Gracie made the paper this week too-along with Chris & myself too! I won't bore you with the pictures of me & Chris, but here's the one of Gracie. People found it quite amusing that our whole family was making it into the paper within one week, and we got several copies from different people saving them for us.
'Tis the season for entering the Reading Rainbow writing contest, and Gracie completed her story today. I am amazed at how her writing has improved since last year's story. I credit this to the fact that she reads so much, so she is exposed to so many great stories. Also, her teacher this year has them write a lot. Not necessarily stories, but writing nonetheless and any kind of writing is bound to cause improvement. Before she wrote her story this year, we spent time talking about it and looking at examples on the Reading Rainbow website and planning it out-talking about setting, characters, plot, and the problem & resolution. I am really proud of what she has produced.
After we get the entry form filled out and pages numbered, etc. we'll get it sent in. As usual, we are doing all of this at the last minute as it is due on the 3rd. She has enjoyed the celebrations last year & the year before, so maybe we'll get a chance to enjoy another one this summer. That's the great thing about this contest-even if the student doesn't win one of the official prizes, they all get a certificate from Lavar Burton (is that his name?) and attend the celebration at the t.v. studio. Plus, they get to practice writing which is important! Below, you can see the story she'll turn in this year. Click on the pictures to enlarge them and you should be able to read it better.
Gracie has made my heart swell with pride this week-specifically yesterday. First, I was really proud of the story she wrote. Then, yesterday morning her teacher called me and told me that she needed a picture of Gracie because she was nominating her for the character award for 2nd grade! I was soooo happy! I wanted to ask a million questions about what is involved in this but tried to play it cool! LOL I think she said that there is 1 student nominated for each grade and she had told the other teachers that she wanted to nominate Gracie because she felt she deserved it. I guess she had to write up something about her and needed a wallet sized picture to go with it. She needed it that same day, so I rushed around to find something that would work. The most recent picture of that size I could find was from July and really didn't look like her anymore, so I uploaded this one that was taken at Christmas. I've always thought she looked cute in this one and it looks a lot like her at this moment. I guess they attach the picture to the write-up and laminate it so they get to keep it as a keepsake. Anyway, I ordered the picture and picked it up and took it to her teacher who then told me to take it to another teacher who I guess was putting everything together. I don't know what happens now, but Chris & I are very proud of her nonetheless. I guess she doesn't know anything about it-we didn't say anything to her about it and she hasn't mentioned it, so I guess we'll wait and see what happens next with it. I think I remember one of her friends from church getting this recognition last year.
Also, she came home yesterday with a diagnostic report from her latest STAR reading test, which is a test taken on the computer which tells her reading level. We were amazed at her results! It tells what the child's GE (grade equivalency) is and gives a Percentile Rank that tells where she ranks among other students her age. I know these standardized tests aren't always accurate, but I've always liked this one. I gave it to my students when I was teaching and I like the way it is set up. We knew she was a good reader, but this test really amazed us. We are so blessed that she loves to read and is able to increase her knowledge by doing so. I told Chris she could probably beat us on the SAT because the girl really will sit down and literally read her dictionary. I know, I know, it may sound geeky, but when I think about paying for college educations for THREE children, I say "read away!" Scholarship! Scholarship! is a goal worth shooting for and if she likes to read the dictionary, far be it from me to stop her!
We are truly blessed with this little girl being our daughter! Then there's Katie.......believe me, we are JUST as blessed to have her as our daughter! There are just times when I look at her and laugh and wonder at why in the world God would bless me with her. She makes me laugh ALL the time; I love hearing her talk about her imaginary friend, "Mot" and yesterday she was talking about one named "Hen." We were going to eat last night and were planning to use some cash we had so we'd had to really plan out where we were going to go. As we were driving, Katie said something about Mot being with us. I told her I wasn't sure we had enough money to pay for Mot's dinner and she said, "That's okay. He's not hungry." Later, she was talking loudly and I inquired as to what she was doing. Apparently, Mot was sitting in between her & Gracie, but Hen (who I'd never heard of before) was standing on the trunk yelling and she was telling him to be quiet. I LOVE her imagination! She made a little book yesterday and sat down to "read" it to me. I think she might be entering her own Reading Rainbow contest one day because this story kept going on & on & on! So cool the way her mind can come up with things! Of course, her story included the word, 'stupid!' I quickly inquried about that and explained that this wasn't a nice word and I didn't want it in her story. *sigh* She's a mess, but I love her!
How's the baby? She seems to be doing great! I go to the doctor again this week. My lower back was killing me last night which was weird b/c I don't really remember having back pain during my other pregnancies. It was so hard to get comfortable and when I would sleep and wake up, my body was just so sore and heavy as a rock. My knees have been bothering me a lot this pregnancy and my left hand-when I sleep. I am MUCH older this time around which I'm sure has a lot to do with these new "aches & pains!" HA!