Each and every week is jammed full of activities for the girls. Aside from school we juggle dance classes, soccer practices and gymnastics lessons. Keeping them busy and focused on things is important, but it is also exhausting. As the girls get older their activities become more and more intense and involved. Our first taste of this was Olivia's very first dance competition in April.
Olivia has been tap dancing for 6 years now. Her tap teacher, who was my tap teacher when I took dance, decided that her little group was ready for the next step. If she continues to take dance this will be the first of many dance competitions to come. I was nervous and excited for her all at the same time. I spent my childhood dancing and competing, so to see Olivia doing and enjoying the same thing makes me so proud!
The girls did a great job for their first time and looked simply adorable on stage. Their biggest accomplishment was being awarded the "Stars of Tomorrow" award by the judges. The girls didn't really care about what awards they did or did not win because they were having so much fun. That's really what it's all about!
The following weekend we celebrated Easter. The beautiful sunny day kicked off with a beautiful church service. The girls were dressed in their adorable Easter dresses and looked too sweet for words.
Immediately following the service our church held an egg hunt out on the playground. The girls dashed around, grabbing as many eggs as their bags could hold. We left with a ridiculous amount of candy, and the day had just begun. There were still multiple Easter baskets to come!
Next it was off to Easter dinner at the home of our dear family friends. Each year they include us in their family celebration, and spoil our girls as if they were their own. Following a delicious dinner we made our way outside for the second egg hunt of the day. The girls went right to work searching for their eggs. It didn't take long to find them.
They were pretty pleased with the loot that came along with this egg hunt! Cece just kept saying, "more money!". After the hunt was over the kids ripped into their baskets of goodies. It's safe to say they were both pleased with what was inside.
We could not have asked for a more beautiful Easter day. The girls enjoyed themselves, which in turn made us very happy too. My Mom was traveling during the holiday so she missed all of the fun. She was sure to give the girls their baskets before she left town. It's amazing to me how much excitement the girls get from little trinkets and tokens. Those smiles just go on for miles.
Those smiles continued during our first zoo trip of the season. Each year my Aunt Sue gives us a zoo pass for Christmas. It is the best gift EVER! I think we have been to the zoo twice so far and have already gotten our money's worth out of the pass. Olivia's interest in the animal exhibits is starting to dwindle as she gets older, but Cece could not be more interested! She loves every animal she sees and she tries to interact with them. We are going to get a lot of joy out of our zoo pass once again this summer.
Mother's Day was extra special this year. Not only does it fall right around my birthday, but I was able to spend it with my Mom and my Grandmother. We started the day with a nice Mother's Day breakfast at my Mom's. I was in picture taking mode that morning, with the hope of getting some nice pics with my girls. This can often be a challenge depending on whether or not Cece is up for smiling. She is, however usually up for flashing me a silly face.
We did manage to get a photo of the four generations, which was a huge accomplishment. My grandmother is 89 years old so being able to spend Mother's Day with one of her daughters, granddaughters and great grandchildren, meant a great deal to her. It was a lovely day, full of hugs and kisses from my girls. Being a Mommy can be very challenging at times, but every time I look at my girls I feel so grateful and blessed.
School officially ends for the girls tomorrow. Olivia has thrived during her 1st grade year. She loves math and has flown through addition, subtraction and multiplication. She has learned to write cursive and I am very impressed with how well she is learning to write it. Her most recent accomplishment was the completion of her very first research project. The students were asked to pick an animal that was fascinating to them and proceed to learn everything they could about that animal. After they organized their research and put it into a written format they had to give a oral presentation.
Olivia worked very hard on her project. And during the process I got a sense of what it is going to be like to help Olivia with complicated homework. Can't say I am really looking forward to that. I was however very impressed with how she presented her research project. She was not the least bit nervous about getting up in front of her peers and doing her presentation. In fact, I think Olivia does her best work when she is surrounded by her peers.
It's hard to believe that after tomorrow Olivia will no longer be a 1st grader. It's amazing what this girl manages to accomplish in a year. She never comes home saying she's had a bad day. She finds joy and excitement in all of her learning and that makes me so happy.
Cece has also thrived during her first year at Peace Montessori. It only took her a short time to adjust to the Montessori way of learning. During her first parent/teach conference she teacher told us that she was a model Montessori student. This completely caught us off guard as this has been a challenging year for us with Cece at home. We have been dealing with some behavioral issues that have made home life a bit frustrating at times. I had mixed emotions upon hearing how well behaved she was at school each day. On one hand I was relieved that she was not acting out at school in the same way she was acting out at home, but on the other hand I could not understand why she could not display that same good behavior for us at home.
Cece has done very well during her first year in the toddler room. So well in fact, that she will be moving up into the Primary 3-6 year old room next year. Cece has been preparing for this transition by spending some time in her new classroom with her new teacher. I have no doubt she will adjust beautifully. Her current teacher and the teacher she will have next year have been great about sharing photos of her hard at work during the school day. Seeing what she does when we are not around is pretty fascinating to me. I am proud of how far she has come this year.
Tomorrow is the last day of school so the summer can officially begin for the girls. We have a fun summer planned. A few trips, many days at the pool and other fun activities and it will be back to school time before we know it. Hopefully it doesn't go by too quickly!