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COVER STORY | 15 Fascinating Families of 2015


CELEBRATING WEST SUBURBAN FAMILIES ALL SEASON LONG....

The Finke Family

NAPERVILLE – Mike and Katie moved to Naperville 1.5 years ago for the proximity to Mike’s new job at Patterson Medical in Warrenville; but more importantly, they heard about the reputation of the schools, especially for kids with special needs. You may have seen their son, Owen, who has Down syndrome, featured as Mr. March in the GiGi’s Playhouse 2016 Calendar.

The Finke family, which includes Madalyn (9), twins Jake and Owen (4), and Griffin (14 months), are extremely active at GiGi’s Playhouse attending many of their events geared toward supporting individuals and families living with Down syndrome. Katie is a new board member and Mike was instrumental in getting a substantial grant approved in 2015 to support physical and occupational therapy at all GiGi’s Playhouse locations nationwide. The couple is diligently working together to spread the word about the upcoming 2015 Christmas Gala at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora on December 5th in support of GiGi’s.

Everyday life with four kids keeps them moving throughout Naperville as active members of Girls Scouts, St. Raphael’s Catholic Church, and the Springbrook and Prairie Preschool PTAs. Mike also coaches the boys T-ball and soccer team; Madalyn and Katie play tennis at 5 Star Tennis, Madalyn swims for Fox and the Breckenridge Breakers and plays on a Naperville Park District soccer team. The family feels beyond blessed. -Kristen Kucharski

What do you love most about the holiday season? “Decorating! We also enjoy the trains set up in downtown, and of course getting together with family and friends for Holiday parties.”

What is a favorite holiday tradition for your family? “Letting the kids decorate the tree. They love opening each ornament and talking about what that ornament reminds them of. We also love adopting a family for Christmas through our church to remind our children how it is better to give than to receive.”

What is your family's favorite holiday decoration? “Our Christmas tree!”

The Byrne Family

GENEVA – Eighteen years ago, Brian and Kim Byrne made the decision to blend their families and were blessed with wonderful times ever since. They raised their five children in St. Charles and then moved to Geneva six years ago staying close to the unique downtowns the Tri-Cities offer.

Their family has now expanded to include four grandchildren, but the Byrnes make a point of gathering the whole family for a dinner or a celebration at least once a month to stay connected.

Brian is a Lieutenant with the St. Charles Fire Department, and Kim left corporate America three years ago to be an active part in her grandchildren’s lives, get involved in her community, and expand her photography business, KimberleeB Photography. Kim is also a skincare consultant for Rodan and Fields Dermatology.

Kim, who is the President Elect for the Geneva Women’s Club, says “the motto for the club pretty much sums up my life – Friends, Family and Philanthropy”. She volunteers and fundraises for many groups in the area including CASA Kane County, Flashes of Hope, and the Geneva area festivals. She is also a member of Geneva Women in Business and Geneva 100 Women Who Care.

When the kids were young, Brian and Kim had different holiday visitation schedules that never allowed them to all be together. Wanting a way to celebrate as one, they started the tradition of celebrating as a family a day or two before each major holiday. This tradition continues and thrives as their extended families have grown and have their own commitments. “We realized,” said Kim, “that we’d rather celebrate with the entire family then be missing some on the actual day.” They consider themselves uniquely blessed. -Mindy Kyle

What do you love most about the holiday season? The tradition of Christmas Eve-Eve family celebration, the lights, the food and the festive mood.

What is a favorite holiday tradition for your family? We always attend the Geneva Christmas Walk the first weekend in December and invite family and friends to accompany us.

What is your family's favorite holiday decoration? Our vacation, homemade and “first Christmas” ornaments on our fun family tree. Our new favorite decoration is the curtain rod Brian hung on the mantel to accommodate the thirteen personalized stockings!

The Murray Family

NAPERVILLE – ‘Tis the Season of joy and no one knows that better than Kathy after authoring her first book, “Count It All Joy: Life’s Lessons from a Child with Special Needs”. With the support of her husband, Dave, and her three children Matt (17), Christian (14), and Amanda (13), Kathy wrote this book to honor her son Christian who has Down syndrome and autism. It is Kathy’s memoir describing her transformation from feelings of hopelessness and negativity during Christian’s early years to true inner peace and joy in raising a child with special needs; written to inspire and encourage others to find beauty on a daily basis while dealing with life's challenging circumstances.

