Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Pumpkin Farm

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A northern suburb tradition: the local pumpkin farm. And not just any pumpkin farm. This is the one that they have been going to since Jason was a little boy.  But it has grown so commercialized since then.

And very misleading. There is no entrance fee to get in. So, you think you will be able to do everything. You can pick out a pumpkin to purchase, etc. But to get to the animals, to play on the tractors, etc. you do pay extra. They should just charge the fee up front. Would make more sense. So, in addition to the pumpkins, we saw giraffes, kangaroos and a pumpkin-eating dinosaur (who knew?).

But M & C were very excited and Nana & Papa wanted to take them, so we went. M said very clearly, “I want a white pumpkin.” I have never seen a white pumpkin. And she didn’t mean a little baby gourd. She wanted a normal pumpkin. She just wanted it to be white. And there in the middle of the whole pumpkin patch, was an entire section of normal WHITE pumpkins. C was her cheerful self, and wanted an orange pumpkin, which she has declared is her favorite color this week. Of course, she also wanted to pick out one that she could carry herself. This was a bit more difficult. But we found one and they are both now sitting at Papa’s house waiting to be carved.


Making Friends

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I realized this week that M hasn’t complained about going to school in a while. Which is awesome! I said something to her teacher and she said she has noticed this as well. She’s making friends.

She talks a lot about different kids at school, this or that person.  But the funniest story was this one about Elise & Cora from recess:

They were playing on the playground. Elise & Cora were princesses, M was the monster. Apparently, Elise & Cora were killed but came back to life. And Elise held M’s hand. They were friends after that.

She also told me about how they do “jemotions” every day. I figured out that these were devotions. That’s what happens when she goes to a private Christian school. She is able to tell me all about her weekly chapel service (this week was about family).

We’re starting to settle into a routine.

The Week in Review

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Quotes from the Week:

C (when asked why her socks & shoes were off, September 16):

Well, we’re in church.

M (looking at the Oscar Meyer weinermobile, September 16):

But hot dogs don’t have windows…

(September 18) Me: Who wants to go upstairs?
C: I’ve got my baby!
M: I’ve got string in case someone needs rescuing!

(September 19): I asked M on the way to school this morning what they do in chapel. Her response: “We ask if Jesus loves Sherry. If God forgives Sherry.” Apparently, He is very all about Sherry right now. 🙂

Weekly Newsletter from M’s Teacher: 

Dear FDPS Families,

We just finished week 5 and are doing pretty well with preschool. Next week, I will be evaluating some of the preschool skills we need to know. Parent, Teacher, Student conferences are coming up and we can discuss your child’s abilities and behavior then. Your scheduled appointment is in
the Friday Folder. Please let me know ASAP if you need to reschedule. Each conferences lasts 15 minutes. We want to be sensitive to those waiting in the hallway for their appointment, so if you think you need longer, let me know.

Also going home in the Friday Folder is a paper helicopter you can make with your child. Have fun!

Fall is here, which means cooler weather, which means coats & hats and eventually snow pants, boots and mittens. It is never too early to practice putting on a coat, zipping, buttoning, and getting dressed for outdoor play. We would really appreciate your help…it takes forever to get 20 preschoolers ready for recess!

Chapel is a dress up day. We strive for collared shirts for the boys, dressier clothes for the girls, no jeans or sweats. We want to show respect for our Savior.

JESUS TIME-We learned the story of Jacob this week. He left home after being mean to his father and brother. He had to sleep on a rock outside, instead of a pillow. Jacob had a dream that angels were going up and down a staircase. This dream taught him that angels and God are watching over us all the time. Our God is so Great is the song we learned this week.

LETTERS, NUMBERS, SHAPES, COLORS-Our letter of the week was E, as in Elise, elephant, and egg. We practiced writing our E’s-easy upper case, not so easy lower case! We continued counting the numbers on the calendar and how many students we have in class. My 4 year olds are doing very well and the 3 year olds are getting better. The shape we worked on this week was the TRIANGLE. We did not find many in our classroom. Our TRIANGLE collages are hanging in our classroom. GREEN was our color of the week. We found many GREEN things inside and outside. We also practiced connecting dotted lines and writing our names.

ART-We decorated roller skates GREEN with net balls. And we used the warming tray to color airplanes orange. All of us finished making our Transportation books. I hope you child “reads” it to you!

