Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Community Helpers

As we talk about community helpers, and do many play activities, we will learn and practice so many new words that will help us in communicating, reading, and writing throughout our lives. We also will learn a lot about social skills. We will learn that in our community there are people who take care of all the things in our neighborhoods so we can learn, be safe and stay healthy. They are community helpers, such as teachers, doctors, dentists, police officers and firefighters. We will talk about how doctors and dentists help us to stay healthy.Doctors help us by giving us shots to keep us from getting diseases, or when we feel sick, and they listen to our heart and lungs to make sure they are healthy. Dentists help us by cleaning and fixing our teeth. We will draw about when we went to the doctor or dentist. We will talk about how police officers keep us sife. They can help us find our parents if we are lost. We will learn that if there is an emergency and we need help, we can call the police by dialing “911” on the phone. We will learn that firefighters are who we call if there is a fire. They spray water or chemicals on the fire to put it out. We can call the firefighters by dialing “911” on the phone, just like the police. Firefighters also teach us what to do and how to stay safe if there is a fire. We will learn that mail carriers are community helpers who help us by delivering our mail and bring mail or letters to our homes. Some mail carriers deliver mail in a car while others use a big truck, an airplane or even walk. We will be writing letters to ourselves. We will put our names, addresses and a postage stamp on the envelopes so that it can be mailed.

Preschool Skills Emphasized in this Unit


  • Becoming Familiar with Community helpers vocabulary

  • Reading pictures and words


  • Connecting print with the spoken language

  • Fine motor development through drawing

  • Writing in Journals

  • New Words added to copy


  • Sequencing

  • Ordinal Numbers

  • Counting

  • "Real World" math addition problems

  • Sorting

Social Skills

  • Calling 911 for help

  • Helping People in our Community

  • Showing appreciation for people who help us

  • Working cooperatively to complete a task


  • What to do in case of fire

  • Roles of community helpers

  • Importance of health and dental care


Noah's Ark & Animals
Vehicles for Community Helpers

Bob the Builder Back Pack with Helmet, Measuring Tape and Tools. Need anything that needs fixing?

Jet and Police vehicles.

Community Worker Figures.

The Doctor is in the house.

Fire Fighter costumes.

Books on Community Workers.

Wish List

Community Helper Curriculum
Item# LL414 My Community Magnetic Maze $34.99
FF574 All Around town Vocabulary Sorting Center $24.95
DD522 Around Our Community Photo Card Library $19.95
TT965 Police Officer Puzzle $10.95
TT966 Mail Carrier Puzzle $10.95
TT961 Construction Worker Puzzle $10.95
TT962 Doctor Puzzle $10.95
TT968 Chef Puzzle $10.95
TT963 Dentist Puzzle $10.95
TT967 Firefighter Puzzle $10.95
Item # 16167 All About Preschoolers Book Set $89.95 “Community Helpers”
Item # 8WWNMFBHELP Large Community Helpers Felt Set $20.85

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Parent Handbook

Garden of Blessings
CYFD Licensed Child Care
Hours: 6am to 6pm Mon. thru Fri.

Welcome to Garden of Blessings Child Care. We are a Christian Home Child Care. My goal is to help your child develop a love of God and learning while increasing school readiness. I open my home to you and know that with a unity of God, you the parent, your child, and I we will be successful. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your child’s life and helping him/her develop. If you have any questions please call me, Dawn Davis, Director at 385-2090.

Mission and Purpose
My primary purpose, as Jesus stated in Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” My desire is to reach out to the community, with Christ’s love, by providing a safe, nurturing environment where godly foundations are laid. I believe that with a caring nurturing approach under a safe stable environment, the educational, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of children from infancy to five will be met.

My philosophy is that a warm and nurturing environment is made rich by "hands-on", play-learning opportunities. Children learn about themselves and their environment through their surroundings as well as interactions with others.

From birth, children are marvelous learners, immediately investigating the sights, sounds and feel of their surroundings. Long before walking and talking, they are already exploring their own abilities and what the world has to offer them. Through much of a child's play and learning is self-motivated and self-directed, it is still important for caregivers to offer opportunities for caregiver-initiated play and learning experiences throughout the day, as well.

