Being homeschooled for almost all of her academic life posed the challenge of: how do we do the grad thing for Carlee? Both her brothers attended public school in grade ten so they would both experience the elaborate school grad ceremony. I wanted her graduation to be special, memorable, and reflect who Carlee is as a person. Mission accomplished! …..with tons and tons of help from some amazing people.
The theme was a garden party. We live on 4 acres and one of those acres held our vegetable garden. This particular area on our property is park-like in appearance. I plant several flower baskets every year and we brought all of them down to the party spot. I also borrowed some flower pots from a friend. Carlee’s grandma did the flower arrangements. She did them bursting with color, as well as some wild foxtail to add interest to the bouquet. They were lovely.
The guest list was a mixture of out of town family (Grandma and Papa, Aunt Linda and cousin Matthais) as well as some local friends and out of town friends. Many of the kids who attended were homeschooled and some of them came from afar. Carlee also invited one of her teachers and the principal of our local high school (they are married). Carlee took a couple of courses at the school in her grade twelve year which was a very positive experience for her.
The ceremony itself was lovely. Jonah, (Carlee’s younger brother) did a great job as the Master of Ceromonies.
After a wonderful dinner, the evening consisted of speeches, poems, songs and award presentations. I believe Carlee was very blessed and a tad bit overwhelmed with all the wonderful words spoken about her.
After the dinner and ceremony, we had a slide show (created by Carlee’s friend Jenessa) which we played in the top of our barn which was set up like a theatre. It was a tribute to Carlee’s life and very well done.
click on link to see the slide show: (you may have to cut and paste into your browser)
After the celebration was the “party after the party party”. The kids had an treasure hunt (created by Carlee’s brother, Maxx…I think it spanned a few kilometers!) We trusted this amazing group of kids to a camp out on our property with a fire, songs, food and drinks (of the non-alcoholic nature…special drinks though which I collected over the weeks before).
The next morning we all went to church. Yes….truly amazing we ALL made it for 10:00! Maxx did the worship (music) and Carlee did the message. She did a presentation on her Mexico Global Citizenship Program missions trip. What a trooper! On about 4 hours sleep she gave us an amazing overview of her trip and shared what God had shown her during this experience. It was truly powerful and inspiring. Here is the link to a video she showed at the end of her talk about the trip:
That afternoon we rented two campsites at Cameron Lake, about twenty minutes outside of town. We packed up the leftovers from the grad ceremony, added some hotdogs, drinks, kayaks, games and invited friends who all contributed to a very fun day.
Overall, the weekend was as perfect as I could have imagined it. Actually, it was even better than I could have asked for. God brought the people, the weather and lots of joy. My heart is full and truly thankful to everyone who played a part in our special memory!