WELCOME AND THANK YOU
I would like to begin by taking a few minutes to explain what this afternoon is meant to be. It, of course, is a celebration of what Isaac has accomplished. It is also a celebration of what we have chosen to pursue. We have homeschooled Isaac since the second grade, and we have thoroughly enjoyed the process and are more convinced than ever of our choice. We are delighted with the young man he is today.
But I would also like to take this moment to acknowledge that not everyone in this room has chosen to homeschool their children. While we are celebrating our homeschool product today, we do not wish for anyone to hear our pride and our joy in how this has worked for us as an indictment upon any of your decisions to educate your children differently. Though it should be noted that we thoroughly enjoy vigorous discussions on the subject.
Today we want you to join us in our celebration, and we believe you have reason to celebrate not only because of your affection for Isaac but because you have contributed to his education.
Education is much more than just the books you read, the papers you write and the equations you solve. Those things are of immense value, and Isaac has benefited greatly from his extensive reading lists each year. But his education was made broader by his experiences and by those who invested in him with time and love and opportunity.
In the first chapter of Romans, we read "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools..." Rom. 1:18-22
We have always desired to build a constant attitude of thankfulness into our children and what sort of parents would we be if we did not live that example for them.
Isaac, and in turn Shelly and I, have been greatly blessed by those who have given so much.
In the last ten years we have moved all over the world from Hawaii to Germany, and everywhere we have gone we have been blessed by family. Isaac has been blessed to have fine men model Godly manhood and invest time in him and care for him. Men like Pastor Todd Capen, Major Mike Cookey, Major Britton Price and so many others.
He has seen the love of so many wonderful families like the Capens, Burkhalters and Wischmeiers in Hawaii. In Europe it was the Romos, Sponds, Pattersons and Motes among so many more. The Johnsons and the Cookeys are among those families that seemed to love on us from the day we arrived until the day we left. These were families that made us feel like we had family near when our biological families were oceans away. With these families we prayed and worshipped, we laughed and cried, we sang and we danced. We broke bread and we pursued wisdom.
Those were formative years for Isaac. But before and after we travelled the world we had people helping to grow Isaac.
That begins with our family. Uncle John and Aunt Karen always provided a warm and inviting home to visit, a farm to enjoy and sometimes to work, and came to Isaac’s games and took him to watch games. Uncle Corey and Aunt Becky would gather for every major event, providing holiday meals, running races with him and talking sports endlessly. Uncle Wes and Aunt Dawn always made sure all of our children felt so very important and so special whenever they were together. We thank you.
Uncle Todd and Aunt Kristin have been there from the beginning. At some point the children found out you weren’t actually family, but there is no doubt you have earned those titles.
To Grandma who has always been ready to give a hug or food to a growing boy, a trip to the park or just to lend an ear. And Mimi who has literally made her house a home for our children and has given so much more than that and so much more than I can list. Grandpa and Susie always have love and laughter to share and support every activity. Grandpa, you gave us a scare this year but also gave us the opportunity to see prayers answered and to see what it means to have a family care for one another and pull together in dark times. What a blessing.
Yes, in our very short return to the Kansas City area in Isaac’s senior year, many unforeseen blessings have come. A wonderful church family was discovered. Pastor Lindstrom has been a faithful shepherd as well as Entrepreneurial Business Instructor. The Van Till Family has provided the first real jobs to Isaac and Abi as well as Constitution classes. The Lindstroms, Morills and the congregation of Christ Our Redeemer have welcomed my wife and my children and loved them during a uniquely difficult time for our family.
And the Morrisons provided an incredible basketball opportunity with a strong program where they and families like the Burkharts and Daileys welcomed Isaac in and provided him friendship and a memory he will not soon forget. Not to mention the experience that is Coach Lathrop.
Thank you all for being here. By that, I mean more than thank you for occupying your seat this afternoon. I am saying thank you for having been there for my family, for my children, for Isaac. God has blessed Isaac through you, and we are grateful.
Of course, all thanks is to be given to the Giver of all good gifts. It is by God’s hand that all of these things have been done. So please stand, lift your glass and join with us in singing the Doxology.