January 7, 2014

Christmas 2013

Our Christmas vacation was an interesting one!
We were all hit by the tummy bug for a good solid week of our 2 week break. One person would get it, then the next, and so on like dominoes!  What a bummer.  But the good news was the actual Christmas celebration was nice. Here is a little photo recap of our holiday!

Buddy our elf said good-bye

And continued the tradition of bringing Christmas jammies for Christmas Eve

For Christmas Eve we had appetizers at my parents' house before church

After church we came home and had birthday cake for Jesus

We left Santa cookies, milk, and cheese stick for Rudolph. (We didn't have any carrots!)

Christmas morning the kids woke up and we opened presents

After opening presents at our house, we headed over to my parents' house to open more gifts!

Then my older sister and her family came over.  We all had a delicious lunch, the kids played outside, and we opened more gifts!

Later that afternoon we headed back to our house.  Nick's mom and grandma came over with dinner and more gifts!  We had another fun celebration!

I hope you all had as great a Christmas as we did!
Happy 2014! 

January 2, 2014

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

This Christmas season I knew I wanted to spread some holiday cheer and help teach Reagan that Christmas means more than just presents.  I looked online and found a fantastic website.

Lil Light O Mine has compiled a TON of wonderful ideas for families to perform random acts of Christmas kindness- basically- Light Up Others with Kindness. I.Loved.It.  She posts free gift tags, notes, coloring pages, etc.  Man. There was so much. I really feel inspired to start it earlier next year so we can do even more! I seriously get lost in this woman's blog and mission! 

Here are some pictures of things Reagan and I did this season to Light Up Others with Kindness!

Donating toys to the Fireman for the Salvation Army!

And Rea Rea got to take a ride in the firetruck!

Shopping for an Angel Tree child.

Give handwarmers and Starbucks gc to the bell ringers outside of the stores.

Leave 50 cents taped to toy machines and soda machines at Walmart.

Leave a thank you note and candy for the mailman.

Deliver candy canes and wish busy shoppers a Merry Christmas.

Reagan had a BLAST doing this and although he was pretty shy at first, he really liked to find people "who needed a smile" when delivering his candy canes. 

I think this will definitely be a new family tradition!

I even took this into our classroom.
My kids had a BLAST doing a 2 weeks full of random acts of kindness!

I did a quick set-up and put each task in a bag on the board.

Day 1

Play with someone new at recess.  
Find someone who looks like they need a friend and invite them to play with you!

Day 2

Pick up trash around your school without getting any grabber (reward from office).  
Do it because it makes you feel good to make your school better.

Day 3

Give someone a compliment today.
What are they good at? What do you like about them?

Day 4

Give someone at recess a sticker and a smile today!
Choose someone who you don't normally play with.

Day 5

Make bookmarks and deliver them with candy canes to our 4th Grade Buddies classroom.

Day 6

 Drop off Christmas candy and thank you notes to our principal.  
Thank her for all of her hard work and tell her why you like our school.

Day 7

Sharpen pencils and deliver them to a special classroom.

Day 8

Give hand warmers to our crossing guard and thank her for helping get to school so safely.

Day 9

Deliver Christmas candy to our cafeteria workers and thank them for all of their hard work!

Day 10

Deliver Christmas candy to the school nurse! 

Our class had so much fun on our "kindness mission" and couldn't wait to open the bags each day.  
I just love doing this and the kids really got into it as well.

January 1, 2014

Other Christmas Fun at School

There were so many fun holiday things going on at our school before break!
Here is a quick glimpse into the fun:

parent gifts
This year I decided to doing something a little easier for parent ornament/gifts.
We made reindeer photo ornaments and they were almost stress free!



For parent cards, the kids illustrated gingerbread house cards and wrote sweet little notes.

I didn't manage to get a picture of the wrapping/bag, but if you've read my blog for a few years, its the same snowman one I did in the past. (You can look in my history and find the pictures!)

Reindeer Run

Our school's annual "turkey trot" got cancelled this year due to the rain, so the PE coaches created the "reindeer run".  Our firsties worse reindeer hats and ran laps around the field as Christmas music played in the background. It was too cute!

After the run there was a raffle for kids to win sports balls and athletic equipment.

It ended with a cool Otter Pop treat.
Such fun!

Candy Trains

The first grade at my school has been making candy trains each December for over 15 years. This was my first candy train experience (my past first grade team always did gingerbread houses). The candy trains were very fun and the directions were on the smartboard in a step by step process.  We had a lot of parents to help the kids and they turned out super cute!

Holiday Sing Along

I was so excited for the holiday sing along! The entire school (k-6) gathers in the cafeteria in their pajamas and sings Christmas songs together.  Each grade had a specific song to solo and then there were about 6 that we sang all together.  It was precious and totally got me in the Christmas spirit! :)

Even Reagan came in his pajamas for the sing along! 
Too fun! 

It was so cute to see my little firsties in their jammies!

Christmas gifts to my kids

This year I used my bonus points from Scholastic to get the kids books for Christmas.  
My mom was awesome enough to wrap them all for me!

Christmas gifts to my kids' teachers

I got all the kids' teachers Starbucks gift cards and Reagan's teacher a personalized tumbler for her iced coffee. 

Polar Express

We started by reading the story The Polar Express and doing some work to go with it. Then the day of the PJ day, we all got our tickets to ride the Polar Express.  We watched it on our smart board and had a lot of fun together.

Earlier that morning I had put a package full of bells in the freezer.  I asked our fabulous secretary to call down into our classroom after lunch and say that there was a special package delivered for our class.  She did an awesome job and put in lots of fluff to get the kids excited.  I sent down two of my kiddos (one whom I was so happy to have sent down) to get the package.  Boy.  This little darling came back with the most elaborate story about how she saw Santa Claus, pet the reindeer, etc.  The kids were all staring at her in awe .... She sold it for me. Thank the Lord I sent her down! I think she might actually think she saw them? Who knows... I just had to laugh. 

The kids were in heaven and couldn't get over how cold the bells were (obviously- they were from the North Pole!) and how they smelled just like Santa (not sure where they got that from... but I went with it!) Anyways, it was a great way to end the day!