Monday, February 27, 2012

There is more than one way to have fun with Signing Time

While I was updating my last post I could hear over my shoulder the sound of something plastic hitting the floor, then some genuine belly laughs.  I knew Ben had found something new, fun an most likely inappropriate to do.
So I grabbed the video camera an headed over.  Here is what I found:

I think the next time I let him change out his Signing Time DVD, I need to do more supervising.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Big Giant Hole in the Yard

The other day, it was very nice here in Nebraska.  John went outside to shoot some hoops and mess around.  He came back in rather quickly and asked,  "Hey Mom.  Why is there a big, giant hole in the yard?"  Thinking he was exaggerating I said.  "Oh, come on.  There is not a big giant hole in the yard."  John replied "No.  Really Mom.  There is a big giant hole in the yard."

So I went outside.

OMG.  There is a big giant hole in the yard.

It is about 3 feet deep, and is in a spot in the middle of the yard that has been regularly driven over by heavy farm equipment.  Weird spot for a sink hole.  John is convinced that a meteor struck.  I don't think so, John.

Anyway, I just wanted to ask some of my older cousins, if you read this, do you ever remember seeing anything in the middle of the yard on the way back to the barn and grainery that might have caused this hole?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ben's Got Game!

Since the beginning of December we have been to an average of 3 basketball games a week for John and Noah.  Ben goes right along with us. He loves to sit with his buddy Sara (Wes's Mom) and eat popcorn at the Small Fry games.  Together they have been working on learning the hand signals the officials use.  He likes to call travels and shooting fouls.  There have been a few occasions when a referee was near that he gave them an earful.  Good thing we can't understand what he is saying.  (He takes after his Dad on those). At home he runs up and down the hallway wearing one of his brothers lanyards with the end in his mouth. (No, I am not thrilled about it)  pretending to be a referee with a whistle.  
I have tried to bring things to games to entertain him, which works for half time and time outs, but when the game is on,  he lets me know very clearly that he is there for a reason.  He watches the game.  He cheers for anyone who makes a good play no matter what team they are on.  His other passion is running on the floor after the game.  He goes to the free throw lines and shoots pretend baskets from each end of the court.   The only exception to his good behavior is when he is tired or hungry, then he gets a little squirmy, but for the most part he really pays attention. 
It is obvious that he looks up to his older brother and really wants to do exactly what they are doing.  He is such a sponge right now with imitating what he sees (good and bad).   The following video shows some of the good things he has picked up from going to all those games. 

I am ready for basketball season to be over, but I don't think he is.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Baby (With Down Syndrome) Can Read!

I have been putting off this post for quite some time,  because I have not been sure how to write it.  Plus a few people that I have told have been a bit doubtful, so I wanted to include some video evidence.  When we first discovered that Ben could sight read words over a year ago, we thought it might be a fluke.  Randy was looking at some flash cards with Ben one night and accidentally dropped the cards.  This particular set of cards has the words on one side and the picture on the other.  As Randy was trying to sort the deck out, Ben was signing the word before he could flip the card over to the picture side.  I had been out with the big boys and when we got home he said  "look what Ben can do".  Sure enough Ben correctly signed 80% of the words in that flash card set.  At the time Ben was 32 months old.  Ben now can sight read close to 200 words and signs more than 300.  The above video shows him in action.  He uses a combination of signing and speaking to help us understand, since it is often difficult to understand many of words.  

You might be wondering how Ben learned to sight read.  The funny part is that it was kind of by accident.   If you want the details, go to the tab above called Ben Reading, or click here.

But what this whole experience has taught me is that there is no limit to what kids can achieve when they are motivated to do so.  Those original flash cards, are what motivated Ben.  Find what motivates your child and then work on it.  You will be surprised at how fast they master the task.  Set the bar high and they will rise up to meet it and exceed it.  Recently we have started working on the sight words he will need for school and reading short sentences.  It is slow going be he is making progress and building on his existing skills. 
Make a video - it's fun, easy and free!

Friday, February 3, 2012


Can you believe we have had a teenager in the house for over 2 weeks?   Not just a regular teenager.  A teenager who saved most of his Christmas and Birthday money to buy a phone.  He controlled his impulse to purchase the first phone he saw,  researched, found a good deal on a phone and has a better plan then I do.  I have to admit that I am jealous!  But the constant beeping from all his text messages is starting to get a bit old.  :)

So proud of this boy.  Even through the hoodie wearing, texting, sulking, moody days he is able to keep up  with quiz bowl,  basketball, band, choir, and 4-h, all the while staying on the honor roll.  Keep up the great work John!