Saturday, May 28, 2011

Graduation Part 2: See, I told you so!

Doran brought his pics over last night...They were, of course, absolutely awesome. I may not be right about a lot of things, but about this boy and photography...Never!


Tackling a member of the chess team who mistakenly stated, on video, that playing chess was harder than playing 110 degree weather...with layers of pads and clothing...after practicing for hours and hours every night...after weight lifting and conditioning in class every day...all summer, all fall... (They made sure to protect this individual at the bottom of the pile-up! He got to wear a helmet)

Nate's group entering the stage.

Nate and friends after the processional.

Nate and friends watching the group video of themselves.

Going up to receive his diploma. Yep, those are shorts you team practice shorts. There was no time after the skit to change...

Receiving his diploma from Jody Johnson, superintendent...the brilliant lady who created North Pointe!


Kayty and Jessica...surely up to no good! They spent the ceremony "feeding" the graduates and guests via gummy bears and chocolate covered peanuts in a slingshot!


Friday, May 27, 2011

North Pointe Preparatory Commencement 26 May 2011

I just wanted to quickly post a few pics that I took during Nate's graduation. I will do a better post when I get my son, Doran --- the super photographer's, pictures, since I know they are far better than mine. Last night was absolutely awesome...a perfect ceremony.

The graduation was held at the Glendale Renaissance Resort, just north of the Phoenix Cardinals' Stadium

Entering is Kayty, Grandm Dorrie, Dad, and Jessica.

The graduation began with a skit, highlighting their four years at North Pointe. They had video and pictures playing after each scene. This scene is depicting their freshman year (Freshman=green) Nate helped rebuild their winning freshman homecoming float (green mint candy in background) and Nate is the football player being taped on the table right of center. Nano remarked that they just had so many things to do at the school, and she was right! It was hard NOT to be involved in SOMETHING at the Prep!

After the play, the graduates entered in groups on the stage (these groups were selected by the kids...6 to 8. So, you don't graduate next to someone whose letter is next to yours in the alphabet. You graduate with your friends). Nate's group was football player friends. These guys: Zach Kurth, Bryce Harris, Cris San Martin, Nate Pena-Rivas, Zach Bustoz, Nathan Martin, and Shea Hamrick) were the nicest group of guys. I NEVER had to EVER worry about Nate when he was with him. Though Nate was the only active Mormon Senior, these guys were great kids, with good Christian families and great standards! I felt so very blessed Nathan found them. After entering on the stage, they circled around back and "walked" in to a very modernized Pomp and Circumstance, with their friends.

As each group of friends went on the stage to receive their diploma, this video interview of the group was played. These guys talked about football and basketball. Nate's contribution..."Oh, crap" when Bryce asked a different question than he planned on.

Each graduate was able to create a 15 second video of their years in school. This is part of Nate's (#72), and he had "The Boys Of Fall" playing on it. I didn't see all of it (crying, trying to take pics, etc.)

Nate watched his video and waited for the superintendent, the one who created this school, Jody L. Johnson, to present him with his diploma.

Room was won't take pics with things moving, and there were 111 black mortarboards in the air...but just imagine.

Nate Pena and Nate Rice...they both were throwers (shotput and discus) for the school.

Since Nate was in a football uniform for the skit, his shirt, tie, and dress pants remained unworn, though he did manage, in the few moments, to put on his dress socks and shoes.

Nate and Jessica

Nate and Matt Arellano

Nate and Nano

Nate "snuck" the leftover graduate pre-grad snacks for us...Maybe he should work as a waitress until his mission???
The cover said "Not just another graduation... Our North Pointe Finale!" and oh, it truly was. No speeches, no honored guests, just a plain, true celebration of four years of work, of success, of learning, of friendships, of trips, of games, of parties, of fun for 111 high school seniors.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Seminary Graduation

Seminary, a religious education class for LDS high school aged youth, can be a challenge. It meets early in the morning, before school. High school kids are ALWAYS tired. I have spent the last 15 years waking my kids for seminary.( I got up too...I didn't expect my kids to do more than I was willing to do. At first, I was not a morning person, so it was hard. Now, I have been up hours already, so it's easy) Our Stake President, Paul Sorenson, pointed out that, if they graduate with four years of seminary education, they have attended 720 mornings. That's a tremendous effort. Each year, they study a different book of scripture: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Church History/The Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price. It is taught by church members, called to teach, every morning of the week, to sleepy grumpy teenagers...Talk about a HARD calling! Some have been better than others. This year, Nate attended seminary at Greenway High School (our local one went to Released time: held during the school day, and he goes to school ten miles from home). It was an awesome seminary, and he loved the things taught. I never had to nag him, and he only missed once or twice. He graduated on Sunday. Here are the pics of the refreshments afterward...

Kayty, Ethan, Nate, Jessica and Nano enjoy Costco cookies and lukewarm apple juice. (Men were obviously in charge of refreshments! LDS women are known for using a tablecloth for EVERYTHING. Tonight, plastic bare table, plastic boxes of Costco cookies, and jugs of room temp apple juice and water. Too funny!)

Nate and his four year diploma! Quite an accomplishment, especially since he spent his third year doing much makeup work. They decided that, since we had to leave early to get to school, he attended four days, and had to make up three each week. Lessons came out of the Church manual, and he actually learned quite a bit, but that was a LOT of makeup work to do. This year, it was closer to his school, so he was able to stay the whole time. And the lessons were awesome!)

Nate and Jessica...aloof!

The whole group: Suzzy, Ethan, Cameo, Nathan, Grandma Dorrie, Jessica, Nano, Kayty, Dad. Thank you so much, everyone, for taking time to attend!!!

Nate and his friend, Brian Godwin. They had been in the same ward for years, till October, but their friendship remains. Thank goodness for good friends like Brian!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Something fun I found while blogging tonight...
Places I've been...Dee has been more of a traveler than I have. Here is his map:

visited 31 states (62%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Here is my map:

visited 12 states (24%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

He LOVES to travel. I love to stay at home...except...I would give away my right arm, 3/4 of my liver and a leg to go to Vegas...I miss my grandbabies SOOOOOO much! (Now that my hubby doesn't have to count in June, maybe we can sneak a four hour drive in! Cross your fingers!)

His world map:

visited 5 states (2.22%)
Create your own visited map of The World

mine...laughable, only Mexico. I am like Sandra Bullock in "While You Were Sleeping"...owner of an unstamped passport. But, again, the ONLY place I want to go in the world is off the freeway in Las Vegas, down a street, turn left by the park, turn right and then left...and arrive at Heaven on Earth!

Congrats to Jessica!

Graduation season is here! And Nate and I were able to attend the commencement ceremonies for Sunrise Mountain High School...and our sweet Jessica Hudson!

Here are the pics:

I was going for the "Sunrise Mountain High School" sign, not the chick obviously making kissy face to someone near me!

This was my first time in Cardinal's Stadium. I helped pay for it, tax-wise, but cannot afford a ticket (plus, games on Sunday!) so I was getting the whole experience, pic-wise.

Jessica's row stands to go up on the stand.

This is as they announce her name...she is on the stand in front of the line of graduates. Yes, Nathan scolded me for bringing the "wrong" lens. Photo snob!

Jessica on the jumbo-tron (though it wasn't that jumbo! I took this one behind us)

Jessica's Family: her aunt, her dad, Jess taking a moment to smell the roses, her mom, and her brother!

Congrats, Jessica!!!