Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fall tradition

It is amazing how nice the fall weather is in Ohio.  September and October are beautiful  This year, it has been so warm that we are still wearing shorts and flip flops.

We went to get our pumpkins at Szalay's Farm in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It is a great place to go for so many different varieties of pumpkins, fall decorations, food stands, and a farmer's market. The also have a corn maze and a fun house.  It is perfect for a family outing which is why going there has become a family tradition.

Friday, October 13, 2017

En Pointe

On Sunday, October 8 Grace went to Stage Center, a dance store in Akron to get her first pair of pointe shoes.  This is a BIG deal if you are a dancer.  Chris Meneer, the director her Grace's dance studio arranged for the girls getting their shoes to arrive every 30 minutes so they could each have some time with a store employee who would fit them for their shoes.

They carry about 20 different kinds of pointe shoes that range in price from $70-130 each.  After looking at the dancer's feet and telling her about the different parts of the shoe, they start trying them on to see what feels best.

When they have a pair on they go to the barre where Mrs. Meneer looked at them for the perfect fit.  It was interesting how she could see what was working and not working and then made suggestions for a harder or softer shaft, a different toe box, etc.

Grace tried on 6-8 different pairs but she came back to her 2nd pair as the ones she liked best. They ended up being Bloch, "Hannah", in a size 4.

She looked beautiful and so proud!

Saturday, September 30, 2017


Chris Meneer, the director of Ballet Theatre of Ohio, called today to tell us that Grace's hard work has paid off and she will get her pointe shoes next Sunday.   This was her reaction:

This also means another 1-hour class each week.  On Thursdays, she will be at the studio from 4:30-9:00pm.  But she doesn't care - so EXCITED!!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Keep her little

Grace seems to be growing up over night.  I love that we have a combination of a big kid with a mind of her own and a curiosity about the world. She wants us to give her the freedom to go play at her friends' houses in the neighborhood without a chaperone to walk her there. She has been great about getting dressed in the morning without 100 reminders and she comes home from school and calls me every day, like clockwork before making a snack and "chilling out" until I get home. There is some talk about boys, going to the high school football game, and the Halloween dance.

But, then we have these times when Grace wants to cuddle, play with her Calico Critters and Lori dolls, and asks me to dry her after a bath, and lay with her before she goes to sleep.  I cherish those moments as I hold on dearly to my little girl. I just need time to slow down a little....

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I guess the Tooth Fairy is coming tonight

Okay...Grace doesn't believe in the Tooth Fairy anymore. But, after having four teeth pulled today to make room for her adult teeth (and braces next summer) she deserves "Tooth Fairy Mom" to give her something for being so tough!

After "laughing gas" and A LOT of novocaine Grace slept for a few hours this afternoon.  And, then she went to ballet!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

This was a big weekend

Fall was in the air this Friday night and Grace asked to go to the high school football game.  This was a first for us.  Kyle took her and watched her run around the stadium with many other 5th grade intermediate school kids who are in the "tween" stage and not sure what to do with themselves.

Another part of 5th grade is deciding if you want to be in band, orchestra, or choir.  Grace chose band and auditioned to be in the percussion section.  She made it (WooHoo!) but that meant that we needed to buy a percussion kit.  I had no idea what that was but it includes a snare drum pad, bells (really an xylophone), mallets, drum sticks, books, and a music stand.  All stored in a wheeled carry case.  And, good thing, too.  That baby is HEAVY!

This is turning out to be a great year at school with many "firsts".  I am so proud of Grace for trying new things and stepping out of her comfort zone.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Human pretzel

Grace was flipping for this new outfit Nana and Ba bought her to start school.  I think she likes it!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Cutie pies

This is "Minnie" or "Mini".  She's cute. But, no, we are not getting one.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

First day of 5th grade

I am really not sure how this happened....

And she's off...!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Chalk the Walk

So, something BIG happened on August 21, 2017 - a solar eclipse!  Our part of Ohio only experienced 80% coverage, but it was still pretty cool.  To think that the sun, moon, and earth have to line up just perfectly for this to happen is really pretty amazing.

