Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Homeschooling High School - Senior Pictures

An update from my 2011 post.

When we first started homeschooling,  we were kinda broke. In our first year my husband had started a new business, we battled a lawsuit and welcomed our 3rd child. Money was tight and I didn't have a great camera. Great cell phone photos weren't available yet.  I am very sorry to say that I don't have a lot of snapshots of my oldest two children. I made up with it with formal portraits done through the JC Penny Portrait Studio. I usually had a coupon for just a few shots and I made sure that we got them at regular intervals while they were little kids.

But I knew I was going to have to do better than that for their high school senior pictures and that scared me. So I started doing some research.  I asked my own sister about senior pictures since she had already lived through that with two of her kids. She told me that I could get a nice package with lots of variety for around $600. That was definitely out of the question for us! Asking around at some of the more popular portrait studios seemed to support that information.

When I mentioned it to Mr. Pete, he said, "We could buy a nice camera for that."  And I thought, why not! The camera would definitely earn back its purchase price with just senior portraits, but then I could also use it for regular pictures that I longed to take of my children on a regular basis. So before Calvin graduated we bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS70S 7MP Digital Camera with 3x Image Stabilized Zoom with our income tax refund. It was a great little point and shoot and I took Calvin's Senior picture with it!

Not perfect, but it served our needs and Calvin liked it.  I got an 8 x 10 for our house and then wallet sizes from Walgreen's Photo.

A few years later with money I got after my mother's death, I was able to make a bigger investment and I bought a Pentax K2000/  I have been using it ever since.  I blogged about that here. Since that first purchase, I have bought two more Pentax K200 on eBay.  My second camera was about $300 and the last one I purchased was $150.  I might eventually go over to a Canon or a Nikon, but I know how to use my Pentax so for I just keep buying them and the price keeps dropping.

I took the senior pictures for my other sons with it. In 2011 I did this photo shoot with Sam. I am not a professional photographer or artist by any means, but I know what I like and what I think looks good. I took Sam out to one of our metro parks with his guitar and he posed a little and I took pictures. Most of those looked a little too stiff for my liking. I think Sam was a little  uncomfortable too. But when he started playing his guitar spontaneously, I kept taking pictures. Those looked much more natural.

Here is the one I picked.  After a little editing it was just the way I wanted.
Sam Senior Picture

I also ordered his announcements from Walgreens using that portrait!

You can see the rest of Sam's Senior Pictures here.

My third son didn't have a traditional high school graduation, For a few years, I just kept a picture I had of Gabe at first communion on the shelf. But I really like the idea of having pictures of all the children at the same age on display.  I framed one of the pictures I took the night of prom and put that with his brothers' senior pictures. It wasn't the senior picture photo shoot I would have planned, but it does capture his look and personality at that time.

may 2013 200

By the time Noah graduated last year, I was very comfortable with using a DSLR camera and taking pictures. We put him in his new suit and took out to a local metro park to get some pictures.

Noah Senior Pictures 067

Noah Senior Pictures 011

I made his announcements and invitations with templates from Walgreens.
april 2017 067 2 .april 2017 069
The rest of Noah's Senior Pictures are here.

But things are a little different with my daughter. She is planning to further her education in some kind of a hand skill, whether that be art, baking, and sewing, or drywalling, plumbing, soldering and maybe even blacksmithing with her dad. Her pictures capture a more whimsical creative side.

Isadora's senior pictures
Isadora's senior pictures Isadora's senior pictures 116 2 Isadora's senior pictures 101 2
We want to shoot one more time in a formal dress Izzy has been saving for her senior year. Then we'll be done!!

Izzy's photos so far are here. 

Homeschool families are used to doing things outside the box and improvising. Parents taking Senior portraits or even school pictures is another option and a great chance to work with your child to come up with memorable photos they will be proud to share for their graduation and to remember in years to come.