Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Graduation for Two

And then, without catching our breath, we rolled right into graduation weekend. Felix graduated from college with an honors degree in Biology, summa cum laude, in only three years. He collected many of the departmental honors and also got a six-figure National Science Foundation grant that will cover all his expenses and much, much, more for the next three years.

Do I look proud?

The Composer's proud too.

And Bella is finished with high school! Less of a moment, but quite significant as next year will be completely different. She'll be overseas working in an orphanage for most of the school year, then come back and start an occupational therapy degree the next fall. She absolutely loves working with children.

There they all are. We had such a satisfying, blessed weekend. Saturday we had an all-family dinner, all the grandparents, and one of my brothers and his family. We hustled to serve eighteen people within an hour of returning home from commencement. 

The menu was low country boil--potatoes, corn on the cob, shrimp, and sausages all thrown in a pot with seasonings (I borrowed a high-powered outdoor burner and very large pot from my neighbor).

Being truly blessed in my friends, I called on Carol to provide slaw, corn muffins, and a giant fruit bowl, which she delivered to the house while we were gone.

 We ate outside as it grew dark, then enjoyed turtle cheesecake and raspberry-filled chocolate cake, and hot tea. Yet another friend did the baking (and delivery. She's headed for pastry school, but if you ate her cake you would not think she needed to go learn anything!).

What is better than seeing your children enjoy each other?

Maybe seeing Giles two weekends in a row?

 My mother brought a huge supply of pickles! Thanks!

And citronella candles kept the mosquitoes at bay.


Lilian L said...

Blessings galore. Congratulations Felix! And yes Anna you look proud! Who would've guessed that Felix was the boy who took longer than most to start reading? A great testament to the grace of a God whol is always full of surprises.

Reinventing Mother said...

Yes, how proud you must be! The joy shows on all the faces! We are finished with all 4 girls through college and it is a wonderful feeling!:)))

Congrats to all!

Davene Grace said...

Anna, I can't remember when exactly I started reading your blog, but it's been years. I'm sure I'm not the only one of your long-time readers to feel a little something funny in my throat--and maybe a little extra moisture in my eyes--when I read this. Silly, isn't it, to feel so connected to someone you've never met--and so proud of the accomplishments of their children.

Silly or not, that's how I feel. What a joy to watch your family through the years. Your children have grown--and continue to do so--into beautiful adults. How exciting to watch them step out and fulfill the callings God has for them!

Julie said...

Congratulations on the successes of your children. You are right to be proud. - I have loved seeing your family grow up over the years.

Kelley said...

Warm island congratulations to you from Guam!

Happy highways,

Rose said...

Anna and the Composer, congratulations to all of you! To Felix and Bella especially but to all of you -- I am so delighted. Anna as I read that post I felt goosebumps and had tears in my eyes, what an enormous achievement Felix has made. And Bella, you're not even 17 and you've finished high school successfully.

Dear Composer I'm sorry (well, no I'm not) to say I have to take advantage of the Internet to remind you of something here: http://pleasantviewschoolhouse.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/next-year-for-felix.html

"Give us some criteria," we said in the fall. "What are you thinking?"

"I'm looking for a great biology department. But it can't be pre-med biology. It has to focus on evolutionary biology and ecology. And I need a strong foreign language department, with access to study abroad, for my double major in Spanish. They have to accept all my AP credit. And they need to pay for everything."

"Excellent," the Composer said drily. "We should be able to check out both of those schools."


My very best wishes to all of you especially both the graduates.

Lynne in NC said...

Thank you for sharing these milestones with us.
All the best,

Jodes said...

Two college graduates! You do look proud :) And Bella flying the nest! It'll be quiet at the schoolhouse with just Daisy at home.

Kyndra said...

Congratulations to both Felix and Bella!

I can't wait to hear what Felix is going to do with that grant!

Julian said...

Wonderful! Blessings in abundance! My oldest is graduating high school in a few weeks. Two step kids (mine;) ) are already in college. Things change before you know it. Savor every moment.I know you are....;)

Lisa said...

