Archive for August, 2012

Some Video Posts

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Since we are in the states and have some awesome Internet, I thought I would upload some videos I have taken over the last little bit.  Enjoy!

Mikayla reciting one of her favorite Nursery Rhymes:  Jack and Jill

Does anyone remember the Hamster Dance craze?  Well, Rita and Steve were so kind as to send Mikayla a card with the song it for her birthday.  We have been listening to it ever since then!

Every kid should know how to make mud pies.  Here is Mikayla making her specialty!

Who doesn’t love a good tea party in the pool?

Another fun dancing video of my child.  She is a dancing fool and loves having dance parties!

Another Nursery Rhyme – Little Miss "Muffin"

The Three Little Pigs as told by Mikayla

When trying to teach Mikayla to skip I told her to step and then hop, which is what I always told my students.  It worked for my students, but clearly my literal child did not catch on!

I have some more videos to post soon!

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Posted in Life, Parenting |

2012 Kickert Olympic Videos

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

As promised, here are some videos from our Olympic games!

Beginning of marathon…

And the end of the marathon!


Long jump!

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Posted in Parenting |

2012 Kickert Olympics

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Over the past couple of weeks we spent a lot of time watching the Olympics as a family.  When we told Mikayla she was going to have her very own Olympics she got really excited!  We spent a week of our "school time" learning about the Olympics, Olympians and London.

The week began by discussing what the Olympics were and where they were going to be held.  Mikayla got to choose five stuffed animals/babies to act as her Olympic athletes.  (Totally got the idea from here and here).  We then got out her map book with flags that the sisters had given her for her birthday and she randomly chose countries for her athletes to be from.  We made tags with the country flags to hang on each athlete.  Here you can see her athletes and a flag we painted to correspond with the country hosting the Olympics (Great Britain/London).

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Doggie – Liberia, Cinderella – Myanmar, Cat in the Hat – Jamaica, Rabbit – Antigua and Giraffe – New Zealand.  As you can see she had quite the variety.  On the day of the Olympics she chose soft baby as her athlete from Swaziland.

After the athletes were chosen and flags distributed we plotted out on the world map where their home countries were.  We then used a string to show how long it was for them to get from their homes to the Olympic games in London.  This was a really neat visual for Mikayla and we spent lots of time talking about how they would get there, how long it would take, who traveled the furthest, etc.

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We also spent time talking about the Olympic rings, torch, and other various Olympic symbols.  I also used some ideas and worksheets from this unit.  We made/painted a paper plate Olympic ring craft, but didn’t get a picture of it.  Then on Sunday we hosted our very own Olympic games.  In addition to the three of us, we had Joe, his mom and Katie all come out to watch and even participate in some of the events.  Below you will find a picture recap of the "Olympic Games". 

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Ben carrying the "Olympic flame".

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Joe and Mikayla waiting for the lighting of the torch.

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Olympic athletes and Mikayla admiring the torch and awaiting the start of the events.  She also marched around the torch with each athlete to the Opening ceremony music before the flame was lit.

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Daddy teaching Mikayla the appropriate way to begin a sprinting race.

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First event – hurdles.  With that form, I think Ben could be a real competitor!

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Runners set…GO!

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Baby jumping hurdles.

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And Mikayla jumping right behind her.  We have a really fun video of this process that I will hopefully post soon!

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Ben and Joe demonstrating how to fence.  It was Ben’s idea to put the athletes in their pants/belts to compete so their hands were free.  Mikayla thought this was extra fun!

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Mikayla fencing with Joe.

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And then again with daddy.

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We had inteded for this to be the long jump, but Mikayla kept calling it the high jump.  Basically she ran up to the stick and then jumped when she reached it, or threw her athletes for their "jump".  I also have a fun video of this that I hope to post soon.

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This was Mikayla’s reaction when I told her that it was time for the marathon race…I think I would have reacted the same way!

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We convinced her marathons were cool by having each of our "spectators" compete in the event!  I took pictures and took some video.

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For basketball she tossed a ball into the basket…clearly she needs some practice with this!

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Shotput – check out that form!

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Discus with a frisbee.  Note the tongue of concentration!

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Medal ceremony.  Doggie won bronze, Giraffe silver and Mikayla won gold! 

Some events did not get captured though.  Those include floor routine (dancing to music), speed walking, and sprint races.  Out of all the events I think her favorite was the hurdles.  She kept going back to them!  It was a great day and I think everyone enjoyed themselves!


My Literal Child

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

This morning I noticed that Mikayla had taken her underwear off when going to the bathroom.  I asked her to go back in the bathroom and put her underwear back on.  This is how she came out of the bathroom…

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…guess I should have been more specific in how I wanted her to put them on.  (In case you can’t tell, she put her underwear on over her shorts!)

Posted in Parenting |

This Week’s Happenings 7/23-8/4

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

The last few weeks have been filled with visitors, sickness and Olympics…fun, fun!

Last week Joe had two of his best friends come in for a two week visit.  We enjoyed getting to know them, teaching them to play Settlers and sitting around talking and eating yummy food too!  They brought Mikayla a "princess dress up dress" that she has been loving all week.  And Ben found some old glasses in his office this past week so she has been in dress up heaven!

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She really wanted to take a bath in the sink last week and because she has grown so much we had to deem it as her last sink bath!  She was so uncomfortable that she didn’t spend much time in there.