The Murray’s have diligently worked to find life’s blessings in Naperville for the past 14 years and live out their family motto of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” by participating in ministries and mission trips at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, as well as youth groups and Bible study groups at Community Christian Church. The kids are also active in Neuqua’s Cross Country and Track, Special Olympics soccer and basketball at Scullen, and Ultimate Frisbee and Kidz Kabaret in Naperville. Busy……blessed. -Kristen Kucharski

What do you love most about the holiday season? The music, the lights, the wonderful treats, the Christmas movie marathons

What is a favorite holiday tradition for your family? Since the kids were babies, we have taken them to a tree farm to cut down a Christmas tree. We ride into the woods on a horse-drawn wagon; go back to the barn for pony rides, visits with live reindeer, ornament shopping, and holiday treats.

What is your family's favorite holiday decoration and why? We hang an advent calendar for the kids to add an ornament for each day leading up to Christmas. The calendar reminds us that we are preparing for the celebration of the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Hoenig Family

HINSDALE – When there are two doctors with intense schedules under the same roof, life can get a little crazy; however, Jeremy and Jeanette Hoenig work hard to make sure there is balance with their challenging careers, being present for their two children, Ethan (7) and Graham (5), and their multiple charitable endeavors.

After living for years near their medical training, the Hoenigs moved to Hinsdale when their oldest son was ready for school. “We were drawn to Hinsdale because of the small town, community feel and the quality of the schools,” Jeanette shared.

Jeanette is a Neonatologist and a partner in a group of physicians that cover the NICUs in six hospitals in the western suburbs. Her husband, Jeremy, is an Emergency Medicine physician at Elmhurst Hospital. Luckily, the odd hours they keep have allowed them to be home often to drop-off and pick-up at school, volunteer in the classrooms, and assist the boys in their multiple activities including Tae Kwon Do, hockey, soccer, piano, swimming and golf.

Along with all their family activities, Jeanette is a member of the Hinsdale Junior Women’s Club and one of the Underwriting Co-Chairs for the Gala 4 Good Benefit that supports Bridge Communities to help homeless families find housing and support. She is also involved in the creation of a new service program at the boy’s school, and is an Ambassador for the Hinsdale Humane Society.

They love spending their downtime at their lake house in Michigan. “It is pure family time, and we are so thankful when we have it!” -Mindy Kyle

What do you love most about the holiday season? The lights, the music, the decorations, hot chocolate after being out in the wintery weather, ice skating and the feeling of joy in the air.

What is a favorite holiday tradition for your family? We really love when the kids prepare for Santa on Christmas Eve – a plate of cookies on a special handprint plate, a glass of milk, a piece of cheese for Santa Mouse, and reindeer food on the lawn. They giggle and talk in bed until they fall asleep.

What is your family's favorite holiday decoration and why? Our Christmas tree is our absolute favorite Christmas decoration. Every year we get a beautiful live tree that has a majestic presence in our living room, and we decorate it with our special ornaments. The fresh pine smell really brings the holidays to life.

The Chaidez Family

DOWNERS GROVE – The day that Peg Chaidez found her son, Owen (now 9), stuck on the playground after recess, crying, was the day she vowed to him that she would find a way to make it better. Owen has a rare condition which affects him in all 4 limbs with joint contractures and low muscle tone. He needs to wear a back brace and long-legged braces which were what kept him stuck in the playground woodchips.

Bob and Peg Chaidez, who moved to Downers Grove in 2002 with Owen and their two other sons, Nolan (13) and Colin (11) due to the draw of a family-oriented community, have been working hard for the past two years to raise funds for the first all-inclusive school playground in the area. Their goal is to have the new playground installed at Hillcrest Elementary by the 2016/2017 school year.

“We have found great support from people donating time and money including our landscape architect, Mike Maloney with Play Illinois, the Hillcrest students who raised almost $8,000 last spring, and our two lead donors, Barbara Gulick and Ron McDaniel,” stated Peg. They are still working to raise an additional $75,000 through corporate donations,

Peg claims that none of this would have started without the fundraising support of Sharon Duncan at Abide in Me, a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities lead active lives.

