Welcome to Family Chowder’s Photo Album. Feel free to send in pictures and stories of your own amazing family. We will be happy to share with other Family Chowder families!
FAMILY CHOWDER web site header photo Cleveland in the Morning
Eric Mortensen works in Downtown Cleveland and lives with his family in the Greater Cleveland area. Almost every morning he pauses to capture Cleveland’s beauty in a unique way through the eye of a camera. Eric is also a talented Nature Photographer. While Eric has graciously permitted Family Chowder to post this picture, you may contact him in regards to this photo, to see more of his work, or high resolution originals. Contact Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org
Only Eric can give permission to use his photos.
EVENTS- Bringing families together
Superhero Party (September 2017)
Collaborated with New Beginnings Infant and Toddler Center, and Super Heroes to Kids Ohio
Respite Activity for local families. Built shields, played leadership development games, icecream with toppings, family photo
Reach: 7 Families (11 Adults, 16 Children)
Escape House – Who Murdered the Maid (June 2017)
Fundraiser Event incorporating Domestic Violence Prevention aka Arsonic Hour
Reach: 3 Couples, 2 Families, 6 Youth
“This was so much fun, like living one of my books!”
Family Night- Family Promise (February 2017)
Respite Activity incorporating communication skills
Reach: 2 Families with 6 children
“I never thought about doing this with me kids. We will do this in our new home” Single mom about dccorating muffins with frosting
Date Night- Poker Night at Calvary Church, Cleveland (March 2017)
Respite Activity for Couples with a Chocolate Bar and Childcare
Reach: 5 Couples, 5 Children (including 1 special needs)
“That was awesome! It made such a difference for my wife and I. Our son is autistic, and it’s hard to find babysitters who can truly care for him well. These folks did!”
Embrace Your Inner Queen (Fall 2016)
Respite Activity for moms and caregivers, celebrated similarities of queens to mothers/caregivers
Reach: 1 mom of special needs child, 2 caregivers, 1 single dad
“This was much needed fun and social time. We should do this more often.” Karen
FCF periodically passes out small gift bags to random parents. They contain a small gift, candy, and an inspirational note of appreciation. Every smile is a brief respite that can make a big difference to bring relief from the stress of working and raising a family.
Over 230 gift bags and counting!
2016 Facebook Banner Spotlight Families
Tryon Family – Featured Facebook Banner Family Winter 2016 —
He walked 9 miles for her.
Potato salad, hot dogs and a stroll in the park. Great first date, right? That is, until Chris dared Al to walk a 9 mile bike trail. The very same trail she rode her bike on with previous dates. The claim is that Al fell in love with her potato salad and that his love for her came later. Potato salad, marriage, three successful sons (Andrew, Josh, Scott), and one amazing daughter-in-law (Ginger); in that order.
Al and Chris are excited to be celebrating their 31st Wedding Anniversary this week. When asked what their secret ingredient is Chris responded “I married my best friend, not my soul mate.” When asked to elaborate she furthered, “there were no sparks and fireworks. He’s got my back and I have his. Al is a best friend that I like to spend time with.”
Anyone who knows the Tryon Family, is aware that having a sense of humor is a main ingredient to their wedded bliss!
Like all marriages there have been bumps. Chris advises that remembering how your decisions affect everyone within the sphere of people that love you helps keep you on track through the bumps. Ask yourself, “if I do this, would it totally derail everyone else?”
Al is fun, strong, and stable. He is the family breadwinner and has worked for the same employer for 23 years as a Stockhandler in a large mail order catalog warehouse.. As a hobby, Al enjoys the thrill of treasure hunting with his metal detector along the grassy knolls of local parks and sandy beaches,
Chris has recently become involved in Toastmasters, and is a self-proclaimed “alternative health-care fanatic.” She is eager to share her knowledge about the benefits of essential oils with anyone ready to pursue better health. By the end of the interview I learned all about using oils to reduce stress and fight infection. She also has a blog titled Reflections on Pink, and is the author of Dear Sister, Today Is…: One Woman’s Breast Cancer Journey (available on Amazon and Kindle.)
Chris is a breast cancer survivor. Flat and fabulous. In 2011 she lost her breasts, and ovaries to win the the battle over cancer. Get educated and entertained with her 7 minute Toastmaster presentation “The Benefits of Being Boobless: Top Ten List.” www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T4s3Nrc3VU
Chris is not just a survivor, she is a victor who has fought the demons of recovering from cancer, major surgery, and absent hormones. She made the decision to take control over the emotional roller coaster from hell by putting her self-care in the forefront of priorities. If she needs a rest or to call a time-out, even space for an occasional melt down, she takes it. She has learned her limits and respects them.
Like many who overcome life changing trauma, Chris recognizes the value of her friends who have visited, her deep-rooted faith, and her family. Her’ family was her biggest support. Al kept her laughing and her sons waited on her “hand and foot.”
The Tryon Family are active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They are stalwarts of the faith and attend church, the Temple as often as they can, support activities and serve missions.
