Created by Amara

Grandma Kc wrote this on November 15th, 2010 10 Replies

She did it again! Amara got the Author of the Month award. She received this honor before when she was in kindergarten last year. Last semester the school made a big deal of these awards. They were handed out in front of the entire assembly and any friend or relative could also attend. It was a wonderful moment for all of us. You can read all about it here.

This year the school board has decided to spend less time out of the classroom. I understand their intentions but I still liked it when it was a big deal, I felt it inspired the kids. Now the parents don’t know in advance. The principal does come to the classroom and present it to them but it’s not the same as the excitement of being on stage in the auditorium. We were proud when we found out even if we weren’t there to witness it. I should probably mention that Jenna found out when she pulled it out of Amara’s backpack!

Cover of spiral bound storybookLast weekend Mommy and I were at JoAnn Fabrics and found this wonderful spiral bound notebook designed for children to create their own storybooks! The bottom 3rd of the page is lined but the top two-thirds are for illustrations! It combined two of Amara’s favorite things — art and writing! I just had to get it for our little author.

I gave it to her when she came over to spend the night with us Friday night. Once I explained the idea to her, she was thrilled and ran to gather her pencils and her markers. At first, she had no idea what she wanted to write about but she finally decided it would be fun to write about all the things she loves — and then draw pictures of them. She plans to include all the people she loves, her animals, her friends from school. It is going to be an ongoing project that she works on while she is here. It was so much fun to have her at the table discussing with me what she was planning while I cooked dinner. It led to lots of interesting conversations and I know it will lead to many more.

The title page of Amara's storybookShe really liked that the title page had a place for “Created By” and not just author. She made a point to correct me when I told her Mom the story was “The Things I Like by Amara” — not by Amara — Created by Amara.

This is her first page with a picture of Amara and Grandma Kc

The first page is about the fun she has with me and Grandpa. I liked that she wrote about us first. She pointed out to me that she made my hair almost as long as her hair in the picture. I just asked her not to draw any of my split ends! Another interesting conversation ensued. I love that she made me tall and gave me 2 peace signs on my outfit, which she designed. I was wearing jeans and an apron. She always draws herself wearing a princess gown.

This page will be about Mrs. Davey's but she didn't get finished.

Next visit she will start working on her pictures for the page about her teacher. It was another fun evening and I just know that book is going to bring us many more memories and many more fun evenings!

This post has been linked to the GRAND Social blogging event at Grandmas Briefs.

Charlotte the Spider

Grandma Kc wrote this on November 4th, 2010 14 Replies

Today was an exciting day. Amara’s 1st grade class did a Readers Theater performance of Charlotte’s Web and Amara played the role of Charlotte. She was a star and I was so excited that I got to be there to watch. She has the most wonderful 1st grade teacher, I’ve told you about her before when I told you about building a scarecrow. She and the class have been reading Charlotte’s Web.Amara was so excited for the performance to start.

Today she had all of the students dress as farmers. Together with the help of some volunteer parents and grandparents the students made homemade butter and chopped vegetables to make soup — which they served after the play. The students made us vegetable soup.

Now in case you’re not familiar with the idea of a Readers Theater, it is when the actors don’t memorize their parts but read them with emotion. They were all so cute! You could tell they had worked hard to be ready. Amara had been so excited and had been making all of us “run lines” with her! We had a scare last week when she got pneumonia and of course I worried she wouldn’t be well for the play but she bounced right back and she really was great and she looked so studious in her glasses and her pigtails, just like her Mommy looked in 1st grade. Each of the cast members had a speaking role and wore cute hats. Amara’s had a paper plate with a cute black spider on it and her name, Charlotte.
Amara had a Charlotte hat

Her teacher had also recruited some parents to help the kids paint the backdrop for their play. When the play was over all the kids took turns getting their pictures taken by parents and grandparents. I should tell you that the turn out was huge! Jenna said they expected 70 and I believe there were that many of us, all perched on little blue plastic chair built for 1st graders. Jenna and I opted for the floor. The parents helped the students paint a backdrop for the play.

Amara and I love to go to the park and swing together. We sit in the same swing but she sits facing me so we look like a spider. Years ago I taught her to sing the old Who song “Boris the Spider” while we do this — now we will be singing “Charlotte the Spider” but to the same tune. She is so much fun.

