Zoe turned six. (Six!)

My goodness. My youngest kiddo is six.

I know some of you wanted to see pictures of her celebration, and I aim to please. ;)

But first, here’s a quick look at Zoe through the years.

2006, age, um, 24 hours.

Hows about a picture of a tired me? This is at the hospital when Zoe was a day and half old.

2007, age 1.

2008, age 2.


If you could, notice the cute curly pigtails. Thank you.

2009, age 3.

Left picture below: totally making me laugh.

2010, age 4.

2011, age 5.

2012, age 6.

Well, that’s always fun. A bit of a walk down memory lane.

I sure do love my Zoe-girl, and I’m glad God decided to add her to our family…she’s a really good kind of surprise.

Zoe wanted stuffed shells for her birthday meal.

Also, she really, really wanted these little juice boxes. She pronounces the extra S in the name of these, so they’re called S-sips.

I love the pronunciation and the fact that something so simple made her happy.

Dinner was served on the special birthday plate, of course.

I made her a whale cake by hacking up two round layer cakes to piece together the appropriate shape.

The color for the whale body came out pretty well, but the spout ended up being a really, uh, vibrant shade of blue. He’s spouting Carribean ocean water, I think.

We actually opened presents before we ate cake. Must let the dinner settle, you know.

Joshua was at his friend Thomas’ house on this night (Thomas has a birthday very close to Zoe’s), so Joshua watched Zoe open her presents via Skype.

Backing up a bit, if you like me on Facebook, you know that I hid one present under Zoe’s bed for her to find when she woke up. It was a little bag with these charms from JuJu Belle in it.

Zoe had a little VW Beetle-ish car charm originally but she traded with Lisey, and as so often happens when she makes trades, she ended up regretting it.

(We currently have a no-trading-with-Zoe rule in place because Zoe doesn’t seem to know herself well enough to say no to trades she doesn’t really want!)

So, she was delighted to find one of these in the bag along with a little Z charm (and a monkey charm that I didn’t snap a picture of). These are actually supposed to go on charm bracelets, but my girls like to string them on necklaces instead. They’re quite affordable at just $1…much less expensive than any other Beetle jewelry I could find on the ‘net.

In keeping with the VW theme, Zoe has also been wanting a VW bus shirt like the one we bought Lisey for Christmas.

It’s from Dandelion Dream, my friend Erin’s shop, where she sells shirts to raise money for their adoption fund. Zoe was very excited to have a shirt like Lisey’s, and since it’s short-sleeved, she can layer it during cold weather and wear it on its own once summer is here.

The next bag contained one of her favorite presents.

You may remember that she got a mini velour whale from Fluffyland at Christmas, and since then, that whale has been her constant companion. She sleeps with him every night and just generally adores him.

Well, we bought her the ginormous version for her birthday.

Sam, a college student, runs Fluffyland sews these herself. She had none in stock and was away at college with no velour fabric. But her mom came to the rescue and mailed some velour to her, and then Sam sewed a whale up in a jiffy and sent it to us. That’s service, baby!

Joshua and Lisey bought her a little blue Fluffyland whale too, so she’s quite set for whales now.

What else? Well, Joshua, Lisey, and Sonia all happen to own large fuzzy blankets, and Zoe’s been a little sad that she doesn’t have one. So, I searched the internet to see if an aquatic fuzzy blanket could be had, and came up dry.* I decided to pay our fabric store a visit, though, and almost struck out again.

*I typed that up and didn’t realize my pun. Now it’s making me laugh, so I’m leaving it in there.

But at the very end of the aisle, tucked in a corner, a bolt of pink and white fuzzy fabric was hiding.


I bought some yardage with a 50% off coupon, used some thread I already had, and sewed her a blanket myself. $10!

And Zoe was very happy. As soon as she opened it, she hugged it and rubbed the fuzziness against her cheek.

I think it will be a well-loved blanket.

She also got big pack of sidewalk chalk and an Angry Birds nightgown and t-shirt (she uses her daily game time for Angry Birds pretty much every day, so we knew those would be a hit.)

On to the cake. We’d saved the 6 candle from when Sonia turned 6, and I’m so glad we remembered to get it out and use it!

Zoe was very pleased with her special day. In fact, as she got ready for bed, she was dancing back and forth, listing all the happy things about the day. “I got Ssips, and a whale cake, and a big velour whale….”


Joshua’s 365 post: Portrait of a Whale Family


    • Becky says

      I know you want an answer from FG & I’d be interested in her answer as well. But I thought I’d add that my kids love pbskids.org, nickjr.com and playhouse Disney. My 4-year-old son, who hasn’t been very interested in words & reading, has taken a strong liking to the games at http://www.starfall.com. Because of this, he is starting to sound out words & take more of an interest in reading – probably more so than if I had “pushed” him with the reading.

      • Kristen says

        Zoe and Sonia both really like the educational games at SoftSchools.com, and they play some games on Mr. FG’s Kindle.

