Hannah-Joy Begins home school for kindergarten. She and Loretta enjoy the year. Hannah-Joy is doing very well in her academics. She is very motivated in her learning. During the year, Loretta and ?? team teach on Science. One of the outside activities for HJ is an art class with Leah Whatley in which she makes a variety of items including pottery, water colors painting, and others. Ms. Whatley comments on how good of a student Hannah-Joy is and how surprised she is that Hannah-Joy can sit and focus for the entire art class which lasts 2 1/2 hours.
Joseph starts his new school at Hill Country Christian Academy. In the move, we decided to have him repeat second grade as the school he was moving to was much harder than his previous one and he was one of the youngest in his grade level. Testing by the school confirmed that was the best place for him as well. He had an outstanding year in academics and athletics. In academics, he was a straight A student and enjoyed most of the subjects (though not quite the homework). Hill Country is following a classical educational approach and many of the things taught in the 2nd grade were new material from what was covered in his previous school. His teacher was ??. In academics, Joseph continued in basketball and is turning into a rather good player.
Vacations - Trip to Disney with Rick's parents. Beach trip with families.
Major life events - Rick's mother's father (Jerry Michal/Paw Paw) died of heart failure. He brought joy to all our lives and will be greatly missed. There is so much we could write but it is hard to cover it all. We think a good summary of what he means to us and who he is was summarized by Rick during his funeral. Here is that write-up:
For Jerry Michal�s Funeral on March 27th, 2003
I just want to take a few minutes and share some memories I have about my grandfather, Paw Paw that highlights his character and personality.
He is known for his humor and fun loving attitude. In some ways, he is still a kid at heart. I remember how he loves to do things like shoot fireworks and one time, a few years ago, it got the cattle so worked up it sounded like a stampede and they broke through several fences.
He is always joking or kidding. I remember from last week when he saw Dr. Wozniak, he told him what he was planning on the next visit to his office. He planned to take a pack of cigarettes, roll them up in his sleeve, and kid the doctor that he had been smoking. He loved just joking around like that.
When talking with him, it always seemed the topic of rain or the weather came up. Some people might think he was just making idle conversation but when you understand his love for the outdoors, you know it wasn't. He loves farming, ranching, fishing, hunting, gardening, or just being out in the pasture. Just a couple of weeks ago he was working in his garden doing tilling. We talked about that and he said he knew he wasn't supposed to be doing it but he just loves being out there and working in the garden so much he couldn't stay away.
Another loves of his life are baseball and tennis. I remember stories about how he was a tennis star in high school and how they travel around early in their marriage to play minor league baseball. I did get to see him in action at an old timers game and he was still good and got three hits I think. Baseball is a love of his that I share as well. I remember him coming to my games and in the last few years enjoying getting to see my son Joseph playing baseball.
One characteristic that no one could miss was his generous nature. He was always giving and thinking about others before himself. I also remember a few days ago as he was in the hospital he was telling Nana to take us all out to eat and he even asked do you think it would be OK to get everyone together in La Grange so he could buy dinner for us. Over the last couple of years, he couldn't do as much physically but I rarely saw him complain or let that get in the way when others needed him. He managed to go and visit his daughter in the hospital every day for about 6 weeks to encourage her back to health and show how much he cares.
And talking about caring, he has a great love for his family, friends, and especially his wife. He expressed it in many quiet ways and you could see the joy on his face as he spent time with family and friends. I have experienced his love over the years in whatever we did from going fishing to watching a game or just sitting and talking. I admire him and am grateful for the great love he has. One thing that especially touch my heart was a conversation that he and Nana had a few days ago. At that point, I think he knew this was his time. He told her that he was at peace with his Lord and ready to go except for one thing. He loved her so much that he didn't want to be separated from her.
That is also the hardest part for us: We are separated from him and can't enjoy these things about him right now. I know that he is in a better place than us. That God has ended his suffering and struggles and has healed him perfectly. But I am sad for myself in this time that we are separated from him. However, in that sorrow, I am comforted by the words of one of his favorite passages from John 14 where Jesus is saying:
"Don't be troubled. Believe in God, and believe in Me. My Father's house has many rooms. If that were not true, would I have told you that I'm going to prepare a place for you? If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again. Then I will bring you into my presence so that you will be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you're going. So how can we know the way?" Jesus answered him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me. If you have known me, you will also know my Father. From now on you know Him through Me and have seen Him in Me."
