Sunday, May 29, 2016

Blossom time

We had a fun start to the summer today at the Chagrin Falls Blossom Time Festival. Chagrin Falls is a pretty little town  (with a waterfall, of course!) with less than 5,000 residents. But during Memorial Day weekend they estimate that they host close to 100,000!









We at lunch ate Jekyll's right on the river and Grace rode a lot of (rickety) rides.  Why is every summer carnival the same?





And, yes, Kyle and I both rode a little too.  Here are my pictures to prove it!




Oh, boy.  I was glad I hadn't eaten before this ride!

Monday, May 23, 2016

9 candles and one for good luck

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!



Saturday, May 21, 2016

9-year old night owls - Party Day part #2

AKA "These girls are crazy!"

It is now 11:45 and they are still awake.  Calm.  Watching a movie...but still awake.  I keep asking if they are tired and only just now did Grace say, "A little bit".  Seriously?  They ran around inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs, in the basement, on the deck....and they are NOT tired???  Oh, to be nine...


Before the girls arrived, Grace humored me with a few photos.




The girls arrived within a few minutes of each other and it didn't take long for them to get WILD.  I thought there was a herd of elephants in Grace's room.

Mrs. Zaucha's 3rd graders - Grace, Haley, Devin, Brooke, Alyssa 

I think they were dancing and doing cartwheels!  They calmed down long enough to eat hamburgers and hot dogs.

Camryn, Brooke, Alyssa, Devin, Grace, Hayley
These girls ate so much!  Hamburgers, hotdogs, mac and cheese, chips, S'mores, chocolate covered strawberries, and birthday cake.  They can put it away!


They loved making S'mores.  Kyle got them all set up and they loved making their own.  It was about this point that I started to think some of them were going to have tummy aches later.











The craft was a candle holder made with glue and glitter.  We used red, white, and blue for Memorial Day coming up next week.



The "Minute to Win It" games were a hit!  They wanted to play them over and over so we used a point system and everyone got a prize in the end. This one was called "Defy Gravity". Each girl had to keep two balloons in the air.  Their strategies were very interesting to watch.




It seemed like a fun party.  I will have to see tomorrow what my almost-9-year old has to say about it. Hopefully, she felt like we celebrated her life! We love you, Grace.  And, we are so happy you were born!

9-year old night owls - Party Day part #1

It is hard to believe that Grace will be 9 in two days.  She is an incredible kid who is really trying her best to figure out the world and her place in it.  I love how she is kind, curious. and interested in so many things.  I hope I can convince Grace to let me do a 9-year old photo shoot sometime soon so I can get some great photos of the beautiful little (big?) girl she has become.

Third grade has been a bit of a challenge.  This year, the academics have seemed to be more difficult and social relationships have taken on more emphasis.  There are only 6 girls in Grace's class (with 14 boys!) which doesn't matter too much to her since she is okay being active and running around with the boys.  But for her birthday party, Grace asked to have a sleepover.  So...the "night owl" party theme was born!

I turned to Pinterest for ideas and came up with these cute invitations that we mailed to the girls in her class. Who doesn't love getting REAL mail?



On the day of the party, Grace had a piano recital in the morning.   We love Grace's new piano teacher and she has really shown growth this year.  Her piece was called "The Hippo and the Rhino", a cute, upbeat song about the two animals sitting down to tea!


I am not going to lie - the recital stressed me out a bit because I wanted everything to be perfect and ready.  I kept telling myself that they are 9-year olds and whatever we do will be fine.  And, truthfully, Grace and Kyle helped SO MUCH that getting the house ready was easy-peasy.



Thanks to flowers from Nana, Oriental Trading,  and dollar store finds, the dining room and kitchen are ready for a party.







Last year, Grace was considering an owl-theme party and then changed her mind in favor of going to the art studio for a pottery class.  I had a woman I know make these cute owl pillows that have been sitting in the garage for a year.  They are perfect for an owl adoption activity where the girls can name their owl and tell what it likes to do.


We also have a cookout, a craft, S'mores, and "Minute to Win It" games planned.  And, I hope to wind things down around 9:30 by putting a movie on Netflix with lights out at 11:00.  Is that wishful thinking?