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!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Ryan's 26th

Today is Ryan's birthday!
Ryan was our second grandchild
 and first grandson!
He's a very important part of this large family
and of course this beautiful family.
I wrote about Ryan on his birthday last year in this post and clicking on this link will take you to links to all his previous posts with lots of facts and pictures that show how he's changed through the years.  So I'll just post a few pictures here as a refresher

and talk about what's been going on in his life during the previous year.  Actually not a lot has changed but a lot is good.  He's still working at the Cellar Peanut Pub in Pella and that's great because he loves what he does.  And I think they love him too because on their Facebook page on June 30th he was featured in their Getting To Know Your Pubtender feature.   Here's the story in it's entirety:
 The Cellar Peanut Pub - Pella

Welcome to another edition of Getting To Know Your Pubtender! In today’s edition you learn about Ryan Story. Ryan is a certified beer server through the Cicerone program which means that he really knows his beer. He also really helps to make sure that we are stocked up on supplies and produce and helps to keep the lines, the coworker and event schedule in top shape.
1. What was your gateway beer, that beer that really turned you into a craft beer enthusiast?
Leinenkugels Snowdrift Vanilla porter. Not a craft beer but in those days it was crafty.
2. Tell us about your dogs.
Miley and Lolli are my dogs! Miley is a princess and 2 and Lolli is 10 my family adopted her when I was younger from a bad situation bit now she is happy as ever and has lived with me for over a year now. They are both so loving.
3. You're here all of the time so you must like it. What are some of your favorite aspects of your job?
I absolutely love the pub. Working here has been one of my greatest joys. I love the customers, meeting new people, learning something new about beer basically everyday is something I find very rewarding. And the cooler is always fun too 😂
4. You travel every year with your extended family. We love this. How many of you are there and what do you do?
Every year my huge family of 35+ meets from all over the country in Gulf Shores Alabama and we get a huge beach house and spend a week together over Christmas time. I love them all so much and always look forward to seeing them and being by the beach and eating great seafood. And drinks. Always drinks.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this edition of Getting To Know Your Pubtender. The next time you’re in challenge Ryan on beers or ask about his dogs!

I had to include this because it is such a great article.  There are other reasons Ryan loves his job and one of them is that he gets visits from old friends
and his mom as evidenced by this Facebook post on October 3rd:   Momma came to visit me at work. Today is a good day.  (This picture isn't from that day but it seemed appropriate anyway.)
Another event in his life was the annual visit to Gulf Shores with his large extended family
and he's still a proud furdad to his beloved pets, Miley and Lolli!  So although not a lot may have changed for Ryan, he's happy and successful at what he does.  He's also a loving son, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend to a great many people.  
And that's understandable because he is so sweet and considerate to everybody.  He's fun to be around and courteous, respectful and thoughtful in all his relationships.  He's also smart, kind, handsome, and modest.  He's one of the most easy-going, friendly people ever which makes his job a perfect fit!  We're very proud of everything about him and wishing him the best birthday ever and a year ahead filled with joy and happiness.  Happy Birthday, Ryan!  We love you so much!