This past weekend Suzanne and I were able to go out to New York to help celebrate my niece's graduation. We had a full and busy weekend, with 13 people squished into a house that isn't very big. Fortunately there are two bathrooms! We arrived on Thursday, June 22 and that evening my niece, Erika, my sister, Natalie, my Mom and Dad, and I went to her baccalaureate (a voluntary religious service for the graduates). It was nice and I guess it was the first time this school had had one. Meanwhile, Duane had taken Jeremiah, Suzanne, and a friend of Erika's that spent the weekend with us, to Civil Air Patrol. Later that evening there was a call from my niece, Alesha. She is a wrangler at a Christian camp and had been thrown from her horse. She had planned on coming home the next day, but wanted somebody to come get her that night. So her dad and I, Suzanne, Erika, and Jeremiah all went to get her. Her dad and Jeremiah drove her truck home and she rode in comfort in my van (she was very sore, but not seriously hurt, thank God). It was very late when we got home.
Erika's graduation was Friday night. She, Jeremiah, and a friend did the color guard as they all three are active participants of the Civil Air Patrol. She brought in the flag then ran out, got her gown on and rushed back in as a graduate. I thought she'd be last in line since her last name starts with "W", but the last shall be first was true in her case. Because the W's sat in the back row, they came in first! It was a nice ceremony with a very emotional moment when, after the grads gave roses to their moms, four graduates gave three roses each to the mother of a student who had been killed in a skiing accident earlier in the year and would have graduated that night. There was also a surprise when Erika got the John Philips Sousa Musical Award. That night we watched Walk the Line while waiting for my brother and his family to arrive. The movie was over, it was midnight, and still no Dean, so we went to bed. Just as everybody was dozing off, he arrived! So we all got out of bed to say hey, then right back to bed.
We all worked hard on Saturday to get the house and yard ready for the party on Sunday. We took a quick break from work at noon to eat the delicious curry dinner my dad cooked for Dean's birthday and to have a cake for him.
After church on Sunday we all worked hard to get the party ready. A lot of people showed up and I got to meet friends and relatives I'd heard about but had never met. She'll be going to Cedarville University as part of the nusing program.