Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy 8th Birthday, Zoe Gwen

This past week we celebrated Zoe's 8th birthday. We woke her up about a half hour before her normal wake-up-for-school time & let her open her gifts. She was so excited.

Later that evening we joined friends for dinner. Zoe's choice. As you can guess, she chose her favorite restaurant - H**ters! She loves the boneless hot wings. In fact, Zoe always gets a kick out of the waitresses because she always orders 911 wings & every time the waitress will say - "You know those are really hot." (to which Zoe always replies - "Yes, I know.") It was a fun night as the St. Louis Cardinals were in the playoffs so we got to watch them win as we were eating.

Paul & I had waited to give her a special gift at dinner. She had no idea that we had held one gift back. But let me tell you, it was so worth it. Can you tell?

Hard to believe our little girl is 8! Happy Birthday, Zoe Gwen! We love you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Long Overdue

I know, I's been almost two months since I've posted. Time has just gotten away. We had a great summer & then before you knew it, summer was over & school started. I've got so much to blog about. Now just gotta find the time to get back in the groove of updating. (Plus, gotta blog to keep Kelsey off my back !!!!)

Anyway, 2nd grade is going great for Zoe. She loves school & her teacher. We have parent teacher conferences next week.

This past Friday I took the day off from teaching & went on Zoe's field trip to the Butterfly House. It was a beautiful day & for the most part, the kids were excellent. (The night before Zoe's teacher had informed me that she gave me some of the chronic misbehavers. She thought I could handle them since I deal with 7th & 8th graders all day.) I had never been to the Butterfly House. Though it was about an hour and a half drive from the school, I must say it was an excellent field trip.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Second Grade

Can you believe it?

Where has the time gone?

Zoe started 2nd grade this week.

And of course, she is LOVING it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

So. Worth. It.

 Last night we attended the T@ylor Swift concert! Our seats were amazing & so was the concert. Paul & I both agree that it was one of the best concerts we've ever seen.

Hunter H@yes & Need to Bre@the opened for her. Once she took the stage, she performed for about 2 1/2 hours. So, so good!

Here are some of the 106 pictures I took. Enjoy! (we sure did!!!)

And here is how Zoe spent the concert - smiling from ear to ear. She was so excited & Taylor did not disappoint!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back Home

Even though time flies when we're on vacation, it's always nice to get home. School starts again next week for both Zoe & myself. Not ready to go back to work (summer just went way too fast), but I must admit, it will be nice to get back in a routine. Zoe actually starts school a day before me so I will get to take her to her first day of SECOND grade. This will be the first time I've gotten to take her to her first day of school since she started. I'm excited about it. Gotta make sure the battery is charged in the camera!

Until then, we still have several things going on. Zoe has gymnastics this week before getting a week off. She's having all 18 girls in the second grade over Thursday night for a two hour swimming party. Plus, sometime this week I have to get to my own classroom to get it in order for students' arrival next week.

I'm gonna leave you with a few pictures that were taken the last night we were in Orange Beach. Enjoy!

Always smiling!
Always posing!

Friends Abbie & Benneth with Zoe

Thursday, August 4, 2011

At The Beach

We are at the ocean & loving it. Too bad vacations always have to come to an end. It's been VERY hot here, but so enjoyable. We are loving our time watching the dolphins each morning from our condo's balcony, spending time with each other & good friends. Yesterday's highlight was watching a stingray swim at the water's edge. We've got a few more days before we have to pack up & head home to reality. Hope you enjoy the pictures thus far!!!
Bennett, Abbie, & Zoe in the pool.

Zoe throwing the football with her tongue out!
Washing the sand off her hands.
Taking a break with Mama's hat on.
Posing with the "sand alligator".
Heading to the water...
Zoe's new friend Asia checking out a sea shell.

Monday, July 25, 2011

This past Saturday we had Paul's mom's side of the family up for a cookout. Everyone had a good time. We swam, ate, talked, laughed, etc. (There's never a dull moment with this side of the family!)

Zoe especially enjoyed playing with her cousin Taylor. They both will be entering second grade in a couple of weeks. This two play so well together. In fact, we didn't hear much out of them for most of the day.

Taylor & Zoe posing for a quick pic!

Acting silly on the trampoline!