Their children, now living out of state call home every Sunday. Chris says, “it is the law.” As long as they are living out of state, they are required to call. Al and Chris are proud of all their children who were raised to embrace their talents, work hard, laugh, and above all – love each other.
If you are interested in contacting Chris Tryon, she can be reached at email@example.com. She will be happy to speak at your event and/or instruct you on the use of essential oils for improved health.
Walker-Steiner Family – Featured Facebook Banner Family Spring 2016 —
Beauty, love, brains, and fun. It doesn’t get better than this!
SUMMER FAMILY TRADITIONS? We go to water-parks a lot, visit family, and have a lot of family “pick-nicks.” We go star-gazing.
WHERE DID YOU MEET? College, in a ballroom dance class.
WHERE DO YOU TURN FOR FAMILY GUIDANCE AND ADVICE? Prayer and each other. As well as different community resources (for the autism aspects).
Johanna and Eric’s Family – Featured Facebook Banner Family Winter 2015-1016 —
Johanna and Eric are both busy social service professionals. They do important work every day but maintain that their family is really where the real, most important work (and fun) is!
Read on for a few words of wisdom shared by Johanna…
FC: Perfect Family Moments?
Johanna: The best family moments are usually the ones that are unplanned, and just happen. They are the little things – when a child says the wrong word and it makes everyone laugh, when one of the kids wants to cuddle with a parent on the couch, when we are able to just be together but be aware of how lucky we are to be able to do that. The great moments are not the ones that you plan just so they CAN be memories – a trip, a family excursion to a new place… while these things certainly can make memories, I think that a lot of times the best memories come when you least expect them. Like studio pictures and candid shots – when you put a lot of work into getting the perfect picture, it’s often not as great, or doesn’t capture the essence of people as much, as a candid amateur shot by a parent or family member.
FC: Advice for New Couples Thinking of Starting a Family
Johanna: It sounds cliché, but my best advice is to really try to be present and appreciate each stage of your child’s life. Each stage comes with challenges – sleepless nights, frayed nerves and short tempers – but each stage also goes quickly, and when I look back I wish I would have paid more attention, and not let it fly by while focusing on other things, like cleaning up the toys all the time, or worrying about doing the dishes. Those things have to get done, of course, but if you are able once in a while to do them later, or take 30 minutes to sit with your kids as they watch a show or draw a picture, that is time well-spent – for your child AND for you. If you are always worried about the other stuff, you will miss a lot… because, as everyone says, when you blink, the time is gone.
FC: How Will You Survive Winter?
Johanna: Hopefully we will spend some time outside – sledding, building a snowman, something! We have been indoors, it seems, for the better part of the last year. Aside from trips to the pool, and playgrounds around the neighborhood, we haven’t been outside much. Just a few weeks ago we noticed that the table outside in the backyard didn’t get used one single time during spring, summer, OR fall. So – who knows how we will survive, but I hope it won’t be all inside.
Mazur Family – Featured Facebook Banner Family Summer 2015 —
When asked for a brief bio and helpful tips to upcoming families on keeping bonds strong across the generations as they, this is what they advised:
“Established in 1992, The Mazur family has focused on keeping the circle strong by playing together as much as possible. Whether it’s camping, church activities, martial arts or just hanging out, we feel that the more time you spend together, the stronger your root system will grow.”
Tomi’s Family – Featured Facebook Banner Family March 2016–
Linda Justus – Family Chowder Founder and the family that helps and inspires her-
This is me, Linda Justus, single mom and grandma. Family Chowder is the result of my drive to help families. Families need fun time, and family leaders (parents, caregivers..) need resources that are available to them whenever, wherever they are, that are affordable. I began this dream many years ago as a program to prevent domestic violence. Since then, I have been engrossed all over the spectrum of family violence, unruly children, family members with mental disorders, and my own battle with depression as I chose to battle many family crisis situations on my own without knowledge or accessibility to needed respite and resources to help my little family due to constraints of money, time, and inability/unwillingness of consistent extended family support. As many times as I have been down, I find a way back up. I have learned from experience, and from my formal education, and from the jobs I held along the way. I love my family with all my heart. Like other families, we live, love, we laugh, we are mixed up, we get angry, we find our way back. We do our best to help each other along the way.
Some career highlights – coauthored a book with ex-husband, Charlie’s Cancer Rescue: When a loved one is diagnosed with Cancer. Founding organizer to the largest community built park in Southern Utah, Park Discovery, a place where families can play together. Facilitated many workshops to enhance communication and conflict resolution. My Education includes a degree in Family Science and another in Business.
This is one of my favorite pics of daughter Allison. You can find her anytime working out or educating someone about health and fitness!
This picture is one son Dallas, pre “don’t you dare take a picture mother!” His hair now rivals the length of mine. He is our intellect teen going on thirty-something.
Meet Zach,aka Donny Jewlz, music producer and song writer. He is our artist and creator for the Family Chowder’s logo. Zach has no problem working the camera as you can see!
Meet Dexter, our little pride and joy. A little autistic, a lot of smarts and a lot of energy!