Saturday, June 06, 2015

Happy Graduation, Nathan!

 Today we celebrated Nathan's graduation from high school.  Our first graduate!  Nathan wasn't at all interested in the whole gap/gown ceremony deal.  All he really wanted to do was eat ice cream and play games with his friends, like we did at a graduation party we went to last weekend.  We compromised by having a VERY short ceremony where Bob opened in prayer, I said a few brief things about how rewarding it has been to homeschool Nathan all the way through high school, not just because of his academic and athletic accomplishments, but because of his character and relationship with the Lord, and my dad closed in prayer.  Then we took a few pictures with Nathan's diploma, which was freshly minted off the internet.
 Then we opened up the ice cream bar!  Christine had ordered for me 2 3-gallon tubs of ice cream from her frozen food co-op.  It was an amazing bargain--$18 for 6 gallons of ice cream!  So we got a chocolate tub and a vanilla tub, those huge round cardboard ones like you see in an ice cream parlor.  We also had a gallon of mint chocolate chip because . . . well, you really can never have enough ice cream.  We ended up with about half a gallon of vanilla, a gallon of chocolate, and half a gallon of mint chocolate chip left, so we did pretty well, I think!  We ended up with about 75 people, not including out large, ice-cream-loving family.

You can see some of the graduation decorations hanging there and also on the table.  I bought a pack of them from the party store.  I'm putting them away so we can drag them out again in 2 years for Luke.  We should get our money's worth out of that pack of decorations!
 We had tons of toppings too.  To start with, you could choose a brownie square or a banana half to pt in your bowl before the ice cream.  Then we had 6 different flavors of toppings, oreo crumbs, M&Ms, gummi bears, sprinkles, crushed pretzels, sliced strawberries (the kind that are frozen in syrup--yumm!), chopped peanuts, walnuts, and pecans, and whipped cream.  Nathan had said when we were planning this thing that he wanted to be sure to have pretzels, so I bought some from the commissary and put them in a  bowl.  But no--Nathan wanted them crushed into pieces so he could put them on his ice cream.  I had never heard of that, so I tried it, and wow, was that good!  Salty and crunchy in there with the ice cream!  I'm a fan!  Who knew?!
 One thing I did was make this tri-fold board with pictures of Nathan from birth to now.  It was so fun to make!  The older boys were all up Thursday night while I was assembling it, and it was so fun to reminisce about things we did.  I printed off some VT images, and I wrote up some Bible verses on power point.  I figured Jer. 29:11 is always an appropriate graduation verse, and  Nathan has always really liked Josh. 1:9.  I Cor. 16:13-14 are verses I had never really noticed before we studied I Corinthians last year at Bible study.  It was what I ended my little speech with, as our graduation charge to Nathan:  "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be [a man] of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love."

I also made a little scrapbook on snapfish with a lot of the same pictures.  At the end, I left some blank pages for people to write words of wisdom or whatever.  In fact, I hounded people to make sure they didn't leave without signing!  I figured that would be a nice keepsake for later for Nathan.
 We had a really good turnout, and after a week of cold, wet, miserable weather, the Lord was gracious to give us a beautiful day!  The kids spent a lot of time outside.
 The adults spent a lot of time inside! We were visiting, and the chairs were more comfortable, LOL.  Plus, food was easily accessible . . .
 Eventually the older kids came in to play games.  They had a rousing game of Apples to Apples before going outside to play Knock-out.  Then they went off to the field down the walking path to play Speedball, a game I have no clue how to play.  Much fun was had by all, I'm told.
 The younger crowd took advantage of the trampoline, as well as used just about every bike in our well-supplied garage (I think we have at least 10 in there), and also various scooters, skates, tricycles, etc.  We have plenty to go around!
My parents got in Thursday night, to be here for the celebration.  Friday was a really busy day too, so we are looking forward to hopefully some downtime these next few days.  My mom's 70th birthday is Monday, but thanks to Ed and Elizabeth, we managed to surprise her and have a little dinner party before Bible study Friday night at the L's house.  Ed grilled up delicious pork chops, and Elizabeth made pasta, mashed potatoes, steamed green beans, and cinnamon apples.  Since Jonathan's birthday was Tuesday, when she walked in, and we all said "Happy Birthday!", she thought we were talking to him, so she was a bit confused at first!  So funny--she was definitely surprised!  We're so glad they could come for this weekend, and we wish all the rest of our family on both sides could have been here too!

So one graduated . . . 9 more to go.  Only eighteen more years of homeschooling!

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