Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Katie's 19th

Last Thursday was Katie's birthday!
Katie was our 8th grandchild and 3rd granddaughter.
She is a very important part of this very large family
and of course a very important part of this very beautiful family.
I wrote about Katie for her birthday last year in this post and clicking on this link will take you to links to all her previous posts showing lots of pictures and telling lots about how Katie has changed 'through the years'.  So I'll just post a few pictures here

and talk about what's been going on in her life during the previous year.  First of all, shortly after her birthday last year the holidays arrived which meant a trip to Gulf Shores with her large, extended family and where this famous and traditional jump shot was taken.
After doing well in school and earning several scholarships, she graduated in June.

In the spring, she coached a recreational volleyball team (the Spiking Swordfish) ages 4-6 grade and found it to be the most amazing, rewarding experience ever! 
And she spent the summer working as a swim instructor at a local swim club
and preparing for college.  She chose Pitt and in August we took a family picture before both she and David were off to school - one in Pittsburgh, one Huntingdon, both in Pennsylvania.
 She's doing well in college and likes it so far.  Although unlike high school she gets to sleep in most days, the classes are much harder.  She's taking general first year classes like Chemistry and Biology but also some really neat classes that she loves like Developmental Psychology and a digital media class where for her final project she'll be creating a website to display her digital media projects and I'm looking forward to seeing that!  She's also tried out for and made it on to a travel/club volleyball team where she excels. 
We should have seen that coming though along with lots of other characteristics since she was little.  For example, obviously she would play volleyball,
be a great cook,

do all her projects carefully and with great concentration,
be strong,
and loving to her parents and her siblings

and just be an all-around rockstar!
So obviously some things just don't change

But there's so much more to tell about this wonderful girl.  She's so smart and not just in studies but in common sense.  She's logical and sensible and always practical.
 But more important than all that, she's sweet, kind, generous, thoughtful, helpful, and hard-working.  And if all that seems too good to be true, it's not!  She is all of these things and more and the best granddaughter anybody could ask for.  We could not be more proud of her and we're hoping her birthday was the awesome day that she truly deserved and that the coming year is her best year yet!

Sunday, November 18, 2018


Yesterday was Lori's birthday.
Lori was our first child!

She is a very important part of this very large family
and a very important part of this very beautiful family.
I wrote about Lori on her birthday last year in this post and visiting there will show lots of pictures and tell lots of stories about her life 'through the years' so I'll just post a few pictures here

and talk about what's been going on in her life during the past year.  First of all, shortly after her last birthday she got a job at Target where she hired in to Apparel and Accessories.  Even as a new hire she 'owned' her department and was named Team Leader of the Month in November.
She continued to enjoy her job and do a great job!  In late May, as the first warm weather set in, her department sold almost $10,000 in swimwear in one day!  When asked how she did it her answer was that the items had to be on the floor and properly displayed in order to be sold.  She claimed she made 20,000,000 trips to the fitting room that day to keep everything stocked and not piled up where it couldn't be seen but I think she exaggerated - but not too much.  She actually walked 13 miles at work that day.  Here is a group of district leaders recognizing her for outstanding performance.
During the year she captained a couple of projects like making sure people filled out their daily sales logs and training new employees for soft lines.  Evidently she did a good job too because in October she was promoted to Guest Services Team Leader where her goal is to create a genuinely positive experience for every guest.  This promotion came with a huge drawback because she won't be able to join us in Gulf Shores this year but she loves her job and understands its priorities.
Last year, however, Lori was able to visit Gulf Shores over the holidays with her huge extended family

And in early May she visited her brother and her mom and dad in Georgia for a few days and we all had a wonderful time.  Lori tried her hand at golf where she really has a natural ability,
took a late night ghost tour (guided by the spirit formerly know as Prince),
took a daytime horse drawn historical tour,
and enjoyed dinners and refreshments with one of her brothers.
In June, she and Marcus came to Indiana for a weekend.  They visited daughter Emily in South Bend and spent the last night of the weekend with us in Michigan City.
It was a good year all around up until about a week later when Lori was coming home from work.  A very heavy rainstorm had just passed through her path and her car suddenly, unexpectedly hydroplaned!  She fishtailed once and then again in the opposite direction until she slid off the road and overturned in a ditch far off the highway.  It was a terrifying experience for her and she ended up with bruises and abrasions but no broken bones.  Her car was totaled but she ended up with a new (to her) car that she loves.
So that about sums up Lori's busy and eventful year but there's so much more to say about her.  First of all, she has a great sense of humor and is so much fun to be around!  I mentioned that she had a natural golf ability but everybody has a bad shot once in a while and here she is after one of her worst.
 And she's smart and logical but not in just the cerebral way.  She has great common sense and incredible insight and actually has a rare psychic ability.
  And she's sweet, understanding, helpful, practical and very hard working.  She's a devoted mom
and wife (here she is with her three favorite boys)
and she's a wonderful daughter!  She's been a blessing from the day she was born - always helpful and always responsible with her siblings.  With a firstborn like her it's no wonder we went on to have five more kids.  So, Lori, we could not love you more or be more proud of you!  We're so glad you're part of our lives and we're wishing you a late but heartfelt happy birthday and a year ahead filled with everything your heart desires!