Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ethan James

Today is Ethan's 10th birthday!
He was born in Louisville, Kentucky and is our 14th grandchild and 9th grandson.
Ethan is a very important part of this large family.
And an even more important part of this smaller part of our large family.
Last night I conducted a phone interview with him and here's how it went.

Hi Ethan!  Happy Birthday a little early!  Thanks!
Are you excited to be 10 years old?  I'm real excited!
Why?  Because I'll be double digits and I'll be ten on the 10th!  
Do you have any special plans for tomorrow?  I don't really know.
Will you take treats to school?  Yes, I'm taking in sugar cookies.  
Do you like school?  Yeah it's pretty good I guess.  Average.  You know, it's school.
What do you like best about it?  I don't know.  I guess all my friends are there and every day I get smarter.
Is there anything you don't like about it?  Ummmm  well today we had big proficiency  tests and we had like an hour and thirty minutes to two hours to take them.  Were they hard?  Ummm I would say a little bit like other other tests .... not that tricky.  That's what you don't really enjoy about school?  Right.  I do NOT enjoy them. 
How do you like your new house?  It's great!  We have tons of room and we can play more games and have more room to play electronics and stuff.
What do you like best about it?  I would say getting my own room.   It's pretty awesome?  Yes, very awesome!  There's a nightstand right next to my bed where I can put my glasses and watch and I have a new dresser.  Over the weekend Aunt Beth was here and Adam helped put together a bookcase for my books and stuff. And there's a little wall hanger that holds my medals from cross country.
So you're going to be in cross country again this year?  Yes, Running Club starts Wednesday.  Running Club is a little less popular than cross country and Mary's in Running Club which is cool.  I'll be in Running Club cross country until middle school and then I'll be in track or cross country.  But in either one I'll continue running because it's very enjoyable. 
What was the best thing that happened in the past year?  Let's see.  I would say the beach house.  Did you like the Alabama beach house better than the Michigan City beach house?  Yes because we were closer to the Gulf and there's a lot more water and not everybody gets to see the Gulf of Mexico in their life.  People say that the Gulf of Mexico is where the meteor that wiped out all the dinosaurs struck the earth.  And also it's much warmer there. 
What are you looking forward to in the next year?  Maybe if we go somewhere cool this summer because summer is a really nice time and it's fun and we go on different vacations like the time we went to Hilton Head.
What do you like best about your brother?  Well,if Mary doesn't want to play with me I can play with Trey.
What do you like best about your sister?  Well, if Trey doesn't want to play with me sometimes Mary does.  But it's a lot more fun when both want to play with me because we make the craziest games.
What do you want to be when you grow up?  A scientist .  I want to find a cure for cancer and become an inventor.
How many children do you think you'll have someday?  At least 2.  I'm hoping for 3.  I would say four would be the maximum.
What else can you tell us about yourself that we haven't talked about?  I don't know.  I would say I'm a cat person.   I really like cats.  And that's about it I guess.  
Would you say you're a helpful guy?  Yeah I would say I'm pretty helpful.  My mom would say I'm pretty helpful. 
 Would you say you're a happy guy?  I guess I'm happy maybe 65% of the time.  Why not the other 35%?  Like sometimes, when I'm waiting for something in the mail and it doesn't come every day that puts me in a bad mood.  Or when I get a bad grade I get in a bad mood.  What happened with the mail?  I was supposed to get three pretty rare Pokemon cards on Wednesday and they didn't come.  But it said they would come on Friday.  They didn't come on Friday so I was positive they would come on Saturday.  But they didn't come on Saturday and there was no mail on Sunday.  But they did come today so it's okay.

So you collect Pokemon cards?  Yes and I love reading.  If I start reading a book that's really good it really gets me and I have to keep reading until I finish it.  And sometimes when I'm going home I won't look forward to going home because I'm reading a really good book in class.
And a another interesting fact about Ethan is that he got straight A's on his report card today and he's in the AP (Advanced Placement) program.
And of course there are many more things I could tell you about him.  I know for sure that he's a sensitive, kind, loving, and very smart boy.  He's also fun-loving, conscientious, creative, and enthusiastic about anything he finds interesting or challenging.  Ethan is a wonderful grandson and we're wonderfully proud of him.  And we're wishing him a terrific birthday and a year full of everything that makes a ten-year-old happy.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Matthew Clinton

Today is Matthew's 13th birthday!
He was born at Ft. Stewart, Georgia where his dad was stationed with the Army.
and had one older brother and one older sister.
Now he's an important part of this large family.
And an even more important part of this smaller, large family.  They live in Burke, Virginia.
Last night I conducted a telephone interview with him.  Here's how it went:  Hi Matthew!  Happy Birthday a little early.  Thank you!
I know you're active in Boy Scouts.  What's the most important thing you've learned as a scout?  Probably leadership.  It's really helpful in school and stuff because for projects when nobody wants to take the lead, I feel pretty comfortable stepping up.

