Thursday, April 25, 2013

Children are where we can make a difference in the world~

My little big brother David
I have always said that people will be people for the most part, however children is where we can make a difference in the world.  This past week here in Corpus Christi, Tx at my little brothers beautiful home has been such a blessing.  Getting to know my niece and nephew better has been the biggest blessing of all.

Brennan and Makenzie love sports
Makenzie and Brennan are such amazing little beings, from the moment they all picked me up at the train I have been showered with love, hand made cards.  Enjoyed playing with them, watching them play.  Makenzie is taking piano lessons and plays softball.  She demonstrated her batting skills for me, showed me how much she has learned on the piano.  Makenzie is seven years old and Brennan is three.  Brennan is expressive beyond his three years, a great story teller and so much fun.  He sings songs for me, shows me how big his muscles are and makes sure I show him how big mine are every time.  I will certainly miss these two when I move on to Arizona next month.

Watching my little brother and sister in law with the kids makes my heart smile every day.  Like myself and my sister David has tried to break the chain of dysfunction and he has done an amazing job.  Quite successful in his line of work my little brother has come a long way from where he was raised.  His wife a school teacher and his high school sweetheart, Angie is an angel to say the least.  She has made me feel so at home and we have had so much fun this week going shopping for healthier food options and cooking together.  I didn't come here to teach my family about organic options, honestly I just came here to take a break from my mentoring and spend some family time.

My first card from my niece Makenzie, I will keep it forever
I was very happy when David and Angie asked me to help them learn more about healthier eating for their family.  Makenzie and Brennan have been equally as interested as well.  It feels good to be looked up to by my little brother for help in getting healthier.  When I told him I would love to help, he replied... Well you are my big sister and you should be teaching me things, haha.

Angie and I were both surprised at how many options she had at her local grocery store.  There were organic options on every isle.  She was very shocked at the price tag at the register.  She expected it to be so much more expensive and came home anxious to tell my brother about the affordability of switching some of their foods to organic.  We had a week of healthy meals for dinner, I showed Angie some of my quick one pot recipes that are easy to make on a week night.  They have both loved coming home each night to dinner made and say they are gonna get spoiled and not want me to leave.

Brennan you have touche my heart deeply, I just love you so much.
Hearing David say at the dinner table to Makenzie that Auntie JoJo is helping him live forever made my heart smile so big.  And having him tell me during some me and him time how important it is to him that his kids know he has family too really touched me.  David and I have different mothers and only met when I was 18 and he 8.  We have spent time together over the years and that time was very quality, doing the things that a big sister and little brother would do like washing our dads van at midnight and snuggling up on the couch for movies with our father.  I have always felt so close to David, he has had the biggest heart since forever.

It was so nice to enjoy some sunshine after all the rain
in Iowa, we had the best Sunday ever.
Before I head to Arizona we will be spreading our Fathers ashes in a very special place that David picked out.  Dad used to take us fishing on the golf and there is one particular place that is very peaceful and full of red fish.  Our Dad loved fish and would cook anything he caught, even the stingray he caught once which he swore tasted like chicken, I never found out.  Always scared to eat weird things back then I opted for the chicken.

Iowa Buffalo
Well last year I promised myself to try new things and so far on my trip across the Country I have tried Bison and Buffalo at Launa's who took me out to the ranch to tour the facilities before we ate burgers that night.

Since being here at my brothers he has made me a couple meals too and they had deer meat in them, I was surprised at how lean the meat is and figured it is probably healthier than cattle raised on a ranch.  I swore I would never eat dear my whole life, but how could I turn my little brother down and the meals were really good.

Launa and I had an awesome week my last week in Iowa, while she wasn't feeling well and we didn't get as much work done as she'd liked us too we did get to know each other better and I also got to know her grandkids she is raising and tow of her sons.  Launa is another one breaking the chain, with her daughter unable to care for her grandkids currently she is helping them with all the love and stability she can offer them.

Whoop Ass Jalapeno Steak Sauce
I couldn't help but take a picture of these bottles totally cracked me up.

Iowa Bison

It isn't easy for Launa as she has passed her child raising years and is a full time nurse, she makes the best of it and reminds me so much of my own grandmother in my earlier years when I used to go visit and get a taste of what stable living and normal family life was like.  I was able to share with her what a difference my own grandmother made in my life during the tough years and I think that helped her heart smile a bit.

Launa and her granddaughter at Fat Annies where they took me for dinner.
I see so many children in the world who are growing up without the stability and love of a good home, however seeing how well my little brother and sister are doing, the love and work Launa is putting in I am filled again with hope knowing that no matter how we grow up and what we go through it all shapes us and makes us stronger and we can break the chain.

I look forward to many more visits over the years, David and I promised each other after our father died not to wait so long to see each other again.  This visit is a needed and blessed one and one I will always cherish for years to come.

I love you all from a place of wholeness for the love of family, all our children and the knowing that hope is alive in the world through them.

One Love
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