the traditional news media, TV, radio and newspapers.  This fall I discovered a helpful antidote to all the negativity.
At the beginning of September my daughter, Betsy, challenged me on Face Book to list three positive things each day for seven days.  It was a busy time of year with school starting but I couldn’t say no to my daughter, could I?  So I agreed.  At the end of the day I focused positive events.  Some days it was easy but not always.  The weather, grandchildren, dinner with friends and the fall garden were some of my positives.  I went to bed feeling more content then with my usual routine of watching the news, brushing my teeth, then crawling into bed.
On September 28, my cousin Wendy, challenged me in a similar way.  I was asked to list three things I was thankful for each day for one week.  I took the challenge hoping I would, again, feel like I had a more balanced perspective on life.  Being thankful went a bit deeper then just being positive.  I thought about the people who had impacted me over the years and those who are always there for me right now when I need a shoulder to lean on.  I thought of the people who make me smile because they know how to smile.  For example, my family friend, Doris.  We chatted at church one day and she mentioned how good she felt when visiting with her friends at her senior housing apartment that week.  She realized she was the youngest one in the group at 92.  They were all middle to upper 90s!  Now there’s something to smile about.  She chuckled about it as she revisited the experience.  
These two challenges have changed my attitude on life.  I hope I can keep refocusing on my blessings to balance the negatives we all hear repeatedly.  At first I waited until the end of the day, looking back to see if anything good had happened.  Then I began expecting good things if I looked for them.  It‘s like looking for the ways God is constantly working in our lives.  If we aren’t watching, we miss the miracles!  
This November I challenge each of you to list three things you are thankful for every day.  Write them down so you can revisit them.  It will help you find positive meaning in your life.  You  will see the little miracles God has in store for you!  Happy Thanksgiving!
At the end of October we are usually cleaning up the garden.  The potatoes, carrots and beets have been harvested.  The tomatoes are long gone.  The pumpkins have been picked and stored for Halloween.  We pull the vines and compost them.  This year has been so sunny and warm that our pumpkin vines came back to life sending out new vines, flowers and pumpkins. This past week we were talking about pumpkins and pumpkin patches.  Our book showed pictures of all the growing stages, the flower, small green pumpkin and large orange pumpkin.  After seeing the pictures I walked out in the Preschool Garden and picked a large yellow flower and a small green pumpkin.  I took them in and set them next to the large orange pumpkin.  There we had all three stages of pumpkin life right before our eyes ……. at the end of October!  It's another fall miracle.  Thank you, God, for your wonderful world!

Thursday, September 25, 2014



Bears do it.  Squirrels do it.  Bees do it.  People do it, too.  As the days get cooler and shorter we begin to store up for winter.  Perhaps this is something people in warmer climates don’t feel the need to do. In Minnesota we look at our productive fall gardens and know it is time to freeze corn on the cob, vine ripened tomatoes, carrots and beans.  We make applesauce, pickled beets, and refrigerator pickles out of our fall bounty.  We want to preserve the freshness of our summer veggies.  Vegetable gardens, farmers’ markets and CSA farms are busy places right now.  
This month our students will begin harvesting our carrots, potatoes, beets and the rest of our tomatoes.  Tasting their goodness is one of our goals.  Children will eat veggies if they can pick their own, and maybe add a little dip.  Harvesting food is another experience we want children to have.  Learning where our food comes from is an exciting experience.  I just visited with a friend who owns a garden center.  She invited her foster daughter’s boyfriend (from Chicago) to harvest carrots from their garden with them.  He looked at her and asked how one does that.  Do they grow on trees?  She thought he was teasing.  He was not.  The fact they grew in the ground was news to him, news he was excited to learn.  Hopefully, your children will come to know their vegetable sources early in life. Digging, cleaning, picking and eating our produce will teach them the value of growing good food.  We’ll bag up our extra veggies and send them off to the food shelf.  That will help us learn the value of serving others in our community.   So far our school has donated 53 pounds of produce to Ralph Reeder Food Shelf.  We hope to make it over 100 pounds this fall!
If you are looking for a good picture book about the miracle of growing a garden, read “Mortimer’s First Garden” by Karma Wilson.  Mortimer thanks God for the miracle of his sunflower harvest and prays for a friend to help eat his new seeds!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fourth of July!! Celebrate!