Children of all ethnic background and/or developmental abilities in my childcare are given opportunities to learn through experiences with stories, songs/music, art, science, dramatic play, sensory materials, number and letter activities and the outdoors so our activities are tailored to the interest, abilities, as well as, ages of the children in my care.

Curriculum is not just when a story is read or when a project is done, or when a product is made. A large part of curriculum is playtime. Activities like crawling, walking, running, throwing, catching, jumping, climbing, and balancing will develop gross motor skills. Once gross motor skills are mastered children can gain fine motor skills. Activities such as building with blocks, stringing beads, drawing, painting, and placing pegs into holes will help with the development of a child's fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and their sense of direction. Theses are the same skills that are needed for reading, writing, and math. By embracing each child's development from a very young age, I can assist in building a strong foundation for growth. Together, we can help children by recognizing that educational opportunities exist in the simplest activities.

The Responsibilities and Role of Your Child’s Teacher
All teachers at Garden of Blessings Child Care strive to bring the best quality care to your child. Some of these Responsibilities include:

• Providing many choices so children can learn and have new experiences. We will guide children, not lead them, and move in a direction that interest the child. As a guide, allow the child to choose their learning and playing style while making safety our number one concern.

• We will encourage & challenge children to problem solve.
o Assist children in expressing their feelings and needs to others.
o Foster children’s development while playing
 Role Modeling
 Encouraging
 Providing materials and activities to enhance growth
 Asking open-ended questions

• We will nurture and provide children with a sense of purpose and belonging.
o To nurture is to nourish. Nurturing a child encompasses all aspects of development: Social, emotional, cognitive, and physical and language. In every interaction, we will nurture appropriate growth and development.

• We will observe, document and assess to support children’s learning.
o Along with teaching the children various things, we will also monitor their development. It is important to know which children are doing fine and which ones may need a little extra help. This will be done by monitoring progress and making notes of the progress of each child.

• We will plan activities that match children’s developmental level.
o It is important that creativity is a big part of a child’s experience and we will prepare various activities for the children to engage in. Things such as arts and crafts, music and imagination will all play a big role in the creative learning process.

Hours of operation
• Garden of Blessings is willing to operate Monday through Friday from 6:00am to 6:00pm. NO Exceptions.
• The following is my paid holiday schedule:
o Independence Day
o Labor Day
o Thanksgiving Weekend (Thursday/Friday)
o Christmas Eve Day/Christmas Day/Day after Christmas
o New Year’s Eve Day/New Year’s Day
o Memorial Day
• Sick/Personal Time – Garden of Blessings is allowed two (2) weeks of time to use for personal/sick days per year. When I, the child care provider take time off I do not expect to be paid. In case of emergency or illness, I will make every attempt to provide adequate warning to provide parents time for alternative care. Understand that I take psychological ownership for anything I commit to, and whether large or small, I feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion. Therefore, I am very sensitive to having to take time off for illness/personal needs. Understand that sickness happens and emergencies come up. I have a history of reliability therefore do not appreciate being felt guilty when it occurs. It is imperative that parents/guardians prepare for when it happens. When I, the Child Care Provider, take time off I do not expect to be paid. When a child is not here due to sick/personal time I, the child care provider, do expect to be paid.
• Vacation Time - Garden of Blessings and their Families are both allowed one (1) week off for vacation. Both parties are required to notify each other two full weeks in advance when going on vacation. When I, the Child Care Provider, take time off I do not expect to be paid. When Garden of Blessings Families give a written notice of vacation two weeks in advance, I the Child Care Provider do not expect to be paid.
• Termination of Service - Two weeks’ fee will be accepted in lieu of two weeks’ notice, and, in fact, will be due with notice of plans to discontinue enrollment. Except in the case of gross misconduct on the part of either parent or child, provider will also tender two weeks’ notice prior to cessation of care. Your fee will be due when notice is given.

Payment Plans and Fees
Due to the limited amount of space with Garden of Blessings Child Care, We only take full time students.

Fees are due in advance and payable no later than your child’s first day of attendance. A $25.00 fee will be assessed if your fee is not paid on time. If fees are unpaid one week after the due date, your child may not be accepted until your fee is paid.

