When I was nine years old, I really was not a big fan of school.  Only one time in my whole life did I receive a grade lower than a “C” in any class, and you guessed it, fourth grade was the year for me.   So what class, did I get a “D+?”   Lee would be able to tell you in a heartbeat, and I know it is not the favorite thing in school for Grant as well – “penmanship.”   I must say that the grade and my parents helped motivate me to do a lot better in school after I brought that report card home for my parents to sign.   I remember my Mom and Dad asked one simple question that I still live my life by today – “Did you try your best?”    I clearly had not, and I worked much harder from that point on in school and in everything I did in life. 

My summers were filled with going downtown in little Greensburg, Indiana and spending 5 cents on a lot of candy or baseball cards.   I loved getting the bubble gum that came with a pack of baseball cards.  I felt like I got two things with one purchase – baseball cards and candy.   I also remember that every summer we would take a camping trip with my Cousins, and we would fish and swim all day.   We would have fish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner unless we did not catch anything.  I think sometimes we let a few fish get a way so we could eat hotdogs and hamburgers.   The other highlight of the summer was going to my grandfather’s farm and getting together with all my cousins and eating lots, and lots of corn.  We would play baseball in the yard and when it got dark we would play tag in the cornfield. 

I also remember becoming a big football fan when I was nine, and my favorite team at the time was the Cincinnati Bengals since we lived so close to Cincinnati.  I remember asking my cousin to get me a pair of Bengals football socks for Christmas, and I was on cloud nine when I opened the present one Christmas and I saw the socks. 

My parents always talked about giving back or doing service to help others in need, and I remember when I was nine that I volunteered to become an altar boy at church.   This was a difficult job to learn especially with all the different masses in the Catholic church, but I really enjoyed spending time with our ministers and support staff at the church and learning how God had impacted their lives.

My sister Sarah was born when I was nine, and my Mom and Dad decided six kids was enough.    I remember helping a little with my younger brothers and sisters, but I don’t think I helped nearly as much as Grant and Carter have helped with Kendall.