Sunday, February 24, 2013

Signing Time

Just a short post about Signing Time. We got this in January and started watching it with the kids. They actually happen to like it, and though it took them two or three days, they were finally starting to sign along with the show and even started to use some of the signs in the kitchen! While they like the signing videos, they like the signing songs a lot more, especially the one about all the colors.

With Signing Time, I've heard that it builds a child's vocabulary, and that some even begin to read the words that are displayed on the screen. I can't say that Bee and Matschi are reading words, but they're definitely interested in them, and they're attempting to write letters now. Matschi is mostly obsessed with writing the letter H though, which is expected, as that's the first letter of his name. Bee tries, but they look more like scribbles. But at least she's trying, right?

All in all though, Signing Time is pretty fun for the kids, and it's something I recommend for young children. And babies too! It's an easy way to put words into their hands so they can tell you their needs instead of you getting frustrated while trying to figure out what they want!

And while Matschi and Bee can talk, of course, they're learning ASL for when the new baby comes in the middle of July. Plus it gives Andi time to interact with her step-children.

Journey Through The Snow

So last month, like I promised we would do, Andi and I took the kids to the park to have an adventure with the snow. To our surprise though, we stumbled upon a bunch of ducks. Growing up near fast-flowing creeks in a town far, far away from duck ponds and everything else, I have honestly never seen ducks during the winter. There happened to be a goose too though, sneaking around and trying to be a duck! He seemed to blend in pretty well. And the kids enjoyed seeing the ducks. Too bad we didn't bring any bread though for the ducks to feed off of.

There were a lot more ducks than there are pictured here... There were probably a good hundred more behind me, quacking away.

Bee, staring off into the distance. She's awfully brave when it comes to the ducks. Her brother doesn't try to pet them like she does. In fact, he stays away from a lot of "dangerous" situations. Sometimes, I'm glad that he does... because sometimes I'm afraid of Bee getting bit by a duck or hurting herself in some other way! But I have to let them explore, right? So I just bite my lip and let her do her thing...

By the way, in case you're wondering, I don't like to go near ducks... or big white farm geese. I've heard too many stories of them being mean. So the zoom is my best friend here!

After we spent a little time near the creek there in the park with the ducks, the kids decided that they wanted to go to the playground. Which was a good half a mile away. Through the snow. I'm sure we could've used the pathways to get there, but we thought this would be a good opportunity to teach them a lesson about perseverance and working to get things that you want--that not everything is easy! I know some are thinking that they're too young for this... but to be honest, they were very proud of themselves.

Matschi only fell down once. Bee... well, she fell down a lot. Probably because her legs are a bit shorter than her brother's. He made it to the playground just fine, but it took Bee quite a bit of time. We had to keep encouraging her, and even when Matschi and I had reached the playground, he turned around and started shouting at her that she could do it, that she didn't have much farther to go. All that from a four-year-old boy!

And in the end, Bee pushed herself. She was very determined to finish and get to where her brother was. I must say that after all of this... they try whenever they do things now instead of complaining that they can't. Which is very good. We want them to think that they can do anything no matter what!

Blog Title Change & Will

Sometimes I wonder what it is that I should blog about. Yes, I love my niece and nephew, and we do lots of homeschooling here in our large household, but I want the blog to be more about than just the activities that we do. So I think I'm going to change the title of this blog to something more fitting... something that can be wrapped around all the fun and joy of kids, my brother and newest sister-in-law, my puppy, recipes, lunch boxes, my very random photography, and the love of my life, Will (and our journey through life together which has only just begun!).

I need to catch up first... I have lots of things to blog about. Especially my new adventures of making lunches! So you'll be seeing a lot more of that. And Will too!

Unfortunately, Will doesn't look too happy. But he's the one who made me cut his hair, so I'm not sure why he's so upset-looking about it! Maybe it's because he think he looks like a Nazi (his words, not mine!). But believe it or not, he's a quarter Mexican. Must be the Irish blood in him that makes him so white.

Here's our most recent photo of us together. But I cut my hair too, so I look a little bit different now as well! Will also needed a shave at the time of this. He likes to put it off for as long as possible, even though I try to tell him that he's prickly. I don't think he cares like a lot of men.