Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The countdown clock is going to explode!

Five more days to graduation! Woohoo! On my weekly to-do list is "iron gown and graduation clothes." Can we really be this close? I have to keep pinching myself to be sure it's all real!

It's a funny thing about that gown too. Three years ago when James was working at TNH, a recently graduated coworker gave him his cap and gown in a plastic sack and said, "Here, I don't need it anymore." James has had it in his trunk since then. Last year sometime, my dad came up to James with another sack with another cap and gown that Mom Kuenning had found at a thrift store. That one went into the trunk too. Then, a few weeks ago, James went gown digging in his trunk and came up with nothing, so I frantically called my mother and asked her to dig out MY cap and gown from the "costume" trunk in the basement. So we finally had a cap and gown stored (of course) in another plastic bag. Then James found the other two! So now we have a little collection of various caps and gowns with tassels from different years. So if I blithely iron a hole in one (or two) while dreaming of our soon school-free future, we'll be just fine.

This has been the strangest finals week ever. James called me yesterday asking if I could come pick him up so that he could go grocery shopping with me after work because he was "bored" with studying. This is an all time first! Not only do I not have to tip-toe around keeping my thoughts to myself for fear of distracting his concentration, he actually has been able to help me with laundry, takes time to tease me, and volunteers to run errands with me! I think I'm going to really enjoy a college free marriage!

Thursday morning will be his only true final in his concrete class (uh-huh, concrete, and it's a whole lot more complicated than it sounds). The good news is that he only needs more than 8% on the test to pass the class (a cinch). The bad news is that he needs 90+ % to get a "B" in the class (nearly impossible on a Dr. Quimby final). So, we're thankful for the nice "C" James will get with no worries or great stresses (but always with prayer).

On Thursday night, James won't be taking a final, but will be required to be at his last art appreciation class anyway. Maybe he'll bring home another art project to hang on the refrigerator like the Styrofoam plate print of a hedgehog he made me, the card and envelope made from magazine adds, or the self portrait. Or maybe he'll bring home a sculpture like the wire and bead thing which I admired for a few days before asking permission to toss it. We'll see. Over all the class has been a huge disappointment for both of us (I love art history, but the class has none. James loves art, but the class is rather shallow), but at least he has his art credit and will get his diploma. So we're happy.

Saturday the festivities begin. For the first time, I am going to school with James to sit in a classroom with the members of his graduating class. They will be presenting the special project that they've been slaving over all semester to the board that commissioned it and to esteemed members of the community (like the mayor). Then there will be a special ceremony for the engineering graduates and some sort of a banquet. It's all kind of fuzzy for me now. I'll post more next week when I actually have information to share!

Sunday will be graduation (those UAA heathens!). The ceremony will be in the afternoon, but mandatory rehearsal is at 10 (those anti-Christian UAA heathens!). In addition to missing Sunday services, we are missing the state-wide Alaska lectureship in Fairbanks this weekend. It makes us sick to think about all the people we won't see (James was even asked to help with the youth program!). What's worse is that my sweet family is giving up their trip to the church reunion so that they can be at James' graduation too! We love them for this kind of support! However, no regrets! God is answering literally thousands of prayers in this weekend. I get choked up just thinking of how good He has been to us. There is no way I will be able to sit on the hard orange chairs in that stadium for three hours without crying a little bit (and it won't be about my tailbone!). Afterwards, we have booked reservations for our combined families to have dinner at the high-brow establishment of "Pizza Man" in Eagle River. It should be fun.

Monday, I am taking a "wellness day" off from work and have no plans but to make blueberry buttermilk pancakes for James' breakfast. He deserves it!

Saturday, May 10th, Mom Smith and I will be hosting an open house in James' honor at the Smith's house. If you are in the area, you are welcome to come by from 2-5 for some games, snacks, and fun. We are requesting no gifts. This is a thank you for all of the kind friends who have supported us so lovingly through all these years of school.

I hope to post as these events happen to show pictures and let you know how things go, but please understand that things are going to get increasingly crazy through the month of May! Please be in prayer for us, and I'll be in touch.


  1. well since your "comments" said 0 encouraging thoughts, i felt compelled to say SOMETHING. woohoo seems appropriate. too bad we won't be "in the area" this weekend, or we'd certainly stop by :) but we'll be in CA for my sister's graduation in a few weeks. tis the season, congrats and good luck on a "college free marriage" whatever will you do with yourself?

  2. Congratulations on your graduation! I am so delighted to have run across you in blogland, this is the only way I know what anyone is doing (or even if anyone is still with us)! Hope to read more soon.


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