Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick Or Treating Fun

I just put Gracie down, and the last thing she told me before I kissed her good night was "momma, I am tired."

My tuckered out puppy dog had a wonderful time this evening trick or treating around mom and dad's neighborhood--something I was doubting would happen when 6:00 arrived.

After Gracie's nap this afternoon, we took Mariah and Gracie to the local pumpkin patch in Lynchburg, which is really just a holiday playground for the kids with several of those inflatable bouncy things. You can of course by pumpkins too, but I think the family that owns it really makes their money from charging per kid to play on the equipment.

Anyway, Gracie didn't want anything to do with those fun inflatable things. We finally managed to get her to try out a really neat wooden playset with slide. One slide and she was hooked! She also ran around and climbed up on the hay bales as well as the "tunnels" underneath.

Since we were pressed for time, we only stayed about an hour, and we hadn't planned to get any pumpkins, but since it was the last day they were open, they were selling their small painted pumpkins for $2. Gracie picked out a Tigger one, Mariah got one with a pink flower.

We came back home to eat dinner and get ready for trick or treating, only every other family in Lynchburg also had the bright idea to get pizza, so we had to wait a while. This is when Gracie started to get fussy. I couldn't get her to eat her pizza or anything else for that matter. She was crying and upset. I think she was anxious about the costume and what was going to happen that night. We had already had a few trick or treaters come to the door and she wasn't too sure about it.

It took some convincing, but I got her in to her puppy costume, and we headed out. Around house number 5, Gracie was really getting in to it. She was talking up a storm and telling the people at the houses "I am a puppy!" She also told me "I love my pumpkin" (she had a plastic pumpkin to collect her treats in), and "I like trick or treating." She really did have a great time, and she would hold her little pumpkin out for the people to put in the candy. Unfortunately, Gracie didn't want to wait to see what she got until we got home. She dropped her bucket several times because she was pulling all the good stuff out to see it!

She had a wonderful time tonight and I am so glad. She never did eat dinner, but she was allowed one treat when she got back. It would be too cruel to not let a little one have at least one piece after seeing all of that yummy stuff. She picked out a Scooby-Do lollipop from the mound of candy on the bed (Grandpa wanted her to get the full effect of her bounty and poured it all out for her to see).

I am so sorry that Garren couldn't be with us tonight for this special time, and I know he is upset he missed it. During election season, poor Daddy is too swamped to take any time off. So, to ease his pain, and for the rest of you too, here are Halloween pictures. Oh, and you will see that even Lucie got in on the fun, you will have to check out her costume as well. Enjoy!

PS: If you have the time, please tell us what you did for Halloween or what your costume was (or your child's), Gracie was really fascinated by what everyone was dressed up as. You can leave your notes in the comments section.

**Above: Gracie gets candy from Uncle Brian before we head out in to the neighborhood. I couldn't get Gracie to say "Trick or Treat" to any of the nieghbors, or even "thank you" (she was too shy), but when we finished out trek through several streets, she did say it to Uncle Brian for which he gave her another peice of candy!**

Happy Halloween!

Have a safe and wonderful Halloween!
And don't forget to brush after all that candy :)

From our family to yours
Barbara, Garren & Gracie

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Goodbye Breakfast

Mamaw & Papaw went back to Tennessee this morning, after sharing a breakfast at Cracker Barrel.

Gracie seemed to have a great time this weekend despite her runny nose, and this morning's "breakfast party" was a nice ending to a very nice weekend. Gracie was thouroughly spoiled and mamaw & papaw got plenty of quality time with her.

We ended up not going to the trunk or treat fun last night because of Gracie's cold, but everyone stayed inside and I made apple pies and we had the UT game on. Gracie got even more "presents" as well since Garren took his parents to Winchester to look for a winter coat and came back, predictably, with much more. One of these items included a giant Dora coloring book, and another was the most adorable facsimile of Lucie in a carrier! For the rest of the day the new Lucie went with us everywhere.