THIS & THAT-In Science, we experimented in our water table. We each put something in the water to see if it would float or sink. Some of us got overenthusiastic with the water table and had to change our clothes. Our book of the week was I Love Trains. We continue to do transportation activities, read transportation books, and sing transportation songs. And, we have been practicing saying “please” and “thank you”-our manner of the week! During the week of conferences, we have a book fair in the front hallway of our school. Preschoolers do not get a time to look at the books during the day so you may want to take some time after school or on your conference day.


Our God is so Big

Our God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing our God cannot do (repeat).

The mountains are His, the rivers are His, the stars are His handiwork, too.

Our God is so big, so strong, and so mighty, there’s nothing our God cannot do, for you.

Wheels (The Wheels on the Bus)

Rollin’ down the road on my unicycle, my unicycle, my unicycle.

Rollin’ down the road on my unicycle. I have 1 big wheel.

v.2 bicycle, v.3 tricycle, v.4 automobile

I want to make sure everyone is receiving my newsletter so please send me a comment from this letter. If you do not respond, I will catch up with you!

Have a restful weekend!

God’s Blessings, Pam Johnson

M loved showing us her Transportation book, and it is one of the things we did put in her  keepsake box. I need to work on remembering when I have her signed up for hot lunch, because I forgot this week!!

The Simple Life… at the Zoo

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As a birthday present from friends, M received a trip to the zoo. And our friends were kind enough to invite the rest of us along as well, making a family day of it. At the last minute, we cancelled, because the girls were being little monsters. And then, thinking that our friends had already purchased tickets, we did load the girls in the car and drive to the zoo to meet them.

We probably should not have done this.

M threw tantrum after tantrum. Including beating and biting me in the middle of the wolf exhibit. At which point I walked away, intending to go to the car. We should not have gone.

And all around us, for some reason, there were a ton of Amish people. They must have chartered a bus or something, but there were probably 5 or 6 different families, maybe about 30-50 people – men, women and children. And seeing all of these families, no fighting, no tantrums, just makes me think that I have to be doing something wrong. My arm is still scarred from her bites.  And I am at my wit’s end for what to do. I just want peace in this house and I can think of no way to achieve it. Continually battling not only the children, but Jason on most days, is really starting to wear on me.

The Week in Review

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Quotes from the Week:

Jason (September 9)

I dont normally revel in someone else’s pain… unless it involves the Packers.

M (September 9)

I’ve been so good… unless I’ve been bad

Jason (September 9)

Tomorrow is monday, you have been warned

Jason (September 11)

Ruminate is an under used word. As is masticate.

M (September 12)

I’ve been a doctor for 25 years.

M (September 14)

Mommy, I love you as much as lollipops and candy.

Jason (September 15)

Snow White should have been arrested for trespassing.

Weekly Newsletter from M’s teacher:

Dear FDPS Families,

Our class is getting into a routine, which is great. Some of the students are getting a bit too comfortable so we have had a few time outs. The boys & girls are learning that I shouldn’t have to remind them or ask them something more than 1 time. We are working of being better listeners!

I hope to see you tonight at the Pot Luck. If you can’t make it, we have many other events for you to participate in over the school year.

Culver’s Night is 9/17. Bring the flyer and enjoy a meal served by your [school name removed] Staff.

Picture Day has been changed to October 2 & 3.

½ Day on 9/19 with dismissal at 10:45. Please be sure you have signed up for Child Care. Dismissal will be the same as any other day…stay on the tile until the hallway is pretty clear of students. You are doing a great job!

Some of our preschoolers are overdoing it with the hand sanitizer. Please remind your child not to over use it here or at home.

I hope you are all washing the bedding that comes home on Friday. Can you also please wash gym shoes that are worn without socks? This may sound funny, but our room smells like stinky feet during rest time and I think it is coming from all the shoes that are worn without socks. Thanks

JESUS TIME-This week we learned the story of Noah and the Ark…a children’s favorite. We read a few books about Noah. No, No Noah was a big hit. We also glued Froot Loops to a rainbow. Ask your child why God sent the rainbow? A man from Walcamp talked to us in Chapel and told us
all the fun things they do there. Thanks for sending in your offerings and food pantry items!

LETTERS, NUMBERS, SHAPES & COLORS-Our letter of the week was D
as in Dominic, dog, and doughnut. We traced and practiced this letter and made a list of D words. This week, we counted students and carpet squares. Our shape of the week was the SQUARE, which was harder to find than you might think. Many of the shapes we found were really rectangles, but we counted them anyways. Our list of SQUARE things took awhile to come up with. Our color of the week was YELLOW. We painted YELLOW cars and made a YELLOW collage.

