Thursday, April 26, 2012

Favorite Apps

Now that I am the proud owner of many many Apple "i" products, I have to populate these products with Apps from the App Store.

Not just for Productivity. Clearly.
But also for entertainment.

Not just for me. But for those around me.

Today, I will be talking about Kid Apps that I am enjoying letting my kids use in a few spare moments.

I am not a big fan of "Screen Time" for my kids. We have pretty strict rules about television and video games around here. And the ipad and iphone are not different.

But, like a lot of parents there are times when it is simply convenient to hand over the device and let the kids have some downtime playing a game or two. That I have selected for them.

On the ipad we love:

It is a really cool game that literally our whole family LOVES. It is challenging. And it is NOT Angry Birds.

Another one that I like to use is:
My Spelling Test

Asher doesn't "LOVE" this one but I like to let him build his spelling tests of the week in the app. He records his voice saying the word. Then he types in the word. And once the test construction is complete, he takes the test.
I think it really helps him to "get" the concept of spelling on a variety of levels and instead of just rote writing words on a piece of paper in engages him. And he gets to use the iPad. Which he likes. Bribery. Use it wisely my friends.

Spell Free

My final app suggestion today is one called Happly
It is almost a platform for kids and family.
You sign your kids in. And then suggestions are preselected based on their age that are appropriate to link to information all over the internet from YouTube, video games, and informational sites that kids that age would like.
The catch is, your kids can't navigate from looking up something about dinosaurs. To then finding out what adults think dinosaur sized "body parts" are. If you catch my drift. I hate handing over my iPad or iPhone and thinking that my kids are just two clicks away from things that I would NEVER lets them see or know about otherwise.

The app developer came to create the app because his kids learned the f-word after watching some videos on YouTube and kept clicking on the right hand side. Next thing you know...

This site is really fun because you as an adult can navigate it and leave "messages" for your kids on sections that you think they would particularly like. Also, they have fantastic photography from National Geographic throughout.

Here's another review if you don't believe me:
Tech Crunch

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

To Celebrate the Return to Blogging

My children did what they do best. They danced. 

One Month

Welcome back! I don't know if you ever left or even check this anymore...

But we are one month away from an amazing month in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and I know if I expect anyone to give a whit about what we are doing out there, I ought to catch them up on the last 5 months or so.

Here we go.
This is the truth.

Matt was in a weight loss contest. He lost nearly 50 pounds (47 to be exact). I lost 12. It took a toll on the old "blog energy". In addition, my sweet grandmother died. My work load increased. I decided to become a Young Life leader again and was in charge of Work Crew training in our area. And we have two children. One who is about to go to kindergarten.

It hasn't been a slow Spring.

So, I will catch you up in the best way I know how.

One of my last letters from my Grandmother.

The landscape plan for the property she and my grandfather lived on. 
My whole family wears a "Buckle Ring" that my grandmother wore my entire life. We had copies made when she fell ill. We all wore them at her funeral. I miss her dearly. 

We took the kids to Disney World in January following the All Staff Conference with Matt's sister Buffy and her family. It was a most fantastic trip.

Matt and I got away to Universal Studios.

Our team won the chili cookoff. Again. 

The key to the diet. Breakfast smoothies. 

The other key to the diet.

My sweet wiener dog Slappy had to be put to sleep in late February. 

My last picture with her. 

My kids were Cat in the Hat on my birthday. All Dr. Seuss' birthday. Just a little cute. 

My big gift for my birthday. A Juicer.
I'm one of "those" people now. 

It's true. Lucy is ready for kindergarten. 4 short months away. 

I ran the Cooper River Bridge Run! Super fast I might add. 47 minutes for 6.2 miles.
I was shooting for 45 minutes. But I'll take it.  :)

My sweet girl friends ran it with me.
I love having friends that love being active. It totally keeps you motivated.
Look at these beautiful girls! I love being around high school kids again.

Consider yourself caught up? 
Let's get this thing started again!