Hubby. DIYer extraordinaire. He teaches construction, wood technology, etc. I always said that we're blessed he chose that subject area, since the skills have enabled us to buy houses with 'potential' and fix them up for ourselves, do a lot of our own maintenance, and, finally, to build our own house. He says, "You design it, and I'll build it." Who couldn't love that? He's so patient in having our kids work alongside him. He is passionate about making sure they can take care of their own homes when they are adults...And he hopes to be called on to help build a home or eight, also!
Princess Bossy. Daughter #1 (25). She will not be surprised, nor offended by this label. Actually, the only part that will offend her is the 'Princess' part, because she always insisted she was no princess, she was 'The Queen.' I tried to remind her otherwise, but to no avail. She is a wonderfully take-charge person, unafraid of taking on major responsibility, and who speaks her mind. -Very caring, too, which is a great combination. She loves boisterous or strenuous outdoor activity as much as she loves learning, reading, and intellectual discussions...and shoes. At this point, she has her BA in Theology, and is starting her MDiv studies (Masters in Divinity). She loves to sew her own creations and to throw ceramics on a wheel. She is vegetarian and loves to cook and entertain. She has BIG plans, and sees great possibilities. The grand plan might change from one week to the next, but she's always fully invested. She is so excited to be living in their own home, and to be new mom to "Lucy," a German Shepherd/Golden Retriever/Border Collie cross. ;-)
Prince-in-Law Helium. Although he has many other stellar qualities, we immediately think of Prince Helium's sparkling eyes in attempt at rapier wit. His particular brand of humor is almost identical to Hubby's, and we respond similarly... Good-humored eye-rolling and groans intermixed with the laughter. He takes it all in stride, and is a fun addition to the family. He also has a strong Christian faith, which guides his decisions and demeanor. He's a fairly traditional person, while appreciating the strengths and talents of his head-strong and intelligent wife. He allows her to be the capable and independent-thinking woman and partner she is... also recognizes her need to debate and argue... But he also gives her the assurance that she has someone to rely on when she needs him. Prince Helium has finished law school, and passed the bar this fall. By that time, he had already been hired by a law firm for which he interned, and was hard at work. He's very active, loving soccer, bicycling, gym workouts, and bouldering. He and Princess Bossy camp, enjoy walks or long runs together, argue legal or theological issues, and while she loves to cook, he loves to help out, and, of course, eat the results! More recently, their spare time is spent on keeping up and improving their new home and yard.
Princess Sassy. Daughter #2 (21). I don't mean 'sassy' in a bad way. She lives out loud...Quiet is not her way, but has a bold, somewhat varied approach to life. She's either overjoyed or angry. Bubbly or stern. Her hair has been its natural blonde curls or straight and brunette...or maybe something like purple. She can live in sweats, participating in things like game of Ultimate Frisbee, or be as at home in a dress and frilly apron, baking in the kitchen, often teaching friends those skills. She loves bargain shopping at thrift stores. She never feels better than when she's had a good, long run or done one of her fitness DVD routines. She wasn't a 'school person' and took a nannying job the year after high school, taking care of young children in 5 different families! She worked as elder care provider in order to support their family while her dh finishes his degree. That job became too physically difficult with her pregnancy, so she quit that just in time to start coaching track at the local junior high. Her specialty is hurdles. She's been volunteering there for 4 of the last 5 years, and will finally have a paid position this season. All of her previous interests and experiences paled in comparison to becoming a mama in July. The happy and healthy baby prince keeps her constantly busy, and she is glad to devote herself to him, --and her husband, of course.
Prince-in-Law Steadfast. Prince Steadfast is moral, serious, responsible, and thoughtful. --Pretty darn cute, too, with such a look of love in his eyes whenever he looks at Princess Sassy. And now an awesome daddy, to boot. He doesn't share the characteristics, but understands and respects his wife's more impetuous, emotional approach to life. They balance each other well. His father-in-law and I are in awe of the spiritual maturity he exhibits daily through his Christian faith. He is dedicated at work and in his college studies toward a degree in engineering, but is certainly not all work and no play. The prince has an easy-to-get-along with way about him and a fun sense of humor. He's always ready to join siblings-in-law outside for rousing game of soccer or on the couch for a competitive video game contest. Really fitting in as a brother, he does loving things like accompanying the younger kids on a road run at their respective paces, and helps out with challenging math problems. He loves rock-climbing, rafting, camping, and watching movies with his wife.
