And another year goes by.
Melanie is now 20. She's a junior at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. She is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Public Health. She'd like to be a PR person for a hospital like Riley's Children's Hospital someday. She is really getting into learning about how people and organizations can have good and bad publicity. She is living in a house off campus with several other girls and she just got a job working at an assisted living facility in Muncie. It is very much like the one she worked at here in Fort Wayne. Melanie also continues to be active in Phi Mu sorority. She is putting her PR expertise to work promoting many of the philanthropic events hosted by her sorority.
Brian is a junior in high school and he just turned 17 in November. He is still a member of the Homestead High School Spartan Alliance Marching Band. This year marked the 25th year in a row that Homestead was selected to compete in the State finals in Indianapolis. And this year, Homestead took 1st Place - they are the STATE CHAMPIONS. Homestead had not come in 1st since 1996 which is before some of this year's freshmen were even born. Brian is very involved in a Christian based youth group called "Young Life". He is driving now and we got him a Jeep. So, he is looking for a job so he can help pay for gas & upkeep.
Michael Victor also had a birthday in November and he just turned 11. He's in the 5th grade now. He did little league over the summer, but took a break from flag football. He went to Camp Potawotami with his 5th grade class and he is also in 5th grade choir. Michael's journey in Cub Scouts is almost over as he continues to work on requirements to earn the Arrow of Light before he crosses over to Boy Scouts in February. Video games are still a big part of his day and now he has convinced Brian to allow him to use his X-Box 360. He still has his Wii games and he also plays games on the computer. Thankfully, he still has time to read books and he absolutely loved Michael Vey - The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans. He can't wait for the next book in the series to come out. In the meantime, he just received the Hunger Games trilogy as a Christmas gift. It is also coming out as a movie in March. Oh yeah, Michael also got braces this year.
Wendy started a new job this year as office manager at Pfister Sprinkler Systems. Unfortunately, we lost Papa this year, Michael Kirsch. We had a wonderful memorial service at Polish Falcons in Buffalo. He had been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis for over two decades and had been in a nursing home for the past few years. Wendy's Mom has been battling stage 4 lung cancer for over two years now. But, she says she's not going anywhere. We just spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with her and we all had a great time.
Wendy produced a CD with several of her own originals as well as covers from her favorite Country singers. One of her originals, "Sometime Down The Road" has been on the Indie Country Music Charts all year - it has been in the top 20 - currently #19. You can check out the song here. If anyone would like a copy of the CD, just send us a note. This year, for an anniversary gift Wendy got to do three laps around the Chicagoland Speedway in a NASCAR doing over 170 mph. It was driven by a professional so we did not have to worry about speeding tickets. And since Wendy loves to read so much, she got a Kindle Fire for Christmas. In addition to being an eReader, she can download apps, stream movies & music, and surf the web. She loves it!
I am still working at Raytheon on the team I originally started with. I am performing duties as a Software Engineer writing code in Ada on the AFATDS Program and I am one of the team's Tech Leads. I also continue my duties as Committee Chairman for Cub Scout Pack 3333 as well as Webelos Den Leader for Michael's Webelos Den. Since I will cross over to Boy Scouts when Michael does in February, I have already started to hand off many of the duties to the other volunteers in the Pack. They are all great and they will continue to lead a successful Cub Scout Pack well into the future.
We are thankful for all of our friends and family. We wish we could see you all more often.