Saturday, November 18, 2017


Today is Lori's birthday!
Lori was our first daughter and our first child.
She's an important part of this core family
and an important part of this big extended family
and of course an important part of this beautiful family.
I wrote about Lori for her birthday last year in this post and visiting there will take you to the links to all her previous posts.
And those links will lead the way to many stories and pictures showing how Lori has evolved 'through the years'.
So I'll just show a few pictures here.

and talk a little about what's been going on in her life during the past year.  First of all lots of things haven't changed.  She still has her sweet Farrah who is definitely the apple of her eye.
And she enjoyed her holiday visit to Gulf Shores last year and is looking forward to this year's visit.
She entertained her parents during the Pella Tulip Time festival weekend and enjoyed a visit from all her kids AT THE SAME TIME a couple of weeks later!
But there is one big change in her life.
She recently started working at Target in Des Moines.  The downside is that it's a 45 minutes drive through wild and crazy deer country but that's the only downside.
She's up at 4 a.m. on workdays to leave the house by 5 and get to work by 5:45 four days a week.  It's a schedule she loves because she gets home early enough to have dinner ready when Marcus gets home and she doesn't ever have to encounter heavy traffic.
She works mainly in Women's Wear and even gets to pick out outfits for mannequins and set up displays - perfect tasks for someone with her sense of style and love of fashion!
Lori has also worked hard on her fitness in the past year which has served her well in her new role requiring her to be on her feet all day.
And top of running to stay fit, she has all the dance moves.
So she's had a busy year with some really positive and wonderful changes and she's doing things she loves and living the life she wants and that's what we want for her!  But there are other things about Lori that need noting.  First of all, she's loving and caring and a lot of fun!  But most of all, Lori is wise.  She's insightful and has amazing instincts and she's more evolved than anyone I know.  She loves nature, animals, kids, and family - and most of all, Marcus.
So, Lori, we're wishing you the happiest birthday EVER and a year that exceeds all others so far but is only half as amazing as the many more to come!  Happy Birthday!  We're proud of you and love you beyond measure!

Friday, November 10, 2017


Today is Ryan's 25th birthday!
Ryan is our 2nd grandchild and 1st grandson.
He's a very important part of this large family
and, of course, a very important part of this wonderful family.
I wrote about Ryan 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 a little about what's been going on in Ryan's life during the past year.  Of course he still has his sweet Miley.
And he still lives in the country in the house with the amazing views.
but he doesn't still work at Subway.  A couple of months ago, he switched jobs and now works at The Cellar Peanut Pub in Pella - a high end bar with over 50 craft beers on tap and top shelf spirits along with world famous bloody Marys.  As a matter of fact, the bar currently has bragging rights to the best bloody Mary in the United States after a national competition in New York City.
And the best part is, he loves his job!  
So now I'll talk about the Ryan we know and love so much!  He's always quiet and unassuming.  He never intrudes or interrupts.  But he's very social and enjoys get togethers with family and friends.
He's very agreeable about letting his grandma take pictures of him all the time (which I love).
and he's kind and helpful and sensitive to the feelings of others.
He's devoted to his brother and sister
and is the first to lend a hand when help is needed.
He's a wonderful grandson and a wonderful and important member of our very large family.  He's very smart, loving, and enjoyable to be around and we're looking forward to seeing him in Gulf Shores in a couple of months.  In the meantime, we couldn't be more proud of him or love him more.  So Happy Birthday, Ryan!  We're hoping it's your best one yet but only half as good as the many more to come.