It was very important that you have special eclipse glasses to watch the eclipse.  I was able to get some from a teacher-friend so Grace, Jacob, and Gabriella could wear them.  But, since my school district was not permitting students to watch outside (not enough glasses for everyone) we decided to "Chalk the Walk" so when my young students exited school to board their buses they would not be tempted to look up at the sun.

Jill brought Grace and Jacob over early in the day so they could help create art on our school sidewalks.

And then, when they went back to Jacob's house later they were able to use their glasses to see what made the eclipse so special.

Grace looks really excited, doesn't she?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Working on the Summer Bucket List

We are holding on to summer as long as we can.  It doesn't matter that Kyle and I have been back to work for weeks and school starts for Grace in a few days.  We are trying to find time to have fun as a family including playing golf!

This was Grace's idea.  I think she just wanted to drive the golf cart!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Finallly in fifth

Starting 5th grade in Stow-Munroe Falls is a big deal because students go to a new school.  After 6 years in one elementary school, all the Stow 5th graders join together (6 elementary schools) at Lakeview Intermediate.  This was so exciting that Grace even wore a dress (!) to Open House.

She has a homeroom teacher - Mrs. Quinn - who teaches math and social studies. And a "switch" teacher - Mr. Muncy - who teaches language arts and science.  Mrs. Quinn allowed the students to choose their own seat on Open House night.  Grace walked all around the room, found a seat she liked, wrote her name on her nametag and moved her books and supplies into the desk.

We walked all over the school to explore and found the cafeteria, gym, music room, art room, and library.  Grace even introduced herself to the principal - Mr. Yanchunas.

We think it is going to be a great year!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Catching up

I don't take as many photos as I used to.  I guess that is just a fact of life.  We are busy, Grace just barely tolerates looking at the camera (when she is in the mood), and, as much as I try to find new things to do, there aren't as many novel activities any more.  You may not know that at the end of each year, I print the entire blog from January 1- December 31 in a book.  This is the chronicle of Grace's life and a testimony to our love for her.  Someday I will be gone, but she might be able to look back and remember.  In fact, sometimes she does take the books off the shelf - chooses a year at random - and looks through the photos for a few days.  So, the effort is worth it, right?

Although I try to snap a few photos here and there, most of them these days are on my iPhone rather than my DSL camera.  Someday I plan to get back to more frequent use of that expensive equipment. I envision street photography - portraits of the every day - while traveling with Kyle to every country we can think of. But for now...the iPhone it is.  Which brings me to this "catch up" of a few events in July.

Annalise came over for a 24-hour playdate and sleepover.  These girls really connected at Hudson Conservatory of Ballet.  Unfortunately, they don't see each other at dance any more, but we hope the remain good friends.  While Annalise was here, we made some #NortheastOhioRocks.

And hid them on Sunday.  We keep checking the Facebook page to see if anyone found ours.  This time, I was smart and made sure there were some for me to do...I always want to do the craft project the kids are doing.  Can you guess who made each one?

Another BIG thing we did was the Potterfest in Kent, Ohio. This was the second year they turned Kent into Harry Potter-land.  The stores had different themes, there were people dressed as the characters, magic shows, and a replica of Daigon Alley.  It was pretty fun to walk around - even if you aren't the biggest HP fan.

Grace wore her Hermione cape from Halloween.  She also got a lot of compliments on her wand, which lights up when you cast a spell.  She was working on a "skinny and tall" spell for me...still perfecting that one!

Oh, and yes, she got her first henna tattoo!  Yikes!

Speaking of first...Grace also got her first back massage.  We went after her last day of summer dance intensives.  The Chinese couple who run the spa told her that their daughter is also 10 and named "Grace" and they wrote Grace in Chinese so she could see what it looks like.

We have also been getting Blue Apron - a box of fresh food delivered to your door.  Grace has shown an interest in cooking and she is much better at trying new foods if she took part in the preparation. Her outfit cracks me up!