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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Time to Catch Up - MAY 2017

Carrie took a day off from school to celebrate Abby's birthday.  Abby was especially surprised when they were joined by her best friend for lunch and birthday shopping.
 As soon as the girls returned from Florida their school started the mad round of events ending the year and ending the Eighth Grader's time at this school.
 The first event was confirmation of the eighth graders by the bishop.
Then there was a "sports mass" celebrating the spring sports.  Gabby and two friends gave the "gifts" during Mass.
This page explains the All-Night Party
 There was a chance to take a lot of fun pictures with their classmates, for some, of the last 10 years.

 Next was the Sports Banquet.  Since Dad was her coach, Gabby received her volleyball certificate from her dad

She and Abby also won awards for playing softball.  Abby ALSO received an award for playing basketball.  However, the most important was the Scholar-Athlete award given to those students who maintained a high grade point average while playing sports.  Both girls won this award.  Not all of the athletes did.
Abby went to camp for 3 days and participated in everything offered.  

The sports season wound down with both girls playing softball.  For the very last game Abby's coach had her pitch.  She did so well he wants her to plan on pitching next year.

Next event was the Torch and Ribbon ceremony during the school day.  Abby carried the processional  and recessional cross and served at the altar for her sister's ceremony.

 First the students were given awards they had won over their time at St. Pius...academic, service, and athletic.  Pins were added to their ribbons for each.
 The "torch" of the ceremony referred to the passing of a candle flame from each 8th grader to a 7th grader signaling the passing of the leadership of the school.  Then Gabby was the chosen ribbon-staff carrier and held the MayPole-like staff while her classmates took the ribbons making a very pretty sight. 
 Recitations by some of the students brought a tear to many parents' and grandparents' eyes.

 Students filed past the 8th graders from kindergarteners on up to the parents greeting each student and saying goodbye.  Parents, students and graduating 8th graders were often in tears.  This was the most moving of the days.
Here they are...the 2017 graduating class of St Pius X School.
The last day the 8th graders all wore their class t-shirt, ran down the halls between other students lined up outside their classrooms, and replaced the photo of last year's class with their own where it will hang until next graduation.
 Finally, Graduation Day.  There had to be fancy hair, of course.
 Each student received his or her diploma and posed for family to take photos.
 Following the church ceremony there was a round of photos with family and the students went off with their various family members for dinner and little parties.  It was over.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Time to Catch Up - APRIL 2017

 It was time to get rid of the Bottle Brush Tree.  It was in the way going from front yard to the back.  It was messy when the red brushes fell and made a mess in the neighbor's patio.  Besides, it is a bush, not a proper tree.  This was overgrown and could split and damage the neighbor's fence and our garage in a storm.
 Here we are at Orlando Airport again, this time greeting Gabby, Abby, and both parents for their strange Spring break.  Mom and dad have 10 days prior to Easter and the girls have the following 10 days.  They took the girls out of school during their parents' vacation, but the parents had to get back to work while the girls were officially on school spring break so the girls will stay after their folks leave and go home with airline escort 10 days later.
 It is a full house with Butch and Mirna's plane not leaving until tomorrow and Tiffany and Mike visiting for Roman's birthday BESIDES Carrie and Mike and the girls.
There were other options, but the girls chose to sleep on the air mattress on their bedroom floor giving up their beds to their parents...for just one night.
First order of business when hitting Florida after a winter of heavy shoes and snow boots, is pedicures all around.  The girls made friends with the girls who worked in the salon and still keep in touch via Snapchat.
 Carrie loves taking the girls on walks up and down Indian River Drive and visiting the restaurants and gift shops.
Most of the time the girls get along rather well for sisters.  

 I went with the girls and their mother sometimes and visited the hot spots along the Indian River Drive.
 Gabby brought some dressy clothes with her and we had a little photo shoot one day.
This was the parents' last day in Florida, Easter Sunday.

 That night we celebrated again at Outriggers. 
The girls decided to stay back at the house when we took their parents to the plane (at least an hour and a half each way) but they had neighbors to keep an eye on them. This is Carrie and Mike at Orlando Airport headed for Michigan WITHOUT their girls.  This will be strange for them having their home and lives all to themselves for over a week.
Samantha's mother and aunt drove her back to Sebastian to celebrate her birthday with Gabby.  We will meet them half way to return her in a few days.
Gabby and Abby decorated the breakfast bar to celebrate Sam's birthday and made her blow out the candles on a big chocolate cake.
The girls wanted a "photo shoot" at the beach but thought it was too windy so this was the only formal photo I took. 
In a flash the girls were in swim suits and into the water.
They wandered down around the rocks by the pier and later that evening Gabby began to have a rash and itching in her bathing suit areas.  It got worse through the evening.  The next morning I took her to the immediate care facility in town.  The Dr. there knew right away that it was "sea lice", infant jellyfish from around the rocks, probably.  She was given salve and pills and, sure enough, the itching eased up right away, but now Abby was breaking out.  Later, after Samantha went home, she, too broke out.
Our friend and neighbor's grandson hung out with the girls and even went with us when we returned Samantha to her mother and aunt, a couple hours drive away.
 The next day I took Gabby, Abby and Holden to the Brevard Zoo.  I used Grandpa's motorized cart and kept within sight of the kids but they were more on their own.
Back home, Gabby had a recipe for some kind of "Unicorn Cake" from the internet.  We bought the ingredients at Publix and the kids followed the recipe.  One cake they sent over to Holden's grandparents' house and one stayed with us.  We weren't fond of it.  Too sweet and strange tasting.

All too soon we had to send the girls home.   It was a tearful farewell as I handed the girls over to the escort.  Gabby was sobbing that she didn't want to go.  I am sure they thought I was sending them into some kind of abusive situation.  I was sobbing, too, and telling them we would be home within a week or so.  Then I watched as the plane took off and wondered if the pilot had any idea that my very heart was on that plane.

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Gabby Faye
Michigan, United States
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