Education, Praises, The Kids, Traveling

Kelly’s Graduation Celebration

Since Carl was busy all day Saturday and Sunday, we planned Kelly’s Graduation Celebration for Friday.

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Since it turned out that the Airbnb that we rented for the grandparents was adorable, with a beautiful backyard, we decided to hold the party there. It had a cool spiral staircase in the backyard that was a lovely place for some photos of the graduate.

We spent the afternoon talking, laughing, eating and playing games in the backyard.

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We ordered Chipotle catering for dinner, just like we did for Anthony’s graduation.

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Kelly’s best friend, Jill, came by to visit after work.

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It was a great day celebrating Kelly!

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We are grateful that Sue and Karl drove all the way from Memphis for the celebration.

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We are equally grateful that my mom and niece, Bryanna drove from Chicago.

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Congratulations Kelly!! We are all so proud. Your clinic and clients are going to be blessed to have you as their therapist.

Side Story: Carl spent all day Saturday and Sunday videotaping dance recitals as the videographer for KC Video Productions. This is our 15th year taping for this particular dance studio, our biggest client. In a terrible coincidence, this is the first time in 15 years that all three of the dance studios that we were currently working with (one also in Minnesota for 12 years and one in FL for the past 3 years), all had their recitals on the same weekend! So we were only able to work with the one studio this year. Hopefully the other two studios will have us back again next year but chances are they will just continue on with whoever they worked with this year, unless they were really bad….so here’s hoping that our replacements were lousy!! Ha!

Education, Praises, The Kids, Traveling

Kelly’s Master’s Graduation

Kelly has completed her Master’s degree coursework and year-long internship and just as soon as she finishes her thesis (which she says in going to happen in the next few weeks, hopefully), she will officially receive her Master’s Degree in Counseling and Psychological Services.

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Her company is apparently trusting that she finishes soon!

Kelly decided that it wasn’t important to her to “walk” in the formal graduation ceremony (and we all were very happy to hear that, as anyone that has sat through a college graduation ceremony can relate to) but did not want to miss out on a celebration of her achievement.

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Since Carl was flying to MSP already for our yearly dance recital videotaping job, we coordinated with the grandparents to meet up in Minneapolis at that time to celebrate Kelly. Carl and I stayed with Kelly and Avram and I found the grandparents and my niece, Bryanna, an Airbnb just a few blocks from Kelly.

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Carl and I were able to visit Kelly at her place of employment last Friday. She gave us a tour of the facility, including her very own office. I love that the company even gave her $200 to decorate her office.

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After Avram completes his school year, they are going to celebrate her achievement with an amazing one-month trip to South Africa to visit many AuPair friends that Kelly has met over the years that have returned to their homes in South Africa. It’s going to be an amazing trip and we can’t wait to hear all about it.

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One of the group therapy rooms with posters showing the skills that Kelly teaches to her clients.

Congratulations Kelly! Your clients are lucky to have you and too bad we didn’t have enough time for your to work out all of your father’s issues.

Education, Praises, The Kids, Traveling

The Graduate

12.14.18 Anthony's Graduation (9)

As Anthony’s homeschool teacher for 4-1/2 years (from 5th grade until halfway through 9th grade), I can attest to the fact that he was not always the most independent worker.

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In fact, I like to tell people that Anthony was expelled from homeschooling due to driving the teacher crazy.

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So I couldn’t be more proud of how hard he has worked in college, even taking on extra classes for two semesters to graduate early.

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Not only that, but he did so with honors…graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies with an emphasis in Biblical Studies. Well done Anthony!!

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And we finally got to meet his sweet and beautiful fiance, Kameko, in person!

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They are such a cute couple and are going to make me gorgeous grandbabies some day :).

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Three of Anthony’s grandparents were thrilled to take part in the celebration. Kelly came in for the weekend celebration too, although we were not able to snag her a ticket to the ceremony itself.

We all loved the leis that Kameko made and brought to congratulate Anthony. It is a Hawaiian custom to place stacks of leis on a person during important events.

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After the graduation ceremony and a brief tour of campus, we returned to our Airbnb that we all shared together for a catered Chipotle dinner.

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Then we taught the gang how to play 4 Up and 4 Down.

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And of course, there may have been a cocktail or two to celebrate!

12.14.18 Anthony's Graduation (66)The next day, we continued the celebrating and enjoyed spending time with my brother, Brad, who was a trooper and hung out most of the day, even though we made him drive to the Westside. Feeding him double hamburgers every two hours seemed to help. His girlfriend, Gwen, came for a while after work as well.

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Our niece, Abby, also stopped by for a short visit with her dog Moes.

