Meet My Friends and Family!

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

Leah keeps me hopping as she struts her 2, almost 3, year-old self. She makes up for it by being a sweet little thing, singing songs and keeping us wrapped around her little finger :) She spends her days reading, jumping, singing, and eating :) She would do anything to drink a bottle of ketchup, and I would do anything to keep her from constantly getting in the refrigerator :) We also acquired some kitties during the winter months and she is quite fond of them, as you can see :) Fortunately the cats are very amiable :)

Simon has been growing by leaps and bounds. As most of you know, he was diagnosed with Autism about 3 years ago. Since that time he has begun to expand his vocabulary, even to the point of singing songs like his sister. Back in the spring of 2005 he was writing on anything and everything he could find. His walls are covered with letters of the alphabet, and very accurate stick people :) He is constantly rattling off the alphabet, and is always surprising me with things he can spell his name! Simon has begun to accept animals, and enjoys picking the cats up on occasion...although he is still quite leary of dogs. He spends any chance he can get on the trampoline, lining up his animals, or pulling out the stuffing from our couch so he can play with the balls of fluff :) He keeps us smiling, to be sure, and is always amazing you can see :)

From left to right: TJ, Hayley, and Kinser
I haven't been able to spend much time with them, let alone the other neices and nephews that I have been blessed with. But, I was able to get some information to share with you that might bring a smile to your face :O)
TJ is a go getter, from what I have observed in the little time I have spent with him. It seems as if he is always running to something...or, from something :o) He also is the one that finds a pair of pants that he likes and will wear it three days in a row (or more)...and, no, there is nothing wrong with that :O)

Also under his 'likes' are cars and macaroni and cheese. On he and his brothers wall you will find a 'Steve Kinser' race car painted, in all the brilliant colors...put there by their daddy :O)

My mom told me that she was out there awhile back and she asked Hayley if she wanted some Top Ramen Noodles...TJ had over heard and said, with a slight 'cry'..."I want Noodles Grandma, but I don't want any top on it". :o)
Hayley is still a princess. She is getting bigger every day it seems...and smarter. I don't think I could get anything past her :o) She has been dubbed 'the little secretary' as she is usually the one to call and ask about our schedules and if we call out there she answers the phone to find out what the intent of your call is :O)

Hayley is now in kindergarten! Hard to believe...I think she is enjoying it so far :o)

She has also joined a soccer team, and, they won their first game just the other day (Keep in mind I am writing this in September of 2000). I guess she got a bit worn out during that game...but, she must have hung in there pretty well :O)

Hayley loves barbies and butterflies...and, she will soon have her room decorated with these :o) And, if you ever see Hayley and she asks you to play the barbie game with might want to pass. I have played this several times and have only won twice. But, she is a good sport...I didn't want to play last time because I just knew I would lose and she said 'You never might win!'...So, I went and played and she encouraged me the whole time. I think I won both of the games we played :O)
Kinser...ah Kinser. He is the 'big heart' of the family. If you get hurt, he will be the one to come over to see if you will be okay. His favorites include motorcycles and ramen noodles...and, I believe that I have seen him enjoying cheetos too :o)

Kinser, when he isn't in his 'quiet state' will be found zooming around the room at top speeds with TJ. And, if one of the two find their 'favorite toy' to play with you can bet that it won't be long before they both see that one toy as their favorite. It was thought that if toys were purchased for each of them and they were identical that there wouldn't be a problem of 'favorites'...but, apparently it doesn't matter if you have two identical of them (the one that is in the hands of the other sibling) will be the one that is THE BEST!

But, despite this competitive nature...that is truly healthy :O)...Kinser is the cuddler. He will curl up with you and ask about you.

His other Aunt is pregnant too and he is always asking her if the baby is still in there and how the baby is doing. I guess the question came up also if the baby would be coming out with clothes on...and, the boys had to be told that 'no, the baby will come out naked' which one of them replied 'Nuh uh!'.

