Grandma & Brayden May '10 - Zie's GraduationWhere to start…?  I decided that I would try to write one blog entry this year for each one of my family members on their birthdays.  This entry will be hard to limit how much I say, but yet hard to find the words to say what I want as well.  Today, on Valentines day, is also my Mom’s birthday.  She too turns 54 (and she will probably disown me now that I have put her age out there for everyone to see). 

As I mentioned last week in my Dad’s birthday post, My Mom stayed home with us as we were growing up.  As kids, that didn’t stand out to us as anything significant – it was just how it was.  We didn’t think about the home cooked hot meals on the table every night or the clean clothes to wear everyday.  It was just how it was.  Mom was always there.  Looking back, now that I am a Mom, I now realize that those things DO NOT just happen.  It is challenging to coordinate schedules everyday – especially when there is a family of 8 – Yes, I have 5 more siblings.  Mom ran our household for 25 years effortlessly (at least that is how it looked to us).  Dad, Mom, Mal - Brookfield Zoo summer '10

About 8 or 9 years ago, she decided to go back to work.  Mom is a teacher.  Again, something else that as kids we did not see the personal sacrifices that she gave up to stay home.  Now, it is a blessing that she was able to - but, you should see what a wonderful teacher she is - and it is her passion.  So, when I say she sacrificed she really did.  She chose one lifestyle over another.  She put her other avenue of dreams on hold to persue what her and my dad thought was right for having a family.  If you ask her now, she wouldn't have done it any other way.  My mom LOVES teaching.  She loves her students - even the stinkers (I think the stinkers are actually her favorite).  She goes in early and stays late.  Her eyes light up when she talks about her students.   She is always searching out new ways to educate them to be sure they aren't bored and that they are learning to the best of their abilities.  She encourages reading every chance she gets.Racer Drew and Grandma - Halloween '11

The baby of the famly is a senior this year and we were working on some words to have put into his year book.  I teased my Mom, "you don't like mooshy gooshy words."  She looked at me a little miffed, "Well, you all know I love you though, right?".  I just smiled.  I thought it was funny that she would even ask.  "Of course we know."  We know that she loves each of her six kids and each grandchild that comes along (She is up to 10).  We know because it isn't in her words, it is in her actions.  It is in her prideful smile.  It is in every tear that falls, the happy and the sad ones.  She feels with us.  She has gone (and still goes) to every sporting event, since t-ball (times 6).  She helps to celebrate every 'win' that each of us has in our life (times 6).  She cries along with us when our hearts break (times 6).  She enters 30 projects into the county fairs (times 6) because it raised money for our college funds.  We had college funds (times 6).  It was in every pair of shoes bought - and picked up (times 6).  It is shown when She helps load up a car and drive 12 hours through a snow storm to help her determined-not-to-fail daughter move to Virginia.  Then when things don't work out she drives 12 more hours there, and 12 hours back to move her home (thanks Mom).  She listens (times 6).  She gives advice (times 6).  She worries (times 16).  I could go on and on.Mom and Kim at Mal's baby shower - Feb '10

It is appropriate that we celebrate the holiday of love, on your birthday.  You show us so much love. Thank you for all you do.  Thank you for all the gifts you have given us - the values you instilled and the sacrifices you made.  Thank you for dancing, singing, playing, chasing, laughing... times 6.

We love you (times 16 + Dad) - and will spend the rest of our lives showing you how much. 

Zie's Graduation family picture - May '10

(this is an old picture - I am sure there a few Grandkids missing.  The most recent family picture is of all of us at the beach on vacation.  I already posted her age - I didn't want to push my luck and post one of her - the entire family - in our swimsuits)

Happy Birthday!

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