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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

3rd Annual Graduation Luau

Summer vacation is here! I can't believe how fast this school year has gone. It feels like it was just a few weeks ago we were mourning the loss of summer, and yet here it is again.

The kids have been out of school for almost a week now, and we have kept very busy. We've been cleaning, doing yard work, and just watching movies and playing around. I love having this special time with my children. The only downside to having my kids out and staying so busy; I have very little time to blog. I have lots I could blog about, but practically no time to get it written.

With school getting out, and summer vacation arriving, that means, Graduation Luau! The kids really enjoy this event we put together. It recognizes all the hard work they put into the past year, and also celebrates the joy of being a family. We all love this party!

This year, we were the only ones who remembered to dress "luau". I can't resist getting that fun family picture with everyone sporting their colorful attire.

Gabriel was graduating from the 1st Grade! He learned so much this year, and has become an excellent reader.

Ariel was graduating from the 4th grade! She made many friends, and learned a lot with her teacher, Mrs. Booth. It's hard to believe that now Ariel only has one more year at her elementary school and then she's on to middle school!

We started off our ceremony with Gabriel leading us in the pledge of allegiance.

The kids learned several patriotic songs this year. We chose to sing, "Home on the Range" a favorite of Ariel's.

We had each kid share a special talent with us. Gabriel started us off by reading his story he wrote titled, "Charlie and the Math Factory." You can probably guess what it's based on.

Ariel read us a poem, "Garden Happiness" that she wrote in her gifted class, and then we quizzed her on states and capitols.

Mikaela shared with us about her science project she did trying to hatch baby chicks.

Zechariah just needed to join in on the fun, and stole Mikaela's cap she made at school.

Each of the kids received a special award of excellence for the grade they completed, and they also were given a certificate for having excellent participation in Bible study with Grandma.

Ariel and Gabe shared with us 1 Timothy 4:12, the verse for Kid's Prayer on Sunday's at church.

We are all very proud of our graduates!

After the graduation ceremony was complete, it was time to party! We all put together some chicken and sausage shish kabobs, a requested favorite of the kids. I must say they were delicious!

At Ariel's request, we all had fruit smoothies with our BBQ.

As we all finished eating, and spent time hanging out, everyone was welcome to check out the kids work they did during the school year. We saved many papers, but in reality a very small fraction of what they worked on this year. They did a great job!

Valentine is with the newest member of the family, Autobahn.

After all the food was put away, we played a couple games the kids learned in school. Ariel taught us how to play "Sparkle". You stand in a circle, and someone will shout out a word, while the rest of the players spell it. The first person says one letter, and then the next person says the next letter, and so on. When the word is completed, the next two people try to race to say, "Sparkle!" Whoever doesn't say it first is out. Then another word is spelled until you are only left with one person. It was fun!

Gabriel taught us to play "Heads Up 7-up!" I remember playing this when I in grade school.

We ended our party with some very delicious cheesecake.

so-papilla cheesecake recipe
So-papilla Cheesecake

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup margarine or 1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar mixture

Using a 9 x 13 baking pan, unroll one package of refrigerated crescent rolls and line the bottom of the pan. Mix together the cream cheese, sugar and extract, and spread over the crescent rolls. Unroll the other can of crescent rolls and place on top of cream cheese mixture. Pour one stick of melted butter or margarine over the top and sprinkle with about 1/2 cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. It's guaranteed to be a hit at any party!

It is at events like these that I feel so blessed to be a part of this family. We always have so much fun together. If you missed it, here is last year's Graduation Luau!

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