Personal stories


19Feb 2014

How Being Invited to Have a Snowball Fight Made My Day

Last week, we had a fairly large snowstorm roll through, leaving about 7″ of snow on the ground (which is a fair amount for us, but nothing in comparison to the Northeast). And it stayed cold for a number of days, so the snow stayed around. This weekend it warmed up a little, so the snow was really good for

20Oct 2013

A Personal Adventure with Joy, Our Neighbor’s Dog

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day — blue skies, sunny and relatively warm (65 degrees F.), a slight breeze, luscious green grass, leaves starting to turn.  So I decided to go on an “adventure” – and take along “Joy”, our neighbor’s dog (whom we are watching for the weekend.  She would have come along with me, regardless, because she is

15May 2011

Am I Making the Right Choices? Using Life Transition Events to Reevaluate Your Life

Life is daily.  And sometimes it is hard to see if the choices you are making on a daily basis are leading to the results you desire in your life. During the late spring and early summer, we have some opportunities to stop and reconsider:  “Am I living life the way I want to?”  “Do my daily and weekly activities

28Nov 2010

Using Family Traditions to Transfer Family Values

A common issue for most of the families with whom I work is the desire to pass their core values on to the next generations (children and grandchildren). Utilizing family traditions, especially during the holidays, can be extremely impactful in this process. Let me share from our family’s experience — how family traditions can intertwine with reinforcing important family values.

02Sep 2010

Brief Personal Note: Two Significant Milestones

Friends, I thought I would briefly share about two significant events in my life this week. 1. My wedding anniversary. As of September 1, my lovely wife, Kathy, and I have been married 31 years. So it’s not one of those “special” years, but this year does seem special — partially, I think, because all four of our adult children

07Mar 2010

Creative Problem-Solving: Ways to Communicate When the Other Person Just Doesn't "Get It"

My wife (Kathy) and I have been married 30 years. We are both college-educated and fairly good communicators. Most people understand us when we talk or write. But sometimes we have a hard time communicating with each other. It is not that we don’t try, or that one of us doesn’t want to understand. But occasionally (I think it is

09Jan 2010

A Tribute: To a Man of Great Character

Unfortunately, when the issue of “character” is in the news today, the focus is usually on character failures — lack of integrity, marital unfaithfulness, greed and dishonesty. So to be able to talk about a man of good character is a privilege. When thinking about the title of this entry, I was indecisive about whether it should be “To a

17Dec 2009

Creating New Family Traditions Around the Holidays

A “new tradition” is sort of an oxymoron. By definition, (“a long-established, inherited way of thinking or acting”), a tradition is some action that you have been doing for a while. But I believe it is both possible and helpful to intentionally create new traditions for your family. We need to recognize that families go through a variety of life

02Sep 2009

Keys to a Long Term Relationship — Reflecting on 30 Years of Marriage

This week my wife and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.  Neither she nor I can believe we have been married that long — part of it is that we just don’t feel that “old”! (To keep the edge of reality a bit less sharp, we usually comment that we were only 12 when we got married.) But as we

29May 2009

Family Reunions — Celebrating Unity & Diversity Across Generations

This past week we had the privilege of attending a family union with my wife’s family in Chicago.  There were almost 40 of us, ranging in age from 3 to 74, including my wife’s parents, six of the seven adult siblings (and spouses), and 23 of the 25 grandchildren (and two spouses).  Although it was a cool and sometimes rainy

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