“Congratulations on your Graduations!”

Each year, the months of May and June seem to fill up with graduation parties.

I look forward to the different celebrations of this milestone and it’s certainly one of my favorite kinds of parties.  (I don’t know why I just said that because I love any kind of party!)

This year I had a slightly new perspective, being a graduate myself.  It’s kind of like … when you know something is going to happen and you keep expecting it, but then when it does happen, it hits you right between the eyes with a huge “BAM” or “WOWZA” and catches you off guard.
This was quite a “WOWZA, HOWZA?!?!” event for me.  (Please pardon the butchering of the English language that just occurred.  I assure you, I did graduate having met all parental and state requirements.)

Three years ago, I watched as my two older brothers walked on the stage as homeschoolers, and then walked back off as official high school graduates with fancy diplomas to prove it.
In keeping with tradition, Elise and I registered to graduate with the same HEAV Graduation Ceremony.
Mom drove us up to Richmond on a Friday morning.  The rest of the day was spent perusing books and products in the exhibit hall, meeting up with various friends and enjoying encouraging conversations, attending graduation related events and having a fancy dinner out with Mom and Nan.  So many wonderful memories!
Saturday morning found us up at an early hour, getting together our formal outfits, ironing the graduation gowns and hurrying to check in at the convention.  Then, we had a few spare hours to walk around and visit some more friends before heading upstairs to run through the practice ceremony.
It’s funny … everything after that was a blur; getting into our gowns along with the other graduates (there were 200 home school graduates from the states of VA, NC and MD), fixing our caps one last time and then filing into the auditorium that was crowded with people cheering and clapping and epic music playing in the background. (Seriously! The music had me crying it was just so lovely! Or maybe I was just sleep deprived :/ )
If you are a graduate, forgive me for saying this, but I do believe I was blessed with the best and most qualified commencement speaker, Steve Scheibner.  I was in tears as I realized the brevity of this life and how merciful and gracious God is! Please, please check out his YouTube video here.  Watching it will be the most productive 15 minutes of your day!
We were also blessed to have our friends the Neely Team share special music for the ceremony.  What a sweet, musically inspiring and God-honoring family!  If you haven’t checked them out, click here.

Okay.  Enough commercialism.  (Not really.  Just lots of links.) On to the graduation story!
Where was I …. ?

Oh yes.
I was so grateful to be graduating with Elise.  We were asked so many times over that weekend, “Wait, you two are graduating together? Are you twins??”  We would look at each other, smile and answer in sync “No, we’re not.”  Sister perks ;) In case you wondered the same thing, here’s the reason.  Once we reach a higher grade, Mom prefers homeschooling us in sets of two.  That gives us a work buddy for those dreaded highschool assignments and it gives her a break, condensing everything from 10 grades down to 6-7.  Smart, yes? :)

The rest of the weekend was another blur.  I felt like I was going 110 miles per hour, even down to the trip home when we got lost, ran out of gas, passed our destination, couldn’t find an open hotel or restaurant.  My stomach couldn’t let me forget that one.
Finally home, we had one week to prepare for our graduation party here at our house.
And WHAT A PARTY!!
Thank you to everyone who came out and helped us have a fabulous day!  I’m sorry not sorry you had to play volleyball in the rain ;)   What funny memories that made!

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 and photos from our time in Richmond:

 

Praising the Lord for the work He has done and will continue to do in our lives! Here’s to ….

Blooming where I’m planted,
Adventuring lots
and
being bananas for Jesus!

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A Sunday Picnic

What to do on a quiet Sunday afternoon when mom and dad are out of town and there’s ten kids to feed and keep busy? 

Did I hear someone mention a picnic? I thought so! You, my friend, echo our thoughts precisely.  We are the picnicking type of folks who make sandwiches and lemonade, grab a ball or two and head off.  Oh, and sometimes we remember our shoes, too. ;) 

We eat and then frolick.  A game or two of low key football or volleyball, some gymnastic stunts off benches or poles.  A jammed thumb here, an almost positively broken toe there … Yes, sometimes we have those adventures too!  We burn calories, and then we put them right back on with dessert afterwards. (And burn them again later … The cycle never ends).  We laugh, talk, compare bruises and wind blown hair. We adventure and thank God for the blessing of family and siblings and Jesus. 

  
  
  
  
  

  
  

  
  
  
  
  

5 Girls go to “5 Guys”

What a joy it was to have Ninnie, moms mother, with us for a week and a half!  

Thank you for taking us out to lunch, Nan. We thoroughly enjoyed our first time at Five Guys and the shopping spree afterwards. 

Note: Five Guys has aaaamazing burgers!! 

   
    
   

Bluegrass Hoe-down

Really, how does one tell the story of their life inspirations?? I shall have to figure this out as I go along I suppose …. Yesterday morning, Elijah, Elise and I went to town to pick up party supplies. Streamers, signs, and all the chebang. We also ran by the bank, cashed several checks, and then went to Tractor Supply. Afterwards, we were supposed to swing by walmart.

Then, Elijah turned down another street instead. Elise and I immediatly asked, “Where are we going?”

He kind of smirks, and goes, “Well. I want to see if any band tickets are left.”

Of course ….. QUESTIONS> What band? Where? Why? Music Style? When? How? Could … Should … Would … ??

Turns out, Faith Grubb had met a bluegrass band not too long before down in Texas and found out that they lived but 15 minutes from us!!! 15!!!!!!!!!! So she contacted us and told us to look at their schedule and see when they would be playing near us. Well, Elijah DID check right away and found out that they were going to be playing at our local harvester performance center, 7 minutes away to be exact :) {well… Depends on who drives ;P }

ANYHOW. Elise and I were keen on going, so Elijah parked and then went inside to see if they had any tickets left. He came back out, smirking, so I knew that it had to be good news. While in there, he had bought 4 tickets for us all to go – we paid him back – and then we whisked home. …. goodbye walmart …. WE HAD TICKETS> REALLY!! What else mattered??

It was such an enjoyable evening. We had some trouble getting out of the house – you farmers know, milking and rain problems – but as I sat in my seat and listened to my hometown music, my heart couldn’t remember any of that – it was soaring up by the ceiling! I wanted nothing more than to leap {gracefully, yes} out of my seat and dance the evening away.  Such loveliness!!


And for your enjoyment, I uploaded a couple of videos.  There’s more to go, so if I happen to get that done one of these days, I’ll share those as well.  For now, enjoy!!

If I may, I shall ask pardon for how crazy this blog post is.  I am still all-of-a-flutter over how lovely this evening was and thus, my story is at times incoherent.  <3