Monday, June 5, 2017

So much smarter than me!

When I was in school, I never received any type of academic award.  I was lucky to get average grades by the time I was in middle school!!  Somehow, I have managed to have kids who have done quite well in school!!  I chalk my school struggle up to a few different things, but am hoping that knowing these problems can exist in my kids--we are ahead of the game at all times.  I am so proud of what they accomplish.  All of them!  And hope it continues.

These were the Bronze Award winners.  Well, the ones who showed up.  Kind of sad that no more showed up than this.  At least two of his good friends (Kendall and Andrew) showed up as they were awarded too.  Ryan is laughing and therefore I didn't get a good shot.  He almost forgot to stand for the picture he was laughing so hard.  He had, had a weird handshake experience with the Principal just before this was taken.  :) 

Shaking hands with Mr. Wimer (Social Studies teacher) while Mr. Disharoon (Algebra teacher) looks on.  They were both really great teachers for Ryan!

Ms. Saaed is putting Ryan's metal on him.  She was his English teacher.

Emily received the Gold Academic Award.  So very proud of her accomplishments!! 

Ms. Matthews is putting the metal on Emily.  Ms. Matthews was Lydia's math teacher.  Ms. Pierson is looking on to Ms. Matthew's right.  She was Emily's English Teacher. 


Lydia came up just short of a Bronze Award.  Literally points away as a result of her Math grade.  Ryan didn't quite make it in 6th grade either.  I feel pretty certain, if she continues as strong as she is, she will be getting an award in 7th grade for sure!  She was the only one who received perfect attendance.  Ryan almost was one of the recipients of the Perfect Attendance for the length of time he had been at Elkton Middle School, but when he busted his knee in October of last year, he missed three days and it knocked him out of contention.  :(  Maybe High School will work out for him.

Friday, June 2, 2017

First and last semi-formal

Lydia and Emily went to their first Middle School semi-formal on June 2.  Ryan attended his last Middle School semi-formal on the same day.  We were able to get a group of Lydia and Emily's friends together for some fun pictures.  The girls had a great time.  It is exciting to see the kids growing so fast--Ryan is now headed to high school, but it is also sad.  I am excited about seeing the people they are becoming.  I am excited to see the great things they will do with their life.  But I am also sad as I know they will be gone and out of the house before I know it.  Very sad.  :( 

L to R - Jesela, Emily S., Ashley, Lydia, Emily W., Hayleigh and Kiera

Lydia and Emily with Ashley

Andrew and Ryan.  Next stop, high school!

My kiddos at their first and last semi formal

The girls wanted to have a goofy one!!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Field Trips are fun!!

Ryan and Emily both went on a Field Trip this year.  Emily went with her Challenge class and Ryan went with the 8th grade.  In past years, the 8th grade has gone to Kings Dominion.  For some reason, this year they decided that was not where the 8th grade would be going.  They took them on YET ANOTHER field trip to DC.  He was kind of bummed, but had a good time anyway.  Mike or I were not able to go on either field trip, but we have good friends who did go.  They were kind enough to send me pictures!!  :)


Thank you to Natasha, Jesela's mom, for the great pictures!!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Show and Spell--Lydia's best show yet!

Lydia logged her third theater production with the group at Blue Ridge Community College this past weekend.  She was AMAZING!!  She played Eloise, the maid of a wealthy woman named Ms. Worthington and Ms. Worthington's daughter, Desiree.  All of the characters in this play were hilarious and ridiculous so each of the young actors were encouraged to go big as there was nothing too big for any of them.  Lydia totally embraced these instructions and made Eloise absolutely hilarious!!  MANY of the parents and people in the audience, when they found out that "the maid" was my daughter, they commented on how good she was and that she "stole the show" in some cases.  We were so proud of her!!!  I wish I had been able to film her parts as they were so funny!!!

Flash photography is not allowed in the theater.  I was fortunate enough to be able to go in on their rehearsal night and take some pictures of everyone.  I shared them with all the parents.  Here are some of our great actress, Lydia!!
There are typically warm up exercises done before each rehearsal and each time they perform the play.

Her expressions were so fantastic!

One of my favs!

Not wanting to go to the mall with Desire

Curtain call

Her BRCC Theater Program friends.  Olivia and Bridget (holding dog)

Her peeps--Penny, Adella, Lydia, Emily Sponagule and Emily Washington

Show program

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ryan's Confirmation

Ryan's year long process to be confirmed in our church, ended on May 21, 2017.  I am so very proud of his effort and commitment.  There were times that he wanted to throw in the towel, but he didn't.  He stuck with it.  He did many things to make this happen.

