Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pictures Falling

"Mom, how did that fall out of your camera?" Hunter asked me.
"What are you talking about?"
"How did it fall out?"
"What fell out?"
"The picture, over there."

I looked up and he was pointing at the fridge, where a picture I printed out at Wal-greens the other day was hanging. Now, Hunter has seen me print out pictures from a home printer many times before, but we don't have a printer at our new home yet. So, apparently he saw this picture on my camera and was wondering how it got out without a printer. Or, something of that nature. I'm not really sure, didn't quite see the logic in this one.

The things that go through this kid's head.

"This is a great mystery..."
Ephesians 5:32

Hunter is 4 years, 7 months old

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do

You definitely don't have to tell me that kids are little parrots. They seem to pick up on everything, even when you think they're "not paying attention". It's one of those "learning by osmosis" kind of things that little kids tend to be so good at.

Sometimes it's annoying. Like you say a bad word one time and your two-year-old goes around repeating it for a week. It's a good kind of annoying, though, I guess. It tends to make you more aware of your actions and provides an ever-present reminder of the responsibility of parenthood.

Then there's the other kind of "parroting". Or, more accurately, imitating. That sort of "monkey see, monkey do" type of thing. To me, this kind is a little more intimidating. It starts young, like, I don't know, say newborn age. And it doesn't really end until adulthood. But it's probably, at least in my opinion, the strongest (or at least most noticeable) in the toddler / preschooler stage.

Ever since Hunter was a baby he would imitate things he saw me do (from talking on the phone to combing my hair) but he had seemed to have "grown out of" the more obvious imitating lately. Now, he still definitely picks up on attitudes (like, er, being grouchy) but when it comes to repeating every little thing I do, he hasn't really been doing that too much.

Recently, however, he has been in full-throttle again. Yesterday, we were heating up leftovers for lunch, and after leaving the room, I came back in and noticed that my food was done but the time never finished. Thinking it weird but brushing it to the side, I put Hunter's in, which he intently watched, and then when it got down to about 15 seconds he stopped it. "What are you doing?" I asked.

"Taking it out, like Brandon does."

Brandon, humorously, usually will just put the microwave on for a random, high amount of time (like 10 minutes) and then just take the food out whenever he thinks it's done. I had to laugh that Hunter had picked up on this and decided to follow along.

Then this morning Hunter was sent into the bathroom to wash up after breakfast, and after a few minutes Brandon went in there to see what was taking so long, and found this (picture to right). He's smiling in this picture, but he was so embarrassed when we first found him. His reaction to getting "caught" was probably the funniest part, he was so ready to shave, razor-in-hand and all.

"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children..."
Ephesians 5:1

Hunter is 4 years, 7 months old

Chess Club

"Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments."
Psalm 119:66
Hunter is 4 years, 7 months old

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Glenn Doman Turns 90

I never had any heros until I was an adult.

My first hero was Michael Pearl. I was a new parent - Hunter was seven months old - I read his book, To Train Up a Child, which changed virtually everything I believed about parenting, and later on, many things I believed about the Bible. He is one of the most admirable, wisest men I have ever known.

My second hero was Glenn Doman. I think this blog is pretty self-explanatory as to the reason why. He has opened a whole new world for me that has changed my life in so many ways. Ever since August of 2007 when I obsessively read through How to Teach Your Baby to Be Physically Superb (which I accidentally checked out of the library) I have been dying to meet the man behind The Institutes, the books, and the miraculous work with children and parents that he has accomplished in his lifetime.

Well, last month was his 90th birthday. It is so strange because, watching the video of the celebration, I felt this deep sense of loss that I couldn't attend. I feel like I know him, ever so deeply, even though he doesn't have the faintest notion who I am.

After all, I have had ever so many long, detailed, fascinating conversations with him where I have learned so much. I have listened to him talk on videos, radio stations, and of course, in many, many books. And I have savored, quoted, and wrote about virtually every word and concept. Writing this I feel a little bit like an obsessed teenage drooling over a pop star but, there are some things and people in the world worth following, worth taking note of, worth paying attention to. And for me, Glenn Doman is definitely one of them.

It makes me sad to think that Glenn is 90 years old now. People always have those big goals, those "before I die I want to..." Mine was to one day visit Philadelphia and see the Institutes, meet their staff and students, and, most of all, meet Glenn Doman. Have Hunter meet Glenn Doman.

Maybe my dream will come true. Maybe not. I suppose, either way, it's not the end of the world. And whether or not I ever do get to meet him, Glenn Doman lived a noble, amazing life, and has touched more lives then he can even imagine.

Happy Birthday, Glenn. Your life has meant more than you will ever know.

"Thou wilt prolong the king's life: and his years as many generations."
Psalm 61:6

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tying My Own Shoes

Hunter finally learned how to tie his shoes all by himself. Finally.

I say finally because this is one of those things that we have been "working on" (or, er, intending to "work" on at least) for about two years now. Yes, I said years.

Now, obviously, when he was two I didn't really expect him to tie his shoes. Not that it's impossible for a two-year-old to have that kind of small motor skills. Just that, well, he didn't.

But when he was about two I started talking about the process and showing him while I tied his shoes. "Pull the laces up, cross it over like this, then through the hole..." Not that I did that every time I tied his shoes (you're just in a hurry or distracted sometimes, you know?) but "tie own shoes" has been on my little skills checklist for quite a while now.

So, it's really nice that he can do it all on his own now. It might just have to do with the fact that we've actually been working on it since we moved. Like focused, consistent teaching (which is a quality I can't always boast). And let me tell you, it is so nice being able to just tell him, get your shoes on. He has been able to do pretty much every other dressing task for a while now (buttons, zippers, coat, belt, etc.) But he's finally an all-the-way "big boy" in the dressing department. And he is very proud of it (as you can see by his little smirk at the end of the video).