As soon as Father’s Day is over we begin to plan for the Fourth of July. 
 Our family gathers at our cabin in Wisconsin for an extended weekend of festivities that includes cooking, fireworks in Cumberland and the Pipe Lake Association’s boat parade.  Of those activities, the boat parade takes the most thought.   We have competed, occasionally, with various themes for our boat.  We won a trophy the year we decorated the pontoon in a Hawaiian theme with a grass hut, straw hats, bathing suits, grass skirts and hula music.  Five years ago we chose a more patriotic theme.  It was my dad’s 90th birthday year so our entire extended family came to stay at the cabin.  On parade day we flew many flags from our pontoon and my nephew’s daughter, 9 year old  Emily, dressed up as the Statue of Liberty.  She was draped in sheets, wore a pointy crown and carried a torch made of a foil covered plunger with tissue paper flames.  It is notable that Emily, now a teenager, still keeps the crown on her bedroom shelf.  (The plunger is back work in the bathroom.)  We didn’t win a prize that year but my Dad was so proud of the whole family for participating and being so patriotic!  Dad was of a generation that was proud of their country and dedicated to its well being.  The flag and all it represented was alway respected! 
This brings me to a second theme for the Fourth of July.  It is a time of reflection and thanksgiving as well as celebration.  We recently celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy, the turning point in World War ll.  We were reminded of the thousands of men and women who risked or gave their lives in a fight for our freedom.  It is one example of the many battles fought in that war and others to preserve our way of life.  Likewise, the founders of our country fought to establish the freedoms we enjoy today, freedom of speech, freedom of religion,  equal rights.  These were people of integrity and determination.  They gave up their homeland, sacrificed their lives and suffered many hardships as they started new lives in an unfamiliar, less civilized land.  I fear we overlook the difficult times in the past that have established and maintained the country that  we love and celebrate today.  Perhaps we should thank a vet this Fourth of July for his/her service or celebrate those who serve our country in other ways through schools, churches, courts of law, homeless shelters, outreach programs, and on and on.    God asks us to love one another as ourselves.  That’s what will make our country strong enough to celebrate many more birthdays.  Consider these words by Emma Lazarus now written on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, one of our symbols of American freedom.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Appreciate the past.  Plan for the future. Go out and celebrate!  Have a great Fourth of July!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summer Session News

Dear Parents,

We are excited to have your child/children in our first ever Summer Preschool Program!  Our class will be called “The Summer Explorers” and will meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 am until 11:30 am.  The first class will begin on June 10 and the last class will be held on July 17.  There will be no class on July 3.

Here are a few things you need to know to help us get off to a great start:

  1. The entrance to Preschool is at the far east end of the church building (you will see our sign and The Little Free Lending Library is a landmark to watch for.  Preschool classroom doors will be opened at 8:55 and children should be picked up outside the classroom at 11:30.
  1. Please send only one time  1 -  2 quart or larger bottle of 100% fruit juice and 1 -  
     box/bag of a snack that will serve 22 children.  Apple juice is always a hit and we
     suggest ritz or saltine type crackers, animal cookies, vanilla wafers, goldfish type 
     crackers or graham crackers.  Please let us know if your child has any food allergies.

  1. Please apply sunscreen to your child each time before they come to school.  We will be spending a lot of time outside.

  1. Children should be  dressed in appropriate clothing and shoes for garden work and     
     outside play. (Tennis shoes)

  1. Each day please have your child bring a backpack marked with their name to school.

  1. These are the themes we will be exploring each week:
      June 10th - Gardening
      June 17th - Camping
      June 24th - Bugs,Insects and Other Garden Critters
      July 1st - Celebrate the USA
      July 8th - Water, Water Everywhere
      July 15th - Summer Sports

  1. For questions:
     Preschool Phone - 651-633-0158
     Pam Carlson, Director, Home Phone - 651-439-3490
     Liz Forestell Home Phone - 651-482-8334   Email:
     Shelly Wehr Home Phone - 612-788-0177
     Pam Stavem Home Phone - 763-786-7750

We are looking forward to having an amazing time with your child this summer!

