Wednesday, May 24, 2017


We enjoyed beautiful weather Monday evening
as we enjoyed John and Emily's

 John opened the evening by leading 
the pledge of allegiance.

 After the program,
everyone enjoyed a reception and a chance to take pictures.

John and Rhiane


This picture is a throwback to preschool.
The young lady between John and Emily is Morgan Kast.

She not only finished her high school education with the Shupe kids,
but she also started her education in preschool with John and Emily.

This picture was taken the day of their preschool promotion in 2004.
Weren't they cute?!

Morgan's family has long been friends with the Simms family.
Her grandfather was Harold Kast.
He actually married David and me.

Other friends from the graduating class


The finish line is in sight.
Friday is graduation.

This has to be the most over celebrated high school promotion 
in the history of EVER!

It has been fun,
but I'm ready to return to our regularly scheduled 
boring life.

Grace and Grant finished school today.
Grace finished with a field trip to the movie theater to watch
Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Grant finished with an awards ceremony.
He received honors for High Points Club in Accelerated Reading, a math award
and Honor Roll for the entire year.

Not a bad end to a terrific year!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Miss Emily


Eighteen years ago I couldn't wait to meet our baby girl.
I anxiously counted down the days until I would finally hold her in my arms.

I blinked and eighteen years have flown by.
She now stands poised to experience the world for herself.

I would by lying if I said it wasn't bittersweet.
At this moment, so many thoughts race through any mother's mind.

Was my effort enough?
Did I tell her I loved her enough?

Did I teach her how to be tough? 

Did I show her how to love unconditionally?


Did she see me living out my faith?
Will she love the Lord when the choice is hers alone to make?

I don't know the answers to these questions churning in my heart.
 But I know this.

Time won't stand still.

So I will celebrate this new milestone with her
and still the turmoil inside as I help her take the next steps.

I can't wait to watch her grow and mature.
I can't wait to see the woman she will become.

And no matter what the future has in store for Emily,
 she has made me and her father very proud. 

She will be painfully missed when she moves out this fall.
She makes me smile.

There's a sweet spirit in her that so often is hidden 
by her sass and dramatic facade.

That sweetness is seen in the little things.
Like the cookie she left for me in her car 
when she asked me to bring some forgotten items all the way to school.

And the diet cokes that she would bring me....
or text me pictures of  drinks she made me 
so I would stop and visit her at work.

I can't stop the calendar from marching steadily toward August 
and Emily's departure for college.

So instead, I'm choosing 
to enjoy this one last summer together with her.

Let's make it a good one, Emily!

I love you!

Monday, May 22, 2017

High School Band Banquet

Senior recognition at the Band Banquet

 Emily with one of the band leaders

This group has become very close over the past four years.
Four of them play trumpet.
They refer to themselves as the 'Trumpet Squad'. 
The trumpet squad has a reputation for
loving to have fun 
and maybe for getting into trouble upon occasion.

Emily and Madison



Someone was feeling pretty creative when they took this picture.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

ROTC Senior Year

ROTC Seniors that have participated in the program all four years of high school 
are recognized during the military ball.

This is the group of graduating ROTC seniors from this year.

John and Rhiane worked together with a third ROTC Cadet to lead the ROTC program this year.

ROTC Raider Team 2016

Maybe there was a romantic interest even back in the fall?


 Rhiane stands beside a display of her artwork 
during a high school art exhibition.
Most kids leave high school with things 
like a great education and wonderful memories.

It would appear that John is leaving high school
with a girlfriend!