Checks will be accepted. If, however, a check is returned by the bank, your fee will be
accepted in cash only. You will be responsible for any fees assessed to my account.
Parent Handbook p. 3
A charge of $1 per minute will be charged for late pickups. Cash will be required at the time of picking up your child.

Admission Requirements and Enrollment Procedures
• Each child must visit my home for a half-hour before placement to help reduce separation fears and to see how the child will fit in.
• The first ten days of care are probationary for provider, parent, and child. This agreement may be terminated at any time during that period. Otherwise, two weeks’ notice is required if the child is to be permanently removed from Garden of Blessings Child Care.
• There will be a non refundable enrollment fee of $25 to help cover the cost yearly state licensing. This fee will be due at the time of enrollment/ re-enrollment.
• Each Child must have the following current information in his/her file:
o File Check List
o Enrollment Application
o Shot Records (Up to date)
o Child Information Card (2)
o Parent Authorization Form
o Contract Agreement
• Yearly re-enrollment forms are required to continue services with Garden of Blessings Childcare. Renewed enrollment forms will be due the first week of January.

Daily Schedule
6:00am Classroom Time (One on One time)
7:30am Take School agers to school
8:30am Breakfast
9:00am Classroom Time (winter) Outside Time (summer)
10:00am Outside Time (winter) Classroom Time (Summer)
11:00am Prepare for lunch
11:30am Lunch
12:30pm Quiet Time
2:30pm Snack
3:00pm Classroom Time
3:30pm Pick School Agers up from school
4:30pm Snack
5:00pm Clean up and get ready to go home

Children under 18 months old will be on their own individual schedule
• Daily Schedule will include:1. Library – Book, puppets, Felt Story board, pillows, stuffed animals, carpet etc.
2. Math & Manipulatives – Puzzles, Lacing, Musical Instruments, Table Blocks, Inter-Locking, Nesting, Gears, and Rattles
3. Blocks- People, Animals, Automobiles, Wooden Blocks, Cardboard Blocks, & Soft Blocks.
4. Sand & Water Play – to promote sensory stimulus
5. Dramatic Play – Kitchen, dishes, play food, dolls, cradles, strollers, costumes, hats, purses & bags, phone, doll house, cash register… etc.
6. Nature/Science – Cooking, Our Pet Sally, and various science projects.
7. Writing Center – various paper types, crayons, markers, color pencils, stencils, etc.
8. Arts & Crafts – 3D Arts, collage, drawing, painting, cutting, pasting, etc.
9. Outdoors – Riding toys, slides, titter totter, sand box, play house, balls, chalk, bubbles, sand toys, fruit & vegetable garden, flower garden, bird feeders etc.
10. Television watching will be kept to a minimum and will vary depending on the weather, mood of the children, etc. Only PBS, Disney, Children’s videos, and some cartoons will be watched.
11. Devotional Time – : bible story flash a cards used to socio-dramatic play purposes.

Personal Belongings
Items in Child’s Shelf –
• Two complete sets of seasonally appropriate change of clothing. Please label all pieces of clothing.
• Diapers and/or several pairs of thick training paints
• Wipes
• Blanket and Crib Sheet
• Two drinking items (either bottles or leak proof age appropriate cups)
• Any comfort item used for napping (e.g. pacifier, blanket, pillow, stuffed toy etc.)

- Failure to provide any of the above mentioned will result in a call from me to bring the item or take your child home. No borrowing of these items from other children will be allowed. The above items are very expensive. I am sure your intention is to pay back the item however our busy lives tend to get in the way and forgetfulness tends to happen. No one can afford to supply their child plus someone else. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

- While Potty Training your child NO wearing of overalls or clothing with suspenders, snaps, buckles, belts, or zippers. Elastic waist pants ONLY. Anything else sets your child up for failure.

Children are not allowed to bring toys from home. We have plenty of age appropriate toys for all to play with. We can not be responsible for personal items if lost or broken.

