Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Scenes from a Church Picnic

A friend of ours took these lovely shots of the kids at the Young Families Picnic I organized for our church a few weeks ago.
And here are a few that I took. Pete kindly helped all the kids fill their water balloons (this was the week it was really stinkin' hot).

Finally, here the are kids expressing their dismay that it's time to leave, each in their own way.

Ms. Forthright:
Mr. Passive-Aggressive:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Coloring Machine

Several weeks ago Daphne entered a serious coloring phase. It's been quite satisfying to see her focus on a task (seated and with only minor wiggling) and see it through to the end. Her preferred medium is crayon, but today she wanted to try her hand at colored pencils.
I thought I'd share some samples. Here's one of several from the Dinosaur Collection.Here's a lovely pink worm
This is one she did at art camp last week - they were studying color and space.
And occasionally she'll want to draw. We dubbed this one "Dancing Girl."
At one point after a particularly extended session of coloring, I called her a coloring machine. She liked that.Footnote: Just now as I was getting ready to post this blog entry, I suddenly remembered this sweet little post from Pete...and turns out it's from almost exactly a year ago.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Golfball II: Taking the Cuteness Up a Notch

Pete found these pint-sized-but-authentic golf clubs on Craigslist the other day, so a trip to the driving range was in order. I confess, I'm still reeling a bit from the cuteness of it all.

Bring on the videos! Bring on the cuteness!

Daphne, wielding her wedge...

Daphne, debuting her driver...

Lucky Lefty James inherited the plastic clubs...

Pete and I don't have much to pass on to our children in the way of special abilities or talents, but respectable hand-eye coordination (paired with slowness and solidly average athleticism) have likely survived the gene shuffle. And my brother is sort of left-handed.

In the last 7 seconds of this one I'm thankful for plastic clubs...

Laughing probably wasn't the best response, but what can you do?

And for you die-hard family/friends/fans, here is James making par but for the wrong "hole."

And just in case you need one more slap in the face of cuteness...
*Cue collective "Awww!"*

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Learning to Read

I randomly picked up a book at the library called "Teach Your Child To Read In Just Ten Minutes A Day" by Sidney Ledson. Like many parents of 3 and 4-year-olds I know, I've been wondering what to do now that Daphne has known all the letters and many of their sounds for awhile now.

I started reading and the method made total sense to me, so I decided to give it a try. The book tells you precisely what to do, step-by-step. First, you teach the "uh" sound of U. Then, you teach the "puh" sound of P. Then, you teach the word "UP." Then you add the "cuh" sound of C, and then you teach "CUP." So instead of learning all the letter sounds one after the other in isolation, you learn two sounds and then a word, and you keep adding whole words each time you learn a new sound. The trick is to do it in the exact order Ledson specifies; so you can't learn the sound of "A" first, for example. To make it fun, you conduct pretend school with a few stuffed animals as classmates. But the catch is that the animals are not very good at reading so they need lots of help from the child. The animals are constantly coming up with ridiculous answers that are simply hilarious to a 3-and-a-half year old.

We've been doing it for about 10-15 minutes each day for about two weeks, and I'm very pleased with the results! Here's Daphne reading the words she's learned so far. And just so you know I'm not being tricky, we didn't rehearse this ahead of time. Right before recording this, I printed the words on random colors of paper and put them in a random order on the wall. She hadn't practiced the words since the day before. As you can see, all she's really memorized is the sounds of letters, not the words.

We'll report back when she's reading sentences!