A Party to End All Parties (which means we aren’t doing this again).

We’ve been working so hard on the yard, the house, the food, the cards…To be honest, we are a little tired.
Don’t let anyone fool you.  Getting ready for an open house is a lot of hard work.  Anita painted the ceilings and walls.  She scrubbed the kitchen with all the elbow grease she could muster.  We shampooed the carpets and scrubbed the floors.  We beat the rugs and bought a new couch.  
On the outside of the house we laid 14 yards of mulch, tore down the fence, painted the door and erected enough tent to house Barnum & Bailey. 
And preparation is not just an individual sport.  It is a team effort through and through.  Anita worked inside.  I worked outside.  Neighbors loaned chairs, tarps, tables.  Family brought food, dishes, more tables.  Strangers shouted “Congratulations!” as they passed.  Everyone got into the game.
But in the end, the party plans and extra effort paid off.  Not because the house looks so good.  Not because we have left-overs that will last 6 months.  In the end, the party plans and hard work allowed friends, neighbors and family to come and express their love and appreciation to Emily.  It was wonderful.
I realized this morning that every person who walked into our back yard and filled a plate with cake were important in Emily’s journey to this place in her life.  As parents, we try to do our best but these people made her life easier, better, more valuable.  In short, these people helped make her who she is today:  A wonderful, caring woman who loves her God and her family with sincerity and devotion.
And so, I want to thank you all.
Thank you, Sharon, Audry, Pete, Susie, John, Janice & Kenny, Brook, Todd & Sue, Caleb, Lauren, John (who I don’t know and never understood why he was here), Sydney, Elijah, Noah, Lilly, Chad & Christy, Laura & Jeff, Deb & Marty, Skye, Tyme, Beth, Joan & Don, Kim & Mike, Todd & Connie, Ross, Linda & Mac, Claire, Elliott, Meagan, Emily (the other Emily), Meagan (the other Meagan), Ryan, Andrea & Bo, The Thompsons, Pam & Sunil, Anna, Issiah, Jessie, Shannon, David & DeLora, Rachel, Joshua, Anna, Bekka, Shamika, Javi, Mia, Andy & Judy, Jeff & Donna, Chris & Jen, Amber & Logan, and MaryAnn, and so many others who came and I don’t even know your names! 
And thank you to those who couldn’t come to the party but were still an important part of her life.  You will never know how much you have meant to our family and my daughter.

The End of Another Chapter

The service was nice but the seating was hard and after two hours of sitting, I was ready for it to be over.  When you have a child with a last name beginning in “A”, your interest wanes quickly when the “B”, “C”, and “D” students make their way across the stage.  I’m sure they are all nice children but their graduation isn’t as important to me. But Emily has done it and her mother and I am very proud.

Day 144 – March 24, 2011

Our baby is now 16.  So our last child, our youngest, turned 16 years old today.  We ate at Red Lobster (his choice) and returned home for cake, singing, cards and presents!

If I haven’t told you before, let me say it here.  Ben is a joy to his family.  He is energetic, funny, happy and witty.  He is serious, thoughtful, loving and generous.  He is the best of us all and we love him dearly.

Happy Birthday, Ben.

Day 143 – March 23, 2011

Bad storms hit the area but a beautiful rainbow preceded the thunder and lightning, rain and hail.

Wednesday nights are our date night and a drive from Indy to Fishers offered quite a view.  Mark Pi’s for dinner, an evening with the kids made for a nice evening.  If it weren’t for the hail storm, it would have been the perfect evening.

Day 142 – March 22, 2011

Tragic events hit people in ways that are hard to understand.  Along the old country road stood a house, burned beyond repair.  A family was dislocated.  Memories lost.  Possessions destroyed.

I just can’t imagine the loss that this family experienced in the moment that this fire started.

How many people suffer similar loss? 

But the loss doesn’t always come from fire, earth quake or natural disaster.  Some loss comes from a husband that leaves his family.  Some loss is a result of car accidents out of the blue.  Some loss happens without warning, without a word and all we can do is watch as it happens.

Day 140 – March 20, 2011

This was an interesting day.  I bought groceries, got my hair cut, listened to a couple basketball games and watched my wife put on a Pampered Chef party.

Something that I thought was interesting happened at the Meijer store here in town.  I picked up some Basil and Provolone cheese.  At the check out counter, I discovered that the cheese failed to have a scan code sticker attached.  This, of course, required that someone would have to take the cheese and return to the produce / dairy section to determine why I would choose a block of cheese without the sticker.  After waiting 10 minutes, the young man returned with the same block of cheese and reported that none of the cheese was marked.  He tried a couple numbers in the scanner without success, he reported that, in fact, there was no tag of any kind on any of the Provolone.  At the end of it all, he had the nerve to ask me if I really wanted the cheese.