Meals and Snacks
• All meals, snacks and drinks will be provided.
• All beverages will be 100 percent fruit juice or milk. Bread products will be whole wheat or partially whole wheat. Cheese will be unprocessed. No sugar cereals and sweet drinks will be served. Other sweets and treats will be kept to a minimum.
• Meals and snacks will be nutritional and the daily menu will follow the guidelines recommended by the USDA Child-care food program (PAN PROGRAM).
• A weekly menu will be posted
• Birthday and holiday treats can be provided by the parents. Children are not permitted to bring gum, candy, or other treats.
• If special diet is needed bringing your child’s own lunch and snacks may be required.
An example menu:
Breakfast: Whole Wheat Toast, Banana, Milk
AM Snack: Wheat Thin Crackers & Apple Juice
Lunch: Chicken Salad spread on whole wheat bread
Cucumber slices
PM Snack: Cheese Stick & Apple Slices

Guidance Policy
• Discipline will be consistent and age appropriate.

• Discipline will include positive guidance, redirection, and clear limits that encourage the child’s ability to become self-disciplined.

• My home will not use the following disciplinary practices:
- Physical punishment of any type, including shaking, biting, hitting, pinching or putting anything on or in a child’s mouth.
- Withdrawal of food, rest, bathroom access, or outdoor activities
- Abusive or profane language, including yelling
- Any form of public or private humiliation, including threats of physical punishment, and
- Unsupervised separation

• My house is very childproof and there are very few things that are off-limits to the children. I feel that exploring and “getting into things” are a normal and healthy part of childhood.

• A well-organized, well-supervised, and stimulating atmosphere will be provided that should minimize any need for discipline. If a discipline problem should arise involving your child, we will discuss the problem and work out a solution together.

• Your child will be transported only in an automobile in safe operating condition that is covered by insurance and operated by a licensed and safe driver.
• There will be occasional field trips. Signed and completed permission slips must be returned 24 hours prior to the field trip in order for your child to participate.

Weather Conditions
Garden of Blessings will follow the guidelines of APS when transporting children to and from school.

Health Policies and Procedures
Sick Care
• If your child is ill to the extent that it interrupts the care of or endangers the health of the other children, it will be necessary for you to make other arrangements for his or her care. Should your child become ill during his or her day here, you will be notified and we will determine the best course of action concerning appropriate care, which may include the child being taken home.
• I will always respect your need to be at work when it comes to an ill child. I ask, however, that when deciding if your child should be at home, you give consideration to the other children in care and ask yourself how you would feel if your child were here and well and another child were as ill as your child is now.
• My “bottom line” for not providing care is fever in excess of 100.4 degrees, vomiting, excessive diarrhea, or any potentially contagious disorder. Further, there are times when a child is not that ill but is terribly uncomfortable and really needs some “one on one” that I cannot provide and be fair to the other children. At those times I will strongly urge you to consider keeping your child at home.

Medical Emergencies
• Immediate first aid will be given.
• An ambulance will be called and the recommendations of the paramedics followed.
• Parents will be notified as soon as possible. If you are not available, other family or friends on you registration form will be notified.
• Parents are responsible for any expenses incurred as a result of emergency room care, ambulance, etc.

First-Aid Procedures
• First aid will be in accordance with the Red Cross first-aid class and the Poison Center.
• Everyone who cares for your child takes an Emergency Care and CPR for Infants and Children course every two years as required by CYFD.
• A complete first aid kit, Ice packs, and emergency numbers will be kept on the premises.
• Parents will be notified of all accidents, and a record of injuries will be kept on each child.

• If your child becomes ill during the day, you will be notified and are expected to pick up your child as soon as possible.
• If your child will be missing child care due to illness, please notify me by phone in the morning or the previous evening.
Communicable Disease Prevention and Reporting
• Your child will be kept isolated from other children as much as possible if your child has a communicable disease. Communicable diseases will be reported to the Department of Health.
• Each child will be observed daily for illness.
• Individual bedding, paper towels, glasses, etc. will be used to minimize spreading infections.
Hand washing, diapering, sanitizing, and laundering policies
• Child care provider will wash hands before and after diapering; toileting; eating; handling, and preparing food; and handling contaminated materials
• Children will wash after toileting, after handling contaminated materials, and before and after eating.
• Diapers will be changed regularly and immediately after a bowel movement. Bottoms will be thoroughly cleaned and ointment will be used as needed.
• The diapering area will be sanitized after each use; contaminated utensils and toys will be sanitized.
• Bedding will be laundered as needed or once a week.
• Bottles and nipples will be washed in the dishwasher and rinsed again with hot water before filling.

