Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas 2007

The Christmas season has passed all too quickly this year. We didn't get to do a lot of the things I had hoped for. The crafts, the treats, the outings, the lessons. We have spent a great deal of this season working through rough times in our family and dashing around trying to "get things together" with our newly evolving home program.

We memorized Luke chapter 2 verses 8-12, as well as Isaiah 9:6, both of which pertain to the Savior's birth. We've also learned Away in a Manger and Jingle Bells. Not nearly as much as I would have liked to teach him in regards to Christmas. But something is better than nothing, and they were certainly worthwhile things to learn.

But Christmas is in less than three days now, and we're currently enjoying the laid-back routine and the atmosphere of celebration and family togetherness. I'll let you know how the rest of the season goes...

How it Went: Pictures from Our Christmas Season



Making a fruit loop necklace, December 01






Exploring the many displays at the Festival of Lights in St. John, December 7th







Visiting a stable and manger display downtown, December 08






Gone sledding, December 08






Picture with Santa, December 9








Christmas Day with some of his cousins








Hunter and Anthony, Christmas weekend








Hunter is 2 years, 9 months old

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Recognizing Quantities with the Candy Game



"After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward."
Genesis 15:1
Hunter is 2 years,9 months old

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Math Program - Anthony's First "Test"

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Anthony passed his first "test" today. Okay, so it wasn't really a test: it was actually a problem-solving opportunity (which is quite different: see blogs on "testing" for more on this).

But nonetheless, I caught it on video that Anthony actually is absorbing everything I've been teaching him. And I'm proving to the unbelieving world that babies really can learn math.

I stepped into this math program on 100% faith. It sounded too good to be true. But I was genuinely curious: "It looks stupid, and it can't be true. But how exactly do they claim to accomplish teaching babies math?" And while I had never actually heard of anyone who was trained by this method, and even though it seemed impossible and too good to be true, there was a flicker of curious hope that said, "But what if it IS true!" I would never be able to live with a clear conscience if I didn't at least TRY it. So I did, and it has been a joyous triumph.

We are just in the beginning, and there is so much more to come. I am thoroughly excited and continually overjoyed in this discovery, and eagerly anticipate sharing our progress.

Anthony is 1 year, 1 month old

Monday, December 10, 2007

First Big Bible Verse



Hunter has memorized his first somewhat large Bible passage! (Luke 2:8-12) I have a video but it's on my camcorder so whenever I get the right cord I will be able to upload it. I am so proud of him!

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people..."
Luke 2:10
Hunter is 2 years, 8 months old

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Making Paper Chains

Today we did our first Christmas activity - making paper chains! I had always loved making paper chains when I was a kid so I thought this would be a fun one for Hunter to do.

He did really good at this and did a lot on his own!

I showed him how to use the glue and make the links and he made his own chain of about 12 links by the time the night was done.

It was a great exercise for developing concentration, small motor skills, and patterning (red / green / red / green...).



"And two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathenchains to the ouches." 
Exodus 28:14


Hunter is 2 years, 8 months old

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Imaginative Anatomy



"That's Grandpa's surgery" Hunter explained.

He had emptied his 88-cent anatomy man and filled it with this foam-ball reusable molding material he has, apparently to replicate the picture I let him see of my dad's intestines spread all over the place mid-surgery last Friday.

I had showed him the picture and explained, "They had to make an incision in his abdomen. These are his intestines. That's where the food goes when we eat it, and they help us digest our food."

He seemed intrigued, to say the least, although I wasn't too sure how much he totally understood, I at least gave him the opportunity and exposure.

But the anatomy man really surprised me. He really "gets" it, I thought to myself.

And then, I was glad that I didn't leave him in the dark about it, as is the natural instinct of modern society. The typical two-year-old explanation (if any) would be no more than "Grandpa was sick and the doctors fixed him".

This is the beginning of a whole new world of discovery for him (and me). We are very excited.

"He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." 
Psalm 147:3

Hunter is 2 years, 8 months old

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hunter Meets the Ocean

Hunter saw the ocean for the first time today. We had been talking about seeing the Atlantic ocean for days now, and when he finally got to see it he was very excited.

The ocean beach was very different from the Lake Michigan beach that he's used to. The waves were much bigger and stronger, and the sand was covered in seaweed and a hundreds of tiny seashells, rather than just the smooth rocks that wash up at the Indiana dunes.

