Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Penny, Nickel, Dime, & Quarter

Grace loves coins so I thought it would be fun for her to learn the names of them. When Maddy was here last week she glued pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters onto paper strips. Maddy glued two coins of each type onto the paper so Grace could see both sides of the coins. I have only worked with Grace using these coins three or four times since they were made and she can already identify and name all four coins. Grace learns so quickly! I continue to be very proud of all of her accomplishments but mostly for her great love of learning.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Finger Painting

Measuring Length With Unifix Cubes

Grace loves her unifix cubes and I love them too because there is so much that Grace can learn from them. This morning Grace & I explored length/height in detail. We walked around our house and grouped items together that were long and items that were short. We then compared the length of all of our items. Grace thought this was so much fun. We then used to unifix cubes to create towers that corresponded to the length of the items. Finally, we measured Grace and Ella's height using the cubes. We counted the cubes and found that Grace is 45 unifix cubes tall and Ella is approximately 11 unifix cubes in length!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Maddy, Poppy, & Grace

Maddy & Poppy returned to Vermont today. Grace has been talking about the special times she shared with Maddy & Poppy all afternoon. We all miss them so much. This past week is one that we will never forget. It was filled so many fun times, laughs, smiles, and sillies! Maddy, we can't thank you enough for all you did with and for Grace. Also, thank you for all you did to help us prepare for our baby boy. Grace thinks you are a "silly willy" and we all think you are absolutely wonderful! It was so special for us to watch you and Grace spend time together ~ the two of you share such a close bond. Some of the highlights from the week include: your mitten, music group, the animal park, drips, painting, apple orchard visits, the orange tutu, silly willy, let's take a look, oh my goodness, trying on clothes, and our trip to Freeport. Thank you, Poppy for the 1920's desk that you refinished for Grace. We know you spent countless hours restoring it and it's truly a treasure! We loved our trip to the map store together and I don't think any of us will forget finding Russia on the big globe. We truly appreciate Maddy & Poppy watching Grace yesterday, last night, and this morning while Bob and I went on a mini-vacation. We missed Grace SO much while we were away but we were very happy to hear how excited Grace was and how much of a good time she was having each time we called home. Thank you, again for all that you do for Grace and for our family. We love you!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Searching for Russia!

Poppy arrived yesterday afternoon. On this rainy Friday we decided to show Grace a huge globe. Grace has been working every morning during calendar time to find and discover new countries in our world. By far, her favorite country is RUSSIA! Grace talks about Russia many times throughout the day and easily locates it on a world map. We thought the next best thing to going to Russia was to go see it on a gigantic globe at the Delorme store located at the following Latitude 43 degrees 48.491 minutes North, Longitude 70 degrees 9.844 minutes West.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Grace Is Making Her First Hardcovered Book!

At the end of every day this week, Grace drew a picture describing her day. Grace told Maddy all about her drawings. It has been remarkable to to hear Grace talk about all of the days events. Maddy will be taking Grace's pages home with her to put together into a hardcovered book. Maddy will take a cereal box and cut it to size, then cover it with special paper, and staple the pages together. Each page will have Grace's words typed under her drawings. The book will also have a title, a little biography, and a picture of the author, Grace, at the end of the book. Maddy will mail the finished hardcover book to Grace! We all know that Grace will be reading this book over and over again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Snap, Button, Zip, Tie, & Buckle

Grace worked on this new puzzle from Maddy this afternoon. Grace enjoyed doing all of the fine motor activities. Grace has always had a fascination with these concepts. She worked diligently until she completed each task. Grace's favorite was the belt buckle because she has talked about Daddy wearing a belt every day to work. Maddy wanted to get Grace this puzzle because she has watched Grace put on shirts, pants, and jackets all week!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Maddy Gives Ella Some Much Needed TLC

About a week ago Grace noticed a tear on the seam of one of Ella's legs. I knew that Maddy was coming for a visit in a few days so I told Grace that Maddy would fix Ella since she enjoys sewing. Every day since then Grace has said, "Maddy come to fix Ella's hole." This morning Maddy & Grace worked together to repair Ella and make her as good as new!

Note: Maddy has tendonitis and is wearing a specially made splint. Grace loves Maddy's splint and tells her she is a "silly willy" for wearing a "mitten."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Celebrating The First Day Of Fall

Grace & Maddy spent the morning celebrating the arrival of Fall. Maddy helped Grace make a pumpkin necklace (seen here) they and painted several pictures together using autumn colors of red, orange, yellow, and brown. This afternoon we enjoyed another visit to the apple orchard near our home. Maddy handmade this adorable tutu for Grace and surprised her with this perfect fall outfit. Grace was a big hit at the apple orchard. Thank you, Maddy!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Teaching Maddy About My Animal Friends

We took Maddy to the Maine Wildlife Animal Park today. Maddy loved it there! Grace showed Maddy how to make animal tracks in the sand and how to feed dried corn to the peacocks. We had a picnic lunch under the pine trees. Grace had a great time showing Maddy all of her animal friends.

Spending Time With Grace

Maddy and Poppy came for a September visit yesterday. Maddy is going to spend the week with us. Poppy left for Vermont this morning but will be back at the end of the week. We visited an apple orchard yesterday and Grace picked apples, went on a hayride, and saw lots of pumpkins. We have many things planned for a fun week!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pumpkin Rocks

Grace & I made these cute pumpkin rocks together. It was a very fun fall project for us both and we are now ready for autumn to arrive on Monday!

Grace & I went for a walk yesterday morning in search of the perfect rocks that we could paint orange and turn into beautiful pumpkins! Grace loves rocks and she is always very particular as to which ones she chooses. She made some excellent choices!

