Thursday, December 30, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

A HOLLY JOLLY Christmas.

We asked Santa to come to our house a few days early since we would be in Vegas on Christmas day. Let's just say, Santa did not disappoint. Charlie got his long awaited for BLUE SCOOTER...
And it was pure glee for June-bug when she hopped on her ROCKING HORSE. Love at first ride!
(Her glasses and monkey puppet took a close second.)
I guess they made the "NICE" list after-all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Card Party

The Toffoli's originated and have graciously hosted our annual Christmas card party for the past 20 years. It is a night full of making Christmas cards, performing, eating delicious food, caroling to the mailbox, and spending time with family. I have memories of this fun evening from when I was a child and now it is a time I cherish as a mother.

Monday, December 20, 2010

These are a few of my FAVORITE things.

Oprah does her "favorite things" episode each year and I love seeing her surprise her audience with so many wonderful gifts. I too have some "favorite things" of my own (not to give away) that make me smile and enjoy this time of year even more.

1. This was our very first Christmas decoration given to us as a wedding gift (from the Magnusson Family). It is the first thing I put up each year as I decorate for Christmas. 2. We made this gingerbread house the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We enjoyed looking at our beautiful creation for a few weeks but then it was time to partake. It was source of two well-behaved children, some bribes, many sneak attacks, and a few stomachaches.
3. This year I bought this advent calendar. I have always wanted one like this where you can stuff lots of goodies inside. That was the plan (the lots of goodies part) but I quickly realized the kids were eating plenty of sweets so Adam suggested putting their vitamins in it. Brilliant!
3. Elf on a Shelf. Grandma Graham gave this to the grand kids this year. We named him Dash. He watches over out little munchkins and then flies to the North Pole each night to update Santa on who's been naughty or nice.
4. Little People Nativity. This is one of Charlie and June's favorite things (thank you Momoo). The kids love playing with baby Jesus and singing along to "Away in a Manger" as the angel on top lights up.
5. We began a new tradition this year. On Christmas Eve we write Santa a letter giving him an update on the happenings at the Koch household. Santa then responds and we log the gifts he brought.
6. I LOVE getting Christmas cards. Truly a favorite thing.
7. Another fave, our Santa plate (thanks mom).
8. The story goes like this... My very first Christmas as a married woman I came home from shopping with two adorable stockings. I went to show them to Adam and he did not like them. So I asked, "Well dear, what do you picture our stockings looking like?" His response, "I don't know, it's just that my mom MADE ours." Lovely. I guess I was not the domestic diva that he thought he married. So the next day I marched over to the fabric store, dragging Adam along with me, and we each picked out some fabric so he could have a HOMEMADE stocking. Well, to make a long story short I have made and re-made our stockings every year since then. I made one when Charlie was born and then the following year for June. This year I re-did them all because I did not like how they all looked together. Adam has been fine since attempt #1 but now I am a crazy woman about our stockings. These are the ones I made this year... we'll see if they stay the same in the future.
I wish it could be Christmas all year long. I love having so many extra decorations on the walls, lights twinkling at night, and that extra special spirit that fills our home. I guess that is what makes it a favorite though, that it only comes once a year so we need to savor every moment.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Preschool (day 2)

(I had my second day teaching preschool yesterday. I love spending this time with Charlie. He refuses to call me "mom" when his preschool friends are over, I am "teacher" to him from the hours of 9 a.m. to noon.)

Theme: Christmas

Question of the day:
Is Christmas you favorite holiday?

Dramatic Play:
Numbers Puzzle
Writing Center:
ABC Center:
Christmas songs
Baby Jesus board book
What is Christmas by Michelle Adams

Learning Activity:
We looked at our Little People Nativity and talked about Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, Three Wise Men, etc. and then we played "Nativity Memory."

Baby peanut, I mean Jesus!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wagon Wheel Preschool.

(I had my first day of teaching preschool today. Charlie used to be in the city preschool but there were a few issues (teacher changes, etc.) that made me and a few (new) friends decide to do a preschool rotation of our own. We are all former teachers and I must say that I had so much fun teaching today.)

Theme: Christmas
We read some Christmas books to begin the day.

Question of the day:
After determining that the girls do not have a "c" in their name and the boys do, we found other similarities. Charlie, Merrick, & Berkleigh all have a "r" in their name and Molly and Merrick both start with a "m." The kiddos thought this was pretty awesome to find so many "matches" in their names.

Math Center:
Making a pattern with cereal... and eating some along the way! :)

Dramatic Play:
I told the kids they could play doctor or Mr. Potato head. Molly was very creative and decided to put the two together and doctor up Mrs. Potato Head.

ABC Center:
Alphabet train puzzle. Charlie and Merrick had great teamwork here. Charlie would find the letter in the alphabet and hand Merrick the puzzle piece, then Merrick would put the puzzle pieces together.

Writing center:
Here we wrote the letter "c" next to all the c-words. (This lasted for about 2 seconds for the boys and about 2 minutes for the girls.)

We had a SERIOUS dance party to Christmas music. Some favorites: Jingle Bells, Rudolph, and the Chipmunk song!
The Little Reindeer by Michael Foreman
(This was such a cute story that the kids really got into.)

Learning Activity:
We went on a hunt for reindeer food while pretending we were reindeer. The kids collected berries, read leaves, and a pinch of grass outside. Then we went in and added oats and "sparkles" to complete our Magic Reindeer Food.
On the night before Christmas
In the light of the moon
We sprinkle this mixture
Outdoors with a spoon.

For Rudolph will smell
The oats from the sky
The sparkles will surely
Capture his eye!
As we were walking inside from collecting the reindeer food I realized that I had not taken a picture of the kids picking berries. I saw this bush and told the kids to add one last magic berry to their bag (while I snapped a quick shot.) Bad idea. The berries were mushy, unlike the hard red berries we picked earlier. You can sort-of see from Molly's examining her hand that these "magic berries" made a MESS. The kids thought it was funny though so we took a pic of them showing off their messy fingers. Oh, and I think they all said "Ewww gross." about 50 times!
Reindeer ornaments
Charlie shared some of his gingerbread house candy with his buddies.