We are so glad that Jack and Cheryl came to visit and we really appreciate all the "presents" and enjoyed all of our fun activities. We look forward to seeing them again in a few weeks for Thanksgiving.

To see all the pictures, click here.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sharing The Pumpkin Patch Experience

Garren, Gracie and I really wanted to share Pumpkin Patch fun with Mamaw & Papaw while they were here to visit this fall. The leaves are beautiful, and the farm that hosts the Pumpkin Patch has a gorgeous view of apple trees and fall leaves and a endless mountain range, not to mention the good food, neat animals and row of tractors ready for a pretend plow.

Unfortunately...it is really cold out there! The wind is blowing its hardest and coldest today, and the over night and early morning rain made everything damp and dreary. We did make a stop at the Pumpkin Patch. We got a small bag for apples and we petted the horsey--but that was about it. We were out of the car, and back in, in about 30 minutes at most.

Gracie is down for a nap now, and mamaw, papaw & Garren are braving the mall in Winchester looking for Gracie a new winter coat. Poor Gracie just couldn't keep up today. She woke up very early this morning with a stuffy nose. She seems okay, and doesn't have a fever, but she didn't get much sleep last night so we had to call it quits early. Hopefully she will feel better this afternoon so we can take Mamaw & Papaw with us to a trunk-or-treat evening at our neighbor's church. They will have plenty of games, and of course lots of candy. I think we will all enjoy watching a dressed up Gracie have a good time. I think I will put her in the lion costume for tonight it is so cold and that costume is much warmer. We will save the puppy for trick-or-treating in Lynchburg on Tuesday.

I have put more pictures in this weekend's folder. Click here to see all the fun Gracie is having with her mamaw & papaw.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Pumpkin Carving Part 2

As if we haven't already packed plenty of fun in to this rainy Friday, we decided to tackle pumpkin carving as well...yes, again!

The beautiful pumpkins we carved on Sunday were unfortunately not photographed until Wednesday or Thursday and had to stay at Daddy's office since Monday morning, much to Gracie's disappointment. So you can imagine, carved pumpkins + 3 days in a office = rotted pumpkins. An unfortunate waste. Poor Gracie missed her pumpkins so much, that we decided to get two more to carve.

Following the party, we spread out the newspaper and got started again. I was excited this time to watch Gracie want to help scrape out the insides! On Sunday she stayed far away from the pumpkin activity.

Since our patterns from last weekend couldn't be re-used, we reprinted some new ones and Gracie got another Dora pumpkin. The two jack-o-lanterns are now decorating the top of the entertainment center since it is still raining outside, and Gracie seems quite content.

The lengths we go to make holidays special for our beloved children. :)

Yee-Haw Papaw!

Gracie hosted a cowboy birthday party this afternoon for Papaw who turned %! on Sunday. Papaw was surprised to find a cowboy birthday cake, decorations, and trail mix on the table when he and Mamaw returned from resting at the hotel (while Gracie took a nap) this afternoon.

Gracie and her Papaw were too cute with their matching red cowboy hats. Mommy was pleasantly surprised to find that Papaw was quite the cowboy fan, and that he never had a cowboy themed party as a little boy.

After cake and snacks, Gracie gave Papaw her homemade present--a book that she made him full of stickers and colorings and stampings that she did all by herself.

To see more pictures from "Papaw's Birthday" as well as all of the other fun things we have done with Mamaw & Papaw this weekend click here.

Mommy's Protege

Mamaw & Papaw have arrived here in Strasburg to visit with Gracie, and I think they made a new record for the "arrival & present-giving dash!"

Gracie is now the proud owner of the Fisher Price kid-friendly digital camera. Gracie has been quite the shutter-bug this morning, and I thought I would share a few pictures that Gracie took herself.

Wonder where she gets it from? ;)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Traveling Vicariously

Gracie and I wanted to thank those of you again who have sent us postcards from all around the US. This afternoon we received 2 more from Aunt Heather, and I found the perfect sized stickers to help illustrate to Gracie where everyone had been.

