Saturday, November 10, 2012

Stužkovak - Take 3

I am definitely feeling sentimental today.

Last night we celebrated Claire and her class at Stužkovak, the third and final one that we've attended for our kids here in the Czech Republic (see HERE and HERE for my posts about the boys').

This is a special ceremony for the fourth year students to signify and celebrate that they have officially entered the season of preparing for their "maturita", the final leaving exams that will take place in May. While they haven't yet graduated, this event is actually bigger and more important than's such a wonderful tradition!

Two of Claire's sweet friends from BMA were over here yesterday afternoon getting ready for the gala event that was held nearby.

Her class of 23 students were completely in charge of planning this event - no small feat! They made all the arrangements, which included securing a very nice location at the nearby Čelanda Golf Resort, inviting parents, friends and teachers to celebrate with them.

I love that this tradition includes the parents!

The tables were set beautifully which created such a lovely atmosphere for spending the evening together.

The celebration began with Paul Till, their homeroom teacher, escorting one of the students out to begin a waltz...

Followed by every other student in the class! It was absolutely gorgeous watching them dance across the floor.

If you've been reading my blog for long you know that almost all Czech students take a semester long course of dance in high school years, so for the most part, they all know how to really dance!

This was our first glimpse of the class of 2013 graduating seniors.

There was then a skit by some of Claire's classmates, followed by a delightful sample of English class given by Paul Till that gave the parents an idea of what a typical class has been like for their children. Very enjoyable for all, with lots of laughter as parents tried out their English skills as he had them interacting with each other!

 Finally the big moments arrived...the pinning ceremony.

Each student was called forward to be "knighted", "pinned" and "sashed"...if that's a word!

The young men of the class escorted each girl as she knelt for her "knighting".

And then the famous ribbon was pinned on.

I won't lie...I had tears in my eyes watching Claire get her ribbon and sash. This is my baby, my sweet little girl who it seems was just starting kindergarten - yet, now is officially headed towards graduating from Czech high school. Lyrics from a 'Fiddler on the Roof' song are ringing through my ears..."Is this the little girl I carried?"...and..."When did she get to be a beauty?"

How does Claire feel about all this?? Very happy!! Not happy to be leaving home soon (I'm pretty sure she'll tell you that!), but happy to be in the final leg of thirteen years of Czech school. She should be happy...that's been a huge accomplishment!

Magda, Hayley and Claire all celebrating as "maturanka's" (totally wrong conjugation of Czech on that one...but it's the gist that counts!)

The "stužky", ribbons, that they all received. Each class chooses a saying for the middle ribbon - can you see what hers chose?!

At the end of the evening, this is one proud Papa...

And one proud Mama!!

Our dear friends, Mel and Amy, were also there celebrating Hayley.

And fellow JV missionaries, Matt and Amy Hartman, joined us as well. Thankful to share such a special evening with dear friends!

This is it. We're officially in the home stretch now. So very proud of our girl!

For Claire's version of the evening, you can read about it on her blog HERE!


  1. Oh My! Claire is looking (and acting I presume) so grown up now. So fantastic that you captured the evening so take such great pictures. Of course you and Dave don't look old enough to have your little girl leaving home soon!

    One other note...Mr Ellenwood looks like a college professor! Very distinguished!

  2. Aw! Such sweet memories. That was really a fun day!