Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Jared Michael

Today is Jared's 20th birthday.  Jared is our 4th grandchild and 3rd grandson.
He's an important part of this large family!
And an even more important part of this smaller family.
Although they live in Nebraska now, he was born in Michigan City.  Tonight I conducted a phone interview with him and here's how it went:
Happy Birthday, Jared!  Thank you!
  Are you having a good day?  Oh yeah it's been great.
Have you done anything special to celebrate?  Sunday my family and I went to a wings sports bar called Buffalo Wings and Rings.  We had a lot of wings and a lot of fun.  They were the best wings I've ever had and it's one of my favorite places. It's downtown and where I wanted to celebrate my birthday.
Do you have plans for tonight?   I'm pretty much done for the day.  My friends and I might hang out a little bit but that's all.
How is school going?  School's going good.  Initially I had a little trouble with Physics but other than that things have been going swimmingly so far.  And Physics isn't a problem anymore either.

What's your favorite subject in school?  My favorite subject right now is Economics.  That's what I'm majoring in and that's the one I'm doing the best in so far.
What do you like best about college?   The freedom.  In high school you had 8 straight hours of classes, a few hours of homework, dinner and than repeat for 4 years straight.  In college we set our own schedule basically.  The classes are ones we pick.  Even though there's a big time requirement it's never been a thorn in my side because I make my own schedule. Freedom is a HUGE advantage.
And what do you like least about college?  The thing I like least is the price.  The cost is just too big for tuition, books, everything and the prices just keep going up.
You're a sophomore this year right?  Yes.   What do you plan to do when you graduate? I honestly have no idea.  Economics is such a broad field that I need to have a specialty before I can even scratch the surface of career searching.
Do you find it hard living away from home?  It was definitely hard at first but being only 20 or 25 minutes away helps a lot.  I can see my family whenever I need to so it's not a huge issue anymore.
Did you enjoy Christmas week in Gulf Shores last year?  Yes!  Very much so.  Even though I wasn't as active during that time as I probably should have been, it was miles better than winter in Indiana.
Why?  You could go outside, see more, do more, and not have to worry about being caught in a blizzard.
What do you like best about your sister, Emily?  She's very different but not in the sense that that's bad.  She's an extremely unique person.  She likes to be different from what society might expect from her and that's something I can definitely appreciate.
What do you like best about your brother, Ryan?  I love the fact that he's always there for me and he's always got my back.  As a consequence I've always got his.  I feel like that kind of relationship is really special and really important
Where do you see yourself in ten years?   Honestly college has caused me to place a lot of focus on just getting a career and a good paying job in the next five years. So I haven't really delved into real long-term thinking just yet.
What else can you tell us about yourself that we haven't covered in this interview?  I see myself as someone who is ready to accept the challenges that the previous generations have laid upon me.   Like what?  Like high college costs and advancing technology to begin with. Overall  I think this generation gets a bad rap and the further I go in college, the more ready I feel to accept that rap and make myself stand out to make positive changes wherever I go.
And that pretty much concluded our phone interview.  But, as always, there's so much more I can tell you about Jared.  First of all, last week he was inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 
And if that doesn't say enough about him, I have to add what a genuinely sweet, honest, selfless, hard-working, and conscientious person he is.  Jared loves animals, all his cousins, and his family.  He doesn't hesitate to help out when asked and will always do what he knows is right.    We couldn't love him more and I hope his birthday is better than he could have dreamed possible and that the coming year surpasses it every way.   Happy Birthday, Jared!

 Please note:  Photo credits for the truly beautiful pictures in this post (and they're easy to pick out) go to the amazing Beth Fletcher of Beth Fletcher Photography!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Clara Catherine

Thursday was Clara's 4th birthday and we were lucky enough to get to help her celebrate it.  While we were there, I conducted her birthday interview.  It was beyond cute and I recorded everything on my laptop and forgot to save it.
Well it's not funny!
Clara is our 20th (and last?) grandchild and our 8th granddaughter!
She is an important part of this large family.
And an even more important part of this smaller family.
So, since my laptop didn't save my document for me when I carelessly shut it down without saving it, I'm going to try to re-construct from memory (mine, Harry's, Beth's and Clara's) all my questions and answers.
Happy Birthday, Clara!  Thank you.
Have you had a good day?  Yeah
What did you do today?  I went to school!  And an orchard.
Did you pick apples?  Yeah.  How many?  5
Did you eat all of them?  Yeah.  NO, not ALL!

What's your favorite animal?  A camel.  Why?  So I can ride it.  What about Harper.  No....well a little bit.
What did you get for your birthday so far?  A vacuum cleaner, a Peppa Pig game, a yoyo, Shopkins, cowboy boots, and a magnifying glass.
You are going to have a real birthday party Saturday.  Who is coming to that?  Aunt Sarah and Maya and Grandma and Aubrey and Mary.
What else can you tell us about yourself that we haven't talked about?  I don't know.  What do you like best about school?  Singing!  And this answer came as no surprise because Clara sings ALL THE TIME!!!  And she has the sweetest little voice!
Or course there's lots more I could tell you about Clara that we haven't covered in this interview. She's one of the sweetest, smartest, most loving little girls you could ever meet.  She's helpful and quirky and has a sense of humor beyond her years.  She's agreeable and interested in everything and loves to be in charge of Harper.  
And she absolutely loves her birthdays especially when everybody sings Happy Birthday to her!
So Happy Birthday, Sweet Clara!  We're wishing you a Happy Birthday Party today and a year full of happiness and joy! 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tessa Mary

Today is Tessa's 9th birthday.

She was born in Kansas and is our 16 grandchild and 7th grandaughter.
Tessa is an important part of this large family.
And an even more important part of this smaller family.
Last night I conducted a phone interview with Tessa.  Here's how it went:  Hi Tessa   How are you? I'm fine!  Tomorrow's my birthday!
I know!  Are you excited?  Um hmm
Do you have any special plans?  Umm for my birthday party I might be going to Trampoline World or Sky Dome. I haven't decided yet.  
What do you want for your birthday?   Probably like a stuffed animal.  I already got a bike and lots of other stuff.  Did you have a little family party today?  Umm, I think we're going to do something like that tomorrow.  Will Grant be able to come?  No, because his school starts on my birthday.  How about Daddy?  No he won't be able to come but he's going to come visit us in a couple of weeks. That's awesome I'll bet you're excited.  (She literally giggled.)  Yeah!
Has your school started yet?  Yep  When did it start?  Ummm I think it was on the 17th
What grade are you in now?  4th grade
What do you like best about school?  My favorite part of school is recess.   But I love school and my teacher's great!
And what don't you like so much?  I do not like math.
What's your favorite thing to do at home?   I don't know.    I like to draw.
You're a very good artist.
And I like to play with my Barbies.
What's your favorite animal?  A  cat.  Why?  Because they're fluffy and cute and I like to snuggle with them.
What do you want to be when you grow up?  I want to be doctor.
How many kids would you like to have some day?  3 or 4.
Did you enjoy Christmas in Gulf Shores last year?  Yes!   I loved it!
What was your favorite part?  Going on the beach.
What else can you tell us about yourself?  Well, I'm not a big fan of video games.  Sometimes they get boring.
Anything else?   Umm Yes.  I have four favorite colors.  What are they?  Blue, White, Pink, and Purple. 
 I like all animals as long as they're not really dangerous.  
I like to dance.

 I'm going to start gymnastics but I still like to dance.
And I like swimming.  I'm in stroke school now.
What is that?  Stroke school is basically where you learn all the stokes.
Which is your favorite?  Probably freestyle.  Are you pretty good at it?  um hmmm. 

 I like to look at pets at the pet store.  When you come in, on the left they have cute little kittens in different kinds of cages and last time I went they had a baby kitten.
I like lots of kinds of food.  What's your favorite?  Probably this real good chicken that I had or some mashed potatoes that I had at Carraba's.  We usually go there with the whole family. 
Where are you going for your birthday?  Me and Mom and Evan are going to go to Carraba's. 
 And I really like Barbies.  Right now I'm cleaning up some of my Legos to make a Barbie wonderland.  
And that was pretty much how the interview ended.  Tessa did a great job of trying to think of facts about herself that we hadn't covered.  But I can add even more facts about Tessa.
She's quiet and unassuming.
When there's hustle and bustle going on around her and everybody's focused on the task at hand, she quietly stays out of the way.

She's a Mommy's girl.
And a Daddy's girl.
And she loves her big brothers almost us much as they adore her.
She's stylish

Enjoys shopping
And is a great planner and organizer.  She's also crafty like her Mom and just so eager to please.
But more than all that, she's sweet, patient, loving, smart, and unbelievably artistic and creative.  We love her more than she can imagine and we're wishing her the happiest of birthdays. Tessa, Happy Birthday and we just cannot WAIT to see you in December!