Education, Praises, The Kids, Traveling

Kelly’s Graduation Celebration

Since Carl was busy all day Saturday and Sunday, we planned Kelly’s Graduation Celebration for Friday.


Since it turned out that the Airbnb that we rented for the grandparents was adorable, with a beautiful backyard, we decided to hold the party there. It had a cool spiral staircase in the backyard that was a lovely place for some photos of the graduate.

We spent the afternoon talking, laughing, eating and playing games in the backyard.



We ordered Chipotle catering for dinner, just like we did for Anthony’s graduation.


Kelly’s best friend, Jill, came by to visit after work.


It was a great day celebrating Kelly!


We are grateful that Sue and Karl drove all the way from Memphis for the celebration.


We are equally grateful that my mom and niece, Bryanna drove from Chicago.



Congratulations Kelly!! We are all so proud. Your clinic and clients are going to be blessed to have you as their therapist.

Side Story: Carl spent all day Saturday and Sunday videotaping dance recitals as the videographer for KC Video Productions. This is our 15th year taping for this particular dance studio, our biggest client. In a terrible coincidence, this is the first time in 15 years that all three of the dance studios that we were currently working with (one also in Minnesota for 12 years and one in FL for the past 3 years), all had their recitals on the same weekend! So we were only able to work with the one studio this year. Hopefully the other two studios will have us back again next year but chances are they will just continue on with whoever they worked with this year, unless they were really bad….so here’s hoping that our replacements were lousy!! Ha!

Education, Praises, The Kids, Traveling

Kelly’s Master’s Graduation

Kelly has completed her Master’s degree coursework and year-long internship and just as soon as she finishes her thesis (which she says in going to happen in the next few weeks, hopefully), she will officially receive her Master’s Degree in Counseling and Psychological Services.

Her company is apparently trusting that she finishes soon!

Kelly decided that it wasn’t important to her to “walk” in the formal graduation ceremony (and we all were very happy to hear that, as anyone that has sat through a college graduation ceremony can relate to) but did not want to miss out on a celebration of her achievement.


Since Carl was flying to MSP already for our yearly dance recital videotaping job, we coordinated with the grandparents to meet up in Minneapolis at that time to celebrate Kelly. Carl and I stayed with Kelly and Avram and I found the grandparents and my niece, Bryanna, an Airbnb just a few blocks from Kelly.


Carl and I were able to visit Kelly at her place of employment last Friday. She gave us a tour of the facility, including her very own office. I love that the company even gave her $200 to decorate her office.


After Avram completes his school year, they are going to celebrate her achievement with an amazing one-month trip to South Africa to visit many AuPair friends that Kelly has met over the years that have returned to their homes in South Africa. It’s going to be an amazing trip and we can’t wait to hear all about it.

One of the group therapy rooms with posters showing the skills that Kelly teaches to her clients.

Congratulations Kelly! Your clients are lucky to have you and too bad we didn’t have enough time for your to work out all of your father’s issues.

Praises, The Kids

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

No, not Carl…at least not yet! The search is still early though and positive things are happening. Carl has already gone on one interview, met with a headhunter and consulted with several other people with job leads. We are sure that something good is going to come.

It’s all the kids that have new jobs!

Zack: After more than a year at the lumber yard, Zack is beginning an electrician apprenticeship with our friend from church, Russ (Russ is Carl’s diving buddy). Zack will be working alongside several electricians and learning the business and working on getting certified. It’s a long process that is expected to take several years at least, at minimum wage, but we are pleased with the positive direction that this career path can take Zack. Yay, Zack!

Anthony: Anthony accepted a 20-hour a week position as a Program Supervisor for Child & Family Service of O’ahu. According to the job description…

The Program Supervisor is responsible for managing the daily operations of the programs. Plans, organizes, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the delivery of services and contracts assigned. Provides supervision to staff and assists in public relations.

Anthony will be in charge of anywhere from 3-12 program workers. Wow! 

Although this is only a 20-hour position (due to funding issues), there is tremendous potential for growth and other positions that Anthony will be able to move into with more experience. The pay is good and he will receive health insurance benefits. Since he and Kameko live with grandma Jane and don’t have mortgage/rent to pay, this position is doable. Plus it leaves them time to help care for grandma and get her to her appointments and do other things necessary for her care. Yay, Anthony!

