Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday, Bryson!

Sunday Zoe and I joined the rest of my family at the St. Louis Zoo to celebrate my nephew's 1st Birthday! My step-sister Heather and her husband Marvin adopted Bryson and were there a year ago for his birth. What a blessing he is to our family! You'll never meet a sweeter, happier little guy.

It was a beautiful day - about 80 degrees - and the zoo was packed. In fact, it took us about an hour to find parking. That didn't stop us from having a wonderful time.

Zoe and Cousin Gracie patiently waiting to tour the Zoo!
Birthday Boy Bryson didn't know what to think of the fountains!

California Sea Lion
Zoe enjoying the carousel.

Cousins Bethanie & Blake
Birthday Boy Bryson, his mom Heather, & Cousin Zack

Cousin Courtney & Shelby (Zack's Girlfriend)
Cousins Gracie & Tanner
Zoe as a puppy dog.
Gracie as a scary lion.

Cousin Zack, Zoe, & Zack's Girlfriend Shelby!

 And, best of all................. look at the Birthday Boy playing in his birthday cake:

Is he not the cutest?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday, Bryson. We love you very much!!!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mising In Action

I apologize. It's been almost a year since I have updated this blog. No excuse. Busy like everybody else. So much has happened in the last year. It might take me several posts to get caught up, but I will try to do that. Unfortunately, I accidentally washed my camera's reader card with over 1,000 pictures on it. So, I will have to rely on my memory to get caught up.

In May of last year (2012) Zoe was asked to represent the state of Illinois in a Kick Start Gymnastics Competition in Michigan. Zoe, her friends Paris and Taylar, and myself made the trip to a small town outside of Detroit. We found out about 1 month & a half later that Zoe had indeed made the National Kick Start Team. Zoe continued her Kick Start training all summer & then Paul, Zoe, & I made the trip back to Michigan in September for Zoe to particpate in the National Kick Start Training Camp with Olympic Coaches, Marvin Sharp and Kathryn Geddert. It was an awesome camp with Zoe doing new skills such as Giants on the High Bar and Yurchenko vaults. She came home very excited to start a new type of training with her coach. (More on that later!)

Here are the pictures I took of Zoe at Kick Start Camp:

Zoe doing a dance after working with the ballet instructor.

Zoe waiting patiently for her turn.

Zoe & friend Lilly showing their certificates.

Zoe with Olympic Coaches Kathryn Geddert & Marvin Sharp.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

All-Around State Champ

All-Around Level 4 State Champ

Zoe's state championship gymnastics meet is this weekend. She competed yesterday, but team awards will not be given out until later today. Zoe's performance yesterday was outstanding. She ended the meet as the All-Around Level 4 State Champion.

Vault - 9.65 - 1st Place

Bars - 9.7 - 1st Place

Beam - 9.65 - 1st Place

Floor - 9.65 - 1st Place

All-Around - 38.65  1st Place

So very proud of you, Zoe! Your hard work & dedication has paid off. Congratulations!What a great season!

Friday, January 20, 2012

8th Grade Night

Last night my nephew Blake had his 8th grade night for basketball. As a former coach & player, I love watching my nieces & nephews play basketball.

My sister Tracy, Blake, & my brother-in-law Brent

Calling the plays as the point guard.

Taking it to the hoop!

After leading the team to victory, Blake takes a seat on the bench.

Great game last night, Blake. Good luck as you start regional play next week!

P.S. ..... My niece Gracie was also at the game watching cousin Blake. She was lucky enough to have someone give her the cheerleading uniform that she has on. Isn't she a cutie???
Gracie & her friend Bailey

P.S.S. We are on our way out the door. Trying to get to a gymnastics meet before the ice storm hits.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Just Another Reason....

One of our favorite Christmas Cards always arrives a week or two after the holidays. This year was no exception. Look what was in our mail just last week:

Yes, a Christmas/ New Year's card from Zoe's orphanage. We feel so blessed to receive this every year, knowing not all orphanages do this. And you know the best part????

It arrived on Zoe's Gotcha Day!!! Couldn't have asked for another reason to celebrate seven years of gotcha!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

7 Years Ago...

A scared little girl was placed in our arms at a hotel in China. How our lives have changed! Neither Paul nor I can imagine life without Zoe Gwen. With her radiant smile & caring personality, she is a blessing to so many people. And...growing up so quickly into a beautiful girl with such a tender heart. Happy Seven Year Gotcha Day, Zoe! We love you more & more each day.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Where Have I Been?

Things have just been plain crazy around here. Zoe is competing in gymnastics for the first time. So, between her practice in the gym & traveling to competitions, we seldom find ourselves at home. Zoe is loving it though & wouldn't have it any other way. She competes as a Level 4 USA gymnast.

At her first ever compeition November 13th (held near Chicago), she placed second All Around. (missing 1st by 0.15) & her team captured first place. As you can imagine everyone was thrilled.

At the second meet December 11th, Zoe got first on the bars, vault, & floor; second on the beam; & won the All Around title. Her team once again captured first place.

Even though Paul & I are rookies at this gymnastics thing, we are amazed at the skills that the gymnasts on our team possess compared to some of the other gyms we compete against. We contribute our team's success to their coach. She is awesome, knows her stuff, & gets 110% out of our girls every time they are in the gym.

It's going to be a fun season. We are headed back up north this weekend for a big meet. I'll be sure to update you all when we get back home.

Way to go, Zoe! We are so proud of you!!!