Monday, February 27, 2012


We like to get out in the fresh air for a walk whenever we can.  Luckily, living near a national park and many county parks with trails in the woods makes this an easy thing to do.  We are never at a loss for somewhere new to explore.
Yesterday Kyle, Grace, and Daisy humored me while I took some waterfall photos.  I wasn't able to get the effect I was trying for, but I did come up with some photos I like.  I know we will go back to this trail again in the spring and fall because it is so pretty.  Grace said she wants to jump in the water...when it is warm, of course!  Someday we might have to take her to a place where she can do that. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012


A new Yamaha keyboard is now part of our home.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Music for Young Children

Kyle and Grace started music lessons today.  Grace will be participating in a program called "Music for Young Children" and her teacher, Miss Nancy, is the only instructor in our area that is certified to teach this international music/keyboard curriculum.  Next week, they will go together (an adult must attend with the child) and join a class of three other students.  Then, Grace will stay for another 1/2 hour of private lessons to help her catch up to her classmates who have been in the class together since September.  We tried to join this group last fall, but it was full.  Lucky for us, one child decided to drop out so we got the spot.
Grace came home with a lot of materials today and homework to do every day.  So far, I am very impressed with the child-centered methods and the fact that she played on the piano today.  I am sure we will be the proud owners of a keyboard before the weekend is over!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why Grace is awesome

Kissing Grace goodnight tonight, I told her she is an awesome kid.  Then, I asked her if she knew why she is awesome.  I was all prepared to tell her she is smart, kind, and tries her best.  You know...all those things we keep reminding her are important.  But, instead of waiting for me to tell her things the conversation went something like this.

Me:  Do you know why you are awesome?
Grace: Hmmm.  Because I make good food for my family.
Me:  You do?  What food do you make?
Grace:  Pizza.  (She did make homemade pizza last night.)
Me:  Yes, you do.  What else?
Grace:  Because I rock out.

Funny girl....if you have ever seen her dance, you would agree.  She does "rock out" in her own way!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Interview with a rock star

Grace rocks!  She is an awesome kid and, lately, she has been patient and cooperative while I practice with my camera.  Maybe it is because the focus is less on her and more about me learning to get out of "auto". She feels like my helper instead of my subject.
Today, we went for a family hike in a new State park.  Well, the park isn't "new" it was just new to us.  We were looking for a waterfall that was pictured on the internet.  We never found it, but we still had fun being outside in the fresh air (and mud!) and I still was able to get some good shots (check out my Facebook album to see them).
I also interviewed my little rock star about the things she likes.  It was fun hearing what she had to say.  I think I will write her responses to my questions more often just to keep a record of what she is thinking as she gets older.
Me:  Who is your best friend?
Grace:  At school?
Me:  Sure.
Grace: Noah

Me: What is your favorite color?
Grace: A rainbow.

Me:  What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy and Daddy?
Grace: Stay home days.
Me:  What do you like to do on stay home days?
Grace:  Spend time with you.  (Awwww...)

Me: What is your favorite television program?
Grace:  With characters?  (I think she meant cartoons.)
Me:  Tell me one with characters and one with people.
Grace:  Barbie and iCarly.  (Both of those were surprises to me!)

Me:  What is your favorite song?
Grace:  That soul sister song.  (And then she started singing the Train song...Hey, Soul Sister... She plays that one all the time on the iPad.)

Saturday, February 18, 2012


At the ice rink today Grace saw the Zamboni for the first time.   Later, she told Kyle that "it was a big truck that made the ice all slippery".

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Play date

Grace had a "play date" this morning with her friend Noah from school, which meant that I had a "play date" with my camera.  My assignment for Week 2 is to take 350 photos (Really? When am I supposed to do that!) experimenting with white balance.  We are also not allowed to be in "auto" mode anymore.  This week we are supposed to be in aperture priority (good for portraits and a blurry background) or manual (yeah, not ready to go there!).  I learned quickly why we need to take 350 dump most of them when you are experimenting (aka: have no idea what you are doing).

Not all of these are "photo class worthy" but they are certainly "blog worthy"!
Hamming it up while waiting for Noah.
It was snowing like crazy outside. I tried to discourage it, 
but you KNOW the kids wanted to go out to play!
Even Daisy got into the action!  I actually might submit these
last two this week for my homework!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Party girl

Grace's friends are starting to turn 5-years old.  This was the first birthday party we went to that I felt like I could have left her there and she would have been totally fine.  Boo Hoo.  She is not a baby anymore!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Shopping with Grace

Shopping with Grace is an experience.  She is inquisitive and interested in everything.  These days, she is also Miss Independent so she wanders off very quickly - a scary thing in a crowded mall!

She made us both laugh in Forever 21 with this hat and sunglasses.  As soon as she walked through the door, Grace started dancing to the music.  When she discovered these lovely accessories, she played the part of a model on the runway by prancing up the aisle and striking a pose for me!
I really have no clue what the whole "fist-pumping" thing is.  
Grace was all serious play at the Lego store.  She is still working her way up to "real" Legos and builds with the larger Duplo version right now.   But, who could resist this colorful wall of Lego tiles?  She was tempted to reach in and build...and I was tempted to try to capture the moment.  No looking at the camera here - building is serious business.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue 2028?

I know this is probably not politically correct, but when I look at these pictures of Grace enjoying the sun, sand, and surf on the beach last December I can't help but think about the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.