Monthly Archives: November 2015


How to sign THANK YOU

How’d I get so lucky?

I am grateful for my family and friends that surround me, nearby and far away, with incredible love. I feel it, guys.

I am thankful for the families that come to learn sign language with me and keep me laughing & learning about this crazy life as a parent. As soon as you think you’ve figured something out, everything changes. But yes, change is good, and it’s nice to know that the stuff in life that isn’t so great will change too.

What a crazy ride!

I am amazed and grateful for my readers and followers who take time to share their stories about signing with me. I’m inspired every day.

I am so very thankful.

Happy American Thanksgiving!
-Lee Ann


How can ASL signs help teach your babies and kids to use their manners?


Start early, start strong.

Here’s how I’ve been doing it!

Firstly, I demonstrate that we always say “thank you” and “please” in our daily conversations -I make sure to say “thank you” when they hand me a toy or something to hold, and I say “please” when giving commands like, “Please find your shoes”. And I always enunciate those manner words verbally, repeat them often, and sign them every time I say them. Every time. And also, I give lots of praise and cheering when they use their manners and signs. The usual stuff.

This takes lots of time and patience, I won’t lie. But it is SO worth it.

And keep in mind that kids are enthusiastic and can get lost-in-the-moment quite often, and it’s easy for them to forget their manners at any age. Even adults forget to use their manners. So, by laying the groundwork of always saying and signing PLEASE and THANK YOU, my kids are prepared to follow my lead and I can just catch their eye and sign THANK YOU to remind them whenever they forget. A quick prompt, not a verbal reminder, not a reprimand. And no one else usually sees my signals…

… so my kids end up looking like rock stars remembering their manners.

Mostly, my kids appreciate that I don’t embarrass them saying things like, “What do you say?”, and “Don’t forget your manners”, and “What’s the magic word?”

(by the way, there is no magic word when you’re a parent, and really, magic doesn’t work anyway. Consistent patterns do!)

To sign PLEASE in American Sign Language, circle your flat, open hand on the upper chest.

To sign THANK YOU in American Sign Language, hold your fingertips to your chin and then extend them outwards to the other person.

How do you teach manners?

Leftover Candy Cookies

Leftover Candy Cookies by growingsigns.comI’m hearing a lot of moaning and groaning about leftover Halloween candy this week. In my signing classes, a lot of the moms & dads talked about how they bought Halloween candy for the little trick-or-treaters ringing their doorbell last weekend, but ended up having leftovers. Or for those with big kids who went out door-to-door on Halloween, there comes a time when you want those bags of candy to vanish, and not into their tummies.

Some of my clever friends have negotiated an exchange of the candy bag after Halloween with a toy or other non-candy goodies so their kids don’t eat too much junk. I love that idea but I never remember to put that together. I usually end up letting my kids eat their favourites, and then simply take the whole bag away without notice after a couple days. Enough is enough.

So what to do with all that leftover candy?


Cut it up & bake it!
(or freeze it for another baking-kinda day)

If you already bake throughout the year and eat cookies at home, why not use up some of the candy and not eat it all at once. Or bake and give away the cookies to someone you know that loves cookies. I hate throwing away things that can be used in baking (now or later).

This is my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, made with leftover Halloween candy instead of chocolate chips, but you can use any cookie recipe you like.

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Halloween chocolate bars and bits, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F

Cream together the butter & sugars until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in the hot water. Add to batter along with the salt. Stir in flour and mix until just combined. Add chocolate candy pieces. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes in preheated oven, or until edges are just browning. Let cool 1 minute on baking sheet, then remove onto a cooling rack.

Leftover Candy Cookies

What do you do with all your leftover candy?