I know that because of my faith in Christ, I will join Paw Paw in that place when God decides my purpose on this earth is done. In the words of John in The Revelation 21 as he describes this place, the new heaven and earth:
"I heard in a loud voice from the throne say, "God lives with humans! God will make his home with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There won't be any more death. There won't be any grief, crying, or pain, because the first things have disappeared." The One sitting on the throne said, "I am making everything new." He said, "Write this: 'These words are faithful and true.'"
Nana & Paw Paw at their home at Christmas 2000.jpg
Joseph asks to be home schooled
given freedom to ride bike around neighborhood alone
best friends with Jacob, Christopher, and spending time with Jonathan
boy scouts with Tammy Pokorny
summer baseball at YMCA
Fall ball with Balcones
birthday party at Peter Pan putt-putt
started Hardy Boy books
gets own room
Dec. 2004 rides 2 wheel bike down our street without us knowing it. 2
teenage boys return him
knows horizontal and vertical....says "hold me vertical" at Luby's
gets mild case of pneumonia
starts Milwood Preschool in Sept.
loves trains especially Henry and Gordon
Green is your favorite color
birthday party Texas Union glow in the dark bowling
gets hair brush stuck in hair and have to cut it out
starts Upwards basketball
tap, jazz, and ballet with Joyce Willit
friends with Emma, Brianna, Abby, Tiffany, Liz
starts roller blading
speech therapy for "S"
shares bunk bed with Phillip
begins Girl Scouts with Davis Element.
interested in violin
Jan 2004 begins Wed. school at Summit
Ski trip to Breckenridge, CO - stay at Valdoro, Rick's regularly skied blacks, kids excelling and skied blues on the last day. Story about Rick falling into the hot tub with Phillip. Loretta's illness. Extreme heat inside the lodge.
Played basketball in National Youth Sports with coach Craig McKinnley. He was a very good hustler and made several baskets. He did very well on defense with stealing the ball.
Played baseball in the spring season at Balcones Little League with coach Charles Abernathy. He really got into the groove about half-way through the season. He started hitting the ball during the games and started liking baseball more. He became friends with Stephen Banks and Tyler Maret.
We went on a family camp out near Mason at pack leader Darrell Flemings father's land. Went on night ride looking for animals. Did a three mile hike. Played on the cattle gates with the kids. Got his fishing badge.
Took two day camps with his friend Tyler at Georgetown High School on pitching and hitting in June. He really loved the pitching camp but thought the hitting camp was boring. Is doing swim team with Jacob Carstenson.
Joseph started taking piano lessons this fall and he is loving it. He can hardly walk past the piano without playing a little song or two.
Joseph had his first piano concert on December 10th at Brook Mays and played two songs. The songs are Jingle Bells and Little Things. He did a great job.
Joseph was passing along a gift idea for him for Christmas to Mimi and Pa. When he did it he said, "I have a gift idea that not too expensive. However you better get a pen and paper to write it down because you won't remember."
Hannah-Joy: Brownies. Brownies dance where she took Rick, Doug, and Jerry. Dance recital with Joyce Willit School of Dance (red genie costume). Became very good friends with Emma Claypool and Brianna Epperson. She also began playing with Melanie Shempert. Swim team at Balcones pool. Has become very interested in the violin and would like to play it.
Doing very well in violin and is progressing faster than the average student.
Ran a lemonade stand to benefit Katrina victims. She raised $81.39 on Sunday afternoon in a couple of hours with her friend Xandra. She donated the money to the Salvation Army.
Hannah-Joy played soccer for the first time.
She had her 1st violin concert on December 4th at Violins, Etc. and played two songs. The songs are May Song and Allergro. She did a great job.
Hannah-Joy has been saving all her spend money for over a year to be able to buy a Nintendo DS with Nintendogs. In December she finally earned enough money to purchase one.
Green is still his favorite color. Started Milwood Preschool on Tuesday and Thursdays. His teachers are Miss Dieter and Mrs. Behrends. Has become friends with Benjamin. Knows horizontal and vertical. He seems to be very smart and also strong willed, active, and physical.
USAF is finally using our system to improve and monitor GPS!
Provision of a van.
Loretta had a speaking first. She was the guest speaker for one of the talks for the Women's Bible Study at Grace Covanent in the Fall '05 semester. She gave a talk on the Omniscience of God
Trip to DC
Joseph baseball in the spring - improved steadily, began hitting at the end, hit a home run while we were in small group, got to pitch one inning in the game another game we missed and held them to no runs and got only 1 walk. He has been nominated for 10 year old all stars.
HJ continued violin, softball seemed to be more athletic than other girls her age
Phillip seeing Norma and making good progress