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casting more rainbows

Look who decided to twinkle the keys today at my Uncle Tom’s house!  It happens to also be the piano that sat in Caroline’s dining room.  



The first anniversary of any death is difficult to pass.  One year ago, a great man left our lives.  It hurts me even to think about my grandpa sometimes.  Certainly a man at 92-years old has lived a good life.  It is just the circumstances of his passing that makes it particularly difficult.  After losing his daughter, Caroline, unexpectedly, he just found it hard to go on.

So I felt compelled to take the kids to the middle school production of Annie last night.  Let me explain.  My grandmother wore hats her entire life…rarely left the house without one.  It breeded a love of hats in me.  When she passed, it was the only thing I wanted…some of her hats and hat boxes.  From college on, they have remained a decoration in my home.

One of my neighbors knew about my LARGE collection and graciously asked if she could take them within her care for the Annie production.  I did so reluctantly but figured my grandmother, grandfather, and Aunt would actually get a kick out of it.

With my children we observed a simple and sweet production of Annie while the young actors paraded on stage with Frannie’s hats.  It was a perfect way to celebrate November 19th.

There are so many wonderful images I have of my grandfather but the image below of he and Nate will forever be one of my favorites.  Happy times.

Cottage Grandpa and Nate

bob & tom

Listen in to Q95 on Veteran’s Day!  We will be on the Bob and Tom show on Wednesday at about 10am to discuss FamilyPrint.

turkey time

We couldn’t let a holiday go by without a new JibJab video.  The kids love them!

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happy halloween

Are you getting in the Halloween spirit? The inflatable is up in the front yard to the disapproval of my favorite neighbor, Kevin. And, we are finalizing costumes. Had to put this video together…the kids love creating these each Christmas. We just realized JibJab has many others to select from…


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We were having dinner with the kids and as usual, things were chaotic, and table manners were waning.

Emmy kept knocking over her glass because she wanted her blankie on the table.  I pushed the blankie to the center of the table and told her she could have it when we were finished with dinner.  She started to reach for the blankie and I said “not until after you’ve finished your dinner.”   She proceeded again and I said “no.”

She started to move her hand forward for the third time and I put my fork prongs down on her forearm.  She pushed through the light pressure for the blankie, and I increased the pressure on the fork and thus her forearm.  She contiued, and I continued, until there was enough pressure to stop her. She looked at me, bit her lower lip and tried to push through.  I held the pressure….then she developed a huge crocodile tear and I immediately released.

Even though she started to shed tears, she would not quit – I did.  She is one tough, and determined, little lady.


(click….Emmy TOUGH)

On Joel

At Joel’s funeral, I had been given the opportunity to participate in his eulogy and speak about growing up with him.  It was difficult to speak with emotions raw – just below the surface.  By the time I had made it through the first paragraph, I was in tears and the pages blurry.

My discussion notes are below:

Good morning, I’m Tim Stoner and was a lifelong friend of Joel’s.

I want to personally thank the Peigh family for the opportunity to speak today and tell just one story of how April’s husband, and Kathy and Damon’s son – positively and permanently affected me, my family, and my life.

As I witnessed yesterday afternoon and again this morning, I see how this is just one story, of the hundreds that exist in our audience – that reflect Joel’s gravity and importance he has had on all of our lives.

High School – Building Friendships

Being born and raised in Madison, IN – I was like everyone there and knew most of the kids attending Madison High School.  We had already formed our friendships and alliances.  That was…until Joel arrived.

Joel was the new kid, with a great personality, quick wit, and amazing sense of humor.  He wasn’t just a likeable guy, he was highly intelligent and lead the classroom with his thoughts and ideas. And then, there was the basketball court.  Far be it from a new comer to think he’s going to come in and try out for the basketball team in Madison.  We’ve already been developing, pruning, and progressing the boys we want to play on the High School Varsity Team.

Then the coach saw him play, and that was the end of the debate.  He wore number 10, was our starting guard and we called him…JP.

Nearing completion of High School, he was accepted to Purdue and I was off to the Army for the GI Bill.  Joel said, “it’s not all green and guns, Timmy.”  Meaning, he hoped I would continue with my education and make it to college.

