**Official disclaimer!! This about to be a loooong, semi emotional post! : )
Well, we did it! We made it through our graduation ceremony, dinner and prom! We spent well over a month planning for this night! It took us 9 hours to decorate and three hours to un-decorate! We transformed two big empty rooms into rooms filled with life and personality! Our theme was masquerade ball (upstairs!) and Mardi Gras downstairs! We had right at 100 people in attendance and 27 kids at our prom! We were not even done taking down the decorations before our kids wanted to know what our theme was going to be for next year and how soon we could get started planning! LOL
I was caught completely in the middle of all of the planning and decorating and doing and the whole thing seemed to just whiz right by. We showed up Friday for a dress rehearsal and to start decorating. It was a typical dress rehearsal! The kind that leaves the person in charge biting their nails and hoping for the best! LOL One of our mom's had decided at the last minute to not participate in the ceremony, our music was not all in tact, there was still a question as to whether or not our decoration centerpieces were going to get done on time (someone accidentally threw away the box with the focal point of 20 centerpieces in it!) and our keynote guest speaker had another obligation that day that was going to bring him in right at the last minute...crunch time! My youngest son was still feeling under the weather. He has a sinus infection and has been running a fever for days. By that time I had spent several nights on the couch with him watching him sleep and waiting for his medicine to wear off and was functioning on about 6 hours of sleep over the span of the whole week! LOL
Saturday was the big day! I showed up early and stood at the entrance to the room looking in at what yesterday was a big, plain empty lifeless room! We hung huge gauzy strips of golden material swag like from the vaulted ceilings with white lights running through them! We hung gigantic banners that said Class of 2008 and huge masquerade style masks from the ceilings. It all looked so pretty! As I stood there running through the 'what's got to happen today' list in my head I was feeling an amazing amount of emotion! My oldest kid arrived there a high school student and was going to leave graduated! I say it so often, but where has the time really gone?! I was proud and sad and happy and excited and tired all at the same time! LOL
The ceremony started exactly on time! : ) Our graduates wore pink (girls) and black (boys) caps and gowns. The speeches were long, but heart felt! Lots of sniffles and wet eyes in the audience! I have been joking with the other home school mom's all along that our goal was an 85% wet eye room! Our kids performed the song 100 Years by Five for Fighting and they were SO AWESOME!!! When I first sat down with our group and suggested that they sing a song they thought I was bananas! I got lots of rolled eyes and hands on the hip protests, but they all wound up doing it and they were amazing! The song is about the circle of life and how a young man meets a girl when he is 15 and falls crazy head over heals in love with her. He goes through the different stages of life with her and at the end cannot wait to get back to her because she had to leave him first. Insert sniffles here!! Very touching!
Dinner went well! There is just something so cool in my opinion about 100 people all sitting down together to share a meal! I am from a tiny family and maybe that is why I like it, but whatever the reason it made me sincerely happy!! : )
We gently kicked everyone out right on time to get our prom started! 27 kids was the perfect number! They had a blast!! 4 Hours of dancing and goofing around! We made each one of them a Prom memory book. It had pockets for their prom ticket and a program. There were pages to fill in memorable happenings and blank pages to add pictures. We had two picture areas set up for photo opportunities! The back had pages to sign each others books and they loved them! They spent 45 minutes running around getting signatures! : )
Then it happened! It was right at 11:00pm and I was downstairs cleaning up. I heard the bump and thump music shut off and it was replaced with the song 100 Years!!! The kids WANTED to sing it one last time! After all the fussing and complaints about me making them practice!! They asked to sing it one more time to close the evening! I came up the stairs and just stood there with real tears in my eyes! Those 27 kids plus several of the parents were singing that song. Suddenly nothing else really mattered! The hiccup with the music at the end of the graduation ceremony didn't matter! The looong hours of working on prom projects and decorating til after midnight didn't matter! All the indecision and debate on the perfect way to do things didn't matter! The multi tasking to get 12 things all wrapped up at the last minute...didn't matter, didn't matter, didn't matter! We had provided a wonderful, long lasting memory for those kids!!!! It was such a nice moment! Everyone all hugged up together singing that song that has meant so much to me for so long! I was so proud and all weepy eyed!! : )
All in all, I would say it was a huge success! The non participating mom changed her mind and was part of the ceremony! The guest speaker made it on time and was wonderful! We worked out the centerpiece fiasco! My kid's fever finally broke! YAY!! And the room was filled with people that I really, sincerely love! I am crazy about these home school kids that I have watched grow up and was so excited to be able to share this night with so many people that are so important to me! My graduate, my son was amazing! He was articulate and precise! He was witty and handsome! As usual, he made me proud! The only thing that could have made this evening more perfect was if my mom, step dad, grandma and uncle could have been with us. They would have been proud as well!
I have included a photo of my hubby giving our youngest daughter a corsage. She was invited to stay andd participate this year! The other photo is a group shot of our prom attendees right before pom! They all made their own masks! : ) I did not get many photos because I was busy playing hostess, but am hoping the other mom's will share!
Have a wonderful weekend! : )
The mom of a graduate!