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!!!)