In the meantime, the Chaidez family enjoys watching their boys in basketball, track, and gymnastics, and fostering Owen’s love for paleontology and his determination to have a career in the field. They strongly believe in giving back, and it is Owen’s hope that the playground will show kids that you can make a difference. -Mindy Kyle

What do you love most about the holiday season? No matter how old our kids are, we still love decorating the house and tree. I also love to cook with all three boys. Hopefully their future wives will appreciate their cooking skills!

What is a favorite holiday tradition for your family? Decorating the Christmas tree with all the boys’ homemade ornaments made from their baby and early childhood pictures. Absolutely our favorite night of the year.

What is your family's favorite holiday decoration and why? The homemade tree decorations. It reminds us how quickly time passes and to enjoy every moment we have with the boys now.

The Wagner Family

WHEATON – Advocating for free enterprise, autism, affordable housing, equality and more, the Wagner family is a dynamic family that leads by example. Dan and Lisa fell in love with Wheaton 21 years ago. Their children, John, Anne, and Mike (14 year-old triplets) and Danny (13 years-old) keep them extremely busy with Boy Scouts, violin and cross country at Edison, working out at Park Plus, earning black belts at ABBC Tae Kwon Do, golfing, singing with Anima: The Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus, and playing soccer with Kopian Socceer Club. Annie even graced the staged at the Lyric Opera House singing for Tosca and Otello.

When Lisa is not running an event for a corporation, non-profit or a Presidential candidate, and Dan is not engaged with his workload at Inland Real Estate while also serving as President of the Chicago Association of Realtors, you might find them ticking off states across the U.S. as they have a common goal to visit all 50 states before the kids graduate from college.

In addition, the Wagners also take time to give back and truly live by their motto, "in all you do, make sure you serve the highest good of others." -Kristen Kucharski

What do you love most about the holiday season? EVERYTHING! Mainly the attitude of gratitude and the fun that comes with it.

What is a favorite holiday tradition for your family? Under the Griswold family description, our favorite tradition is to decorate our home. We also love watching the old Christmas movies together, ‘It's a Wonderful Life’, ‘A Christmas Carol, ‘White Christmas’......

What is your family's favorite holiday decoration and why? We have a white dove that adorns the top of our Christmas tree that Lisa gave her mom the last Christmas she was alive. Lisa' mom died when Lisa was a teenager, so it holds a special place of honor in our home every Christmas.

The Orama Family BATAVIA – Roly and Jackie Orama have a unique family. Roly was born in Cuba, and Jackie is of Irish decent and spent her childhood in Texas. Roly often refers to their family as an “I Love Lucy” episode, and Jackie always has “some explaining to do!”

Although they have lived in Batavia for ten years, previous to that, due to Roly’s career, they lived and traveled extensively throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States. After years of trying to build their family, Roly and Jackie adopted a baby girl, Graciela (now 11), who is of Mexican decent, and a year later, Carina (10) who is Argentinean. They have also hosted children from an orphanage in El Salvador and an exchange student from Spain.

The Oramas feel that to live life to its fullest, they must be fully engaged not only in their families, but also their local community. Jackie is actively involved in the girls’ school, Holy Cross Catholic School (HCCS), and Roly, involved in several community programs, also serves on the Board of Directors for CASA Kane County, an organization that advocates for neglected and abused children.

They are known for hosting a number of events at their home to raise funds for local charities including Vines of Hope, which raises funds for St. Vincent DePaul Society to serve those in need. Their annual Pig Roast and Halloween party also benefit a chosen charitable cause. Their girls love to get involved by having all the attendees at their birthday parties bring donations to a charity in lieu of gifts.

Within their home and their events, their doors are always open - living up to their family motto, “The More, the Merrier!!” -Mindy Kyle

What do you love most about the holiday season? It gives us the opportunity to disconnect from work and our busy lives to spend time concentrating on our family and friends.

What is a favorite holiday tradition for your family? Breakfast with Santa at the Morton Arboretum, where the real Santa appears, not just one of his helpers!

What is your family's favorite holiday decoration and why? Our absolute favorite Christmas decoration is our outdoor nativity scene.

The Rutter Family SUGAR GROVE – Meet the Rutters: Dan is a 5th grade STEM teacher at John Shields Elementary School, Julie is a VP and Commercial Lender at American Heartland Bank, Rachel is a freshman at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, Riley is a freshman at Western Illinois University in Macomb and Cole is a junior at Kaneland High School.

While Cole has the distinction of being the baby of the family, he is also living with the disease, Neurofibromatosis (NF), which is a genetic disorder that can cause tumors to grow on nerves in the body and other problems such as blindness, high blood pressure, headaches and daily pain.

“When Cole was diagnosed, our world turned upside down,” says Julie, who notes that the family quickly got involved in raising money and awareness.

Teaming up with The Children’s Tumor Foundation (www.ctf.org), which is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding effective treatments for people living with NF, they have helped raise over $200,000! While Julie notes that finding a cure is their mission, research is expensive. “When Cole was diagnosed there was little hope and few clinical trials available…but now there are 26 trials going on!”

The Rutters’ are also passionate about Fox Valley United Way, Mutual Ground, and Fox Valley Operation Snowball, which is a substance-abuse prevention program focusing on leadership skills and empowering youth. -Tiffany Schultz

Favorite Sugar Grove Memory: When we first moved in, Cole, who was 4, would yell “Helloooooo…is anybody out there?” at all the houses in the neighborhood. Our neighbors, who didn’t know us at the time because the development was relatively new, had no idea where that little voice was coming from. We still laugh about it today!

The McCarthy-Lange Family

OSWEGO – Karin McCarthy-Lange, along with her husband Stephen, calls Oswego home, noting that 12 years there is “the longest I’ve ever lived in one place” and that moving further away from the city was just fine with both of them.

When asked how their family is unique, Karin says, “We are an adoptive family, but also a multicultural one!” In 2010 they brought their daughter Mia, who is now 7, home from China. Mia joined their son, Maverick, who is now 14, and they became what’s known today as the McCarthy-Lange family.

Although Karin and Stephen have “day jobs” (Karin as a marketing professional and Stephen as an engineer), Karin sits on the Oswego Village Board and they the founders of a local Kiwanis chapter, which they started earlier in 2015. “I was hesitant to become the first club President, but we have a great group of people who are the next generation of community leaders and we are thrilled about the possibilities for the club,” adds Karin, who says they are currently working on two fundraisers for 2016 and will be implementing school programs to show children the benefits of being involved in service organizations.

As if all of that is not enough, they have started a local Asian-adoptive support group for families on adoption journeys similar to theirs. “We wanted to stay connected to the adoption community and get to know other families like ours!” -Tiffany Schultz

What famous family are you most like? The Goldbergs…We thought about dressing as them for Halloween!

What is your favorite neighborhood memory: For the past five summers our neighbor’s have hosted a charity party (and now 5K run) called Blues on Barton. This year over $20,000 was raised and distributed to three families battling cancer in Oswego.

At home, what are you most passionate about? Our pets! It’s an acceptable excuse, in our house, if you can’t do something because you have a cat in your lap.

The Reitzel Family

PLAINFIELD – It’s not every day a west suburban family can say they have an Olympic hopeful in the house, but Dave and Abbie Reitzel are living this surreal dream opportunity as their 13 year-old daughter, Lauren, has been named to the USA Luge “D” Team. The journey to the Olympics requires a complete family commitment as Lauren will spend 7 weeks this winter training in Lake Placid, NY and the obligations will continue to increase affording less time for her Players 360 Lacrosse, Wildcat Basketball, and Cross Country & Track at Crone Middle School.

Nonetheless, having lived in the Naperville/Plainfield area for the past 16 years, the Reitzels continue to prioritize their time to still immerse themselves into the local community. Their 9 year-old daughter, Hailey plays Volleyball at the Y Sports Complex, Wildcat Basketball, and Lacrosse through the Naperville Park District. David has coached various sports teams for his daughters and took a mission trip to Africa with Good Shepherd Church in Naperville, where the family has been members for the past 13 years. Abbie is involved with the PTA and LMC at Peterson Elementary and likens their life to The Quimby family from the Ramona & Beezus books of Beverly Cleary. Busy with a zest for life! - Kristen Kucharski

What do you love most about the holiday season? We’ve become so busy that it’s nice to just unplug and spend time with our extended families.

What is a favorite holiday tradition for your family? Every Christmas morning we have Aebleskiver (Danish pancake balls). It’s something that comes from David’s family heritage and our kids really love it!

What is your family's favorite holiday decoration and why? In our family room we decorate a tree with a variety of ornaments that have sentimental value. They come from various family trips, things the kids have made or even ones from our childhoods; it really tells our story.

