Curtains!! & Language Apps

Amidst all of the roach problems, I'm not sure if I mentioned the lovely sheers Justin made for our living room last weekend?

Or that our spare bedroom is finally coming together? :)

It's nice to see the changes.

In fact, even more changes will occur this weekend as we put our spare bed together. I am so excited about it! 

Also this weekend, I anticipate Justin working on more curtains for the downstairs while I will be doing a ton of laundry and intensely cleaning the bathroom. Eek! Any suggestions for getting a disgusting stained bathtub to look new again? (I've tried CLR, comet, and soft scrub to no avail.)

But before I leave you all for the weekend, I thought I would recommend an awesome app for people who want to learn languages. Obviously Justin and I are going to Germany next year, so I've been pushing myself to study German more and more. Even if I can't actually speak the language, I'm sure it will be beneficial to have more vocabulary under my belt.

Starting last year I was using Mindsnacks. I downloaded both the German and Italian version to play while babysitting. It costs, but the games are fun, and I found I didn't have to have the sound on to play the games. According to the game, I learned more than 1000 German words before completing all 50 levels last month! Now I can play it in "review mode", but, while that helps keep the old vocabulary fresh in my mind, it does not help with forming sentences, learning gender, or speaking the language. Generally I would be fine with that except that the personal "quests" keep getting stuck. I realize I cannot get any higher in the game, but I would love for it to say "Congratulations! You've completed X Quest" rather than forcing me to do it again and again while never actually giving me credit. :(

I decided to move on and find a different German app to study with. Recently I found Duolingo, an app that allows you to learn any language you would like (that they offer, specifically German, Italian, Spanish, French, and Portugeese). Duolingo actually forces you to use sound while you are playing, so I really only play on road trips or where the kids I babysit are not in the room. The game asks you to repeat your vocabulary in a variety of ways and even includes lessons featuring grammar! Yuck! I hate grammar! Even in English! :( Nevertheless, you learn vocabulary through repetition by completing sentences, selecting the gender for the word, practicing the spelling of the word by writing what you hear, and (while there is an option to not use it) reciting the vocabulary you hear to the game. I love that each level has the option to "test out". It means that, since I've studied the words for different colors in at least 2 class settings and practiced it on Mindsnacks, if I test out on Duolingo, I can skip the lesson related to color altogether! Hallelujah! 

I've tried a number of other games to learn German but Mindsnacks and Duolingo have been the most entertaining of the ones I've found. (I'm not a huge fan of studying vocabulary cards and taking "tests" on those words.) So if you are looking to study any language in the near future, I definitely recommend trying one of those apps.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend (as always)!

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