Our beautiful, growing Gracie turned six this week. Her birthday was a fun-filled day, beginning with a special breakfast of waffles, then we went to Mass and also had a tour of the Sacristy. We went back for a birthday blessing from our favorite priest, and he showed us the safe with the gold vessels and a huge closet with a motorized dry-cleaners rack with probably over a hundred vestments!
At home, one of our friends and her little daughter visited in the morning, then we worked on a science project and had a video chat with cousins. Grace opened her presents from the Texas relatives and was thrilled with her first watch! We had homemade pizza for dinner, a few more presents and birthday cake. At her request, she had a Dinotrucks birthday cake, which was a total hit because it featured two Dinotruck figures which she immediately announced were new her favorite toy! She also received a clock for her room (learning to tell time is the theme for this birthday).
Looking at her birthday picture, I am amazed at how mature she looks these days, and continue to be impressed by her new skills and interests. It seemed like she was a baby and toddler for a long time, perhaps longer than some other kids her age we know, but now she is growing into a beautiful girl, who is become a competent helper, quick learner, and imaginative child.
The perfect Dinotrucks cake. Except for the Lego that caught on fire.
Looking back over the past year, Grace has been a busy bee and has had lots of new experiences. In February we took a plan ride (her second) down to Texas, and she had so much fun with her cousins, and even got to hold this bird when we visited the Dallas Zoo.
Dallas Zoo- February
In April, we had a fun Easter trip to Orlando, Florida. At the Lego store, she made her first Lego creation. Since then, she has become much more interested in building with Legos, drawing, crafting and creatively making things herself. Since the girls got bunk beds, a favorite game is “tent”, with blankets over the bunk, and “boat” which involves blankets all over the floor!
Legoland, Orlando- April
Last spring Gracie participated in her first dance recital, with an adorable ballet routine. Going to ballet class increased her confidence and listening abilities, and she enjoyed it immensely.
- First ballet recital- May
Since June, when we moved to Fredericksburg, Grace has been more helpful and independent then ever. She plays on her swingset or in the driveway, checks the mail, corrals her little sisters, and wants to help with everything. From washing dishes to planting flower bulbs, cleaning and vacuuming to raking leaves, its amazing to have a child independently doing some of the chores around here.
Soap Box Derby, Fredericksburg – June
Another area Grace has made great strokes is swimming and water confidence. We had more opportunities this summer to visit pools and the beach, and Grace has been doing great in the water. She still loves the beach and playing in the sand too. She also enjoyed her first sailing trip in Annapolis this summer, although the water was very calm!
Sailing Trip, Annapolis- August
Although she frequently argues and complains about Theresa, they love being together. My favorite is when Grace “reads” to Theresa, or they are both happily playing together. And of course, Grace adores Cecilia. She takes care of her like a little mother, and has begun giving her piggy back rides!
“Reading” to her sister.
Grace is still a very talkative and social child. She loves going places, even just grocery shopping, and being with other people. She easily gets very silly and excited, and can laugh and laugh and laugh over her own silliness. She also instigates her sisters to be very silly. Her enthusiasm for just about everything is a joy to see, and she reminds epitomizes childlike joy at the world around her.
Performing with the puppet she made. September
Grace also loves Jesus and Mary and going to church. She faithfully says her prayers, prays every time she sees a cemetery or emergency vehicle when we’re driving around, and wants to sit in the front at church (which doesn’t usually happen). She keeps talking about receiving Holy Communion, but that won’t be until she is seven. Recently, we have been making friends with one of the parish priests (who was in seminary with my husband) and now she is very excited to see him every time we go to Mass. On her birthday, we went to the sacristy to receive a birthday blessings, and this priest showed us the gold Mass vessels, as well as a huge room with an electronic rack with the hundreds of vestments the parish owns! Now, she keeps wanting to go to the “priests’ house” (the sacristy:) again!
Helping with Christmas cards. November
Grace is very verbally and physically loving and affectionate, she brings so much joy and laughter into our home, and reminds us to play and spend time together. I am so thankful for my precious Grace from God, and looking forward to seeing her continue to grow into a beautiful girl.
Birthday questions (borrowed this from Rosie at A Blog for My Mom.)
1. What is your favorite color? Blue and purple and pink.
2. What is your favorite toy? Claire (doll)
3. What is your favorite fruit? Pumpkins. No, clementines.
4. What is your favorite television show? Dinotrucks
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Sandwich
6. What is your favorite outfit? Fuzzy pants
7. What is your favorite game? Dominoes
8. What is your favorite snack? Apples and cheese
9. What is your favorite animal?
10. What is your favorite song? vowels jingle we are learning
11. What is your favorite book? Charlotte’s Web
12. Who is your best friend? Aurelia, Theresa (sister), and Mom 🙂 Or Daddy.
13. What is your favorite cereal? Frosted shredded wheat and Cheerios
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play with everyone, play games, play on playset.
15. What is your favorite drink? Lemonade
16. What is your favorite holiday? Easter (because we sing Allelulia) and Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Claire
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Pancakes
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Pizza and chocolate cake
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Be a doctor.
Bonus: What’s your favorite vacation place? “Allelulia! I want to go to Florida!”