ART-We painted 4 different types of vehicles to go along with our Transportation unit. We marble painted, Q-Tip painted, sponge painted, and water colored. Next week, we will finish 6 different vehicles and put them into a book to take home.

THIS & THAT-This week, we practiced cutting with scissors. I told the class to practice at home but only on paper and ask before you cut anything up. We also worked with glue sticks and bottles of school glue…all skills we need to accomplish before Kindergarten. Most of our class recognizes their names but some still need to work on that. We began using nametags at snack to help with this task. Next week, we will work on name writing, especially with those who are beginners. For the older students, we will work on upper case for the first letter and lower case for the rest.


Good-bye Song

Goodbye Friends, Goodbye Friends, Goodbye Friends, It’s time to say so

School is over, School is over, School is over, It’s time to end the day.

We’ll be back tomorrow, We’ll be back tomorrow, We’ll be back tomorrow,
To start a brand new day.

Joy, Joy, Joy

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.

Down in my heart, Down in my heart.

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.

Down in my heart to stay.

Bicycle Fingerplay

One wheel, two wheels on the ground.

My feet make the pedals go round and round.

Handle bars help me steer so straight.

Down the sidewalk, through the gate.

Thanks for sending your child to [our school]. I enjoy spending my days with

God’s Blessings,

Pam Johnson

I know my child has to be one of the culprits with the hand sanitizer, because I know I have to get on her on that myself (and I don’t advocate a lot of use of it!).  She has also been wanting to play a lot of games that you can tell she is picking up from school, like “the line-up game”!

This week the girls have started wanting to say their OWN prayers at mealtimes, instead of the standard mealtime prayer. This I love, because I want them to know how to pray from their heart, not just by rote. And M does such a great job at it. Her little sister is trying really hard to copy, and does awesome at the “Amen!”

Sunday School started on the 9th, and I have volunteered to teach the 2 & 3 year old’s again – with C in attendance this year. M is on her own in the older classes for the first time, but she did great!

We had a school potluck on Friday where I was able to meet some of the other students that M talks about and their parents. This was nice, so I can recognize them when I am dropping her off in the morning. It was a bit chaotic, but I can see why they do it.

A Birthday Tradition

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When each of my girls turned 1 I started taking the day off from work and it was a day just for me and them. The first year we didn’t do much, but starting when they turned 2, we would go see a movie, have lunch and go shopping (usually to the Disney Store 🙂 ).

It’s fun and a great way to show that they are individually special.

This year, I took M out of school (it’s preschool and the teacher totally approved!) and we went to the Disney Store where she got a Birthday pin with her name on it, a birthday crown, and got to pick out a toy from Daddy and I. Then we went to see Finding Nemo 3D – which she found interesting. She kept trying to “catch” the parts that were 3D.  She even received 2 pairs of kid-sized 3D glasses and decided to keep one to give to her little sister.

We finished up our day with lunch at IHOP.  Where the waitstaff came out with an ice cream bowl & singing – LOUDLY. This scared the bejeesus out of her, causing her to start crying.  They felt so bad!!  But she was starting to get tired and it didn’t help.  After a quick stop at the grocery store, we headed home for a much-needed nap!

The Work Tower

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Driving M to school this morning and she began to adamantly demand that we were NOT going the correct way to get to school. Despite the fact that I have driven the same route to get to not only school, but to church, for I don’t know how many times a week for the last 4 years, she was sure that this was NOT the way to do it. Despite the fact that this was the same way we had gone the day before, she was sure that this was not the way. So, I started pointing out familiar landmarks, including the clock tower at a major intersection near the church & school.

“But Mommy, that’s not a clock tower, it’s a work tower.”

“What’s a work tower?”

“Well, a lot of people don’t know when to go or when to stop. They don’t know when to start working or when to stop working. And that clock on that big tower tells them when to do all of that stuff.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“Yeah, and inside there’s a man and a wheel. And he turns the wheel and that makes the clock turn. But sometimes he’s tired, so it doesn’t turn.  It’s small inside there.”

So, for all of you when you pass that tower (and for those of you local, you know which one I’m talking about), it’s not a clock tower. It’s a Work Tower.

A Tangled Party

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We had a 4th Birthday party tonight, all themed around the movie Tangled (the Rapunzel story).  So much fun.  Asked the girls what their favorite party was: “Where we hit the thing with the pan” (they hit a pinata with a frying pan – and if you’ve seen the movie, you know why we used a frying pan!).  A good time with family & close friends.

