Our family celebrated at three graduation ceremonies this year. Lexi graduated from preschool; Gavin from kindergarten; and Tyler from elementary school. That's a lot of pomp and circumstance for children simply moving from one grade to another, but I was glad for the chance to celebrate the milestones and the children achieving them!
Lexi was first. Her graduation ceremony was May 21, and it was held in our church building since all the kids are LDS and the number of attendees was more than could fit in Ms. Rachel's preschool space. Lexi was adorable in her little mortarboard and received her diploma without her usual shyness. I'm always happy when she can overcome her fear of being in front of people and enjoy what is happening around her. She will miss her little classmates but will probably continue to see a few of them.
Tyler's 5th grade "continuation" ceremony was on June 2, the night before the last day of school. Sadly, Garry was out of town for work so he missed Tyler's and Gavin's graduations. The ceremony was simplified since last year, but Tyler still thought it was really special. He has had five wonderful years at Academy Endeavour, and we are so grateful for his good experiences there! After Continuation, I took Tyler to Cheddar's for dinner (he ordered shrimp!) and gave our gift to him: a book signed by all of Tyler's teachers. He teared up a little as he read the messages. What a tender soul. We plan to have the book signed by all of his teachers as he gets older, so hopefully it will be a treasured keepsake when he graduates from high school. We are doing this for each of our kids.
Gavin graduated on the last day of school. His dimples just slay me. Isn't he the cutest?!? Gavin has had a great year full of so much learning and growth. He absolutely loves school and has done very well. It has been fun to see his reading and writing improve so much, and to see his horizons expand as he has been exposed to art and technology and culture and higher-level thinking. Gavin is a big almost-first-grader now!
During his graduation ceremony, each student read a "When I Grow Up" page he or she had written. Gavin's was great! The school also provided a free picture of Gavin in a graduation cap. So cute.
Zach didn't have a ceremony for finishing sixth grade, but it's a milestone nonetheless. We have all survived our first year of middle school! I, for one, hope that 7th grade is smoother! But we ended on a high note: Zach got all A's except one B+. Go Zach! He came home on the last day as a human yearbook. I rolled my eyes...
Here's a photo of all of the kids on their first and last days of the 2013-2014 school year. Gavin and Zach were grumpy...I guess that's just real life! So much has changed, and yet so much has remained the same.
All of our school-aged children have been blessed with wonderful teachers this year. I have finally arrived at being glad that school is over for a while. I look forward to a more relaxed schedule and more free time. Ask me again in a few weeks, though...I might be making a paper chain for August 18th.