Kelly: Kelly accepted a full-time position as a mental health therapist with Mental Health Systems in Minnesota, the clinic that she is interning with, beginning in May when her internship is complete. She will continue facilitating adolescent and adult DBT groups  (DBT is a specific therapy program utilized at her clinic) and providing individual psychotherapy. She will be making a good salary and receiving full benefits, including health insurance and 401k. The clinic will provide free supervision for the 4,000 required hours needed to become fully licensed in the state of MN (a big plus because some new therapists have to pay for supervision).  Kelly also plans on continuing her work as AuPair coordinator because she really enjoys it. Yay, Kelly!

We are so proud of each of the kids and how hard they have worked to get where they are. It is so exciting to see them being rewarded for their efforts. Good job, kiddos! We love you and are proud of you!

We are excited to see what God is going to bring Carl next!

The Kids

New Year, New Update 2019

Last year at this time, I posted this update on the kids. I’ve added an update to that update to see what has changed in the past year.


(Jan, 2018) Kelly is finishing up her graduate work in Counseling and Psychological Services (Mental Health Counseling). She should have her coursework completed this summer. Next fall she will need to complete an unpaid internship and write her thesis paper. And then, if all goes well, she will get her Master’s degree next December. In the meantime, she’s holding down three jobs: substitute teaching for MSP public schools, nannying for Ollie and working as an AuPair coordinator. Keep up the great work, Kelly! 

(Jan, 2019) This is still pretty much the same although graduation was pushed back a bit…she’s a little more than halfway through her unpaid internship at a Mental Health Clinic (which she is enjoying) and she is going to begin working on her thesis paper. Her new anticipated graduation date is May, 2019. After that, she will begin two-years of supervised (paid) employment as a Mental Health Counselor, after which time she will be fully licensed. She doesn’t have time for substituting in the MSP schools but she still nannys occasionally and works as the AuPair coordinator. Avram bought a duplex house with his parents and brother (Avram’s side is a two-story unit and the other side has separate upstairs and downstairs units) and spent the past 6 months updating it. He and Kelly will be moving into his half of the house in March.


(Jan, 2018) Anthony found out that he only had two classes to take his last semester (Jan to April, 2019). So by taking one extra class each of the next two semesters, he will be able to graduate early, in December, 2018 (with our luck, it will be the same weekend that Kelly graduates).  He is very excited to move-up his relocation to Hawaii by one whole semester. He’s also informed us that upon graduation, he will be proposing to his Hawaiian girlfriend, Kameko. All-righty then! We can’t wait to meet the future Mrs. Miklas.

(Jan, 2019) Anthony did graduate in December. He did propose to his girlfriend, Kameko, albeit earlier than anticipated. And he did move to Hawaii on New Year’s Eve! Anthony is living with Kameko and her grandma Jane in Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii and they will most likely continue to do so after they are married to help care for the aging grandma Jane. He is spending much time now looking for his first “career” job and has a few good possibilities falling into place. More details to come. Kameko is spending much of her time finalizing wedding details. We are all looking forward to the March 3rd wedding!


(Jan, 2018) After dropping out of tech college back in September, Zack had a January 1st deadline to 1) be enrolled in tech school/college 2) be working full-time or 3) enlist in the military. He went with Option 2 and just began a new full-time job at a local lumber yard, pulling orders and stocking lumber racks. We are hoping that the boredom and tedium will eventually lead him to Option 3 but for the time-being he is working Monday through Fridays from 7:30am to 4:00pm.

(Jan, 2019) After working at the lumber yard full-time until September, 2018, Zack decided to give tech college another try and started some classes for a certificate in Computer Programming (while reducing his hours at the lumber yard). That did NOT go well and tech college is now off the board for the foreseeable future. He is back to working at the lumber yard full-time and trying to figure out how to get another/additional job so that he can move out of our house by the time he’s 21 years old on November 11th (a goal that his parents have set for him). Grandma Sandy…get Zack’s room ready!

That’s all the latest news of the kids! Happy New Year!

