January found us back to Upward; this year 'twas just the Abbinator and the Mama. I was blessed to be able to co-coach Abbey's team, the Terps, alongside the marvelous Jessica. Upward updated some of the rules for the older kids, so Abbey and her friends grew by leaps and bounds in both faith and skills. The girls were the underdogs going into season play--our roster included 3 who had never played basketball before!-- but ended with an undefeated run at the championship. The Terps took the first even Faith Baptist Upward Girls' Championship--Whoo hoo!!! Better still? The girls formed some terrific friendships and came away with a great deal of love shared. This Mama was truly blessed to be a part of this special team.
April brought a new teenager to our family, name of Ben. He is most definitely feeling his teenagerness and so are we. ;-)
Bill left to spend a couple of weeks with his mom in Phoenix. He was able to spend Mother's Day with her, which was super special after losing his Dad last sumer.
May brought Katie back home to us after her sophomore year. She ended the year strong with a solid GPA. Her sorority voted her to be the "Panhellenic Representative" for ZTA to the student government at Salisbury. She and Kevin are still dating and looking to celebrate 2 years together in February. Kevin joined us for Abbey's birthday and 5th grade "Celebration of Excellence":
June wrapped up the school year for all the beasties. We said farewell to Valley Elementary after 16 years of Bolingbroke beasties in attendance. It's been weird for this Mama not to have any more Vikings in the house; haven't yet been able to remove myself from the email update list, LOL.
Katie turned 20 in July. I know, I can hardly believe it myself.
Matthew's birthday brought him to the ripe ol' age of 15. We took him to Macaroni Grille for a more 'grown-up' celebration dinner, at which time, we discovered that he's taller than Daddy. YIKES!
Katie and Abbey whipped up a birthday cake for Matthew while we were out to dinner. They did a pretty great job, didn't they?The family ventured out on a mini-vacation to Philadelphia this summer. Wanted to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. We all realized that the Liberty Bell was much smaller than we expected it to be. We had the VERY best Park Ranger at Independence Hall; he was clearly passionate about the historical topic and he was so good at making us SEE the events that took place during the Continental Congress. We scoped out the Philadelphia Mint, too; cool tour! Did you know that the Philly Mint now makes a special curve baseball commemorative coin?
August found us moving Katie back to school for her junior year. We stuck around for a few extra days to take a mini-vacay in Ocean City. Had a great time, despite the horrible sunburns we all sported upon our return. ;-)
We celebrated Father's Day with a kid-planned day. They set everything up so that we could go to lunch at Daddy's favorite Mexican restaurant. They made brownies with frosting and even wrapped Daddy's gifts themselves! Gotta love Abbey's repackaging of the Bath & Body Works bag.
During Patrick's IEP (setting goals for next school year), we discussed his plan to transition to more independent living. He informed the team that he wants to work at Kohl's or Fort Detrick; for now, he's working at Goodwill, learning how to sort, record and price books. He's working 12 -15 hours a week and so far seems to be doing a great job there. Patrick turned 18 in November and we've been learning all kinds of new lessons about being parents of an adult bonus-featured child! Who knew it would take 4 hours, 8 people and 1 VERY motivated sales guy to get Patrick's phone set up with Sprint Relay under his own name? But evidently, that's what it takes. Patrick now has a Sprint phone in his own name. YAY!!
Patrick has been taking a course at school which has taught him PhotoShop...and how he has learned it! He's doing a great job, isn't he?
Back to School sent two of the Zoo Crew Beasties off to Middle School and two to High School. I have no clue where the time has gone, but gone it has. *sigh*
Here's hoping 2016 is more peaceful, stable & joyful for all.