Today when I went to go home Amara started to go through her good bye ritual only it changed a little bit. She sent home Charlotte bites. I have to explain. When I leave her house she has to send hugs and stuff home to Grandpa. “This hug is for you.” “This hug is for Grandpa.” “This kiss is for you.” This kiss is for Grandpa.” She would then send him pokes, give me pokes, send him tickles, give me tickles send him spider bites and give me spider bites. And sometimes pets for each cat. This just gets a bit long sometimes when your trying to get out the door so it becomes hugskisspoketicklespiderbite as she at least names each of the events. Tonight she got to spider bites and she says “and give Grandpa Charlotte bites” and she burst out laughing.

It was just a wonderful afternoon.

This post has been linked to the GRAND Social blogging event at Grandmas Briefs.

A Ghostly Good Time!

Grandma Kc wrote this on October 31st, 2010 10 Replies

I was in the middle of making out my grocery list this morning when Jenna sent me a message and asked me if we could watch Amara for a couple of hours while she went to visit her Dad. I’ve told you before that going to the grocery store with Amara is so much more fun than going alone so taking her with me was the first thing that came to mind. We had a blast!

I was also thinking that maybe she and I could make the Lollipop Ghosts that Grandma Lizzie and written about a few days ago on her blog. I didn’t want to tell Amara about them and then have her be disappointed if we couldn’t do them so I just put Tootsie Roll Pops on the list and figured if they had them we would make them. They had them! I still didn’t tell her what I was up to. I wanted a chance to put the groceries away. I think she thought I was just getting them to give away to the Trick-or-Treaters.

She had gone outside to swing while I put the groceries away. When I got done I just sat down at the table and started to make the first one. I soon found her standing next to me watching what I was doing. Then she took over making them. I already had silver ribbon so I decided to use that. I did the ribbon cutting and curling and she did everything else. We had such a good time! She made a point of thanking me for making them with her. I told her it was Grandma Lizzie’s idea!

Goblins made from Tootsie Roll Pops and Kleenex

Amara made ghosts from Kleenex and Tootsie Roll Pops

FYI — Amara’s lips are blue because there was a blue open Tootsie Roll Pop in the bag. I thought it should go in my mouth but you can tell who won!

This post has been linked to Say it Saturday at Family Home and Life.

Oh No! She’s turning blue!

Grandma Kc wrote this on October 28th, 2010 17 Replies

I love days when I get to do something special with Amara — like pick her up from school. I had one of those days a few weeks ago. Mommy had some place she had to be so lucky Grandma got to pick her up and bring her home. It was a beautiful afternoon so after a long game of tickle bug I let her change into shorts and go outside to play with chalk and the hose. She had a blast getting herself wet and of course I helped. I moved my car so that she could have lots of driveway to use as a chalkboard.Amara gets the chalk and driveway wet to color She loves getting herself and the chalk wet and drawing beautiful pictures. She keeps a plastic bowl full of water for dipping.
Using the driveway for an easelThe chalk is much darker when it is wet and goes on heavier so that it is darker when it dries; and she loves to draw.

She had so much fun coloring with the chalk that she decided to color herself! And she decided to color herself blue. Amara's hands are blue from chalk

The pictures really don’t do her blue condition justice. At first she just colored the bottom of her feet in an attempt to make blue foot prints on the driveway.Amara waves her blue hands at us

Well that wasn’t enough so she colored her hands blue to make blue hand prints. It really brought out the blue in her eyes!

Ready to make blue hand and feet prints In coloring her hands she knelt down and now had blue knees! Then blue elbows, blue cheeks — blue ears! The blue chalk was everywhere. She used her blue hands to make her face blue.Smearing blue chalk on her cheeks That is what we were doing when Grandpa got home. Since it was starting to get chilly I talked her into a bubble bath. I didn’t think I would ever get all the chalk off of her. There will little blue foot prints from the front door to the bathroom! Grampy mopped them up while I dealt with Blue Girl! The blue hands make her eyes look extra blue.

The bubble bath was lots of fun. She loves mixing different bath gels — maybe she will be a chemist! She did a science project in kindergarten so it is certainly possible.Amara makes silly blue facesWe probably let her be just a bit more loud and crazy than Mom and Dad do — and she was! But that is what Grandparents are supposed to do. Let them have time to splash and play and be crazy. We’re just building memories!

This post has been linked to the GRAND Social blogging event at Grandmas Briefs.

A Long Line of Cake People

Grandma Kc wrote this on October 18th, 2010 12 Replies

Awesome baking abilities run in the family and Amara is inheriting them. I remember what a wonderful cook my Grandma was and I like to think that I take after her. My real mother did not cook but my step-Mom Donna has won ribbons at the County Fair for the cakes she has decorated. I can remember Jenna sitting in her high chair holding her finger out hoping that Grandma Donna would squirt frosting on it as she frosted tall, elegant wedding cakes. She always did! I have always loved to cook and bake but Jenna is truly amazing! She even has her own cooking blog. Today she was working on 3 cakes at once for the upcoming Cake Walk at Amara’s school.

