Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Weis Family 2016 Newsletter

After Wedding Pic.jpgUndoubtedly, the top story of 2016 happened mere days ago, as our family grew by one when JR married his fiancee, Savanna. They tied the knot December 18 in a beautiful ceremony at the Courtyard at Lake Lucerne in Downtown Orlando, the same venue as John and Christina’s wedding “a few” years back. It was a nice day for a Weis wedding (cue the music) … and we welcome Savanna to the family.

Speaking of Christina, she just finished her second-to-last semester of nursing school and is on course to finish up in May. She is the Vice President of the Student Nurses Association at her school (Seminole State College) and was instrumental in helping them win a “Breakthrough to Nursing” award. Christina was recently quoted in an article about the award in SSC’s student newsletter.

Chawney is still enjoying life in Boston. She is beginning her second year working at Wentworth Institute of Technology as Operations Coordinator. In January, she will begin taking certificate courses for Project Management at the school in her spare time. Chawney enjoyed coming home for Thanksgiving in November, as well as in December for her brother’s wedding.

Last but not least, John is beginning his eighth year at JKR Advertising, working with his agency as well as its two sister companies. Outside of work, he is in the process of editing a book written by one of his clients called Thoughts to Ponder. It is scheduled to be published sometime in the first few months of 2017.

On behalf of all of the Weises, may God richly bless you and yours this Christmas and throughout 2017.

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From our family to yours

Weis FamilyIt’s been a very full 2013 for the Weis family! We’re very blessed.

To get you caught up on some of the news:

In April, John received his Technical Writing certificate from UCF, and JR’s college robotics team placed 2nd worldwide — and it was his team’s first-ever competition!

In May, we had a terrific summer vacation, going to both Washington, DC and New York City. During their vacation, John and Christina celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary.

Christina started her new job in June. She had been a surgery scheduler at Florida Hospital, but she transferred to another  department. She’s  now an Administrative Specialist in the transplant department. 

August rolled around, and Chawney finished up her internship at Sea World, while Christina resumed taking classes  toward her nursing degree. She plans to finish in 2015.

In October, John was offered and accepted a new position as Business Development Analyst at Sodexo. His employer, JKR Advertising, made him a counter-offer to stay … which he agreed to. He is now Director of Media Relations at JKR and is very happy with the way things turned out.

The excitement wasn’t over. In December, Chawney graduated from UCF with a psychology degree, and plans to go to graduate school sometime to pursue an HR-related degree. Also, John and Chawney’s Alma Mater, UCF, got their first-ever BCS bowl invitation after an 11-1 season. Nice!

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2: 8-11, KJV)

From the Weis family, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a 2014 filled with happiness!

UCF Football: An Unforgettable 2013

ImageHeading into its final regular-season game this weekend, the 2013 UCF Football team is 10-1 and is going to its first-ever BCS bowl game. Re-read that, and give it a moment to sink in.

UCF has finally hit the big time, and that is why I feel compelled to write my first Weis Words Writing blog in a very long time. It’s a good time to be a Knight fan, especially when you’ve been a fan for over 20 years.

For years, UCF was the proverbial “sleeping giant.” Football experts everywhere would say, “It’s just a matter of time. They’re in the middle of a recruiting hotbed in Florida, they have great facilities and a great campus.”

Dating way back to the days when Daunte Culpepper quarterbacked the then-Golden Knights (we’re now known simply as the Knights) from 1995-1998, UCF would be winning a game against a nationally ranked team – only to find new and creative ways to lose a close game every time – and I mean EVERY time. I won’t go back that far, but let’s just review the last four years.

UCF FOOTBALL 2009

While the Knights finished 8-5, they could not get the job done against teams like Miami and Texas, and were throttled by Rutgers in the St. Petersburg Bowl.

UCF FOOTBALL 2010

The Knights finished the season as Conference USA champions and beat Georgia in the Liberty Bowl, yet UCF fans were left to wonder what might have been due to close losses to NC State and Kansas State.

UCF FOOTBALL 2011

This was a season UCF fans would rather forget, finishing 5-7 and losing to “juggernauts” UAB and Florida International.

UCF FOOTBALL 2012

Wrapping up their final season in Conference USA, the Knights finished 10-4. While they won every game in which they were heavy favorites (including their bowl game against Ball State), they could not win a big one. They were beaten by Ohio State and somehow managed to lose to Missouri despite thoroughly outplaying them. Oh, and they lost two very close games to Tulsa, including the conference championship.

ImageUCF FOOTBALL TODAY

So when 2013 rolled around and UCF joined a new conference (the American Athletic Conference) arguably more difficult than C-USA, most experts and fans figured the Knights would finish above .500, somewhere in the middle of the pack. They’d lost most of their defense, RB Latavius Murray graduated and went to the Oakland Raiders, and the schedule was the most daunting they’d ever faced. There was an away game at Penn State; a home game against South Carolina; an away game against Louisville; and home games against Houston and rival USF.

But something has happened this year. The 2013 UCF Football team is finding new and creative ways to win! The two TDs in the final minutes to beat Memphis; the comeback from a 28-7 deficit to beat Louisville; the best TD catch I’ve ever seen (by JJ Worton) to beat Temple; the last-minute goal-line stand against Houston; and the fourth-quarter Blake Bortles to Breshad Perriman bomb versus USF. Only a three-point loss to South Carolina has kept UCF from an undefeated season. Led by junior quarterback Bortles, a mother lode of talented wide receivers, a young and talented defense, and some timely special teams plays, they’ve been the “cardiac kids” on many an occasion this year.

Next year, the automatic BCS berth goes away for their conference, so they may need to actually run the table to go back to a bowl game of this year’s stature. But the sleeping giant has unquestionably awakened in 2013, and all the credit in the world goes out to coach George O’Leary, his staff, and the players.

