Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cold, cold, cold!

Well, as you can see by the title, it is COLD! I am not used to weather this cold in December! Right now, it is about 10 degrees outside! Yikes! While I am tempted to hole up inside the house and stay warm, I know I am going to go crazy in the house. So-I am venturing out to the Women's Bible Study at our church this morning. I know I will enjoy getting out of the house for a while, and Grace loves to go to her "Little Lamb's" class. There's a girl in her class, I. I. is Grace's "Best friend". Last Sunday, I gave her a drawing. It was so cute. I am hoping to have I and her sister N over for a play date during the Christmas break.
Grace has been continuing to do well in School. A couple weeks ago we had Parent Teacher conferences. The teachers said that she is doing great, and that a lot of points on her Progress report that needed work no longer need work. Apparently, they assess the students shortly after school starts, but by the time the parents get the report several more weeks have passed. So, her "Needs work" areas are much less. The teachers did say that at first the other children tended to treat her like a baby (because of her size) and tried to take things away from her. However, now they realize that she can't be taken advantage of and she stands up for herself. This is a relief for me because I wanted to make sure that she didn't become a push-over.
Academically, she's doing well, too. The teachers are impressed with her math skills, and they are also surprised that she knows all her letters. One activity is an outline of a letter, say the letter N. Inside the N are other letters, like M, O, and S with some N's. They children have to use a Bingo marker to find the N's. Grace is always the first done, and she always gets all the letters correct. I explained to the teachers that she knew her alphabet by the time she was 2 1/2. All in all, the conference went well. I decided after the conference not to petition the school district for her to be tested for speech. I think that being around children her own age has really helped. She speaks more clearly, and I think that I will wait until Spring when I would need to register her for Pre-K. If at that time I am still concerned about her speech, then I will consider the school district again.
She continues to love going to dance class. I had to buy her some long-sleeved leotards because the little sleevless ones left her too cold.
Grace absolutely loves the Christmas season. Right around Thanksgiving when all the trees came out, she would just love to walk around the stores and look at the trees. We pulled our tree out and she had so much fun putting the ornaments on it. I also took out her little tree and let her decorate it with all of her little ornaments. I also bought an ornament from the Russian web site and let her put it on our tree. From that same web site I got a little Matryoska doll. It shows the life of Jesus on each of the little pieces. The largest on shows the Nativity, the next shows Jesus and the Triumphal entry, the next is Jesus on the cross, and the last tiny one shows Jesus rising into heaven. The biggest one is only like an inch and a half tall, so this set is really little. However, I always try to get her things from Russia that have a spiritual meaning. It's very beautifully done, and very well-painted.
I am really excited for this Christmas holiday. It is going to be much simpler than other years. Usually, we have a meal with my MIL's family on Christmas Eve, then on Christmas day have a meal with my FIL's family. My MIL makes both meals and it is very stressful for her to have two large meals back-to-back, and it is always frustrating for me, because I have squeeze in time with my family. So, my SIL and I decided that instead of trying to squeeze in an hour with my family, we would celebrate Christmas the day after or the Saturday after. This year, since Christmas is on Saturday, we'd have my family meal on Sunday. This relieved a lot of stress. My MIL also decided (after me mentioning it for several years) that it's not fair that she has to have two seperate meals for the two sides of the family. Although members of my FIL's family don't like my MIL's family, I told my MIL that she should host one meal, and if people choose not to come, that's their issue, not hers. She finally decided to have one meal...but no one can come on Christmas day-so....we get Christmas just with our immediate family on Christmas day and a couple weeks after Christmas we'll have a meal with cousins. AHHHHH!!!! Imagine-Christmas with just the parents and siblings! In the 17 years I've known my husband, that has NEVER happened. I am so excited about this Christmas.
Grace visited with St. Nick and told him she wanted a doll. We had already purchased her a dollhouse. The dollhouse will be from St. Nick. We've decided that instead of buying many gifts from Santa and just a few from parents, that only one would be from St. Nick. We don't want her to have the "gimmies". The trick is keeping the gifts hidden. She's still a little bit naive because she's been in our room several times and seen the gifts but she hasn't asked any questions and she hasn't been tempted to try to play with them. We know have the gifts under the tree, and not once has she asked to open them. Don't know if that will work next year.