We have been collecting postcards for several months now, and it has been a very exciting and a wonderful educational experience. Each time we receive a postcard I read it to Gracie (usually several times because she says "read again mommy!") and I tell her who it is from. Usually I find a picture of that person from my massive photo collection and point our "sender" out to her. Then we read and look at the pictures of the other postcards that are already in our box.

I have a Dora map that is in the box and I point to the state where the postcard came from. Today, I found these little "Blues Clues" pawprint stickers and they were just small enough to use. So, as you can see from the picture above we have quite a few states covered. Actually we have 9 different states and 10 postcards total.

We hope to continue our postcard project and hope that any of you who travel this holiday season or can find a postcard in your hometown would kindly send us a note! We really enjoy traveling vicariously through you!

PS: If you need our address, please email me at lovemybabygracie@yahoo.com, I don't want to give our address out online.

**Gracie puts stickers on the states where we have received postcards, some southern states we are still missing include: North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, and more.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pumpkin Carving

Who knew that it would take four adults and a teen 3 hours to carve four pumpkins?

Garren, Gracie and I had a wonderful afternoon with our neighbors Tom, Colette & Mallory. Garren had a story to do on pumpkin carving, so he picked up four huge pumpkins from Walmart on Thursday night when we got our groceries. Knowing that it would be a lot of work and tons of fun I invited our unsuspecting neighbors over for lunch and some family pumpkin fun.

I made chili, corn bread, and of course we had the apple pies. Those were the payoffs for these poor people who would get themselves covered in pumpkin guts!

Really though, we had a marvelous time. Garren had bought a kit that had stencils and several tools to carve said pumpkins, and I had already printed off a Dora The Explorer kit from Nick Jr. for Gracie.

After we ate lunch, we dove right in and started serving up the pumpkin insides. While many of you are likely familiar with the goopy part of the gourd, 13 year old Mallory had never used her hands to get the goop out...she usually used her father. Since Tom was already gutting his own creation, Mallory was a trooper and dove right in (you'll have to see the pictures, they are hilarious!). Gracie wasn't exactly a fan of helping to carve the pumpkins. She kind of stood back and watched and entertained us all with a variety of toys, music and banter.

Now usually the hard part is getting the pumpkin insides out, but since we had never tried to make anything more than a jack-o-lantern triangle eyes and nose and crooked mouth, we had no idea what we were in for.

The kit that Garren got had stencils and step by step instructions, so I taped the first stencil to the first pumpkin and started punching the holes. I had no idea how much work it would take--or how awesome they would turn out. I made a cute face with a winking eye, Mallory did a scared face, Tom did an exhausting and very intricate raccoon inside a jack-o-lantern, and then I did the Dora one for Gracie. Garren was in charge of cutting out the winky face I had already traced, and then helping to make the holes the rest of cut bigger, and I am not exactly sure how Colette got out of carving duty--but she didn't look very upset about it ;)

I have to tell you, doing the stencils while a lot more work, is really the way to go. Please check out the pictures so you can see all of our hard work, and you will also see how much fun our families had sharing a holiday experience. Maybe we will make it an annual thing, like "Shipley-Mozingo Pumpkin Carving Day."

**Above, the four artists with our creations. You can see more pumpkin carving pictures in the "Halloween Fun" folder on Snapfish.**

Happy Birthday Papaw!

Happy Birthday Papaw!

I hope you have a super-fun day and get to eat lots of cake and ice cream!

I can't wait to see you next weekend to give you lots of burthday hugs and kisses.


**Picture above from last time Papaw & Gracie were together in TN, July 2006. We are all looking forward to his visit, and mamaw's next weekend.**

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Day Out With Grandma & Grandpa, and Mariah

Grandma, Grandpa, and Mariah all came to Strasburg today for an abbreviated weekend visit with Gracie. I say abbreviated because by the time they got into town it was after 2, and they have to leave early tomorrow morning. But, we still found plenty of time for fun.