He mostly played in the sand in the beginning, and eventually worked up the curiosity to venture out to the water. However, once he got out there he became aware of the loud, crashing waves and decided to head back to the safer, quieter shores. I can hardly blame him - the waves were strong enough to send me doing flips underwater, so I'm sure they must be pretty intimidating to a two-year-old.

But we eventually went out together. He was scared, but I held him, reassured him. I'm a big supporter of, um, pushing your kids limits. That is, gently encouraging them, supporting them, avoiding coddling them. Not to push them to the point of tears or anything. But it did end up paying off, because he overcame his initial fear and, once he found out that there was really nothing to be afraid of, had a wonderfully good time.



"He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength... Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea."
Job 9:4,8
 Hunter is 2 years, 7 months old

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hunter's Summer 2007



A little video of pictures and video clips of Hunter's summer (ages 26 - 30 months old).


"But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee."
Psalm 5:11

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Painting

We have been getting out a lot of school supplies lately, and today we got into the paint stuff. This is Hunter at work, he had a lot of fun.

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"Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it..."
Isaiah 42:5

Hunter is 2 years, 6 months old

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Attempt at Spanish

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We have been reading Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown since Hunter was a newborn. The other day, however, I got the Spanish version, Buenas Noches Luna on Amazon.com. This is my best attempt at reading it. Don't make fun! I'm trying, I'll get better eventually...


"And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him..."
Daniel 7:14
Hunter is 2 years, 5 months old

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Playing

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The little voices he was making while playing with his toys was so funny, I just had to capture it on video!

"O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard"
Psalm 66:8
Hunter is 2 years, 5 months old

Friday, August 31, 2007

First Math Lesson

Hunter had his very first math lesson today!

I showed him numbers one through five and played around with them a little bit. He then proceeded to teach his numbers to Barney and Elmo!

It was a great start, I'm very excited!


















"Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day."
Psalm 25:5
Hunter is 2 years, 5 months old

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Duplo Train



"...for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:"
Ruth 1:16
Hunter is 2 years, 5 months old

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Leaf Bug

Tonight we found a leaf bug in the breezeway, and it was really funny to see Hunter's reaction to it.

He was carefully watching it, and would occasionally work up the courage to get really close to it, then it would fly away to some other location, and he would then watch it from there.

We talked about how God gave it a body that looks like a leaf so that he can hide in trees and birds will think he is a leaf instead of a bug, so then he won't get eaten! He thought that was really funny.
























"...the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind."
Leviticus 11:22
Hunter is 2 years, 5 months old

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fear the Light Saber


"Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people"
Psalm 149:5-7
Hunter is 2 years, 5 months old

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Learning to Peddle

This evening I got some picture of Hunter riding his tricycle.

Our driveway it pretty cracked up but after closing hours we have a huge, smooth parking lot nearby that we love to play at.

He got this trike for his birthday a few months ago and LOVES it. As you can see from these pictures, he was having a blast peddling around in circles. And on top of being great fun, it's good for his brain development, too.




"Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers: Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing."
Job 8:21-22

Hunter is 2 years, 5 months old

Sink or Float Experimenting

Today we played a little science game and discovered more about the concepts of "sink" and "float" and why certain objects do one or the other.

We used a bunch of toys and threw them in a sink full of water to see what would happen to each.

We talked about why, this one sunk because it had holes in it, and see how it lets the water in? And this one floats because it is full of air and is has a lower density than the water.

He really had a fun time and after just a few times, I was surprised to see how accurate his hypothesizing became on whether or not a particular toy would sink or float.



















"I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me."
Psalm 62:9

Hunter is 2 years, 5 months old

Learning Left and Right

I made this little poster for Hunter to help him learn his left from his right.

The first thing I did was trace his little hands and cut out the blue paper outline.

Next I made arrows pointing to the right and the left, glued them on a piece of construction paper, and wrote in big, red letters "left" and "right" underneath.

I laminated it and hung it on the side of his dresser, next to the door, and it serves as a little visual of the concepts of a left hand and a right hand, a left direction and a right direction. We've also started talking about the concepts a lot, for example, asking him to give me his left foot to put a shoe on or telling him to look to the right to find his truck.

It's all new to him but I'm sure he'll be figuring it all out in no time at all.



"And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left."
Genesis 24:49

Hunter is 2 years, 5 months old

Friday, August 17, 2007

Eye Doctor

Hunter had his first appointment at the eye doctor today.

There was nothing wrong with his eyes, and I didn't have any concerns, but it was just one of those well-child check-up sort of things.

Leading up to it, we talked about how to listen to the doctor when he gave instructions, how to sit still and pay attention, and how to use a quiet voice. He brought his little doctor's kit with him, and had a fun time playing with it while we waited.

