Friday, November 20, 2015

Mother Ginger's skirt

Grace is a polichinelle in the Nutcracker Suite.  She and her fellow dancers are going to emerge from this big skirt in the performance next weekend.  It is exciting to see the costumes and sets start to appear at the dance studio!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Billy was here

Grace got to play on a Steinway & sons grand piano that Billy Joel played.  How cool is that!?!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

In the treetops

Holden Arboretum is one of the largest botanical gardens in the country, with over 3,600 acres of woods, gardens, and trails.  We had never been there before, even though it is less than an hour away from where we live.  This September, they opened a new canopy walk and viewing tower and today was the last day it was open for the season.

The 500-foot elevated walkway consists of a series of three suspension bridges that are 65-feet above the forest ground.  Along the walk there are signs about the trees and animals you see.  You can even dial a phone number on your smart phone and listen to a guided tour as you walk.

We got there early enough that it wasn't too crowded and we had plenty of time to admire the beautiful fall leaves.

Then we walked along the park trails to the Emergent Tower, which has 202 steps to the top observation deck that is above the tree line.

After climbing the steps we "emerged" 120 feet in the air!  It was truly a bird's eye view and since it was a clear day we could see Lake Erie in the distance.

At first, Grace didn't love it up at the top.  It was windy that high and the tower swayed a little.  She wanted to go back down to a lower observation deck.  We did that for a few minutes and then Grace asked to go back up again.  She was much better the second time.

The trees were really pretty but we are about a week beyond the peak fall color.

I was fascinated with what all this looks like from just above the tops of the trees.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tiger trick-or-treat

Grace got a lot of use out of her costume this year at a Halloween party, dance class, her school parade, visiting a nursing home, and to go trick-or-treating tonight with her friends.

These are from the nursing home, Heritage of Hudson.  Grace's friend, Haley's mom works there and they have a HUGE event for the patients.  Hundreds of people attended.

Grace allowed me to make a nose and whiskers that night.

Haley was a cute cupcake! 

At school, another parent took this photo of Grace and one of her close friends, Mariska.  I love her Egyptian costume.  Her mom said they have a friend who works at a theater and that is where they got it.

Tonight, Grace went Trick-or-Treating with her neighborhood friends, Camryn and Paige.  They left from Cami's house, so I didn't get to see the three girls together in their costumes.  I am hoping to on their way back.  But my little tiger posed for me before she left.

She kills me!  When Grace is in the mood, I get these funny poses that show her silly personality. That makes for one happy mama.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ballerina bun

I have been putting Grace's hair in a bun for over a year now and I am becoming quite an expert, if I do say so myself.  Here's our ballerina right before she went to rehearse for The Nutcracker Suite this afternoon.

And after....when Grace got her official Hudson Conservatory of Ballet bag - with her name on it.

Miss Sunita said it was big enough for Grace to fit inside and she told Sunita about this photo from Guatemala when she WAS inside my bag! (4 months old).

Friday, October 23, 2015

And fall continues...

The leaves are at their peak in Ohio.  Grace and I went on a walk the other day and started to collect as many different leaves as possible.  While we were walking Grace said we should glue the leaves on paper.  What a great idea!

It is only a week until Halloween so we figured it was time to carve our pumpkins.

Grace got right to work designing her pumpkin with freckles and eyeglasses.  There was no hesitation.  She knew exactly what she wanted it to look like.

It didn't take long for the table to look like this.  For some reason, my pumpkin had moldy seeds inside. I had never seen that before but I predict mine will be the first one we end up throwing out.

After the insides were cleaned out, there wasn't much Grace could do.  She isn't ready to use a knife to carve her own pumpkin.  So she walked around with her iPod Touch and created a video diary, narrating the whole process. I overheard her say something about putting it on her YouTube channel. She doesn't have one of those but it is funny to hear her talk about it! (You can see her filming in the back of the next photo.)

We turned the lights off to see how the jack-o-lanterns looked in the middle of carving.

And then we lined them up on our porch.  You can't really tell, but the stem of my pumpkin is its nose!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Pumpkin picking

We enjoyed another beautiful fall day with nice temperatures and sunny skies.  It was a perfect morning for a visit to Szalay's Farm to choose our pumpkins.  We each have a different idea of what the "perfect" pumpkin looks like.

Grace and I seem to like the rounder ones, but I always want mine with bumps or a long, curvy stem. Kyle chose a tall one.  He says he has an idea of how he wants to carve it.

We also went in the 3-acre corn maze and the spinning barn. And Grace did a little target practice trying to knock down the crows.

The "spinning" barn had an optical illusion where you walk on a metal bridge through a lit tube that spins around you.  It makes it seem like the walkway is moving when it really isn't!

This photo is from Szalay's website.  It gives you an idea of the size of the 3-acre maze, but I don't think this is the design we walked through.  They give you a map and you go on a hunt for 8 decorated "dead ends" with skeletons, ghosts, pumpkins, and other Halloween-themed items.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fickle Fall

It has been almost a month since my last post. We have been busy - just not doing things that I would choose to photograph.  It is "officially" fall and in the last 24 hours it has rained, been really cold (we even put the heat on in the house), the sun came out, and it is now warm enough to wear shorts. Welcome to (early) fall in Ohio!

This morning we went on a new adventure to find the Blue Hen Falls in the Cuyahoga National Park. As I have said before, we are vey lucky to live right near a national park.  There are so many trails and different areas to discover and it is pretty in all seasons, although you probably will not find ME out there in the middle of winter.

Our warm-blooded Latina prefers to be warm and toasty, too.  She started her day with her winter coat, hat, and gloves....that was much more than she needed and quickly took them off for the rest of the hike.

We discovered the Boston Tail Head and walked on Buckeye Trail for a little bit until we found the falls and a little creek.

Our ballerina dances wherever she is these days.  She is always working on holding her arms steady and pointing her toes!

The filtered sunlight was so pretty.   We tried to walk along the creek without getting too wet.

But it was inevitable that someone was going to get pretty wet and muddy.   Hmmm...I wonder who!