3 beautiful cakes sitting on the counter

Amara and the Wilton Gingerbread house she got for Christmas Amara was almost 5 when she first tried her hand at cake decorating. Her Aunt Sandy sent her (and me) a Wilton Gingerbread House for Christmas. Amara was so excited and so we planned to spend a Saturday afternoon working on it together. I did the assembly and let me tell you – that was the hardest part! One of the back pieces was cracked and had to be frosting glued back together and trying to get it all to balance was quite a task. She was patient while I glued all the pieces together and like her Mommy frequently held out her finger to be decorated. The over-sized apron she is wearing is one that Grandma Donna made for me. She loves the skirt on it and it almost touches the floor on her.

Grandma Kc puts frosting on Amara's finger

Once I got it all put together Amara did a great job of covering it all with frosting. I was really impressed! You could tell she had watched Mommy. Then she did all of the decorating herself! She looked at the pictures on the box but she had her own idea about how it should look. This was the first of many decorating projects Amara and I have done and will do over the years ahead.

Amara shows off her finished gingerbread house

Our next project came 4 months later when we created an Easter Bunny Hutch. This one was much easier as it came assembled in the box so Amara could get right to the fun part – decorating and licking frosting off her fingers!

Amara spreads frosting on the roof the hutch

Look out Duff Goldman!

Amara poses with the finished Bunny Hutch

Halloween that year meant decorating a Haunted House. It had lots of orange and black frosting – you can see the black frosting on Amara’s lips! She had such a good sugar rush going by the time Mommy and Daddy came to get her.

Amara uses jelly beans to decorate the haunted house
Amara decorataes all sides of the haunted house.

Next up was another Christmas Gingerbread House. It came assembled but it also came with a Christmas Tree that was not! You had to break the cookies in to 2 pieces and then frost/glue the 4 pieces together and make it all stand up on its little base! I managed to get it put together and our girl had a blast making it all beautiful! So did Grandma.

GIngerbread hut and Christmas tree

Amara sprinkles green on the tombstonesWhen Halloween rolled around this year I was keeping my eyes out for something we could do, we hadn’t done one since Christmas! All of the haunted houses I found were un-assembled, you know how I feel about that. I’ve become spoiled! So when I found this Cookie Graveyard it seemed like a great idea. It was a lot of fun but we kept having trouble with the tombstones falling over. I told Amara it was just like in a regular graveyard! I’m not she understood my logic but her Mom did! There was also no way you could write RIP on one of those grave markers unless you put the frosting in a regular decorator’s bag with a very small tip – which of course I did not have! But we made the best of it and we both had a great time!

Scary tombstones behind a leaning gate

This Grandma thing sure is a lot of fun!

This post has been linked to Say it Saturday at Family Home and Life.

When Twursula went missing

Grandma Kc wrote this on October 11th, 2010 12 Replies

Amara was only 18 months old when Twursula went missing. Twurs is one of the cats that shares AmaraLand. She was gone for 2 of the l o n g e s t weeks ever. When Amara was a little older — maybe 2½ — I told her the Twursula story as a bedtime story since I knew she wouldn’t remember it. She loved that story and she has asked me to tell it to her many times since then.

When Amara was three I started working on a story book for her so that she would always have the story of when Twursula went missing. What should have taken a short time to create took years because I tend to procrastinate and have had serious computer issues between now and then but I finally got it finished. It arrived last week.

So I have really looked forward to Amara spending the night with us this weekend. We played in the backyard — the weather was beautiful; we had dinner and watched Beauty and the Beast, “the Diamond Edition, Grandma”. She loves the scary parts because then Grandpa has to protect her. Sometimes if it is really scary it takes both of us to protect her. Grandpa and I look forward to the scary parts and the hugs that come with them. FINALLY, it was time for bed and bedtime means story time. She saw the Shutterfly box and the book and was curious as to what Grandma had done. Why does the cover have paw prints on it?Grandma Kc is reading to Amara

I’d been really nervous about the book. When you make something special for someone you want them to like it as much as you do! I knew she did when I found her reading it again the next morning.Amara reading the new book Grandma Kc made her

I want to add that I love Shutterfly! I have done birthday books, coasters, calendars and Greeting Cards using them and have captured so many great memories! I’ll tell you about some of the other creations in other posts — they all revolve around our girl!

To be able to view the book full screen, please click here.

This post has been linked to the GRAND Social blogging event at Grandmas Briefs.