Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Update and Sharing My Heart

Wow have I missed this.  It has been so long since I have been able to have a moment to myself to think and reflect and listen to God let alone to write any of it down.

Things in our lives have been pretty insane this summer. We spent three weeks living with my Mother and Father in Law at their acreage while Hubby helped to build a giant shop for them to enjoy.  The kids and I had a great time visiting with Hubbies family and mine and exploring some exciting things around their town. 

While we were away my sister and brother in law ( and their little baby boy) were house sitting and since our return they have been living with us.  My b.i.l. is hard at work trying to renovate their new home so that they can move in sometime soon.  They still have a lot of work to do as he is both working on the home and working his full time job at our church. 

We have really enjoyed having them around the house with us and so far it has been wonderful. My kids adore them and their little guy and every day when my kids wake up they are so excited to go and see their aunt and uncle and cousin. E man adores the little guy and gives him big wet kisses all over his tiny bald head whenever he sees him.  We rarely hear E call the little guy buy his name, most of the time he just says "muah" like he is giving a kiss. 

Between the time we arrived home and now the kids and I also spent a week out at the lake. We went to a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Family camp at the camp my family has been involved with for years.  I had a few friends that were really confused by my excitement about taking the kids out there for Deaf camp since none of my family is Deaf or Hard of Hearing. 

I have grown up involved in the Deaf community my entire life. My dad was a sign language interpreter for a living but as I have explained before ( Found Here) , it was his gifting. More than fifteen years ago my dad started a camp for Deaf youth but where we are from there was little connection between the deaf community across the province and there were only a few youth that were able to attend. The first year there were 4 teens. As the years went on the camp grew but was still very small. They decided to open it up to Deaf and Hard of Hearing families and they offer signing classes to help the family members of those who are deaf to learn and practice sign.  

When little A was only 6 months old I took her out to the camp and she would just sit and stare at the people signing around her. She soaked it all in and was signing up a storm before we left.   Her first words were very quick to come as she was learning to sign before the camp, but while we were there she signed her first string of words. She signed "more dog".   (Just in case you didn't know, the language development guides say that between 18-24 months children should be putting 2 words into a statement like that,   she blows my mind with how smart she is) 

I have a strong belief that sign helps a child's development.  I have seen it proven time and time again.  There is a family at the camp whom I have known my entire life. Both parents are Deaf, all three of their children are hearing. Their oldest son, Luke, is absolutely brilliant.  He was signing fluently and was able to order food for his parents at restaurants before he was 1 year old.  At 2 he sat at the camp on the beach with my dad and looked at him and said, " Wow! Thats a huge responsibility."  "What is?" responds my dad. "God has to hold all of that water over there off of the sand, that is a huge responsibility."

Sign Language is something that I feel very strongly about. I have actually had many people tell me that I am going to do damage to my children by signing with them,  to which I laugh and say, have you seen my daughter?  Little A had over 300 words in her vocabulary at just over one year old.  Things that she couldn't sign she would speak and things she couldn't speak she would sign, and some words she signed and spoke.  Now at two and half she counts, talks about opposites, and is beginning to spell. She rarely ever had temper tantrums out of frustration as a toddler (only because she wasn't getting what she had asked for)

Anyway, we had a wonderful time. It was neat to watch little A this time around because she was somewhat shy with her signing to people but on her own or with the family she signed up a storm. E man was hilarious at the camp also. He wasn't seeming to be picking up that many signs while we were there but he was talking almost constantly, he is now trying to copy everything we say and is talking a lot more. Funny thing was, once we got home, E man has been signing twice as much as he used to and has been using signs we didn't think he knew. Turns out he was just soaking it all in.

Signing is something that I feel can help to give our kids the best we can offer.  Infants learn to use their hands for gestures far before their mouths can even form the sounds. Why not help them communicate with their hands and stimulate their brains early on and see what amazing things it opens up for them.
If you want to take a peak and see the resources that we used with out kids you can check out the Signing Times website  or  Baby Signing Time site. ( or .ca for those that are Canadian

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