Mandi and David flew in from Tulsa for the boy’s graduation! Having the family together is such a joy! With Mandi and David living out of town I cherish the moments where I can look into each of their eyes. This weekend will bring a lot of fun! We will be leaving the right after the graduation ceremony for California and will go to Disneyland the next day. I have rented a large house in Del Mar where we will spend three nights together as a family. I am so excited to be together!! The last time we were all together was for Jessi and Jason’s wedding.

When I started this blog several years ago I never thought about how it would feel to have our family separated. I never considered one of my kids getting married and moving away. I guess I kind of lived in a world of denial that time would change things. I miss the easiness of living together and seeing each other. I miss the easiness of checking in with one another and sharing the simple things in life together. But I am happy to have Mandi and David home for now!! 

Before graduation we had dinner together and we did our usual around the table blessings. Every time it is a special event for someone in the family (birthday, graduation, special award) we go around the table and tell that individual something we admire about them and then share a special memory with them. I have always believed in teaching family to affirm one another. So many times we spend our time and efforts thinking about what we do not like about each other. Or we spend our time together joking each other around.  But when we practice affirming one another it becomes easier to do it on a regular basis. I also believe it is a good practice to speak out loud what you admire in another person. We have to opportunity to help one another become more self-aware.

Omi was in town for the graduation as well and stayed with us. It was such a great family time! Full of blessing!! One of my favorite memories was hearing Jefferson and Peter tell one another what they loved about the other. The two of them were very pumped to graduate and shortly after this picture was taken they headed out the door together to join their friends on the football field for graduation. 

The night was beautiful! All our friends and family were gathered in the stands. When Jefferson’s name was called there was a roar of applause and then they called Peter’s name. As Peter began to wheel across the stage the entire student body of about 500 kids stood to their feet giving him a standing ovation. And then people in the stands began to stand. The crowd crapped and cheered for several moments. And I began to cry. THE JOURNEY had been difficult but worth every challenge. As I stood there in the crowd looking at the wonderment of so many people loving and supporting Peter’s life I was reminded that God has a plan for our life. I was reminded that although at times his education had been a struggle it had been worth what it took to carry through. And now as high school ends and new opportunities and challenges are ahead of us I hope to remember this night. The night was full of hope! 

Jeff had made us all shirts that said, “YANO brothers!” Shortly after this picture was taken we all jumped into two cars and headed straight to LA. We would be going to Disneyland first thing in the morning. It was such a special night. I am filled with love and joy for these two. It was a night I will never forget. Thank you Horizon High School and student body! Thank you God for one more lesson in trust and faith!