Friday, October 6, 2017


Today is Jared's 22nd birthday!
Jared was our 4th grandchild and 3rd grandson.
He is an important part of this very large family
and of course an important part of this very wonderful family!
I wrote about Jared in this post last year and visiting there will lead you to all the links from his previous posts.  These posts are full of pictures through the years and little facts about what was going on in his life at various times
so I'll just post a few 'through the years' photos here:

and talk about what's been going on in his life during the past year.  First of all, he started the year in Gulf Shores for the holidays with his big extended family.
and he's looking forward to going back again this year because he's always excited to reconnect with his family (and that's a quote).
When he returned home from Gulf Shores, he continued his studies
until summer break when he was able to spend some time with mom and (step)dad in Pella, Iowa
and reconnect with his sister, Emily, and brother, Ryan.
Then it was back to school where he's majoring in Econ and minoring in Management.  He likes Econ but isn't so much a fan of Science.   Graduation should be in August of 2018 and he's hoping that he'll be able to stay in Nebraska afterwards - depending on the job market.
Jared is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the National Leadership Society and when time allows, helps out with their events.
When he does relax, two of his favorite bands are Metallica and Iron Maiden and he's recently attended both their concerts - in fact just one month apart.
He's had a busy year and he's stayed focused on his studies and his future which is SO Jared.  But there's lots more I have to add about Jared.  He's hard working, loyal, dedicated, sweet, loving, and smart.  He loves animals, relatives, and hanging out with his brother.
And he's one of the best all-around people you'd ever want to meet.  We love Jared and we're incredibly proud of him.  For these reasons and so many others, we're wishing him the best birthday EVER but one only half as great as the many more to come!
Happy Birthday, Jared!

Sunday, October 1, 2017


Today is Clara's birthday!
She is our 20th grandchild and 8th granddaughter.
She is a very important part of this large family.
And, of course, a VERY important part of this family.
I wrote about Clara on her birthday last year in this post and visiting there will take you to more links that show how Clara has changed through the years and reveal lots of interesting facts about what an awesome little girl she is!
So I'll just share a few pictures here showing her growing up

and talk about what's been going on in her life during the past year.
First of all she's gone from 5-day-a-week morning preschool
 to 5-day-a-week all day kindergarten - an adjustment that she's made very smoothly.  She enjoys and is dedicated to completing her homework every day.
Then there are the chickens.  Clara has loved them from when they joined the family as tiny little chicks and she loves them just as much now.  Of course she knows all their names and special habits and checks on them regularly. 
Also this year she got eight inches of her hair cut off again which she donated to Children With Hair Loss again,
she got her ears pierced,
she has totally embraced and loves swimming,
she spent the Christmas/New Year holidays in Gulf Shores
with her large and extended family,
and she got some very special news.  Clara is going to have a baby sister next spring.  Nothing could be more exciting to this loving and nurturing little girl than this.
So, it's easy to see that Clara has had a very eventful year and she's looking forward to lots of good stuff ahead but there's lots more that I need to tell about her.  First of all she's the sweetest and most loving little girl ever.  
She's artistic and likes to make posters celebrating whatever is going on in her life.
She loves Little Ponies and especially Rainbow Dash which explains the rainbow theme she chose for her birthday this year and she appreciates everything anyone does for her.
including the very special rainbow cake her mom baked just for her.
And she's smart, athletic, sweet, and thoughtful.  (She's already made up a list of supplies her baby sister will need next spring.)  So, Clara, we're wishing you the happiest birthday ever
 and a year only half as great as the many, many more to come.  We could not love you more or be more proud of you!  Happy Birthday, sweet girl!