Grace painted her rocks orange yesterday. We let them dry overnight and Grace added a second coat of orange paint this morning. I added eyes, noses, and mouths to the pumpkins and we later brought them outside to take a picture. Grace thought it was very funny to see her pumpkin rocks sitting in the grass. Grace is very proud of her pumpkin rocks and is extremely excited to give them away to her friends and family.

Look What Arrived Today!

Our baby boy's crib and dresser set arrived today. We are all so very excited, especially Grace! She loves her baby brother's room and was so happy to see the new furniture arrive. Grace ran into the room, pointed to the crib and said, "Look Mommy, book inside crib" (it was the crib's manual). Grace also said, "Gracie girl love (baby brother's name) room!" A very, very, very big thank you to Maddy & Poppy for giving our baby boy these gifts, which he will grow up with and enjoy for a lifetime. You are always so giving & extremely generous and we greatly appreciate all that you do for Grace and our new baby boy.

An Airplane!

Grace loves watching airplanes. This morning we were outside gathering materials for a fun fall project when Grace took a moment to look up at the sky to watch an airplane fly over our house. I asked Grace where she thought the airplane was going and she said, "Airplane going to airport!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Playground Fun

After Grace's swimming lesson this morning we enjoyed a beautiful day at the park. Grace was such a big girl ~ she climbed her way up to the top of several slides. She didn't even need me to catch her at the bottom. Grace even climbed up three levels all by herself to the top of an enclosed twisty slide. I nearly panicked as I watched Grace climb all the way up to the top. Being nearly seven months pregnant, I couldn't make my way up fast enought to follow her and I didn't think I could fit through the slide either!!!! I did peek my head up the slide where all I could see was Grace's face beaming with a huge smile at the very top. Grace let out a large laugh all the way down and I couldn't help but laugh along with her. It was a fun day for us both.

Eyes & Ears & Mouth & Nose!

Grace surprised me the other day as she was drawing in her notebook. Grace told me she was drawing a picture of a porcupine and proceeded to draw four lines saying they were the porcupine's legs. What surprised me was that Grace drew the legs in their appropriate location. I was then curious to see what Grace would do with a blank face so I drew an oval on a separate piece of paper and told Grace it was a face. I asked Grace to draw eyes, a nose, a mouth, ears, and hair and this was the result. Grace drew the approximate placement of all of these facial features! This is Grace's first drawing of a face and I think it is absolutely beautiful (all of Grace's drawings are done in turquoise).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yellow & Blue Make Green

Color mixing
Grace spent an hour mixing various colors together and wanted to do more but we needed to get ready for dinner! Grace used a small dropper to transfer primary colors of water from two small jars into an empty third jar. The result amazed Grace ~ an entirely new color was made! When Daddy came home Grace told him that, "yellow & blue make green" and "blue & red make purple."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Different Shades of Color

I went to the paint section of our hardware store over the weekend and collected several paint sample papers that had four paint shades on one paper. I cut the paint shades apart last night so Grace could use these for sorting. Grace sorted different shades of blue, green, and orange today. The colors ranged in shade from light to dark. Grace was intrigued by the similar yet different shades of the three colors. Grace easily sorted according to color shade so I introduced her to the concept of light versus dark shades of color. Grace practiced sequencing colors according to their shade ~ the lighter shade first and the darker shade last. I will eventually add more shades of color for Grace to sequence. This was a fun way for Grace to explore a whole new world of color!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Apple Picking

We enjoyed apple picking at Raven Hill's Organic Apple Orchard with Memere yesterday afternoon. Memere was visiting us for the weekend. September is my favorite time of the year and apple picking is my favorite fall activity. I absolutely love sharing this experience with Grace. Raven Hill is such a beautiful orchard. It was full of apple trees that were overflowing with apples. Our little Gracie girl was very determined to find a green apple amongst all of the red apples yesterday. She searched the orchard high and low until she found one! Grace held her green apple tightly in her hands and carried it all around the orchard with her. I can't wait to take Grace apple picking again and to search for the perfect pumpkin with her!
A very special thank you to Memere who helped us this weekend. Memere watched Grace on Saturday morning while Bob & I worked on getting our baby boy's room ready! This is such an exciting time for our family.

Enjoying Blueberry Pancakes on a Rainy Sunday Morning

Friday, September 12, 2008

"E. E is for Ella."

Grace has started to write the lowercase letter 'e.' I initially thought it was a coincidence that she kept drawing a shape that resembled an 'e,' however, Grace has continued to write 'e' over & over again for the past two weeks. After writing all of her 'e's' Grace says, "E! E is for Ella." Today Grace was looking at all of her e's in her notebook and said, "E is for egg!" Grace continues to amaze me every day!

"Hi animals! My name is Gracie Girl."

As always, Grace loved her time at the Maine Wildlife Animal Park today. She ran up to EVERY animal at the park and formally introduced herself. Following her introduction, Grace then danced for the animals too!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where's Maine?

Grace loves looking at her map of the United States. Grace does a wonderful job locating the New England states on the map. Here, Grace is pointing to her home state of Maine!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Grace's Color Journal

I don't think it is ever too early to start a writing ritual. Even though Grace is at the pre-writing stage, I feel as though I can help to shape her writing habits now. I believe that all children's drawings tell a story. That's the idea behind an activity we created. We call it "What color was your day?" I bought a tiny blank journal for Grace. At the end of each day we turn to the next blank page and Grace considers what color her day was. Grace then picks a color and draws away! Sometimes her lines are fast and energetic, sometimes they are faint, and sometimes they go in all different directions. I want Grace to realize that all of her marks have meaning. This is a sweet and happy ritual which Grace has really taken to. I hope Grace always reflects on the colors of her life and has her own way of documenting them. For now, her drawings say so much!

Got Gracie, Jack & Eve?