We decided to take our "guests" to the Pumpkin Patch for the afternoon. Believe it or not, it was our first visit to the Hill High Farm this year, and we were overwhelmed by how many people were there--apparently the word got out!

Despite the crowds we found plenty of apples to pick, and time to pet and see the animals and pumpkins. I was very glad to see that Gracie not only wanted to pet the horse, she was ready to ride it! I had to explain to her that this wasn't the same "pony" she got to ride last time, and that we would just pet this one. So, Grandpa made up for this disappointment by galloping around the farm with Gracie on his shoulders while she made horse noises.

After we visited with the animals, and even got the baby calf to eat straw out of our hands, we packed it in for the day and went to Winchester to eat dinner.

By the time we got back to the apartment it was getting late, but the girls still had plenty of energy so they got to play in Gracie's room for a while.

After Garren and I got Gracie off to bed, Mariah helped me make 2 pies with our freshly picked apples while Grandpa "didn't" fall asleep on the couch, and Grandma made a place to sleep.

Since Grandma & Grandpa brought the Fisher-Price kitchen that Gracie picked out last weekend, something in her room had to go. Alas, it was the barn. Anyway, this meant that Mariah had a neat tent to sleep in the middle of our living room which proved to be a very fun experience for her.

Even though we didn't have time to do a whole lot, Gracie had yet another wonderful weekend with Grandma & Grandpa and she was pleasantly surprised and thrilled to spend so much time with Mariah.

Want more pictures? Click here.

**Above: Gracie sits on a saddle at the Hill High Pumpkin Patch and pretends to make the "horse" giddy-up***

Friday, October 20, 2006

Early Halloween Fun

Two other girls, besides my own, went home this afternoon with a rather large sugar buzz thanks to the Halloween party Gracie and I hosted.

The monthly party was a great success and there were plenty of sweet treats to choose from, mostly Halloween themed--of course. We had cupcakes with pumpkin sprinkles, animal crackers, gummy worms, apple slices, ghost lollipops, and popcorn.

After everyone got their fill of sugar, we cleaned up and made a craft. I cut out a person from construction paper for each of the girls to "dress' for tick-or-treating. I think they had the most fun with the craft as they choose from a variety of fabric scraps, beads, ribbons, and more. (I helped Gracie make her trick or treater in to a ballerina.)

Once craft time was over I thought; what better Halloween activity is there than playing dress up? I pulled out Gracie's rather enormous supply of dress up clothes and accessories. The girls played very happily until around 5 when it was time to go home. But, their fun didn't end there! They each got to take home a plastic pumpkin full of treats, lollipop ghosts, a coloring page as well as their crafts.

These parties are so much for Gracie and I, and we truly do enjoy the time to play and talk with the other ladies from the apartment. Of course I took plenty of pictures, and you can see them here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Thank You Uncle Luke!

Dear Uncle Luke:

Thank you so much for the package you sent me in the mail today. I was so excited that I got to open the big box. I found the orange pom-pom first and had lots of fun shaking it everywhere. I liked the books too, mommy read me the Smoky one before naptime. I liked everything you sent, but I liked the popping bubbles most of all!! Mommy showed me how to pop them, and she even let me stomp on them. It was so much fun! Thanks for sending the bubbles....and the books and pom-pom.

Love You,

Uncle Luke was so kind to send Gracie a box full of fun from the University of Tennessee (also where I attended) where he is now a sophomore. We will be sure to put the pom-pom away for future use as Daddy and Gracie watch UT games, and the children's book on Smoky was precious! I recommend it for any UT fan. Thanks again Luke.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Fun Weekend At Grandma's

The three of us are back from a weekend in Lynchburg, but not all of us are happy about it!

Gracie, Garren and I returned late Sunday night after hours of Baby Einstein in the car. That's unfortunately what had to use to bribe her into the car. Poor Gracie has so much fun when she is with Grandma and Grandpa, she never wants to leave. But, don't feel too sorry for her, they as well as Mariah are coming to our house this weekend for another visit. Of course that hasn't stopped her from being a terror for the past 2 days!

