Thursday, August 24, 2017


Today is Tessa's 11th birthday.
Tessa was our 16th grandchild and 7th granddaughter.
She is an important part of this very large family
and, of course, an important part of this beautiful family.
I wrote about Tessa on her birthday last year and the link in that post will take you to a post that has links to all her previous posts.  Those posts have lots of pictures and updates about Tessa throughout the years so I'll just share a few pictures here

and talk about what's been going on in Tessa's life during the past year
and it has definitely been a busy year for her!  Some of the highlights included a trip to Colorado to visit her brothers where they all stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge,
a visit from 7 cousins which she loved!,
a visit to Indiana over the 4th of July holiday where she spent time with even more cousins,
and a visit with her aunt/godmother's family,
In addition to all the visiting, Tessa is busy in her own right.  She attended middle school camp, golf camp, and volleyball camp,
continued her swimming where she has continued to excel.  She's often called upon to demonstrate during her practices
 and  placed 1st in the girls 10 and under 100 yard freestyle at the Harry Meisel Championships and 3rd place girls 10 and under 100 yard butterfly at the GTSA Spring Championship Meet. 
Also she attended her first play this year.  Her parents took her to see The Little Mermaid at the Tampa Center for Performing Arts and she loved it!

And her end of 5th grade field trip was to Universal Studios.
Tessa has also enjoyed visits from her brother, Grant,
where the only thing that would have made it better was if Evan could have been there too.
Gulf Shores over the Christmas holiday
(where she got to spend lots of time with her best cousin/friend, Mary),
and visits to several theme parks in the Orlando area last spring.

 She's continued to be a big helper to her mom
and even helped her dad put her new bedroom set together last spring.
Tessa is talented (here she danced at the family talent show in Gulf Shores and did a beautiful job),

and she's very creative, often writing stories and illustrating them herself.
She also enjoys spending time in her pool
and at the beach
But most importantly, she's sweet, loving, considerate, smart, gentle and caring.  
She's a perfect blend of her mom and her dad - athletic, sensitive, and with a quirky, fun love of life and everything in it.  For these and a million other reasons we're proud of her and love her very much and we're wishing her a fabulous birthday and many, many more to come.  Happy Birthday, Tessa!

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!