This summer has been the summer of swimming for Grace. What started as a summer of being nervous to get her face wet turned into swimming the entire length of the pool and swimming in 11 feet of water!
Grace has decided that next summer she wants to swim on the prep team. Michael Phelps and Ryan Locktee have nothing on this girl.
This may have been my favorite birthday party of Grace's thus far. I'm not sure if it was the simplicity of the planning or the excitement of the party events. Since about last September Grace knew she wanted a butterfly party. I thought the idea would pass but instead it grew and grew. The planning stages were a little rocky but quickly turned into caterpillar grapes, butterfly crackers with cheese and butterfly cupcakes. The cousins arrived and it was time to celebrate!
The best part was the release of the butterflies we had raised from chrysalises. The painted ladies didn't want to leave us they seemed to want to stay. Maybe someday their great great great granddaughters will come back to visit?
I am not sure this is the same child. To say that Grace loved kindergarten would be an understatement. At the end of the last day she walked into my classroom and broke down sobbing because school was over. I attempted to console her by saying that she would see Mr. Hoch and Grandma Linda the next year. Her response was, "What about all summer?"
We will be forever grateful to Mr. Hoch for his passion and dedication to early childhood education. Many people think early childhood is just "daycare." Those people have a lot to learn. Grace has not only grown academically but socially as well. In about February Grace's reading took off. I teach students to read year after year but to watch it happen in your own child is a completely different thing. One night as I was getting ready to read to Grace she asked if she could read the book. I said, "Sure" thinking she would burn out after a page or so. We were about halfway through the book and remember thinking, "Oh my gosh, she can read and she even comprehends it!" Grace has since become a bookworm. She is ALWAYS reading and when she doesn't have a book she is looking for signs or pamphlets to read.
Mr. Hoch has repeatedly told us that Grace is what a lot of kids in his classroom needed this year. I think Grace needed those kids in her class. She has learned many lifelong lessons from talking with and observing her classmates. Her little mind and big heart can not fathom the backgrounds of some of her classmates but none the less she loves them and rooting for them in every circumstance. Grace continues to where her heart on her sleeve, but that is Grace. She is a giver and lover.
Since Mrs. D introduced Grace to the book Butterfly House by Eve Bunting she has been itrigued by butterflies. This Spring we decided to raise a few butterflies of our own. We ordered a kit online from Amazon that consisted of a butterfly house and 2 cups with five caterpillars in them each. Thank goodness we have Aunt DG to help us. Momma had A LOT of questions to ask her about how to do things.
There were some tears shed when the time came to let the butterflies go but just like the little girl in Butterfly House I reminded Grace that maybe next year painted lady butterflies will come back to visit us because we loved their great great grandma the Spring before.
Also while raising our butterflies Aunt DG came for a visit and went to the butterfly exhibit at the Botanical Gardens with Grace. We went towards the beginning of the exhibit so there were not a lot of butterflies but Grace sure saw a few of them up close.
Grace had the opportunity to participate in piano recital this Spring. She played two pieces "Gallop Pony" and "Russian Folk Dance." Miss Anni has been very impressed with Grace's hard work and determination.
Grace is now going to move from group lessons to private lessons. She is looking forward to the day that she will be good enough to play for Jesus like DG does.
Rich recently took the opportunity to give Grace an opportunity to serve. Every year Pathways turns the sanctuary into an assembly line of sorts to pack meals. Grace was finally old enough and able to help this year.
While Grace and Rich's work served for two hours and pack 25,000 meals during their shift. Over the entire weekend Pathway packed 419,00 meals and to date in all of Pathway history they have packed over 2 million meals! Grace is already looking forward to next year.