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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kid Updates: Marshall

Last but certainly not least. I've given updates on my older boys and today I'd like to share a little of what Marshall has been up to as well.

Being the youngest child, Marshall gets a few special treatments every once in awhile. For instance, he gets to have special one-on-one time with Mommy everyday while his brothers are at school, he is doted on by nearly every kid in the neighborhood, just for being cute, and he is the only child in our house with his own bedroom--lucky kid.

Marshall is more quiet and reserved than the other boys, needing an extra hug before saying goodbye or an extra kiss after a boo-boo. He's also a little more petite than the others, weighing only 28 lbs and wearing mostly size 2T clothes and 7 shoes. Marshall is also a little clown, following in big brother Logan's shoes.

At Home...

Let's face it, most of Marshall's life takes place at home, so this is a great place to start.
Marshall is an excellent sleeper (always has been), sleeping from 8:30pm-8:15am every single day, and napping, like clockwork, from 1:15pm-3:45pm. Both of these sleeping events take place in his super cool race car bed, a wonderful Craigslist find.
Once awake, Marshall likes to eat his breakfast, and then watch TV. His show of choice right now is Little Bear, and if I allow him 2 shows, then he'll usually choose either Dora or Super Why.
When TV time is over, Marshall usually chooses something to play with. Current toys of choice right now include: wooden blocks, small toy cars, Mickey Mouse play figures, train tracks, or the play kitchen--it just depends where we are in the house.
He also loves playing board games with me! Our favorites right now are Candy Land, Color Bingo, Memory, Don't Spill the Beans, and Hiss. He also likes playing a dice rolling game with his brothers called Zombie Dice.
Marshall LOVES books! We go to the library about every 2 weeks to check out a new stack of books. I let Marshall choose whichever books he would like and then I usually grab 2-3 that I think would be good too--I like to keep him in charge as much as I can, though. We read the books at various times throughout the day, but always before nap time.
Favorite foods include: carrots, apples, pizza, and chicken noodle soup.
Marshall is also a big fan of being outside, playing with a ball, driving in a cozy coupe, and especially riding his trike (he still has no interest in his bike at all). He loves collecting as many wood chips as he can find, chasing grasshoppers, swimming in the little pool, drawing with sidewalk chalk, and bubbles.
Oh, and let's not forget about Marshall's love for playdoh, paint, and magnets...

At School....

Marshall will not start preschool until next fall, but we've started to do our own mini version, to prepare him for some of the things he'll need to know next year.
We have our "school" session at home every morning--Marshall calls it "letters" and he asks for it first thing every morning.
I am teaching him capital letters right now--how they look, how they sound, words that start with that sound, and how to write them. We are on letter M right now and Marshall is doing a fantastic job!
We start by finding our magnet letter that matches the letter of the day we are on. Then, we color a picture of the letter, answer a question about it, find the flashcard for it, and then find the  corresponding picture cards that have objects that start with that letter. After that, we trace the letter on a dry erase page and then print it with a pencil on paper. Next, we move upstairs to the computer and play a little game about the letter of the day and then move to the tablet to do a letter tracing activity. It sounds like this would take forever, but really, we only spend about 15 minutes a day on it. This week Marshall was able to print "HALL", which is the second half of his name! I remember teaching Brady and Logan to write their names at 3 1/2 as well, so it's fun to see Marshall following the trend.
Other learning activities that we do together are puzzles. We mostly work on 24 piece ones, but we've done a few larger ones as well. Marshall just learned how to identify which pieces are edge pieces and which go in the middle. Maybe someday he'll learn that the edge part of the piece needs to go on the outside :).
We also started a little work with scissors, but since he's not very strong yet, he has trouble opening and closing them to cut.
Coloring, painting, and drawing are other fun activities that are also great for learning and building fine motor skills. Marshall loves to draw Mickey Mouse on the magna doodle, especially during long car trips!

In Sports...

This will be a short one, since Marshall doesn't play any sports. He did take a gymnastics class last year, which he really loved, though. The reasons I chose not to sign him up again this year were cost and him not wanting to separate from me (we did the mommy and me class last year). Maybe in the spring he would want to try again.
Marshall will be taking his first swimming lesson this winter! He'll start in the parent/child class with Daddy. He loves the water, so I think he'll really like swimming lessons, as long as the water stays out of his face.

In Video Games...

This will also be a short section, since Marshall doesn't play many video games.
Marshy likes to watch his brothers and his Daddy play Minecraft, although he hasn't had a chance to do so in a very long time. He also enjoys playing Mario Kart from time to time with Logan and Brady, and we have an educational Mickey Mouse game on the computer that he's tried out twice and really enjoyed.
Like his big brothers, Marshall also has a Nexus 7 tablet, which he uses for tracing letters during "school".  He plays educational games on the tablet for approximately 15 minutes a week--that's it!
The games he has are Monkey Preschool, memory and matching games, Doctor Panda games, a piano music game, puzzles, and books.
I love the learning that takes place on the computer and tablet (and even TV for that matter), but all of that screen time is extremely limited in our house, for all kids. I push my kids to play outside or in the basement nearly all of the time, because that is what is best for them.

In God's Word...

Little Marshall is having his heart filled with God's word several times a week now. Sunday mornings are Sunday School time, in a classroom with other 3-4 years old. Marshall always brings home his Sunday School papers and tells us what he learned.
Wednesday mornings are BSF days, where Marshall has a small class of kids his age, including cousin Addy. The teachers at BSF are amazing in how they teach the stories and verses, pray over the children, and help them with art projects and games in the big gym. This is a time that Marshall really looks forward to, and I have seen so much growth in him, in how he says goodbye quickly to me and moves right in with his teachers.
We have now also added Wednesday nights at church into our schedule and it seems to be working out great for everyone! Marshall is in a class with a teacher he knows well from church, he has a special orange t-shirt he wears, and he will even be learning memory verses now.
I am so thankful for our church and for the opportunities we have to bring our kids to a place where they can build friendships with other Christian kids and grow in the knowledge of Jesus and the Bible.
Marshall has now also started to sing along with many of the songs from KTIS as we are driving down the road--such a blessing to hear his little voice sing praise to God!

I am so proud of Marshall! Not for his academic success or his adorable looks, but for the sweet boy that he is and for the Godly man that I am praying he will become.

"It's only for a moment you are mine to hold
The plans that heaven has for you
Will all too soon unfold
So many different prayers I'll pray
For all that you might do
But most of all I'll want to know
You're walking in the truth
And If I never told you
I want you to know
As I watch you grow

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things
I'm here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings"
-Mark Harris

1 comment:

  1. Yet another fantastic song! :) Little Marshall is such a special boy!! I am so privileged to be his auntie and to get to watch him grow up into such a sweet boy!!