27 May 2016

Splash - May 2016

The May splash photo is first in a series of five, to be spread out over the next ten years.  Rachel is our first daughter, our first teenager, our first graduate.  One down, four to go.  This splash picture was taken at the local playground, nothing fancy.  We were out on a misty rainy day, frantically trying to get some senior pictures in so I could put together a graduation announcement for Rachel. I had everyone together, so we did the splash, too.  It was all working against us - the rain, the reluctance of a few of us to even be there, the other people at the playground, the looming deadline of getting announcements in the mail - but there it is, in spite of it all.  A fantastic picture of my five beauties.  My BallTeam. 

22 May 2016

Rachel's High School Graduation

Today is the day.  Rachel graduates from Cabot High School - Class of 2016.  It's weird.  So many parents are just over the top about their kid graduating high school.  I just don't see it.  I expected her to graduate.  I never for a moment thought she would drop out of high school  Of course she graduated.  Still.  It's a big milestone in her young life and it's a big deal.  I am proud of her because she finished early.  Rachel was finished with her coursework in December and she has been working full time ever since.  She will start college in the fall at Arkansas State in Beebe (about ten minutes away) to do her core classes, then transfer to the Little Rock campus to finish her degree - deaf communications.
We all came out - not a really formal affair, as evidenced by our casual attire and Samantha's headwear.

The graduate and the graduate on deck.  Tonight is all about Rachel, but, we will be back here this time next year for Samantha.

The empty seats and the filled seats (the class surrounded by the teachers).  We went to Verizon Arena in Little Rock.  There are 657 kids in her graduating class.  I thought it was going to take forever, but, it was very quick and very respectful.  Lots of prelude music about growing up and being independent and these are the best of times.  I think that was all for the parents.  Once the class filed in, we had a prayer and an introduction of the administration, then a nice talk by the principal about how high school is just a beginning.  The valedictorian gave a very entertaining speech about how he is just a loser.  I'm a loser; you're a loser.  We are all only achievers because we have a support system and goals.  He talked about how he would fail at something and his mom would push him harder and then he would succeed.  He said it just takes work.  Life is about work and trying hard.  Now get out there and don't be a loser!  It was a great talk.

Rachel with Superintendent Tony Thurman receiving her diploma. 

Hats off to the Cabot High Class of 2016.  Now don't be losers!

17 May 2016

Jo's Toe

Josephine has had an ingrown toenail for about six months.  It's crazy.  She picks at it, she cleans it, she coddles it and then someone - accidentally - steps on her toe.  She.  Hits.  The.  Ceiling.  We have have three emergency room visits trying to get this one little, well, her big toe, straight.  They doctors told her she had to wait til the weather was staying ward so she could wear flip flops during her convalescence.  Finally - today is surgery day!

A little cutting and splicing makes for lots of badaging.

She will have crutches for a few days and have to take it easy on the trampoline after that until she feels up to being her active self again.  It all went well - although I haven't seen it yet.  It was amazing.  Her toenail was actually growing down into her toe and piercing the side, like it took a wrong turn but just kept growing.  She should be all straight now. 

16 May 2016

Graudation Annoucement, Rachel Mae, Class of 2016

It's happening.  She always told me she would do it.  All those hours of homework; all those hours of play rehearsals; all those hours of stressing over boys, and friends, and boyfriends.  She will graduate in the class of 2016, and we are so proud of her.  Love you, Rae.

07 May 2016

Red Dragons, Spring 2016

JMichael played for the Red Dragons this year under his coaches Michael James and Kevin Koone.  A great bunch of kids parents and coaches.  Coach Michael and Coach Kevin really emphasized skills and teamwork.  The kids had to pass and do "tricks" before they could shoot on goal.  It was another successful season and JMichael just loves it.  This year he played on the bigger field with the full sized goals.  He looks so little, but, he's a tough one.  He calls plays to his teammates and has that innate field sense.  It's so fun to watch him play.  I look forward to watching him for years to come.
And Josephine, who took the pictures above, also found time to capture some cool shots of herself.  Isn't this a great picture?  She must have jumped off of the bleachers fifty times before she was satisfied with this shot.

06 May 2016

Panther Boy's Basketball Takes State!

Cabot Boy's Basketball made it to the finals for the State of Arkansas - Section Seven A.  This is kind of a big deal.  School let out early and the whole town turned out for the final game.  We played Bentonville - a huge school in Northwestern Arkansas.  The governor's grandson is a senior on Bentonville's team and he was at the championship game, too.  The odds were against Cabot - the little town with the big high school.

I took the little three - Charlotte, Josephine and JMichael with me to watch the game in person.  We also took Jonathan, Samantha's boyfriend.  He actually got in to the court; the rest of us had to watch from TVs set up in the lobbies.  That was fine, though; we had lots of room and plenty of people to cheer with.  It was so packed that they stopped the game because the fire marshal said too many people were in the building. 
Samantha danced.  This is a dark shot of her in the hip hop formation.  She's in the front because, honestly, she's good.  This is her junior year.
This picture was taken by the school district's publicist and was posted on Twitter.  A friend of mine who tweets sent it to me, because I do not tweet.  It's a great picture, though.

Oh, back to the game - Cabot won!  The score was tight, and the team was down a few times, but, they pulled it out for a great victory.  It is still a big deal.  I think we can all remember being wrapped up in the hometown team - it's a great part of growing up in a rural Arkansas town.  Go Panthers!