One of the most important deciding factors for us to move where we have moved, is FAMILY.
Yep, family is pretty important.
I have had many good examples for me to help me realize how important family is to me. I have a friend who passed away a few years ago. I miss her still, like it was just yesterday that we said farewell. She was in a coma when I said my last words to her, but I know it didn't matter. I said the same things to her all the time during our friendship. She knew how I felt about her. Her husband knows how special he is too me,as well. I tell people I love my feelings.
My friend always had a party for her friends and family the first Monday in December. We had such a fun time at that party. We looked forward to a special night of socializing and good food with her family and our shared friends. Sometimes we had pizza, other times it got pretty fancy. It didn't matter. It was so fun to be together. Sometimes we played games on the patio, other times we gathered around the fireplace and read the Christmas Story from the scriptures.
I have cherished that memory and that tradition for years. I have always wanted to do the same thing. So, this year I started my own tradition. My Darling Husband helped me get all the Christmas decorating done early. He helped me clean and cook. He was by my side every minute of the way, because we threw a party for his family. His brothers and sisters and their "other half". I have great in-laws and it was fun to look forward to and fun to do.
My DH is one of 10 children. They are all quiet and short people. They are as diverse as any family is. 2 sisters live near the Boise area in Idaho, and one lives in Pocatello, but the rest of the siblings are near by. Although they all live fairly close to each other, they don't always see each other very often. We all get busy with our lives, and we just take for granted our family is close. They are near when we need them, they know we love them, and we are close, but don't communicate frequently. We like that about this family. We like knowing we are loved and close and don't need to feel guilt if we don't see them often.
This night was just to be together. Brothers and sisters to see each other, to give each other a hug, and share a little time together. To touch, hug and smile at each other. To share the love at Christmas time.
Look in the background.....do you see on the right side.....the two brothers....same thing. They are doing it again. It is a family trait they all share.
Now, sitting next to me is the Oldest Brother, and next to him is his wife. He is such a great man. He loves to fish and hunt. He loves to grow things. He even works a little part time now and again to help out one of the local nurseries here in the spring. He knows his plants. He went to school and learned about them. He climbs the sides of the mountains and picks chokecherries, and then he goes home and makes syrup. He has many many many talents, and just about as many kids. (And he wanted seconds and thirds of my Clam Chowder....I love any man who loves my cooking!)
Then there is this lady. She is such a remarkable lady. I cry and laugh when I think about her. She hasn't had the easiest life. She has raised two kids with Cystic Fibrosis. She raised a whole bunch more kids, too. Each one of those kids are so special. They each hold a special place in my heart. But, the remarkable thing about this angel is I have never heard her complain. She is so strong. She always has a positive attitude. Always. She just smiles, and makes the best of everything. She crochets, sews, grows gardens, cans her harvest, quilts, sings, smiles, and doesn't swear. When I grow up, I want to be just like her!
In the family of 10 children there are 5 boys, and 5 girls. My DH is the youngest of the first 5 kids....he is the troubled middle child, I guess.
His sisters adore him. The sister who lives the closest to us now is who you will see. Next to her is a sister in law. They are both so sweet and thoughtful. They are always positive and happy. Even when their hearts are breaking they put on a happy face.
The lady on the left is the mother of 3 terrific kids. They love her and take good care of her. You see, she lost her husband a few years ago. He went fishing and had an accident. At the time we just couldn't believe it could happen to him. Then, as the years have passed it makes more sense to me now. He needed to go ahead and prepare a place for those who were going to be joining him soon. There isn't anyone else I would want to prepare a place for me. He is thoughtful and thorough. He would create a great place for those who were joining him. A niece, a nephew and this ladies parents. You see......he always carried for them on earth, why wouldn't he in heaven? I just know he was put there first for that reason. However, it left this wonderful lady here, and she had to finish up the work here on earth. I will be glad when she will be reunited with her love again. She surely misses him.
Then there is "this" guy! I absolutely love him! I love his wife and his kids, too.
When we were first married this guy took a real interest in us. He made sure we got a camp trailer and joined him fishing and camping. He used to call DH and say. "Let's go deer hunting today." And they would go. They would be gone all day. When they got home they would say, "come and see our deer." I would put on my coat and go out side and look into the back of the truck and see 4 geese. That is just how these two guys are. They would go fishing and come home with an elk. They would just roll with the flow of whatever they saw. If the fish weren't biting they would do something else. And the best part of it all was just the "being together". If they came home empty handed they would come home laughing and telling stories on each other. These two brothers are like two peas in a pod.
Having this family in our home filled my heart to over flowing. Preparing for this night was a pure joy for us. I hope they had a nice time sharing the evening with us. I know we enjoyed having them come to see us. I hope they left with full tummy's, warm hearts and a desire to do it again.
I do love my in-laws. I miss those who weren't with us. I look forward to being with them many more times. For this is....Just the beginning....of Families Forever!
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