The past few weeks have been the climax of our educational experience. We have so many pleasant surprises.
August 2001 we began our road to a degree. Our goal was in five years to have a BA. Through one blessing/miracle after another it happened. In 2001 Jake partook in a program for a whole semester were he worked part time and went to school full time. He was working two days a week and taking lunch hour classes, evening classes and weekend classes in accelerated 8wk courses. Then 9/11 happened. He worked 24hrs on, and 24hrs off, getting just enough time off for classes. We had Eliza mid way thru the second term to boot. With all of that he somehow managed to complete 20+credits on the Dean's list. He completed the rest of his AA on weekends and evening classes when we could manage. Jake graduated from UMUC in the fall of 2005. Taking his last exam just days before he left for Iraq the second time. Just in time for us to apply here.
Jake has taken full load semesters at USU (28credits one semester, but averaging 18credits the other semesters). I am very proud of him! It has taken us almost 7yrs to get Jake's Bachelors degree, but were interrupted twice by deployments. So the way I have it figured he did it in 5yrs ;) He has managed to juggle his family, having one more kid, church responsibilities, his school work and many other projects on the side while in Logan.
The past few weeks Jake won the "Man of the Year" for USU. He spoke at the tabernacle during a musical fireside on the "Faith of our Father's" We celebrated our 8th Anniversary. He found out he has a undergraduate paper being published in July in the American Communication Journal (the first Under Grad paper in its history). We completed all the requirements and Jake commissioned on Friday (pay raise here we come!). During the commissioning we were surprised with the presentation of a Saber for "Top Cadet 2008". Then on Saturday he graduated Cum Lada (with honors 3.5-3.75GPA) from USU with a BS in Communication Studies. To top it all of we have been surrounded by supportive family and friends. Talk about Jake walking on air these past few days. It's a good thing he will be back to military life soon to knock him back to reality :)
We truly have been blessed. Jake is the best man I could have chosen for me. I have never had to work a day of our marriage, I have never had to worry about my needs being met. He has always given 110% to our marriage, family, and his schooling. He lives and loves the gospel, being able to exercise the priesthood since the day we were married. I have married well above my stature. Thank you Jake! As quirky as you are, the good far out weighs the bad. With all the flack you get for being "over the top", "too much", "eccentric" and "hard to compete with" I will always be here to appreciate your accomplishments. I love you!
Watch for the family photos later on this week. I am so excited! I think they turned out great!