"And they tied unto it a lace of blue, to fasten it on high upon the mitre; as the LORD commanded Moses."
Exodus 39:31

Hunter is 4 years, 7 months old

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stop, Drop, and Roll

About a week ago we had our mandatory fire safety orientation with the base's fire chief.

She came in and went over a bunch of fire safety procedures, showing us how to test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, showing us where the breakers are, handing out some brochures and fridge magnets, etc.

Hunter, who was watching and listening (and being a bit too talkative during the demonstrations) offered his advice when she inquired what he would do if there was a fire in the house.

"Get water." he says.

We both laughed but, not exactly the answer she was looking for.

Next he offered, "I would hide in the closet."

Great I'm thinking. Can you tell that this is perhaps an area Mommy hasn't really taught yet?

But no, it gets better. Next he says he would jump out the window. (I think this kid has seen too many movies). At least, though, that is a possibility in a dire situation. I'll give him that.

I could tell I had my hands full.

Thankfully, though, this week just happened to be Fire Prevention Week, in honor of the great Chicago fire on October 8th of 1871. And there just happened to be a Fire Safety open house at the base fire station tonight. How convenient is that?

I have been wanting to take him on a field trip to a fire station for forever, so this was the perfect little coincidence (and wake up call).

It was really cool how they set up the open house. When you got there, you were given a little card with six little pictures representing the different activities to do. After you did each activity, you got your card stamped, and once your whole card was done, you turned it in for a bag full of goodies (a bunch of fire-safety themed toys - comic book, magnet, plastic cup, pencil, bracelet, ruler, fire hat... I forget what else). These are the activities he did:

Exhibit 1: Stop, drop, cover your face and roll activity (picture above)
A fireman demonstrated to the kids what to do if your clothes catch on fire, and explained why. They stuck a felt "fire" on the kids and let them practice.

Exhibit 2: Put out the fire
This was just for fun. There was a little wooden house frame they had built that had hinged "fires" in each window. The goal: "put out" the fires by knocking them down with the power hose.

Exhibit 3: Bucket brigade
They had this fun activity to demonstrate how fires were put out before the invention of the fire hose: a long, long line of lots of helpers passing buckets down the line until the fire was gone.

Exhibit 5: Fireman's hose
He got to try out a real fire hose (with some help). Boy are those things powerful! And they didn't even have it on full blast.

Exhibit 6: Dress up
He got to try on the fire suit, talked about how it protects them from the flames, talked about the purpose of the reflective gear, the helmet, etc. He also got to see how they store the suits so they can put them on really fast when the alarm goes off.

Exhibit 7: Smoke house
This was probably the best. They went inside the smoke house (trailer) and talked about what to do in a smoking building. They practiced crawling under the smoke, how to feel a door to see if it's hot (and, if so, do not open it), how to wave a cloth or similar item outside a window to signal for help, and how to properly climb out of a window ladder.

He also got to: check out the inside of a fire truck; get a good look at the inside of an the engine; watch the extendable ladder being raised; watch an actual fire being put out and how to properly use a fire extinguisher; get his picture taken with Sparky the fire dog; check out the fire station; eat cookies and lemonade; and more!

What a fun, incredible evening we had!

And, on top of all the fun, it is nice to know that he is a bit more fire safe now. (And, by the way, on the way home he told me that if there was a fire in the house, he would "run out as fast as I can" and "call the fireman".) Our "meeting place" is at the mailbox, which is a couple houses down. And we're talking about when and how to call 911. Should he ever need to.

"Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine." 
Job 18:5

Hunter is 4 years, 6 months old

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Toilet Mechanics

Today we were cleaning the bathrooms together and as he was cleaning the toilet, I popped the lid off to show him the inside. I pushed the handle down and let him see the mechanics of it all. We talked about where the clean water comes from and where the dirty water goes, etc. We had briefly talked about the sewer and water systems in times past but I think this is the first time I have showed him the inside of the actual toilet. He was so fascinated.

Later he went upstairs to clean his bathroom on his own and I found him in there, flushing the toilet and messing with the float, watching the water drain and fill up, the levers go up and down, etc. He was so intently focused on it until he had "figured it all out" I guess. It's funny how interesting and educational the simple things in life can be to little kids.

"Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal..." 
Exodus 30:18

Hunter is 4 years, 6 months old

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hunter's New Room

I know it's been a little while since we moved but I thought I would post some pictures of Hunter's new room.

He has his own room now and is so excited about it! To the right is his room from standing near the doorway. Things in this picture:
  • His map and flag display hangs besides his bed (it's been a tradition since he was two)
  • An astronaut poster that reads "There are no dreams too extreme"
  • Whale hamper at the foot of bed
  • Twin size bed with drawers for clothes and toys (mostly empty now)
  • A cars TV and DVD player for watching science and foreign language videos and listening to CDs
  • Vtech Vsmile TV Learning System (someone gave this to us as a second-hand gift. I'm not really big on video games but I hold onto the games and let him play it every once and a while)
View 2:
  • TV and video game system again
  • A football bank on the window sill
  • Multiplication table poster
  • A make-shift bookshelf (this is actually the head of another twin bed that got broken). The books to the left side are the few he was able to bring from home, the ones on the right are from the library.
  • Also on bookshelf are his morning routine and alarm clock
  • His fiber-optic night light
View 3:

  • This is his closet and door. The closet is pretty big but mostly empty at the moment. He keeps his shoes and backpack in here, along with a few other odds and ends.
  • Parts of speech poster on wall and Spiderman poster on door
And that about sums up our little room tour for now. We are so blessed!

"...tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in?" 
Genesis 24:23