Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Evan Graham

Today is Evan's 18th birthday.  Evan was our 6th grandchild (Emily beat him by two days) and our 4th grandson.
Evan is an important part of our large family.
And an even more important part of this smaller family!
Last night I called Evan to conduct a phone interview.  Here's how it went:  Hi Evan,  How are you? Fine
So since tomorrow is your birthday do you mind if we go ahead and do your interview tonight? Okay
Does 18 feel like a  milestone birthday at all?  Ummm, kind of but I don't think that I'm going to wake up feeling any different than I do today.
Why would you consider it a milestone birthday then?  Because it's 18 and there are social privileges that come with that.  You know, just societal changes.

Are you looking forward to graduating in a few short weeks?  Yes I am!
What have you liked best about your senior year?  That's a good question.  I'm not sure actually.  I have lots of new friends and a girlfriend that I've been with for four months now so it's been good.
What haven't you liked too much about it?   Graduation requirements like 72 hours of community service, 18 weeks of a job or 6 job shadows which include research and lots of paperwork, taking a college class and be certified in CPR.  We also had to do an informative opinion essay and a scrapbook which I did last year.
What are your plans for the upcoming year?   I plan to take my basic college courses in the fall at Pikes Peak Community College. 
And what career path are you interested in? Firefighting and acting.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?  In an apartment rehearsing.  In Colorado Springs?  Probably.  It feels like home to me here.
Do you have any special plans for tomorrow?  Yes.  I'm going to Red Robin with my family and my girlfriend, Cat.  Grant might come to town but he's not sure he can make it.

What's your favorite leisure-time activity?  Talking with my friends about video projects and short films that we like to do; and making music.
Are you interested in the military like your dad and Grant?   Maybe the reserves or something to help pay for college.
What's your favorite color?  Green
What's your favorite song?  Tribute by Tenacious D and The Last In Line by Dio
What can you tell us about yourself that we haven't covered so far?   One important thing that I learned in school is that to reach a consensus, you have to first understand yourself and then understand what the other person is thinking and feeling.  If you take everything personally and you're angry and take everything from your point of view, you don't get anywhere.   And if you want to reach a happier view on life you need to know how to reach a consensus. 
Also, I like to play the base guitar and I enjoy composing.  I've written quite a bit of music.
I like our pets, Chewy and Pewku.
Here's something we didn't cover in the interview, Evan.   I remember when you were very young, you told us over and over that all you really wanted... was to be a big brother.  When you were about nine years old, that dream came true for you.
How do you like actually being a big brother?   It is awesome!  I'm not sure if there is any better way to put it.  It's just amazing to watch your little sister grow up and it's also kind of scary because it seems like she's growing up so fast.
And one more thing.  I spent one summer with the Black Forest Fire Department before, during, and after the big Black Forest fire that hit Colorado Springs.   It was amazing to see how everyone wanted to help the firefighters and those whose homes were at stake.
And that pretty much concluded our interview but as always there's lots more I could say about Evan. From the day he was born, he's had a sweet, cheerful disposition!  He's creative and smart and always willing to lend a hand.  I don't think I've ever heard him say a bad thing about anybody and he's someone that we all always look forward to seeing.  Evan is a very important member of our family and we're wishing him the happiest of birthdays and a year that surpasses his wildest dreams!!!
And of course, all the amazing senior pictures were taken by the amazing Beth Fletcher of Beth Fletcher Photography!

The Orioles

This is a little post about Baltimore Orioles but not the baseball kind.  It's about the kind that swoops through our area in early to middle May with the peak time being from May 3rd through May 9th.  So here it is, May 6th and we're having constant sighting of Baltimore Orioles.   I'd like to say that we got our oranges out in a timely manner because we're very observant or 'on the ball' but that wouldn't be true at all.  We got our oranges out in a timely manner because my sister, Laurel, posted a picture on Facebook with the excited text that "the orioles are back"!  As soon as she did that, I put out oranges and after another suggestion from Laurel, added grape jelly.  The first oriole showed up in no time.

And soon I was taking lots and lots of pictures.

 This guy was really digging on his orange but who could blame him.  The naval oranges this year are sweet, juicy, and amazing.

 So you'll notice that the oriole in the first pictures is a much lighter orange than the ones in the most recent pictures.  I thought at first it was because of a difference in lighting or that my camera settings were off on one set but it turns out that orioles come in different hues.  I know this because I saw one of each color at the same time just a little while ago.  Turns out, the adult males are darker and the juvenile males and the females are lighter.

Anyway, if you haven't put any oranges out yet, hurry and do so.  They are beautiful birds with a beautiful song and they just don't stay around very long.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Emily Elizabeth

Our granddaughter Emily was born 18 years ago today in Evansville, Indiana.  She was our 5th grandchild and 2nd granddaughter.
She's an important part of this large family.
And an even more important part of this smaller family!
I just finished a phone interview with Emily which we actually started this morning.  Here's how it went:  Hi Emily!  Happy Birthday!  Thank you!
It was nice that they called off school today for your birthday!  Yeah!  Are you having a good day?Yeah, I slept in and I'm going to get a cartilage piercing right now!
Since she was on her way to the mall, we took a break.  Later on we continued the interview with a little help from her mom.
This is your senior year!  Are you enjoying it so far?   Ummm.  Yes, I am but I'm really excited that school's going to be done in a couple of weeks.
What do you like best about it?  Oh dear.  I like being an office assistant in the mornings and I like taking coffee to school and I like that school's going to be done in a couple of weeks.
What don't you like so much!  Ummm, waking up early.  I like to stay up late and sleep in.
So high school is almost over.  What are your plans for the summer?  Right after school and my graduation party when I'll be getting a car, I'm going to Indiana for a week and then Cancun with my friend Elizabeth and my dad and stepmother for a week.  After that it's back to Nebraska for my first ever Nebraska summer of work and shopping and hanging out with my friends.  
What are your fondest high school memories?  Prom and shopping and hanging out with my friends.
What memories were not so great?  Ummm.   Getting up early.
And what are your plans for next year?  I'm attending Southeast Community College in Lincoln to get my prerequisite courses for college.
Once I get my general classes completed I'll be choosing a course of study and a college to get my Bachelors Degree.
What's your favorite color?  Green
And your favorite song?  I love all the songs so much I don't have a favorite but I'm really into country music right now.
We missed you in Gulf Shores last winter?  Do you think you'll be able to join us this year?  I'm going to try.  It's hard to divide holidays between two families.  
Where do you see yourself living and what do you see yourself doing in 10 years?  I honestly have no idea.  I really love the ocean however so maybe I'll be somewhere near an ocean.
What else can you tell us about yourself that we haven't covered here?  I work at Olive Garden as a hostess.
  I love to take lots of pictures and I love our dogs Lily and Lollie. 
I really love my brothers but sometimes don't get to see enough of them.
And I love my mom.  Sometimes I leave notes in the morning for her which she loves.
And I spent the day today with my friends and we all got new piercings.  Mine was an ear cartilage and my belly button.
And that concluded our interview.  BUT, as usual, there's lots more I can tell you about Emily.  She's one of the happiest, sweetest, most loving girls you can imagine.  We may not see her as often as we like, because of her having to divide her time between two families, but every time we're together it's like we'd just seen her the day before.   And she doesn't just like to take pictures, she's very good at it. She's also creative, smart, and fun and a wonderful and important part of our family.  For all these reasons and many more, we're wishing her the best birthday every and a year that surpasses all her hopes and dreams!
And of course, all the amazing senior pictures were taken by the amazing Beth Fletcher of Beth Fletcher Photography!