sweet weekend

What a fun weekend we had celebrating Jared’s graduation! The homeschool ceremony on Saturday was lovely. This year there were 54 kids involved. There were the usual caps and gowns, the usual crowd of proud families and yelling friends, with the occasional air horn tossed in for maximal impact on ear-drums.

The diploma presentation was personalized by a couple of touches that I haven’t seen at big graduations. First of all, there was a paragraph about each graduate written in the program, which gave you a feel for each young person’s interests and plans even if you didn’t know them. It also made it abundantly clear that home-schooled kids don’t just spend their lives sitting at home!  Then as each student walked across the stage to receive their diploma, a tribute was read that had been written by their parents ahead of time.

A couple of Jared’s good friends were also graduating in this group, so I had plenty of reasons to play photographer.  My new Mother’s Day camera lens (an 85mm 1.8)  did a good job getting me close to the action and maximized the available light. Yay!

Sunday was more jam-packed than Saturday.  There was a reception at church after the service to honor Jared.  Mid-afternoon we attended an open house  for Jared’s friend Allie.  Then we went home and cooked like mad for Jared’s open house.   It was fun, but busy.   I enlisted every set of hands we had, and we got done just in time for the first guests.

Here’s a picture of some of the food.  I forget to get a picture of the dessert.  Good thing there was lots of everything because we ended up having 75 people there, coming and going, with kids running amok and people all over the house and yard.  It had been dumping rain the day before for the graduation ceremony.  But thankfully the rain held off during the party, because I doubt we’d have fit that many people comfortably in the house!

Cars lined the road in front of our house.  The sliding glass door stood wide open, to pull a breeze into the warm house and better facilitate repeat trips to the buffet line.  I wandered around trying to chat with everyone, and peeking at Jared now and then, pleased that he was obviously enjoying himself.  Important discussions were held about the heat value of the bacon jalapenos with multiple people. (The consensus:  most were only moderately warm, but a few were real attention-getters.)

The kids were in bliss, thundering around playing Nerf with dozens of their nearest and dearest friends.  Eventually evening slipped away and people began to trickle away to get little children home to bed.  Conversations got quieter and the house cooled off a bit.   (Funny how 25 people in a house can feel quiet….)  Jared sat down and opened a big package from Grandma, which contained a lovely handmade quilt in a bright ‘puzzle’ motif.  He loved it, and it will be really fun for his dorm room when he goes off to college in the fall.

It was nearing bedtime.  Light was fading, and the sliding glass door was closed now, to keep out the cool night air.  We were all winding down, especially those of us who’d crammed several parties into one day.  But we weren’t quite ready to call the day done.  Allie’s dad Matt, who is the music minister at a local church, asked for a guitar and one was brought to him.  Allie came and sat beside him, and they started to sing for us.  Lively worship songs and quieter ones and silly campfire songs.

The kids trailed into the living room smiling and found places to sit down and listen.  Music plays nearly every hour of the day at our house, but it isn’t often live guitar and two part harmony.  My 15-year old toted his entire drum set down the stairs, thrilled to keep time to something lively.

Soon a bunch of us were singing along.  We didn’t know all the same songs, but we found lots of common ground. We were smiling.  Clapping.  Singing or humming or just listening as Allie and her dad sang loud and soft and silly and worshipful and everything in between.   It was the wonderful Spirit-led, blessed thing, hard even to describe with words.

Kids begged for songs.   Sometimes we had guitar chords to go with them, sometimes we didn’t, but Matt gamely picked out chords, and played.  And we sang.

I clutched the memory close to my heart, knowing that this was something special, not wanting it to slip away. Finally sometime around 10:30 we admitted it really was bedtime, and reluctantly saw our last guests out the door.

Lovely.  It was an exceptionally lovely weekend.

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  1. Bethany says:

    What a wonderful update! Love all those smiles in the pictures! Beautiful!

  2. Looks like a wonderful time. Congratulations to your son for all his heard work!

    Did you make the quilt? I would like to know where you got the pattern, I love it!


  3. Awesome, so many milestones, congrats to him! The food looks great too. 🙂

  4. I loved this update Mary, thank you. I am a long time reader who has never commented but I was so blessed by your description of the evening. As a mom who is just starting our homeschooling venture, it is exciting to see success stories!

  5. What fantastic memories!

  6. Allie’s dad Matt says:

    It was a great time. Thanks for allowing my family to be a part of the festivities.


  7. Tiffany says:

    I know you homeschool but are you a part of a co op that puts on a graduation? I am interested to know how you homeschooled your high schoolers. I know you are very busy, but it might be an interesting post for other homeschoolers who are approaching those years. Thank you so much for your wisdom and godly insight in various areas of family life. It is a joy to read your blog.

  8. What a lovely description of a spirit filled weekend. All of us are so blessed by the people around us and it is nice to give thanks and share those special occasions together. I often grumble about the amount of work that falls on my shoulders when we have those events at our house but they truly are a blessing and thanks for reminding us!

  9. Christine D. says:

    Hooray for a lovely day! Congratulations Jared and well done family encouragers!

  10. Sounds wonderful indeed! =)

  11. what a wonderful graduation memory. what fun! and live music? what better? congratulations to your son jared!

  12. Oh Mary, I’m happy for you as much as your son that you had such a great event.