The Gash Family

YORKVILLE – Jordan and Melissa Gash grew up in Canton, Ohio and became each other’s best friend as well as boyfriend-girlfriend in high school. “We believed in Jesus at an early age and had that in common,” says Jordan. “But it wasn’t until college we made the decision to truly follow Christ and seek His plan for our lives.”

Married shortly after college and attending Bible College, the Gash’s were excited to become ordained pastors. In addition to ministry, Melissa also pursued a career as a Clinical Dietician for over 10 years. In 2012, she decided to focus more on family - raising the Gash’s three children (Hannah - 10, Hallie- 7 and Isaac - 4) as well as their church family at Oswego Family Church, which they founded.

Reverend’s Jordan and Melissa say they approach ministry and life the same way - as a team. “In most families, husbands and wives do different things. We do what we do together and our kids are as involved as we are,” says Jordan. “We are passionate encouragers - our joy for love and for God’s word is contagious – both at church and at home.”

Speaking of home, the Gash’s say they have a great neighborhood where their kids can frequently be found setting up lemonade stands or dog washes. They also spend a lot of time at the Oswego parks, local restaurants and Hannah, Hallie and Isaac attend Parkview Christian Academy in Yorkville. Jordan adds, “The Fox Valley is our home and we feel very blessed to be here!” -Tiffany Schultz

What is your favorite local establishment? Salsa Verde in Yorkville. We’re excited for the soon-to-open Oswego location!

What has been your most memorable family vacation: This past May we went to Hilton Head, SC - our best vacation yet!

Where are we most likely to find your family on a Sunday night? Watching movies or playing basketball outside, after a full day at church.

The Swanson Family

OSWEGO – Meet Alison and Jeremy Swanson of Oswego and their three boys; Allen (15-sophomore), Austin (14-freshman) and Brayden (8-3rd grade). Their family motto is “Hard work, dedication, commitment and determination are the keys to success.” So it is no surprise that their football endeavor would be anything less than amazing.

In 2011 Ali & Jeremy Swanson founded the Oswego Bears Football & Cheer program under the Pop Warner national platform that has a playoff system for many divisions.

“We wanted to give kids an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of football on smaller teams that is structured to give each player more actual game time. Pop Warner provides some of the most balanced competition and that gives our athletes an excellent opportunity to grow,” said Ali.

The Swanson’s attribute the program’s success to great coaches and parents who have helped them create a family atmosphere that is both supportive and encouraging.

“We’ve watched numerous players and cheerleaders move up and excel in varsity levels,” said Ali. “Our greatest joy has been providing them the opportunity to return and give back to the next generation of kids by coaching.”

In addition to the Bears, Ali was the Vice President on the Oswego School Board from 2011-15. Jeremy is a Commissioner for the Kendall County Housing Authority, the Vice-Chairman for the Kendall County Republican Central Committee, a Precinct Committeeman, Candidate for the Kendall County Board and the Recording Secretary for Ironworkers Local 393.

Jeremy has recently been asked to take over the Team No Ego Wrestling Program. In the offseason, he coaches kids up through high school in Freestyle and Greco wrestling. Allen and Austin serve as junior coaches for the Tiny Mite football team (we were 8-2 this season) and can also be found coaching their little brother and his teammates at local wrestling tournaments. This is one fascinating family, indeed! -Lindy Kleivo

What do you love most about the holiday season? Catching up with family and friends you don’t always get to see. The boys love all the food: turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, pies and egg nog.

What is a favorite holiday tradition for your family? Elroy the elf loves to come out and play each December with Brayden. He’s a mischievous little elf.

What is your family's favorite holiday decoration and why? The Christmas tree. Each year we take the boys to pick out an ornament to add to their collections. Ali and her sisters all have Barbie angel tree toppers. We made them thirteen years ago before their mom passed, because she wanted pretty angels for the tops of their trees.

The Sender Family WHEATON – In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, Melissa is so grateful for her daughter Lola. While so many people are rushing through life, she is blessed to slow down and be present in every moment. Melissa’s daughter has Cerebral Palsy and as a result, Melissa has been able to experience and learn so much. In 2010, Melissa felt called to Africa and was immediately drawn to Lola during a visit to an orphanage. Melissa was young, single, with no intentions of adopting a child; yet, Lola’s smiles melted her heart and captured her soul. Shortly thereafter, with the support her family and co-workers at Pleasant Hill Elementary school in Winfield, Lola and Melissa became a family. Melissa now teaches Kindergarten and Lola attends Emerson Elementary School, the same school Melissa’s father attended as lifelong residents of Wheaton. Lola also attends Awana at Bethany Chapel and the rest of their time is spent receiving therapy at Easter Seals in Villa Park. They are enjoying every life’s opportunities! -Kristen Kucharski What do you love most about the holiday season? My favorite part about the holiday season is being with family and friends. Also, I think that people tend to be a little more forgiving, a little more thoughtful, and a little kinder which is what I love.