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We stayed up late last Friday to watch the Opening Ceremonies with Katie.  It was an interesting opening ceremonies, and if I am speaking honestly not one of my favorites!  About halfway through my stomach decided it wanted to be sick and I spent the rest of the ceremonies in bed!  Ben swears I didn’t miss much though, plus we video taped it so we can show the kids at the hostel since there were three Swazi’s competing! 

Speaking of Olympics, I think we need some Olympic therapy in the Kickert household.  Our Satellite offers four stations (five if you count the Portuguese station) that run 24 hour Olympic coverage.  We miss out on all the stories that the stations in the states offer, but we get to see a whole lot more events.  We have been loving watching them,  even Mikayla is getting in on the fun!  The trampoline event (or boing-a-hopping) has been her favorite so far. 

Katie has been to Swaziland three times now and has never been to do the "touristy" things, so last weekend we took her out on the town and showed her how the tourist visit Swaziland.  We all had a great time (despite me being sick).  Here are some shots from the day.

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Roan antelope in Mliliwane.

On Wednesday, Ben headed back to Johannesburg to pick up the staff who were in the US for the AIDS 2012 conference.  Unfortunate for him, was that on Tuesday he came down with a terrible head cold!  He is just starting to get over it today.  Needless to say, this has not been a good health month for the Kickerts!  Hopefully we are all well by the time we travel in a few weeks.

Yesterday we welcomed two candidates for sisterhood to the mission for two months.  On Friday a couple of sisters from Ethiopia will be joining them.  Joe’s mom will be here for a visit starting on Sunday. So it is a busy time filled with visitors in the upcoming months!

And just because she is so beautiful and was having an exceptionally good hair day…

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Posted in Life |

Toddler School–Letter Z

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

We have reached the last letter of the alphabet this week!  Mikayla has been so excited to get to this letter and complete her alphabet.  Each week have chosen two of her letter crafts to put in a book for her to enjoy (this was totally Ben’s idea BTW).  She loves getting the book out and looking back at past crafts and after this week it will finally be complete!  Here are a few of our Letter Z activities. 

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Zebra mask – this kid loves some zebras!

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Letter Z Zebra.  Please take note of the exceptionally long mouth this guy has!  Mikayla cut all the stripes out by herself too.

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Making zigzags.  She found a zigzag shaped stick this week and was fascinated by it. 

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Letter Z zipper!

We also did an activity where I wrote various letters in a square and she had to circle only the letter Z’s.  Then she counted them and practiced writing the number.  For this activity we really focused on the gripping of her pencil.  She still gets frustrated with this, but is more and more holding it correctly on her own.  Although she is still switching back and forth between her left and right hands…not sure if this is normal or not.

We also made some delicious zucchini bread this week that we have been enjoying and sharing with others.  Mikayla really enjoyed shredding the zucchini.

Now that we are done with the alphabet we will spend some time focusing on the Olympics and possibly hosting our own Olympic games next weekend.  After that, I am not sure what we will do.  I am thinking maybe spending some time on nursery rhymes and fairy tales since she loves those so much. 

Posted in Parenting |

Toddler School–Letter Y

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

We had a short week studying the letter Y, but I think Mikayla caught on pretty quickly and now loves finding Y’s all over the place!

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She practiced cutting yarn and then ordering it from largest to smallest.

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Then we glued the yarn pieces onto a Letter Y.

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She went on a yellow hunt around the house and found things to make a yellow collage.  She is such a fan of this sort of activity.

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This is a variation of letter hopscotch.  I made boxes on the sidewalk with her chalk and wrote letters inside.  She jumped from box to box reciting the letters.  This is a fun game that could be played with almost anything (colors, numbers, words, sounds, etc).

We also went on a Letter Y hunt to find Y shaped branches and trunks on trees.  She LOVED this!  And continues to find sticks in the shape of a Y everywhere we go.  One day I cut out letter Y’s and put Y themed questions on the back (i.e. Can you tell me where we keep the yogurt?, Can you make a Y with your body?).  I hid them around our living room and she went on a hunt to find them.  We also played a yes/no game where I asked her questions and she made the "y" sound if the answer was yes and the "n" sound if the answer was no.

Next up the Letter Z…our last letter!

Posted in Parenting |

Toddler School–Letter X

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

I had a really hard time with activities for the Letter X.  I wanted to focus mainly on X at the beginning of the words and not the end (although this would have opened up a lot more learning opportunities) because we have been using beginning sounds on all the other letters!  We went back and did some old whole alphabet activities and counting activities in addition to our letter X ones.  Here are the few activities we did.

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She drew an X on the picture that didn’t belong.  She did great with this, even the last one that was two fruits and a vegetable.

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We went on a treasure hunt where X marks the spot.  She was excited to see a bag of marshmallows at the end, but sad when she repeated the hunt later in the day and there was no treasure there!

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We made a number xylophone by putting the numbers in order ad then she wanted to play it using her markers as the mallet.

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Letter X xylophone – she started by putting the colored strips in order from smallest to largest.

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After looking at X-rays from Ben’s cat scan a few years ago we made our own X-rays of our hands using Q-tips, just pretend that they are white and not blue!

We also practiced making X’s everywhere we went!  Next up…Letter Y!

Posted in Parenting |