Too bad these two don't live closer to each other. As Taylor was leaving, she & Zoe were making plans for the next time they get to see each other!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Good-bye Kusko

About 2 years ago Zoe got a Beta Fish for her bedroom. She was very particular when picking it out. She wanted it to be very colorful but also unique from the rest of the available fish. She ended up getting a blue fish that in certain light looked purple at times too. Very pretty. Once in the car she quickly named her fish Kusko. (at the time that was the name of one of the characters on her favorite tv show - Emp*rers New Gr**ve!)

After arriving home Zoe & her daddy got the fish bowl all set up & carefully placed Kusko in place. The bowl was then placed on Zoe's dresser. And this is where Kusko has stayed the past two years.

That was up until Tuesday (July 12) of last week. See, Paul went in to feed Kusko liket he does every night before bed. However, Kusko was not alive, but dead.

After debating whether to wait until morning, Zoe decided they would go ahead & let Kusko go to his new home. With Daddy's help, Zoe very gently flushed the toilet while holding back tears.

Shortly afterward, I went in to tuck Zoe in for the night & the flood gates opened. Poor Zoe sobbed & sobbed. She ended up laying in bed with us for about an hour while she got all of her sadness out. Before going to her own bed for the night she said, "I'm gonna miss that Kusko. He was a good fish!"

Monday, July 18, 2011

Top 10 Summer List

Until Zoe was selected to the Level 4 gymnastic team at her gym, she was part of the Minis Group. It was made up of about 8 girls who quickly became good friends. Away from the gym Zoe would talk about all of these girls non-stop. Last summer, the Minis Group was split with some of the girls moving up to the competitive team & some moved to the recreational team. Unfortunately, Zoe & Makenna did not end up on the same team. These two have continued to remain friends though. Every time they see each other coming or going to/from the gym, they hug, talk, & catch up just like old times.

Recently, when we were coming to the gym & Makenna & her mom Christine were leaving the gym, Christine told me about Makenna's Top 10 Summer List. Every year Christine has her three youngest children make a list of the top 10 things they want to do over the summer. (Her reasoning is that she doesn't want it to be time to go back to school & the kids be disappointed because they didn't do anything fun or anything they wanted to do.) So, each of her kids made their lists & brought them to show her. Besides the fact that one of her boys put go to New York on his list - she told him to erase it & think of something else because New York is not in their vacation plans this year!!!! - the lists were full of great ideas & activities that would be easy to accomplish.

However, one of the things on Makenna's list would take a little work. Meaning from us - our family. See, Makenna put "stay the night at Zoe's house" as her #2 thing!!!! Once I found this out, I insisted that Makenna spend the night. Not only would it accomplish the #2 activity on her list, but it would be her first sleepover at a friend's. How cool is that?!

So, last Thursday, the 14th, Makenna came home from gymnastics with Zoe & I. We had dinner at a pizza place here in town & then she & Zoe swam & played. Didn't really hear too much out of them from the basement playroom. However, getting the two of them to sleep took a little effort. I think it was finally about 12:30 AM before they finally crashed.

We enjoyed Makenna's company. She is more than welcome to come back anytime. (She & Zoe have that already planned out!) Plus, how can you say no to a face like this? Such a cutie!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

All Things Gymnastics

Zoe's been very busy with gymnastics this summer. Her team is currently in the gym 10 hours a week - 3 hours on Monday evenings, 4 hours on Wednesday evenings, & 3 hours on Friday afternoons. At first, I was a little concerned that this summer schedule would be too overwhelming for Zoe & she would react negatively. Boy, was I wrong. She has embraced this schedule. Loves her time in the gym. Loves her teammates. Loves her coach. Loves everything. about. gymnastics.

So much so that a while back Zoe asked her dad if she could get a balance beam to put in our basement. Paul explained to her that it was very unlikely that we would be able to find a balance beam & especially one in our price range - CHEAP! Well, a few days later a friend of ours (Chuck) called saying that a new family had just moved to town & were having a yard sale. Chuck told Paul that he had put Paul's name on an item & had told the owners that we'd be over later to pay for it & pick it up. Wouldn't ya know. It was a balance beam for $15. Crazy, huh?! Chuck didn't even know that Zoe had been asking for one. He just knew that Zoe took gymnastics & couldn't think of anyone else that would need one.

So, Paul paid for & picked up the balance beam & we carried it down to the basement. Zoe has "practiced" on it a couple of times. That is, until this summer. Just recently she has been obsessed with practicing her skills & becoming much better. She is determined to be the best balance beam gymnast that she can be. Enjoy these pictures that I took of her practicing her skills yesterday ...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Awards Day (Bragging Time!) & Cousins

Update: I figured out why I was unable to post. Just a click of a button & hopefully as good as new!!!

