Well, this is my gang. I am blessed to have a wonderful family who has been so supportive through y battle with cancer, and I decided it’s time I introduce them to you. This blogging community has become like family the past 9 months since I started posting regularly. So, I thought I’d just get the two families together!
To the far left is my wife, Janeen, behind my grandson. She is an angel sent from God. Through our 38 years of marriage, she has always stayed my side, and we have had some really tough time when she would have been justified if she gave up on me. Faithful to her core. And the most amazing caregiver anyone would ask for. She has risen to the challenge of caring for a bull headed old codger like me going through cancer, and she is passing with flying colors. On top of that, she works a full-time job, and works 4 nights a week at a local restaurant. And then there’s all the little craft projects she whips up for the kids, or for friends. I tell you, she’s like the energizer bunny!
Sitting on her lap (she’s always surrounded by the grand kids when they are near) is Johnny, the first boy of the family. He will be four the end of this month, and he is a barrel of monkeys tied up inside little body. He likes RC cars, Ninja Turtles and Karate. And he likes to run and jump and get into things just like any 4-year-old boy would. He goes to preschool, and loves playing with Magna-tiles there.
To Janeen’s right is Vanessa. She is 11, and is our drama queen. She is all talk. Teachers in school continually say she talks to much and doesn’t pay attention, a trait her Mom had at that age for her entire time in school. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! Vanessa loves singing and playing the piano, and she has a beautiful voice. She is at that coming of age stage right now, and is driving her mom crazy.
To her right is Kaydance, who will be 12 the end of this month. She is very gifted and is in the TAG program at her school. She loves to read at way above her grade level. She is on the student council I her school, and is enjoying that a lot. She is also very creative, and has been since very young. She is like her grandma in that department.
In front of Vanessa and Kaydance is Lyla. Lyla just turned 6 and is quite a character. She is a daydreamer who can just seem to disappear into her own little world sometimes. She will tell her Mom she can’t find something, and Mom will go upstairs to find it sitting right on the top of the dresser. Lyle loves to torment her bigger sister Vanessa by hanging around her too much. But now she is into Barbie’s, so maybe that will stop.
Over to the right of Lyla, also on the floor, is Taylor. Taylor is 14 (15 next month), and is in 9th grade. She is also a piano player, and loves to write poetry (gets that from her grandpa). She enjoys being on the volleyball team at her school, and works part time at Fareway, an Iowa based grocery store chain. She’s a good girl, has many friends, is outspoken to a fault and is a free spirit. And she adores her grandma!
Behind Taylor is Donnie, who is Nancy’s husband (I’ll introduce my daughters in a minute). Donnie took Nancy to the senior prom when in high school, and I knew then that he would be a good guy for my daughter. There was just something about him that hit me right. They split up for almost 10 years after that, but one day he came walking back into her life, and I was thrilled. They are serving the Lord and doing great. Donnie has been a welder, but is now changing jobs, and starting training next week.
Now my pride and joy, my three daughters. To the left as you look at the picture in the oldest, Angela, she is Taylor’s Mom, and we are so proud of her. A highs school dropout, she went a little crazy for several years, just like her dad did. But, when she got pregnant, her whole outlook on life changed. She got her GED, graduated college and now has two Masters degrees in accounting. Of course, she is now an accountant, and actually looking for a better position right now.
To her left (your right) is Nancy, my middle girl. She is mother to Kaydance. Nancy is a teacher in the Ottumwa school system (yes, that’s the town where Radar O’Reilly of M.A.S.H. fame is from), and teaches special needs kids. She is a natural for that position. She is married to Donnie, as mentioned before, and they are dedicated to their church, where Nancy helps lead worship (just like her grandpa). She also sells Young Living essential oils.
Debbie is next, and she is mother to Vanessa, Lyla and Johnny. She has her hands full. Her man, Manny was out moving snow when we took the picture, so is not here. They will be getting married in a year of so. Debbie is an office manager at ServiceMaster, but is now climbing the ranks with her own business selling Plexus products. She’s a natural sales person (all my girls are), and is a leader. Her man, Manny s his own lawn care and snow removal business, so they are doing well.
And then there’s little old me, just enjoying being around my family. Due to the nature of my cancer, I have rare opportunities to be around the kids, especially in the winter (This picture was taken at Christmas). We had a wonderful day that Saturday, even though I was only able to stay for about an hour. I get better and stronger every week, but still have a long way to go.
And that’s my family – what a bunch! I’m so glad I could introduce them to you.