Click on the images below to see more pictures of a specific event...Enjoy!

Family Graduation Party
What I initially thought was a generous invitation to supper at Matt and Michelle's house, ended up being a full-blown family graduation party, complete with flowers, grad balloons, wonderful food and a specially decorated ice cream cake. Yum! Then there were thoughtful gifts to open, the last of which was a huge surprise. Sarah and Michelle had put together an amazing DVD for me with congratulatory messages from 72 of my family and friends from all over the country!! I was blown away and still can't believe all the work and sleuthing involved. I felt blessed and loved.

And there was an added bonus. Because we were running so late to the consecration service after watching the DVD, I was able to sit on the back row of the graduates and my family was able to sit right behind me and share the experience.

Church & Family Time
We ended up having to use the church basement as an alternate lineup for the baccalaureate service since it was so cold outside. Once again I lucked out being at the end of the line outside because that meant I was at the beginning of the line inside (: Helped that I was on the front row to slip out and join the choir. My goal was to fully experience the weekend therefore I had joined the hastily assembled baccalaureate choir the previous evening. Bill Knott, associate editor of the Adventist Review, was the speaker and his message was particularly interesting and inspiring. Then it was off to enjoy a scrumptious meal at home with Grandma’s cooking and the company of family. Wonderful to have some time to just sit and chat with Jim, Heather, Mom, Martin and Sarah.

My Birthday
Party time again! As luck would have it, my 49th birthday came in the middle of the weekend. My brother Les, Joni and Gordon arrived from Port Huron just in time for the celebration and once again I was gifted with many wonderful things. Books, money (always appreciated!), gift certificates for Lowes and Pier I, and most importantly, the love of my family. After the delicious meal, complete with birthday cake baked by Mom, most of us headed back to campus for the vespers service. I was able to give each of those who came a flower, as a small symbol of appreciation for all their love and support in helping me to reach my goal.

Graduation Day!
Started the day with brunch of waffles and fruit, we took some family group shots in the sunroom and then headed off to the church. I was supposed to be interviewed by a reporter from a local newspaper and after freezing in the cold for about 10 minutes she showed up. A couple questions later I was posing with a fellow graduate and she noticed that I didn’t have my honors cords on. So we “borrowed” some from nearby grads and I called Matt & Michelle who fortunately were just getting ready to leave and could pick them up on their way. This is just a small example of how surreal everything seemed to me at that point.

After waiting outside for more than half an hour, slowly freezing all the while (it was VERY cold), we marched in and slowly thawed throughout the two-hour service! Fortunately, I didn’t trip as I walked across the platform to receive my diploma, even though I did drop my name card just before I had to hand it over. Sarah was waiting at the other end of the stage stairs to snap the crazy grin picture. By the time we marched out to the mall the sun was peeking through and we got some good pictures with the whole family. It was so wonderful to have them all there.

Open House
Invitations were sent far and wide, and from 4-6 pm our house at 9937 Garr Road was full of visiting well-wishers. Michelle and Sarah had gone all out to plan a wonderful celebration. As you’ll notice from the sumptuous spread, everyone was well fed and enjoyed visiting with each other. They had borrowed an old school desk from the AU custodial department and invited visitors to sit down and sign my 2004 yearbook. A photo display handcrafted by Matt was set up in the sunroom. It depicted slices of my life from birth until now and proved to be an entertaining talking piece for many. After the guests finally cleared out around 7 pm, Emma and I opened all the gifts that had been generously given. Every detail was perfect and I will never forget it.