Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Graduation Day, Part One

There has been a lot going on around the Early household lately, including some major, transitional events. One such event occurred this past Saturday - my oldest daughter Audrey graduated from high school!

I know, I know--you're probably thinking something like, "Goodness! Fr. James and Kh. Jennifer look WAY too young to have a daughter who is almost in college!" We hear those sentiments all the time! What can we say? God blessed us with our first child when we were quite young, and He has also enabled us to stay looking (and USUALLY feeling) young, even into our forties.

Everyone was happy and excited on Audrey's graduation day, including:

Christine, age 4

Beth, who is actually turning 8 today (more on that later)

Courtney, age 10

And last, but of course not least, the graduate herself. Here she is getting ready.

A few months ago, our digital camera died. I finally got around to ordering a new one about a week ago. Fortunately, it arrived the day before the graduation. Here's my poor attempt to capture Audrey during the ceremony. I didn't know that the flash was manual, and as a result, the picture is very dark (plus I was pretty far from the stage, and the zoom in this camera has its limits). But if you look really hard, you can see Audrey. She's the one on the right in a black robe. In this photo, she is coming back from receiving her diploma.

And here is the happy graduate after the ceremony. Those silly hats you have to wear are good for nothing but to mess your hair up!

Finally, here's the whole family. Courtney got a little sidetracked!

Jennifer and I are immensely proud of Audrey. She graduated 27th in her class of about 650. (For all you math geeks out there, that's in the top five percent.) She also earned a total of $35,000 in scholarships to the University of Houston, where she will begin attending this fall. She will live on campus, but thankfully, she'll only be about 15 or so miles from us. Jennifer and I are still shaking our heads, wondering where the time went. We didn't age; how did she?


Fr. Christian Mathis said...

Congratulations Fr. James! I didn't realize you were so surrounded by women!

Isabel said...

Great day! I see all the colorful cords around Audrey's neck really mean something! A milestone for all of you, and hope for the future.

elizabeth said...

Many years! How wonderful! You must be very proud of your oldest! All of your girls are so beautiful!

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

What super photos of you all....Many years !!

James the Thickheaded said...

Congrats on the first step of many... and the first pause to wonder how it all rushed by when it didn't seem like it at the time.

Great lookin' family.

And it's even money she's home for laundry and a cooked meal from time to time.

charlene said...

Father James,
You and Jennifer don't just LOOK young, you ARE young. (But wise beyond your years.) You have such a beautiful family, both in looks and personality.

Audrey has such poise and grace. She is also smart, is a great writer, and has a deep sense of responsibility, particularly towards her family.

Anyone who spends time talking to Beth has a hard time remembering she is only seven (now eight). It is touching to catch a glimpse of her looking after her older sister, Courtney. She tends to be more serious and analytical than most girls her age. She loves to read, and like Audrey, likes to write. Please tell her "Happy Birthday" for me.

Christine is the life of the party. If someone is giggling or laughing or just having fun, it is likely to be Christine. She is full of energy and a good little girl as well.

I saved Courtney for last. She has a smile that makes you feel like the sun has just come out on what had been a bleak and rainy day. While she has difficulty communicating verbally, she csn be creative in getting her point across. Show her once how to make a pipecleaner flower, and she will copy it perfectly. If you are lucky enough to have her put her face up to yours, or rest her head on your shoulder, you know you have just received a blessing.

All your children are so well-behaved, and a delight to be around. Thank you for sharing your children with us, Father.

s-p said...

They grow up soooo fast, don't they. Our last of six "babies" will graduate in two years. At age 59 I will be officially done with "parent/teacher conferences". May God grant us both to see that day with our children.