Thursday, February 24, 2011

Week 8 - Weekend at the Ranch

Grace decided on a horse and unicorn themed party for her sixth birthday. Her dream was to receive a horse as her birthday present. Since that was not an option, we did the next best thing - visit a horse ranch.

This past weekend we stayed at the Cypress House Bed and Breakfast taking in all the sites, sounds and smells of horses. The highlight of our trip was a two-hour forest trail ride where Grace rode independently on a sweet horse named, Rojo (just in case your interested, I was on Zia and Dean rode on Romeo). Grace was also able to help care for the horses during our stay (feeding, watering, etc). However, she drew the line at scooping the horse poop from the stalls - no surprise there!

Here are just a few of the many pictures from our weekend......

Oh, surely you noticed the cowgirl boots in each of the photos. They were an early birthday present from Meme and Pop. To say they've been a hit is an understatement!

So there you have it - a birthday well spent, wouldn't you say?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Week 7 - Belated Valentine Wishes

I had originally planned on posting a video of Grace singing a cute Valentine song, but after numerous failed attempts at downloading it, I gave up. So hopefully this will suffice as our weekly post.

With Valentine's day being sandwiched between two other celebrations (Chinese New Year and Grace's birthday), it often gets neglected. This year was no exception. We did manage to find some time to make a yummy batch of jammy heart cookies, read several love-themed stories and make heart shaped crayons for Grace's classmates - but that's about it. Rather lacking wouldn't you say?

Anyway, since we had half the dough left in the fridge from the Valentine cookies (recipe here), I made a batch of star themed cookies before Grace got home from school this afternoon. She was quite the rockstar at the dentist today, so the stars seemed quite fitting. And there's nothing like a fresh batch of cookies to cheer up a crabby girl.

And in gardening news, Grace picked the first strawberry season from our little patch. This means we'll soon be heading out to the farm for strawberry picking. We're almost out of our homemade jam (that's what we used to fill our jammy cookies), so the timing is perfect. Red stained fingers here we come.

Hopefully you encountered a bit of red this week - belated Valentine wishes to you!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Week 6 - Monday Sewing

Every Monday morning I can be found assisting Grace and her classmates with a sewing project during their time in computer lab. Her teacher places much emphasis on developing fine motor control and uses hand-sewing, among many other activities, to aide in its development.

Our first project was making pillows for the children's class pets (each child was assigned a stuffed animal at the beginning of the school year which they responsible for until years end) and now we're onto making quilts. From threading the needle to determining the length and evenness of the stitches, it's all up to the child.

Here are some pictures of Grace sewing with me this week.....

And just in case you were wondering, I had nothing to do with the fabric section - it was all kindly donated. The girls (especially Grace) can often be heard complaining that the fabric looks like it's for boys. Oh well, perhaps the next project can be made with girlie fabric - then the boys can do a bit of complaining too!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Week 5 - Year of the Hare

For the past week or so we've been preparing for Chinese New Year. Here are a few of the projects that we made together to celebrate this special day....

.....A dragon made from an egg carton - oh how Grace LOVES dragons

.....A thousand year bowl made from paper and paste (we plan to juice those yummy oranges as soon as the festivities are over)

.....The first phase of making a dragon puppet - a craft I did with Grace's class during the 100th day of school celebration (I have no photos of the finished product, but they turned out "perfectly dragonish")

.....Last but not least, the dragon outfit that she wore to school today. Apparently Grace's teacher brought in Chinese music for the children to listen to, which then turned into a dancing fest for our little performer. After completing an Asian dance for her classmates, she took her show on the road, performing in front of each of the five kindergarten classes, then in the office for the principal. Needless to say, Grace was quite excited to tell us all the details (something she rarely shares) of her fun-filled day!

Best wishes for a year filled with good health, fortune and luck!