Blessings from Ohio, Kim<><
We had our dd, Jasper's, graduation open house/ceremony this past Saturday, the 17th and a great time was had by all! After everyone filled up on the fantastic food that our pastor's wife brought in (she caters - convenient, huh?), we had everyone stay at the tables and chairs we had set up outside under our lovely maple trees.
After everyone settled down for our outdoor ceremony, Jasper came out in her cap and gown (thank you, HSLDA!!). As the only thing my dear hubby likes to do behind a microphone is sing, he had me do most of the talking. So, I greeted and welcomed everyone, then I introduced our Pastor, who kicked us off by asking the LORD's gracious blessings upon our ceremony.
Next, I read a list of many of Jasper's accomplishments throughout her K-12 homeschool journey - Poor, little "sheltered and unsocialized" homeschool girl - ONLY 2 pages, single space, worth! (Hopefully, we changed some of the minds of any nay-sayers in the audience!)
We had several surprises in store for Jasper - one was a family of VERY dear friends of ours came in from Michigan JUST for the occasion! And the OTHER was that our Ohio State Representative, the Honorable Diana Fessler, (who's successful campaigns our family has worked on through the years) was sneaked (snuk?) in and gave a fabulous speech and awarded Jasper with a proclamation!! THANK YOU, DIANA!!
Next, my hubby and I read letters to Jasper, these were the same ones that we had read to her at the McCHEO Senior Night. Didn't get through it any better that I did the first time - cried at all the same places! My sweet hubby had a hard time getting through his - you've heard of "hands-on" dads? He's a "hearts-on" daddy! Precious.
After this, Jasper got HER turn and blessed our family, extended family, "adopted" family (very close family friends) and others with thanks and love. Uh-oh, more tears!
After Jasper spoke, I read this:
You recently attended a very large high school graduation. You watched as all those graduates marched up to the podium and received their diplomas. You listened as small pockets of attendees cheered their favorite grad. But in the excitement of the moment, and as a homeschool graduate, here's something that you may not have thought of: even though there were so many graduates, all of those people were not there for one person, each graduate probably only had a hand-full of people cheering for them.
Look around you now, everyone attending your graduation is here especially for you! Everyone here is cheering for you because you have been important and meaningful in their lives and they love you for it. Everyone here is cheering for the person you have become through a godly education given to you by people who love and know you best...not strangers. Everyone here is cheering for the person you will become as you take the life lessons and academics we have imparted to you and live a life that will not only be a blessing to your family and friends, but will bring glory to the LORD.
It is with utmost pleasure and honor that Daddy and I present you with your Homeschool High School diploma. You have earned it and it has been a pleasure to, not only be your parents, but to be your teachers, as well.
[At this point, Ty presented her with her diploma (thanks again HSLDA!) and the whole crowd absolutely ERRUPTED with applause and cheers!!...and tears!!]
I leave you with these words of wisdom and a gift:
Rebekah Anast said, "When you step out into life, you will quickly discover that the tests you have taken no longer matter, but the tools you have acquired mean everything."
As your parents, we want you to REMEMBER that "all the praise and glory of a high school graduation ceremony could never compare to the thunderous applause of GOD or hearing HIS 'well done, good and faithful servant.'" Now, it is up to YOU to remain faithful and to nourish and maintain your relationship with Him. He loves you and you ARE the apple of His eye.
3 John 3 says, "It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth."
With that, I present you with a book of well-wishes, advice and memories from those who know and love you, telling "about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth."
May God bless you always,
Mommy and Daddy<><