Emily’s High School Graduation

So, Emily graduated from high school last week. In fact, we’ve been spending the last few weeks trying to get ready for the big day. I was able to post everything on Facebook and twitter, but somehow totally forgot about creating a blog post about graduation.

The day started out with a special recognition for students with academic honors at the Senior Recognition Ceremony.

All of Linda’s family arrived, but mine were unable to come due to my mother’s health.  The weather in the evening was gorgeous and much more pleasant than the cool weather that occur during Anna’s graduation last year. We gathered for pictures in the backyard.

SONY DSCAfter the graduation, many of the graduates attended and after– graduation party at PowerPlay (a grownup Chucky Cheese). Linda was one of the parents that helped organize this after party and we worked a shift until 3 AM. In fact, I even ran the bumper cars for a while. It was a long evening, but totally worth it.

Finally, this was us as we got home at about 4:00am.

A party was held just 3 days later – with a large number of people stopping by to congratulate Emily on her accomplishment. Unfortunately, it was raining and we were unable to enjoy the backyard and all of the work that Linda has done over the past 6 weeks (and more). However, we were able to keep everyone indoors without any horrible overcrowding . Food was plentiful and drinks flowed.

Here is the video that was on a continuous loop in the living room – a lifetime of Emily (created by Linda).

Emily’s Senior Pacesetters Banquet & Speech

Emily enjoyed her last evening as a member of Pacesetters the other night. The annual end-of-year banquet was held and honored all of the team members, but especially the seniors. Each senior gave a small speech – some of them actually completing the task without crying.

It was good to be there to help acknowledge her great accomplishment of being on the dance team for all four years of high school (JV as a freshman and then varsity the other 3 years).

Congratulations, Emily.

Here’s Emily’s short speech; we were sitting directly under a loud air conditioner vent in the lobby outside the gym. The audio has been cleaned up as much as possible.

Finally, here are some fantastic pictures of the Pacesetters team:

Emily’s Last High School Band Concert

Emily had her last high school band concert the other night. It’s been amazing listening to her grow in her talent of playing flute over the past 8 years. She was among those few recognized as a State Band participant and also received several awards for her work that she does with the different bands.

Despite being a wonderfully talented flutist, she has been stuck playing in the Freshman Band through all 4 years of school. Her dance team, Pacesetters, is scheduled at the same time as the upper level Symphonic Band (in which she would’ve been placed). She made the decision 4 years ago that she’d rather play in the Freshman Band so that she could keep up with her love of dancing.

In the role of upperclassman in a younger band, she has often assisted with sectionals and playing tests. There are times, it seems, that she sometimes functioned as a student teacher, albeit unofficially. This past year, she also played in the Concert Band (the next level up) – being allowed to do so by just coming and sitting in and practically sight-reading. She’s quite a talented young gal.

Enjoy a short piece, played by the Concert Band – John Phillip Sousa’s “Semper Fidelis”. You’ll see Emily and her section stand up to play at about the 1:35 mark.

Finally, here are some pictures of Emily among the other award winners and also being presented a rose by fellow senior, Jonas. All of the senior women were acknowledged and presented a rose by one of the guys.

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Bumper Sticker Hatred

I’m not sure what it is about people in our community that find it acceptable to take bumper stickers off someone else’s car. In fact, Linda and both of the girls have had several bumper stickers removed over the past 6 months. 

Granted, the bumper stickers were political. Both of the girls lost stickers that said “#HillYes” back during the presidential elections. These stickers were removed from their respective parking lots at school. Linda has lost a few stickers, the most recent being a sticker that said “Facts Matter”. 

To the person that felt compelled to vandalize our vehicle:

Really? A sticker that says “Facts Matter” is so inflammatory that you feel righteous enough to remove the sticker from property that does not belong to you? The car is always parked in a garage when it is at home, so the only you could sit and peel this sticker off is out in public in a public parking lot – with other people walking around and watching you. How brazen and bold you are to steal something off of someone else’s vehicle. Next time, keep your thoughts to yourself – and more importantly, keep your fingers off of our car. 

I was a bit ashamed when Hillary Clinton used the term last year, but your actions have shown that you, my friend, have proven yourself to be “deplorable”. Frankly, your actions continue to feed a stereotype of the redneck bubba that won’t allow anyone else to express their own opinion. Now that I think about it, you’re probably the one that drove by flipping us the middle finger while we stood in a protest line, supporting the rights of all Americans. Yep, your true colors are showing…

By the way, bumper stickers aren’t too expensive; we’ve learned to buy several at a time. Rip it off, we’ll just put another one on.