The Husband, The Kids, Traveling

Jaguars vs. Dolphins

In honor of Sunday’s Jacksonville Jaguars versus Miami Dolphins football game, the Jaguars organized an overnight trip to Miami for each employee and one guest, leaving Saturday and returning Sunday night after the game.


They chartered some coach buses for the ride down to Miami and put everyone up in a hotel for the night.


I would have liked to have gone with Carl but with Anthony and Kameko in town and Kelly and Avram arriving on Sunday, I didn’t want to miss the time away from the kids. So Zack went in my place for some father-son bonding time.


There was a welcome reception on Saturday evening after they arrived and pregame tailgating before the game. I’m told Zack ate 5 hotdogs at the tailgating!


I’m sure that Zack enjoyed the football game much more than I would have anyways.


And besides, it gave me an opportunity to do a thorough cleaning of Zack’s upstairs loft while he was away, since Kelly and Avram will be staying upstairs with him during their visit. I was able to remove all his empty cans, bottles and trash from the couch cushions before they arrived.


Oh Zack….when will you stop being such a slob?!?




Education, Praises, The Kids, Traveling

The Graduate

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As Anthony’s homeschool teacher for 4-1/2 years (from 5th grade until halfway through 9th grade), I can attest to the fact that he was not always the most independent worker.

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In fact, I like to tell people that Anthony was expelled from homeschooling due to driving the teacher crazy.

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So I couldn’t be more proud of how hard he has worked in college, even taking on extra classes for two semesters to graduate early.

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Not only that, but he did so with honors…graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies with an emphasis in Biblical Studies. Well done Anthony!!

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And we finally got to meet his sweet and beautiful fiance, Kameko, in person!

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They are such a cute couple and are going to make me gorgeous grandbabies some day :).

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Three of Anthony’s grandparents were thrilled to take part in the celebration. Kelly came in for the weekend celebration too, although we were not able to snag her a ticket to the ceremony itself.

We all loved the leis that Kameko made and brought to congratulate Anthony. It is a Hawaiian custom to place stacks of leis on a person during important events.

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After the graduation ceremony and a brief tour of campus, we returned to our Airbnb that we all shared together for a catered Chipotle dinner.

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Then we taught the gang how to play 4 Up and 4 Down.

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And of course, there may have been a cocktail or two to celebrate!

12.14.18 Anthony's Graduation (66)The next day, we continued the celebrating and enjoyed spending time with my brother, Brad, who was a trooper and hung out most of the day, even though we made him drive to the Westside. Feeding him double hamburgers every two hours seemed to help. His girlfriend, Gwen, came for a while after work as well.

12.15.18 Visit from Brad and Gwen (2)

Our niece, Abby, also stopped by for a short visit with her dog Moes.

12.15.18 Visit from Abby (1)

12.15.18 Visit from Abby (3)

It was a great weekend celebrating Anthony’s accomplishment. We are so very proud of him! We can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for him in Hawaii. We are so happy that Kameko came to the mainland for the celebration as well. Since Anthony and Kameko flew back to Jacksonville with us until New Year’s Eve, we look forward to spending time with them over the next few weeks. And Kelly (and her boyfriend) and Carl’s parents will be joining us for the annual Christmas-week visit as well.

Lots of family time to look forward to the rest of this year.




Education, The Kids

Zack, Plan D

Last year, around the time he was graduating high school, Zack decided that in the fall, he would attend the local technical college for his electrician certification. Then, right before the program was to start, he decided to switch to the Aviation Mechanics Program. Then, one day into that program, he decided to work full-time for a year until he decided what he actually wanted to do.

After working at a lumber yard full-time for the past 8 months, he has decided to give technical college a try again. This time he is pursuing a Computer Programming Specialist Certificate. There are five technical certificates that could lead to an Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Technology and eventually a Bachelor’s Degree, if he desired. But we just want him to focus on this one certificate at this time and we’ll see how it goes. We are hoping that he can get a decent job to support himself after obtaining a certificate or two without actually having to get a degree (since those general education courses would be the difficult part for him).

We hope that this is a good path for Zack and that he will be successful. We wish him luck! And if this doesn’t work out, there’s always the military!