big brother

imageOur 1st cousin once removed, Nathan Avey, who is Bob’s cousin Sandi Kountz’ middle child finished college this past year, and landed a job in Lewiston, Montana working for Spika Welding and Manufacturing Inc doing drafting and design work. He is somewhat lonely living so far away from his family, especially since the passing of his brother, Brian on June 21, 2014, just four days after Nathan…who we have always known as Kyler..moved to Lewiston. Nevertheless, he is adjusting.

Kyler was a swimmer in school, and loved the hard work and practice. It made him strong and kept him in shape. And he loved the competition. Sometimes people find release in the competition, and I think that is how it was with Kyler. Swimming kept him focused, as well as keeping him in shape. I believe it will be that focus that Brian, Destreyia, & Kylerwill give him the strength and wisdom to help his family through the coming months and years. He has already begun, by keeping close tabs on his mom. As a kid we don’t understand how important that is, but now that so much has happened Kyler is stepping up and taking on the responsibilities of the man of the family.

As the middle brother, Kyler was often in on the teasing that he and Brian used to do to Destreyia, but now that Brian is gone, Kyler feels not only terrible loss, but the very real need to step up and be a good big brother to Destreyia and also the man of the family for his mom, Sandi. It is a big responsibility for anyone to take on, and Kyler is just 20 years old, and still dealing with his own feelings of grief.

I know that right now, things seem impossibly hard for Kyler and for his family, but with time it will get a little easier…or rather, will become normal…if losing your imagebrother can ever be normal. I guess it is just a matter of moving forward, because that is all you can do.

The future is bright for Kyler, even if things seem grim right now. It won’t be easy, but this family will rebuild itself, and I think Kyler will be a big part of that. He is stronger than he knows. Today is kyler’s 20th birthday. Happy birthday Kyler!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

10154541_10151963681442237_1219601367756108202_nMy grand nephew, Zack Spethman, who is the middle son of my niece Jenny and her husband, Steve, is a boy who knows what he wants. He has his own sense of style, and doesn’t like to leave the house until he is satisfied with how he looks…something that will definitely appeal to the ladies as he gets a little older. Ladies can’t resist a tall, dark and handsome, well dressed man, and Zack will fit that bill for sure. Zack likes to wear everything from casual style to suit and tie, so taking him places is an easy thing to do. He is also a very thoughtful boy, and is well mannered. If he were just a little older, I could see Zack really wowing the girls with his thoughtful style. He is a child who likes to hug and do sweet things for those around him.
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Being the middle son, or middle child is something many kids don’t like, but Zack enjoys having an older and a younger brother, and the added bonus of a younger sister to make his life complete. He and his brothers, Xander and Isaac, are all boy for sure, and Zack is very good in sports, and loves most types of sports. He loves to get out and ride his bicycle with his brothers, but doesn’t mind a wrestling match with them either…sometimes even a middle son has to try to prove his superiority. But when it comes to his little sister, Zack knows how to play gently and always treats Aleesia with love and kindness…and protectiveness.
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Zack is a very smart boy and is at the top of his class in school. He enjoys learning, and his curiosity about things around him shows in all his studies. That is something I’m sure his teachers appreciate. Zack, like all of Jenny and Steve’s kids, know how to behave in public. When we are in church on Sundays, you just don’t hear or see them acting up or running around. They are sitting quietly, listening to the pastor or Sunday School teacher speak. Today is Zack’s 9th birthday. I can’t believe he is 9 years old already. Happy birthday Zack!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

484789_10201153870759098_1830409112_nMy grand niece, Aurora, who is the daughter of my nephew, Ryan and his wife, Chelsea, turns two today. Her parents had a birthday party for her this last Sunday afternoon. It was a great time…especially for the kids. It’s always a good time for kids when there are new toys involved, and Aurora is a little girl who has no problem sharing her toys. She got a new tricycle and a Razor Scooter for toddlers, among other things. Immediately, her brother, Ethan wanted to ride the tricycle, so he climbed on and took it down the hill. Aurora just watched the action, and then followed her brother down the hill…on foot.