Medication Management
Garden of Blessings Child Care will NOT administer any medication. If a child is on medication, the child must be given the medicine at home. No exceptions.

• I am a mandated reporter of suspected child abuse. Your child’s welfare will ALWAYS come first. I will consult with you if possible. Please understand that I have few options.
• Any person picking up your child in an impaired condition (in my estimation, inebriated or on drugs) will be encouraged to allow me to find alternate transportation. I cannot legally withhold a child from a legal guardian, but if I feel a child is in jeopardy, I will not hesitate to contact the police.

My family’s personal space is shared with you and your children during daycare hours. What you see and hear within my home is private and should not be shared outside the home.

Family Involvement
Garden of Blessings values your family involvement. In an effort to involve our families in to our classroom we have provided the following:

1. A Bulletin Board with the following information:
• Developmental Milestone Chart
• A list of weekly Activities to promote your child's grow
• A Calendar to share important dates
• A monthly Newsletter to communicate things we have been learning in the classroom
• A weekly Menu to share how we have provided nutritious meals
2. Garden of Blessings also sets aside Parent/Teacher Conferences every 6 months to discuss your child's progress and to set goals for kindergarten readiness.

3. Garden of Blessings also provides daily Written Communication for children under the age of one. Those that are 12 months and older are on a need be bases.

Open communication is the key to a happy, long-lasting relationship between a child-care provider and their child-care families. Please do not ever hesitate to contact me about anything that affects the well-being of your child.

Parents have free access to all areas of my house and yard that are used by their child.

Parents are free to call at any time to see how their child is doing. An answering machine will be used at times to avoid interruptions, but I will return your call as soon as possible.

Parents interested in volunteering their time for field trips or special occasions are appreciated and welcomed.

Parents wishing one on one time to discuss important matters concerning their child that would take more than a few minutes are encouraged to set up a special time with the owner, Dawn Davis.

Religious Activities
As a Christian based home day-care there will be times of praise, prayer and devotional time which will involve learning activities based on the Holy Bible.

Nondiscrimination Policy
No child will be discriminated against on the basis of race or religion.

Miscellaneous Information

Please do not park in the drive way or in front of the drive way. Parking is appropriate in front of the house or in front of the side yard. Thank you for your consideration.
No smoking is allowed in my house or yard at any time.

Fire Drills will be conducted monthly and recorded on the evacuation.

The handling of complaints is expected to be handled in a professional manor where both parties involved feel they are being heard and respected. A solution to the issue has to be agreed upon by both parties to insure a continued healthy relationship.


Assignments during an Emergency:
Direct Evacuation and Person Count Dawn Davis, Director & Ron Davis, Ast.
Handle 1st Aid Dawn Davis, Director & Ron Davis Ast.
Telephone Emergency Numbers Dawn Davis, Director
Transportation Dawn Davis, Director & Ron Davis Ast.
Media Ron Davis, Ast.
Final Check Dawn Davis, Director

Emergency #’s

Fire/Paramedics: 764-6300/291-6242
Police or Sheriff: 242-2677
Red Cross 265-8514
Poison Control: 800-222-1222
Child Protective Services 841-6100
Ambulance 449-5700
Physicians In Children’s File
Dentist In Children’s File
Hospitals: UNM- 272-2111. Pres. – 841-1819, Lovelace – 727-8142

Exit Locations
1. Front Door 2. Back Patio Door
3. Garage Door 4. Master Bedroom Window

Utility Shut off Locations – see house sketch
Electricity – Back Patio
Water – Front Yard
Gas – Dog Run

1st Aid Kit location
1. Main Bathroom on top of cabinet
2. Center Emergency Kit in Daycare Room Closet
3. In Transportation Vehicles

Equipment Location
Smoke Detectors: Bedrooms, Living room, Daycare Room
Fire Extinguisher: Kitchen, Transportation Vehicle
Emergency Kit: Classroom Closet Top Shelf, Transportation Vehicle

The shelter plan provides information on where the children will likely be transported to in case of an emergency/disaster.
Parents will be called to come pick up their children. If parents are unavailable, the alternate contacts given by parents will be used.