There were 17, 8th graders who participated in the confirmation this year.  17 is the most we have ever had in one group.  This group has always been a big one.  When they were in 2nd grade (our first year at our church) they were all given bibles.  At that time there were 22 of them.  They have since lost several kids to different churches and different things, but have always remained a large group. 

To kick off their confirmation, they had an overnight retreat at the church.  Fun was had by all!!  They shopped for ingredients and prepared breakfast the following morning for their chaperones. 
Group picture after shopping

Worship Service during retreat

They had to serve their church on several different occasions.  Ryan served during a session meeting. He served when we prepared and served Worship Snacks as a family and he did worship snack with his mentor.  He poured the baptism font water two different Sundays and had to attend several church meetings with his mentor.  He had to present a statement of faith that he wrote with the assistance of his mentor.  Plus he had to attend all of the confirmation classes which were typically two Sundays a month.  Finally, he attended a session meeting where they voted to accept the confirmands or not.  He was accepted. 

Another way he served the church is by playing the drums during a song at church one Sunday.  The choir director asked if he would mind playing and he played along with another young man who is also a percussionist.  It was fantastic!!

The confirmation group was asked to do various things throughout the year.  Massanutten Cares is a program in which our church, Massanutten Presbyterian, participates in cleaning up the church area and our neighboring Presbyterian camp and home (Sunnyside) as needed.  Ryan's group ended up at Sunnyside cleaning out an outdoor/covered sanctuary.  The girls and I were at the Sunnyside chapel at the same time.  We were rehearsing for the "Middles" youth group service at Sunnyside the following Sunday. 

The sanctuary cleaning crew--Ryan is off to the right, next to Jan--an advisor.

Ryan spent most of his time sweeping the billions of leaves that had blown in the sanctuary over the winter.
Ryan and Adam having a little cleaning break time.

Hungry youth chowing down on pizza at Vitos.  Ryan is on the right side of the table next to Adam (kid in green shirt)
Ryan participated in many of the activities that the Confirmands were asked to participate.  They had to do a certain amount of things, but Ryan did more than he HAD to do.  I am so proud of his service and his strength in the Lord. 

The Confirmation ceremony was very emotional as I became aware of how my child is getting older.  I know logically that he is almost 14, but the things he does to show me he is 14 is always a wake up call for me.  I still often think of him as a 5 year old.  :) 

Here are pictures from the confirmation ceremony.  In July he leaves on his first Mission Trip to Greenbriar West Virginia.  The confirmation group will be staying in a church in Greenbriar and will be helping in rebuilding the damage done by the floods. 

Each Confirmand was required to pour the baptismal font water at least twice.  Ryan did once with his mentor and then they all poured as a group the morning of the confirmation ceremony.  Here are all 17 of them coming to the front of the sanctuary so they can all participate in pouring the water.

In order for them each to "touch" the water, they passed the pitcher of water around the circle and the last confirmand actually poured it in the baptismal font.  This is the group of them standing and passing the water pitcher.  Ryan is on the other side of Zach who has the lime green shirt on.  Adam (in the blue shirt) is passing the water to Abby (in the pinkish dress).

Here is the group filing back down the aisle to go sit while they waited for their part of the service.

This is Ryan's mentor, Don Enslin, putting the cross around Ryan's neck.  This happened after he was blessed and they were official members of the church.  This part was particularly emotional.

This happened a little prior to the cross hanging.  Pastor John went to each one of them and blessed them individually.  Saying their name and declaring that they are now part of the church family.  Not just as they are attached to their parents.  In the back ground you can see Mike and Emily.  My parents and nieces were able to come as well and Lydia is there somewhere.  I think in the pink beside Emily.  It was so cute, when Ryan walked out with the group to pour water in the baptismal font, Penny (my brother's youngest daughter) said "There's Ryan!!", but in an excited whisper.  It was cute.

The group was so big so they were kind of crammed up there.  It was funny, the other side of the front of the church barley had any kids in it.  Not sure why this side was so packed.  Obviously this was during a prayer.

Ryan with his Mentor.  Don was really fantastic with Ryan!!  As it turns out, Don worked at Dunham Bush with my dad for many years.  I am pretty sure that everyone who resides in Rockingham County Virginia and is over the age of 35, worked at Dunham Bush at one time or another.  Myself included.  I think the only exceptions are my mom and Mike.  :)

This is the whole confirmation group, their youth pastor (John Dull--middle of the picture with glasses) minus two of them who could not be there that day.  Front Row-L - R--Adam, Emily, Ryan Munsey, Kaci, Anissa, Ryan Washington, Garrett.  Back row L - R -- Zach, Gretchen, Nick, Youth Pastor John, Jillian, Ansley, Sarah, Grace, Abby.

Confirmation group candle "Live the Light" back in the winter

Lydia and Emily's "Middles" youth group "Live the Light" back in the winter.