Tag Archives: Learning

Small Town Life – An Old Dog

I hear the phrase “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” used in reference to humans alot. I just want to put it out there that we are not dogs. Humans are humans! Therefore, no matter how old we are we should be capable of learning new tricks.

My grandmother was gifted an iPad by her children (who I was amazed were using iPads themselves as they are in their 60’s and rather resistant to technology). At first she hated it. I just wasn’t working well for her. Touch screens take some getting used to and well, it’s not fun to get used to them. I, myself, was a little nervous about my first touch screen device.Can-you-teach-your-old-dog-new-tricks-on-an-Apple-iPad

However, after many months of just keeping at it (mostly because her grandson was on the computer so much), grandma got the hang of the iPad and now spends a significant amount of her time using it for the various functions it’s good for. She peruses Facebook, keeping up with her kids and grandkids and great-grandkids (no doubt reading this very post). She maintains a Netflix account and does online banking. (She also golfs almost daily.)

When she first started doing adult things like paying bills, she was writing personal checks and keeping accounts in a ledger. Now she’s using her iPad for all of that old stuff she used to do. She’s in her 80s. Now, I would never presume to call her old but I will say that she learned a new trick and I hope to stay that open minded. I want to always learn new tricks and never have it said of my that I’m an old dog.98

Mommy and Money

I feel like lately we are wading through parenting issues one after another. We have left what brand of diapers to use behind and we have the rules about when to rush a toddler to the ER down. We no longer struggle with what and when to feed our kiddos but now comes a whole plethera of other questions. The most recent being money and the value of things.

What parent hasn’t had their 5 year old come begging for something in the grocery store. Most likely it is that $1 item that will be lost in the car on the way home and never thought of again but in that moment, if they don’t have it THEY WILL DIE! Really?!temper-tantrum-girl

This is where I become a totally unsypathetic mother. However, if it is not a weapon of mass destruction (Silly Putty, Silly String… anything beginning with the word Silly) or something that looks like if it came to life it might just be related to Chuckie, I will say, “Of course you can get that? Did you bring your money?” This inevitably brings on the saddest face you have ever seen since that basset hound from Pioneer Woman.

“No… I didn’t.”

“Well, I guess you will have to wait.”

“But I waaaannnnttt iittt nooooooowwwww…..”

Oh, lawd!

“Yes, dear. I understand. Sometimes we can’t get what we want.”

“But you have money.”

“Not for that.” This is my answer. My money, that is designated to be spent on you, will be spent on clothing that I deem necessary for which you may or may not have input. It will be spent on food on which I may or may not consult your opinion. It will be spent on rent, heat and other utilities that are used to keep you alive. images

Somehow, I believe that even at 5 years old, my kid needs to learn the value of things. Maybe I’m completely off base but I want her to connect the work she does (laundry, dishes) to the money she earns and in turn, to the things that she WANTS. Will this connect her to being more responsible with her things? ie. not leaving them at school or outdoors or at the park… I have no idea.

images found on google.

Magic Carpet Ride

Monday marked the first time our little one went skiing. She was very apprehensive at first but she warmed up to the idea of skiing. I was told that she did a great job. After spending the morning on the slopes, I checked in on her after lunch. I didn’t see her on the instructional slope. I was picturing her screaming, and uncooperative with the ski instructors. I entered the Wolf Pup lodge and I see her eating her lunch. The people told me that she fell asleep during lunch and had just woken up from her power nap. I was so relieved. I went back out to the slopes and came back to watch her and videotape her on the slopes.

I also have to include our eldest child zipping down the beginners hill. It doesn’t show it in the video, but for some reason she felt more interested in eating snow than anything else. Maybe she is getting board with her level and needs to be bumped up to the next one.