PLAN A – This will be our 1st choice of location. This within walking distance of my house. A map is given to insure that the location can be found.

1. 1st Contact Dawn Davis
2. 2nd Contact Ron Davis
3. 3rd Contact Wayne Barela
4. 4th Contact Angie Barela

PLAN B – will only be used if we are required to be removed from our neighborhood. A map is given to insure that the location can be found.

I, Dawn Davis, will be the main driver and Ron Davis will be the secondary driver.

1. 1st Contact Dawn Davis
2. 2nd Contact Ron Davis
3. 3rd Contact Dave Jennings
4. 4th Contact Pete Myers

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Arts & Crafts

This is the snow man we made out of Paper Mache.

Christmas Trees from our 4 year old and 1 year old.

Our 4 year old's Penguins.

Our 5 year old's Penguin.

Our 5 year old's Snow Man.

Our 1 year old's Snow Flakes.

Our 5 year old's penguins. She says the two are Mommy and Daddy and the three are Big Big Brother, Little Big Brother, and Sister.

Poinsettia's from their hands.

Angel made of Bells.

Christmas Bible Study

Garden of Blessings incorporates Socio-Dramatic Play into our bible study times. We take poster size pictures of a particular bible study and discuss what is going on in each picture. We then encourage each child to dress up into one of the characters from the story and act out the story. The children love it and the story sticks into their heart and mind. Here is some pictures of our costumes and the Christmas Story that follows.
This is the back side of our Angel costume.

This is the Front side of our Angel Costume.

This is the back end of Mother Mary. We do have a baby Jesus but he was asleep in the Manger.

This is the cloak that looks like the Joseph that is in the pictures.

2.1 Mary Tells Joseph the Angel’s News

After the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was to be the Mother of the promised Messiah, she was beside herself with joy. She went to Judea to tell her cousin Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. She also told her fiancé, Joseph. When Joseph learned that Mary was going to have a baby, he was worried, troubled, and disturbed. Mary was not yet his wife; they were only engaged to be married. As he thought over all of this he almost decided he would quietly break their engagement. Though he loved Mary, maybe Mary was really not the right kind of girl for him to marry. Joseph had many doubts about what Mary had told him. He certainly wanted to do right, but what she had told him was so unusual that maybe it would be too risky to marry a girl who might be the wrong kind of girl.

2.2 Gabriel tells Joseph of his task.

One night Joseph couldn’t sleep. As he lay tossing on his bed, an angel came to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, don’t worry! Go right ahead and take Mary to be your wife! For this baby that she will have is the Messiah, the Son of God. You shall name Him Jesus (meaning Savior), for He will save His people from their sins.” When Joseph awoke, he was filled with wonder that he, too, had heard from the Lord about this special baby – the One who was to be the world’s Savior. Joseph must have remembered also what the prophet Isaiah had said about the Messiah hundreds of years before; “Call his name Immanuel, God with us.”

Joseph did what the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife. Together they prepared for the coming of Infant Jesus, the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

2.3 Joseph tells Mary of the emperor’s command

The weeks must have dragged by very slowly for Mary as she waited for her special Son – the Messiah, the Son of God – to be born. One day as joseph worked very hard in his carenter shop, he looked up from his work and said, “Mary, I have bad news for you.” “What is it?” She asked.

“Soldiers have brought word from the great emperor of Rome, Caesar Augustus, that all of us have to go to the city or town from which our families have come and sign our name in his big census book. He wants us to register so he can have a list of the names of everybody in his empire. Caesar Augustus is also ordering us to pay more tax money. We are paying so much now that we hardly have enough to live on. So we will have to travel the eigty-five miles to Bethlehem, the city of David, because we’re both of the family of King David. We must obey the command of the emperor.”

Joseph did not like the thought of taking Mary on that long, hard trip because it was almost time for the baby to come, but there was no choice. They must pack their things and prepare for the long journey.