His eyes were just fine, he had perfect vision from the tests they took, which is such a blessing.


"Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal."
Psalm 17:2
Hunter is 2 years, 5 months old

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Number Line

Tonight, while Hunter was sleeping, I made this math display and hung it above his bed to use for playing math games. I hope he'll be surprised!

"In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction"
Job 33:15-16
Hunter is 2 years, 5 months old

Barnes and Noble Story Time

Today we went to toddler story time at Barnes and Noble, featuring the PBS character Arthur. They read some Arthur books and then, out came the character himself, in costume.

He doesn't really watch TV but we heard about this little event a few days ago and went to the library and got a video of Arthur episodes so he would know who it was.

Hunter loved listening to the stories and was absolutely thrilled when the big Arthur character came out. I'm so glad we went and am looking forward to going to more community events like this from now on.


"And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient."
Exodus 24:7

Hunter is 2 years, 5 months old

Monday, August 13, 2007

Afternoon at the Fair

Hunter had a great time at the county fair today.

We got cotton candy, an ice cream, a giant Spiderman toy, and a ride on the trucks (definitely his favorite part!)

It was one of the last days so I'm really glad we got the chance to go!























"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."
Genesis 8:22
Hunter is 2 years, 4 months old

Friday, August 10, 2007

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Hunter has had this adorable habit of constantly presenting me beautiful little wildflowers that he has picked. All. The. Time. Like every time he sees a dandelion, thistle, anything (which around here is all the time).

It's so sweet to hear his little voice run up to me time and time again saying, "Look Mommy! A pretty flower!"

And yes, we all know that dandelions are technically "weeds" but it just serves to remind me that truly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.





"One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple."
Psalm 27:4

Hunter is 2 years, 4 months old

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Anthony Signing "More"

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My nephew Anthony, age nine months. We are teaching him sign language (just like Hunter learned as a baby) and I'm so excited that he is finally doing them back!

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"
Matthew 7:11
Anthony is 9 months old

Alphabet Song

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"Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel."
Deuteronomy 31:19
Hunter is 2 years, 4 months old

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Painting Together

Today Hunter and I worked together on painting the basement floor.

I always love doing projects with him, bringing him along side of me and teaching him things, and he had a really fun time going at it with a paintbrush.

Since it was just the basement, it didn't matter much if the paint looked "perfect" so he really got to have a fun time with it.






"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour."
Ecclesiastes 4:9

Hunter is 2 years, 4 months old

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Potty Time

Hunter used the potty for the first time when he was 19 months old.

At that time I was really just introducing it to him, and hadn't started anything too serious, but he did really good and has been using it on and off since then.

This past summer, though, I've been getting a little more serious about it and have been trying everything I can think of to get him to tell me when he needs to go. I put him on the potty several times a day, such as after meals, before and after nap, etc. He usually goes at these times, and is becoming has told me quite a few times that he needs to go.

I've been trying to motivate him with stickers (he gets to put a Barney sticker on his potty every time he goes), and more recently, we've put a pull up on his stuffed Barney (who keeps his stars dry and always goes in the potty).

It's been working pretty well, and he's been going a lot lately. Now if only I could figure out a way to get him to go number two...



"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."
Joshua 1:8
Hunter is 2 years, 4 months old

Monday, August 6, 2007

Making Crayon Wafers

Hunter has a crayon box that has quite a few broken, tiny pieces of crayons in it, which many people just throw away, but I got an idea of something creative to do with them.

So today when his cousin came over, I had them take the box of crayons and sort them all by colors into different sections of a muffin tin. This was a good activity in color discrimination, as some of the color crayons were hard to tell (i.e., some of the purple ones looked almost blue).

After they sorted out all the colors, we put the muffin tin in the oven at 200 degrees and kept checking on them until they were melted. Then, viola! Crayon wafers that you could color with.

The only problem was that when they were done cooling, the wax had sort of separated itself, almost like the oil and water effect, meaning that the top half of the crayon can't really be colored with because it's almost pure wax, no color. So next time we recycle old crayons, I'll make sure that when I take them out of the oven I stir all of the colors every minute or so so that as it cools, it doesn't get the chance to separate.

Also, I would definitely spray some cooking spray in the bottom to make the crayons easier to pop out, cause they sure didn't come out easy! But all in all, it was a really fun activity and a fun way to reuse old things.


"Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud."
Proverbs 16:19
Hunter is 2 years, 4 months old