Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Graduations Galore!

‘Tis graduation season and this year we are saturated with them!  Last week I found a cheap flight to AZ to see our darling Claire graduate from “Flips” her amazing gymnastics class. What this cutie can do with her body, which is actually comes from controlling her mind (and a lot of practice) is astonishing! She was fabulous!


Does she just shine line a star or what?  I don’t think I’m a bit prejudiced on this girl!


Glad for this guardian angel behind her…


To give you an idea of the scope of this program, this was the third show with mostly all different kids in each program. Gymnastics is enormous in AZ!


Not only did she shine, she sparkled!


The great supporter Josh is always there! That was such a fun family event!


The next night was Elle’s Baccalaureate which was pretty incredible! This school specializes in the arts and I was blown away by the quality of their high school orchestra and choir. It would rival a professional symphony orchestra and university choir!


They actually had a concert before the graduates arrived. It was just incredible!  With 770 graduates we had to wondering how they could possibly get the crowd in the high school auditorium that holds about 1700. The answer was, they didn’t. There were at least 300 people standing in the back. I think even they would agree that it was worth it though. The program was outstanding with superb music and terrific speeches. The teacher the kids elected to be their faculty speaker kept everyone laughing pretty much the whole time!  

The choir and orchestra performed our family favorite, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Mac Wilberg’s arrangement and really did it justice, which is saying a LOT! The guys are on the other side of the room so it was kind of surround sound!


Elle (second blond from the right) just happened to be seated right across the aisle from us!


To say this girl has a lot of friends is kind of an understatement. Here’s just a glimpse of a few!She’s the beautiful blonde in the back on the far right.


Could there be two more beautiful girls….inside as well as out?


Here’s a bunch with their terrific parents!


And here is one deeply dedicated, deliberate mom who is dreading the departure of her darling daughter!


A few hours later was Seminary Graduation which is always a highlight of the senior season. About 150 great kids from their stake (there are many stakes represented in the high school) had completed four years of religious education. There are so many Mormons in their High School that they get released time during the school day to attend Seminary which is such a great preparation for life!


Love this one!  It was a lovely night!


The following morning we were off to yet another graduation. This time….Claire was graduating from the 6th grade. She has been attending that terrific little school since she was in kindergarten. We had fun watching the final school assembly when the 3rd graders (Lucy’s age), who have been sitting cross-legged on the floor for school assemblies for four years, get to move to the bleachers. Those little kids were over the moon! We surprised Lucy and she was thrilled to see Grandfather in her face!


That room was packed to the hilt, wall to wall with excited kids!


After the assembly the sixth graders run up and down the school halls and give high fives to each little hand being held out to say goodbye and wish them luck as they leave elementary school and prepare to enter Junior High. Such a cute sight!

Such a cute bunch of darling kids ready to move on!

On to High School graduation night!
To please her mother, Elle donned her mom’s high school graduation dress! Although Shawni often made her own prom dresses, this one was made by our dear Grandma Ruthie (Rick’s mom) all those years ago. How cute does she look in her mom’s dress? She didn’t go as far as actually wearing it to
graduation but she looked so much like her mom (except for the hair color).

Model material:

Since Elle will be attending BYU Hawaii, Shawni helped me to find a lady who made a beautiful Hawaiian Lei which we showed her before she left (too hot to wear during the ceremony).


Graduation was da ja vu! We were sitting in that very stadium last year at this same time watching Max sitting on that football field and walking through that line to get his diploma. And now there was Elle along with 770 other graduates as we cheered her on!
Shawni and her friends went down and saved some seats for us at 2 p.m. for a 7 pm. start Smile

As you can see, Lucy was completely enthralled with the whole thing!
What a night to remember!

After all the hoopla Elle came home before she left for the graduation parties and Shawni and Dave gave her their graduation gift….this fun blanket made out of all her old T shirts. Each one evoked a great memory from the past!


I think she loved it!


It will be a comfort and a great memory jerker her for the rest of her life!
So for us, it’s two High School graduations down and twenty six to go! Life is good!


Anonymous said...

I think it's tacky of you to post Elle's graduation pictures before Shawni did.

Linda said...

FYI Maria: Two days after Elle's graduation, Shawni, Dave and Grace left for trek which means that they had to prepare to be in the wilderness for three days. Two days after they got home, the whole family left for Europe for three weeks. Shawni air dropped me pictures before she left, knowing that I would post them while she was gone. She'll have a lot to post about when she gets home, including her own take on Elle's graduation.

Julie said...

I thought it was lovely of you to share the graduation pix, especially when Shawni is so busy at the moment.x

Is Shawni & her family in the UK at the moment? I wish I could meet them.

By the way, what does air dropped mean?

tessa said...

What a blessed mother and grandmother you are. Thoroughly enjoyed the recap and Shawni's as well. Thanks for sharing. I know it's not always easy putting yourself out there when others criticize. Admire your family so for letting your lights shine!

Unknown said...

Thank you for the update! I knew Shawni and her family must be on some great adventure since hasn't updated in a couple of weeks! Simply marvelous!

Shawni said...

Love you forever mother dear. And SO grateful you could be with us for such momentous things in the desert. Can't wait to see you tomorrow!