11 Things To Achieve Greatness

  1. Learn a foreign language early in life
  2. Live abroad (we chose Germany) or travel often
  3. Attend schools abroad (we chose Germany)
  4. Start music lessons as children
  5. Be a role model as a parent
  6. Learn compassion, understanding, respect
  7. Get a good education; practice your faith
  8. Work hard at everything you do (school, music, sports, job, etc.)
  9. Work well with others
  10. Be a leader and be kind; speak truthfully.
  11. Love yourself, your family and others; smile

Each family has different values and expectations. We are no different.  We valued education above all else.  We valued learning a foreign language and  playing a musical instrument.  We valued travel and living abroad and learning to become a tolerant individual who was understanding of others.  We wished our children happiness in life and allowed them to choose what they wanted to major in when they attended college.  We let them choose their pathways in career choices.  There were many role models along the way:  a grandfather who was an MD; a grandmother and aunt who were both Registered Nurses; both parents and another aunt had achieved Ph.D. and law degrees and worked in education and science research.


Our son chose to major in business with a concentration in finance. He then selected a law school and is a lawyer today.  Our daughter majored in English, pursued a paralegal certificate and then decided to study nursing and doubled up with courses to become an RN and earn her B.S. degree in nursing at the same time.


We celebrate their successes along the way. Our son with a promotion and now our daughter an award at the hospital where she works.  Described by her colleagues as kind, professional, pleasant, compassionate and willing to help colleagues, she was further described as a strong nurse.


Pleased and proud of both of them, what parent could ask for more? Kudos for the spotlight on you, Emily, and lovely note from the CEO.  Bravo to you, Tom, for the promotion and being selected to attend workshops.  You are both our pride and joy, and we would have it no other way.  What you have become makes us very proud.  Happiness in life to both of you.



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30 Responses to 11 Things To Achieve Greatness

  1. Kudos on “Mission Accomplished”! Congrats to all. 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nilzeitung says:

    Just as nice and happy birthday celebration .alles good and beautiful weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! What a family! Y’all are marvelous.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emily says:

    Thank you, Mom! Best parents in the whole world! Love you both very much. Awesome post and photos. Would not be where I am today without my upbringing. Thank you xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind comment. We are pleased and proud of you today and what you have achieved. We hope you have a happy life. Your rearing affirms that we did something correct along the way. Parenting is an awesome responsibility. ^__^


  5. Nancy caravan says:

    Congratulations to Tom & Emily as well as the parents.
    Great to hear of everyone’s success.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your kind words. Much appreciated. We are pleased that you played a significant part with piano lessons all those years. I know you understand the sacrifices parents make in rearing their children. Hope you have a nice weekend and week ahead.


  6. Lovely post, photos, and site!

    Many thanks for stopping by and following my Travel and Photography site. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lisa says:

    I just love this. Read it twice and plan on sharing it with my daughter to read. Emily is such a beautiful young lady inside and out. I had the pleasure of working with her in Florida. You and your husband did an awesome job. Congratulations to Emily and her brother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your kind words humble me. As you know, parenting is an awesome task. Life is sometimes a bumpy road. We tried to instill that in our children. Stick to tasks and see them through. Do your best in all you do. They see the rewards much later in life. I taught teens in grades 10-12 and learned their mindset well. We need to remember to love our children. My husband and I found a good balance and frequently said “ask your Father or ask your Mother.” We learned that time with them is the most precious thing to offer after love. It is so very nice of you to have found my blog and comment. I know that Emily touched many lives in Florida. Good luck with your daughter. How old is she? What grade in school? Have a wonderful weekend. ^__^


  8. Lisa says:

    My daughter is 29 and I am very proud of her also. She graduates in May with her MBA her 2nd masters degree. I am still learning as a parent. I am trying to be the best grandmother I can. I loved the trip that you and Emily went on for her 30th birthday. I was telling my daughter about that also. We plan on taking a trip for her 30 th birthday. I love your positivity. You have a beautiful weekend too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so kind with your comments. Congratulations to your daughter on her second Master’s degree. I hope she finds a rewarding career as well. As an educator of almost 50 years, positivity had to be my middle name in dealing with raging hormones at the high school and parents and administrators to please. Sometimes the best thing to say was nothing at all. I highly recommend a trip to the Southwest for your daughter’s birthday. I truly appreciate your comments to me, Lisa and wish you all the best. Being a nurse today can be very challenging. I laud your noble work. Enjoy your Sunday and week ahead. ^__^


  9. Ernst-Arno.Bode@t-online.de says:

    Liebe Mary Ann,
    Herzlichen Glückwunsch und meine Hochachtung zu Deinem harmonischen und erfolgreichen Familienleben.Der Erfolg Deiner Kinder beruht sicher auch darauf ,daß Ihr euere
    Grunsätze konsequent gelebt habt. Von ganzem Herzen spreche ich Dir meine Bewunderung zur
    Entwicklungsgeschichte Deiner Familie aus. Deine Familienschilderungen lese ich mit Begeisterung.Ich wünsche Dir und Russell und Deinen Kindern eine glückliche und erfolgreiche
    Zukunft.Bewahre Dir das Glück eines solch harmonischen Familienlebens.
    Alles Liebe und Gute für Euch und euere Zukunft.
    Dein Arno

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lieber Arno,
      von ganzem Herzen danke ich Dir für solch eine Bemerkung. Ich bin tief bewegt. Eltern zu sein bedeutet so viel mehr als Kinder kriegen und lieben. Wir sind die ersten Lehrer unserer Kinder. Bücher und Geschichte lesen wir vor. Lieder singen wir. Reisen machen wir. Zur Bibliothek öfters gehen wir auch. Zur Kirche damit sie Religion haben. Klavier unterricht früh im Leben, um das Geschenk von der Musik zu schenken. Nach Deutschland mit den Kindern und dort wohnen und zur Schule zu gehen während ich in Deutschen Schulen unterrichtet haben. Die Erziehung ist Nummer Eins für uns. Wir beten täglich vorm Essen auch. Auf Deutsch! Fremdsprachen sind für uns auch sehr wichtig.
      Wir lieben unsere Kinder von ganzem Herzen. Es ist immer wichtig, glaube ich Zeit zu nehmen. Es ist nicht leicht aber wichtig. Und wir hatten täglich gesagt: wir lieben Euch. Öfters und täglich.
      Danke nochmals für Deine Bemerkung, die sehr Einsichtvoll ist. Ich wünsche Dir und Deiner Frau Lily ein sehr schönes Wochenende.
      Alles Liebe für Euch.
      Deine Mary Ann


    • Thanks again, Arno, for such kind words. My comment in German was sent you, but there was a delay in posting probably because I wrote in German. Have a wonderful weekend. Mary Ann ^__^


  10. My readers might also find of interest a site in Germany in Bavaria near the Czech border. They frequently re-blog my posts there.

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    Reblog besuchen

    You can find this online at: http://www.eslarn-net.de/


  11. Wonderful pictures. Thank you for sharing. You are all looking more as Europeans. 😉 LOL.


  12. What a lovely tribute to your family and inspiring to read your tips for greatness and being about learning and in particular a language and living abroad for a while. My daughter too changed direction and became a registered nurse!


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