Hi Young Family,

   We went out yesterday to take some family pictures, which we try to do each fall what with all the colors and settings we can use.  We were going to go to the Arboretum, but they wouldn’t let us in with Molly 😦 . So we decided on a forest preserve out near us and found a ton of color and cool settings. I posted some of them for you to see.

    Everyone has been really busy here at our home this fall. I got my license for mortgage consulting (passed the test on the first try!), which is my new field.  The transition has been kinda crazy, but I am loving it – even though the business continues to be somewhat soft, I think I got in at or near the bottom of the crisis and can enjoy the additional business the upswing should bring. I closed my first loan last week, and already see a lot of business coming in. Crystal (who has been in the business for the past six years) has been very helpful. Best of all, the time, hours, stress, and issues that come with retail and restaurant management (26 years of it!) are now history!! The flexibility and less hours are nothing short of amazing – and can do a lot of the work right from home! It is pretty cool to work with Crystal too… a lot of fun and keeps us close!

   Ryan is going to Waubonsie Community College this year, then to possibly Northern while he studies Fire Sciences on his way to becoming a Fireman – I can so see him doing this!!  The kid is extremely bright and very strong physically (although he still can’t take the old man, or I just will never admit to it 🙂  )  He’s “kinda” liking a particular girl right now, but the debate is on as to whether she is his “girlfriend” yet.  It’s been nothing short of awesome to see him becoming a young man.  Our conversations are on a whole different plane now. Of course he is still in that stage where dad knows nothing, but he’ll come around soon!

   Patrick is great – he give us different tidbits of knowledge he learns at school (i.e. did you know that the Japanese once thought that – when a solor eclipse was taking place – a dragon was swallowing the sun, and they shot arrows into the sky and banged pots and pans to try to get the dragon to stop??  We were all pretty intrigued by that!).  We have been playing some football lately (quite the arm on that little guy) and have been doing a lot of bike riding this fall.  He is reading a lot, and spends a good deal of each weekend with friends coming over to play video games and catch bugs outside (what a typical boy, eh?)

   So there is a quick “bonfire” update.  Love our family – even moreso since we started all this great communication since our reunion in Idaho. LET’S DO IT AGAIN SOON!!! Hope you like the pictures.