Here’s a little bit about my family and what it was like growing up in that family. Being in the middle of seven kids I got to know my older siblings as well as the younger ones and that was nice. Since there were a handful of kids in the house, I was always sharing a room with one of my brothers it seemed. Having younger siblings I also took my many turns watching them while my parents were out on date night or something. I enjoyed telling them stories before they would go to bed. Some of their favorite stories to hear would be haunted pyramid stories that usually involved some explorers that get list in a jungle and then they happen upon this old haunted pyramid. I would usually name the explorers after my teachers at school just for fun. There are some fun memories about growing up.
One of the craziest and neatest things I think my family did while growing up was going to Europe for about 3 weeks. I was in kindergarten and my little brother Jon was in one of those kid carrying backpacks. Our crew consisted of my older brother Grant, my older sisters Diana and Michelle, and my mom and dad. I just remember riding trains and carrying a grey bag around. We have a ton of pictures from that trip and they are all in a big book at home. My dad also lugged around this huge video camera to record our journey we took. We went to Germany, France, Switzerland, England, and Holland…I’d have to look at the pictures to remember more, but I think it was amazing that my parents would do such a big, long, and crazy trip and bring all the kids along too.
(l to r) Robbie, Grant, Diana, my mom (Sandy), my dad (Orrin), me, Jon, Michelle, and HillaryHere’s a quick run-down of the family, oldest to youngest:
Michelle is the oldest in the family and the shortest. She is married to Shawn and they have three kids. Michelle attended BYU and majored in something like Exercise Science and could beat anybody at racquetball. Now that she is married, she continues to be very fitness oriented and runs half marathons every now and again…just for fun!
Diana is the most adventurous family member by far! She has traveled to many, many different countries while she has worked for Continental Airlines. While she attended BYU-Hawaii, she was captain of the Skydiving Club. She also was going to certify to become a skydiving instructor at one point in time. She is a very generous and thoughtful person; she is always the person to remember a birthday with sending a card or saying thank you with a funny note.
Grant is similar to Diana in that he is adventurous too. He enjoys writing short stories, canoeing, and fishing for various species of fish. Last year, he caught a Tiger Muskie which was about three feet long and had really sharp teeth! This fish looked like a monster! He plays in a band called The Gatsby’s and they do gigs at weddings and other parties.
Andrew-Here I am!
Jonathan-My little brother Jon is finishing up his Bachelor’s degree at BYU and is selecting which law school to attend to complete his education. He and his wife Diana have been married for just over a year. Jonathan is very musically inclined and is a really talented pianist. He is very witty and enjoys using puns with his large vocabulary. He served a mission in the Russia, Yekaterinburg Mission and is now very proficient in Russian.
Hillary is also at BYU and is a sophomore studying Linguistics. Last year she spent a few months in Italy brushing up on her Italian and learning how to make some amazing Italian cuisine. She is really good at volleyball and during her senior year of high school, we were able to watch her team win the State Championship. Hillary also plays the piano and is a very kind person.
Robbie is the youngest in the family and is currently a senior in high school. He is a smart guy and is taking some pretty intense classes at school. He really enjoys games that make you think, whether it be trivia games like Trivial Pursuit, or strategic games that take careful planning to win. He throws the shot-put and discus in track and field. Recently he finished his Eagle Scout project which consisted of trail conservation work and included building a bridge out of railroad ties.
(l to r) Jon, Michelle, Robbie, Hillary, me, Grant, and Diana
I was born in a small town called Centralia, Washington and lived there my entire life until I went to school at BYU. My parents still live there, but the rest of my family is spread out throughout parts of Washington, Idaho, Utah, and us in Colorado. We lived on a small farm and since very few of our neighbors were our age, my brothers and sisters played a lot with each other. We used to pretend we were the Boxcar Children and made up all sorts of activities. We would go exploring in the forest behind the house, play kick the can, or just have fun jumping on the trampoline, practicing our Olympic gymnastics routines.
Now, because we are so spread out, it is hard to all be able to get together as often…but it is so much fun when we do! We usually end up eating a lot (my mom is a great cook) and can sit and talk for hours about how our parents used to make us weed the garden for hours or funny things we used to do. There are nine children in my family, and here they are listed in order of age, with a little information about each one:
My family at Amity & Jeremy's wedding in May 2009
(l to r) Miranda, Austin, me, my mom (Barbara), Jeremy, Amity, my dad (Vernon), Jennifer, Vernon Lee, and Elyse (Shilo was in Argentina on his mission)
Jennifer-Jennifer is probably the smartest of all the siblings, she loves to save money by doing rebates, and got us all hooked on them, and she speaks Spanish. She is married to Jose and they have three children and they live in Washington.
Miranda-Miranda is fun, and busy, and growing up, she was the cool one with the most style (at least that is how we saw it; I doubt she would agree). Right now she started her own business with a friend and they design watch bands out of beads and stones. She is married to James and they have four children and they live in Idaho.
Vernon Lee-His name is Vernon and his middle name is Lee, but my dad’s name is also Vernon, so growing up, we always called him Vernon Lee…and it just stuck, although now, with others, he goes by Vernon. Vernon Lee loves animals of all kinds, especially draft horses. Most of us were in 4-H growing up, but he lasted the longest, did the most, and even joined FFA when he was in high school. He is married to Lisa and they live in Washington with their two children.
Austin-Austin is crazy…in a good way. He is just busy, and always seems to be on an adventure. He is married to Meg, and fortunately, she loves adventure as much as him. They always seem to be climbing a mountain, hiking, going canyoneering (hiking through canyons which also involves some extreme conditions of swimming through murky water, rappelling down rocks, and climbing over large boulders), tubing down rivers, or riding their tandem bike. Austin just started student teaching in a high school in Utah. Meg and Austin live in Utah.
Me-I am next in line, and I think there is enough about me already on this blog, so I am done.
Elyse-Elyse is also busy enjoying life in Utah. She loves music and movies. If I ever have a question about a movie or want to know which one I should watch, I go to Elyse. She loves dance parties (especially with all the nieces and nephews) with loud music. She loves holidays (especially Christmas) and she is very patriotic.
Colby-My brother Colby passed away when he was a little over six months old. He died from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). I was only 3 ½ years old at the time, but I remember him a little, and he has always been a part of my life. I am so grateful for eternal families because I know I will see him again someday!
Amity-Amity is full of energy and is a real people person. She can talk to anyone (which she does) and respects everyone! She also loves those dance parties, likes to have adventures, loves to eat Peeps, and loves trucks…especially semi trucks. She is finishing up school at BYU-Idaho with her husband Jeremy.