Friday, March 10, 2017

Ethan

Today is Ethan's 12th birthday!
Ethan is our 14th grandchild and 9th grandson.
He is an important part of this very large family
and an even more important part of this beautiful family!
I wrote about Ethan on his birthday last year in this post and visiting there will show the links to all his previous posts.
And those links will take you to many pictures and stories of how he's changed over the years.
So I'll just post a few pictures here





and talk a little about what's been going on in his life during the past year.
First of all, he has a new pet that is completely his responsibility.  His name is Zeus and obviously with a name like that, he's a beta!
Also this year, Ethan moved on from elementary school
to middle school where he's gotten almost nothing but A's so far and was even awarded the Hilltopper award for being courteous, respectful and setting a positive example for others.
He has also started playing the viola which he not only enjoys but plays exceptionally well for a beginner!
and has started playing soccer again.  He's now looking forward to the Spring season starting soon.
Another change this year is that he's started collecting an allowance and most importantly is doing a good and responsible job of handling his money.  In return for his allowance he walks Dash every day, takes out the garbage each week and brings the cans in after they're collected, and is proactive about taking the initiative when he sees something that needs to be attended to without being asked.
Ethan has had a wonderful year and it's not surprising because he's a wonderful boy!  He's conscientious, loving, helpful, and always eager to please.  We're very proud of him and could not love him more!  So, Ethan, Happy Birthday!  We're hoping it's absolutely perfect and that the coming year is even better!

Matthew

Yesterday was Matthew's 15th birthday!
Matthew is our 11th grandchild and 7th grandson.
He is an important part of this very large family
And an even more important part of this wonderful family
I wrote about Matthew on his birthday last year in this post and visiting there will show the links to all his previous posts.
And those links will take you to many pictures and stories of how he's changed over the years.
So I'll just post a few pictures here 






and talk a little about what's been going on in his life during the past year.
He's getting ready to start house basketball which will have him on a team with some friends and competing with teams comprised partly of other friends and will provide conditioning and practice for high school basketball next year.
 During his freshman year in high school, he played football (his favorite sport right now) and basketball and was even invited to suit up for post season varsity football, an honor afforded to only a few freshmen.
He's enjoying his freshman year academically as well and right now his favorite subject is Programming and in fact he just created his own game as a final project.
And in the coming year he hopes to focus on completing the badges he needs for Eagle Scout (he's almost there) and wants to try to do his Eagle project this summer.
During the past year he attended Philmont Boy Scout Camp in New Mexico with his dad (this picture was not taken at Philmont but during a training hike on the Appalachian Trail)
and once again spent Christmas in Florida and the week between Christmas and New Years in Gulf Shores.
where he continued to be a hero to his young cousin from Indiana.
So Matthew has had another busy and productive year which is not surprising because he's one of the most athletic, intelligent, thoughtful, and fun-loving people you could ever know.  He's always a joy to be around and we look forward to seeing him soon.   In the meantime, we spoke on the phone yesterday to wish him a happy birthday and where we found out the family planned a birthday dinner for him at a Japanese Steak House.  So Happy Birthday again, Matthew!  We hope it was the awesome day you deserve and that the coming year is your best one EVER!  We love you and could not be more proud of you





Sunday, March 5, 2017

Patty

Today is Patty's birthday!
Patty is a very important part of this very large family.
And a very, very important part of this smaller large family.
I wrote about Patty for her birthday last year in this post:  Patty Jo - Yesterday and Today.  And in that post are links to all the other posts I've written about her with lots of pictures that show how she's changed over the years.  Therefore, I'll just include a few more here.







And now I'll just say a little about what's been going on in Patty's life during the past year and what changes have occurred.
It's probably safe to say that the biggest change in Patty's life this year has been a mixed bag of pride, love, and nostalgia as her firstborn graduated from high school 
and started college several hours away.  Here she is with him and his dad as they prepared to depart for a few days of indoctrination.
And that change had a bearing on a lot of the other changes in Patty's life this year.  After having four kids in a variety of different sports with the accompanying practices, games, and tournaments, there's now one less at home and coincidentally there are fewer sports involved with the ones still there.
Of course Patty's still been busy.  A lot of her time in the past year has involved preparing a professional portfolio which includes an individual development plan.  This portfolio will be submitted to a review board in April.  She'll find out in May whether or not she's passed and if she has, there will be a pay increase for her and perhaps increased chances for future promotions. Since she aspires to one day moving up from Assistant Principal to Principal, she's working very hard to boost her chances.    
Then she and Dave have plans to reorganize the house and catch up on a few household repair projects.
She's also looking forward to a few college visits for Katie during her Spring break and hoping that Dave will be able to get time off to attend as well.
And of course Matthew continues to be active in Scouts and a variety of sports
And the same goes for Zachary
And the whole family was totally stoked when the Cubs won the World Series this year
and you might even say that they jumped for joy.
So it's been another busy year for Patty.  Her family is so blessed to have her and her amazing organizational skills in their lives.  But more than that, she's one of the most loving, conscientious, hard-working, and family oriented people you could ever know.  So not only is her immediate family blessed to have her in their lives but her entire extended family is blessed to have her as well.  She's loved by all and and her sweet, smiling face is welcome wherever she goes.  So Happy Birthday, Patty! We're hoping it was amazing and that the coming year is even better!  We could not love you more or be more proud of you!