Sunday, April 27, 2014

Do the Rocky shuffle

Rocky is the Raccoon mascot for Grace's school.  There aren't too many elementary schools with their own mascot and he is a big hit with the kids.  He even has his own dance - the Rocky Shuffle!
This time of year, the school's PTA does a race as their fundraiser.  All the classes compete to raise money and the community really gets involved on race day.  I heard that as of Friday they had made $36,000 for the school and Grace's class raised the most money and won a DJ dance party!

Grace decided to run the 1-mile FUN RUN again instead of the 5K.  She got up at 7:00am for the 8:00 race start. We like to sleep late in this house, so none of us were that thrilled with waking up so early on a Sunday!
But it was all worth it when we got to the race - even though it was about 37 degrees and our feet got soaked immediately from the dew on the grass.  Grace got right up front at the starting line, near Mayor Drew (she is in the pink T-shirt).

Grace gave me her hat, jacket, and gloves and, before we knew it the race started!  I told Grace I would be at the finish (and I said a little prayer that she would be okay since the race course took her out of my sight). Volunteer photographers took photos along both the 1-mile and 5K race routes so I got to see these photos of Grace along the trail.

I didn't know when to expect her to finish but less than 9 minutes later she was running up the final hill!
Three boys from Grace's class finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd and Grace came in about 8th.  I think she was the first girl to cross the finish line. She was very proud!
We got a photo with Rocky, stayed for the start of the 5K, and then called Kyle to pick us up.  Our wet toes were freezing!
Maybe she will be able to do the 5K next year! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Four-day weekend

This is the first weekend in I-can't-remember-how-long that I didn't have to work. We were busy with fun activities and ended the weekend with a playdate for Grace.  Her friend, Brooklynn, from school came to visit for a few hours today.  There was a lot of whispering and giggling.  I think they had fun!

Tree of Life

One of the projects that the 1st graders worked on in art this year was their interpretation of Gustav Klimt's famous Tree of Life mural.  
Mrs. Heverly, the art teacher, said the children learned about and experimented with warm and cool colors to fill their entire paper.  Then they used black paint for the tree.  Grace was very proud to show us her work at the art show last week.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Church

Grace and I went to Easter mass at St. Mary's this morning.  It was very crowded (of course).  The priest started the service with a joke.  He said, "When people ask me why I decided to become a priest I tell them it was so I would be sure to have a seat at Christmas and Easter".
I think the crowd was a little too much for Grace.  She preferred the quiet outdoor chapel where she could look at the Mary and Jesus statue and enjoy the sunshine.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter egg dash

We have enjoyed meeting Kellie and Dawson at Stan Hywet Hall the last several years for their Easter events. The grounds and gardens are beautiful, any time of year.  We like to arrive early so we can walk around before the egg hunt. This year, the girls were interested in peeking inside the manor house windows.
They had fun exploring some of the gardens together.
Grace let me take a few photos of her.  (I think having Dawson around helped since Dawson didn't seem to mind posing!) 

 
At lunch, I asked Grace what she liked about our morning and she said "playing with Dawson."  One of my favorite parts of the day was watching them laugh and whisper to each other.  It has been a pleasure watching them grow from little babies to two bright, happy little girls.

The Easter egg "hunt" at Stan Hywet is more of a controlled dash instead of a hunt.  Everyone lines up along the edge of grassy fields to wait for their age group to be called.
Waiting for the 4-6 year olds.
They do a nice job of dividing the children by age and everyone is very polite as they gather their eggs from the field. But the whole thing takes about 3 minutes! I asked Grace if she had a strategy for choosing her eggs.  She said she did but wouldn't share any of the secret details with me.  I find it funny that she doesn't just pick up every egg in her path.


The girls had fun opening their eggs and discovering the "treasures" inside.
Then they did a little shopping for garden treasures - for people and fairies!

We weren't sure how muddy it would be so Grace chose to wear boots.  
She looks ready to work in the garden! 
At least they match the boots on her shirt. 
And they played in the new children's area that had a giant spider web, bird's nest, and bee hive.

It was a fun, sunny pre-Easter tradition that I hope we can continue for a few more years!

Monday, April 14, 2014

You color my world

It must be almost Easter.  We boiled and colored our eggs on Sunday.  Grace loves to eat hard boiled eggs.  She was very possessive of the dye supplies and claimed all the eggs for herself when it comes time to eat them.
One of the kits we tried was supposed to make the eggs look like tie-dye.  You use a tiny pipette to squirt intense color on the egg and let it drip around the sides.  I told Grace she looked like a mad scientist trying to come up with just the right concoction.
 
The eggs turned out okay.  They never look as good as they do on the box and I always try to make the colors as dark and vibrant as possible.  

All that matters is the Grace had fun.  Wonder when she will be too big for all these little things. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Muddy fun at the farm

For the second year, we visited the Spicy Lamb Farm in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for their lambing days.
Every spring for two weekends, the farm welcomes visitors to meet their baby animals. This year, it was especially important since their barn burned to the ground on March 4th. All of the animals escaped unharmed and now the owners are trying to raise money to build a new barn. 

Grace and I knew it was going to be muddy so we both wore our rain boots. 
We started by saying "hello" to the horses. 

Inside the farm, Grace got to hold  a bunny, chicks, ducklings, and (of course) lambs!







Notice how muddy her boots got by the end.  There was one point when Grace was up to her ankles in mud and struggled to get her feet out.  I thought she was going to lift her foot and leave the boots behind!

The llama liked eating from Grace's hand because she climbed on the fence to reach him. 
It was a fun morning on the farm.  I hope they can rebuild the barn so these little guys have a safe place to live.