I was so Much Older then, I’m Younger than that Now

  What a great time we had this past week!  Monday, Matt attended tryouts for basketball.  He’s very excited at the prospect of playing ball again, as he sat out last year.  He was really tired by the time he got home but he & I finished work on the fence with a quick repair to the gait that was beginning to lean with a another trip to the hardware store.  Lukey was so excited to go to the “Tool Store” due to them having popcorn.  It got so cold Monday night that we had to finally break down and turn on the heat… 

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  Tuesday was a whopper of a day.  I’ve not had a day like that in a long while…  It started off with a couple calls from MaryAnn and Sandy and one from Mom singing Happy Birthday to me, and then Sandy called me from the radio station (on the air) and proceeded to harass me in front of everyone about turning 40!!  I also got to talk to Robby a couple times (the day before was his 29th birthday).  It was good to hear that he was doing well, as we rarely get to see each other anymore.  I took Matt to school early for pep band practice, dropped off Luke at the sitters, gassed up the car ($2.35 / gallon!), balanced the checkbook, read email and did the dishes.  You know, you’d think that would be plenty of time for Abby to get up and get ready for school – right?  Wrong!  Unfortunately, Abby was even later than normal and missed the bus.  Thankfully, the bus stops two houses down (at the corner).  So, I sent her running for the bus only to find out that she forgot her coat.  …So, off we went to school…  By the time we finally got to my work – at a little past 8:30 – we discovered a former landscaping vendor stealing all of our excess fencing behind our garage.  So, I took pictures and send them to Dennis (my boss) and went in and began teaching class.  We later had to file a police report and initiate a restraining order!  As some of you already know, I am a certified CPI trainer (as well as AHA CPR & 1st Aid trainer).  During this class, I passed the 2,000 hour mark for training CPI!  The class was focused on the physical aspects of de-escalation, including our seclusion / restraint techniques.  This meant that I was taken down to the floor several dozen times.  …this was just what I needed – since I was still sore from putting up the fence a few days earlier…   Anyhow, we got home and Luke and I repaired the patio door’s handle and fired up the grill.  Ann cooked chicken fettuccini – which was delicious!  We carved pumpkins until about 9 or so.  We had a great time again this year with the kids beginning to take on more responsibilities during this annual tradition.  The jack-o-lanterns looked great and the kids had a blast.  We then had cake with cards and gifts.  Abby made me a very sweet card.  I got a new golf bag to replace my vintage ’67 bag and also received a 1977 Super Chromes Corvette Stingray Hot Wheel car I had been wanting for many years!   …and just when we thought the night was over, Luke decided it was time for his “wiggle tooth” to come out and the Tooth Fairy to visit.  So, we worked on his tooth with a fork, which freaked him out…but let me explain…  Some of you received an email from us earlier in the day about “running in the house” that showed a kid who had fallen on a fork and it punctured his nose.  Luke saw that picture only a few minutes before we began working on his tooth and then he started screaming that I was going to poke it through his nose!  J  Ann and I laughed so hard that we had trouble getting his tooth out.  Finally, we go it out and he put his tooth under his pillow.  He informed us that the Tooth Fairy had given the other kids five bucks for their first tooth; so, he was thrilled when he woke up and found a $5 bill.  I remember getting a quarter!

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  Wednesday brought the year’s first freeze, which hopefully killed off the fleas in the backyard!  Poor Lola has a couple bites on her belly’s sensitive skin.  That night, Matt informed us that he had officially made the basketball team!  We are very proud of how hard he has worked.  Not only has he taken a keen interest in working out with me on a daily basis, but he is intent on keeping his weight down!  Speaking of weight, a co-worker found an old phone picture from last January of me when I was over 300 lbs.  I have paired it up with a picture from yesterday to show the difference!  We are very proud of how Matt is taking better care of himself.  His whole attitude has changed since Dee Dee cut our hair last Sunday night.  All the boys look great.  He has more confidence, has a positive attitude and higher self-esteem.  Thanks Aunt Dee!!!

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  Thursday night, Ann went scrap booking, so after I picked up the boys; we went and watched Abby and Baili do their Hip-Hop/Jazz dance class.  It is a hard dance and we were impressed with how well the girls are doing with it!  We then rushed home to catch the end of the World Series game that had been suspended due to weather. We were sad that our Devil Rays lost, but were glad to see them go so far!

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  Friday night, Ann and I left work early so that we could get the kids something to eat before Trick-or-Treating began at 5.  The kids had a blast, as Ann & Amy took Luke, Bu and Baili around the neighborhood.  They initially went with our sitter (Brandi), her husband (Jason) and their family, including one of Luke’s best friends – Oakley.  Luke came back early because Jason had on a scary mask that freaked him out!  He only lasted about a quarter of the way through the route before coming home.  J  Thankfully, his other best friend – Alex (and his family, including out former sitter Christi and their dog) came by later and he went out again!!  The kids saw several of their friends and we had a great turnout.  I would estimate about 200 children received treats from us, using up all but about a dozen pieces of candy.  Chad, Dee and Grace also came out.  Chad had just returned from a trip to Chicago and New York and was getting ready to leave today for Las Vegas.  In Chicago, he got to see the Experience Hendrix tour with Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox.  They jam with several of the great players of our time, including Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Johnny Lang, and Eric Johnson.  As Grace joined up with the girls, I ran Matt out to the Sectional finals game.  Greensburg got destroyed by Chitard 42-0, ending their great season.  I made up a fun mix CD of various Halloween songs.  I received many compliments on it throughout the night and caught Abby/Baili and Luke/Amy dancing to a couple songs!  It seems like Halloween is one of the few times we get to go out and catch up with our neighbors.  The Walters’ just returned from a 4-month vacation in Alaska.  We got to talk with them as well as Mr. Green (who is also Matt’s assistant basketball coach) and others from around the neighborhood.