As for me, I had a good time at my 10th high school reunion, which I hadn't planned on attending. Two of my high school friends pretty much dragged me to the event, but I was very grateful. It was a nice time and I was glad to catch up with so many people I thought wouldn't even remember me (but they did).

As a family we did many things together this weekend including attending Gracie's first football game, going apple picking with friends who don't live near the mountains, we baked 2 pies with said apples, plus Gracie got ample time to play outside and she racked up a Fisher Price play kitchen that mom and dad promise they will bring to Strasburg next weekend in the Blazer.

If you want to see family pictures from the weekend, you can see them here. If you want to see reunion pics (which unless you went to school with me you proably don't), click here.

PS: I learned that I have quite a few blog readers that I wasn't aware of who enjoy my writing (thanks!!), including a high school teacher of mine who was very encouraging of my less than matured writing talent in her class, and it means a lot that she likes my work--I guess maybe I do have a talent after all! :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Gracie's First Football Game

Garren, Gracie and I are all in Lynchburg this weekend since it is my 10th high school reunion.
No comments necessary, I know how old I am :)

One of the events planned was to attend Heritage High School's homecoming football game tonight. Garren and I were very excited to take Gracie to her first ever football game.

Luckily for us Gracie took a late and rather long nap, since the game didn't start until 7pm. When we got to the stadium we of course had to get what else...popcorn! Gracie ate her popcorn and was mesemerized by the cheerleaders. While she didn't chant along with them she did jump and clap a little with them.

Now by the second quarter the excitement and popcorn started to wane. She kept telling me she was ready to go, but I begged her to hang on until half-time; I knew she would love to watch the band. I was right. We stuck it out and she was glued to the field as the band did their performance. While I would have ordinarily been excited to watch the band, I was very disappointed to see the 150+ member band that I once marched with, dwindled to maybe 50. But, alas, that was many years ago. After the band finished and marched off the field, a very disappointed Gracie looked at me and said "again!"

We stayed a few minutes longer and watched some of the homecoming court and seniors being announced, and then we headed for the car. It was an extremely chilly fall night and we were all cold and tired...and some of us cranky.

Despite the extra layers of clothing, Gracie seemed to really enjoy her first ballgame, and I had a good time talking to some old friends that were there, although I regret not chatting with more classmates. I really need to work on this "self-confidence" thing!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Gracie's First Pony Ride

Gracie and I accompanied Garren this evening on a story interview and much to my delight, Gracie got to ride a pony.

I guess the statement really should be, Gracie actually wanted to ride the pony and wasn't scared. Gracie adores animals--but usually from a distance. Up close and personal just isn't her style.

Garren is working on a story about agri-tourism (basically how farming is cool again and people are paying to pick their own fruits and veggies and taking their kids to see livestock.) A few weeks ago Garren saw a sign near Toms Brook advertising the Hat Creek Pumpkin Patch, so we decided to check it out. This isn't the one we usually go too, but it was a very cute family-run farm with tons of animals. We happened to be the only ones there, but they are apparently very busy on weekends.

Gracie was in awe of the dozens of animals that included 3 horses, a potbellied pig, 2 dogs, a cat, a half dozen guineas, a turkey, a mule, and at least 2 dozen more fowl of different persuasions. While Garren was off doing his interview we took a peek at all of the animals and saw the pumpkins growing in the field. But, the fun part was when the young girl helping her mom with the place, put a saddle on her miniature horse and convinced Gracie to take a ride. Garren held on to her the entire time, but she held on to the saddle and seemed to enjoy the ride. When the ride was over she even thanked the "horsey" and patted him on the head.

It was wonderful to watch, and I was so proud that my shy little toddler was extending herself. Of course I took tons of pictures and even a video. You can see the pictures in the October folder, and click here to watch the video.

