Friday, June 29, 2007

A Week of Graduations

It has been a crazy, emotional, incredible week here at the Knopf's. in 4 days time we had 3 different graduations. Our oldest 3 boys have given us much reason to be proud so please bear with me as I gush on about them and share some photo's from the week.
Thursday afternoon Dave's parents rolled into town in time for Aric's Graduation from 8th grade. We headed to the Middleschool for graduation to celebrate Aric's completion of 8th grade and the big step to High School in the fall. Aric hates the camera so I only got a couple of shots of him... here's my favorite

On Friday was High School Graduation for Ryan. Dave's parents were here already and his brother Mike got here in the afternoon with his 2 boys for the weekend.

The weather was not cooperating and as we sat in the stands it got dark, windy, rainy and COLD! But toward the end of graduation ceremonies, the sky lightened and the sun attempted to peak out through the clouds and the most beautiful double rainbow filled the shy over the football field where graduation was held. It was a beautiful way to end the evening!

I was determined not to get emotional and cry seeing my oldest son graduate, but he had other plans for me. As we sat watching the long processional of maroon gowns looking for Ryan to appear all of a sudden he was right in front of me, he smiled and then nodded his head to reveal the top of his mortar board and this is what I saw...

This is all I needed to start the tears flowing... I am so incredibly proud of this kid.
Dave and I with Ryan:

This is Ryan with his Grandparents...

And one of Ryan and Kellie

We had a big family party for Ryan and Aric on Saturday that was a lot of fun... we were surrounded by friends and family all helping to celebrate the accomplishments of Ryan and Aric.

As if all of this wasn't enough to make my heart feel like it was going to burst with pride for my kids, Alex was chosen to attend the Connecticut Fire Academy Cadet Program. He has been waiting for 2 years to get into this program. He missed all the weeks festivities as he was at the Academy all week completing his cadet training. He has belonged to Gardner Lake Fire Department for the last 3 years and is the Cadet Chief for his cadet group. He completed the program on Sunday and we went to addend his graduation ceremonies. We were awed to see him in dress uniform and receive his certification. Then the cadets were dismissed to the fire station to put their gear on to give us all demonstrations of the things they learned. Their instructor told us that the cadets had been putting in 14-16 hour days, most of that in full gear doing hands on training. We saw ladder demonstrations hose demonstrations, forced entry demonstrations, and several fire demonstrations. These young people worked very hard to achieve their level of training... we are very proud of Alex.
Here is Alex Receiving his Certification from his Cadet Advisor who was there to present the Certification to the Cadets from Gardner Lake:

Here is my fireman... this picture makes my heart feel like it is being squeezed... I am so proud of him...

I will finish this entry with this photo... Alex (#6 GLVFC) taking charge of the situation...

Stay tuned for vacation photo's in a week or so... we leave for the lake on Sunday!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Special Olympics 2007

This was our second year being involved with Special Olympics, but the first year that Dave and I got to enjoy the total experience of the weekend. Last year I had just had surgery, so we didn't stay on campus and only got to a couple of the games.

This year Dave and I stayed on campus at Southern CT State University with the kids all weekend. We had David, Jake, and Ben competing on the soccer team and we also had Caroline with us. It was a ton of work to pack up 6 people for the weekend stay, but so worth every second.

It is amazing to see such support from the community for the athletes and their families. It is difficult to explain how incredible it is to watch the athletes compete and work together as a team. It is amazing to watch n athlete extend a hand to an athlete on another team for help when they need it... how many times do you see a team member on a pro league extend a hand to someone on the opposite team when they are down? My guess is not much. Everyone could learn a lesson or 2 from the athletes and the unified players who competed this weekend.

Personally, I watched David and Ben excel playing soccer. They both scored several goals, they cheered each other and their teammates on, they played fair, they were good sports. I am so proud of both of them. I also watched Jake who played on the team as a unified player. He isn't even supposed to be playing because of a heal injury, but he just couldn't stay away. He bargained with the coaches to allow him on the field if he promised not to run at all. I watched Jake assist his teammates, encourage them, I also watched him play in a way that allowed the athletes on the other team an opportunity to score goals when every competitive fiber is telling him to play back... this is something that few adults can master, but Jake at 11 years old understands.
I also want to take a second to thank the coaches... Andy, Torrie, and Jeff for all their dedication to the team and all their hard work.
Andy... thank you for taking the boys to the movies on Saturday night.. even after David barged in and woke you up.. it was a nice break...thank you, thank you, thank you!!! It was an incredible, exciting, exhausting weekend. I hope you all enjoy the photo's. Please e-mail me if any of you on the team want copies of any of the pictures and I will e-mail them to you.

Have a good rest of the week.....

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Senior Prom

Enjoy the montage I made of Ryan's Senior Prom this weekend....
We had a wonderful time taking pictues and being a part of the afternoon festivities leading up to the prom.
more soon on things around here....