Samantha turned 18. She really didn't want to, and it was hard because her friends she would've celebrated with were all in Arkansas. This helped::
We picked Jonathan up from BWI airport on a Saturday and Samantha's Birthday Week was officially underway.
Warning: LOTS and LOTS of pictures.....
Samantha had planned out Jonboy's week in Maryland. Each day was a new adventure.
On Sunday, we had church and birthday dinner for Samantha. We have to rest up cause it's going to be a busy week. The Bigs - Rachel, Samantha, Evan and Jonboy went to another eastern treat for a late night ice cream - Friendly's. Samantha is so glad to have Jonboy here and wants to show him all of Maryland treasures.
Our birthday girl Samantha. Eighteen years young.
On Monday, everyone went to my brother Eric's house and hung out there. No-one took pictures. Everyone was busy swimming and grilling and talking and talking and talking. Everyone except me, 'cause I was working. For dinner, Mom took me to Friendly's and got me ice cream as a consolation prize. Thanks Ma! (She's so cute.)
On Tuesday, Mom got to be one of the "Bigs" and take Samantha, Jonboy, Rachel and Evan to DC for the day. They went to the Smithsonian and the national monuments.
On Wednesday, Samantha's actual birthday, they went to Betterton Beach, just 8 minutes drive from our house and played in the water all day. Wednesday evening we celebrated Samantha's birthday with a watermelon as a birthday "cake". We also set off fireworks. Are those legal in Maryland? All we did was scare the cows.
This is a firework picture. I'm not a photographer, sorry. Actually a lot of these pictures came from the kids' snapchat stories. Yeah, I'm hip. Down. Lit. Whatever they are saying this week. Gotta stay on their social media, right?
On Thursday, they went to The Beach - Ocean City. Jonboy dipped his toes in the cold Atlantic and they walked the boardwalk and rode the rides. Gavin, their cousin, joined them for the day. Then there was pizza for supper and more rides.
Friday, sadly, was Jonboy's last day and it poured rain. No worries, though, we were headed to Climb Zone in Laurel Maryland on our way to BWI. They climbed for hours - HOURS!
Rachel and Evan scaling Mt. Rushmore.
Charlotte on the doughnuts and JMichael about to climb the mountain.
JMichael and Josephine about halfway up.
Samantha and Jonboy taking a breather mid way.
This place is great fun.
JMichael loved it.
This wall was for racing to the top. Samantha is beating Jonboy.
And coasting down after her victory.
Jonboy, Samantha, Rachel, Evan, JMichael (in front), Josephine and Charlotte. They loved Climb Zone. Highly recommend it.
Charlotte is our cheerleader, shouting encouragement to JMichael.
Josephine, repelling down.
Lots of fun.
The walls go about three stories in the air.
Samantha, on her way down, with style.
There was also a clear wall with grips on both sides so you could climb while starring down your opponent - cause it's always about winning, right?
They all said this actually made it harder 'cause you get laughing at each other.
Evan and Jonboy giving it a try.
They found it easier to climb using the outer wall as a grip. There are no referees at Climb Zone.
JMichael giving it a try with a boy he made friends with.
Charlotte, JMichael, Samantha and Jonathan.
Jonathan looking down from the top.
Josephine and JMichael at the airport watching Jonboy's plane take off.
So glad you came out for Samantha and for her birthday. And for us. Come visit us again really soon.
We put Jonboy back on the plane and sadly headed home. Samantha says being an adult is not always fun. She's just getting started. College begins this fall. Jonboy still lives literally a thousand miles away and she's had so much change. She's strong. She's fierce. And, she's ready. Happy Birthday, Samantha!