Saturday, May 26, 2018

Surprise

We knew the girls birthday triplet, Erin, was moving at the end of the school year. When the plan percolated to host a surprise party, we needed a cover story. Luckily for us the cover story was easy. We told Erin that we were hosting the girls' 8th grade graduation party early so she could attend.

Party planning was moving along when I looked at the calendar. I immediately grabbed my device and texted Erin's mom. I kept saying the party was going to be on Sunday because we had a wedding Saturday night. When I looked at the calendar, I realized that the wedding was Sunday, so the party had to be Saturday. Once Erin's family agreed to make the change then we moved the planning along. Crisis averted...whew.

Abby, Ally and Anna spent the afternoon decorating. There were balloons,  Silly String, streamers, paper flowers, glow necklaces and more. After all Erin's friends arrived, we decided on a code to let everyone know she was there. 

I waited on the driveway for Erin to arrive. I tried to look like I was just working on the front garden. When Erin arrived, we walked towards the patio. I said, loudly, "Can someone help me with the cupcakes?" This was supposed to be the signal that Erin was coming. The problem was that the teens were having so much fun that they were really not paying attention. They were too loud to hear me.

Erin turned the corner and stared. There were a few people she didn't expect to see at the girls' graduation party. It took a minute for everyone to realize she was there. When the teens realized Erin had arrived, they yelled "SURPRISE."

The party was a big success. The teens hung out, ate, hung out, ate and hung out. It was a great way for everyone to celebrate Erin, even as they realized it was a going away party. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The last note

The girls complained about their band uniforms for days before putting in on for their final band concert. You could not really blame them for not wanting to wear it. Their uniforms were basically black tuxedos with long sleeved, white shirts. They even had a bow tie. 

They performed beautifully. You could really see their musical growth. Their band performed with big smiles. It was their final middle school concert. Some of them signed up to perform in high school. Most decided to end their band career after this concert.

There was still one more band event. The annual band banquet was just a few days after the final concert. There were a lot of awards and stories. At one point the girls' band teacher gave the Lifesaver Award. It was for students who stepped up to help the band. She talked about how great it was that these students were so willing to step up and fill in so the band had good representation of different instruments.

From the microphone I heard her invite the twins to the stage for their awards. I was talking to someone and wondered about the twins. It wasn't until I saw our girls on stage that I realized who the twins were. 

Until the teacher started thanking them for changing instruments, I nearly forgot that they did make the change. Of course, they changed between sixth and seventh grades, but it was still nice to hear them acknowledged. They worked hard to learn their new instruments. It was unexpected and well-deserved.  

In just a few days, they followed a fun concert with some recognition for their teamwork and hard work. If it truly was the end to their band career, it was a great ending.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Confirmation weekend

The girls spent two years with their confirmation class. They went from strangers who were about the same age to friends who had learned so much about themselves and each other.

They had a two day celebration to end their confirmation journey. Saturday's celebration was an iConfirm service. Sunday was the formal service with Bishop Lee presiding.

The entire class dreaded Saturday's service. Each student was called up to teach the congregation. They spent months memorizing a psalm and considering why it was important to them. They waited nervously for their names to be called. 

Father Dave sensed their nervousness and used it to great comic effect. As one confirmand left the alter, he stood, smiled and looked at the congregation. He paused before calling the next teenager to the alter. The first few times he called a name, everyone who wasn't walking up the aisle let out a deep breath. They were relieved that they didn't hear their names. 


After the first few names, the confirmands started holding their breath. It was a mix of not wanting to hear their names and really wanting to get it over. The blond twin was one of the first students called. She recited her psalm and explained why it was important to her. She sat down with a big smile on her face.

The brunette twin was so nervous every time Father Dave stood up. Student after student after student walked to the alter while she waited for her name to be called. As more students went ahead of her, we all started laughing whenever her name was not called. Aunt Sue-Sue, Uncle Steve and Aunt Reenie sat in the pew ahead of us. As more and more students kept going before the brunette twin, we all started laughing behind our bulletins. 

The brunette twin was so relieved when Father Dave called her name. She walked up to the alter, taught her lesson and came back to the pew with a big smile. She looked at the remaining three confirmands with pity as they waited to hear their names. She settled into her pew to listen to their lessons, so happy that she completed her piece.

The next day was a formal service with Bishop Lee presiding. The confirmands spent time with the Bishop. He talked to them about being a bishop and how he viewed confirmation before answering questions. We could hear the teens laughing during their time with the bishop. 

The Sunday service had all the beautiful music, soaring words and memorable moments we expected from confirmation. Still, it will be the Saturday iConfirm service that we'll talk about when we reminisce about confirmation weekend. The teens really came into their own as they told their stories. We laughed and cried and smiled as they took their steps towards adulthood.




Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Principal's Breakfast at last

In the girls middle school students who received all A grade for a quarter were invited to the principal's breakfast. This event takes place in May, so you had to get all A's in one of the first three quarters.

The girls talked about the breakfast during sixth and seventh grades. They had lots of friends who attended one year or both. At the beginning of eight grade they decided that they wanted to go to the principal's breakfast.

The blond twin achieved all A's in the second quarter. The brunette twin achieved all A's in all three quarters. We received an invitation to attend the principal's breakfast.

It was a lovely event with a large buffet and a selfie background. The girls and their friends spent a lot of time documenting their fun. The principal gave a nice speech before introducing each student. Parents spent a lot of time photographing their children on the risers with the certificates held proudly in front of them. 

It was another sign that we were really racing towards graduation. The principal's breakfast was the last thing on their "must do before we graduate" list.