Friday, May 15, 2015

Arielle's Graduation

Homeschoolers  are naturally a bit independent, opinionated, sure of  convictions and tend to think outside the box. It's only natural this tendency would spill over to graduation plans.
The 6th Graduate from Meadow Creek Academy of Excellence

We've enjoyed the gamut of Graduation Celebrations over the years. Bre (1st) had a full up "normal" graduation with a co-op in Eagle River, AK. Remembering her singing "Everything to Me" by Avalon at that graduation can still move this mommy heart to tears.  This graduation had very little "unique" points or parent involvement; but it was big and well-run.  Krista (2nd) opted not to join with the co-op for graduation. Instead we had a celebration in a community center. Friends and family gathered, we had dinner, a diploma, cap and gown, speeches, worship and it was great fun. Krista encouraged us when she shared her learning disability and how the family had helped her conquer. Josiah (3rd) graduated with a the local co-op in San Angelo, TX. It was also a "normal" graduation - with slide shows, displays, parents giving diplomas and speeches - etc. The highlight of THIS graduation occurred the night before - the girls showed up at the rehearsal and all of us were able to be together to celebrate. Jamin (4th) also graduated in San Angelo, with the local co-op. Another wonderful experience. We left San Angelo days after graduation and headed for Japan.  Jared (5th) didn't want a party or a ceremony. He joined with the kids from Edgren High School in Misawa for the baccalaureate hosted annually at the chapel. I remember Michael encouraging the kids at that event that everyone will talk about success during this season - but the key to success is how you handle failure - and we'll all have a bit in our life.  His "ceremony" was at Hirosaki castle. He walked across a favorite bridge in cap and gown and flipped the tassel as he stepped off the bridge....and had his photo taken with lots of Japanese students and tourists.  While this wasn't the "typical" graduation - it fit Jared. We've told the kids they can have what they want. And now we're ready to graduate our 6th - Arielle. Yes, that is ODD. We are beginning to face the fact that we will not always have little kids in our nest.

Our local co-op has a rule  you must be a member for two years to graduate with them. We've only lived in CA about 1.5 years. We were told there are no military exceptions....I am quite sure I could have pushed but really Arielle decided she didn't want to force her way in. We planed a simple ceremony, dinner, slide show etc at the chapel with friends and chapel family. About two weeks ago she asked if she could change her mind. It is HER graduation. She wanted to have a simple dinner with family in TX.  Today was THE DAY. Upon further investigation we discovered she wanted to go to Dairy Queen and have a Reese's Blizzard - that's IT. Um.....we all went to dinner anyway. The photo is truly terrible; so I won't share it.

After dinner we met up with the Armstrong family (who are family friends - Deja is a sister friend so they made Arielle's cut). We took over Dairy Queen.  It was unique - fun - casual and perfectly fits Arielle. I worried she would be sad Emma is in Moscow - and she was - but it was really fun to have the time to celebrate together. Deja will text Emma photos.

To make the day PERFECT - Arielle received a phone call alerting her to the fact that she has been accepted to New Hope Christian College.

Note- photo and posts from each of the other graduations can be found by searching (top left box) for "child's name graduation."
She fell asleep waiting for everyone - we couldn't resist
There had been that bad storm the night before - little sleep

De'Etta & Deja - Sister Friends

Feeding Frenzy at the DQ pick up window

Michael and Doug  catching up

Zander's choice - my splurge

The kids played games while we talked

Zander & Eric

Ellie  & Arielle

Elisha - the first baby Stacia ever held!

Ellie & Stacia have been friends for years 
I didn't seem to catch a photo of Egan. How could THAT happen.....and because we miss Emma and it wouldn't be the same without a photo of's Emma....she had the audacity to go to Moscow instead of attending the DQ Graduation. ::snort::  We're proud of you Emma.
Chasing her dream at the Bolshoi Academy of Ballet

Fun, Family and Errands

Our day was fun and filled with errands. Yes, you read that right. Jared had a board of regent meeting in Lubbock.

Josiah and Jamin joined us later in the a.m. and we went to an RV store. We needed some parts.....and we also looked at a few true RV's - the motorized kinds. 

Jamin had some graduation errands to run in the a.m.

We picked up "the cake" for Jamin.

We came home, did some repairs, had lunch, played and visited and then celebrated Arielle's graduation - but that deserves it's own blog post.
Fixing a door latch

Reliving San Angelo Memories

Michael "went crazy" and bombarded him and he wasn't sure what to do

Graduating with his Master's tomorrow

Jamin's cute house

Storms and Friendships

Whew. We love storms. Storms in the Caboose adds a new dimension to storm watching.  We were up quite a bit last night with a fantastic thunder-lightening-rain-gusts to 45 mph wind-storm.

We discovered a wind storm in a trailer feels a bit like an Earthquake in Misawa - and this was traumatic for some.

I had an early morning planned. Determined to get "one on one" time, Deja came out to the lake early so we could "walk." Just as we made it to the lake it began raining - again. We decided to sit in her car and catch up. Friends of the heart can be rare and when you make one like this - it's worth driving 8 days to sit in a car at 0630 and catch up.  Our early morning "work out" is going to be one of the many highpoints of this trip. Thanks, Deja.

Note - my fit bit time zone has not been updated as I don't have reliable wifi here - therefore, I was a tad bit late - though I thought I'd woke early. LOL