2.4 Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem

There were no buses, cars, or trains on which to travel. But Joseph did have a donkey for Mary to ride as he walked alongside the donkey. Of course, the donkey was slow, and the road was rocky, rough, and bumph. When the road didn’t lead them up a hill, it led them down a hill. Mary got tired, stiff, and sore, and Joseph’s feet probably hurt from swelling, and as he cut them on the rocks. Man times Joseph asked, “Are you all right, Mary?” Can we go just a little farther before we make camp for the night?” It took them many days to make the trip. They thought they would never get to Bethlehem.

Finally, late one evening, as darkness was falling, they saw little lights in the distance, and Joseph cried, “There it is, Mary; there’s Bethlehem!

“Oh, thank God – I’m so glad. We’ll have a soft, warm bed tonight instead of the rocky ground, and we can get some good, hot food to eat. Make the donkey go a little faster, Joseph.”

They finally reached Bethlehem, their destination. As Mary and Joseph came into Bethlehem, they saw that it was swarming with people who had come to register and pay taxes. Some were on camels; some on donkey’s, some on wagons, or on foot.

Joseph exclained, “Oh, Mary, look how crowed! Where will we find a place to stay? We’d better go get a room.”

And so they tried. They made the rounds. But everywhere it was the same answer when Joseph asked for a place to stay for the night. “We’re sorry, but we don’t have any room. Every bed and place to sleep is full. Try the village inn – you might get a room there,” some one said.

2.5 No room at the Inn

Joseph wearily led the little donkey with its rider down the rough cobblestone streets to the inn. He begged the innkeeper for a room or even a bed for the night. The innkeeper said, “We don’t have a corner, nook, or cranny left in the inn. People are on cots and even wrapped up in blankets sleeping in the courtyard.”

Josephn said, “Couldn’t you just give my wife Mary a small place? It doesn’t matter about me.”

“I’m sorry,” the innkeeper said, “There’s not one tiny bit of space left.” If the innkeeper had known that the messiah, the Savior, would be born that night, surely he would have found a place somewhere.

Joseph put his head in his hands and sighted, “what am I going to do?” He was desperate. Had God forgotten to take care of them?

As he turend to go away the innkeeper said, “Wait, I have a suggestion. It’s not a very good idea, but ou could go out in the back to the cattle stable where the travelers keep their animals. There are mules, donkeys, calves, and sheep in the stable where the travelers keep their animals. There are mules, donkeys, calves, and sheep in the stable, but you could find room in there to rest tonight. If it rains, you could at least have a roof over your heads.”

Joseph hung his head. “Is that all you have? I certainly do hate to take Mary out to a dirty smelly old stable. But I don’t know what else to do.” He thanked the innkeeper, and they went out back to the stable. Joseph drove some of the cows and sheep to the other side of the stable. He made a straw broom and swept off the cold damp, dirt floor. The he put some clean hay over in one corner and trew their coast over it. Finally, exhausted, they lay on the coats to sleep.

2.6 Christ is Born

That night, as all the people of Bethlehem slept I their nice, snug, warm beds, God sent His Son to earth – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! And when He left heaven’s glory, where all the angels bowed before Him, and came down to this world, He had to be born in a stable! The event that God had planned down through the ages had finally taken place – the Christ, the Messiah was born. It was the very first Christmas night.

Mary said, “Joseph, I don’t have any more soft blankets to wrap around the Baby to keep out the cold. What do you think we should do?” Joseph took some swaddling clothes, the old rags that are used to wipe down the animals, and Joseph wrapped those around the newborn Baby. There was not a beautiful little crib or bed to lay God’s King in, so Joseph cleaned out an old manger, a stone trough where the cows ate, and put some fresh hay in it. And Joseph lay God’s King on the hay in a manger.

Isn’t it sad there was not room for Jesus in Bethlehem, no room in the homes of the people, no room in the inn? And worst of all, there was not room in the hearts of most of the Jewish people. The Bible says, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not!” I wonder if we have room for Jesus in our homes and in our hearts. Have we invited Him to come in and be our Savior and Lord? If we make Him Lord, that means He’s to be our boss, our King. Have we crowned Him King of our lives? A king rules, doesn’t he? We must let Jesus be our Ruler and obey Him in everything.

If you want Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, all you have to do is tell Him. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” If you never have invited Jesus into your heart and life, why don’t you do it right now?