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It was a great weekend celebrating Anthony’s accomplishment. We are so very proud of him! We can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for him in Hawaii. We are so happy that Kameko came to the mainland for the celebration as well. Since Anthony and Kameko flew back to Jacksonville with us until New Year’s Eve, we look forward to spending time with them over the next few weeks. And Kelly (and her boyfriend) and Carl’s parents will be joining us for the annual Christmas-week visit as well.

Lots of family time to look forward to the rest of this year.

 

 

 

Education, The Kids

Zack, Plan D

Last year, around the time he was graduating high school, Zack decided that in the fall, he would attend the local technical college for his electrician certification. Then, right before the program was to start, he decided to switch to the Aviation Mechanics Program. Then, one day into that program, he decided to work full-time for a year until he decided what he actually wanted to do.

After working at a lumber yard full-time for the past 8 months, he has decided to give technical college a try again. This time he is pursuing a Computer Programming Specialist Certificate. There are five technical certificates that could lead to an Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Technology and eventually a Bachelor’s Degree, if he desired. But we just want him to focus on this one certificate at this time and we’ll see how it goes. We are hoping that he can get a decent job to support himself after obtaining a certificate or two without actually having to get a degree (since those general education courses would be the difficult part for him).

We hope that this is a good path for Zack and that he will be successful. We wish him luck! And if this doesn’t work out, there’s always the military!

 

Education, The Kids

Zack, Plan C

About a month ago, I told you how Zack had decided to switch from the Electrician Training Certificate to Aviation Mechanic Certificate. Wwwwweeeellllllllll, that program lasted less than one day. When I awoke in Arizona last Monday morning, I had already received a text from Zack in the midst of his first day in the program saying, “I think I’m dropping out of the program.” I’m guessing that they started the day with a “Pep Talk” about how challenging it would be and how hard they would have to work and other realities of life. All Zack focused on was the fact that he had until that Friday to drop out without any financial consequences. So within the first two hours, that is what he had already decided to do.

We gave Zack three options:

  • Find another program to switch to by the weekend.
  • Enlist in the service.
  • Work full-time and pay us rent, car insurance and cell phone.

At first he said he was switching to the Welding Certificate program. Then he said he was switching to the Drafting Certificate program. In the end, unsure of what the heck he wants to do, he has decided to work full-time for at least one semester while he explores his options.

We really wish that he would enlist in the service but he seems to have no interest in that option. So for the time-being anyway, Zack will be working at home and paying bills like a real adult!

Good luck Zack! We hope you figure out what you want to do in life.

Education, It's About Me, The Kids, Traveling

College Bound

For the second time in two years, I made the 28-hour drive from Jacksonville to Tucson in Anthony’s pick up truck.

We drove 10 hours to Lafayette, LA the first day, 10 hours to Ft. Stockton, TX the second day and 8 hours to Tucson on the third day, where Anthony dropped me off at my Aunt Sandy’s house.

We were so blessed to be one day ahead of the devastating hurricane Harvey, as we drove through Houston the day prior. Other than some brief rain and numerous highway signs warning drivers to avoid the Texas coast, we traveled without any difficulties.

I did borrow Aunt Sandra’s car to drive up to Phoenix on Wednesday to visit Anthony at Grand Canyon University and see his apartment.

I took him to Costco to stock up on groceries and household supplies.

We also went to a few Goodwill stores to find a tv stand and two kitchen chairs for a total of $12!

It was good to spend time with the college boy and help him get set up in his apartment.

I wish him a great third year of college!

Education, The Kids

Zack’s New Plans

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Remember when I told you that Zack would be going to FSCJ in the Electronic Certification program? He has decided to instead enter the 20-month Aviation Mechanics program, which is another career that we previously tried to talk him into but he resisted. When Zack first started talking about automotive mechanic as a potential career, he had several adults (Carl’s cousin’s husband and Carl’s brother) try to steer him in the direction of Aviation mechanic instead due to the high demand and higher pay of that field. After hearing of a friend in Minnesota that is entering the US Air Force in that field, I think Zack was finally swayed. He decided to change paths to obtain his Aviation Airframe Mechanics and Aviation Powerplant Mechanics Certification. So he is now enrolled, starting on August 28th. Zack will attend classes at the FSCJ Cecil Airport Center every Monday through Thursday from 7am until 3pm for the next 20 months. It will be hard work but we know that with Zack’s determination and good work ethic, he can be successful. We are really proud of him!

Even better news is the fact that Zack has received a significant scholarship from the Jacksonville Jaguar Foundation which will pay for half of his yearly tuition/fees. Thank you to the Jaguars!