Oh, my - Felix!! Congratulations to you, dear boy! Anna, what a joy for you all! Wonderful.


Erin said...

We had the exact same meal this weekend! So nice to see all of your kids together again. It makes me sad every time another one flies from the nest. Life must be so different with so few in the house.

Anonymous said...

So happy for you and your family. What a blessing from God. The joy of loving each other and encouraging your readers too.

Barb in Nebraska

seashoreknits said...

Hearty Congratulations to Felix and to Bella! Well done!!
So happy for them both - so happy for the whole family. And Anna, yes, you do look so justifiably proud. What a blessed Mother's Day weekend you had.
(and the celebratory menu looked fabulous!)
Thank you for sharing.

Rebekah said...

Lovely to see Clara in her amazing Alabama Chanin dress. And you in yours. Congratulations to the graduates!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, wonderful Anna, all around! What is most precious to me is to see all the childrens' joy together, as you say. You inspire! Wow, how life changes too...our youngest ones are 5 years old and I'm your age with 5 children. Bella....what an amazing year ahead. Our dear friends work with "60 feet" (orphans) in Uganda. Mary Brooke in ATL (it goes so fast..I started reading your blog when my twins were born 5 years ago..so much change!!)

Fiona said...

Congratulations to Felix and Bella! And to you and your husband for raising such a lovely family. I always love reading how you manage to cater for crowds, and lovely to hear about your good friends helping with food, also. What a great day for you all!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! What a privilege to be let in to your life through this blog. I have enjoyed immensely your pictures, your projects, watching your family grow up, being encouraged in my own life to embrace the calling before me. God bless you all as you follow Him!

Gayle in Alberta

Yannick BUSSON said...

So happy for you all ! All the best to Felix and Bella for the next chapter in their life.
Gabrielle (in France)

Polly said...

There are so many great things here that have made me happy.

Lowcountry boil: I'm in Charleston now, so that's extra-appealing. We love it!

Felix: astounding. A grant like that at his age is such an accomplishment. I know you are proud of him! Is he focusing his work on ornithology? Truly...I have family members in academia. That grant is a Big Deal.

Bella of the beautiful voice: those blessed children! The ones in the orphanage, the ones who will encounter her in the future. We had an OT who worked with my son via early intervention when he was little. Children can detect when they are liked, and they respond so much better to a person who loves children. Bella will be a blessing.

Like Davene, I can't help but feel wistful. And inspired!

Quiltin Jenny said...

Congratulations all around! I would agree that there is nothing so lovely as having all the chicks in the nest and seeing them enjoy one another. No matter how they protest that they don't miss one another, the easy conversation and laughter tell me otherwise!

Polly said...

I should also say that this is precisely the type of post that makes me wish for more than 2 children. Because when they are older, they'll just have such fun! I'm one of only 2 and we do enjoy each other and are great friends, but I bet more would be merrier.

Christianna Sauve said...

Congratulations! I love Bella's dress! Do you mind me asking if you made it or bought it and if so where from?

Lucille said...

How the years do fly. Many congratulations to Felix and Bella. What a lovely family you have.

Vicki said...

Like Davene Grace said, I've been reading your blog for years, learning from you in little bits and always admiring the obvious love of Jesus in your home. I'm still just early on raising our six children and I so pray that they will find joy and relationship in our home and family until they move on in grace and confidence as your children are doing! What blessing to watch your family through the years. Thank you for sharing it with us! Congratulations!!

Farrah said...

How is this possible?! I'm so proud of them. Congratulations to both Felix, Bella, and of course you and the Composer as well. I wish them nothing but success in their respective decisions.

Martina said...

You have every reason to be proud. I am so happy with you!
Clara's plans sound exciting also. Having you as a mother, she will be perfectly prepared for her work with children.
It's a pleasure and inspiration to read here, as always!
Best to you and all your family!

Kate said...

Congratulations to the graduates! My friend's daughter worked in an African orphanage for a summer a few years ago. It was an amazing experience for her, but she said she was happy to come home to a long, hot shower. No diapers for the babies! Her mom threw away all the clothes she wore there they were so soiled. But, such a small price to pay for such an experience!

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