We Are Family

The Wallace Family

In this week’s blog I wanted to talk about my family.

I know I use this blog to discuss the on-goings of Walla-Pa-Looza, but to understand me a little bit better I wanted to give you some details on the family that puts up with all my meetings, phone calls & emails. Sometimes I can just tell they think I do way too much.

My wife Joanne is the person that runs the household. She keeps us organized, clean and fed. She works seven days a week and yet finds time to give us all a hug, to volunteer at school, participate in Walla events and attend baseball games. She is the rock in this family and I am proud to be married to her. Joanne has plenty to do but she still misses her mother that she lost to cancer almost 10 years ago. She shared with us what she felt on the “Tell us Your Story” page but I can tell you that every Mothers Day, Christmas or birthday she hurts. Her sister Val, who has Downs Syndrome, toasts her mother at Christmas every year. It makes us all feel sad. Joanne’s mom was the one that brought us all together as a family.

Now the holidays are a bit different but her spirit is still with us.

Justin, who is nine, is our older son. He is almost a spitting image of me. He has a love for music and has already seen AC-DC, Kid Rock and Skynyrd. He also is a huge Kiss fan. This strikes me funny, because at his age so was I.

One day I broke out some record albums and he was in awe. The funny part was when he came to me and told me I made a mistake – one of the albums had two records in it. I told him it was not a mistake but that was called a double album. He thought that was very cool and I felt really old. But, Kiss is still rocking and so is dad.

Justin also loves Rocky. He might get mad at me but he has all the DVD’s and has a pair of Rocky boxing shorts he runs around in from time to time. I think it’s cool that he likes Rocky so I bought him a Rocky T-Shirt.

Justin plays baseball too! He is actually pretty good when he wants to be. He has grown to love the Chicago Cubs and hopes like the rest of us that they will one day win a world series. I almost feel bad for pushing my Cub love on him but I love seeing his passion for them already.

Justin loves playing football, basketball and much more. He is a good student and I am very proud to have him as my oldest son. He is caring and loving. He is also proud that his dad put together Walla-Pa-Looza because he understands that loved ones die from this disease. He gets it now.

Andrew, who is six, is my youngest child. He gets the hand me downs in the family. As with most children they have differences. Andrew likes playing Army. He loves to take time and quietly set up all his guys and build forts.

He is in his second year of T-Ball and because he has an older brother is bored with it and wants to play real games. He is very athletic so we let him practice with the older kids. Andrew also loves animals. He has a fish tank in his room and he loves sitting and watching them swim. This past year for his birthday we bought him a puppy. His name is Lewie. Lewie is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Yet another task that Joanne has taken on. She is his master and of course has yet another mouth to feed! Anyway, Andrew just started Karate and cannot wait to play football. In the mean time, he too has become a Cubs fan as well. I don’t know why I turned them into Cubs fans but, what the hell. They have to win at one point. Andrew enjoys video games and is also a very good student as well.

He likes riding on the float during the parades we attend but I am not sure if he completely understands why his mom and dad volunteer.

My hope is that both boys decide in their adult lives to do something for others. I may not be perfect but if they learn one lesson from me its compassion.

This past week I was reminded that everyone has a story about some family member, some co-worker or friend that is dealing with cancer related issues and right now, it’s me. I have a friend here in Johnsburg that has cancer and is not doing so well. But, he keeps pushing on, keeps volunteering and keeps living. He is yet another reason I am reminded that every little bit helps.

Next Week I am going to talk about yet another volunteer in the Walla-Pa-Looza family.



  • Nice Craig…you managed to capture the magic of your family in your blog…your boys have a wonderful role model with yourself and Joanne…you are teaching them your most important qualities…selflessness, humor and compassion. You can’t ask for more than that…I am proud to know you.

    Comment by Jodi — May 17, 2010 @ 7:20 am

  • Brother i love you! I love your wife and i love your boys! It is great to see you give praise and thanks to your Rock!

    Comment by Mike Betts — May 17, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

  • Dear Craig God does work in a mysterious way, and everyday we wake up he directs us to different people.Someone very special to me gave me a braclet, and when she gave me this present she whispered in my ear that this is how I lived my life. This special person was my chemo nurse, and she presented this braclet on the day of my graduation when she pinned me on becoming a nurse. The braclet read “Live the life you Love and Love the life you live.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 24, 2010 @ 10:37 pm