  1. Ellen says

    Happy 6th Birthday Zoe!! (you and my son are just 3 weeks apart! He turned 6 in jan!)
    Love all her gifts…. Glad she had a great day!!

  2. Gail says

    My mom– and later I–had a permanent no-trades policy at home. It prevented little ones from being unfairly dazzled, to put it nicely, and led to more careful original choices.

    • Kristen says

      I guess the stuffed animals are kind of toys. :) They’re just a soft, not-plastic sort.

      That wasn’t really a conscious decision on our part…the gifts were really a reflection of Zoe’s desires. Which, I suppose, are a little bit different than some other children’s desires, mostly because she doesn’t watch much in the way of commercials and thus isn’t into the hot toys of the day.

      Or maybe Zoe just would love soft, fuzzy things over popular plastic toys no matter how much TV she watched!

  3. Lilian says

    You have such a happy family. So happy for you. Just reading about your family puts a smile on my face and I feel part of the happiness.

  4. Jennett Riedel says

    I’m so glad you have this blog and share your life with us followers. Thank you and may God always bless you and your family.

  5. Debbie T. says

    Well, that’s pretty terrific! Brought more than just a smile or 2 to my face today. Zoe looks very thrilled w/ her special day. Happy Birthday Zoe!!! Nice job on the pink and white whale blanket. That bolt of fabric truly had Zoe’s name on it.

  6. Becky says

    Wow! What a great birthday with lots of special touches! The 3-year-old pictures of Zoe remind me of my youngest who is nearly 3 – dress up princess dresses and millions of necklaces must be a requirement for little girls. The love you have for Zoe is quite palpable in this post, as is her excitement. Love it!

  7. says

    Happy Birthday Zoe. It looks like you had an extra special birthday. We have 5 girls, but it has been 7 years since the youngest twins were 6. I remember when I was 6 and it was fun being 6.

    Momma–I have a question for you. How did you sew her fleece blanket?? We have 3 machines, and each wants to eat the fleece. Do you use a special needle or did you do the edges in satin? I need help!! I have several fleece peices that I need to turn into blankets.

  8. Cheryl S. says

    Wow…I can tell exactly how long I have been reading your blog by your Zoe pictures. AND I tried your honey whole wheat bread recipe (finally) this weekend and really liked it. Thank you as always!

  9. Renee McDonnell says

    Just a suggestion for what we do on every single birthday – instead of putting the number of candles in the cake (and as you know when you are older that can be a lot) we only do 3 candles no matter how old you are – one for health, one for wealth and one for happiness. No matter what age those are always the things we strive for. This helps us be frugal with not having to buy new special candles each year also. As a side note wealth doesn’t necessarily mean financially either – it can mean financial stability, wealth of knowledge, wealth of love, etc. It is whatever is important to you.

  10. says

    Six was my favorite age – both when I was six and when my eldest was six. I have three more that have yet to hit six and am looking forward to it!

    That aforementioned eldest is turning 18 today – I don’t know how it happened or where the 18 years went, but he’s definitely 18 today :) I blogged about it today and posted it to his FB page. This may not make me popular with him, but since the second half of his teenage years hit, I haven’t been that popular with him anyway :( I really do miss his 6 year-old self.

    BUT – happy birthday Zoe! Enjoy every day of being 6 :)

  11. Kathy says

    Loved the look back. Looks like Zoe had a wonderful day! Happy Birthday Zoe and Mr. FG. I hope that you each have a wonderful year!

  12. Katie says

    Happy birthday Zoe! I see she has been a lover of ocean critters since way back when.

    I think your frosting colors look great! I think it’d be really hard to get a nice gray, but it looks perfect.

    That pink whale fabric was quite a find. Sometimes I think you and Nonconsumer Katy have bargain fairies watching out for you. :)

  13. Lilypad says

    Happy Birthday, Zoe! My birthday is coming up really soon, and those stuffed shells and whale cake look so yummy, I think I may have to make some on my special day! Greetings to you from fellow homeschoolers in the Seattle area, all the way across the country…

  14. says

    I like how you do birthdays! Your Zoe is really cute I have one too her name is spelled Zoi and she is 8. what fun they would have together. Happy Birthday Zoe from the Harrod Family!!! God Bless you.

  15. says

    This made me so happy. I’m glad Zoe is such a whale lover – like me! My amazing roommate made me a similar cake for my birthday last year :)

    And the picture of Zoe with her two whales? That’s my definition of success. Thank you!!! I’m always so, so honored to be part of a kid’s special day.

  16. says

    Love that you re-used the “6” candle. My family has been re-using my older brother’s “7” candle since he turned 7. (He’s now 41.) This year was my first birthday at home with my parents since 1992 — so we had to dig out the “7”! We just add the extra candles to add up to the right number – and using the 7 saves 7 candles :)

    • Kristen says

      That’s awesome! I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the six candle now…I’d thought of giving it to my sister for her kids because she has three more that still need to turn six.

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