3 little Miracles

3 little Miracles

Friday, March 4, 2011

Show Us Your Life - Parents & Siblings

I am so proud to share with you just a small glimpse into my family, so often on my blog you read about my husband and children, but today at K'sK is all about the family we grew up in.  I think God blessed me beyond measure to be a part of this family and although at times we have had our differences, we still love deeply and defend each other with passion.

I actually have a pretty large family by today's standards, besides my parents Jim and Sibyl, I also have 3 siblings, Ted, April, and Jimmy (he hates when I call him that, he would prefer Jim, but he will always be Jimmy to me).  My parents seemed to have really planned out their family because they had boy, girl, boy, girl . . . . . February, December, February, December.  BUT, we all know it was God's genetic plan and design for our family . . . . not my parents, HA.  I am the youngest of the 4 and we are all two years apart.

My father James Everett Jr. was the middle child in a sibling group of five and he grew up in Greensboro, NC.  However, his desire to be a pilot took him to Spartan College of Aviation in Tulsa, OK where he met my mother while working a grill at a burger stand.  My mother grew up in Sand Springs, OK and I can tell you, you can take the girl out of Oklahoma, but you can never take the Oklahoma out of the girl, LOL.
After my parents married on July 1, 1961 (yes they will be celebrating 50 years this July) my father continued his career in the flight industry, eventually working for Seaboard World Airlines where he served as a flight engineer.  Seaboard World Airlines eventually became Flying Tigers in 1980 which later became Federal Express in 1988.  We always tell my father he should write about his years of flying, because he has so many amazing stories and hilarious experiences.  I think my favorite story involves my father and his red beard, you see when my father grows facial hair, it grows out red even though his hair is dark brown.  My father's job as a flight engineer is to check over the plane before it leaves the ground, he does a complete point check system and makes sure the plane is safe for takeoff.  While he was doing his ground assessment of the plane, a ground crew person approached dad and asked him if he could take on some mail, my father said "sure" and went about finishing his checklist.  Well, the crew was ready for take off and finishing their cockpit check list and during the process discovered the plane was too heavy for takeoff.  So a full check of the plane had to be done and it was discovered a 1 TON palette of mail that was not approved for the plane was on board, a ground crew person was asked "who approved this mail being placed on the plane" to which the man responded, "the man with the red beard".  My father slipped away quickly, found a bathroom and shaved off his beard . . . .  he was never identified and the palette was removed and the flight eventually left the ground.

I am very proud of my father, he worked very hard for many many years to take care of his family, and he was lucky, he was able to take care of his family doing something he loved.  I think one of the difficult things while we were growing up, is that my father was gone for long periods of time, and when he returned he wanted to step right back in to being the 'Head" of the family (as he should), BUT this meant that my mother told him the good and the bad that we did while he was gone.  In his mind he needed to re-punish us for the bad to assert his authority and teach us not to misbehave with mom while he was away.  As an adult and a Christian parent, I understand that dad wanted to establish himself as the head of the family, but as a mother I know that when my husband comes home I want to talk to him about my "work day" at home with the kids, just like I want to hear about his day.  I know my mother was just wanting to vent and decompress from weeks of being the only parent, she was not wanting dad to re-punish us, but she didn't want to question his way of re-establishing he role.

Most important what stands out for me looking back on my growing up years, is the teaching role my father played in leading me to a knowledge and love for Christ.  My parents truly made an effort to keep our family actively attending and involved in a church no matter where we lived, including the years we lived in England. Although my family moved around a lot in our younger years due to my father's career, we eventually moved to Southbury, Connecticut where my father felt God leading him to be a part of a new church being planted in our community.  When my father was sure of God's leading, he invited the "bible study" to meet at my our home, until such time as the church found a place to meet.  My father JOYFULLY served as a deacon of the church and my mother was a Sunday school teacher, I am proud that our family played such a big part of the early history of SBC.

My mother is the biggest and most important role model I have in my life.  I literally grew up wanting to be just like my mom.  I distinctly remember having ladies in the church I grew up in approach me and tell me how much my mother's example, teaching, and love meant to them.  My mother was a stay at home mom, and remained at home until I was in my teens, at which time my mother returned to school and graduated with honors.  My mother did not return to the workplace until I was in high school, she felt it was important to be home and have a daily influance, impact, and example on our young lives.  I can not think of a greater example of Christ's love, then my mother.
Jimmy, Ted, April, and myself

I LOVE my brothers and sister, although at times we can truly find something and nothing HA to argue about, even as adults, we know how to laugh and I know every time that my siblings will come to my defense.  Ted is the oldest of the four of us and he is a high school english teacher.  Ted has two amazing gifts that I have always respected in him, the first being his ability to find common ground with anyone and have amazing conversations with whoever he meets, he doesn't know a stranger (a quality I am sure was unsettling for my mother when he wa a child).  The second qualtiy or talent I love about Ted, is his musical ability.  I grew up listening to my brother play guitar, I could sit for hours and watch him play and sing Jon Denver songs.  Another thing I am extremely proud of my brother Ted and my sister-in-law Paula for, is their compassion that lead them to adopt two young sisters, my nieces Zoe and Brooke and now being foster parents. 

My sister April is an amazing woman, mother, and my best friend.  After my mother, April is my second best mentor and role model in my life.  My sister truly inspires me after raising her three beautiful daughters Cassandra, Hilary and Calli my sister returned to college and got her RN and estabilshed a career as a nurse with one of our local hospitals.  I know how difficult it had to have been for her to step out in faith and work as hard as she did to study and graduate with honors.  I love spending time with April when we get the chance to, just like when we were girls sharing a room, we could giggle for hours over the silliest of things.

MY BROTHER Jimmy, oh how I love him.  Jim (as he prefers to be called) is two years older than me and he and I spent the most time arguing as kids growing up.  As my mother loves to say "if he said black you said white",  I believe it.  I do have great respect for Jim he went after his dream of being a pilot like my father and he worked hard to accomplish it,  It took him a few years after high school to get himself settled into adult life and find his way back to studying to be a professional pilot, but he did and he is so much happier for it.  I will always cherish the time Jimmy and I had growing up, because we were closer in age we spent a lot of time together especially in our teen years in the church youth group and its that time spent together in church and growing closer to God through study and fellowship that I think will always bond us together.

My family means the most to me, without them or apart from them I feel like something is missing.  Although my husband will always come first in my life and I will follow him where ever God directs him to take us, I pray it will never be far away from my parents and siblings.  If you asked me one word that describes my family, I would say CHERISHED!


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