The first photo is of our family two years ago at the 75th anniversary party for the purchase of our farm by Dick's grandparents. Our oldest daughter, Lori, is married to Rich Gajdzik and has two boys, Richie 17 and Andrew 14. Our second daughter, Kristi, is married to Jack Crisham and their two daughters are Katherine, 15 and Claire, 12. Lori lives in Crystal Lake IL and Kristi lives in Oregon IL so the farm is a popular meeting place in the middle!  The second photo is Dick and I getting ready to snorkle at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia-amazing!

We have been very involved with our kids and grandkids activities as they have grown up. We will have three grandkids in high school this year, and one in jr high, so we enjoy our time with them when we can. Like all grandparents, we think they are all very special and we are proud of all of them!

When Dick and I got married, I didn't even have a driver's license, so it still is amazing to think that I am driving the largest piece of farm equipment that we have every fall for harvest! I am not actively engaged in farming too much more than that, except as bill-payer and record-keeper. We have a son-in-law who farms with us and one part time employee. We have a couple more who help out in the fall for harvest.  I have also worked as a real estate broker and in retail over the years.  

I keep busy with a variety of things.One of my biggest joys is gardening, which I discovered rather late in life. It is therapeutic for me, and I don't even mind weeding all that much. My  first real gardening effort was designing the area in our yard that had once been a cattle building. When we tore it down after quitting that part of our farm operation, I sat down and sketched out what I wanted our yard to look like.With only a few changes, it has worked out great! I have recently been taking classes at MCC in floral design and am enjoying that very much.

Another major interest for me for the past 6+ years has been my involvement with BraveHearts, a therapeutic riding facility just down the road from where we live. It is the most amazing place and what they have accomplished there is nothing short of life-changing for many people. They serve riders with all sorts of disabilities with both therapeutic riding and hippotherapy, and have the largest and one of the most recognized veterans programs in the country. More than 6 VA facilities bring riders to BraveHearts and I love working with all of the riders there. Not being a "horse person" has made it a bit more challenging for me, but I can groom and tack even the largest horses there, and we have some very BIG horses! I was very honored to be named the 2012 Volunteer of the Year. If you are interested in finding out more about this fabulous place, check the website at braveheartsriding.org.  

Dick and I enjoy traveling although most of our trips have been to AZ in recent years.  We have been to all 50 states, and have been to the Netherlands and to Australia and New Zealand for our 45th anniversary a few years ago.  Most of the states we have driven to, as we both enjoy hopping in the car and taking off!  

I am fortunate to still have both of my parents, although my mom is now residing in an Alzheimers care facility. My dad will turn 90 in Sept. Dick's mother is 89 and doing pretty well at her assisted living facility near here. My parents, 4 brothers and one sister all live in AZ. I have another brother in NC and my sister, Carol, now lives in the second home on our farm since she retired after living in CA for more than 30 years.