Sunday, June 5, 2011

Michael C. Casten

This picture was taken in our kitchen in Naperville, IL.  Lindsay and I have lived here for 5 years and we have 3 children (Ava [4 yrs old] , Henry [2.5 yrs old] and Ella [1 yr old]).  We have one dog (Sasa [7 yrs old]) and two cats (Oreo & Doublestuff [11 yrs old each]).

My wife, Lindsay, is the love of my life.  We were married on August 11, 2006. I have always wanted to be married and have kids; Lindsay is the angel that  helped bring that dream to reality.  The love I have for her and she for me is something that I can never fully explain...we are meant for each other--in that I firmly believe.  I also believe that "all you need is love"~~everything else will follow from that love.  

Just like everyone else on the planet (or in the universe), I have experiences related to my life.  The art of reflecting on those experiences is something that I thoroughly enjoy.  I feel that we were put on this earth to experience.  Experience the world that was created.  Relationships between oneself and other people, oneself and nature, oneself and objects, oneself and the unknown form the basis of the experience of life itself...from each experience we draw conclusions about the meaning of life.  It is in that "drawing of the conclusions" that the reflection lies.  For some that reflection lies dormant, for others teems with life.  My choice to reflect on life keeps me grounded in life; loving life, seeking life, knowing life.

I have worked with children for the past 18 years.  I was a day care supervisor/program coordinator for a reputable organization known as Hephzibah Children's Association in Oak Park, IL.  There I learned that working directly with children, helping them grow and find meaning in their experiences, is something that I love doing and experiencing.  I spent eight years with Hephzibah and am eternally grateful for all the children (who are now grown) and the adults I worked with.

From there I landed a 4th grade teaching job in Elmhurst, IL (Lincoln School).  I have been in the same grade level and same room (Room 202) the entire past 10 years.  I love my job.
Not only do I still get to help kids grow socially and emotionally, and now I can teach them something on an academic level.  Teaching taps into the many facets of name a few~~helping others, being organized, sharing & reflecting on experiences, keeping my inner child alive and well, and being the best role model I can for the generation behind me.

My plan with the Casten Family "Intro Series" was to give you a glimpse into each person in my immediate family so when I write about them, you'll have some background knowledge.  Hopefully by then end of the summer, you will know us all the better...laughing with us, crying with us, celebrating with us, and experiencing with us.

For now, my personal intro is complete.  For I know that every time you read a blog entry from here on out, you'll find bits and pieces of who I laughter, my crying, my celebrations and my experiences.  

Lindsay will be next!!


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