Don’t let her practice of sharing make you think that Aurora didn’t get in on the fun, however, because she certainly did. When she saw her tricycle she immediately got on it, and while she couldn’t quite figure out how to peddle yet, her feet reached the ground, so she managed to maneuver it around. Now, I would have expected that she would have stayed on the tricycle, and allowed someone to push her around, which she did for a short time, but her big interest was in the Razor Scooter she got.
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I’m sure that she had seen her big brother using his scooter, as well as the neighbor kids, so that probably seemed like the grown up thing to have…and Aurora wants nothing more than to be grown up. She decided that she wanted to play with the scooter, and I was amazed that this little two year old girl knew how to operate it. Maybe kids have changed some over the years, but I don’t recall a two year old who would have been coordinated enough to put one foot on a scooter and use the other to push herself along. Yes, the scooter has two wheels in front, to stabilize it, but it still seems like that would be hard for a two year old to work.

Maybe Aurora had had lots of experience watching her brother and neighbor kids, and so she learned the ropes. Or, maybe she is just a very coordinated baby girl. Whatever it was, she did a great job, and I know she will have lots of fun in the future with the scooter and all her other toys. Today is Aurora’s 2nd birthday. Happy birthday Aurora!! Have a great day!! We love you very much!!

Shooting the BasketMy grand nephew, Xander is the oldest of the five children of my niece, Jenny and her husband, Steve. He takes his job as the first born very seriously. Like any kid, he has his fights with his two brothers, but that has nothing to do with his duties as the big brother. They are his little brothers and his little sister, and they are his top priority. Xander is wise beyond his years and knows the value of life…possibly because he has already experienced loss in his young life, having lost his sister, Laila when she was 18 days old and he was seven years old. It was an event that made his tender heart break. Now, like his brothers, he brings little gifts to the sister he won’t get to know on this Earth, because his big brother’s heart feels so much love for her.
Shoveling the walk
As the oldest child, Xander tries to always be a good role model for his younger siblings. That means studying hard and getting good grades, so he can encourage them to do the same. It also means that he works hard at whatever job he is doing, because he knows that it is the right thing to do…to always do your very best work. So that’s what he does whenever he is asked to help out around the house…he works hard at it and does the job right. And it means that Xander stays out of trouble, because how can a big brother be a good role model for his younger siblings, if he is getting in trouble all the time. He is the kind of boy who makes his parents proud, and makes his brothers want to be just like him. He is a good and loving boy.
Big Brother
In his leisure time, Xander participates is sports…of all kinds. He likes to play football and basketball. He also studies Tae kwon do. He likes to ride motorcycles and snowmobiles. He’s tried lots of sports, but football is his very favorite. Like his dad, he also loves guns, and loves to go out the range to do some shooting. Of course, any guy who likes gun, likes to hunt, and Xander is no exception. After passing his Hunter Safety Course in mid-March, I’m sure that he is very excited to go hunting with his dad this fall.  All in all, Xander is just an all around boy. Today is Xander’s birthday. Happy birthday Xander!! We love you very much!! Have a great  10th birthday!!

When a first child is born, and for the years following that birth, until a second child comes along, they are the baby…the one and only…the one who gets all the attention, but the one thing they can’t be is the big brother or big sister. Some kids prefer it that way, and some kids prefer it that way at least some of the time, but when their little brother or sister comes, most of them really like being the big brother or sister.

How my grand nephew, Ethan will feel about his little sister, Aurora Briann, remains to be seen, but one thing I do know is that if Aurora, or Rory as she is to be called, manages to inherit her sense of humor from her brother, Ethan, she will turn out just fine. She might be a tomboy, however. Ethan is famous for the goofy things he does. Of course, I think his family might have had something to do with that. Things like “Go long” after a football, and then he runs off in a goofy way that only Ethan can duplicate again and again!! It is a run that keeps everyone watching in stitches! Yes, Ethan is a character, and if little Aurora turns out the same way, she will be quite a ham.

Aurora might have different plans, however. Sometimes, no matter how much big brothers try to turn little sisters into little brothers, those little girls choose to be a girly girl…Princess Aurora, if you will, and that is final, so don’t try to change her, because her mind is made up!! If this little princess decides that she likes frills and laces and…well bling, no amount of trying will change her mind, but that is ok too. Each child has to have their own personality. The world would be pretty boring if we were all alike.

I think the coolest thing about having babies is the journey from their babyhood to who they will become. It is a journey filled with wonder and joy…and a few boo boo’s, but that is what life is about. Aurora will always be Ethan’s little sister, but she may not settle into some of the other things that make Ethan who he is. Still, no matter who she becomes, she will always be the right personality for her. No matter who she grows up to be, she is a beautiful little baby, and the latest joy of her family.

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