We don't just go places...we have ADVENTURES!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy DOUBLE DIGITS, Matthew!!

The Matthew-man is 10 today, 10 today, 10 today!

Can't believe it, really. Now, more than half of the Zoo Crew beasties are in the double digits...

We celebrated early, since Mommy is out of town...had a little pizza, a little cake... The cake, well...evil beastie robbed Mammarazzi of one of her favorite pics--the blowing out of the candles!! ANY good scrapbooking magazine will tell you that it's a "must-have" for a birthday layout! But NOOOOO....he turns 10 and just has to blow them out BEFORE my camera was ready!! Can you believe it? He sure was pleased with himself for THAT one...

We all enjoyed the green frosting...PICS HERE

Ah well...even if he doesn't get any wishes this year, he's still the coolest 10 year old I know. He's tender, thoughtful, helpful, creative, smart & funny. (and pretty handsome for a beastie, don't you think?)

We're so very glad you are ours, Matthew!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Movin' on to Middle School

Patrick celebrated a milestone this week....graduation from 5th grade and promotion to middle school!! WHOO HOO!

MSD hosted a wonderful ceremony for both the 5th and 8th graders. The whole Zoo Crew + a few (Miss Ashley & Allison) traipsed to Columbia for the event. We took up an entire row in the auditorium, hee hee hee!

Our first surprise was finding that all the students were wearing caps & gowns. NICE! Patrick looked quite fetching (and entirely too grown up!) in his festive attire. All the graduates were ready for their close-ups and posed for us Mama-razzis (and a few Papa-razzis!).

A couple of observations on how wonderful this school is...
  • small classes mean LOTS of personal attention
  • the teachers in attendance all knew Patrick and had something kind to say about him
  • close to the start time, the principals took the time to make sure every student's family had arrived; we started about 15 minutes late, knowing one family was on their way--(and for once, it wasn't US!)
  • the kids were all kind and respectful to one and other...and were amazingly accepting of Patrick and his quirks...one super cute young lady was even teasing him about how excited he was to have us all there!
What a lovely treat to see Patrick hanging out with his friends, chatting and exchanging stories. Everyone wanted to know all about our family and which kid was which. Since Allison's coloring is a little more like ours, some of his friends were confused that she's not one of us, hee hee hee. (And one of Patrick's buddies thinks Katie is pretty cute!)

The ceremony began with the traditional procession and Pomp & Circumstance. The graduates lined up in a semi-circle, setting the stage for personal introductions; each student stepped center stage, signed his/her name and where he/she is headed next year. Patrick ROCKED...he didn't seem at all nervous or shy--and every sign was clear and concise!

After the speeches were over, diplomas were handed out and...then came the slideshow. THEN, just when I thought I was done getting teary-eyed, the students each presented their moms with a rose. One at at time, each child went to the stage, picked a flower from the basket and then went into the audience for some Mama lovin'. Despite having received a small warning in advance, this mom lost it. (I'm even getting misty thinking about it now!) After the rose presentations, the kids disappeared into the wings.

What could possibly come next? DANCING of course!! All the kids mingled on the stage, dancing and hamming it up to "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how this was gonna work for Patrick...until he rolled onto stage on a wheeled desk chair. His grin said it ALL! Two other boys rolled in on chairs and really got into chair dancing with him. Later in the song, he played air guitar from the safety and comfort of his own walker. Miss Ashley captured it all on video...so I hope to post that soon!

All in all, a wonderful evening, celebrating this amazing boy child (and all his friends, too!!). (Not so much a boy or a child anymore, though. *sigh*) He has come so very far.
Thank you, Maryland School for the Deaf!! We can't wait to see what middle school holds for him!!

In the meantime, feel free to check out more pictures from this festive event: MSD Promotion

And now we are SIX!

Miss Abba-Zabba is SIX!!

Yup, this darling, beautiful, funny little bunny joined the Zoo Crew six years ago.

She is unlike ANY who have come before her...she marches to her own drummer. She is a crazy mix of girlie girl and thug. She can run across the yard in plastic play heels and a skirt, only to tackle one of her big brothers. She knows JUST how to push everyone's buttons (and does it quite frequently). ;-)

She has successfully completed her very first year of school...and is ready to tackle first grade next! (How exactly did THAT happen?)

Happy birthday, Abbey! How VERY glad we are that you are ours!!

Check out her birthday fun...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Unofficial Summertime Kick-Off

Memorial Monday found the Zoo Crew flying our American flag proudly and thinking of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Thank you to all who serve. And thank you to their families, who often sacrifice more than we know.

The holiday found us playing host to our favorite Piggs. On the agenda for the day: BBQ, ice cream sundaes and amateur rocketry.

After a flying trip for more ice for the ice cream maker (who knew we'd need 22 pounds of ice?), our luscious French vanilla was ready for tasting. Steph took the first taste....

Amazing what 12 cups of milk, some vanilla extract and a 75 cent package of mix can become!! (We won't mention how long it took to cook first or how sore our little arms got from all the stirring. Let's just say that we were happy the churn is electric!)

After an inspirational visit to NASA on Saturday (followed by a trip to Hobby Lobby), the Crew were all set to become Rocketeers. Ah-hmm...Chuck prefers Rocket-MEN, thank you. (And, YES, several choruses of the song were sung...not well, but sung nonetheless.) We launched after dinner, and blew the minds of everyone.

This naive mommy will admit that she had NO CLUE that the "beginner" engines we bought would launch handmade rocket projectiles into the cloud layer! Steph and I even had to mount a vehicle based recovery mission to retrieve a rocket that landed more than a block away!!

While the big boys tinkered with their toys, the kiddles enjoyed some sunshine fun & frolic in the pool and on bikes:

Summer always kicks off better with friends! More pictures here (seriously worth a look!): Memorial Day 2010