There were a whole slew of things right at the end of the school year leading up to graduation that I want to remember all together, so here we go.

Our church congregation put together such a nice evening celebration for all the kids graduating:

We had dinner and got to visit, they made a sweet slideshow of all the kids and each told about their plans post graduation:

(We had a family grad party as well, but I already talked about that back HERE.)

There was an awards night that was new for our school this year, honoring kids for outstanding achievements. Dave and I were so sad we couldn’t be there that night, luckily Claire’s friend came as her “parent,” love you, Ivy!

And my friend, as promised, took lots of pictures for me.

Lucy was nearing the end of her year also, of course. That girl is very conscientious about grades and stayed after school for tutoring quite a few times near the end. I loved one day when I went to pick her up she was sitting here talking to Elle on her watch:

Love that girl. And that sister.

She had her own award ceremony, this one for choir where she was chosen to be honored by her section leader:

Go Lu!

We worked on grad announcements…well, I should say Claire and Elle worked on those suckers.

It is so great to have a daughter who can whip up a great grad card for her sister.

Here’s the final product they came up with:

We sure spent PLENTY of time stuffing and addressing those suckers I have to say.

I don’t have pictures of that, but that is a job I tell you.

Here are some pictures they didn’t use that I don’t want to just fade away in the recesses of my computer:

Lots of grad announcements coming in as well (below left). And can you see a theme with the counter-sitting??

On the right above those two are talking all about graduation and volleyball and life.

So interesting to think about where life will lead all these kids:

We took some grad pictures of Claire and a bunch of friends like I did with Grace and her friends years ago:

(That post is back HERE. And Grace’s is back HERE.)

Then there was powderpuff…

All about that back HERE, but here’s the afterparty at In and Out, of course:

The long awaited-for yearbooks arrived. Here’s Lucy’s basketball team making their debut with Lucy right there in the middle:

She couldn’t find herself even that close-up. That kind of stuff is tough. But she listened well to my explanation of what it looked like.

Claire had her little college athlete “signing:”

(Talked about that yesterday back HERE.)

These kids made up some “spirit” days…I think this was “dress as your type:”

I got Claire all to myself for a couple hours to look for a graduation dress. That was a gift to me. We were laughing because we were FaceTiming with Elle who thought maybe this blue dress would be long enough for claire:

HA! #tallgirlproblems

My brother Josh had his annual end-of-school party at our house as per tradition:

They always swim, have a barbecue, run around after the baby ducks that have always just recently hatched in the classroom, then they watch an incredible slideshow Josh puts together with beautiful coverage of all that has happened each year.

And without fail, those kids sing their hearts out to the songs and laugh their heads off remembering all the funny/fun things that have happened.

I know I’m biased but I think anyone who has had him as a teacher would agree, he is the best of the best.

Lucy gathered some friends to do a “heart-attack” for another friend:

Claire attended a few graduation parties for her volleyball girls from her team:

Then it was on to baccalaureate, and also seminary graduation:

(All about that back HERE.)

Somehow the stars aligned and Dave and I got to take claire out for a little impromptu dinner one night:

Lucy declined that invitation but she was all for games after:

As I sat there at that table with those three I memorized how they all looked and how having the table this full felt. Oh sure, kids come back. Our house will be full again. But this normal daily life we’ve had so long is vanishing right in front of my eyes. And that is no cakewalk I tell you.

My friend put together a last-minute graduate celebration with a full-on dinner and games at a park:

I don’t have a good picture of the parents, but here’s an idea of all those good people, so many we finally got to meet after all these years of our kids hanging out.

I always think we should do stuff like this at the beginning of the season or year rather than at the end, but then I guess we don’t know enough at that point to know what we do at the end.

I neglected to get a pic of the parents, but here are those graduates:

The last day for seniors is when the traditional “paper drop” happens: everyone stands on the balcony of the main hall and hauls every paper from the year over the railings and it “snows” paper.

Here’s a couple blurry pictures from a video of all that action:

…and the aftermath:

Sure makes for some delighted kids:)

All our kids’ favorite security guard on the left below, one of Claire’s best pals on the right:

That was the senior’s last day of school.

On the last, last day of school Claire had to report right as the sun crept up for graduation practice on the football field and Lucy got to go to another traditional last-day-of-school breakfast at her friend’s house:

…before reporting to school for her very last final.

She’s somewhere in the shadows in the picture below, but I couldn’t resist capturing that last walk-in as her freshman year was wrapping up.

Wow she has sure learned a lot this year.

The growth is incredible.

After my little workout that day I got to go snuggle with Claire for a little while and watched parts of High School Musical 3, because apparently that is a bucket-list item if you’re graduating:)

My parents came to town for graduation…straight from a tennis tournament for my Dad. Gosh I sure love these two, as do these granddaughters of theirs:

Claire appeased me and wore my graduation dress for a minute:

Guys, it’s been THIRTY-TWO years since I graduated. Ancient history I tell you. But that dress my grandma made for me is still around to tell the story:)

While we were at it she tried on my seminary graduation dress as well, because hey, old-times sakes and all:

(The video of that graduation is back near the end of THIS post.)

And THEN, we marched right on to the actual graduation itself.

Like it or not, it had arrived.

That post comes tomorrow.

More detailed end-of-school-year posts:

Cousin graduation party

Football stadium graduation pictures with friends


Baccalaureate & seminary graduation

UVU “signing ceremony”

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