People have been complaining that I haven't put much up for a while. It's been INSANE with finals, grades, Christmas presents, travels, family, mailing gifts, etc. Whew! You know how much fun Christmas is along with lots of work and stuff to do. So I've had little time to write.
We just got home from our annual trek to the Garrett Family Farm. It was an amazing time. Highlights were many, but I can't stop thinking about a few things:
Karter, Dave, and their kids Elizabeth and Tanner. It was great to finally meet them. Between feeling pretty sick Cmas eve and during the morning and then feeding and chasing Mazen I didn't get to talk to Karter as much as I had hoped to. I did have a few great conversations with Dave. Michael had a GREAT time talking with Karter. He got choked up telling me about it on the drive home. He enjoyed seeing her so much. I hope we get to see them more in the future. They are facing the challenge of raising a couple of special kids. Some call them special needs because they do have special needs and it is quite a lot for mom and dad to manage, but a the same time these kids were just charming. They are doing so well and both Karter and Dave are SUCH AMAZING parents. I've worked in the arena of kids with special needs for, wow, 20 years almost. (20 years this May) It's rare to find parents so involved, so knowledgeable, so positive, so patient, and working so well with their kids. They really know what they are doing and it's working. I told Michael that it seems to me that there is every indication these kids will grow up to live happy productive lives. Not that it won't be a long road for their parents, but there is so much to look forward to that is wonderful and good. (I hope they don't mind me writing all this about them. Oh well, this is kind of my little public journal anyway.) They are in our prayers.
Another highlight was watching all the kids. Mazen thought Logan and Kirstie were the greatest. She also liked Sandy, Torey's girlfriend an awful lot. I think Kirstie was her favorite though. Kirstie got a bit tired hauling a 22 pound baby around, but Mazen just LOVED her. Kirstie was the only one Mazen would spend time with over Christmas. It was fun to watch her with her cousins. She is intersted in everything they do. Logan sang on the Karoke ("Cokee") for all of us. It was amazing. I videotaped it to send it into Leno when she's famous someday. :)
Most of all, my favorite thing was watching the old home movies and slides. We watched everything from 1953 in Japan and Midway to family events, Christmases, Michael and his brothers, baby Dawn, and...
I'm sorry, I got interrupted. Mazen started coughing and gasping and gagging like she couldn't breathe. It scared me. I left to get her nebulizer and medicine. I think she's better today, but yesterday was not such a good day for her. Poor baby. Pray for her, please.
So, back to the story.... we watched home movies and slides that had been put on video. It was so interesting to hear Glen's stories of Midway and Japan in the 1950's. He even visited Hiroshima not long after the first nuclear bomb in 1945. Sometime he's going to show me his photo album from then.
What was amazing to me was to see all the same people in the pictures and movies over a 50 year period. It all revolves around Glen and Betty, Michael's parents. The two of them marrying brought two families together that are still close today. Many years of Christmases and New Year's together. Not to mention hundreds of basketball, football, soccer, hockey games and wrestling matches. They have roots that run deep and wide throughout South Dakota and in many ways they are the hub of this great wheel. They don't see it that way. I think they only see that they are just part of a big picture of wonderful people. They are. But they are also what brings this group of people together into the hub at the center. I think they are the richest people I know. They have built a legacy that will outlast all the money Donald Trump has ever acquired. They have touched more lives than they may ever know.
Well, this has been long enough of a post. I'll try to keep up a little better now. :)