She is doing amazing in school, and we're trying to maintain that fine balance of being involved but not being too busy. I really feel like we do a pretty good job of it (but still sometimes feel like we're running around like chickens with our heads cut off) but all in all, there are many days when we're home by 4 with nowhere else to go for the rest of the day. I cherish those times because she can work on her homework, which has greatly increased this year, and take time to read & relax.
I am so happy about how confident she is about various things...what she wears, how she looks, who she hangs out with or doesn't hang out with. I am amazed and so thankful that God has blessed her with this because soooo many pre-teen girls struggle immensely with this, and she doesn't seem to. I'm not saying not at all (she certainly gets embarrassed by us as her parents sometimes! lol) but all in all, she is happy in her own skin and doesn't seem to get her feathers too ruffled by other people being different from her as far as likes & dislikes, style of clothing, etc.
She is soooo hard on herself about her schoolwork that we rarely have to be. I find myself consoling her and telling her it's okay and she doesn't have to be perfect because she'll express worry over a test or concern over a grade. For example, this week, she texted me about her Science test, concerned that there was material on it she didn't think would be on there, etc. She ended up making a 92 or 94 on that test! (I can't remember for sure which it was.) Later in the week, she told me about her Math test and how she had stayed after class to work on it and was having a hard time coming up with what she thought was the right answers and she was a bit worried about how she'd done. Yeah...she made a 99. We certainly don't have to "be on her" to work hard, concentrate, or take school seriously.
We are excited that she's going to get to take the SAT or ACT soon through a program Duke offers to some 7th graders who qualify. It will be a fun opportunity to see how she does. We were also happy to find out that one of her artwork pieces was selected to be on display in one of the admin buildings. We still have yet to make it over there to see it. She said she wasn't even sure which piece it was. LOL She auditioned for Region Orchestra last weekend but didn't make it. She was really sad about it although she didn't say too much. She admitted to being a bit bummed about it because she'd worked so hard. We were just so proud of her for trying. There were 210 violinists who auditioned, and the competition is pretty strong around here. Her director told her her rank, and to be honest, it wasn't very close to #1, but it was a good learning experience, and I'm hoping she'll jump back in there next year. She loves being in the orchestra; it's such a good fit for her personality, and her director is so great...very motivating & encouraging, etc.
Gracie is also looking forward to running Track this spring; I can't wait to see how that goes, and she wants to try out for Volleyball next year. It sounds like a lot, but Track & Volleyball aren't at the same time, and violin is only during school right now except for the occasional after school practice or event but nothing regular after school. She is also on the Science Olympiad team, which has after school practices, but she isn't going to be in the first competition because of a youth group event she opted to participate in instead. She may be in some of the other ones, but I can tell she's not really 'feeling this' as much as some other things she's in and hopes to be in. In Junior High, there are so many fun things to try!
On top of doing well in school, she is just an all around wonderful daughter and Christian young lady who isn't perfect, because none of us are (and she's a PRE-TEEN!!!!) but is striving to live a life pleasing to God. :)
This is often what pictures of her look like...trying to hide from the camera!
As with her sisters, we are incredibly blessed by our sweet oldest girl and treasure her as our daughter.