Friday, May 20, 2016

Thank You Whitworth!

"I always pray with joy...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil. 1:4,6

The Carver family Era at Whitworth University has been eleven years and is about to end. We are headed over to Spokane this weekend to celebrate our youngest child's college graduation. All four of our children have attended the same college. Crazy, right? I am obviously the school's and my children's biggest fan, as evidenced by my collection of Whitworth apparel and items. (Not shown are the Pirate Mom and Dad license plates on my car...) Twice I've been given the opportunity to act as a Pirate Mom and speak to incoming freshman and their parents about why Whitworth is such a great school.

This family adventure began back in 2005 when our oldest son Mitch started college and chose a small private school we'd learned about from our Pastor, Mark Toone. (He was and is currently on the Board of Education.) Back then, it was still a College, but in 2007, when our daughter Allie started as a freshman, it became a University.

The graduations began...

(Mitch-class of 2009/English Major)
(Allie-class of 2011/Elem. Ed.)

Keeping with tradition, T.J. also wanted to attend Whitworth and he attended 2010-2014. He's just completed his first year of graduate school in a new WU counseling program. Last, but not least,  Sarah started her Whitworth adventure in 2012. Although she spent her Sophomore year here at Tacoma Community College, she returned to complete her Art Education degree and will graduate this Sunday!

(Tim-class of 2014/Theology major)

(Sarah-class of 2016/Art Ed.)

Four times of moving excited kids into the BJ (Baldwin/Jenkins) freshman dorm... Different off-campus homes to set-up, and LOTS of wonderful friends to meet and become like family... Oh if only we'd known all four would end up in Spokane at the same University we might have bought a little rental home they all could have lived in!!

Lots of long road trips over to Spokane to attend Family weekends... Hanging out in the "Hub"... Stock-up shopping trips to Fred Meyer and Costco. Coffee dates at La Petit Chat Bakery and dinners out at The Elk, Twigs, and The Flying Goat... So many fun memories were made over the years!

Greenbluff in October

In the "Loop"

We are Pirates!

The gang at The Elk

The tradition of a steak dinner at Wolf Lodge in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho will continue this Saturday night. We make the trip when they start college and when they graduate. It's fun to see our name in the guest book in years past... This will be our 8th trip or maybe 9th!

Four Pirate graduates. Thirty-two expensive tuition checks written and parent and student loans to be paid. There have been several years when we've had more than one child on campus at the same time. Four times (plus Mitch's Master's) of sitting in the Spokane Arena for hours to hear our child's name read so we can cheer as they walk across the stage. (My tip; bring a book or Kindle to read.)

(Mitch earned Masters~2010)

Prayers shot up for finals and relationships... The blessing of both our sons meeting their amazing wives while at Whitworth...
(Daughter-in-laws Amy and Katie)

And so, our baby girl will be walking across the stage for her hard-earned diploma this Sunday. We'll be there to cheer for our fourth and final Pirate. 

Adorable photo taken by Olivia Strohm Photography

We're so proud of you Sarah! You are lovely and talented inside and out and loved by SO many! You will be the best and most compassionate High School Art Teacher ever!

We're so grateful for the blessing that Whitworth has been to our children and our family! Thanks to their friends and the nurture of Professors, each of our kids has become an improved version of themselves. Besides the fabulous education of their chosen field of study, they've gained confidence and the ability to connect with adults of all ages. Theology has been learned and tested, they became mission and outward focused, and above all caring and loving adults. 

The school motto is "Education of Mind and Heart" and I believe all eight of our family members have received that! Thank you Whitworth! 

This Sunday afternoon, I'll be the Mama holding a hankie, possibly wearing sunglasses to hide the tears and cheering loudly for my beautiful daughter, Sarah Michelle.

In His Grip, 

We will return for TJ's graduate ceremony next May, so I guess it's not actually our FINAL Whitworth weekend!

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