...but she still has three days in which she needs to report to elementary school. Seriously. Is that weird or what? Tomorrow is their all day party at Camp Harlow (many, many pics to come as I'll be the photographer) - and then on their school day Thursday, one hour of it will be devoted to "Field Day", no school on Friday, and then they return for a half day on Monday. What on earth are those poor fifth grade teachers going to do? For the girls, it will be one big cry-fest with them lamenting over the precious memories they hope to never lose together, and, as witnessed by the boys at Promotion tonight, they will be ALL OVER THE PLACE.
It is, without a doubt, though, three days that Mikayla is looking very much forward to. (Outside of the recognition that she'll probably cry and be sad with her friends). I even told her that it was up to her if she even wanted to return on Monday (what's the point?!) - and yes, of course, she does. I don't blame her. She's surrounded by a phenomenal staff in a fantastic school with friends that are truly amazing. She might as well savor these innocent heydays as long as she can!
So, on to the Promotion Ceremony. But, first, a shot of her and Christi at Bello. We SPOILED her by arranging for a visit to Bello on this special day and Christi pulled out all the stops to try to keep her VERY STRAIGHT hair (um, Mom, I'm telling you, her hair "does not compute"!) full of curls. I don't even know if Mikayla cared what the end result looked like, she was just in heaven with the process.
When we returned home, I gave her a pedicure and manicure (not nearly as luxurious as Bello, but much less expensive!) - and then John snapped a few pics of her by the waterfall.
Sheesh....this girl has done a lot of growing up since her first day of first grade at Gilham (she spent her kindergarten year at Norkenzie Christian School where she went to pre-school).
Then, off to the school for the Promotion Ceremony.
Walking in as a class to take their seats. One of her best friends is "Julia Reilly" - that like last name (despite different spelling) makes for happy placement when put alphabetically.
This is a sentimental song they sang in the beginning "I'm Ready to Go". Mikayla anticipated crying on this one, so she kept looking at her friends to see if they were too.
Getting her certificate after her name was called.
Looking back at Daddy with a smile after having walked across the stage.
Singing "Firework" - the last song of the ceremony.
On to the "reception" (where we stayed for about five minutes). The BFF pic with Kenady.
Grandma Liupakka was able to come and witness her promotion.
Got a shot of the Leighton family, before snagging another pic of the girls together - and then another with Mikayla and little Annika.
The first of the probable two family pics taken at Promotion Ceremonies this week...
Finally, a shot of Mikayla, with her principal, Gig Nelson. Gig came on board the year Mikayla began Gilham- and honestly, I couldn't ask for a better principal. For reasons I'm not sure of, I'm told not everyone else feels this way, and it's possible that the motivation for his retirement this year isn't completely his own. Whatever the case is, he's been ideal for our family - so warm, friendly, and focused on a positive school, staff, and environment where kids feel encouraged and safe. When we asked to take this picture, he said he remembered the day we met with him with both kids at the school and sat in his office talking about his views on life (he's a Christian). It made a huge impact to us, and apparently meant something to him too. He's truly gotten a kick out of both of our kids - bringing out their silliest sides so it's obviously reciprocated.
Following the reception, Mikayla was invited to an impromptu party at Julia's. This picture represents the 7 girls that she considers her closest friends. It was very serendipitous that they could all pose together. What a gift these (now 6th grade) girls are.
(left to right: Grace, Meg, Mikayla, Kenady, Julia, Piper, Harley, and Hadley)