Michael has been doing great with his letters and words. He was coloring at Chick-Fil-A one afternoon, and he brought this note to me. If you look at the note, it says, "Mom, Dad, I (heart) Yoow." He makes me laugh when he writes his name, too. If he runs out of space, he will put the letters above it (see above- "I'm Michae" with the L on top). So cute and precious!!
David wants to get moving SO badly. He can roll consecutively, and has gotten about 6-8 feet away with that method, and he also scoots his knees up and pushes and squirms forward, which can get him about 1-2 feet. He can spin himself in circles using the squirm and turn method. His latest way to attempt locomotion is to arch his back. He *almost* got free of the bumbo using this method, and he tries to use this same method to free himself from his car seat.
David loves his feet and hands. If he can reach his feet, he'll go for those, but otherwise you will find him with his hands tight-fisted and trying to shove them both into his mouth. David went for his 4-month well baby visit (even though I'm a few days early), and got 4 shots and 1 oral vaccination. Here are his stats:
Weight- 17lbs, 7oz (83rd percentile)
Height- 26" (75th percentile)
Head- 43cm (53rd percentile)
(*all percentiles are for a mid-4mo baby boy, so really these are assuming we measured 3 weeks from now.) David now rolls front to back and back to front, and I've found him to do quite a few rolls consecutively, especially if he wants to come closer to me. He has the sweetest baby belly laughs, and he's starting to sleep better. He loves his Mommy, and enjoys the attention of his big brother and sister, or anyone who will give it to him. He smiles a lot. What a sweet baby!
Michael snagged my sweater and put it on. Then he grabbed his ball and said that he was pretending to be God, and the ball was the world (as in "He's got the whole world in His hands.) HAHAHAHA! What a funny guy!
Kate is doing well learning her letters. She's turning into quite the independent little girl. When she gets up in the morning (which has been WAY too early since the time change), she goes ahead and gets herself dressed and ready for the day (except her hair, which I do- though I obviously hadn't gotten around to it yet in the above picture!) She's a big 3 year old now!!
David has been teething- drooling like a crazy man and shoving his hands in his mouth. It's pretty cute. He's also starting to grow out of his clothes again, and I think he will be in 18mo clothing soon. According to my scale, he's a little over 18lbs, but we will get the official stats at his check-up next week.
I pulled out the exersaucer this week, and David really enjoyed it. He's really starting to enjoy playing on his toy mat, too. And his chubby little fingers are starting to grab things (and immediately put everything in his mouth).
Tonight after our Bible story about Queen Esther:
Jon: So, who was the queen that we read about tonight?
Kate: uh.... JEREMIAH! (excitedly)
Jon: No, Kate, it was Queen Esther.
Jon: And who was Esther's cousin?
Kate: uh.... JEREMIAH! (excitedly)
I've been asked a couple times what Bible resources we use to teach our kids. We've been through quite a few books since Michael was really young, and have found some we like and some that we like less than others.
We have a Bible story before bedtime, and probably spend about 30min most nights together in Bible story time (usually from 9-9:30pm). I try to keep our family on a loose schedule, but this time is really a priority time for us. We love to spend it together, and the kids really enjoy it, too. If it's a late night, and we happen to miss Bible Story, the kids are really bummed. We usually sing a Bible song or two after story time, then share prayer requests and blessings, then we take turns praying.
When Michael was about a year, we started with The Beginner's Bible cards: These are short, and "cartoon-y" and would hold his attention for the 2-4min it would take to read it. It was more "sit training" than anything, but we wanted to get him used to sitting and listening before bedtime.
Next, we moved on to Bible Stories for Bedtime, which had stories a little bit longer, and when Kate joined us, they were still short enough for her to sit and be still for our Bible time.
We then read The Jesus Storybook Bible, and it really is more of a narrative of the entire theme of Scriptures (looking forward to Christ, then back at Jesus' work of redemption), and is very beautifully written. Some of the pictures are a little funky, but it was a lovely change of pace, and we will probably read it again soon.
Then we went through the Abeka Preschool Flash-a-Cards Bible stories, but they were expensive (even though I found them deeply discounted on ebay), and not as comprehensive as I would have liked. They are good for ages 2-3, and good for a change-of-pace when we want a specific Bible story at a specific time (like at Easter and Christmas). We have a couple other of these Flash-a-Card sets, and they are good for specific teachings that help to have detailed visuals (like the Tabernacle), but I think there are many more resources out there that are less expensive and can teach the Word just as well.
We are now going through Egermier's Bible Story Book, which is about 3 inches thick. We're about half way through, and I am learning a lot going through the stories chronologically. I've always heard Bible stories individually, and there's a huge benefit to putting it all together in a systematic fashion. The stories are true to text, but put in story-format for kids. Some of the difficult subject matter (and the OT definitely has some heavy stuff) is handled in a delicate fashion, but still true to the text. This was given to my by Jon's parents, who read it to him as he was growing up. It's our favorite book, for sure.
For music, I found this really great Bible song set at our Christian bookstore-365 My Every Day Bible Song Collection. The kids really enjoy the songs, which are good for character building, but also have helped the kids memorize a lot of verses, too, as many songs are verses put to music. We listen to them a lot in the car, and there are 8 CDs, so we rotate them, so as not to get tired of one CD at a time. One has Christmas songs, so we bring that out in December.
One other thing I have been trying to implement is a reward system for showing good character traits using the 49 Character Traits chart. Each kid has a chart, and when I notice them showing any of the good character traits, they get a sticker for their chart to put on that quality. In the process, they are learning the definitions and how to display each trait. (Now, I don't really focus on each trait equally, as I think that love, self-control, obedience, and deference need more teaching and reinforcement than punctuality, thriftiness, and alertness. :-) But it's been good to reward their behavior as I see them developing good character traits.
David is such a happy guy! He just started with the baby belly laughs, and it's SO fun to get him smiling and laughing. He loves being where the action is.
He just started sleeping better for me at night (thank goodness!!)- maybe due to the fact that he spends a good bit of his waking time practicing his new favorite sport:
Yep, he started rolling over this week. Not just rolling a little bit, but consecutive rolls that place him a good ways from the blanket I usually put him on. It's his 2nd favorite mode of transportation (after being carried).
This wound is my fault. I was doing our weekly finger/toe nail clipping for the kids, and went a little low on Katie's thumb. I felt bad, but considering I clipped 60 tiny finger nails, I guess it was bound to happen.
I was trying to figure out our outfits for our Christmas pictures, and this dress was an option. Kate fell in LOVE with it, and asked if she could wear it that day. When I told her yes, she literally leaped into my arms and said THANK YOU SO MUCH, MOMMY!!
Here's my sweet girl having a tea party with David. So sweet!
Doesn't Michael look like such a big boy in this picture? He's growing up! His birthday is on Nov 30th, and multiple times per day, he asks me how many days until his birthday!
Michael said, "Mom, I'm a tree. Take a picture." HAHAHA! (look at his fingers!)
I caught Michael reading Gray's Anatomy from the bookshelf. I guess he'll be registering for his MCATs soon. :-)
Michael loves to run and slide on his bottom. Practicing sliding into 2nd base, maybe?
The kids were watching Snow White yesterday, and when the witch offered Snow White the poison apple, Michael ran over to the TV and yelled into the speakers, "SNOW WHITE, do NOT eat the apple! It's poison!!"
We've been enjoying our trains lately, and have a new set up on the table almost every day.