There’s plenty of room on the UCF bandwagon. Jump aboard!

An exciting new service

It’s been a long time since my last blog, but I have some exciting news to share and this is the ideal place to let everyone know about it.

This week I took and passed my UCF final and became a Certified Technical Writer. This opens up a new avenue of opportunity for Weis Words Writing.

Because this was my first college course since 1994, it took a little getting used to at first. However, the end result makes it worthwhile and there’s no telling what I might do next.

Don’t worry, dad … I was watching you

In one of his last days, a nurse at Florida Hospital told me she and her coworkers admired the “John Wayne kind of toughness” my father displayed during his fight to recover from multiple surgeries and procedures.

Yep, that was my dad … John Wayne tough – but he had a softer side, too.

Paul Weis was my role model. During my childhood, he taught me why I shouldn’t have everything I wanted, but at the same time he always gave me more than I needed.

He made me understand I should appreciate who I am and what I have.

In every life event – good or bad – dad was there to cheer me on and give me advice.

He made sure my siblings and I were at church every Sunday.

When I needed discipline, he wasn’t afraid to dish it out … but even during those times I knew I was cared for unconditionally.

I watched how he loved, interacted with and respected my mother … and how he did everything with her in mind. I got an up-close lesson on what a happy, healthy, thriving marriage should look like.

When I became an adult, I finally realized how truly fortunate I was to have him as my father. No matter how old I was, he was still my dad – ready to lend an ear and take part in my most memorable life moments.

It was only in the last year or so that I got to know some of the Paul Weis I’d barely been introduced to before. For many years, dad didn’t say much about being in World War II, and we just chalked it up to him not wanting to talk about it.

I’d seen his Purple Heart, his Bronze Star and several other medals and awards, so I knew he had to have been through some “stuff,” but he usually just kept everything to himself.

Then one day not so long ago, he told my wife, Christina, why he never talked much about his experiences in the war.

“I just didn’t think anybody was really that interested,” he said.

Not interested? Are you kidding me? That was all I needed to hear.

Through a series of question-and-answer sessions plus some digging through notes he’d jotted down over the years, dad and I were able to cobble together a short book detailing his own personal war story – something I’m very grateful to have been able to do.

He was about a year out of high school when he was drafted into the Army in 1942; and saw his first action in World War II in November 1944. He was involved in the Battle of the Bulge and was among the first soldiers to cross the Remagen Bridge. In between, he was wounded in combat and had shrapnel removed from his leg in a Belgian hospital. There’s that toughness again, even at a very young age. He was a hero in every sense of the word.

My father passed away yesterday. He was 89 and he lived a very good, long life.

I’ve always felt proud to be his son, but now I feel something new: the sobering reality (and the accompanying feeling of grief) that comes with realizing my role model is gone.

I suspect this feeling will never leave me, even though I know in my heart that he’s in a far better place today.

They say time heals all wounds … but “they” never met Paul Weis.

Though my father had been in the hospital since February 29, I was still learning from him even in his final days. He was amazingly brave even when he was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

That’s why anytime someone tells me I remind them of my dad I consider it an honor – and it’s what makes this attempt at a tribute to Paul Weis seem so woefully inadequate.

Despite his passing, the love, respect and admiration I feel for my dad will never go away. I miss him already.

But I was watching him and learning from him … and I was taking notes every step of the way.

A funny thing happened at the Seminole County Courthouse today

I became a father today for the second time as I adopted my son, JR. What has been a long time coming finally became official sometime between 9:30 and 10:00 EST this morning.

I expected everything to be exactly like two years ago when I adopted his sister Chawney. During her adoption the judge asked me some very poignant questions, most notably, “Mr. Weis, why do you want to adopt this young lady?”

I didn’t need any rehearsed speeches to answer that one; all I had to do was answer from the heart.

I was ready to do the exact same thing today.

This time, however, there was a different judge. Instead of asking me why I wanted to adopt JR – and giving me the chance to profess to everyone there why I was there – his line of questioning was entirely different. They really weren’t questions at all; in fact, they were more like warnings.

“Do you understand, Mr. Weis, that by adopting this young man, it will be as if he was your child from birth … and that, heaven forbid, you and your wife ever get divorced, he is still your son?”

“Yes, your honor,” I said.

Wow, your honor, you are really throwing a wet blanket over an otherwise happy occasion, I thought.

Eventually, the judge granted the adoption and I officially gained a wonderful son.

That brings me back to JR, the real point of this blog. Upon meeting him for the first time about nine years ago, it didn’t take long for me to figure out he was going to be an engineer. The first time he and I went somewhere and it was just us, we went to McDonald’s to get some lunch on a Saturday afternoon.

As I finished ordering our food, I looked to my right and noticed JR disassembling a life-sized Ronald McDonald display. He is testing me, I thought to myself.

Wanting to let him know that wasn’t acceptable – but not wanting to make him dislike me – I turned to him and said, “JR, can you please put Ronald McDonald back together? I don’t think he needs surgery today.”

He looked up at me and laughed.

I was to find out later that JR was not testing me. Instead, he was genuinely interested in how Ronnie was assembled. It was the engineer in him.

As his knowledge has increased, so has his personality and his character. These days he’s taking apart and putting together much more complicated things.

I am proud of the young man he’s become and I am proud to call him my son.

MY SON! That has a nice ring to it. I love you, son!

Today, everyone under our roof is a Weis. The lifetime of tomorrows to come will be fun. Look out, world!

Watch for a big announcement

On Monday, something will happen that will change my life – yet things will remain the same. I’ll tell you all about it after it happens.