Monday, June 17, 2013

The graduate

Over the weekend, we officially celebrated Olivia's graduation from Sunol Glen.

Because the school is so small, they really go all out to make the ceremony special, and the kids were involved in the planning and presentations of the evening.

Olivia was absolutely gorgeous . . . when I saw her walking towards us right before the ceremony started, I got choked up as I saw how my baby girl had transformed into a beautiful young woman literally overnight.

We did a complete re-enactment of the first day of kindergarten photo.

The parents were in charge of decorating, and the auditorium looked amazing. Somehow I got roped into making a balloon arch, with the help of two other amazing moms.

Life-size silhouettes of all 27 students lined the walls of the room. They were so true to life that I could tell who was who, even before seeing the names!

The stage was lined with tulle and little graduate picks, complete with each student's face.

The program started out with a slideshow of the students, showing pictures of each of them from babyhood to now. Then the students walked up on stage to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance.

Olivia and three of her best friends sang the national anthem.

Olivia and Katelyn gave the class history—a recap of the nine years spent at the school.

Each student was recognized for their accomplishments. Olivia received the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence, the Superintendent's Honor Roll for a 4.0 GPA, and was recognized for the character trait of Caring.

I went in to the auditorium with a brand new box of kleenex, and fully anticipated having to use the whole thing. Miraculously enough, I only needed three tissues! For some reason, once the ceremony started, most of my sadness left, and I was filled with excitement for this next phase of her life.

A teary hug from daddy...

Olivia with her amazing Art teacher, Mrs. Campbell

Olivia with her Math & Science teacher, Mrs. Takei

Katelyn & Olivia have been BFFs since kindergarten.
They're headed to different high schools in the fall.
Eric started kindergarten with Olivia. He left the school this year,
but came to visit the graduation dance.

One last class photo
It was a beautiful, perfect evening . . . the perfect culmination to nine years of memories!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Moving on

Nearly nine years ago, my little girl started kindergarten at Sunol Glen. She was a joyful, beautiful, bubbly little girl, and we couldn't believe that she was old enough to start school!

As we looked at the kids in the older grades run around that first day, they seemed gigantic, and we couldn't even begin to imagine how Olivia would be at the end of kindergarten, let alone 8th grade.

Somehow, we blinked, and the day arrived. Today is Olivia's last day at Sunol Glen.

She has grown into a joyful, beautiful, and bubbly young woman. She has had teachers who have shaped her into who she is today and helped her learn and grow. She has had friends who have brightened her life with their laughter and love.

Now her class is moving on. They're off to high school, and instead of a class of 26, she'll be in a class of 500+. Only a handful of her classmates are going to the same high school, and it is hard to say goodbye to those "BFFs" that have made her days so much fun.

For five of the nine years, she's had her brothers at the same school with her. They hug when they see each other during the day, and Olivia is always looking out for them. It makes me so sad to think they won't all be together from here on out.


Tomorrow night is her 8th grade promotion. It's a big deal at such a small school...complete with a picture slide show, speeches from all the kids, speeches from local dignitaries, etc. I would like to think I'll maintain my composure through it all, but really...who am I kidding?

In spite of the tears that keep falling, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the 9 years she has spent at this school. It has been amazing, and I couldn't have asked for more.