Sunday, April 26, 2015

Raccoon Day in Stow

At about 7:45 this morning, Mayor Drew officially declared today "Raccoon Day" in the City of Stow in honor of the big Raccoon Run, which is a major fundraiser for Grace's school.  They are on track to make $40,000 this year!  

We woke up early and joined hundreds of people for the 1 mile Fun Run and 5K race.  As is typical for this race (at least the 3 years we have gone) it is cold before the race starts.  Today it wasn't even 40 degrees! But the sunshine made it better.

Camryn, Isabella, and Grace - cold, tired girls.

McKenna and Grace

Face painting and colored hairspray were essential to run a fast race.  Grace chose red with sparkles. 

Everyone lined up at the start with lots of reminders that this was non-competitive and supposed to be "fun". They didn't want the adults and older kids to run over the little ones in the front. Grace seemed to love being in the middle of it all.

And then they were off!

Grace's friend, Carson - a 2nd grader - was the first person to finish.  

Grace did fantastic, finishing in less than 10 minutes.  I watched her come up the last hill and she was talking and socializing with the other runners around her.  My guess is that happened the whole mile! It looked like it was a fun run for her!

Great job, Grace!  We are proud of you.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

End of cabin fever

The sun came out, the sky is blue, and the air feels warm.  We did what a lot of other people decided to do today - take a walk at Brandywine Falls.

Carved by Brandywine Creek the 65-foot falls cover layers of sandstone and shale rock, some of which date back 350-400 million years.  Early settlers in this area recognized the falls for its beauty as well as for the power it generated.  In 1814 a saw mill was built on top of the falls.  Other mills soon followed and the Village of Brandywine became one of the earliest  communities in the Cuyahoga Valley.

You reach the falls through a series of boardwalks and steps to the viewing area.  Other trails wind along the river.

There was a lot of water flowing from melting snow and the recent rain we have had so far this month.  We walked among the rocks and looked for fish, turtles, and frogs.

Daisy is the only one who got her feet wet.  She really would have liked to jump in for a swim!

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Check "rock climbing" off the bucket list!

Grace and I went to check out Kendall Cliffs as a possible birthday party location for her 8th birthday next month.  They were super nice and Grace did an amazing job, climbing the rock wall about 12 times.  She is so brave and she kept going back up and setting goals for how high she wanted to get each time. In the end, Grace said that it was "terrifying".  Not her sport, I guess.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Silly girls

Grace and McKenna humored me with one silly photo and then told me to go away!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Fat cat

I think Buddy is becoming Garfield.  Somebody better stop feeding him so much!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The annual Easter egg dash

For the last several years we have been meeting Kellie and Dawson at Stan Hywett for their Easter egg hunt.  Before writing this post, I looked back at the photos of the last few years.  Here are some photo memories from:

2012 (4 years old)

 2013 (5 years old)

2014 (6 years old)

It's fun to look back at how cute and little they were and how they have grown and changed each year.  

2015 (7 years old)

As usual, it was a chilly day.  I keep saying we need to move somewhere where the flowers are blooming and the girls really can wear cute Easter dresses for their egg hunt.  Yesterday we needed winter coats, hats, and gloves.  But it was sunny, so I really shouldn't complain!

We walked around the Stan Hywett grounds while we waited for the 7-9 year olds to have their turn for the Easter egg hunt. Grace and Dawson looked for turtles in the ponds.

Kyle tried to teach them how to whistle using the top of an acorn.  He told them he learned to do this from an after-school television program when he was a kid and it took a lot of practice before it worked.

When it was time for their Easter egg hunt the girls decided on their strategy to collect a lot of eggs. Calling this a "hunt" is a misnomer.  The eggs are scattered all over the grass and the kids dash after them.   Hundreds of eggs are gone within a frenzied few minutes.  When they blew the whistle this is what it looked like when dozens of children swarmed the grass.

There were plenty of eggs for everyone.  They asked the children to take 15 eggs each but after they did that there were still tons left on the grass so they were allowed to go get more...and the second "dash" began.

Grace and Dawson seemed to enjoy themselves.  They sat on a bench in the sun to open their eggs and examine the trinkets.  For two little girls who have a lot, they still get excited about the surprises inside Easter eggs.

I truly love those smiles!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Celebrating spring

Coloring eggs with bright dye is an Easter and spring tradition.  When Grace was decorating her eggs last night she asked why we do this.

I answered that the eggs are a symbol of spring time and we add the bright colors like the colors of the flowers that will bloom soon.  I knew there was also a connection to Easter.

I looked it up and it turns out there are many different theories of why we dye eggs including pagan traditions and symbols of rebirth,  stories of Mary Magdalene using red dye to symbolize Jesus' blood, and King Edward I giving eggs covered in gold leaf as Easter gifts in the 13th century.

It was interesting to see how these "different" theories all had a connection to each other and that different cultures and religions adapted the tradition to their own needs and beliefs.

Grace's eggs turned out very pretty.  She did them on her own, although I was allowed to help a little with the glitter.