I just had to share. I guess there are a few more "firsts" still out there for me, and I dearly hold on to each and every one!

Happy 2nd Birthday Lucie

Happy Birthday Lucie!

I miss you so much, and I can't wait to play with you again.
I hope you get a doggie birthday cake and lots of presents, and Candice & Elliott sing the birthday song to you!

Love You Lots!

Since Gracie lives so far from Lucie, we decided to have a birthday party here to celebrate. This afternoon Gracie and I decorated a pretend cake and invited some friends to Lucie's second birthday party.

I may have mentioned before that while in Lynchburg 2 months ago, Grandma found a grey puppy magnet that looks just like the real Lucie. From that point on, Gracie's "Lucie" goes with her everywhere. For Gracie its the next best thing to actually getting to play with the real Lucie, who is at Candice's house in TN. And lately all Gracie can talk about are birthday parties and birthday cake and presents. I have no idea where she gets it from, but today proved to be a perfect excuse to throw a birthday party.

So, back to the party. Gracie helped decorate the cake and we sang to Lucie, and then of course we had party snacks. But, that Lucie she kept licking the cake! I took some really cute pictures and added them to the October folder.

In the meantime, we want to sing the birthday song to the real Lucie.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Maybe It's Just Me...

I didn't think that Gracie's appetite could get any bigger, then again I never thought that my 2 and half year old could possibly grow anymore this year either!

So, maybe it's just me.

Here's what my little one ate today, you tell me: 2 whole apples, 10-12 cubes of cheese, 2 packages of raisins, 1 package fruities (she could have eaten more, but I only let her have one a day), 1 granola bar, 6 inch sub (she ate the whole thing bread and all!) and 6 saltine crackers.

As for the growing, I have a trash bag full of clothes that proves she continues to grow. The picture I have posted with this entry was taken yesterday when we got home from the Family Fun Day event in Woodstock. The overalls she has on are a very cute size 6, and as you can see they are only slightly cuffed and this is because her shoes were off. This means that they really fit now, and it won't be long before she has outgrown them if she takes yet another growth spurt.

Garren and I aren't worried about Gracie's growth, after all she is well proportioned and she isn't chubby at all. I guess all that food goes straight in to energy. The part I least like is that it is getting harder and harder to pick her up and carry her around. Plus, you all know I worry about how much larger she is than other children, so to strangers she seems like a 6 year old with speech difficulty. But, I have decided not to worry too much about that--I have too many other things to focus on like upping the grocery list! ;)

Anyway, I would love to have some input--maybe it really is just me. Aren't all 2 and half year olds 40 pounds and 39.5 inches tall?

I borrowed the neighbor's scale and re-measured her, she's up 4 pounds and down .5 inches in height from July, which means we probably did the height wrong last time. The "book" has her literally off the charts in height and above the 100th percentile in weight. But hey, they could be wrong ;)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Apple Fun

Apparently Daddy really, really wanted an apple pie today; because we found ourselves at the orchard this afternoon in cold, rainy weather.

Actually, we had already planned to go and get some fresh apples this weekend, and we decided not to let the gloomy weather keep us from it. Northern Virginia is famous for its apples, and the Marker-Miller orchard we went to today didn't disappoint.

Garren was just going to get some of the apples the orchard had neatly inside, but what's the fun in that?! It had stopped raining, and though everything was wet and muddy and cold, we let Gracie pick apples anyway.

Gracie had a wonderful time pulling the apples from the tree. The funny part was you have to pull the apples pretty hard to get them off the branches; and since the leaves were covered with rain, when you got the apple, you also got sprayed with water. She loved it though. She went from tree to tree saying "how about this one daddy!" It didn't take long before our bag was full.

Garren and I were very happy to find the apple trees full of some of the largest apples we had ever seen. And, when we got back to the car with the soggy baby in tow, she couldn't wait to try our bounty. By the time we got home Gracie had devoured at least half of the Golden Delicious she selected. I did get a bite of the aforementioned apple, and it was very sweet and juicy!

