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.

Kelly:

(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.

Anthony:

(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!

Zack:

(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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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

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Education, Praises, The Kids, Traveling

The Graduate

12.14.18 Anthony's Graduation (9)

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.

12.14.18 Anthony's Graduation (43)

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.

12.14.18 Anthony's Graduation (25)

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.

12.14.18 Anthony's Graduation (62)

12.14.18 Anthony's Graduation (63)

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!

 

Praises, The Kids

They’re Engaged!

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved all sorts of adventure, like rock climbing and slack-lining over canyons and surfing in 20-foot waves, that made his mother’s heart stop.

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After his freshman year of college, he spent his summer in Hawaii working at the Salvation Army summer camp, Camp Homelani. It was such an amazing experience that he went back the following summer. It was at camp that he met a beautiful young woman, Kameko, who worked at camp with him. Kameko is half Japanese, a quarter Hawaiian and a quarter Native American.

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And that’s when Anthony’s heart stopped!

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When he first returned from camp after his second summer there we asked if he had met any special girl. He shyly said “there’s one, but we are just going to be friends, since she’s in Hawaii and I’m in Arizona.”

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A few weeks later, he said that she was his girlfriend (thanks to modern technology and the ability to Facetime, text, and talk, their relationship developed over the miles).

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A few weeks later, he said “I’m going to marry that girl.”

So when he came to Jacksonville for spring break, we spent some time discussing their relationship and looking at engagement rings. After figuring out exactly what he wanted, he ended up ordering it online through James Allen.

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When he returned to Hawaii for his third summer, he officially proposed last week.

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They are planning a spring, 2019 wedding in O’ahu, Hawaii. We are very happy for them!

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We know many of our family and friends have concerns with them getting married so young. But we feel that Anthony and Kameko have prayerfully considered their decision and have sought the Lord’s guidance in their relationship. Carl and I were young when we met and fell in love…I was only 17 years old and Carl was 19. Carl says that he KNEW within a very short time that he wanted to marry me. And that seems to have worked out well for us! I believe in and have experienced the benefits to marrying young and learning and growing together. Couples that are older when they marry can be more set in their ways and may not have learned how to compromise as well. So we are comfortable with his decision and fully support him. God has richly blessed Anthony and we know that since they both love the Lord and put Him first, that good things are in store for them both.

We are looking forward to a few weeks in Hawaii next spring as we celebrate the nuptials of these two lovebirds!

Some bonus Anthony updates:

  • Anthony is back in Hawaii for his third summer. This year he and Kameko will be working for the Salvation Army day camp. This means that they will work during the day but be free and return home each evening and weekend.
  • Anthony is living with Kameko and her grandma for the summer. In separate bedrooms :).
  • Anthony will be graduating college early, in December, 2018. He took an extra class last semester and will have an extra class this coming semester in order to do that. He worked incredibly hard this past semester and still managed to make the Dean’s list and have an overall 3.76 GPA. So proud of that boy!
  • After graduation in December, he will be moving to O’ahu permanently. I’m happy for him but sad for us that he will be so far away. But at least we have an awesome place to go visit!
  • No, we have no idea what he will do for a living after he graduates! Having a free place to live with Kameko and her grandma will give him time to figure that out. He has talked about working in the tourism industry for a few years. Time will tell…we’ll keep you posted on that.
Education, The Kids

Zack, Plan C

About a month ago, I told you how Zack had decided to switch from the Electrician Training Certificate to Aviation Mechanic Certificate. Wwwwweeeellllllllll, that program lasted less than one day. When I awoke in Arizona last Monday morning, I had already received a text from Zack in the midst of his first day in the program saying, “I think I’m dropping out of the program.” I’m guessing that they started the day with a “Pep Talk” about how challenging it would be and how hard they would have to work and other realities of life. All Zack focused on was the fact that he had until that Friday to drop out without any financial consequences. So within the first two hours, that is what he had already decided to do.

We gave Zack three options:

  • Find another program to switch to by the weekend.
  • Enlist in the service.
  • Work full-time and pay us rent, car insurance and cell phone.

At first he said he was switching to the Welding Certificate program. Then he said he was switching to the Drafting Certificate program. In the end, unsure of what the heck he wants to do, he has decided to work full-time for at least one semester while he explores his options.

We really wish that he would enlist in the service but he seems to have no interest in that option. So for the time-being anyway, Zack will be working at home and paying bills like a real adult!

Good luck Zack! We hope you figure out what you want to do in life.

Education, It's About Me, The Kids, Traveling

College Bound

For the second time in two years, I made the 28-hour drive from Jacksonville to Tucson in Anthony’s pick up truck.

We drove 10 hours to Lafayette, LA the first day, 10 hours to Ft. Stockton, TX the second day and 8 hours to Tucson on the third day, where Anthony dropped me off at my Aunt Sandy’s house.

We were so blessed to be one day ahead of the devastating hurricane Harvey, as we drove through Houston the day prior. Other than some brief rain and numerous highway signs warning drivers to avoid the Texas coast, we traveled without any difficulties.

I did borrow Aunt Sandra’s car to drive up to Phoenix on Wednesday to visit Anthony at Grand Canyon University and see his apartment.

I took him to Costco to stock up on groceries and household supplies.

We also went to a few Goodwill stores to find a tv stand and two kitchen chairs for a total of $12!

It was good to spend time with the college boy and help him get set up in his apartment.

I wish him a great third year of college!