I finished my initial training with the Army and was soon off to college.

College – Deepening Friendships and the Love of his life

Many of his high school friends, and extended family, attended Purdue with him. However, we all stayed in touch through college and visited him on weekends.

While in college, we all witnessed a transformation taking place as his focal point shifted from friendships that began maturing into his relationship with, April.  April was the love of his life and everyone knew that April and Joel had the right relationship and that they would someday be married.

Professional Life and Entrepreneur

After college, Joel entered into industry and was soon married to April.  In Industry, like in Madison, he was an early stand-out and quickly progressed through the corporate ranks.  His track record was so successful, he was given the opportunity to start and run a new plant in Iowa.  The Iowa plant soon became very successful and Joel fueled it’s success. His continued success accelerated his internal passion for being an entrepreneur and soon, it was time act.

Moving back from Iowa, and growing his family, he soon started The HomeZone Handyman Services. He managed the business year-over-year and helped so many people and their families improve their homes and their quality of life.

Supporter of my family

Early in 2007, I was notified that my unit was being activated to provide MEDEVAC coverage for the war in Iraq.  Joel took this news very personal and quickly went into action in supporting my family.  He often expressed his patriotic need to help those who were willingly to go abroad for this nation.

Nineteen years after he made his quote to me leaving high school, I repeated back to him – “well, I guess it ‘is all green and guns,’ now.”  He smiled, we hugged, and he sent me on my way.

My family was soon comforted by his weekly presence, and tireless work-ethic, completed duties around our home that would have typically been on my plate.  He kept our home tidy and allowed Tiffany to focus her attention on 4 children under the age of 6.

While in combat, he wrote to me and further assured that my family was taken care of and that I only needed to do one thing for him – make it home.

Four hundred days later, he was there to greet me: with his open arms, caring nature and his signature smile.  I am forever grateful of his friendship.

Joel was a very caring father, loving husband, wonderful brother, thoughtful son, and an incredible friend to so many people.

May all of our minds, hearts, and actions remain with April and the children, along with all of the Peigh family – through this difficult time.

Thank you!


One of Tim’s best friends, Joel Peigh, lost his short battle with cancer this past week.  We will forever be touched by Joel’s enormous sense of humor, matter-of-factness, and unwavering support.  He was such a tremendous help to me while Tim was deployed.  I will never forget his acts of kindness.   To learn more about Joel and his amazing family go to Peigh It Foward.  

Nathan photographed Joel and his family shortly after his diagnosis.  I cannot begin to explain how special these images and many others are to the family. 


home alone

I know I did not properly thank my husband for what was the best gift EVER. So, I intend to do it publicly.

Tim. You never need to spend money on me again. Seriously. The gift of peace was priceless.

I like being alone. I think I make pretty good company to myself. So when Tim suggested that he take ALL FOUR kids to Madison, Indiana for the Regatta boat races, I was elated (although not nearly as I let on).

I have been feeling discombobulated for the last several months. If you walked into my house, you would think it was fairly neat. However, if you really looked ‘under the covers’ it was a disaster. I have been unorganized, and as one friend describes, ‘a hot mess.’

So my plan for the weekend was to organize…clean out every drawer, every closet, every toy bin. My goal was to purge and feel lighter by the end.

Doesn’t sound good to you? Well, it was blissful for me. I received two phone calls all weekend. I was completely uninterrupted. Besides my overly talkative cat I listened to nothing but the soundtrack of Twlilight the entire weekend.

By the end of the weekend, I contributed 16 garbage bags to the landfill. I am a heavy recycler so it was moderately painful for me but it just felt so good.

So…birthday present idea? Christmas present idea? Look no further husbands…offer your wife a weekend in her home alone.

queen of england

It was only a glance but it reminded me that I need to insure my children know how to hold their utensils.  And I am painfully aware that I am reiterating something my parents once said to me. 

But as I was walking by a booth at Panera Bread I saw a young, good-looking man shovel his salad into his mouth with his entire meat hook.  It was really gross, and whatever good looks he had completely vanished.  For goodness sakes, learn how to use a fork and knife with grace.

Do I sound like I am high-maintenance?  Well…as my father used to say, “Would you eat like that if the Queen of England were sitting next to you?”

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