So what do you do with a "peck" of apples? Make pies of course!

After dinner tonight, Gracie and I put on our aprons and made some pies. Nothing says fall to me like apple pie, and I was so excited to share the experience with Gracie this year. And, she was an excellent helper. You can catch some of the baking action in the video that Garren shot below.

The pies are in the oven now, and we are looking forward to tasting them! Well let you know how they turn out. We wish all of you as much fall fun as we are having!

To see more apple pictures, you'll find them in the October 2006 folder.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Corn Bread & Ramen Noodles

No she doesn't eat them together, but these are two of Gracie's newest favorites.

This afternoon after a hard day at "school," Gracie requested noodles for lunch. And a growing toddler needs fuel for her "noodle' doesn't she? Okay lame mommy joke.

I started buying Ramen noodles about a month ago. I like them okay, and at 10 cents a piece they make a great quick lunch. I keep some in supply for those days when I just don't know what to fix. Not surprisingly, I ended up making them quite often, and Gracie as usual would sample my lunch. She decided she loves them, and today for lunch she ate an entire package by herself! (My little growing girl seems to be at it again, she can't get enough to eat lately!)

As for the corn bread--I had no idea how much Gracie would love that. Corn bread isn't one of my favorites, but Garren loves it. A few weeks ago I bought a few of those Jiffy mixes and made some while we were all sick. Gracie couldn't get enough. I went through 3 of those packages and I know Gracie ate the majority of it. Meanwhile, Garren is happy because he loves corn bread and says I never fixed it for him.

Gracie had more corn bread this morning for breakfast since I had some left over from last night's chili dinner. I made chili for the first time, and it was pretty good, plus I got to use my crock pot for the first time too. Mom says she has found me a cookbook for "one-pot meals," so maybe I will use it more often.

As for Gracie's school work; today we worked on matching objects, animal homes, counting objects and I had her trace the letter "A" using finger paint. She is still far from drawing shapes, letter, and numbers on her own of course, but I don't think it hurts to get an early start!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fun Afternoon Bargain Shopping

This afternoon our living room turned in to the local Gracie-Mart.

Thanks to some trash that hadn't yet made it to the bag yet, and a little help from the neighbors, I was able to "stock" the mart with plenty of fun things that would entice any shopper.

Gracie was ready to bargain hunt when she found the store when she woke up from nap. She took turns being shopper and cashier, and was thrilled that I brought up her play grocery cart. We played grocery for over and hour before Daddy came home and it was time to go grocery shopping for real.

Our trip to Wal-Mart ended up adding more supplies for Gracie's market, and I have no doubt that tomorrow will also bring hours of fun play.

As for me, I am the designated "bagger" and "stock lady."

Click for more Gracie-Mart pictures in the October folder.

Above: Gracie takes time to get everything on her shopping list. As for the merchandise; I washed out plastic bottles and taped up cardboard boxes...all items you would purchase at the store.

PS: Grandparents, Candice, and anyone else who might be interested, Gracie successfully matched items today. We did some worksheets where you had to find the match, and I was excited to see her breeze through them. I videoed it for you, click here.

What's The Magic Word Gracie?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Too Cute For Words

I just had to post this picture! I pulled this dress out of her closet that I bought last year from a thrift store when I dressed her this morning. It looks perfect on her! Of course my homemade bows add to the over all cuteness effect. Now, do you see what I am talking about--kids don't need to dress like they are 10--we have to savor how precious they are at this age!

Enjoy, I know I am!

Added 1:40pm

Gracie and I just came in from having a wonderful time in this gorgeous weather. I took Gracie's tricycle with us for another peddling "lesson."

After our 45 minutes of "happy hour," I am sure she and the Fisher-Price Red Tike Trike will be hard to beat during qualifying :)

I took several pictures and got a few videos. I have posted the best one below. She was peddling all by herself. It was downhill, but I still think it counts!