projects

My son-in-law, Kevin has always been a capable home renovator. He has fixed up and beautified each of the homes he and my daughter, Corrie and their family have lived it. It was a big part of what made him feel useful. Since he became disabled, I worried that he would no longer be able to do the projects he wanted to do on their home. In some ways, that has been the case. He is in pain often, and that limits the activity he can do. Nevertheless, Kevin is a very determined person. When he sets his mind to a task, he sees it through, even if it takes him much longer than it would have years ago.

This summer found Kevin deciding to reside their mobile home. They sold their house and paid cash for this mobile home when Corrie went back to school. They knew that with school and Kevin’s disabilities, they would need to reduce the family budget, and since their sons, Chris and Josh, are now grown and living on their own, they could downsize and save money. They bought a two bedroom mobile home and paid for it in full. It was nice, but it was older.

Kevin has worked on the interior, whenever his pain level allowed, and it looks very nice now. Still, the exterior was very dated and dingy looking. It was not what they wanted it to be. Corrie worked a great deal of overtime hours this summer, and it allowed them to buy new siding. They were very excited. Kevin has worked off and on putting up the siding for several weeks now, and the results have been amazing. Kevin even surprised Corrie with a cute floral “Welcome” sign for the front of the home. She had no idea he was doing that. The siding looks very professional, but that is how all of Kevin’s work looks. He doesn’t like to do a job half way or sloppy. That’s just not Kevin’s style.

We are all very proud of the beautiful job Kevin did on the siding. We know the sacrifices he made to get this done…and done right. We know the aches and pain he went through, and we are very proud of his accomplishment on the house. Once again, with determination, he persevered; and the work he did is just beautiful. Today is Kevin’s birthday. Happy birthday Kevin!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

No parent is really ready for their child to start dating. You expect that there will be a long line of possible spouses that come through the doors of your home. You somehow never expect the first person they date, to become a fixture in your life, and most of the time you would be right, but when our daughter, Corrie Petersen met her now husband, Kevin Petersen, it was love at first sight. She never had any doubt that this was a forever kind of love, but Kevin became so much more to our family. Looking back, I still find myself just amazed at how Kevin seemed to instantly “fit” into our family. In fact, he fit so well, that he became like a son to Bob and me too, and since it has been almost 25 years now, I guess my 15 year old daughter knew love when she found it.

Kevin told me once that my younger daughter, Amy Royce was the little sister he never had. Kevin showed me just how much he loved both of my girls, when he would come to pick them up for school almost everyday until Corrie got her license…she was after all, 15 years old when they started dating, so she couldn’t drive. He never made Amy ride the bus. She was included too, because she was his little sister. I still see that with Kevin, in the way he teases Amy, or comments on her Facebook page, or just when they are talking. Kevin has been her brother longer that she ever lived without him in her life. That really makes him more her brother, than her brother-in-law. I couldn’t have asked for a better “brother” for Amy either. They are very close, and that is a blessing for both of them. They each became the sibling the other was missing, not because they didn’t have a sibling of their own, because they did, but Kevin didn’t have a sister, and Amy didn’t have a brother.

Kevin has had some health struggles over the past few years, and that has made it difficult for him to do the projects that he loves, whether it be cars or around the house. Still, he doesn’t give up. He may have to rest more often than he used to, but he just takes it one step at a time, and soon the project is done. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Kevin and Corrie have two sons, Chris and Josh, who can come to help their dad with some of the things he needs help with. It not only gets the project done, but allows Kevin, and Corrie too, to see their very busy boys, who now have a place of their own. Kevin is such a family man, it really blesses him when the boys are willing to come and help him, even if he wishes he didn’t need help. Sometimes though, we all have to accept a little help from those around us, whether we like it or not. Today is Kevin’s birthday. Happy birthday Kevin!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Ron nowMy husband, Bob and his brother, Ron Schulenberg have been good friends since Ron was born. The fourteen years between them made no real difference at all. Maybe Bob was just excited to have a brother…finally, after having four sisters. Bob took Ron places with him and they really had a lot of fun. That continued after Bob and I began dating, and it was a realy good deal, since it meant that Ron got to go cool places like A & W, for Rootbeer Floats. Of ccourse, going places wasn’t the only reason they were friends, but when Ron was little, it was a big part of it.

