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JoshMy youngest grandchild is turning 15 today. That means that all of my grandchildren will be driving in some capacity. Three have their driver’s license, and now Josh will have his learner’s permit. It’s a very strange feeling when all of your grandchildren are driving. It brings you to a place of wondering where the years have gone, and how they could have gone by so very fast. It seems like only yesterday that my daughters were getting their licenses, and now my last grandchild is taking that step too. Josh has been studying like crazy for his test. Some kids don’t study and some do ok, but Josh doesn’t want to take any chances.

Like his brother, Josh already has a car, or in his case a pickup. He has been making payments to his parents to buy the family’s extra vehicle, and he’s doing a pretty good job making those payments, especially since he doesn’t have a job yet. He has been mowing lawns and other odd jobs to earn money, but now that he is 15, he is hoping to find a real job. I suppose that we will no longer have someone to mow our lawn now…but you never know, perhaps one of our grandsons will take pity on their grandpa and do that job for him.

Josh is a hard working student, and he proudly told me the other day that he has straight A’s. I know it is early in the year, but Josh hates to have grades that are not A’s, so he keep close tabs on his grades. It’s not that school is easy for Josh, because he has to work hard for his grades. He just doesn’t want to find out that he has a lot of catching up to do at the end of the quarter. It is the best way to do things, I’m sure you will agree.

While all of Josh’s accomplishments have made me so very proud of him, the thing about Learner's PermitJosh that has most surprised me is the fact that he has grown so tall and slender. Josh was born 5 weeks prematurely, and spent two weeks in Denver in the neo-natal ICU. When he came home, he set himself to the task of catching up. He ate and ate…even getting a little chunky…until he started to walk, that is. That was the last time he was chunky. Now with the added height, he seems even more slender…but it is just normal for him. He towers over me now, and…yes, he loves that too. So much has changed in Josh’s life, it has been like watching a movie in hyper-speed sometimes. Today is Josh’s birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!

My niece Michelle is currently in college studying to become an art teacher. Sometimes, when you think about the abilities of the younger generation, you find yourself thinking, “What talents do they have?” and “What will they become?” And you allow yourself to go along thinking of them as kids, probably a lot longer than you should. Michelle is just about done with her studies, and while I have seen her work before, every time I see it, I am in awe of her artistic abilities. Her art is truly amazing!

She has the ability to do a wide variety of art types, and in my opinion, she should get a website to show her art to the world. I suppose that will come in time…when her studies are done, and between grading papers and planning classes, and living life…hmm, I might have to push her on that one a little. Michelle has never been the type to “blow her own horn” and in fact, has always been rather quiet about that sort of thing. Maybe that is why I was so surprised when she told me what she wanted to do with her life.

Michelle has always been a very sweet and loving person…a trait to be proud of. It is her sweet spirit that has taken her to the places she has gone with her life. I suppose it is also that spirit, that essence of who she is that has brought out the artistic abilities that she most certainly has. I wish I could show you more of her work here, but there isn’t room, so I will show you the one that first took my breath away with its perfect lines, and real life form. I was like looking at the real thing, only black and white. I don’t understand how she is able to get the depth to it, but I guess that is the difference between Michelle’s artistic mind, and my…well, definitely not artistic mind. You really don’t want to see what I could draw, unless you wanted a good laugh.

One might expect that Michelle, being an artist would be living in a bit of a dream world, but she is an intelligent person with a great sense of humor. She, along with her cousins, sister, and brother, keep those around them in stitches much of the time, but all are very sweet people who have grown into wonderful adults.

I think Michelle will make a wonderful teacher. She is very dedicated to her work, and when she talks about teaching and art, her eyes just light up. You can always tell when someone loves their work. I also think her students will be very blessed to have such a wonderful, dedicated, and fun loving teacher. I see a wonderful future ahead of her, and I am very excited for her, and very proud of her.

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