Wednesday, June 2, 2010


One of the perks of living close to family is getting to see them quite often. We got to split the past few days between Mark's side and mine, which made for several highlights of the weekend.

We didn't really need this campfire to stay warm on Friday night!

Cute little sweaty girl...Maddy Boots!

Wynne wanted to put her doll in a onesie, just like cousin Lauren. Both "babies" look sweaty, don't they?

Another highlight was when my sister's oldest child graduated from high school on Sunday. Here's Kaycie delivering her valedictory address at commencement.

Kaycie is one of five valedictorians with a 4.0 grade point average. Yes, I am bragging.

This girl is not only a top-notch student, she is a sweetheart and hard worker. Paul & Marla have one great family!

When you're from a big family (I'm the youngest of 9, with 27 nieces and nephews besides my own kids; not including the 7 nieces and nephews on Mark's side which is younger and starting to grow!!), there is always a celebration of some sort. Truly the most significant highlight (in my opinion) was getting together to celebrate my dad's 80th birthday on Sunday afternoon.

My brother Dan and his wife Tammie sprung for this awesome cake. "Cribbage and baseball and sports on TV...Cows in the pasture, happy as can be...Just enough Tootsies for grandkids I bring...These are a few of my favorite things..."

(There really ARE eighty Tootsie Rolls on there!!)
Sometimes I get a little emotional just thinking about my dad being 80 years old. On the one hand, that's pretty old--which means mortality feels a little too close for comfort. But on the other hand, I realize how lucky I am to have had my dad around for me when I was growing up and helping him on the farm...when my older brothers and sisters had children and he turned into a grandpa...and now when I see him "josh" (as he calls it) with my own kids. Some people aren't lucky enough to have a biological father to grow up with, to tuck them in at night and say prayers with, to dry their tears when boys hurt their feelings, to walk them down the aisle, to come and watch their kids in sports, school, and church activities. I've been fortunate to have a dad who was all these things and more, a dad who gave up drinking when I was ten because it was tearing our family apart. A dad who, despite years of smoking and drinking and now is paying the price with lung and kidney issues, is still my dad who loves me and I love him back. Happy Birthday, Dad!!

My birthday present to Dad was resurrecting an old favorite. When we were little, my sisters and I would sing as Dad played the organ (by ear). We sang for extended family functions and even for a few community events. "Mack the Knife", "Pretty Baby", "Toot! Toot! Tootsie!" "Bye Bye Blackbird", "Blowin in the Wind"...great music, great memories. So about a month ago, I started teaching the girls one of the most-requested songs, "Ain't She Sweet". We even made up some little choreography (which Wynne and Paige eagerly incorporated into the number). I made the girls matching pillowcase dresses and we surprised Grandpa with a musical memory for his birthday.

Ally has a very strong soprano voice, and she was a good sport about singing with her little sisters. Everyone stayed in tune, with only minimal assistance from their mother. Wynne, as you can tell, hated the entire experience. She just freezes up in front of an audience!

Highlights of our weekend. Highlights of our life!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.--Hebrews 13:8


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