These days, Ron and Bob have a different reason to be good friends, besides the fact Bob, Ron & 67 Mustangthat they are brothers. They have teamwork. Both of them are mechanics, and when they are working on a vehicle, sometimes assistance is needed. It is just a part of the mechanics game. They each have tools, but often share them, because it makes no sense to buy a tool when your brother has one already. They have always shared a love of vehicles and mechanics, as have most of the men in the Schulenberg family. In fact, the teamwork the Schulenberg men have includes all of them. If one needs help with something, be it mechanics, or cutting wood, the others are right there to help. They know that they can count on each other.

Ron served in the Army for three years, and then was called back to participate in Desert Storm. His formal training in diesel mechanics came from his GI Bill benefits. It Ron's Army dayswas a great way for him to go to college, but I’m sure he would rather not have had to fight in a war. Nevertheless, it was necessary, so he did it. We all missed him very much. No one wants a loved one to have to go to war. You worry about them every day. And that’s what we did. We worried and prayed the whole time he was gone, and rejoiced when he came back home and the war was over. We were also very proud of his service. Being a Veteran is something to be proud of, and being a part of a team is something else to be proud of. I don’t know what Bob would do without him sometimes. I am very thankful for the many times Ron has helped Bob with a project, and I know that Ron is thankful for Bob’s help too. They do make a wonderful team. Today is Ron’s birthday. Happy birthday Ron!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

imageimageMy grand niece, Hattie Joy Parmely, is celebrating a milestone today. She has arrived at her very first birthday. Her mom, Ashley Parmely tells me that Hattie Joy has lived up to her name quite well, because she is a joy for her whole family to be around. Hattie is a very busy little girl, and sometimes it’s hard for her mom to get pictures of her, because she is moving so fast. I suppose that is why she takes videos to share. And in many ways, I like to see the videos, because it shows me the true Hattie Joy personality that is quickly developing in this baby girl. Hattie is turning into a little toddler now, because she has learned to walk, and she even has three teeth now, so she is starting to love snacking too.

Hattie tries to be very helpful. Her dad, my nephew, Eric Parmely is always working on their house, because imageimagethey bought it as a fixer upper, and they are quickly turning it into their dream home. Hattie is very much on board with the projects that her mom and dad are doing, and while she may not be the greatest help to them right now, she still helps…like it or not. Of course, helping her dad build is not the only big job that little Hattie does. She makes a great motor for her big sister, Reagan’s tricycle. I suppose it’s a good thing that Reagan isn’t very heavy, but for a little one year old girl, Hattie is fully capable of giving her big sister just the push she needs…provided they don’t run into any obstacles and big sister decides to back up, because Hattie isn’t too sure of how to back up yet. Hattie also helps her mom with the earth moving projects they are doing…one rock or handful of dirt at a time. She has a little trouble with that job though. Once she gets to rocks and dirt in her mom’s hand, she knocks them back out. Some jobs just take a little bit of training.

A girl can’t spend all her time working though, and Hattie loves to dance. She is a little bit too young to go clubbing right now, so she settles for struttin’ her stuff whenever her mom puts on some music. Hattie likes dancing so much, that she has even incorporated it into one of her other favorite activities…eating. She puts some food in imageimageher mouth, and then proceeds to dance it down to her tummy…all the while, sitting in her highchair. Now, not everyone can pull that one off, but Hattie does it with style…and with a smile on her little face. It would seem that our Miss Hattie Joy is a born entertainer. With everything she’s got going for her, who knows maybe she will be on Broadway someday, but I guess we will have to let her get a few years under her belt, before we will really know for sure. Today is Hattie’s 1st birthday. Happy birthday Miss Hattie Joy!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Little HelperRon (12) and Barry (2)Bob’s nephew, Barry Schulenberg’s dad has never been a part of his life, but that does not mean that Barry lacked the male influence in his life. His earliest and greatest male role model was his grandpa, my father-in-law, Walt Schulenberg. Barry was determined to be just like his grandpa, and in most ways, I think that is exactly what he did. Barry is a hard working man, who can be counted on to be right there when you need him. One of his favorite things to do with his grandpa was to split wood. Grandpa would set him up on a log, and Barry ran the splitter while Grandpa loaded it. Barry was always careful not to get carried away, but rather always waited until his grandpa said to push the hydraulic lever bringing the blade to the wood, splitting it. He would gladly sit there all day helping his grandpa. There was nothing he would rather do. I reality, Barry was more of a son to my father-in-law, than he was a grandson.

