Yes, Ella is now sixteen years old. Her dad picked her up after school and took her to get her learner's permit, she got cards from great-aunts and great-grandmas, books and gift cards from grandparents, and had her friends over to smash a piñata and watch The Breakfast Club.
A sign of her growing maturity is that instead of the lemon cake she's requested for the last however many years, she instead wanted The Chocolate Cake (recipe from Michael's grandmother, via his mom). Just one in a bunch of good decisions she seems to be making lately. I'm sure she'll do something irresponsible soon, because, well, she is sixteen, but hey, right now she's mostly fun and interesting to have around. p