Father's Day 2012

Today we celebrate all the wonderful fathers in our lives!

First of all, the hubs:

Even though he didn't grow up in a traditional home with a mother and father, he somehow learned to be a great father all on his own.   My mother-in-law (RIP) would be very proud of him and the job she single-handedly did in raising him.  We are!
I chose this pic because it best shows his personality (:
Thank you for working hard to provide for your family and being a great dad.  We love you!  May God bless you today and always.

And since I had a dead-beat dad, I salute the awesome people who were my father figures:

To continue with awesome father figures in my life:

My mama.
She always worked so very hard to provide for us kids.  And for that I will always be grateful.  Thank you mom for all your hard work, dedication to your kids and teaching me how to work hard.  She also single-handedly raised us kids and selflessly worked jobs that usually only men worked.  For this, I am eternally grateful.  We joke with her that all those years of working "men's" jobs kept  her so healthy.  I am proud to say that my mom is now retired and takes absolutely no medications whatsoever.  That's right!   She's as healthy as a horse.  I thank God for keeping her so healthy and may He continue to bless her with great health for many years to come.  I love you Mom!

And this post just wouldn't be accurate without mentioning my uncle Joe (RIP):

Uncle Joe is the one in the middle.
One word to describe him? Excellence.
He really was amazing.  I love him and will treasure all the memories I made with him.  I have not one single bad memory of him.  Every single moment I was blessed with him was wonderful.  He would come into town tons of times and drive around and pick up all of his nephews and nieces and take us to the lake, out to eat, to the theater, to the park, driving around, you name it, uncle Joe took us. And all of us kids loved it.   Nobody every wanted to go home!
My favorite memory?  It's really hard to choose just one, but if I had to, it would probably be one day he showed up at my house very early and it was a weekday and we had gotten DUMPED with tons of snow.  I used to walk about a mile to school (no lie!) and I did not look forward to walking in all that snow to school.  I didn't know he was coming, but he showed up and asked me to get ready quickly because he had a surprise.  I didn't know what the surprise might be, but knowing uncle Joe, it had to be pretty awesome.   I rushed to get ready and imagine my surprise when we walked outside and I saw a snowmobile parked on the street!  We left the house about an hour before I had to be in school and he drove me all over Alliance.  It was awesome.  I almost talked him into excusing me from school that day.  Almost. (:
Thank you so much for all the memories, uncle Joe.  The mold truly was broken when you were born.  Nobody could ever take your place.  I miss you so very much.
He raised 4 great kids and between them, they have 7 kids that would have loved their grandpa.  And he would have absolutely adored them!

Then of course, Apa, my grandpa (RIP) is also on this list.

He had his faults, so I hear.  I never witnessed them.  He was the perfect grandpa.  And he was so smart and could fix anything!  And I knew he loved me. I loved to tag along with him as much as I was allowed to.  I remember feeling so special when he took me to work with him when I was about 9 years old and he drove a bus.  I thought I was the shizz!
I'd run to sneak the salt shaker out of the kitchen and sit in his massive garden and eat tomatoes freshly picked.  Yummy!  And if I wanted one of the cucumbers from the garden, he was always available to peel it with the pocketknife he always carried in his overall pocket.  These are awesome memories for me.
Well, now that I think about it, I guess he did have one fault.  He chewed this gum:

I didn't like the smell back then and to this day, I abhor the smell!
Although, my kids love this gum and whenever I smell it when they chew it, I remember Apa.  Thank you for all the memories and love, Apa.  I love you very much and miss you so much too!

Last, but not least, I have to salute this person:

This is my MIL (RIP).  She raised her kiddos by herself also.  And she did an excellent job working all her life to provide for her family.  

So I wish Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful men and women who stepped up to the plate and loved and nurtured kids, whether they actually were your children or you were/are a good man/woman and actually chose to.  People like me truly appreciate you!  May God bless you always.

My greatest wish is that my son Marko inherited the best qualities each of these amazing people have.  Because sooner than I'd like, he'll grow up, get married and if God blesses him with children, he'll be awesome in his role as daddy.

Psalm 103:13 
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

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