By them I was taught to work hard, to serve and care for others and above all to stay faithful even in times of hardship and trial.
My Dad was a high school math teacher and a mason. At 73 years old he is still laying brick and is in high demand for his artistic and beautiful work. I have fond memories and battle wounds to show for my days working along side my Dad on construction sites. He also spent a lot of his teaching years coaching basketball in the small town where I grew up. After many years coaching the boys he made the switch to coaching the girls when my sister and I were in high school. I loved having him for a coach and have great memories of those times.
I have never heard my Dad be critical of another person and he is always the first one to lend a helping hand to someone in need.
Nine years ago this month my Dad under went a live donor liver transplant at the U of A hospital. My brother Ron was the donor. After a lot of pain and many struggles he made a full recovery. I love my Dad and I'm so grateful that on his birthday, 42 years ago, he and my Mom chose me and brought me into their lives!
My Mom is Gold!! I love her and appreciate her for so many reasons. I'll name a few...
She taught me to love and appreciate beautiful music.
She is so smart and is always learning new things.
She loves the scriptures and reads them everyday.
She taught me how to work.
She is so resourceful.
She is full of FAITH.
I have always said that had I been a pioneer, I would have wanted my Mom in my company because their is nothing that she can't make, do, or figure out. She never complains and will work until the job is done no matter how long it takes or how hard it is.
My Mom has sacrificed so much to give me a life that I know I otherwise never would have had. I'm so grateful that she lives her life close to the Spirit and that she taught me how to do the same.
Just a little bit about each of my siblings.
Brent lives in New Mexico and works in airport security. He has four kids- Kennedy, Madison, Nelson and Bailey. They live in Magrath with their mom Sheila. Brent baptized me and taught me how to drive!
Mark lives in Augusta, Georgia and is married to Geri. They have 5 kids- Krista,(who is married to Evan) Matt, Scott, Graham and Hannah and 2 adorable grandsons-Thatcher and Levi. Mark is a chemical engineer and I think he works for Nutrisweet? If that's not right it's one of those artificial sweeteners! Though Mark and I aren't that close in age- our kids are. Our older kids have great memories of their older kids as they lived in Fort Saskatchewan before they moved away to Georgia.
Ron is married to Teresa and they live in Colorado Springs. They have two kids- Tanner and Tara. Ron is in the US Air Force and he holds the highest rank that a civilian officer can hold- don't ask me what his Title is- I just know he's pretty important!! One of my favorite memories of Ron was the time he let me curl his hair on a band trip... it was the early eighties and his longish blonde curly hair was the envy of everyone on that trip!! (ok maybe not the guys, but the girls for sure!!)
Ken lives at home in Magrath. He works at Nutters in Lethbridge and is the sweetest, most dependable guy you'll ever meet. Ken has a HUGE movie collection which makes him a pretty popular guy with all the grandkids.
Suzanne lives in Salt Lake City, she just recently got a new job working for Volunteers of America AND she goes to school full time AND she is MOM to five fantastic kids -Yuki, Isabel, Micah, Camille and Maggie. Suzanne and I are two years and 1 day apart in age. She is the sister who I will always regret not getting along with better as a young child, but who I gratefully connected with as a teenager. I will always wish that we could live closer to each other because she is my only sister and I miss her AND neither of us is very good about staying in touch.
What a cute bunch! This is a picture of my family just before I was adopted. My oldest brother Brent is standing right in front of my Dad. Mark is on the far right. The twins Ken and Ron are in front of my Mom and my one and only sister is in my Mom's arms. The girl beside my Mom is Donna Thompson who was a neighbor and one of our favorite babysitters. As you can see my parents had their hands full!
This picture is my family- minus my two older brothers who died as infants- and my three younger brothers who of course weren't born yet.
After I came along my Mom and Dad had three more boys... Brian, Trevor, and Keith
Below is my younger brother Brian and his lovely wife Linda. They are expecting their first babies- twin girls!! Linda's water broke last week and she is only 29 weeks, so she is in the hospital and is taking medication to help the babies lungs and brains develop quickly. Our prayers are with Brian, Linda and their babies.
Brian and Linda live in Denver.
This is my brother Trevor. He lives in Ogden with his fabulous wife Jeannie and their four kiddos - Parker, Morgan, Jonah and Kate. Trevor is a chiropractor and if he lived closer I would let him work his magic on my back but only because he's my brother!!!
Keith is the baby of our family and of course he holds a very special place in my heart!! I was ten years old when Keith was born and I was soooo sure that he was going to be a girl that I bawled my eyes out when my Dad came to my class room at school to tell me that the baby had been born and it was another boy!! It didn't take very long to decide that I could love him even though I didn't get the little sister that I was hoping for. Keith was born with fragile X syndrome which is a form of mental retardation. He is a lot like a Downs syndrome child but with different physical traits. Basically he is adorable! I can't even begin to tell you all the life lessons I've been taught because Keith is my brother. He is such a blessing to our family and is a constant reminder that Heavenly Father knows what our family needed and we needed Keith!
The very little picture below (I can't figure out how to make the scanner do it's thing) is of Keith and I at his graduation in 1996. He asked me to be his "date" for Grad and I gladly accepted!