Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Grant

, Today is Grant's 17th birthday. He's our 3rd grandchild - second grandson.

I first wrote about Grant last year on his birthday in this post. This year I'm posting an interview that I conducted with Grant via email and, as usual, the pictures may or may not have anything to do with the questions above them.

You're going to be seventeen tomorrow. Are you excited about that? Heck, yeah! I'll be able to buy rated M games and see rated R movies without cheating. lol

Do you have any special plans for your birthday and are you hoping for anything special gift-wise? Nope, I want to be lazy. And we're getting a backbag thing at Dick's Sporting Goods later.

You're the third oldest among 19 cousins. Do you enjoy being part of such a large family? And, is there a cousin you're closest to? Yeah, I like bragging to people about the family, plus it's great to see so many people all in one place at Christmas.

I'm probably closest to Ryan

and David

They're closest agewise to me. Amber's too old ;) (Don't worry, Grant. I won't tell Amber you said that.)

Do you have certain chores or responsibilities around the house? I'm in charge of the two cats, I clean the basement once or twice a week, and I do yardwork.

(Of course this is not the kind of yardwork he means, but he does mow this grass)

What do you do for fun and relaxation? I drill my heart out.

(I should have video taped him in action. The still pictures just don't do him justice.)

Are you looking forward to your Senior year of high school? Yes and no. Yes, because I'll be on top and I've got a few thing planned; and no because I just realized it's my last year of high school....

(Beth Fletcher Photography)

What are your favorite subjects and why? I like Psychology and Business because both have excellent teachers and I'm interested in both. Math's good too.

And your least favorite subject? English. I can't analyze books to save my life.

What sports or extracurricular activities do you participate in? I played football for a couple of years, I golf, and I drill and do drill team in the Winter and Spring.

If you had to decide right now what career path you'll follow someday, what would it be? Probably a Psychologist because it's interesting to me and pays well.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I see myself being 27 and I kinda want to be married before that, if that helps.

Are you single or 'with someone' right now? I was with someone a couple of weeks ago, but that ended so now I'm single-ish.

What can you tell us about yourself that I haven't covered in this interview? I like to play Xbox 360 and Empire Earth I & II with friends. I like watching Netflix, sleeping, eating, rapping like a gansta, and I'm seriously glad the NFL lockout is finally over.

(This is as close as I could come to a gangsta picture. It works right?)

There are a couple more things I could tell about Grant that I think are very interesting. First of all, he's a wonderful big brother.

And a wonderful son.

(He feeds his dad when he's hungry.)
(And drives his mom around......and around.)

And, he's loving, thoughtful, helpful and kind. He's part of a large family that loves him and we're all very proud of him.

So Grant, here's wishing you the happiest of birthdays and a fabulous 18th year!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Amber

Today is Amber's 23rd birthday. Amber is a special granddaughter to us for several reasons. First, she was our first. Second, we were lucky enough that she and her mom lived with us for years after she was born. By then our youngest babies were 10 and 11 and a new baby, then toddler, then child were just what we needed in the family.
Yesterday I interviewed Amber and I've included pictures that may or may not have anything to do with the questions and/or responses. Here's how it went:

You're 23 tomorrow. How does that feel? It feels good. Well not that good because it's one step closer to thirty.
When you were thirteen, could you have envisioned yourself where you are today? Definitely not married with almost three kids already. I pictured finishing college, working, living on my own....
How do you feel about how it's turned out? I'm glad it turned out this way. I definitely wouldn't change a thing.
Are you doing anything special for your birthday? And is there anything special that you're wishing for? I don't think we're doing anything special and I can't think of any special wishes.
How would you describe yourself as a child? Gregarious and outgoing. Definitely not shy. Entertaining and the best toy my aunts and uncles ever had.
As a teenager? Do you have to ask that? Stupid. Dumb. Attitude problems. Didn't listen....may we should skip that. (Note: Amber was a wonderful teenager usually - we all have our ups and downs.)

As an adult? Cheerful, smiley, nice - I think I'm nice. I try to be nice. And I try to be a good mom and a good wife. Happy.
You've been gifted with a beautiful singing voice. Do you see yourelf doing anything with that in the future? No probably not. I think my voice changed when I hit puberty - you just haven't heard it since then.
Is being a mother how you thought it would be? It's not how I thought it would be because I don't think you have any idea what it's like until you are one.
What's most challenging about it? The most challenging aspect is how fast they grow. Also, I find disciplining challenging.
Who might have been the most instrumental in shaping you into the person you are today? Both you and my mom.
So you're pregnant with your third and recently found out that after having two boys, this one is a girl? Are you excited about that? VERY excited!
Do you think there will be a significant difference between raising girls and boys? I think so. Everybody tells me it will be and it already feels different being pregnant with a girl.
How do you think the boys will feel about having a little sister? Jack's very excited. He likes to talk into my belly button to say hi to her and when I say to look at her, he puts one eye up to my belly button to try to see her.
I get the impression that you and Chris have made a conscious decision to have a larger than average family and to have your children close together. Am I right? Yes, because I've always loved growing up in a big family and having lots of aunts and uncles and cousins and I want the same for my kids. AND, I want to have a lot of grandchildren some day.
What's your favorite family activity? When we all play together right at home - just play time as a family.
Where do you see yourself when you're forty? I see myself in a larger house dealing with bigger kids - teenagers and young adults and maybe working by then.
What else might others find interesting about you? I don't think I"m that interesting. Let's see. I hate heat. I have a weiner dog named Peppers. I love driving my big truck. I played Volleyball in high school.
There's so much more to Amber than we talked about here. She may be the single, most loving person I know. She does always try to be nice. She's always a good sport and I can't even picture her being really mad at anybody. And she is finally and foremost - a family girl. She loves both sides of her family completely and unfailingly. She's unselfish and loving and would do anything for anybody. And from the time she could toddle, she's had an affinity for people of all ages - but particularly the elderly. If she saw an old person - she'd go right up and start visiting with him or her. Also she loves cars and dogs and knows all about both of them.

So Amber, here's wishing you the happiest of birthdays. I hope there are birthday wishes that that come true for you even though you haven't thought of them yet. And I hope all your birthdays just get better and better.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

You Capture - Summertime

Beth's You Capture subject this week is Summertime and, boy, I took so many pictures that I didn't know where to start ... or stop.

Please don't be confused by my fireworks pictures. In our little city, the fireworks signify the end of the summer festival which happens over a week after the 4th so, for us, fireworks say summer just as surely as they say the 4th of July for everybody else.

The fireworks are shot from the pier so the beach is the go-to spot for watching them and therefore, I grabbed some beach shots while we were there waiting for the sun to go down.

And today, after capturing this shot in the Indiana Dunes State Park,

I drove past the beach to capture the Dunes beautiful lake shore along with the Chicago skyline.

And now back to our own backyard and a couple of the things we love most about summer. A couple of years ago my brother built us a bluebird house. I never really thought we'd get nesters but we did. Right now though, I'm watching tough love in the bluebird world. Evidently the fledglings have been evicted and aren't sure what to do with themselves so they sit forlornly on the fence almost all day long.

Except for when nostalgia gets the best of them and they sit on the house but they seem to be barred from entering.

And I couldn't talk about summer in our backyard without a shot of our koi. They constantly provide us with pleasure and entertainment.

For more Summertime pictures, visit Beth. You won't regret it.