Saturday, August 19, 2017


Today is Dane's 7th birthday!
Dane was our second great grandchild and also second great grandson.
He is a very important part of this large family,
a very important part of this smaller, but still large family,
and a very important part of this even smaller but still large family.
I wrote about Dane on his birthday last year and visiting that blog post will show links to all his previous posts.  Together there will be lots of stories about him and pictures showing how he's changed since he was born so I'll just post a few pictures here.

and talk about what's been going on in his life during the past year.  First of all, he became a big brother again!  Knox was born last October
and Dane has been a loving big brother to him ever since.

Since his last birthday he started first grade and finished first grade with flying colors.  He got great marks and lots of praise from his teacher for being so well behaved.
In other firsts, he lost his first 4 baby teeth,
He got his first stitches,
and he caught his first big fish!
No, not that one.  THIS ONE!!
Also, after a family vacation to Splash Universe this year, he's becoming a very good swimmer

which is not surprising because he's always been very athletic - with a special interest in baseball from the get-go
which has not diminished as he's gotten older.
And in coming events, for the first time, he, Aubrey, and Jack will be going to the same school this fall.
So Dane has had a busy year and it's easy to get a sense of the kind of boy he is but just in case I didn't make it clear enough, I have to add that he is a very special kind of kid.  He's so loving and caring to his brothers and sisters that it melts my heart.  And he's considerate and thoughtful too.  As we said good-bye last weekend after celebrating his birthday at his grandparents' campsite, he hugged me and thanked me for the birthday cake.  What a sweetie!
Also, he's very helpful, creative,
and smart.  After all, he was the first of all the littles to learn how to make a proper paper airplane.
For all these reasons and so many others, we're wishing him the best birthday EVER and a happy year ahead filled with learning and surprises and many more accomplishments!  Happy Birthday, Dane! We love you so much!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Today is Tracy's birthday!
Tracy is married to our second child, Amy, and they live in Belleville, Michigan.
He is a very important part of this large family
and a very important part of this large family
and, of course, a very important part of this beautiful core family.
I wrote about Tracy on his birthday last year in this post and it contains links to all his previous posts.  All together they contain lots of facts and pictures of Tracy through the years so I'll just include a few pictures here

and talk about what's been going on in his life during the past year.  First of all, the sad part. Tracy had to say good-bye to a very beloved furbaby, Sheba.  She may look ferocious but she was truly a sweetheart 
and as devoted to Tracy as he was to her
even comforting him when he so badly broke his foot.
But on the up side, they still have Britta although she's taken Sheba's passing pretty hard too.
This has been a busy year for Tracy.  He and Amy have done a lot of remodeling.  Once they finished their bathroom, they tackled the living room.  The updates included new electrical, trim, front door, walls, ceiling and ceiling fan, and now they're ready to install the new floor.  
And after all that hard work, he got something to make the outside work a little easier.
He's also enjoyed time with the grandchildren
and attending Jeremy's golf matches and Jenna's softball games.
Another red letter event in Tracy's life this year is that he caught his biggest bass EVER just last week!
We visited the campground on Saturday and watched as Tracy gave boat rides.  He's a great skipper but the family is getting so large that it takes multiple trips to get everybody in.

The good news is that he's assured me that he'll have a big pontoon soon to accommodate us all!! Thanks, Tracy!
While we were there, we celebrated three birthdays, one of which was his.  And we're reminded once again what a great sport he is and what a great sense of humor he has.  Amber can always make him laugh but she outdid herself this year when she gave him his gifts and he immediately recognized them as coming from the 'free' table up the street.  His reaction:  

And a good time was had by all!  Tracy is so much fun and so considerate and thoughtful that it would be hard to visit and not have a good time.  He's a hard working guy and can fix anything! He's devoted to his family and dedicated to his job.  We're proud of him and glad he's part of our family!  So, Tracy, Happy Birthday!  We're hoping you'll have a wonderful day and a year ahead that surpasses all others but one that's only half as great as the many more to come!  We love you!  Happy Birthday!