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01/21/09 06:50 PM #402    

Kristi Loveland (Kulik)

Hi Everyone! How's everyone handling the blah January!? Can't wait for Karen to have her baby to cheer me up! It's sooo close!

01/21/09 10:25 PM #403    

Thomas Kastamo

wow 5 times Kristi





to bad he wasn't standing up there yesterday!!

01/22/09 09:31 AM #404    

Tracey Deakins (Trower)

Here's some fun:




And here's some parenting advice:
http://www.theonion.com/content/opinion/take_time_to_talk_to_your_child?utm_source=onion_rss_daily

01/28/09 10:38 AM #405    

Kristi Loveland (Kulik)

Have no idea how that happened! I could delete 4 of them! Thanks Tom!!!

01/28/09 10:39 AM #406    

Kristi Loveland (Kulik)

why can't I just click on these sites you are posting?!?!?

02/03/09 07:11 AM #407    

Dennis Harmon

That's great Tracey! It is like I wrote an article on paying attention to your kids. It's not bad advice either.

02/04/09 03:24 PM #408    

Nicole Mayernik (King)

Thanks so much to those of you who have popped-in recently to congratulate us on winning custody of our niece! WOW - what an uphill and sad battle, but we're happy to say it's finally over! I had the lovely experience of passing kidney stones twice in the last week, so needless to say, it's all been quite an adventure!

I have discovered that I am HORRIBLE at Candyland, don't EVER take an 8 year old out on the yacht if they're afraid sea lions will eat them, (it took 4 hours to explain they weren't REAL lions!) hair-brushing is the enemy, everything has to be disguised as mac and cheese in order to get her to eat it, and I'm pretty convinced she now owns every pair of Hannah Montanna shoes ever made. (I guess her and Auntie share the same shoe fetish! hehe)

The great news is I got to avoid the poopy diaper stage and didn't have to go through hours of hard labor! Things are good so far, and every moment is an eye-opener! (Today she asked me if our pool was bigger than the Atlantic Ocean and if we woke up one morning could there be sharks in it.) Hmmm... Still pondering over that one, seeing as our pool IS salt water.

Hope everyone is well!

02/05/09 08:57 AM #409    

Tracey Deakins (Trower)

Nicole, I highly recommend detangling spray (Suave makes a good one) if you haven't already picked it up. I too know the horrors of hair brushing...

02/20/09 12:47 PM #410    

Dennis Harmon

Congrats to Karen Novotny who had her baby! Apparently it was 10 lbs and won the 42nd annual king of the nursery. No? Oh. Well Kristi will have to fill you in on the real details I guess.

I found this out on face book. Yeah me for getting caught up to 2005. Anyway I am still figuring it all out so if there is anybody on here who is also on there and wants to poke me real bad add me as a friend. Ok you don't have to want to poke me but if ya want you can add me.

Thanks and Congrats again to Karen.

02/21/09 08:47 PM #411    

Kristi Loveland (Kulik)

Yes Karen had her baby on Feb 19th! Connor Joseph Mclennan was welcomed into the world weighing 10lbs 6oz & 21in long and with a healthy set of lungs! Mom and baby are doing very good!!! Karen will post pictures when she gets home and a little "settled"! I told her she could do the honors...but I do have a lot of pictures!!!

Hope everyone is doing good!

04/03/09 09:42 AM #412    

Thomas Kastamo

A letter from the Boss:

To All My Valued Employees,

There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of
this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy
has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the
good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. What
does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in
this country.

However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help
you decide what is in your best interests.

First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against
employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is
a Back Story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by
what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You've
seen my big home at last years Christmas party. I'm sure; all these
flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.


However, what you don't see is the BACK STORY :

I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300
square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was
converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building
a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.

My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent
went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a
defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I
stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and
partying. In fact, I was married to my business -- hard work,
discipline, and sacrifice.

Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a
modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy
cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes.
Instead of hitting the Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I
was trolling through the discount store extracting any clothing item
that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's. My friends refinanced
their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put
my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that
eventually, someday, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my
friends supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in
at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don't. There is no "off" button
for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend
all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and
breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is
no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached
to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only
see the fruits of that garden -- the nice house, the Mercedes, the
vacations... you never realize the Back Story and the sacrifices I've
made.

Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right
decisions and saved his money, have to bailout all the people who
didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled
to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life
for.

Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I've paid is steep
and not without wounds.

Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is
starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell
you why:

I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough.
I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes.
Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on
taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess
what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and
regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of
my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000
for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada.
Zilch.

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy
who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000
people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother
sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next
welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic
stimulus of this country.

The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit
and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who
wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which
is why your job is in jeopardy.

Here is what many of you don't understand ... to stimulate the economy
you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government
mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of
depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have
spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic
growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in
the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't
defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to
life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the
heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate
it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the
poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic
engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of
change you can keep.

So where am I going with all this?

It's quite simple.

If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be
swift and simple.. I'll fire you and your coworkers. You can then plead
with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's
future. Frankly, it isn't my problem any more.

Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and
retire. You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the
productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to
provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.

So, if you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it
will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this
country, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its
landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach,
retired, and with no employees to worry about....

Signed, THE BOSS

"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other
people's money." Margaret Thatcher

04/06/09 12:34 PM #413    

Kristi Loveland (Kulik)

Wow Tom! That was very true! I didn't see that coming when I saw who posted it! But isn't that sad that is how people think?

04/06/09 02:46 PM #414    

Thomas Kastamo

I normally don't get into this crap, but saw this email and had to share it...

04/07/09 11:36 AM #415    

Christopher Drerup

The sad thing is, that is what it is coming down to these days. Survival of the fittest. Tom - I hope things in the long run work out for you and your family. We feel it where I live also. My wife works for Wachovia Bank which took a hard hit due to Golden West's Pick N'Pay program which led to the Wells-Fargo buy out. These type of programs was one of the big factors along with the housing market is why we are facing an economic meltdown. Its scary and hopefully things will start working uphill again.

On another note. I think this site was an excellent idea.
Kudos to the one that put this all together.

04/17/09 11:58 AM #416    

Steve Strecker

Hello all. I have been out of the loop for a while and hadn't checked the site in quite some time. I hope you are all well and getting ready for the warm weather. Can you believe we are halfway through April already?

05/05/09 09:06 AM #417    

Kathy Gibson (Rivera)

I just wanted to mention that Mr. Strecker told me he couldn't dance at the reunion because he had 'bad knees' now. However, he just completed his first half marathon! While I congratulate him on that accomplishment, I'm expecting some dancing at the next reunion!!!

05/12/09 03:13 PM #418    

Steve Strecker

Kathy - 'bad knees' is stealth for 'big butt'.

If I can keep myself in half-marathon shape, I guarantee I will dance at the next reunion. Sorry to disappoint you this time around.

06/06/09 09:04 AM #419    

Kenneth Nelson

The snow is GONE!!!! Now its Hummingbird/Mosquito season.

06/10/09 08:48 PM #420    

Michelle Mohan (Spivey)

Hello is there anybody out there???

06/11/09 05:44 PM #421    

Stephanie Hoehne (Burnett)

Shauna Passink Erard and her husband Jeremy had their first baby last night- a little girl named Emma! 7 lbs. 8 oz. CONGRATS!!!!!

06/17/09 01:02 PM #422    

Michelle Mohan (Spivey)

congrats..

07/11/09 04:52 PM #423    

Kristi Loveland (Kulik)

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

07/15/09 01:31 PM #424    

Kevin Krzyzanski (Krzyzanski)

I have the sad duty of informing you all that Julie Levoska lost her father a few nights ago. I felt that I should post a brief message with the details for those who would like to come offer your condolences or support to Julie and her family.

There will be a viewing from 3-6pm on Friday, July 17th and a memorial service that will begin at 6pm. Both the viewing and the service will take place at Phillips Funeral Parlor in South Lyon, located at 122 West Lake Street (10 Mile Road).

07/23/09 10:09 PM #425    

Michelle Mohan (Spivey)

My prayers go out to Julie and her family

08/27/09 11:53 AM #426    

Stephanie Hoehne (Burnett)

Does anybody know where Doug Domke or Adrianne Hogland went???

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