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Circus Favorites: Chugga-Chugga Choo-choo

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Happy Monday morning!

It’s bitter cold outside.  The little kids are engrossed in Sesame Street, the coffee is hot, so its time to share a book I’ve been meaning to since Christmas!

You all may remember my post about our summer family circle time (colorfully illustrated with photos taken by a 5 year-old).  I told you all about My Truck Is Stuck!
It has remained a daily (sometimes times 10) favorite of circus boy #3.  The rhythm and repetition have been fantastic for his developing speech.  (In fact his speech therapist has used it with him several times, because he loves to try to repeat the recurring phrases, “Help! Please help!  Does anyone know how to make my stuck truck go?)

Well, Santa brought a new favorite. Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo Its also written by Kevin Lewis, and has many of the same helpful qualities for language development rolled into a fun little story with fantastic illustrations.

While there isn’t quite as much repetition as in My Truck is Stuck, Chugga-Chugga has a wonderful, rolling rhythm and easy flowing rhyme.  The traditional train sounds “chugga-chugga choo-choo” and “Whooooo whoooo!” repeat throughout the story, while staying in the story’s captivating rhythm.  Its short and sweet, but the thing I really love is the depth of the story that occurs in the illustrations.  If you’re going to use a book to get a child talking, you’ve got to ask questions (in fact, if you want any child to engage with any piece of literature, you should ask questions!), and these illustrations offer so many things to talk about.  The train in the story is carrying all kinds of animals and toys as it winds through brightly colored, toy constructed towns and scenery.  There are so many objects to find and name in these pictures.  Its been another great one to get our slow talker making some attempts at new words (and oh have we heard some new words lately!  YAY!!). 

Hope you get a chance to take a look at this one and enjoy!

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Its Terrible, Its Awful, Its Unfair……Its a Blessing!

This is not my typical humor filled rant recounting my day.  This is serious.  But I figure you all, my maybe now 60 something readers can stomach it.  Yes, I’m going to talk about God.  Sometimes what we see as a monumental failure, a huge deviation from our plans, a massively unfair blow, is really a blessing in disguise. 

When I lost/quit/was run out of my job last year, I was struck by God’s direct hand in my life.  I had asked Him for direction, where should I be, at home or at school?  Because I love(d) both of those places, but I felt like I couldn’t do either of them as well as I should.  His answer was beyond direct, both in the impossibility of what I was being offered/asked to do at work and in the realization that my daughter was on the way.

I realized today that it goes beyond that.  When the speech therapist was at our house, it dawned on me that even if I had come to some agreement and kept working, I would be quitting now.  Circus Boy #3 had services at the house 3 days this week (one was a make up day).  These are services in which I need to be able to participate.  The speech therapist believes it is childhood apraxia as we thought, and its going to take our attention, focus and love to get him over this little hump.  I couldn’t do that if I was working. Not well.  And you know, there’s a silver lining to his delay, too.  It is giving me a reason to get down on the floor and play with all of them more often, instead of laundry, dishes, etc.  That’s a good thing.  Makes me a better mom.

God is good.