Panoramic view from the top of the mountain
Going for a Magic Carpet Ride
slowly getting it
zipping down the beginners hill

First Instrument

Our five year old has been wanting a guitar for the past several months. She has been saving her money to buy one. Yesterday was the day. She bought her pink guitar from Auntie C for $30. The five year old was super excited (daddy is too so I can learn how to play as well) to hold it and strum the strings. I think this will be a fun learning experience for our family. Looking forward to it.

abby and pink guitar flat
We have to work on how she holds the guitar…
abby's guitar flat
Excitement to learn

abby playing guitar b&w flat

The Kazam (Balance Bike)

Our first daughter got the traditional tricycle and bike with training wheels and is just now ready to take them off. She’s terrified. We were the subject of that typical taking-off-of-the-training wheels scene where Abby was hemming and hawing, whining and crying, and making that little iffy freaked out noise in her throat as both parents literally helicopter over her while she starts to pedal. One of us held the seat, the other helped her hold the handlebars straight and we were off. She did great by herself after much ahh, aaahhhhhh, AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHing and several light falls that didn’t even cause minor abrasions. This is all very American and beautiful in it’s own nostalgic way.

abby riding from back flat
So proud of her
abby riding b&w flat
Pure joy
abby riding flat
I like that her shoes match her bike

HOWEVER, my father (Grampa to my children) purchased Cate a Kazam. I don’t know how much the brand name matters but the concept! This is a toddler bike that is GENIUS!

No training wheels.

No tricycle.

No pedals?

Cate and bike flat
Up and coming rider

That’s right. I was skeptical when I first saw one at the sporting goods store. So skeptical I opted for my oldest to go traditional. But then Kazam was on Shark Tank and I started to think about it and when Grampa offered to buy Cate a bike for the summer, we asked if he would be willing to do the Kazam and he was all for it!

Adams Bike Riding School flat
Wifey and girls

The concept is to get the kid to learn steering and balance naturally. It totally works. While we were struggling with Abby and taking off the training wheels, Cate has already, in only a couple weeks, learned how to balance and steer and all that awesomeness and we are never going to have to have a kid freaking out about the lack of training wheels again.

Abby Golf!!!

This afternoon I was practicing a few golf swings in our backyard, and Abby wanted to join in the fun. I could hardly contain my joy while watching Abby swing a golf club with her own style and flare. I kept telling her to keep her eye on the ball, the only problem was that her hair was getting in the way. After several more attempts of trying to hit the ball, I finally put her hair up in a pony tail.  I love to hear her excitement when she hits the ball. That is what makes sports fun to teach my children.

She actually was doing quite well for a 3 year old. Who is now five. Who knows? We may have the next Annika Sorenstam on our hands!!! I will be happy just passing on to my girls a knowledge and love of sports.

I am looking forward to spending  many more afternoons together hacking at golf balls, and attempting to teach them the ins and outs of sports.


Wolf Pup

So, its spring break for our oldest daughter and her little school. Grandpa wanted to do something special. He took the day off from work and took his 6,5,and 4 year old grandchildren skiing. Grandpa, myself, and my sister-in-law and kids headed up to Wolf Creek Ski Area. Abby was saying that she was nervous on our drive up to Wolf Creek. I kept telling her its OK to be nervous, but that she could still be a brave girl and do her best. Grandpa had arranged for Wolf Pup lessons for each of the kiddos. While waiting for the lesson I was teaching Abby how to side step and wedge (snow plow).  I think our little time together before the lesson boosted her confidence, because after each attempt she kept asking how she could go faster.

Unfortunately, I had to leave just before her lesson and rush back to work. But I received a phone call from Grandpa telling me that Abby did really well during her lesson. However, Abby was really sad that she didn’t receive a Gold Star at the end of the lesson. Apparently students need to stop successfully three times, and Abby only stopped once. She is already way ahead of me when it comes to learning how to ski. I took my first lesson when I was twelve or thirteen. I didn’t have the proper gear and I got so frustrated with falling down and being soaked that I stopped. However, I can now ski successfully. I’m glad that Abby was able to succeed in her first attempt. I am looking forward to many more skiing trips with our family.

Our little Ski Bunny