Sunday, November 18, 2012

Late Summer 2012

As for the rest of our summer, we spent a lot of time at the pool.  We joined a local swim club and Grace wanted to go there everyday.  And we pretty much did just that!  I figured that since we’re paying for it, we’re going to go!!!!  Grace continued swim lessons through some of the summer.  We probably should have done more, but with some traveling that we did, and just a busy schedule, we couldn't seem to get the timing to work out.  We did get to swim in a few hotel pools while we were away though.  Here she is at one of her lessons - always smiling while she's in the pool!

Probably Grace’s biggest accomplishment this summer was taking the training wheels off her bike.  She was bugging us to do this before school was out for the summer.  I told her that she would have to wait until I was done with school.  So as soon as school was out, we took Grace down to the high school soccer field.  The drive is gated, so no cars can go down there.  It’s nice, smooth, and straight.  She was a little scared, so as soon as she realized we had let go of the back of her bike, she would fall over.  After about a half hour of starting, riding a short distance and falling, Grace was getting discouraged, so we put the training wheels back on and headed home.  Then we tried again a couple of weeks later.  Well, that was the one!  She hopped on and with just a little push, off she went.  We figured out how to stop and turn.  Probably the trickiest part for her was learning how to get the bike going by herself.  But after a couple of tries, she had that down too.  She couldn’t wait to show Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle!  Here she is riding back at our house.

Grace, my mom, and I went to North Dakota again this year to visit my cousins Charity and Marcus.  We took a trip and drove to Aberdeen, South Dakota.  They had a really cute place called Storybook Land.  It was all free!  They had statues there of many kinds of storybook characters.  She is posing here with Glinda from the Wizard of Oz. There was a train ride that went around the park and through the small zoo that they had there.  There is also a nice water park in Aberdeen, so we went there too.  Grace was jumping off the diving board in 12 feet deep water and swimming back to the side, so she could climb out and do it again!  We celebrated Marcus’s 13th birthday while we were there.  How is it possible that Marcus could be 13!!!!

When we got back from North Dakota, it was time to start getting ready for the school year.  Grace helped me get my classroom together for the arrival of a new batch of first graders.  We went for a couple hours a day and then spent the afternoon at the pool.

 School started way before I was ready!  That seems to happen every year.  We had decided on a different preschool for Grace this year.  In Michigan, she would have been able to start Kindergarten this year based on her birthday.  But as a first grade teacher, I would never let her start that early, so we decided to go with a Young Five’s program instead.  It is a full day, five days-a-week program.  Whew!  Luckily, two of her friends from last year’s preschool were going to the same program.  I knew that would help, but I was still so worried about how she would be.  Her first day of school was my first day of school too.  Lots of emotions flying on that day!  I couldn’t sleep the whole night worrying about how she was going to handle being dropped off the first day.  Well, we walked in the door and Grace’s friend came running up to her, holding a play cell phone in her hand.  She said, ‘Look, Grace, they have cell phones here.”  That was all it took!  Grace was off!  I could hardly get a hug good-bye.  So much for a sleepless night of worrying.  Every other day since has been great also!  Grace loves school, loves her teachers, and loves her friends there!  Everything is fun and exciting!  Here she is on her first day!

Grace wanted to continue swim lessons.  So, we signed her up for more.  At the swim club that we belong to, they apparently do not have a lot of students at Grace’s level right now.  So believe it or not, Grace is in a class of one, getting a private lesson while we are paying for group lessons.  I feel so lucky!

Grace also decided that she wanted to take dance lessons as well.  So we signed her up for a combination ballet/tap class at the same place where she swims.  She loves everything about it.  She loves her teacher, the shoes, the leotards, the moves, the barre, the mirrors in the room, everything!!!  She's showing off her new dance outfit in this picture.  It is the funniest thing to watch the class.  The teacher looks so graceful when she shows the moves and steps.  Then you look at the girls, who have no rhythm, no grace, no coordination.  Too cute!