Friday, May 31, 2013

Zoo field trip

Today was Grace's kindergarten field trip to the zoo.  We have been to this zoo dozens of times, so the fun part of the trip for the kids was to be with their friends!
It was our teacher work day today (students' last day was yesterday) so I went to work for a few hours and then met Grace's class at the zoo.  (Grace's kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Peterson, is the blonde lady with the blue top behind the kids.)

Monday, May 27, 2013

I think I'd better buy a kayak

....if I want to keep up with these two!
Kyle bought Grace a kayak for her birthday.  This weekend she tried it out for the first time and did a great job!

When she was smaller, Kyle was able to take her in his kayak so she has been out on the lake and understands the concept of keeping yourself balanced and how to paddle.  But being out there on her own has to feel very empowering for her.  The back of this kayak has an area to climb on if you fall in and we showed her how to do that, if it became necessary.  But the only thing that got wet today were her feet and that was just from getting into and out of the lake!
Daisy and I stayed on the shore.  I was taking pictures and Daisy kept running back and forth along the rocks.  (Those of you who remember Summer, know she wouldn't have hesitated to follow the boats out to the middle!)  But we both wanted to be out there, so I think I will be buying my own kayak before long.  I think mine should be hot pink, bright green, or orange!

Grace and Kyle paddled around the entire lake.  At some point when they were on the opposite end, he tied a rope to hers and the next thing I knew, the princess was relaxing as she got a ride back to shore.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Garden Cookies

Aunt Nancy and Uncle Chris did it again!  They chose a really cool project for Grace's birthday - garden cookies. Through this process we learned that making flowering cookies for your garden is an old farming tradition that originated with the Native Americans. They rolled seeds in clay to protect them from drying out in the sun, getting eaten by birds, or blowing away in the wind.

We started this simple, but messy, project this morning in the sunshine on our deck. The kit came with everything we needed. We just had to add a little water to make the clay/soil mixture.

After you mix the clay, you roll it out and pat the seed mixture into it. They give you three small cookie cutters in the kit, but we had a difficult time separating them from the rest of the clay.  I guess we could have left the shapes there on the rolling mat until it all dried and then we could lift them up. But we decided to just cut our garden cookies with a knife to make little rectangles.
They are drying on the deck now.  We plan to put the seed cookies in two big planters in the sunshine and Grace will water them every day.  The seed mix is supposed to grow flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  That will be cool!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Interview with a six year old

I try to interview Grace from time to time to record some of the things that are important to her at different ages.  Here is what she told me last night.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A rock star.
A rock star?  Why?
Because you can sing and dance and take pictures like Justin Bieber.
Justin Bieber?  You know Justin Bieber?
Yeah, mom.  I know Katy Perry, too.  And Taylor Swift.

Who is your favorite friend at Fishcreek and at Kindercare.
Carson at Fishcreek and Noah Young at Kindercare.  
They are both boys.
I don't care.  They're cool.  Can they come to our house for a playdate?

What do you like about school?
I like to learn math?
Why do you like math?
I don't know, but I am good at it. 

What else are you good at?
Hmmmm.....maybe....doing cartwheels?  and riding my bike.
Riding your bike.  Didn't you just crash the other day?
Yeah.  That was bad.  I was going fast. 
What are you not so good at that you want to do better?
Putting my toys away?  But I don't really care about that.  You do.

What rule of our house is a good one?
What do you mean?
You know.  What rule do we have that is good?  That you like.
Stop, drop, and roll.
Ha!  Yeah, that is a good one to have.

If you were president, what rule would you make for everyone?
Don't pee in your pants.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Saying "goodbye" to five

Five balloons.  One for each year.  Goodbye "five"!

Hello, "six"!  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Party like a Rock Star

For Grace's 6th birthday party we planned a "girl rock star" event at a dance studio for Grace and her friends. The invitation looked like this....
...and the party theme colors included hot pink, purple, and black with various animal prints, boas, bright hair extensions, inflatable microphones, and rock star diva stickers and tattoos.
I found these microphone cupcakes on (where else?) Pinterest and copied them for our party.
You use mini ice cream cones and donut holes for the tiny microphones on top of the cupcakes!  Grace and I had to hunt for the mini ice cream cones and ended up finding them at Wal-Mart.
Here are how ours turned out!  Grace thought they were really cool and kept telling me this morning that I was doing a good job to make her birthday party special.
When we arrived at the dance studio about 30 minutes before our guests, this is what it looked like.

They used some things I bought and combined them with props and items in their collection to make it look colorful and inviting for the girls.  There were three teachers present to run the party and keep the girls moving from one activity to the next. They started with coloring pages on the floor as each girl was invited to have her hair and makeup done.  Some chose both, some chose hair OR makeup, and a couple didn't want either.  The teachers did a wonderful job of making every girl feel special and not pressuring them to do anything they didn't want to do.
You KNOW Grace chose to go "all in" and had purple streaks put in her hair and makeup on her eyes and cheeks.  So she ended up looking like this!

She also received a couple of makeup and lip gloss kits as presents.  They were the first thing she opened when we got home.  No question....Grace needs a bath tonight.  And, so do her dolls who got a makeover this evening!
If they wanted them, the girls put on purple tank tops to dress like a girl rock band and then posed for this photo.  The lead teacher printed each photo so the girls left with it in a frame they decorated as one of the activities.  It was nice that they had these to take home.  Grace's is hanging on our refrigerator now.
That is a lot already but the dance lesson came next.  The teachers showed several steps, they practiced them without music, and then added the music and rock star attitude.  Everyone put their own style on the dance, which was so cute to watch.

We lit the candles, turned out the lights, and sang "Happy Birthday" to my big girl.  She was very gracious when opening presents and thanked each friend.  She received some great gifts - a lot of crafts, some Barbies, a Monster High doll, games, a diary with a lock, and much more.  When we got home she spread them out in the great room and when I asked her what her favorite was she said, "I got so much.  I love it all!"

The final act was a superstar, red carpet strut to show off their hot pink boas.  These young ladies certainly rocked it!
Grace told me tonight that this was the "best party ever"!  It really fit who she is today - just perfect!

Friday, May 17, 2013

This is what six looks like

Okay, technically, Grace won't be six until next Thursday.  But since we are just days away from May 23rd and the weather was beautiful tonight, we went to a nearby park for a "photo shoot".  I am always happy to play with my camera and tonight I had a somewhat willing subject.

The park has a pretty big lake, docks, playgrounds, and walking trails.  We stayed mainly by the lake because I knew the type of photos I was hoping to capture.
There are many canoes and row boats stored here waiting for their owners to come for a ride.  Tonight they served as colorful props and a makeshift jungle gym for our photos.

The field was full of dandelions and Grace loved picking them and blowing.  Maybe she is getting ready for her birthday candles!

Even though she looks so big in some of these photos that I can see her high school "senior photo shoot" looking very similar, Grace is still just six and playing was more important for part of the time we were in the park.

And, I got a little bit of attitude, uh, personality.

And so did the geese!
Overall, my big kid was very cooperative and patient.  I am thrilled with how our photos turned out.