Friday, May 29, 2015

Graduation 2015

Our firstborn graduated from high school on May 17.  Surprisingly, I wasn't that emotional or sentimental.  Perhaps it is because he has only been at Cole Valley for one year.  Maybe I sense his excitement and anticipation of moving on to the next phase of schooling.   And quite possibly, it is just because I know I have him around all summer and all those emotional, sentimental feelings will hit me in full force when I send him off to Dordt next fall.   We are  proud of the young man Caleb has become with God's help and feel extremely humbled and blessed with the awards and recognition he received at graduation.  

In the senior slide show at graduation

Receiving a gift for maintaining a 4.0 GPA

Recognition as a National Merit Commended Student

Receiving a gift for being a Vanguard Award nominee.  From the Commencement Program:  "Every year a Cole Valley Christian Schools' senior is recognized who exemplifies Christian character and leadership.  This student is devoted to Christ, leads out in front of others, has a desire to obey, and eagerness to learn, a willingness to serve, is a disciplined scholar, and has a loving and generous spirit."

All the Vanguard Award nominees

Being recognized as the Vanguard Award Recipient

Waiting in the wings for his diploma

Receiving Congratulations from a board member and then below from Superintendent Brad Carr

Cole Valley Christian Class of 2015

Caleb with his siblings who love him so much.

We had a small open house at our home the following Saturday afternoon from 2-4.  Caleb wanted gourmet cupcakes and lots of fruit.  We added a couple veggie trays and two different kinds of salsa with chips.  Caleb doesn't drink soda (hasn't for a couple years) and enjoys his ice water.  Lately, he has been experimenting with flavoring his water with various fruits/veggies/herbs.  For his party we made a huge jug of lemon cucumber mint infused water that was wonderfully refreshing.  We also made Great Grandma Herman's Berry Punch which has been (and still is!) a huge favorite.  
Planning the party was not that stressful because Caleb knew exactly what food he wanted, how he wanted to decorate, and what memorabilia he wanted to display.  The next one may be a little different...I can already see the blank stares and "I don't care" shrugs.

Caleb's extremely bright and talented friend Carter who was on both the cross-country and track team with him.

Caleb and Nicolas and girls from CVCS

High school and college friends from church who happen to all attend Nampa Christian.

I had initially planned to make the cupcakes myself and asked a mother/daughter in our church who I know both love to cook/bake and entertain if they had cupcake tiers that I could borrow.  Not only did they have several cupcake tiers they could lend me, Aimee volunteered to bake the cupcakes.  We did NOT regret that decision!  They were just the cutest cupcakes ever, AND they tasted awesome. 

Caleb's favorite:  Raspberry Lemon

My favorite:  Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup.  Not as rich as you would think.  I could develop a craving for these!

Nicolas' favorite:  Almond Berry--a surprise whole strawberry in the middle!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Track Part 2: High School Track

What a wonderful spring we had for track!  In Michigan we had resigned ourselves to not being able to see a track until April (literally--snow covered!).  In Idaho we had so little snow and such a warm March/April that the first track meets were before Spring Break, March 13 and 19.  After the first 3-4 meets, Caleb expressed frustration over his times in the 800m and we had to remind him that last year he hadn't even RUN a meet yet!  His goal was to run a 2:05 this year and he achieved that at the District meet, running a 2:04.92.  That was good enough to place him in the top four at districts and guaranteed him trip to the State meet.   He also anchored the State-qualifying Distance Medley.  

Nicolas ran 200s, 400s, and long jumped again this year.  Unfortunately, he tweaked his quad muscle at a meet in mid-April and struggled to be able to complete the rest of the year.  He did come back for the District meet and ran the open 400m in 55.12,  but was so sore afterward that he wasn't able to run in the 4x400 like planned.  He was so bummed because that was the last opportunity to run in a relay with his big brother.  He rested for the week between District and State and was able go as an alternate for the 400 spot in the Distance Med if needed.   He says he loved the State experience without having to run, but I think he actually would have liked to step on the track. 

We love track and field, and appreciate that the boys also love it.  Caleb owned that 800m run and Nicolas loves his 400m.  Neither would be my choice, but I do enjoy watching those two races.  Here are a few pictures of the season.

At the track meet in Emmett, ID we couldn't help but do a little osprey watching.  The kids and I watched through the zoom lens in my camera until Seth opened his backpack (full of who knows what) and pulled out Russ' pair of nice binoculars.  I probably should have been upset with him since he took them without asking, but he was so proud to hand them to me out of his bag of "stuff" that I couldn't help but commend him for his wise packing choice.

We thought Emmet, ID was such a beautiful area, we couldn't help but do the touristy thing and stop at a road turn off and take pictures of the view.  The track meet was down in the area of  the two domed buildings.

It was such a beautiful evening in New Plymouth, ID and I couldn't help but appreciate the view as well.

Taking 4th place on the medal stand at the District meet.  On to State!

Not the blue track of the Drake stadium, but still a blue track for the State meet!

Parade of athletes at the State meet.  The meet included 1A, 2A, and 3A boys and girls.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Track Part 1: Homeschool Track.

I decided to split this blog post into two parts:  one for the homeschool runners and one for the high school runners.

The younger three joined the Idaho Christian Running Club track program which basically ran for 3 months (early March through the end of May).  They practiced on Monday and Wednesday afternoons and participated in 4 meets.  

Anna needed much encouragement to join the program, but conceded on two stipulations:  1) I would run with her in practice.  2)  She wouldn't have to run in a meet.  Since I was running with Russ in the morning, two-a-day practices were just a little too hard on this aging body.  So after about six weeks, I gradually ran less and less. As Anna gained confidence both with her running ability and with the coach and other kids in the program she didn't "need" me anymore.   We honored her second stipulation for the first meet, but then encouraged her to try the 200m in the second meet.  She did SO well that she agreed to run it again in the third meet.  The fourth meet was scheduled over two evenings with the 400m one night and the 200m the second night.  Can you believe she agreed to run both of those events!!  (We were rained out the second night so she didn't end up running the 200m).  She did say after the 400m, "I am never running one of those again!"

Seth and Lydia were like pigs in mud running track.  Seth usually competed in the long jump, 100m, and 200m, but did run the 400m once.  Lydia generally ran the 100m and the 400m and occasionally ran the 200m.   

The first couple track meets were pretty cold.  But coming from Michigan and Iowa we were pretty used to bundling up!
This is the night of the last meet that was rained out.  We don't often have thunderstorms in Boise, so it was fun to watch the storm roll in.  Note the cute timers at the finish line (Russ and Caleb).