Tag Archives: christmas

Christmas Mice

Last night was the annual ‘decorate the Lorensen house for Christmas’ party.  As we were unpacking all of the Christmas gear I remembered a poem I wrote a couple years back.

I wrote this poem referencing true events took place as we were decorating the house for Christmas about 4 or 5 years ago.

So, I hope you enjoy and that it puts you into the Holiday mood.

A Tale from Christmas Past 


‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through the house,

A lot of creatures were stirring–way more than one mouse.

The stockings were still packed away with great care

In hopes that when we decorate, they would still be there.

The children jumped up and down on their beds,

While Caleb lifted the box down from over their heads.

The girls were in the kitchen when Tracy lifted the cap,

I thought I could settle down for a nice Sunday nap.

When out across the hall, arose such a clatter

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Out of my room I flew like a flash,

Tore open the door and yelled, “Did something just crash?!”

Tracy looked at me with eyes big and a face pale like snow

And pointed directly at the creatures there below.

And what to my wandering eyes did appear,

Oh, a nest full of mice inside our lovely Christmas gear.

With their little naked bodies, so small and so quick,

I felt in that moment, that I might be sick.

Amid all the drama, the neighbor kids came

And we screamed and we shouted and each called out a name.

“Little cuties!” “Little Sweeties!” “Oh so innocent and new!”

“They’re vernon!” “Disgusting!” “Only one thing to do!”

“Get them out of the house–take them out past the wall!”

“Now drown the vile things—you must kill them all!”

As boys when given an adventure do fly–

And when they meet an obstacle, mount up to the sky–

So-up to the canal Geshem, he flew,

With a box full of mice in a makeshift canoe.

And then, in a twinkling, they were all set a sail,

And from the porch, Tracy and I let out a great wail.

Tracy covered her head and turned around

But I had to go look, so to the canal I bound.

Their little makeshift canoe was not made so well,

So I watched the mice drown into their wet, wet hell.

Head hung low, to the house I walked back

Tracy looked at me sad and continued to unpack.

But Caleb–He twinkled! His eyes, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow

And his beardless chin was all a glow.

He looked at Tracy and I with a smile

Saying, “They were mice, our house they would defile.”

“How can you two be so irrational,” he said,

“They were little vermin–they are better off dead.”

Red from crying, I went back to my room

I needed a minute to contemplate this Christmas gloom.

A deep sigh from Caleb and then he shrugged.

Tracy, in shock, just needed to be hugged.

As the day went on, we got back to work.

We hung the stockings and each started to smirk.

Before too long the smirks became even more

And by the end of the night, we were laughing on the floor,

Talking about the Christmas mice that came to town

Only to meet us and later each drown.

This story is finished, I hope it brought you delight–

Merry Christmas to all, and to all good night!


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V is for…

My main goal in teaching ESL to first graders is to make learning fun.  I set the precedent for what language learning can be like for the rest of their educational career; I have the ability to shape the way these students see the English language.  It’s not all drudgery and grammar and pronunciation… no, no, learning English is an exciting adventure!

My class and I are making our way through the English alphabet.  I intend on the students knowing all 26 letters and their simple sounds by the end of the year.  

I am not, however, going through the alphabet in the tradition A-Z fashion, but instead in an order that gives the most simple and most common letters and sounds first–thus paving the way for reading simple words early on. 

We are 15 letters in. 

I teach class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I typically introduce a new letter on Tuesday and then we spend some time practicing the sounds, writing the letter out, doing flash cards and playing a few games to help with sound recognition and then on Thursday we work on the same letter using different methods of learning.  

For example:

For “F” they had to put their face in a plate of flour.  (After writing big F and little f in the flour with their finger.)

For “E” they had to use their elbows to crack eggs.

For “D” I brought donuts and plastic dinosaurs.  The ‘dinosaurs’ had to try to make Ds out of the donuts.


The list goes on…


The most recent letter I taught was V.

What in the world can we do with V?


As it is the holiday season and our home had recently hosted a Staff Christmas Party…one of Tracy’s party games came to mind. 

Vaseline Santa Beards.


So on Thursday after a brief review of what the letter “V” says, I put the kids into teams of three, whipped out the cotton balls and vaseline…and the children got to work.



Base, First and Aaw. (Base’s team was given the title of winning team.)


The game was a hit.  The laughter was uncontrollable.  

Unfortunately, there were some unforeseen hiccups with playing this game.  

Namely the task of de-vaseline-ing my students.  

Their hands and faces were covered with the sticky gel and the ice cold water was not doing the removing trick.  The majority of my students ended up soaking wet in the 40 degree Thailand weather, and I had to help them take off their uniforms and lay them in the sun to dry–which, in turn, left me with a classroom of first graders shivering in their undershirts.


V is for Vaseline. 

and Victory.


Happy Holidays!




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