Sunday, May 31, 2015

Bravo, ballerina

We were so pleased that the Hudson Conservatory of Ballet opened right near our house this September.  It was perfect timing since Grace had asked to start ballet classes.  She learned so much from her instructors by attending two classes each week.  Last night, all Grace's hard work paid off when she performed in her first dance recital.

They had very strict rules about photography and video during the dress rehearsal and performance so I only snapped these few photos outside before Grace went to the dressing room for her group.  She looked beautiful in her costume and did a great job on the dance!

Hudson Conservatory of Ballet hired a professional photographer.  Here are some he took:

This one is of all the dancers at the finale.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


This cool, creative, fun-loving, curious kid was born in Guatemala 8 years ago today.  

Like every year, I silently thank Consuelo for having a plan for Grace that ended up allowing me to be her mom. She challenges me but she also reminds me that I have the capacity to love another person more than anything in the world.  

Grace has been SO excited all week about her birthday.  Yesterday, I was able to bring cupcakes and goodie bags to her 2nd grade class and today we planned an art party.  The day started out with Grace jumping into bed to remind me that she is officially eight!  She opened presents from family, which included a recorder, some fun items from Montana, Hello Kitty earrings and a bracelet, handmade doll clothes, and the American Girl doll of the year, who also happens to be named "Grace".  I think Grace liked her recorder best, but I did catch these cute photos of her with the Grace doll when she thought I wasn't looking. 

Before we left for 4Cats Art Studio in Kent, Grace indulged me with a few photos on the deck.  What a gorgeous day for a birthday!  I told Grace today that I wish my birthday was at the end of May instead of the beginning of March when it is always freezing and grey.  She didn't have much sympathy for me!
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4Cats is a franchise art studio out of Canada that opened in our area a couple of years ago.  I am so glad it has managed to stay in business.  What at great atmosphere and I was very impressed with the way they ran the party today.

Grace chose a clay project and since most of the kids coming were from her elementary school, they made a raccoon bowl, in honor of the schools' mascot.  The teacher/owner had a sample for them and then she gave them step-by-step instructions as she demonstrated.

left to right: Morgan, Paige, Madeline, Haley, and Grace

left to right:  Carson, Mariska, Justin, Makenna, Zach
Mariska and Carson 

I liked how there was teaching involved - explaining why they have to let the clay dry before they put it in the kiln, what clay is made of, what the glaze looks like after it is painted, etc.

After about an hour of art and time to clean up (at one point almost all of the 10 kids were in the same small restroom!) I go them to sit for this picture, which will probably become the thank you card.

But they wanted to do this "crazy" one too!

I tried to maintain the colorful "art" theme for the table and was lucky to find the artist palette plates.

Grace's guests went home with paint and a colorful swirl lollipop.  The note says, "Thank you for making my party a masterpiece."

Grace told me in the middle of the party that it was a great party and she was having a really good time.  That is priceless.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rockadoodle Cockadoodle

"Rocadoodle Cockadoodle" was the name of one of the piano pieces Grace performed yesterday at her final piano recital with Nancy Huston.  The other was called "Fiesta de Mexico" and was a duet with Isabelle.

The recitals have been held at Kent State's Fashion Museum.  They have a small auditorium in the museum.  Grace counted, and there were 50 guests watching the recital yesterday.

Miss Nancy decided to retire after teaching music and piano for over 40 years.  She has been a great teacher who helped give Grace a wonderful start.  We love that she teaches her students to read music, play solos and duets, compose, and compete.

This group of students started together when they were about 4 years old.  They are Miss Nancy's youngest students and Grace always looked forward to "group week" when they could see each other, play games, and perform for the others in the group.  From left to right are: Patrick, Jai, Grace, and Isabelle.  The parents of this group got together to get Miss Nancy a gift certificate and flowers.

Grace won 3rd place for her most recent composition, a song called "Winter Fun".  She got a trophy and this awesome note from her teacher.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

It feels like summer

Within a couple of weeks, winter turned into summer.  I think we skipped spring this year. Temperatures went from 40-degree days to the high 80s.  In that time, Grace has been outside as much as possible riding her bike, roller blading (an early birthday present from Nana and Ba), and swimming at her friend's pool.  

She also started tennis and swimming lessons....we are still looking for a sport that she will love for a lifetime.  Right now, she does it all!