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!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ballet Theatre of Ohio...let's begin

If you haven't noticed, Stow, Ohio is not New York or LA or Chicago. But, there is a lot of access to the arts in this area.  In fact, within 30 minutes we have Playhouse Square and Severance Hall in Cleveland, Blossom Music Center in Peninsula, and the Civic Theater in Akron.  Not to mention all the colleges and universities in the same radius.  There is a lot of exposure to music, dance, and theater - from local, state, and national performers.  For Grace, each winter since she was 3 years old, we have gone to the Akron Civic Theater to see the Nutcracker.  And, many springs, we have attended ballet performances such as the Wizard of Oz and Cinderella.  So, it was a real dream come true when she auditioned this spring and was offered a place in the Ballet Theatre of Ohio's performing company.  This means she is going to be dancing at the historic Civic Theater in a show she has seen 7 times!

As part of her commitment to the company, Grace participated in summer intensive classes.  She loved every minute and was sorry to see those classes end just as she was starting to form bonds with the other dancers.

After not dancing for almost a month, Grace was reunited with the other dancers today at the annual BTO family picnic.  It was held at Crystal Lake, a private lake with a beach and pavilions for picnics.

There are 35 dancers in the company (2 boys!) this year.  The new BTO company members were introduced and each one received a fleece jacket with the logo and their name embroidered on it. It is a big honor and the young dancers seemed very proud.

It was fun to listen to the older dancers when they told stories of getting their jacket and how big it was on them...but now it fits!  I guess these "newbies" also have big shoes to fill!

After lunch the kids swam, jumped off the diving board, built sand castles, and ran around.  The parents also had an opportunity to chat and get to know each other.  I am a little overwhelmed with the expectations for volunteer and rehearsal time, but everyone assured me we will get through what the next year has to bring and by this time next year we will feel more comfortable and confident.