On June 11th, Ben’s sister entered a new phase of life: high school graduation and college preparation. Ben’s parents are also entering the empty nest phase. We drove up to Massachusetts for Meredith’s graduation ceremony. Meredith was homeschooled (all the way from Kindergarten…and both she and Mom survived!) so the ceremony was special and unique. Meredith will attend Bob Jones University in August.
(it was on this trip that my camera died, so some of the pictures are not so great. But…they are all that I have!)
Meredith’s chosen colors were orange and teal. Some ladies at the church did all of the decorations, and it was beautiful! There were even a couple of families who came dressed completely in orange and teal…something special for Mere’s special day!
I had contemplated not making this trip. I was 37 weeks pregnant, and we had just returned from a long road trip to NC for Kenny’s wedding. Then we found out that Aunt Jennifer was bringing Grandma Hamilton from Cape Cod, and Sissy’s brother, Uncle Hans and his family, would be in attendance. I knew then that I would be going…and it was a great trip! Here is Grandma, Ben, Dad/Jim, and Elaine – four generations of Hamilton's!
Jon Neiner led a couple of congregational songs, and also delivered a challenge to the graduate. Jon’s dad is the pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church, and Jon is Meredith’s youth pastor. Doug Neiner played the piano for all of the music.
Meredith sang a solo (and it was very good!). She has been taking voice lessons, and her voice teacher was in attendance. Meredith was also “required” to deliver a speech…isn’t that what all Valedictorians do? She did a great job, both humoring the crowd, showing her true personality, and expressing her gratitude for those who helped her make it through to graduation!
Interjection…there was no nursery for Elaine. I knew she would be hard to keep quiet, so we sat at the back. I was taking pictures, so Ben and his brother Evan ended up with the entertainment duties. At one point I looked over to see Elaine and Evan both with pom-poms in their ears! Evan may have regained “favorite uncle” status with that trick!
Dad smoothly pulled off a very nice surprise. Since Meredith is the last homeschool graduate of “Hamilton Home School”, Dad retired the faculty…which consisted of Mom. He delivered a beautiful speech and it was accompanied by a gift – a necklace with three diamonds (one for each of the kids she homeschooled). My picture didn’t come out, but it was a nice touch in the ceremony!
After the ceremony we returned “home” where there was a tent set up and a feast waiting. Though the day turned out cloudy and cold, the rain had mostly rolled away and we had a great time fellowshipping with Meredith’s guests.
The kiddos with Uncle Hans and Aunt Karen. I had a good time getting to know them better…the last and only time I saw them was in the receiving line at my wedding. That’s when we were introduced for the first time!
Funny story…we left Friday night to drive to Mass. so Elaine would sleep in the car. We arrived around midnight. The next morning we discovered that we had left the hang-up bag at home…you know…the one with our dress clothes in it? So it was off to the Salvation Army where I found Ben’s outfit and my blouse. The pants had to be hemmed, but it all came out okay!
We love you and are so proud of you!