Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Big Joe Comes to Town!

We are so lucky to have seen Grandpa Kerschen 3 times this summer!  First he came out in May, then we went to Michigan in July and now Grandpa was here for Jak's 1st birthday...will he make it back for hunting season?????  He's always welcome and so is Denny.  We had a great visit with them last weekend, despite Jak not feeling 100%. 
Jak's New Push Walker from Aunt Cathy, Johnny and Layla

Lillian helping the Men "Get the Job Done" assembling Jaks new car and walker from Grandpa - thank god they had her help!

Rain Showers moved the birthday dinner indoors....these big kids had no trouble picnicking on the floor!

Birthday cake is yummy but it's hard to smile when you don't feel good.  Teething again!

The next morning, Jak had time to enjoy his new toys all by himself.

Birthday Excursion to Tiny Town

Train Rides,

Benches built just for kids,

And little houses to climb on and in!

But the best part was the ice cream cone Grandpa bought Lillian.  She got her first taste of "Brain Freeze", how can something so yummy, hurt so bad?!?!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Happiest First Year Ever!

Someday I am going to go back and read previous blog posts and count just how many times I stated that Jak is the happiest baby I have ever met!  But for now, I'll just repeat myself and thank god for bringing him into our lives. His first year of life has brought us chronic exhaustion (I blame the exhaustion on the 2 major moves - not the 2 babies we've been raising!).  But already the last few months, Mike and I have begun to feel the cloud lift; we're getting better sleep, Jak is understanding us and the world better, he's finally feeding himself and drinking whole milk (which means no more packing & labeling food for school everyday and no more pumping!!!) and he's feeling more independence now that he's crawling faster than the speed of light! You can't turn your back on Jak, he's so curious and active that if you blink he's unplugging cords from the wall, crawling outside onto the deck through the crack you left open for the dog, splashing in the dog bowls (and yes - once we caught him eating dog food!!!), playing in the toilet (especially Lillian's potty) and crawling upstairs to look around.  It's amazing, but as daring and adventurous as Jak is we haven't had any major accidents!  Lillian keeps a pretty good watch on him and for the most part those two continue to be good friends.  They have a secret way of talking to each other and no one can get Jak to giggle as loud as Lillian can.  I hope they are this close in 30 years.
Jak isn't walking yet, he pulls up on anything and everything and loves to use his new push walkers he got from Aunt Cathy and Grandpa but it won't be long till he learns how to do it on his own.  Jak has 8 teeth currently but I'm pretty sure there's a few more just under the surface.  He weighed 20 pounds 10 ounces at his one year check up and measured 30 inches tall.  The debate continues as to what Joseph Allan Kerschen will prefer to be called when he grows up but for now the Colorado Kerschens have a dozen nicknames for him, here they are..... 

Jaka (Lillian's preferred nickname for him)
Little Joe

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Where is Pinky?

My grandpa passed away unexpectedly at the age of 88 last week.  I say unexpectedly, because just the day before Mom and Dad had been over to his house, brought him a couple prepared meals, filled his pill jar and said, "See you soon, Dad", to which he replied, his standard "I love you, doll".  That afternoon he went to his favorite hang out, the 86th Street Pub with his buddies.  But the next morning, when his friends were calling to go pick him up to go to the Antelope Club, he didn't answer.  It looks like he went pretty quick and in his own home, exactly like he wanted and we're all so happy he can finally be with his beloved Carolyn again...she never did like leaving him.

A wonderful picture of Grandpa at our wedding just 4 years ago...he looked great.  Dad used this picture as the signature photo at the funeral, as if he's saying goodbye to us.
We were pleasantly surprised at the viewing to find a horse patrol officer standing guard outside the funeral home.  Grandpa was one of the original founders of the Indianapolis Horse Patrol.

Lillian seemed to understand the emotion of the situation.  She walked hand-in-hand with Grammie at the cemetery and sat on her lap during the service, bringing Grammie lots of comfort and strength.  At the viewing, I took Lillian to the bathroom and she began singing "Where is Pinky?, Where is Pinky? like the nursery rhyme says, I had never heard her sing that song before, she must have overheard people talking about Grandpa, most of his friends knew him as "Pinky".

We had several out-of-state visitors; including Mom's best friends Linda & Darrell Smith, mom's cousins Gary & Pat Lerch, their son Gary Lerch, Dad's friends Gary Newan and Alan Freeman and my Uncle John Hanou.  It was really nice of them to make the trip...Grandpa would have appreciated it.

Jak, wanting constantly to be "on the move", found grandpa's coffin to be the perfect climbing gym. 

Dad worked so hard to make sure Grandpa's service was just perfect, creating a great slide show of pictures, writing obituaries for the local newspapers, notifying all family and friends and adding special touches to the service like a Bud Light Toast in honor of Pinky.  Everything went really, really smooth.

After the burial we ate at Zaharako's Restaurant, in business since 1900 this "soda" shop in like walking back in time.  Oma used to love to bring us here as kids.  Lillian and Jak loved the old organ music playing.

We were trying to take a picture of Grandpa's newest great-grand daughters when Lillian snuck in beside them.  Carolyn is 3 1/2 months and Keira is 5 months here. 

A little post - wake party - Lerch Style!!!  Euchre till 2:30 in the morning....I crashed at 1:30!

Jak taking the obligatory kitchen bath at Grammies house!

Lillian trying on Opa's glasses....

Uncle Severin helping the kids get in a little kid time at St. Mary's Catholic Church playground behind Mom and Dad's house.