Saturday, May 07, 2022

Allie's Great Idea (Graduation)

 We've celebrated graduation in a variety of ways in our 33 years of homeschooling. We've had formal graduations with co-ops in Alaska and Texas. We've rented a community center and had a BBQ with a private ceremony. We've celebrated at castles in Japan, Dairy Queen with friends, movie theater with family and we even had one who chose to do nothing ceremonial at all - 2020. 

Allie is finished with her high school career. She did not want to participate in our charter school's graduation. As we talked, she came up with an idea which was uniquely Allie and would be special enough to mark the milestone well. She wanted a trail ride. She wanted to invite all the Gherkins and she wanted it at Victory Bible Camp, a camp about an hour away from here.  *I* wanted a cap and gown - but couldn't find it when I went to look for it. I am still not completely sure one of the kids didn't give it away.  

We called the camp and asked if we could possibly do this. They agreed. They could only take 8 riders and we had more than 8. They scheduled two rides. They also arranged a pony ride for Benny who was under 8 and not allowed on the ride.  We asked if we could picnic on the grounds and they said the ranch camp was ours to use. We were able to get this Saturday in May as we specifically wanted to wait for Jared and Larissa to be moved back to the area. 

JaRissa, Jamin and Cory had a bit of trouble finding the ranch camp, but eventually we were all in the right place.  First the safety briefing. 

Jared opted to sign a waiver and not wear a helmet.

Everyone else began the process of finding a helmet. 

Something was "off" with Jamin's helmet. Once he saw the egg helmet, he opted for another helmet. 

Once all were helmeted, they matched each rider with a horse and everyone mounted. The horses milled around eating. 

Luke and kids didn't want to ride, but Luke was happy to meet the horse Krista would ride. 



We found it quite funny when Stacia's horse was not to content to graze straw from the floor...she knew right where to find the good stuff. LOL 

Allie, Livie and Krista

Josiah (Cy) 

They're off! Josiah and Allie were in the lead. Check out the happy expressions! 

Livie! She did great! 

Stacia, Larissa, Jared, Jamin...

Larissa and Jared


Dad thought about riding, we vetoed the plan and he was really simply teasing us. We enjoyed time to relax outside on the beautiful day. We didn't give Dad an option to skip this outing and I think it was good for him to get out and explore. He often simply doesn't want to go out. 

Besides Michael and Dad, Luke, his 2 kids, Cory, Benny and I stayed behind. 
Last snowball fight of the year? 


In the end they added a horse to the first trail ride and everyone went at once.  Everyone had a great time. We told Allie she was officially graduated and she pantomimed flipping the tassel when they rode back into the lot. People laughed, and cheered, and just a couple of tears were shed. 

Finally, the moment Benny had been waiting for all day. Arielle was sick and she and Danny stayed home. Cory said he tried to talk Benny into staying home to take care of Mama and Benny said, "I have MY OPTIONS."  Cowboy Ben helps Benny get his helmet on. 

Benny listened carefully to the instructions, and though he had a moment when his eyes showed he may be a bit uncertain, he courageously jumped up on the horse when he was told to jump and had a great time.  

Luke and kids in the background, Benny on his horse.

Next on the agenda was a picnic over at the camp. They told us to enjoy the teeter totter. It was a bit muddy, but that didn't stop the fun. 
Cy and Livie discovered the teeter totter early on 

Doesn't it look like Jared is spinning a tale the girls aren't quite buying? 

Everyone worked hard to get Cy off the ground 📷by Carrie

The above photo was taken about the time Benny enlisted help for everyone to get this "giant, big man" off the ground. LOL 

Krista and kids

Look at that mud! 

Boots rule! 📷by Carrie

Cory, Liv, Benny, Uncle Jared
📷by Carrie or Larissa

Carrie and Josiah 📷by Carrie

Stacia, Allie, Larissa, Carrie 📷by Carrie

📷by Carrie

📷by Carrie

📷by Carrie

Livie - 8 years old 📷by Larissa

Michael and Jamin 

Jared and I 📷by Larissa

The weather forecast called for 60% chance of rain. It was a gorgeous day. We got a bit of rain on the way home. This was a great outing....many of us had memories of past camps, retreats and events at Victory. We were able to make a giant, new, family memory together. 

Allie had a great idea! 

Click here to read Part 2 of our celebrations.