For some reason, this has not been letting me post. I've tried many times. So forgive me for not posting when I said I was going to. I'm still trying to catch up from not having my laptop.
Zoe has several cousins that don't live too far from us. Unfortunately, most of them are older & very involved in school & activities. So there are times when we go months without seeing them. Thankfully two of them could get away long enough to stay with us for a few days. Cousin Bethanie (will be a freshman) & her brother Caleb (will be a sophomore) brought their friend Kayleigh for a get-a-way. We enjoyed hosting them. We didn't do a whole lot - went to the movies, swam, hung out, etc.
Caleb acting silly in the pool!

Kayleigh, Zoe, & Bethanie getting ready to do cheer stunts!
At the end of the school year, Awards Day was held. Zoe was hoping to get the top academic student award for her class again. (She received it for her kindergarten class.) She wasn't quite sure if she would because towards the middle of fourth quarter she had a few tough math papers. However, she pulled through & was once again the top student for her first grade class.
Zoe receiving her Top Academic Award from the principal Mr. Nail while her teacher, Mrs. Ripperda reads her name!
Zoe also received the top Art Award for her first grade class for the second year in a row!
Zoe receiving her Art Award from Mr. Nail while her art teacher, Mr. Kramer, reads her name.
Zoe did something for the first time this school year - she had Perfect Attendance. This was the first time she did not go to work with me on Take Your Child to Work Day. I tried everything to get her to go, but she was persistent that she wanted to get Perfect Attendance.
Mrs. Ripperda handing Zoe her Perfect Attendance certificate!
We had a fabulous first grade year. Mrs. Ripperda was a wonderful teacher. I believe that Zoe was challenged many times, especially in math & reading. As a result, Zoe loves creating her own math problems & loves to read chapter books.
Plus, Zoe continues to be everyone's friend. Mrs. Ripperda told us many times over the course of the year that Zoe was very helpful, didn't get involved in "girl drama", and how she wished all of her students were more like Zoe!
Below she is pictured with her friend Gracie!

Friday, July 1, 2011


I received my laptop back from Toshiba. After numerous phone calls (& having to get rather snooty with them), it was finally delivered. (That's a whole 'nother story in itself.) Anyway, I am hoping to get back in the swing of blogging. So many things to catch up on.

Back in April, my dad & step-mom brought my niece Gracie for a Sunday visit. She & Zoe had a blast jumping on the trampoline & playing on Zoe's play set.

We've had more cousins visit so I will blog about that tomorrow. (Yes, you read that right - TOMORROW!!!)

Friday, May 6, 2011


Things were so crazy the month of March (as you can read from my last post) & it really hasn't seemed to slow down. On top of everything, my T*shiba laptop caught on fire as it was sitting on my desk in use in my classroom. Thankfully, no students were hurt & T*bisha is working on figuring out what the deal is. I'm hoping to hear something from them in a couple of weeks whether my computer is fixable or whether they'll be sending me a new computer. (I'm kind of hoping for a new one!!!)

With the end of school nearing, we find ourselves coming & going. Last night Zoe had her Spring Concert. She did a wonderful job & looked so cute - if I might say so myself!

Posing with her two top teeth STILL missing!

We are headed to my nephew's baseball game this evening. Taking my camera so expect some pictures. I keep telling myself that I've gotta get better at posting on this blog. (Kind of crazy to think my husband now has a blog & posts more often than I do!)

I do have a post in the works. Just waiting for the right time to share.....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Emotionally Exhausted

This past week has been a very trying week. As most of you know, my husband is the funeral director in our small town of about 1,400 people.

This past week two boys, both seniors in high school, were electrocuted on a farm that they both worked at. They were trying to free a raccoon from an aluminum pipe when it accidently came in contact with electrical wires.

Their deaths rocked our community. Both young men were very involved in the school as well as the community. Nick was the senior class president, a member of the golf team, clay trap shooting team, FFA, Principal's Advisory Committee, etc. Nick was a member of the clay trap shooting team, a member of the fishing team, FFA, etc.

Would you please pray for both Nick & Justin's families, their classmates, their friends, & just our community as a whole?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sunny days!!!

The weather the last two days have been so nice. Zoe couldn't wait to get outside on her trampoline to practice her back handspring.

And then of course, she had to show me her jumps!

And then, a final pose!

Let me just tell ya, this girl cannot wait for warmer weather. Spring cannot get here fast enough!