What is a favorite holiday tradition for your family? Going to church on Christmas Eve at St. Irene’s in Warrenville. Father Jim does an amazing children’s mass. At the end, Santa brings the first gift to Jesus and there is a birthday cake to sing happy birthday as a church community.

What is your family's favorite holiday decoration and why? The Christmas Tree. My parents have vaulted ceilings and so we have had a giant tree that I have always loved. When my daughter came home and I put up our first Christmas tree, she was ecstatic and loves to look at the lights.

The Vossoughi Family HINSDALE– Kamiar treasures his personal experiences of growing up in Hinsdale, so when his wife, Sarah, and he were considering moving from their Lincoln Park home a couple of years ago, he knew exactly where to find a great house, in the perfect neighborhood, with a wonderful school, close to his own mom and dad.

Shortly after moving back to Hinsdale, the couple joined the Salt Creek Club and thoroughly enjoyed the swimming and tennis this past summer. With their 6-year old son, Zander, now at The Lane School, Sarah has taken an active role in the PTO, chairing the school’s Rotary Run, while also serving as a member of the Hinsdale Junior Women’s Club and volunteering for the Hinsdale Historical Society Kitchen Walk.

When not working or volunteering, the family enjoys the Fuller House Bar in Hinsdale where they are always certain to see a familiar face while watching their beloved Cubs in a fun and lively atmosphere. Now that the holidays are near, the Vossoughi’s look forward to having family in town. Last year Kamiar’s father gave him a watch from his personal collection, which symbolized so much more than a gift; but rather represented the celebration of old traditions. Kamiar plans to pass this on to his own son someday; when he is old enough to fully appreciate what they holidays are truly about. –Kristen Kucharski

What do you love most about the holiday season? The holiday spirit! Everyone seems a little more light-hearted & happy. The store fronts and houses are all lit up and carols are playing. It’s all-around a wonderful time of year!

What is a favorite holiday tradition? Making gingerbread cookies. We do it every year and share them with family and friends.

What is your family's favorite holiday decoration? Our fresh cut Christmas tree. We love putting on the Christmas carols and decorating it all together and then every day/night lighting it up and enjoying it all season long!

The Colangelo Family WHEATON – 16 years ago Jason and Tracy moved from Lyons when their son Zach was just 2 in search of a great town to raise a family with the added bonus of an excellent school district. They have thoroughly immersed themselves in Wheaton over the years through Jason’s volunteer efforts as coach for the Wheaton Rams football teams and the Wheaton Park District baseball team; as well as, Tracy’s commitment serving on three volunteer boards for daycare associations over the last 12 years. Their sons, Zach, a Wheaton North Baseball player; and Joey, a Wheaton North Football player, have also graciously shared their talents by volunteering with the Buddy Baseball program through the Wheaton Jr. Woman’s club.

With the upcoming holidays, the Colangelo’s are looking forward to making more family memories together by eating at their favorite local authentic Mexican restaurant, Mi Casa, or perhaps purchasing impromptu tickets to a fun local event, such as seeing the Globetrotters, as they have in years past. They value time together over gift giving and their best memories thus far have included a 7-night cruise to Honduras, Belize and Cozumel where they zip lined through the rain forest, went tubing in caves, kayaked in a lagoon, snorkeled, and swam with the dolphins. Colangelo family time is always the best time! –Kristen Kucharski

What do you love most about the holiday season? We love seeing family and friends

What is a favorite holiday tradition? Our family always gets together and celebrates on Christmas Eve with the extended family. Now, that our boys our older, we go to the movies on Christmas Day.

What is your family's favorite holiday decoration? The Christmas tree, of course! I love adding the ornaments to the tree and the memories they bring to mind. The lights on the tree make the room warm and festive.

#GlancerMagazine #CoverStory #December2015 #KristenKucharski #MindyKyle #FamilyTime #KidsTeens

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