Friday, October 24, 2014

kirby's birthday

Yeah, it's today.  We started out with a little, "Let's have supper," get together, that bloomed into a huge family thing with rowdy kids in costumes with laser swords and unbelievable racket.

That's her above, in my sister's lap, Heidi on her knee.   I love how Pam's own baby is swimming over to them.  

That's her too, kicking it up.  The doll baby on John's lap is that same nephew.
This is one of the things I have always admired about you so much Kirsten:  You are your own person.  Tongue out, feet in the air, full of energy and sass.   Of course I always loved you, but I also admire that unapologetic independent streak.

This tiny little girl grew up to be a kid so scrappy and bold, a talented athlete, a top student, a natural leader.  

Who now is a beautiful woman.   Still adventurous and wild, still scrappy and bold, just kind of hides it better now.   (Some of the time.)

Here are some pictures from the party:

I know you're all grown up, your own person, an accomplished professional woman--a SENIOR business analyst now, for heaven's sakes.

But different from the other kids, (except probably Julia too) there's a place in my heart where you are still that girl who twirled my hair and lived in my arms.

And then you got down and took on the world.
Thanks for everything you have taught me and showed me, for being your own self and loving all of us the way you do.

In this whole world, there's no one else like YOU and I could not love you more.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart.    love Mom and Dad and Everybody

Thursday, October 23, 2014


James was invited last year as a junior in high school, but that bout with mono took him out and messed up the whole thing.

As a senior? He's well.

He chose his closest friend's mother as his mentor.  
She works hard for numerous causes and people, all of them working to bring people together and make life better in significant, practical ways.

She has continued on and recently completed her own advanced education, so she knows the struggle of students first hand.

Here we are, the two of us with those children of ours and each others that we both adore. I never realized before that she's taller than I am.

And this was a gift to James tonight in the photo below, and it's pretty hilarious.

After James' comments we read, introducing her as his NHS mentor, I whispered to Joseph, his friend's dad:  "He knows your wife pretty well."

His eyes met mine and we nodded. She squeezed my hand.

We never know when we're being observed.

Well, this gift?  She's been observing them as well.

Ann?  Much love always.  Thank you for inspiring my kid and loving and caring about him.

James?  We are proud of you.

love, Mom and Dad, aka Val and Jay

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

the dock is out

One card poker--the child is so good at this game, and loved it so much.  Dannell's grandparents are where this originated.  It's one of the few games that adults and kids are on equal ground.

 The dock came out and the young guys put on the waders and did the job.

We're really to the end of this beautiful summer.

Thanks for being there, Renee and JJ.   We loved having you.

love, Val and Everybody

Monday, October 20, 2014

fall photos

Not much to say, just taking it all in.  

love, Val