What's the funnest thing you've done in Boy Scouts.  Probably shooting shotguns and rifles. 

What's your favorite holiday? Definitely Christmas.  Why?  Because it's like such a big holiday and you get a lot of gifts and it actually shifts the way you behave and stuff. You listen to Christmas music and it's just a happy time.
And what was your best Christmas present ever.  I got an Xbox One which is like the next generation console.  It was so awesome!
You've always been quite athletic.

What's your favorite sport to play?  Basketball because I've been playing it the longest and I'm getting to a really competitive level.  I think it's pretty cool when the game gets really intense. And then when you win there's this awesome feeling of victory.
Intense is right.  Matthew is #40.
He even takes the friendly family games seriously. 
What is your favorite sport to watch?  Football because it seems like one of the most popular sports and I think the super bowl is awesome.  Also, you can discuss the cool plays and stuff with your friends in school.
Why do you like being a kid?  I like that I don't have to work as hard as adults and since i'm only in 7th grade, I don't have that much homework either so I get more time to play outside and play video games. 

What's your favorite animal? I'd say a dog since we have a family dog and ours likes to snuggle and play in the backyard and in the snow.  (Evidently he also likes story time.)
What is your favorite thing to do? I like to just hang out with friends.  We usually do a ton of different things.  
What do you love most about your siblings?  Probably the fact that we don't really argue anymore.  When we were younger we argued about random small things but now that we're older we don't bother each other so much. 

What do you think you will be doing 10 years from now?   I'm pretty interested in programming right now because it's kind of fun. What we're doing now is very basic but I'd like to get to the point where I can make websites and things like that.
What was the highlight of the past year.   Probably becoming a star scout in Boy Scouts. What is that?  It's the third to last rank.  Ranks are Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and then Eagle.  Are you young for that rank?  Yeah, pretty young.  I got it right after I turned 12. In like four months hopefully I'll be Life.  The only thing I'm waiting on is the time requirement. 

What are you looking forward to in the year ahead?  Getting life scout.  I'm also excited for football this year because last season I was playing with kids older than me and they all moved up so we'll have a new team where I'll probably be a more important member - maybe like in a cooler position. I play defensive end but I'd like to be a linebacker or a receiver. I'd also like to be a kicker. I've been working on that a lot and I think I'm getting pretty good. 
Do you have any special plans for tomorrow?  Not exactly.  We usually go to a birthday dinner so I'll probably choose a restaurant which should be fun.  What restaurant do you think you'll choose?  Probably a Japanese Steak House.

You're having a party later?  Hopefully.  It's not confirmed yet but I'm hoping to split a party with my best friend, Sebastian. Our birthdays are on the same day and we have the same friends.  So we want to invite them to a Flight Trampoline Park where they have trampolines covering the entire floor. While jumping you can touch things hanging from the ceiling and they have basketball hoops and dodge ball also - all on trampolines.
What can you tell us about yourself that we haven't covered in this interview. Ummm, nothing really.  There's not that much interesting about me. I'm kind of a boring guy.  
Obviously he's very modest because when I asked him to describe himself, he reluctantly shared that he's in AA (Advanced Academic) classes which are like honors classes only more in depth and that he gets straight A's.
He also said he likes volleyball, basketball and football and that when it's warm out, he's outside a ton.
But as usual, there's lots I could add about Matthew.  Starting with the fact that he's sweet, thoughtful, and just plain nice.  And he makes sure that Scout is included in the family pictures.

He is and always has been a loving big brother.
And a good friend to his big sister and brother.

He's a hard worker,

Great with animals, 
And a likable, courteous, talented, and caring person.  We're incredibly proud of him and wishing him an awesome birthday and a year filled with everything a 13-year-old could wish for.