Saturday, October 15, 2016

How do you pronounce "Hermione"?

Fourth grade must be the year for Harry Potter.  It seems we know a lot of kids who decided to dress up as one of the characters.  Although Grace isn't a "super fan" like some of her classmates, she wanted to be Hermione this year.  So we found her a cape, school uniform shirt, tie, and a wand and the costume as complete!

It is still two weeks before Halloween but Grace was invited to a party tonight at Camryn's house. We took advantage of the beautiful weather to get some costume photos.  Who knows what it will be like on October 31st?

This awesome wand lights up when you wave it! 

Grace was laughing because I almost fell when I got up from sitting on the rocks!

Buddy was trying to get out behind me. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

a-MAZE-ing fall

Grace's 4th grade class took a field trip to Ramseyer Farm about an hour away from Stow.  They have been learning about Ohio history and the teacher said this was a great hands-on connection for them. Each student came home with a potato (some of the class photos showed how potatoes grow and are harvested) and a pumpkin.  Grace said she chose the biggest one she was able to carry!

There are only 8 girls (and 18 boys!) in Grace's class.  With her are: Reece, Olivia, Ava, and Maleigha.

It was a beautiful Sunday so we decided to explore the corn maze at Szalay's Farm, in the Cuyahoga National Park.  We go here every year to choose out pumpkins, but today we took Camryn and got a little "lost" looking for the 8 hidden pumpkins in the maze.  The lady outside the maze said if we get lost they will find us in November when they cut all the corn down!

I love how Grace and Camryn tried to use the "map" they gave us as we entered.  

We found 7 of the 8 pumpkins.  

The unusual gourds are fin to look at. The sign said to use these green ones for decorations now.  Let them dry over the winter.  And then in the spring, to clean out the inside, make a quarter-size hole, and birds will use it as a house/nest.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

First days of fall

The weather has been AMAZING!  My little helper and I decorated the porch with some fall color.

Monday, September 26, 2016


I got to dance a little early and watched Grace through the window.  She is a beautiful ballerina.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Witchy face

Getting excited for Halloween!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday afternoon in the park

What do you do on a late-summer/early fall day? Go to the park to make (and buy) some art!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Summer Bucket List 2016

We work hard and we play hard. We like to get every minute of fun out of the summer days.  People define "summer" in a variety of ways. It could mean the days Grace is off from school, or the days Kyle and I are off from school, or the entire time from Memorial Day to Labor Day....or, if the weather stays nice the summer might just go on and on!

At the end of May we created this family summer bucket list and set out to do as many things as possible on the list. Although there are some things we didn't get to, we did a pretty good job of squeezing in a lot of fun while the weather was warm.

While we didn't take photos of everything, here are some memories from this awesome summer (aka "mom's cell phone dump") that haven't been posted already.

The summer started out with tennis and golf camp at Old Trail School.  Grace loved it there and wanted to transfer there for 4th grade. But, we could either pay for elementary school or college. LeBron James' kids go to school here - a little out of our budget!

Sometimes things get a little strange around our house. Like when Grace cooled herself off on the kitchen floor, wrote us warning notes on her bedroom door, and built a ro"box" named "Bill".  Bill is a girl, by the way!

We see the Goodyear blimp often in our backyard, but it is always a treat!

This was our first summer buying season passes to Wildwater Kingdom, a water park in Aurora, about 20 minutes away from our house. It was more fun to go with a friend so we brought Devin, Alyssa, Haley, and Camryn. We were sad at the end of the summer when they closed the park forever.

When we got back from Guatemala, we met Kellie and Dawson at the Akron Zoo. I love how Grace wanted to wear her hair in braids with the ribbon we bought on our trip.

Grace participated in a cartooning art class at the Hudson Library. There were about 100 kids there but, at the end, Grace went up to thank the artist, Jeff Nicholas. He autographed one of his drawing for her since she was so polite!

The Akron Art Museum opened a new family garden this summer. While the garden was nice and peaceful, we went to see the Verb Ballet perform. They did a dance about shapes using balloons and, of course, Grace jumped right in to participate!

That started a new hobby.  Grace found out how to make balloon animals on YouTube and used her own money to buy a pump and balloons. There are about 10 of them in her room right now! (I love her Guatemala flip flops on the floor!)

For a summer family outing we visited the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center. It was okay for about an hour and interesting to see the birds they rescued - mostly hawks, owls, and falcons. We watched a show in the observatory and learned about the planets and constellations.

Kyle and I often comment on how Northeast Ohio doesn't take advantage of the waterfront property along Lake Erie. We discovered that day, that there are communities with house on the lake.  We visited Huntington Beach and waded into the water there. It was overcast and cloudy but the air and water temperatures were warn. This is a place we need to plan to return to next summer for a day at the "beach".

I have said before that we are lucky to live right near a national park. They Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad runs right through the park.  In the summer they have a "bike and ride" option where you can bike along the trail and they will load your bikes for $2 each. You and your bike ride for that price! One day Grace and I rode 7.5 miles (it took about an hour, if you are wondering) and then we stopped at the station and waited for the train to take us back to Peninsula. It was lots of fun and now that we know how much Grace can handle we will do it again!

Grace and I volunteered to run a photo booth for Hudson Conservatory Ballet at a kids' event in Hudson. It was a scorching, 90+ degree day but we had fun!

Sometimes you just have to get some things done. Grace was a good helper when I needed to run errands so I took her to Fun N Stuff in Macedonia. We both had a great time. I even did the bumper cars and bumper boats with her!

Grace's friend Alyssa invited Grace to go to the Akron Rubber Ducks game with their family.

And, then, we went to see the Cleveland Orchestra perform at Blossom music center.  They showed the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with the orchestra playing the music.  Kyle said he was 9 the first time he saw that movie and he warned Grace when some of the scary parts were about to happen so she could close her eyes.  It is interesting how the music takes on more significance when you see them perform live. We had pavilion seats and then walked to our car during the fireworks.

I discovered a new store called "LUSH" that makes all kinds of bath products. Grace loved her bath bomb and actually didn't complain about taking a bath.  Win!

Summer ended.  Although it is still hot outside, the leaves are starting to change color, nights are warmer, football has started, and we are back into our routine. Grace joined the conservatory (pre-professional classes) at HCB so she dances three days per week.

Grace is not one of the older girls at HCS, but the little ones like our friend Vivian Lewis, look up to her. It is so cute to see Grace take care of a little girl. She would have been a great big sister.