I attended several schools; Rick's College, MCC, Rio Salado, a school in Albuquerque, but I can't for the life of me think of the name but it is now called Central NM Community College, AZ Dept of Real Estate school and then ASU. Yes, that is a lot; I don't recommend it.
I went to school off and on for several years, between having kids #s 1,2,3,4, and 7 & 8.and jobs and helping Ben finish his degree, it was hit or miss what years I went. I was pregnant a lot in college.
I had tons of people help me with babysitting over the years; my mom, all of my sisters, Evelyn C., Celeste K., Grams, Cindi B., Jana C., and many others who I was able to use for backup several times. Thank you for taking such great care of my children so I could study or attend class.
A big thank you to my parents who never made me feel like this wasn't an important endeavor. I'm sure there were times when they were biting their tongues thinking I was crazy for even trying, but they never once doubted my ability to get it done. From day one, they supported me and even helped finance my first year away to college.
When I started thinking about school 4.5 years ago, Heavenly Father knew the desire of my heart was to finish this degree. While it would have been so much easier if things would have gone according to plan and I would have started school when my original baby (Tawny) went to kindergarten, Heavenly Father knew how much I needed Derek and Anny to keep me grounded and my priorities straight. Motherhood always came first. They have never known life without their mother going to school and although I only had them with a sitter once or twice a week for a few hours, they rarely complained. While they may be my "devil children," they are absolutely my angel babies.
|Katy Age 10, almost 11|
|Drew Age 15|
My older kids were used to me being gone with my responsibilities as RS President, but I figured once I was released that I would have so much time on my hands that going to school would be a cinch. How little did I realize how many times they would end up making dinner, cleaning the house (more than their usual chores), and babysitting because I had class or needed to study or finish up homework well into the evening or night. While that was hard for them, they are going to reap the benefits of their homemaking skills in the future.
|Skylar Age 13|
|Marly Age 17|
I hope my kids know how important it is to me, that they graduate from college. It is something that you will always use, whether you want to be a stay at home mom, run your own business, or be a doctor. I learned things about myself that I knew were there, but maybe tucked away, things like perserverance and courage. I hope my kids saw the importance of finishing this when you are young. Raising a family and going to school is tough, tougher than I ever imagined it would be, but it was part of my path and I'm glad I was able to finish it when I did.
And, so far, it has been worth every single minute of effort I put into it.
|My grad cap|
I also want to add that it is way more fun to go to school with someone than by yourself. Jana and I never attended school "together" as she was studying nursing, but she and I were always on the same page when it came to worries about kids, homework, tests and working. She was always good for sushi break when we were at our stress limits and I am so lucky to have such a great friend in Jana.
|Too bad my family are big UofA fans|
And, although you may think this is silly, but I'm glad I had FaceBook for moral support. There is nothing quite like reading comments from my friends congratulating me on getting a good grade on a test or telling me they have inspired them to go back to school. I was not able to socialize as much as I would have liked over the last 3.5 years and I am so glad for the support of my local friends, my old friends, and my family. When I needed a pick me up, they were there and when I needed a pat on the back, there was plenty to go around.
|Vance's photo by www.kimskinnerphotography.com|
I can only say I have one regret. I wanted to graduate before Vance left on his mission. I missed it by two classes or one semester. But, he was sweet enough to get his picture taken in an ASU shirt before he left. Thank you Vance for being so sweet and going to college with your mom. His freshman year and my senior year...awesome.
Now, what to do about those student loans...
P.S. Most of the photos were taken by my friend Karolee. Thank you my friend.