Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Jeremiah State Patrol Graduation

On Thursday and Friday, June 14th and 15th we were honored with the privilege to attend the activities of the WI State Patrol Graduation. Jeremiah graduated with 39 other troopers who were assigned around the state in positions of Troopers or Inspectors.

The night stated off with a banquet at which Jeremiah was presented an award for being number one in the class. He was presented with the Superintendent’s Award. At the banquet I was honored to meet some of his class mates and their families. I was impressed with the quality of the young men and women who were in the graduating class. Each one looks as committed and dedicated to the State Patrol mission as well as law enforcement in general. I was equally impressed with the professionalism of the leadership who appeared at the banquet. I could not help but be a bit jealous at the new adventures and challenges that Jeremiah will face in his new career. He has some awesome job opportunities and a line up of professionals to work with. With that and a committed, supportive family, what more could he ask for!

On Friday we attended the actual graduation ceremony at the State Capitol in Madison. I watched chocking back some emotions as the class marched in to take their seat calling out cadence they had created. The entire group of people stood by eyes bugging out and jaws hanging loose at the professional appearance of their sons and daughters who put on a very impressive performance.

I buzzed around the room taking as many pictures as I could to memorialize the moment. I do not really think any number of pictures or video could ever replace the honor of being present and seeing the graduation in person.

The special Speaker was Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson. Laughter exploded throughout the crowd as the Chief Justice attempted to get the Troopers to face her so she could swear them in. She commented "Please face me" to which the Troopers ignored and continued to hold their attention status staring straight ahead. With some help from Major Price, the Chief Justice finally barked out the command "face right" at which time the Troopers faced her to be sworn in.

After the ceremony I stood back and watched as Jeremiah's Mother pinned his badge on his shirt for the first time. He also gave his sister Katie and his girlfriend Heather the opportunity to pin the badge on as well.

The entire event left lumps in the throats of many of the family members and a memory that will never fade.

What you will see in the graduation pictures is the faces of happy Troopers and families as the kudos and awards are handed out. What you will not see is just what it took for these 40 people to get where they are at just this moment. You will not see the sweat and tears and the hours of study and the sacrifice and preparation. You will not see the frustration as they faced challenges that they have never before experienced in their lives. You will only get a glimpse of the amount of work that was done to have the privilege to "screw on" the trooper's hat and pin on the badge. These forty people put fear behind them and accepted the challenge of a lifetime. Now, they have finished and their success is melded into their character. We will all benefit by the existence of people of this great character.

"... the big courageous acts of life are those one never hears of and only suspects from having been through like experience. It takes real courage to do battle in the unspectacular task. We always listen for the applause of our co-workers. He is courageous who plods on, unlettered and unknown.... In the last analysis it is this courage, developing between man and his limitations, that brings success." Alice Foote MacDougall

To see more pictures of the graduation, follow the below link.


Jeremiah's Graduation Pictures

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Monday, June 18, 2007

A day on the river

We took a great ride up the river from Lake Winnebago all the way to Fremont. At Freemont we found this great little resort and stopped for a beer. What a happy, fun place. I believe it was called the gala resort of Fremont.

The river itself offers a surprising amount of activity and fun things to do. There are house boats, speed boats, sail boats, fishing boats and lots of great places along the shore to stop if you choose.

After spending our day on the river enjoying the scenery, we stopped in Winneconne to have dinner. We ate at a nice restaurant called Baggers located right on Main Street. What a great meal they served.

After floating around on the river for about eight hours, we all arrived back in Oshkosh exhausted. It was a lovely day and I recommend it if you get the chance.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Judy's Flower Garden

One thing that is always exciting around our house is the coming of summer and the blooming of our garden. Years back Judy decided that the lawn was too much so she chopped it out in back and front and put in flower gardens. The pictures below represent only a small part of the beautiful garden that has come out of her efforts. Each year something new is added or grows without us knowing about it. Sometimes I think all she needs is a larger garden to really show off her wonderful ability to make a garden shine.

The photos below are only an example of the flowers that have popped up for the summer. Sitting on the deck is a treat for anyone surrounded by the "garden delights" and the sound of water from the fountains she has put in. It must be a delight for the birds and bees to flitter about enjoying the assortment of flowers and foliage that are growing in our yard.

The only thing I do not like is the chimes that hang in the trees. I have at times been known to deploy a bit of duct tape to silence the constant clang of the chimes. But, I am usually able to ignore them and enjoy the beauty and peace in my own yard!

Be sure to select "older posts" at the end of this page to see all the flowers I have posted. You can also click on them to see them full sized.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The wonderful Wizard

And wonderful it was! The program I mean. Judy and I took Alexus to see the wizard at the Opera house in Oshkosh. The entire Wizard of Oz play was done on stage. What a wonderful performance. The actors were near professional in the presentation of the performance. The program was done by a Christian Theatre group from Oshkosh. They must one great producer because the performance was awesome. I found great delight in the ability of the actors and the props in general. I took Alexus to the play as a birthday treat (she was 9), but we enjoyed it every bit as much as she did. I am looking forward to further performances by this group. It is well worth the low price of admission.

Below are some of the actors posing with Alexus. Even the dog did a great job making the play real. My congratuations to all of them!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A day in third grade

I had a wonderful day in the third grade class with Alexus. It was grandparent’s day and I was invited to spend part of the day with Alexus and her class. It was an eye opening experience. I was amazed how smart third graders really are.

We stated with a group session and everybody got to talk, even me. The question of the day was "If you could be invisible for 10 minutes of every day, what time of the day would you choose and why". The answers were really quite ingenious. Yes, I did come up with something but I am leaving that as a secret between me and the other third graders!

We spent some time on vocabulary. That was fun too. At one point the teacher asked me if something she had written on the board was spelled correctly. What!? What she serious? Where is the spell checker? These kids were able to spell out words that most adults would struggle with. I was impressed.

We also learned to play the ukulele. We all were given a short lesson by the music teacher and then we were off. Each of use was assigned our very own ukulele and we were making music. Well, it was kind of music. We did learn to play row row row your boat.

Oh yes, we also got to go out for recess. I spent my recess pushing kids on the swing. I was also given the privilege of giving piggy back rides of course and Alexus insisted on riding me to and from the playground.

In all, it was fun and I would do it again!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007