Melissa, Sophie, has been a busy girl this last year. She just graduated from Harvard university. Her title for graduation? Administration, Planning, and Social Policy. She worked very hard to reach this goal, and it just goes to show how much passion she has for people and their education. She is currently working at a university, helping individuals who are first time college students in their families. Melissa, herself, is a first-time college graduate and knows how difficult it can be to break through the barriers that can surround these individuals. She helps them to gain the finances that they need to reach the goals they are aspiring to reach. Way to go Melissa!!!

I cherish my moments on home visits when I can see Melissa. They are few and far between, but we always pick up right where we left off. I just love my Monday girl!

This is my beloved friend Jami. I met her at Andrews University while putting my husband through the seminary there. I cannot tell you what a blessing she has been to my soul. The first time we met was at a Friday night get together where we were singing songs. Let me tell you...never have I seen someone that exuded more energy than myself when singing songs. Our relationship evolved from singing together to giggling together...and, eventually Jami and I began a prayer partnership. I don't know what religion you might be, or 'not be', but, I highly recommend a partner for prayer/meditation. I know that my life (spiritually) has changed dramatically from what Jami has helped bring out of me. From the trust that I was able to express with her I have found myself trusting more with my spiritual self. This opening up in my soul has led to a great freedom of my spirit. In addition to this awesome influence, Jami has become like a sister to me. Many people ask if we are sisters and we always hesitate before saying 'no'. I am looking forward to her continued friendship in my life, and, as Brian and I have a child we look forward to having her as 'Auntie Jami'. One last things about Jami (and a little about myself)...Never underestimate the power of a blue eyed brunette :O)

Dennis and Susie
Dennis and Susie are my in-laws. I am very lucky to have such wonderful people in my life. When Brian and I became engaged he asked me if I was marrying him because I liked his dad...I said yes! :] Dennis plays golf. He also likes to play golf. And when he isn't playing golf, he likes to play golf. Susie just took up a new hobby...rubber stamping. She also loves her kitty, Midget, and Midget bites her right at 9 o'clock to let her know that he needs fed. Susie shares a love for teddy bears, and I am planning a way to escape with a few.

My Parents
My parents, they are so wonderful and cute! They just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this year. It is a rare thing today to see such long term relationships, and refreshing! It was fun planning their anniversary party. This is a photo from that event. My dad used to have a 59 Ford hard top convertible, way back when. He has missed it, especially because of how valuable they are today! We were fortunate enough to find someone willing to 'escort' my parents to their surprise party in this beautiful Ford. Took us three months to find it, but it was worth the effort! My dad was amazed! A great couple, and I am blessed.

I don't know where to begin about the person who has created this wonderful place. He took it upon fee expected or wanted...and continued to work on it making sure that everything was just as I would like it.

Allan has created a most beautiful place here...and I will always be grateful for what he has done for me. I know that doing this has been difficult for him to do on top of all of the other projects that he is committed to. He has designed several other web sites, plus he works at AT&T, in their computer department...helping to maintain the system. So, you can imagine his sacrifice in taking on this project...sitting in front of a computer...A LOT!

Allan is a wonderful inspiration. He asks nothing and gives much in return. From the first time I met him he has always made me laugh, which is healing for survivors to be able to do. There are times when thoughts are running through my head and I will just start laughing. Whether it be the thought of Allan's pen in the eye trick...or the time he played a joke on a co-worker, having them believe that he swallowed someone's specimen. Allan is a classic...and his radiance shines through. To have Allan enter my life has been one of the biggest blessings for me, and to continue to have him as a friend causes my heart to smile.

Allan, thank you for all that you have done here. For what you have created. For the imagination, the creativity, the beauty, and the safe feeling that you have put so much energy into creating. You have done more than I could have ever hoped...and I am forever grateful for this that you have been so wonderful at doing!

Thank You ALLAN!!!!!

Picture of Alison
Alison is now a proud mommy of baby Hannah. Daddy Harold is proud too...but not too proud to change diapers!

Alsion is working as a nurse, and loving it! Harold (Alison's hubby) is attending school to become a teacher! Very cool!

Alison continues to be a ray of sunshine in my life and I savor any moments that I get to share with her, which don't happen as often as I would I just hang onto those I get :) Congratulations Alison and Harold on your new little one!

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