At the end of May we created this family summer bucket list and set out to do as many things as possible on the list. Although there are some things we didn't get to, we did a pretty good job of squeezing in a lot of fun while the weather was warm.
While we didn't take photos of everything, here are some memories from this awesome summer (aka "mom's cell phone dump") that haven't been posted already.
The summer started out with tennis and golf camp at Old Trail School. Grace loved it there and wanted to transfer there for 4th grade. But, we could either pay for elementary school or college. LeBron James' kids go to school here - a little out of our budget!
Sometimes things get a little strange around our house. Like when Grace cooled herself off on the kitchen floor, wrote us warning notes on her bedroom door, and built a ro"box" named "Bill". Bill is a girl, by the way!
We see the Goodyear blimp often in our backyard, but it is always a treat!
This was our first summer buying season passes to Wildwater Kingdom, a water park in Aurora, about 20 minutes away from our house. It was more fun to go with a friend so we brought Devin, Alyssa, Haley, and Camryn. We were sad at the end of the summer when they closed the park forever.
When we got back from Guatemala, we met Kellie and Dawson at the Akron Zoo. I love how Grace wanted to wear her hair in braids with the ribbon we bought on our trip.
Grace participated in a cartooning art class at the Hudson Library. There were about 100 kids there but, at the end, Grace went up to thank the artist, Jeff Nicholas. He autographed one of his drawing for her since she was so polite!
The Akron Art Museum opened a new family garden this summer. While the garden was nice and peaceful, we went to see the Verb Ballet perform. They did a dance about shapes using balloons and, of course, Grace jumped right in to participate!
That started a new hobby. Grace found out how to make balloon animals on YouTube and used her own money to buy a pump and balloons. There are about 10 of them in her room right now! (I love her Guatemala flip flops on the floor!)
For a summer family outing we visited the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center. It was okay for about an hour and interesting to see the birds they rescued - mostly hawks, owls, and falcons. We watched a show in the observatory and learned about the planets and constellations.
I have said before that we are lucky to live right near a national park. They Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad runs right through the park. In the summer they have a "bike and ride" option where you can bike along the trail and they will load your bikes for $2 each. You and your bike ride for that price! One day Grace and I rode 7.5 miles (it took about an hour, if you are wondering) and then we stopped at the station and waited for the train to take us back to Peninsula. It was lots of fun and now that we know how much Grace can handle we will do it again!
Grace and I volunteered to run a photo booth for Hudson Conservatory Ballet at a kids' event in Hudson. It was a scorching, 90+ degree day but we had fun!
Sometimes you just have to get some things done. Grace was a good helper when I needed to run errands so I took her to Fun N Stuff in Macedonia. We both had a great time. I even did the bumper cars and bumper boats with her!
Grace's friend Alyssa invited Grace to go to the Akron Rubber Ducks game with their family.
And, then, we went to see the Cleveland Orchestra perform at Blossom music center. They showed the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with the orchestra playing the music. Kyle said he was 9 the first time he saw that movie and he warned Grace when some of the scary parts were about to happen so she could close her eyes. It is interesting how the music takes on more significance when you see them perform live. We had pavilion seats and then walked to our car during the fireworks.
I discovered a new store called "LUSH" that makes all kinds of bath products. Grace loved her bath bomb and actually didn't complain about taking a bath. Win!
Summer ended. Although it is still hot outside, the leaves are starting to change color, nights are warmer, football has started, and we are back into our routine. Grace joined the conservatory (pre-professional classes) at HCB so she dances three days per week.
Grace is not one of the older girls at HCS, but the little ones like our friend Vivian Lewis, look up to her. It is so cute to see Grace take care of a little girl. She would have been a great big sister.