Monday, April 28, 2014



Let us help you get your kids outdoors this summer!  Salem Preschool is starting something new!  We are expanding our program, offering a six  week session held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, 9:00-11:30 a.m., from June 10 through July 17.  Our goal is to keep kids learning through the summer and get them outside having fun together.  God has created a wonderful world out there.  We want to introduce children to it!  Camping, gardening, science, sports and more will be part of our curriculum.  Children 3-4-5 year olds are welcome.  (Three year old must have turned 3 by 9-1-13.)  There is still room available.  To register, email Pam Carlson at .  The cost is $240 for the session.  There is a 5% discount for families with two or more children enrolled.

We are planning ahead for a great 2014-2015 school year beginning in September.  As our staff works on our curriculum we are watching our preschool garden grow.  Thanks to our SUMMER SESSION students who water and weed through the summer we will have veggies and flowers to share with the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf and Salem in summer and fall.  Come out in the backyard or look out the lounge windows to see how the garden is coming along.  
In addition to the garden. we are adding a “Little Free Library”  near our preschool sign on the east end of the church.  The “Little Free Library” looks like a little house filled with books.  The front window opens so the books can be borrowed and kept, borrowed and returned or the collection can be added to by Preschool or, perhaps, you.  The “Little Free Library” was built by CAL PETERSON!  We are so thankful for his willingness to take this project on for us!!

We currently have a few openings for three and four year olds in our fall classes.  Details can be read on our web site,  We would be excited to have you join us in the fall!

Thursday, April 3, 2014


April showers bring May flowers!  We are prepared to face spring!  The seeds for our garden have been planted and we will continue to nurture them until we can plant them outside in our Preschool Garden.  Our classrooms will be filled with green shoots growing in sunny window spaces.  This is the perfect time to learn about other green spaces in our world such as the rainforest.  These valuable forests are important to the health of the earth.  We will learn who/what lives there and how we can help protect such a special environment.
Easter will be here before we know it.  There is no more important news for us to hear then the story of God’s love for us and his promise that we will be with him in Heaven some day! Pastor Mark will visit our classes to tell this wonderful story!
At the end of April we will look at two other unique environments in our world, the desert and the seashore.  Minnesota does not have either of these special places.  How are they different from our lakes, farms and forests?  We’ll explore them through books, videos and artifacts!
Did I mention we will have a special guest this month?  The dentist will be stopping by to teach us how to care for our teeth.  Thank you Dr. Jeff Eggert, father of Grant Eggert in the Blue Class, for visiting our school!

Looking for summer activities for your preschooler?

Salem Preschool Summer Session
Check us out at

Sunday, February 23, 2014


MARCH 2014

Another month has gone by and we are March-ing toward warmer weather (we hope) and thinking spring.  Our first week of March will be focused on Minnesota, our state, and the Minnesota Twins.  Now that sounds like spring doesn’t it?  Then we move on to air and space transportation, spring break (now that’s springy), the farm, planting, and the rainforest.  We are being very optimistic!  But that is not all!
We are taking on a new adventure this summer at Salem Preschool!  We want you to be a part of it.  Here are the details!


June 10-July 18          Tues., Wed., Thurs.           9:00-11:30 a.m.

3-4-5 year olds welcome (must be 3 before 9-1-2013)

Cost: $240

Register on line February 25 through May 2,  A place will be saved for your child when the email is received but will not be permanent until your downpayment  of $40 is received by mail or in our mail/lock box near the Preschool classrooms.  The balance of $200 must be paid by May 2.  Class size minimum is 22 and the maximum is 30.



Tuesday, January 28, 2014



February is one of our favorite months.  Valentine’s Day and President’s Day give us many opportunities to talk about how we can show love and respect to our families and to others in our classroom and in our community.  Love is more than hugs and kisses, although we certainly never turn them down!  By helping at home, cleaning up the park, and sharing our toys we are showing love.  We show love for our country by honoring our flag, voting in elections, and doing our part to care for people in our neighborhoods.  There is much to learn and do!
February brings with it some special events.  Valentine’s Day will be celebrated on February 13th and 14th.  The Orange and Green Classes will be presenting an evening program on Thursday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m.  They will sing and dance to show parents and friends some of their favorite musical pieces so far this year.  Nothing is cuter than a three year old performance!
February ends with our Parent-Teacher Conferences on February 24th-26th and Pajama Day on the 27th and  28th.  Everyone loves Pajama Day !!  We come in our jammies.  No fair combing out that bed head look.  We are casual on Pajama Day.

Registration for 2014-2015 classes has  begun.  If you are interested in registering or learning more about Salem Preschool go to, visit us on face book, or email Pam at