...and other misconceptions I made 07-02-24
2007 Feb 24

Archive for February, 2009

February 28th 2009
German Saturday School

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Somehow we missed that fact that there is a German Saturday School of Portland. Only when friends of ours mentioned that their son went there did I start looking into what they are offering.

Today we went to “visit”, talked to the director and some of the teachers and the girls got to spend some time in class – or I should say in the “Spielgruppe” (play group) for four and five year old kids.

The school runs every Saturday morning and provides true immersion with mostly native speakers as teachers and lots of singing, playing and fun activities. The girls seemed to like it – H2 was a little overwhelmed with all the German around her at times – especially with all the German songs, most of which she didn’t know. But overall I think they had fun. So we’re going to sign them up for the rest of the school year and see how things go. I really hope that this will give them more exposure to German and an environment that gets them to actually speak the language.

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February 27th 2009
Language progress

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For a couple of months now we have really stressed speaking in full sentences with the girls. With S2 that took mostly some prompting and role modelling. With H2 the problem is much more making sure that she has the time to finish composing her thoughts, overcome the stutter and then say what she wants to say.

The amazing thing is that once we have gotten S2 to give H2 time to speak, H2’s speech has improved dramatically. We still have to keep reminding S2 to wait and prompt H2 to speak in full sentences, but much less so than just a few weeks ago. H2’s speech pathologist is excited about the progress – and so are we.

There’s such a noticeable difference in her ability to express herself. And she clearly enjoys that so much. And today I heard her say for the first time, in the middle of saying something “S2, let me finish!”, and then continued her sentence. That’s such a huge deal – the interruption did not throw her off her thought.

I could have cried.

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February 25th 2009
Rotating Hiding Chairs

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one is missingThe girls have loved hiding in these chairs for a while – whenever we’d go to IKEA they’d love to sit in them and hide and spin around. Yesterday we finally gave in and got them a pair – they both wanted blue here we are(I thought the red one was prettier – but who am I to argue style and colors with my children).

It’s fun to watch them play and spin and hide. And also have them sit in there alone and play with one of their toys, hidden from the world. Let’s see how long it lasts. For now they are very happy with their chairs. And the good thing about both picking the same color is that this makes it much easier to share. No “I want the <insert color> one”.

S2 coming out of hidingH2 coming out of hiding

S2 - my style role modelBut of course their other favorite play time wasn’t completely abandoned. After a while they both wanted to wear their princess dresses (or fairy outfits, as it may be) and dance and hop and play. I especially loved S2’s color coordinated accessorizing. Matching heels and helmet…

H2 is thinkingFinally my favorite among today’s many cute shots of H2. We see this face from her a lot, lately. Thinking and planning what to do (or say) next. She often disappears into her own world and takes a while to come back. That can be frustrating for the parent when one tries to catch her attention – but often the results are the most interesting things that she does or says.

As for her glasses – she seems very happy with them. She gets them in the morning without reminding, she puts them in their box when she goes to sleep and she is very diligent in making sure that she wears them all the time in between.

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February 24th 2009
Quick free photo collages

Posted under photography | 2 comments | |

I happened to run into a reference Shape Collage, a free Java application that runs on Mac and Linux (and Windows, if you care). It takes your pictures and creates shaped collages from them.

I played with it for a few minutes and loved the results. Look at two of my early attempts below… (and yes, you can free-hand the shapes as you can tell from the slightly crooked heart outline on the left…)

Heart OutlineFull Heart

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