The Week in Review

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Quotes from the Week:

C (September 3):

Bye, I’ll see you next week. Bring your money.

Jason – in reference to a storm (September 4):

Things are about to get VERY interesting outside.

M (September 5):

Now… shake shake shake like a monkey!

Me (to Jason) (September 8):

Can we move to Iowa soon?


We can, honey, we just have to pack everything really fast.

Weekly Newsletter from M’s teacher:

Dear FDPS Families,

I always say that a short school week should mean a short letter but somehow it never turns out like that. We had a busy week and celebrated our first birthdays-[names removed]. Thanks for the birthday treat! My list of reminders is getting shorter, which means we are getting more efficient!

1. I know this is hard to figure out, but when you pickup after school, please stay on the tile until after the buses leave and you see bigger kids coming down the hall. The hall is so congested and hectic. Child care does not leave for about 10 more minutes so you won’t miss picking up your child. We are trying to avoid confused and lost children. Thanks!
2. Please label your child’s water bottles, lunch boxes, backpacks, and extra clothes. 3. Remind your child to “cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze”-our manner of the week.
4. We have gym at 8:15 on Friday. Can everyone wear their gym shoes to school so we don’t have to quickly change before gym class? Thanks! They can always change back to their sandals or other shoes when we are done.

JESUS TIME-Our story this week was of the first sin. We learned how Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were sent away from the garden. We also talked about saying “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you.” I hope we get into the habit of saying “sorry” and after being forgiven, forgetting about it. On Friday, we had devotions with the 7 th graders again. We learned about letting our LIGHTS SHINE!

LETTERS, NUMBERS, COLORS & SHAPES-Our letter of the week was C, as in Cora, carrots, and cookies. We traced and practiced writing the upper and lower case C and made a list of C words. Each day we count how many days are on the calendar. We will be getting better as the months go by. We also counted our fingers. As you spend time with your child, practice counting. Count M & M’s, Hot Wheels cars, grapes, or anything in your home. Many children get lost around 14, 15, 16 and the tens (19, 20, 29, 30, 39, 40, etc.). Our color of the week was RED. We looked in the RED color box…ask your child what we found? We sponge painted with RED and looked for RED things around our room. Our shape of the week was a CIRCLE. We found a CIRCLE in the Feely Bag and found many CIRCLES around the classroom.

ART-We drew pictures of ourselves, which are hanging in the hallway. The students looked in a mirror and gave me the answers. So if the eye or hair color is wrong, it’s all them! We also sponge painted shapes and colored pictures of our left and right hands.

THIS & THAT-We talked about our left and right hands. We always put our right hands on our hearts when we say the pledge each morning (which they are getting pretty good at ). We love playing in the noodle table and with Playdough. Next week is our 1 st All School Chapel, where we get to sit with our Chapel family. The Chapel family is a mixture of our whole class and 1 or 2 students from each grade. We will also divide into our Chapel families for Fall Fest and the end of the year Fun Day. We received a donation of some fun stuffed animals last week. They live in our Thomas the Train and come out to play once in awhile.


My Little Heart

My little heart has a great big love, a great big love for Jesus.

My little heart has a great big love, a great big love for Jesus.

I heard Him knock (knock, knock). I let Him in (clap, clap).

Now my little heart has a great big love, a great big love for Jesus.


We’re All in School Together

We’re all in school together, together, together.

We’re all in school together and happy we will be.

There’s child’s name and child’s name and child’s name and child’s name.

We’re all in school together and happy we will be.


Don’t forget to sign up for the Potluck next Friday from 5:30-7!

God’s Blessings, Pam Johnson

M can tell you all about the story of Adam & Eve (complete with all the details! It’s pretty impressive!) and she remembers the manner of the week. 🙂 When we had a moment at home when we had to say she was sorry to her little sister, she said, “and now we forget about it.” so she was obviously paying attention to that part of the week also!

She colored her handprints and the teacher noted that she is right-handed (which we had already figured out!) and she has been saying the pledge of allegiance around the house (she calls it a prayer 🙂 ).  The portrait she made of herself, she told her teacher that she was “almost 4” (her birthday is next Friday), her eyes are blue, and her hair is “colorful”. When I asked her the same questions, she said the same things. It made us laugh!

I can tell that she really is blossoming and enjoying school, no matter what she says.