(moved from near
Cherry Hill, NJ to Levittown, PA in 2001; and from Levittown to Hatboro
The Van Aken Family 2006
||Joshua - adopted from
Korea in 2003!
|Laura is famous! We have a celebrety
in our class! Laura and her son appeared on TLC's "A Baby Story"
in 2004. The Van Akens were contacted along with other families
who adopted from Korea. The story is actually about another couple
and their journey through the process. The rest of the families
were extras, but Laura was asked to be interviewed. The interview
lasted 5 minutes, but only a small fraction made it onto the show.
The show will air once per month for a while, so look for Laura on TV
(and then next year on all of the TV awards shows.) ... At least one
person in our class happened to see it. Lori (Czarnecki) LaPearl
wrote me to say she saw Laura on the show.
The pictures below are from 2006...
worked in in teaching, counseling and every other human services
position you can imagine, but now I'm a full-time mom and loving every
minute of it. I also run a web-based business with my husband."
Laura says has formal title is "E-Commerce
Gray Parrot named Smokey who "squawks, squeaks, talks and
burps." Laura says she also has some dust bunnies.
|In our senior
yearbook, Laura listed "Spanish" as her future
(Copied directly from the Senior Yearbook):
|Bruno's '85 ... Val ... Mike ... The
Rose ... uh-there ... hit the ball! ... I love MP ... Matta Soo ...
Laddy ... CaCa ... f-ball and b-ball games ... hockey's awesome ...
Thanks family and friends.
Stuff to Know about
Laura as of 1/29/04:
|Books she is reading: The
Bible, and Love for a Lifetime by James Dobson
Her favorite board game: Pictionary or Songburst
Favorite Sounds: Singing and laughter
First thing she thinks in the moring: "Get your own bottle, kid."
Future child's name: Hailey
What is most important in life?: Jesus Christ
Favorite Foods: Ben & Jerry's Phish Food ice cream, "ethnic"
foods of all kinds, chocolate
Does she like to drive fast: No, I have to drive fast
because if I don't I'll be late!
First Car: Dodge Omni
Favorite Drink: Strong coffee
If she could have any job, what would it be?: Music ministry
Is the glass half empty or half full?: Half full, even on a bad
Does she type with her fingers on the right keys?: Yes, and
What is under her bed?: A shot gun (and ma paw learned me how ta
use it, pardner), box of odd wires, other short, flat junk, and perhaps
my missing hamster
Favorite Number: 3
Favorite TV Program: She doesn't watch TV
Which would she prefer: beach, mountains or city?: Mountains
Which does she prefer, comedy or horror?: Comedy
|Chris Mal Notes:
I ran into Laura at O'Kelley's around
1990 (before it went out of business, obviously.) She showed me how she
can put a cherry stem into her mouth and tie it in a knot with her
tongue. Try it, it takes a great deal of talent. According to
Laura, "It's all in the teeth. Lower teeth, to hold the stem
steady. Then you somehow make it bend around and criss-cross so
it's in the position to pull into a knot. Next, (carefully, this
is key) use your upper teeth and your tongue to pull the knot tight.
The hardest part is holding it in the criss-cross position while
adjusting to pull it through. And you must do this while you are
sober. Try this at home. I am not an actress. And you
need not have parental supervision." (Laura emailed me
soon after this was posted to note that her friend Kathleen can also do
this. Those are two very talented tongues in Laura and Kathleen!)
Laura was self-proclaimed "Secretary of the Chris Malinowski Fan
Club" which was a very popular and exclusive club back in the
day. Her job was one of the easier ones since the club had no
funding save my lunch money which I would spend on a pair of
cheeseburgers from McDonald's every single day. Cori Roboski was
the "Incompetent Secretary", and Brendan Kane was "Vice
I spoke with Laura on the phone in March of 2001, and she is still one
of the cheeriest people that I have ever met.
Laura's step-brother, Steve King, was the manager of the department that
I work in (Engineering Services) at GPU Energy, before he left in 2002
to form his own engineering company. He was the best boss I ever
had. Small world.
Laura is also Evan Spohn's step-cousin,
and Bud LeVan's cousin.
Laura met former classmate Valerie Whalon in second grade, and they have
remained best of friends ever since.
Laura's husband calls her "Our Pal Val."
Laura admits to being a "Barfophobe", and
has vivid memories of Jeff Greene wolfing down baked beans in elementary
school onto to have him immediately bring them back. As the story
goes, the elementary school heat went out in the middle of the day so
they had everyone eat lunch first before sending the kids home.
But everyone ate in their homerooms because the lunch room was freezing.
Mrs. Latimer told Jeff that he couldn't have the dessert until he tried
the beans. Instead of eating a molecule of beans like everyone
else, Jeff ate all of them as fast as he could, followed by a chocolate
milk chaser - and then would up puking them back up immediately.
As the legend goes, Jeff still ate the dessert.
Kelly, Julie's Rent-a-date,
Julie, Steve, Christine,
Laura, Beth & Chris
John Van Aken
Click to enlarge!
Field Hockey Team
Click to enlarge!
Field Hockey Team
Click to enlarge!
Number of times Smokey
burps every day: