Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Big Big Loud American Family Part Three.

Aunts and Uncles.

I've already discussed my Aunts briefly here but in keeping with the family reunion I wanted to go into a bit more personal detail.
People are always confusing my mom and Aunt Dawn.
Aunt Dawn and Uncle Alan. If your keeping track Aunt Dawn is cousin Jennifer's mom.  She is so sweet and kind. She's also quite crafty and if it weren't for her there would be (by my mother's own admission) no photos of me or my sisters growing up. She was a photo taker and scrap book leader before those things were a multi-billion dollar industry like they are now. When we were young spending the night at Aunt Dawns house was so much fun because she let you stay up as long as you wanted and pretty much eat what you wanted to. Couple that with the fact that she was within walking distance to a drug store where we could buy penny candy and I'm not sure how she could stand all of it.  As far as uncle Alan goes for some reason I have this really vivid memory of him letting all of us (that's a lot) take turns having "horse back" rides on him during a birthday party which may explain some of his current back problems. Sorry uncle Alan!
That is Jill Uncle David's Dog she thinks she is his wife.
David.  Uncle David was always the coolest uncle because he was not married and had no children. Which meant that he would breeze into town from large and exotic distant cities like Milwaukee and whip us all into a wild hyper frenzy while our parents looked on helplessly. In those days we called him "uncle Dave-do"... I'm not sure why if any one knows they could let me know in the comments.  Now days he owns Stoney Creek Farm where my parents and sister live and work. He is so giving that whatever cousin seems down on their luck or is looking for a new lease on life he takes them in and gives them a bit of work. He's also extremely musical (as are most of them) and plays the piano so beautifully, one of the best things in life (though so rare now days) is to listen to him and mom sing duets while he plays.
Wouldn't he look at home on a ranch?
Dan and Bonnie (Spencer and Kendra's dad and mom) he is so quiet that when I was young I didn't really know what to think about him. He and his wife live in the country, hunt, used to have horses, I think they still have chickens.  Their kids were always in 4-H. They seemed so mystical to me growing up like something out of Little House on the Prairie. As I grew I began to see how funny he is. It truly is the quiet ones you have to watch out for.  Uncle Dan is also extremely artistic and once engraved a skeleton  key with the words "Key to my heart" for me to give to Brian on our first valentine's together.
Aunt Debbie is the oldest daughter just like me.
Debbie and Carl (KatieBeth and Kenton's mom and dad). Uncle Carl has a deep loud booming voice and is probably the most friendly outgoing person I've ever met.  He's the one who made me my horse stable along with a pair of adirondack chairs, my living room shelves and a shelf under the windows in my kitchen (he's a very talented wood worker).  When I was little he used to chase us around saying "I'm the kissing monster" while making loud wet kissing sounds... this freaked me out a lot.  Aunt Debbie is amazing. We have a lot in common and spend a good deal of time when we're together going "Oh my gosh me too!" for example, "I hate it when they mix the spaghetti sauce and the noodles together." "Oh my gosh me too!" Aunt Debbie's love of scripture and her desire to study it deeply is a continued source of motivation and encouragement to me. I, too, feel closest to God when I'm learning from His word.  She  used to take me shopping for a back to school outfit when things were tight for my parents and still makes time for me today. She has stepped in and filled a void left when my mom moved by taking me to lunch and spending endless hours talking about God, the Church, and my mother-in-law.  She also gave me the gentle push and help I needed to move from the post-baby frumpy clothing stage (she is always well dressed).
A very beautiful family. Uncle Doug was once mistaken
for a television star while on an airplane.
Doug and Meg. Had kids the latest on my mom's side which makes my Aunt Meg the coolest of the Aunts (sorry every one else it's just a fact of life, Heather will always be cooler then me). They lived in the big city and would have us over for the weekend.  Uncle Doug is one of those genius self starter types. He retired in his thirties and then started a Sport's ministry in Detroit Michigan. He is now a pastor as well which means there are things about their life that ring true for Brian and I as well. All of mom's siblings are funny and Uncle Doug is no exception. Aunt Meg is the kind of person you wish you could be; well dressed, a good hostess, and charming.  When I was a little girl she sent me a card (not my sisters just me) it had a scientific illustration of a shell on the cover and I remember just being so blown away by the picture it seemed magical and made me feel so special that she would take the time to send me my very own mail.
I had a very hard time finding a pic of Aunt Linda (she's the one on the farthest left)
Aunt Linda. Dad's sister is the nicest most kind person I have ever known. She is such a long-suffering servant heart that you know when God looks at her he is pleased. We lived in the same town as her and she had kids way after us as well so she also treated us awesome. She would have me and Courtney over to spend the night and get out this fancy porcelain tea set and have tea (sugar water) with us. She let us use her make up and would read to us out of Beatrix Potter.  Aunt Linda made Courtney and I feel important and special after Heather was born, that was a true gift.  When dad talks about Aunt Linda he lights up and he's also told me that I have her smile which makes me feel like I'm part of that "light up" too.
Aunt Margaret and my dad. Oh I forgot to say her husband is really quiet and funny too.
What is it about the quiet ones?
Aunt Margaret is Dad's oldest sister. Oldest of six kids with parents that were absent as much as they weren't. That is a lot of responsibility. She loves Jesus and she loves education.  She is a very intelligent and caring person.  She's suffered through a lot of heart ache in her life including the loss of her husband in an accident when her children were young.  To handle all of that with such strength is an inspiring thing to behold.

My dad is the one with his tongue sticking out. My dad's tongue
is sticking out in almost all photos of him.
Uncle Larry is Dad's only brother. He is a retired missionary and spent most of my life in far and distant lands with his wife and children.  Until this wedding I hadn't seen him since I was married and only a few times before that so getting to know him over this week at the farm was really cool.  He is a very amazing person full of so much information and interesting stories it's crazy. He also has a really fun accent and is taller then my dad.  It was a real blessing getting to see my dad with him; you could see in his face how much Larry meant to him, and thinking back I've never heard dad tell any story about him that wasn't a warm good memory (I think Larry used to have a rat as a pet!).

So that is my aunts and uncles that were at the farm.  Can you keep it straight? ?ould you pass a test if I gave you one?  They are all amazing and special. The role they've played in my life is diverse and goes back (gulp) thirty years.  Thank you God for blessing me with so many loved ones with so many people who love me.


Justin said...
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Courters said...

I bet you that Lee (Chris) started Dave-doo. I think i might even remember that. Lee is always giving people nick names?
:) Love you.

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.