Monday, August 31, 2009

Moving In

Yesterday we dropped Ben off at college. This is the sign that greeted us at the entrance to campus.

And this is the WONDERFUL site that greeted us as we pulled up to the dorm! Dozens of student waiting to unload the vehicles and move all the items into the room. In about 10 minutes time they unloaded 4 vehicles and we had them moved to the parking lot. (They unloaded the van, Ben's car, Cody's car and Bill and Jackie's van).

This is just half of the hallway outside their room when we got inside. The boys needed to go get the key to their room before we pulled into the circle but we missed that instruction! We also missed the instruction that the boys were to have their student ID's with them at lunch that day......oh well, I'm sure we weren't the only ones and I'm sure Ben and Cody have got it together by now!

This is a photo of their door decorated by their Student Orientation Leaders. They were kind of bummed. Cody is NOT a Dolphins fan and Ben is REALLY NOT a Vikings fan! But they will survive.

Once we got inside Ben and Cody got to work stacking their beds and deciding how to set up the room. The parents stood aside for as long as we could stand it but ended up jumping in to help. Which I'm sure Ben and Cody appreciated! (Not really!)

Here's Jackie trying to make sense of it all!

The boys finally accomplished the bed situation and thought they would take a short break. Very short break!

And a final shot of the roomies before we headed off to lunch and goodbye's.

It was an exciting day and a bittersweet one for us parents. It's so hard to let your children grow up. But I love what my friend Tricia said (she always says such wise things just at the right moment.)

It's a wonderful time and exactly what we raised them to do. Why does it tug at our hearts so much? Time to see them through a different set of eyes. Tough when I LOVED the other way. A new chapter in our lives...

I have loved raising Ben. The best time of my life will always be when the four of us lived together as a family. (also a Triciaism!) But this is a new chapter in both our lives. And, I'm excited to see the man he will become.

Friday, August 28, 2009

LC Typesetting

My mom and dad retired today.

They sold the family business and closed on the sale of the building today.

All my life my parents have owned LC Typesetting. They worked side by side for over 40 years building up that business. It's not easy being a small business owner but they stuck it out all these years. They changed with the times, time and time again. I'm so proud of them for the example they gave my brother and I about hard work, dedication and compassion.

Located just a few doors down from the Homeless Center, my dad gave a job to anyone who asked. Sometimes it was nothing more than a few dollars to shovel the sidewalk or a few more to paint the side of the building. I've lost track of how many times the side of that building has been painted! It didn't matter what the job was, it gave someone dignity and that's what mattered to dad. To both my parents, because they are selfless givers, both of them.

I know making the decision to retire has been hard for them, especially for my dad. But in doing so, they have given a priceless gift to this community. They sold the building to the Homeless Center and it will now be renovated as a shelter for Homeless Veterans.

The look of the building will change but I will always remember the years it housed LC Typesetting. I'll remember dad's wall of photos of his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids and all their drawings. I'll remember my boys riding their motorized cars from one end of the shop to the other. Mostly I'll remember the sound of my dad's voice answering the telephone "LC Typesetting".

I love you Mom and Dad. Enjoy your retirement!

You deserve it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

He's a Junior!

I always take a photo on the first day of school each year. This year Andy wanted to wait until his second day of school. His first day he had to wear a Clay tee shirt and shorts in his role as a Freshman Mentor. So this is actually the second day of his Junior Year.

Have a great year, Andy. Enjoy every moment!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Senior Pictures

Like most parents, Senior pictures were a big deal to me. To Ben? Not so much. So in the Fall of his Senior year we had a disagreement as to which poses he would sit for, how many clothing changes he would make, etc.……. So, we decided to postpone the photos until Spring.

Bad planning on my part.

Spring brought baseball season and all the Seniors decided to mohawk their hair! So much for Senior pictures. So we had to wait until the hair grew back.

In the meantime, Kelli’s mom scheduled Kelli’s Senior pictures to be taken by Jenny Hoke Photography up at Lake Michigan. We got in on that action and here are the results.

If you live in the Michiana area you must contact Jenny Hoke Photography. She is the best!

IMG_6521-2 IMG_6335IMG_6537 IMG_6542 IMG_6158 IMG_6221IMG_6175 IMG_6244

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

July at the Lake

This year at the lake was the best ever!  Best weather, best company, best memories.

It was the first year that Jan rented too and that was the best.  This year Patty and Carrie came up with Carrie’s kids and loved it so much they rented for next year!  This year was the first visit to the cottage for my new great nephew Connor.  He came to visit us at 6 days old!

We celebrated Abby’s 5th birthday and my cousin from Austin came with her family for a couple of days.  Just an awesome time!

I can’t wait to go back…..

This is the life for me! This is the life for me!Andy and Connor Andy meets Connor.Andy in his shades Andy in his shadesBen and his Grandma's Ben with his grandma’sChillin' on the beach Alex loved the sand!Grace, Abby and Will tackle Ben Ben gets attacked!He ain't heavy, he's my brother He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.Kelli and DarcyKelli and DarcyMark catching dinner Mark drowning wormsNights around the fire Bonfire at nightSun and Fun Chillin at the beachThe cousins, Ella and Abby The cousins, Ella and Abby. Happy birthday Abby!

Friday, August 7, 2009

June 27, 2009

June through August is graduation party season. And we have been very busy this season. Our first party was in May and our last is today (August 9th). So far we have all been lucky and had no rain to ruin things. (Trish and Jim came close but the rain stopped at 3:59 and their party started at lie!)

The day of Ben's party was bright and sunny. We had rented a tent in case of rain but instead were grateful to have it for shade from the sun!

The party was scheduled from 2-4 but the first guests arrived at 1pm and the last left at 1am. It was a blast.

Here are some photos from the day.....

The late night crew! They made valient effort to float the keg but had to call it quits around midnight!

Tom Tom. One of Ben's friends from grade school. Off to Purdue next week!

That's my girl, Kelli. I get to keep her for another year. Thank goodness!

Tyler and Barb competing in the Cornhole Tournament which went on all day!

Matt and Katie, also off to Purdue.

Mom and Dad Knight. (Kelli's parents)

Mama Eck, Katie and Mama Morton. (Ben has many mothers besides take a village you know!)

Cody and Hannah. Cody is heading to the same college as Ben. Hannah is off to IU Bloomington.

Brendan and Kaitlyn.

The roomies!

More views of the tournament.
It turned out to be the perfect day. Lots of family and friends who celebrated with us, support us always and love our kids. Who can ask for more?

The Great Debate

I've been debating with myself for several weeks now.

When I started this blog it was with the intention of keeping up with my friends in Florida and to share stories and photos with our family.

I thought it would be fun and a great diary of our lives. I was right in many ways but somewhat naive in others. Because my blog is public anyone can read it. Anyone who cares to google my name can find it, and not everyone wishes me well.

So, I've been debating. Do I shut the blog down? Do I keep it going just as I have? And after many weeks of agonizing over this I've decided to do both. I will keep the blog going but I will be very careful to not share certain information here.

And I'm excited again! So much has happened since I posted Ben's graduation video. I have some catching up to do......better get writing!


In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on.
- Robert Frost