Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Leaves Keep Falling on my Yard!

Because Gabe is the teen age boy in the house, he has been assigned the job of moving the fall leaves from the yard to the woods. A few years ago he hated this task. All of the raking hurt his hands and arms. Of course I helped a lot with the clean up then.
Last fall Dirk got him a leaf blower. This made all of the difference. Now he is a man with a power tool!
Last fall we had a hard time getting him to understand that the leaves needed to be blown to the woods at the back of the yard. He was having fun blowing them where ever. This year he has done much better at following a basic pattern to get the leaves to the back of the yard. They were so thick at some points that I had to get the yard cart and haul some of them back into the woods.  At first Gabe was mad. It is his job so "just leave me alone!" is what he says.
Because he knew that he should not blow the leaves into the neighbors yard he left a 3 foot swath of leaves along the property line. Our neighbor keeps a perfect yard. I came home from work one day to see her showing Gabe how to blow the leaves back toward our woods. She worked patiently with him. I was impressed. Then I began to realize her motivation was to be sure that the wind did not blow them back into her yard. Oh well, he listened to her and the job got done. Both Dirk and I had tried to show him how to blow them a few days ago, but all he did was argue then.
The job is almost done. We will need to finish tomorrow. It is predicted to snow this weekend.

On a totally different note, Maree is really growing

Friday, November 2, 2012

It's not 'merican dip because...

As I have mentioned before, we have put Gabe on a gluten and dairy free diet. This has helped him some. However, he still has some issues. He mispronounces and mislabels many things. He thinks that he is saying what everyone else is saying, but he does not listen carefully enough to realize that what he is saying is different.
Because we want to teach him to say as many things correctly as possible we have been trying to teach him that it is Miracle Whip not 'merican dip. I have said Miracle Whip to him hundreds of times, initially just restating it to him correctly and then moving into trying to get him to say it correctly.
Each attempt to get him to say Miracle Whip would result in him just shouting back 'merican dip and then whining. I would say listen carefully as I say it, but he would only shout back 'merican dip.
I divided it up. "Listen carefully - miracle."
"Miracle, whine..."
"Whip, whine..."
"Miracle Whip."
" 'merican dip, oohhh, whine..."
After several unsuccessful attempts I said you are learning to read. Look at the label on the jar. What does it say?" I pointed to the word miracle.
" 'merican, whine..."
"There's no N there so it can't be 'merican. It's miracle. Look at the word," I point again.
" 'merican, oohhh, I don't know, whine..."
"Look at it," I say again.
"I don't know, uuhh, whine..."
"Maybe it will help if you think of the word this way. Jesus healed the blind man and it was a _______."
"Dip," Gabe shouted. Other family members in the kitchen held their mouths as they tried not to laugh out loud.
"It was a miracle," I said. "Look at the word."
"Jesus healed the blind man and it was a DIP, I don't know, whine...." Gabe shouted. Now he would not stop talking about the blind man.
After a few more failed attempts I said, "just forget the blind man. Remember the word miracle." Hundreds of mentions of Miracle Whip have not stuck, but one mention of Jesus healing the blind man is now completely stuck. (John 9 if you are wondering where the story is found). I finally gave in that night and just gave him some. He had become so exasperated that nothing was going to work.
However, now every time he wants Miracle Whip he says, "It's not 'merican dip because Jesus healed the blind man, so oh I don't know. It's that." He is pointing at the Miracle Whip.
When I told my sister this story she said, "Why can't he just say salad dressing?"
My answer, "because some salad dressings have dairy or wheat and he needs to be able to communicate what he actually can have."
We're still working on Miracle Whip.

On a totally different topic, these are now available from my online shop.