Prince Inventive. Son #2 (19). This one was born to solve problems and build his own versions of everything. We used to call him the Cardboard Engineer, because he was always building cardboard versions of tools and technology with working parts. He moved onto wood, and now metalwork. We think the sky is the limit for his abilities in this area. He has an eye for detail in mechanics and building, and down to what he wears and the 'just-right' length of his hair. He helped frame our house, too, at the age of 12. Like his older brother, he started out playing baseball, and has switched to tennis. He's quiet, too, but sociable, and has always had a smile that goes from ear to ear. He's is admired at his job for his excellent work ethic and ability to get things done right and in short order. He's in his second year of college, planning to get his degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Nutrition. He likes to spend a lot of time at the YMCA gym, working out.
Princess Artiste. Daughter #3 (17). She is a much quieter girl than her sisters. Her personality speaks through her paintings and her fashion... and the occasional sharp and witty zinger. She used to think she would love to combine her love of art and clothes, and someday be a fashion designer. Now she's focused on becoming a nutritionist. She is the one I can count on to follow through with my requests, or see things that need doing and get them accomplished. While everyone runs after their own interests, she is the one quietly holding things together and making sure things happen as planned. Often found behind her drawing pad or the sewing machine, she also likes working out, and runs hurdles in track. After never having had a formal lesson, she joined the high school swim team as a freshman. The past 2 years she swam on the varsity team, but because of shoulder issues, decided to join the cross-country team this fall, on which she runs in the 3rd or 4th varsity position.
Prince Go-for-it. Son #3 (15). He is not one to hold back, but just jump in with both feet. The idea of thinking first is something we're working on! He is the one who always brought in bugs, frogs, and snakes as a young boy. He is the first person I knew to make a garter snake, usually a mild-mannered creature, mad enough to bite him. He could also identify the gender of snakes and differentiate between types of frogs by about age 4. For years he lived for fishing and baseball, baseball and fishing. He filets his own salmon, brines them, and smokes them. Like Princess Sassy, he's quite social and is comfortable conversing with almost anyone. His athletic passions are now split between distance running and a renewed love of baseball. He is concurrently running in the 4th varsity position on the cross country team, and turning out for a select baseball team. He's recently announced his intent to be on the high school wrestling team next season.
Princess Eager. Daughter #4 (13). She wants to keep up with her old siblings, and try everything. She yearns, though, to have activities of her own, and not just follow the rest. She's always seemed to be in a hurry...A hurry to speak, a hurry to run and dance, and in a hurry to grow up, but while not missing anything. She could be called Princess Cupcake, as she is the cupcake maker in our house. Like her sisters, she often bakes and sews. She loves to make gifts and plan events. She also enjoys outdoor activity...riding bikes, playing ball, or swimming. She catches on to new things quickly. She was an early math whiz, and is now our best speller. After only a 4-day camp, she made the junior high volleyball team last fall. She is on the varsity team this year, while also playing select soccer. This spring she'll run track again. She is attending the junior high for 2 classes (math and pottery), so has only one day to work at church as a childcare provider this year.
Prince CuddleBunny. Son #4 (9). I don't suppose I'll be able to use that name too long, before he'll object. After 3 miscarriages, we all felt very blessed to have this little guy in our family. He brings smiles to all faces and is happily included by his older siblings in almost every outing and activity. From an early age, he never seemed to realize he was any smaller or younger than anyone else. During the housebuilding, he was on site with his tool belt on. He had the training wheels taken off his bike at age 4. He now bakes with his sisters, and plays ball and games with his brothers. He has quite a memory and a sharp mind. As old as he sometimes seems for his age, it's a blessing for Mom that he still likes to give hugs and cuddle up. He prompts Dad to work on the garage addition, rain or shine. Dad says, "Maybe we shouldn't work today, since it's raining?" The prince just says, "I have boots...Come on, Dad." He does about the same prompting Mom to go for long walks or bike rides with him. He keeps us young in more ways than one!
They are truly a great bunch with great promise. The kids are involved in church, Sunday school, and youth groups, as well as their sports. They have really great discernment in choosing their friends, and we have 'regulars' around here a lot that have become almost family. It gets noisy and, at times, messy...but it's happy noise and industrious mess. I wouldn't ever trade for clean and quiet if it meant an empty house.
Our Furry Friends
Millie, usually found at Princess' Artiste's feet during school.
--She always looks like she's in trouble for photos
Martin Ul-Dartin, is what we call him 'for long!'
Zeta was annoyed with impromptu photo session.
This was her happiest shot!
Rosie: Like a toddler...Full on, or naptime