25 May 2014

Graduations galore

May is a time for graduations. And our family has been looking forward to two very special graduations this year.

First up was Chris. For the past three and a half years, Chris has been going to school part time to finish his undergraduate degree. He found a wonderful distance program through Cincinnati Christian University. After applying his previous undergrad experience, Chris took several classes at a nearby local church and several more classes online.

I was so impressed with how dedicated Chris was to this endeavor. For the past 15-plus years, he never gave up on his desire to finish his degree. When he decided to return to school, he was working a busy full-time job while being a full-time husband and daddy and what I consider a full-time referee. But he still found time to do all of his schoolwork. And he did it so well that he graduated summa cum laude. As his official classwork reviewer, I can attest to the high level of his work.

Last weekend, Chris, Avery, our parents, my sister and I traveled to Cincinnati to witness Chris' graduation.

Those beautiful gold cords represent Chris' summa cum laude honors. As we read the ceremony program, we discovered that Chris also received a special award from the business department, the only graduate to receive such an honor.

Here is Chris' moment of glory.

That big smile shows just how ecstatic Chris was to be an official graduate.

Avery did great sitting thought the two-hour ceremony plus the 45 minutes we were in our seats before the ceremony started. But by the end, she just wanted to see Daddy...and be in every picture with him.

I couldn't be prouder of this incredible man!

But Chris wasn't the only spring graduate in our family. This past Thursday, Avery graduated from preschool.

Take a look at the pictures we took on her first day of preschool. She has really grown up this year...in more ways than one.

My friend Nancy, the preschool director, had warned me about the emotions surrounding seeing Avery in her cap and gown. That didn't prepare me for the tears I ended up shedding! She was so proud of herself, and she looked like such a big girl. I don't know if I cried more at Chris' graduation or Avery's!

Each class sang two songs, complete with motions, and recited two Bible verses, also with motions.

It was wonderful to see so many precious children praising God and reciting His Word.

When it came time to distribute the diplomas, each student's name was read along with where they will attend kindergarten. Then the lead teacher handed a diploma to the student. Avery confidently walked across the stage, picked up her diploma and gave a big hug to Mrs. Grider. Unfortunately, Avery did this so quickly that this is the only picture I got!

What a beautiful graduate!

Then it was time for pictures with everyone.

Grandma and Grandpa Hromada.

Mommaw and Poppaw Clark.

Aunt Karen.

Avery saved her biggest smiles for pictures with Mrs. Grider...

...and Mrs. Millhoff.

Chris and I are so glad we put Avery in preschool this year. She really blossomed academically and socially after being in school. And we believe she is more than ready for kindergarten this fall. We also couldn't be more pleased with Avery's preschool. We hope to return in a few years when Pez is ready for preschool!