Thursday, July 26, 2018

Grant's 24th

Today is Grant's birthday!
Grant was our 3rd grandchild and second grandson.
He is a very important part of this large family
and of course a very important part of this beautiful family
I wrote about Grant on his birthday last year in this post and clicking on that link will take you to links to all his previous posts.  In those posts are many stories and lots of pictures showing how he's changed through the years so I'll just post a few here

and talk about Grant's life during the previous year.  Right off the top, it hasn't gone according to plan.  The course that was essential to his graduation was a near miss and isn't offered again until the Spring semester.  Therefore, he plans to take two core courses this Fall along with two additional pertinent-to-IT courses in order to remain full time and then take the essential course in the Spring.  During that Spring semester he also plans to pursue a system networking administration certificate which will enhance his resume greatly.
 In the meantime, he's working full time at his college IT job over summer and then back to part time when school starts.
He's sharing a townhouse with two roommates and sharing a roommate's cat, Ollie.  Ollie is a Maine coon cat with lots of fur who's really affected by the heat in Boulder right now.  To compensate, Grant and his roommate, Evan, take him out on a leash and vest when it gets cooler in the evenings.
Grant is also still driving his parents' old Honda Odyssey and he loves it.  It seems incongruous - that skinny, single college student driving a mini van but it works for Grant and he doesn't worry too much if someone else thinks it's odd.  In fact, that might be one of the things he loves best about it.
He's also working with a programmer who has his own website which sets up meetings and networking for businesses and industry.  He's an information services consultant for business management on social media.  Grant is an assistant to him and finds him energetic and engaging which makes him fun to work with.  It's a programming job that he truly enjoys.
So Grant is busy all the time.  He still carves out time to spend with his family every week via face time and he tries to keep up with his many friends when there are special events in their lives.  He visited Gulf Shores with the big extended family over the holidays and was truly the most enthusiastic jumper in this family jump shot!
Right now he's spending his birthday week with his family in Savannah where they've enjoyed visits to the historic downtown area
and the pool among other things.
Tomorrow Grant heads back home and continues his busy life.  He has plans in the future to get back into music - something he was always into and would like to see how far it could take him as a hobby.  (I think he'd make a great musician too because he definitely has the look.)

In addition, Grant is talented and funny and he has all the dance moves.
He's smart and kind and generous with his time.  He spent half of NYE making his Grandma's thousands of pictures display on the big screen and it was awesome!
And he gets along well with everybody.  He's sweet, loving, fun to be around, and an all around wonderful person.  We're wishing him the best birthday ever but one only half as great as the many more to come; and a year ahead full of happiness and wonderful accomplishments.  Happy Birthday, Grant! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Amber's 30th

Today is Amber's 30th Birthday!
Amber was our very first grandchild.
She is a very important part of this large family,
and this smaller but still large family,
of course this even smaller but still large family,
and this core family.
I wrote about Amber on her birthday last year and clicking that link will take you to links to all her previous posts with many pictures and 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 previous year.  Mostly it's this:
which is a pretty all-consuming job and it's one she loves and excels at.  When I think of Amber and her kids, I think of unbounded joy and patience and so much love as the following sequence will show.  All Knox wanted was to pull her hair...

And this is how she interacts with all her kids.  Of course, they wouldn't be the wonderful children they are without the necessary discipline but even in those circumstances, they know they are loved beyond measure because she and Chris are wonderful, loving  parents.  And speaking of Chris, he and Amber recently celebrated their 10th anniversary!
So the past year has been filled with school, babies, and some traveling.  Over the holidays they went to Gulf Shores with Amber's large extended family where there were pictures on the beach,
restaurant dinners, parties, and even alligators.
Also they recently went 'up north' with Chris' mom and stepdad where they did some fishing among other things and Amber had some real success with Northern Pikes.

and there was the annual sojourn to Splash Universe in April where everyone enjoys the water even though it's cold outside.

So it's been a very busy year for Amber and being so busy might help explain this.  The left side was taken in early 2016 and the right side just recently.
In her Facebook post about her big change, Amber wrote, "Left is 2016, right is a couple days ago. I still can’t wrap my head around it. Over 100 lbs down and no longer diabetic! I have so much more energy and I finally feel good about myself! It’s not just about looking better, it’s about being healthy and being around longer for my family! It’s been a lifestyle change that’s well worth it! Pretty dang proud of myself".  And proud of herself she should be!  We're proud of her too!  AND, not only does she feel better, I think she looks about ten years younger!  No wonder she got carded the other night when we went out for her birthday!
There's so much to say about her that I'm almost at a loss for words.  She so much fun and so cheerful and so loving.  At any gathering you can bet just about anything that she'll look like this at some point during the evening.  
And in closing, I'm going to include an excerpt from the birthday card I wrote for her because it truly describes the person she is!

We were blessed beyond measure the day you arrived
with your evolved little nature and all-knowing eyes
You're a wonderful girl, so clever and pretty
and hardworking and sweet and wonderfully witty,
a wonderful mom and a wonderful wife
a wonderful person who lights up our lives!

So, Amber, Happy Birthday!  Thanks for the being the blessing that you are!  We're hoping your day is wonderful and the coming year is even better - but only half as great as the many more to come!  We could not love you more or be more proud of you!