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  Saturday, as the kids cleaned up the house, I worked an extra shift.  When I returned home, we had Grandma & Gigi over – along with Chad, Dee and Gracie.  We ate like kings!  I was the grill master for burgers & dogs, MaryAnn made her macaroni & cheese, Grace brought chips from Chili’s (which was really cool!), and Ann made her 7-layer salad and baked beans.  Gigi gave me some great sugar-free candy and a new belt (that broke while I was at work!).  Matt, Chad and I watched a great Notre Dame / Pitt game that went in to quadruple overtime.  I then received another cake (reduced sugar!) that MaryAnn made that was out of this world and healthier for me at the same time.  While Ann was serving the cake, she and Matt got in to a frosting fight, which reminded me of when we cut the cake at our reception…what is it with her and cake??  We finished up the night by playing several games of euchre and listening to AM Top 40 hits from the 70’s.  J  Ann & I got stomped by elder statesmen, 5 games to zip!  MaryAnn was a stinker today, calling me to see if we had recovered from that traumatic experience and to let us know that they’re available for lessons at any time…  J

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  Let’s turn on the Way Back Machine…with thanks to Aunt Sharon for her contributions this week as well.  I have many more of hers to share, but I wanted to include the ones of our birthdays and Halloween, so let’s get to it.

  First up, we have a nice picture from October of 2004.  This would have been taken at Greensburg Camera.

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  Secondly, we have a soccer picture from earlier in 2004.  This would have been in the spring.  This was taken during our final game, at the YMCA soccer field.  I was her head coach and Matt was my assistant coach.  We were undefeated that season, for the second year in a row!  That was a really fun year, as I remember; although it was really windy and cold that spring.

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  Speaking of haircuts, here is one from late 1990, upstairs at our home in LaPorte.  At this point, Mike and Laura had moved into their home on the corner of Rockwood St., only a few houses down from Mom & Dad’s…I can remember walking home many late nights/early mornings – only to pass Dad on his way to work at about 3 am! J

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  Here we fast forward to about 2004 for a “keep your shirt on, Tom!” picture, taken by the pool at the Sand Pebble on the gulf coast…

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  Sticking with topless pictures, we flash back to the summer of 1970, out at Uncle Kenny & Aunt Marilou’s house in Rossville, IN.  Pictures (L-R) are Big Tom, Grandpaw Brown, Little Tommy, Uncle Kenny and Uncle Timmie.  This might have been a fish fry… Mom, any ideas?

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  Next we fly out to Cali…taken in 1980, this is from my trip to Magic Mountain.  We got to ride the newest, tallest, longest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world (at the time) – Colossus!  I even received a free t-shirt (also shown) after riding it! 

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  We stick to the same basic time frame.  This is probably early ’81, taken out in front of Grandmaw & Grandpaw Brown’s house on Elmwood St. in Lafayette.

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  Next we have Abby at the ball diamonds in Greensburg in the summer of 2003.

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  One of Ann’s favorite pictures, this was taken at the Greensburg city park out on the little island in 2000…

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  Last week we featured a picture of the pirate sunset cruise.  I found one other picture from that ride.  Here is the sun setting behind us on the ship, before we received our goatees and other accessories!  I’ll keep looking for more of these.  Again, this is from 2002 in FL.

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  Here is our first one from Aunt Sharon.  This is from 1984 and features the three birthday boys at our Rockwood St. home in LaPorte…I may still have that t-shirt out in the garage…

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  Ugh!  I hated that awkward stage, but love seeing these old pictures of Robby.  I can vividly remember him at this age!  This is from 1981 in Kokomo, celebrating our birthdays.  I was 13, Rob was 2 and Nathan was 6…

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  Here is a photo I just found of Rosie from our 4th of July party.  I am assuming this was taken this year…Love ya Rosie!

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  Geez, check out this one!!  Man, I hated those nasty glasses, but they were unbreakable!  …and considering I had broken 2 pairs in the previous few weeks, I really couldn’t complain.  This is from 1982, so we were 14, 3 and 7…and I’m assuming Katie is 2 or 3 as well?  Again, thanks Shar…

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  Here is another birthday pic.  This is earlier, going back to 1980 for October birthdays at the Smiths’ Kokomo home on S. Waugh St.  I had not seen this one before…thanks again for this one

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  Love this Halloween picture!  Here is Robby in 1981 as a two-year-old in our living room at the house on Rockwood.  My only question, Mom, is was he Mickey or Mighty Mouse?  J  Thanks again for this one Sharon.

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  Check this one out!  I found this one on the internet.  It is a review on Grandpaw Scheu’s bar.  It was supposedly published a couple years ago in a periodical called the DeFakto.

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  Our last entry for this week is also thanks to Aunt Sharon.  This is at Showbiz Pizza (what would become Chuck E Cheese) in Kokomo in about ’83-ish.

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Again, special thanks to Aunt Sharon for her contributions this week.  If anyone has any other pictures, I urge you to share them.  If you have a scanner, you can reach me via email or you can also mail them to me.  I can scan them and return them to you.  Have a good week and we’ll catch up with you next time.  Gotta go…new Simpsons on tonight…and a Treehouse of Horror (XIX?) to boot!  These are always the highlight of the season for me!  Colts come on right afterward vs. the Pats.  Go Colts!!

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