Monday, December 23, 2013

A Bitter-Sweet Time of Year

Christmas is wonderful time of year.  This past Friday was Polar Express day for our kindergartners.  For anybody that knows about Polar Express Day at school, you know it's a great reason to wear your pajamas to school.  The Kindergarten Team showed up to work in their finest pj's :) What kindergartner doesn't want to see their teacher in their comfy pajamas and slippers?  The day was planned with crafts, cookie decorating, movies, stories, and games.  I was just sitting down with the kids to read aloud Polar Express when my phone rang.

 It was the call I had been dreading for quite some time.  My grandpa passed away.  While feeling as though I had my heart ripped out,  I knew I needed to keep a smile on my face for the kiddos. This day was not about my loss.  To those kinders, this was their first Polar Express day, and they deserved to enjoy it!

 I hung up the phone, took a minute to turn away from the kids and wipe away the tears, then sat back down to read them the story. Thankfully, I had the chaos of a kindergarten classroom on the last day before break, and the smiles of the kids to get me through the day.  

While I'm thankful he lived a long life, and set an amazing example of an amazing husband, father, and grandfather, I am forever going to miss his hugs, interesting stories, and laughter.  He was our family rock!  May the holiday fun go on....but the true happiness of the holiday seems to be missing without you, Grandpa!

Here's a look at some last day activities that I remembered to capture pictures of.  My mind was elsewhere most of the day.

Decorating Cookies:  I baked sugar cookies, brought in white icing and food coloring, a parent sent in sprinkles, and a fellow teacher - and dear friend - shared her left over decorations that her parents sent in. Thanks, Ms. Jones!

Ornaments:  As seen in a my post, Christmas Crafting, each student made a snowman ornament as a gift to their family.  The kids decorated these bags with stickers, x-mas light cut-outs, and tree designs, to put the ornaments in.   We used lots of tissue paper to protect the ornaments from breaking, and closed the bag shut with this cute reindeer craft.  Use brown markers to color a clothespin, glue on small wiggly eyes and a red pom-pom, slide a green pipe cleaner through the spring, and it also becomes an ornament! The kids loved these!

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

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