Friday, June 21, 2013

Start of Summer and Father's Day Weekend

Happy Summer Solstice! It is officially the first day of Summer and really starting to feel like it where I live. We've been enjoying these hot sunny days splashing at the pool and spending the warm, muggy evenings at the ballpark to watch little league.












And although this little one is too young for t-ball, he's all about his St. Louis Cardinal's baseball uniform.  As in Every.Single.Day (with fireman's hat, of course).  (Pictures taken in the daycare room while I taught VBS last week.)






Finally, it got warm enough to go to the public pool.  We just finished up Week 1 of swim lessons and the older two are doing great.  I waited on enrolling Luke.  One is never too young for swim lessons, but for the time slot I had to work with, they didn't offer a class for Luke's age group.





Don't let the smile fool you...this one is trouble!  :)


So, in the midst of all the dance recital craziness, it was Father's Day!  How awesome is my dad???Awesome enough to sit through FIFTY dance routines on Father's Day Weekend!  LOL

Here's a pic of the two of us on my wedding day...


To celebrate my dad, the kids and I went with a "Nuts About You" theme.  (My dad loves nuts...always has!)

We purchased a selection of store-bought bags of nuts and then a couple of gourmet chocolate/nut treats from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  Yum!  (Gift bag contained peanuts in shell, pistachios, vanilla roasted almonds, chocolate covered raisins, and bear claws (pecan, caramel, chocolate-covered chews).



 Here's a sweet pic of my kiddos and dad...


...my dad isn't the soft, mushy type.  He's not big on emotions and sentimentality, but he truly loves each of his children and grandchildren.

My dad was the grandson of Polish immigrants.  His parents where first generation Americans living and working in Polish ethnic neighborhoods. My grandfather was a tool and die maker with the automotive giant (General Motors) in the Motor City.  My grandmother was a "working mom" owning her own beauty shop (I've got some great memories of spending the day at Grandma's beauty shop!).  My dad watched his parents work hard and save hard...and although my grandfather has been gone for 20 years now, my grandmother is still going strong, living independently at almost-92.

My grandparents knew that education was the key to opportunity and so my dad and his brother were well-educated.  Factory work was hard and my grandparents wanted different opportunities for their sons.  Both boys attended Catholic grade school and all-boy high schools.  Both men went on to be college educated and earned master's degrees.

My father passed on those values to his three children.  He instilled a strong work ethic in each of us.  All three of us kids were afforded a college education...we could be anything we wanted (my own brother followed in my grandfather's footsteps in automotive technology), BUT we had to be college educated.  It was an opportunity and experience that my parents wanted for each of us to have.

But most importantly, my father demonstrated by his actions what loyalty to faith, marriage, and family really means.  My father was active in the Knights of Columbus when I was growing up... he was often an usher at Mass...he was a Scout Leader for my brother...my mom and he will celebrate 45 years of marriage this July!  

Thanks Dad for all you've done for our family over the years! I'm so blessed to be your daughter.  I'm so grateful that you've been able to enjoy "retirement" life...you earned it by working so hard for so many years, dedicating your life to public service.

And thanks for sitting through 48 dance routines that didn't feature your granddaughter!  ;)

I love you!
 

7 comments:

  1. Happy summer to you!

    The kids are so cute.

    Dad's are Great!!

    :)

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  2. What a beautiful tribute to your Dad!
    It is certainly looking like summer where you live. It's a bit cool with sprinkles here in the Pacific Northwest, but that isn't unusual. Summer weather usually comes after the 4th of July.

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  3. Love your summer, Val! Looks like good old fashioned family fun! And what a beautiful tribute to your dad! : )

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  4. Loved reading about your father. The pictures are all cute, but my favorite is your father and all three kids.

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  5. What a lovely tribute to your Dad!!
    Great pictures...love your style.I also read your post abt stepping out in front of the camera. It is awesome. Truly. I can SO identify. I agree with everything.

    Valerie, I realized when you stpooed by my blog today and I read your com that I had not been over here in a while! I subs to several great blogs and have not been getting posts....I thought that the bloggers were taking a break...you too! There's something wacky going on apparently with my email subscriptions...I added you to my blogroll so I can come here thru my own blog since I'm not getting your posts....
    I appreciate you coming over to comment on my blog today!

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  6. Beautiful pictures of the kiddos and the ones of your father. You wrote a beautiful tribute to him. Sounds a lot like my father and mother's stories. God blessed you with a great one!

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  7. That last line just made me laugh out loud. What a great dad you have- sitting through 48 dance routines without Mary Catherine in them- that alone is a testament to what a wonderful man he is! Too funny!

    Many Blessings, Kari

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are appreciated! As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."

Valerie