Barry’s uncles Bob, Ron, and even Lynn, when he was in town, were another source of male role models for him. They never had a problem taking Barry under their wing and showing him the ropes. Oh, there were the little issues that anyone has with a little kid, but in reality, there were probably fewer of those that most little boys are a part of. For the most part, Barry was like a little grown up man from the very start. He just didn’t care about playing quite a much as other kids did…because he was too busy being the little helper. Barry’s Uncle Ron was probably his first friend. Since they lived in the same house, and Ron was only ten years older than Barry, so while he may not have wanted to always play with his little nephew, he was willing to do so quite a bit, and that has made them very close over the years. They still spend time helping each other with the multiple projects each has…from cutting wood to car care. They even manage to find a little bit of time sometimes to go out and play on their 4 wheelers…and that’s amazing!!

Barry and his Uncle Bob have a slightly different relationship. While they often help each other out with just about any project they are working on, their most common time to see each other is Wednesday morning for breakfast. This has become a tradition for them. It is a time for uncle and nephew to stay connected. It is a special time for both of them, even though they would not probably put such a mushy label on things. The one thing I find most amazing, however, is that as much time as these two spend together, somehow no one has ever taken a picture of the two of them together!! Crazy!! I guess it isn’t about the proof you have of their friendship, but rather about the friendship itself. And, I’m here to tell you that Bob and Barry share a wonderful friendship that will last a lifetime.

Much like his grandpa, Barry is a bit of a workaholic, but he does manage to get out of town for frequent trips Here, let me show you how it is doneBobwith his wife Kelli, and her mom, Mary Wages. The girls have benefitted quite well from having Barry around, because they like to take trips, see lots of places, and attend concerts, and so does Barry. You remember the saying…all work and no play, makes Johnny a very dull boy. Well, Barry is not a dull boy, but he does manage to get a lot of work in there too. Today is Barry’s birthday. Barry, I hope you will take a little bit of time out of your busy life to play some too, after all, if you can’t take some time off on your birthday, when can you? Happy birthday Barry!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

2625 (2)What does it take to make a great relationship? I’m sure the answer to that question varies from person to person, and depends on the type of relationship, but when it comes to the relationship between a father and his son, the best way to measure the greatness of that relationship…is with time spent together. Of course, laughter and fun are very important parts of that, but life isn’t always about fun and laughter. Much of life is about work, and about helping each other. It was in that aspect of life that my husband, Bob and his dad, Walt Schulenberg found themselves spending many hours over the years. My father-in-law could easily be categorized as a workaholic, and he trained his son to be the same. These men would go to work and spent 8 to 10 hours on the clock, doing physical labor. Then they would come home and spend another 2 to 4 hours working on some project at home. To them, it didn’t seem like work, but rather an enjoyable pastime. I don’t think most of us would feel exactly the same way about the work done around the home, and many people don’t about their jobs either, but that is the mentality of a workaholic. Work is fun…somehow.

If you wanted to find either one of these men, the best place to look was in the garage. Even if they weren’t working on a car, they were back and forth from what they were working on to the garage, because that was where all the tools were. And I’m here to tell you that between Bob, his dad, his brother, and his nephew…those guys had projects!! There were times that they came in from the garage and fell asleep in the chair from sheer exhaustion…and it was all their choice!! No one was making them do all these things. Sure, as mechanics, they helped out their friends, and those jobs come when they do, because you can’t plan a breakdown, but these guys had to squeeze those jobs in between all their own stuff and the planed jobs they do for people. It’s almost like they didn’t have time for a holiday. In fact, the only way to get Bob not to spend part of his day working on some project was to take him out of town.

Be that as it may, with all the projects Bob and his dad, and later his brother and nephew did together, their relationship was a very strong one. I suppose it really is a situation of the family that works together, stays together. I know that isn’t how the saying goes, but it really is the truth. Families working together toward a common goal, sharing the same hopes and dreams, and if their hopes and dreams are different that 36scan0061 (4)the others, they respect the right of each individual to have their own hopes and dreams. And they will do whatever it takes to help them achieve their goals. I think that is one of the things that always kept Bob and his dad close. Bob and I did not have to chose to live the same kind of life as his parents. They just wanted us to do was to be happy. I have to say that while Bob is different from his dad in many ways, he is also much the same…at least in all the areas that matter…such as responsibility, dedication, devotion, and the depth of his love, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more than that.

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