Sunday, August 29, 2004

Nephews & Nieces

I've got the nicest, God-honoring nieces & nephews! So far, we're at sixteen, & while I hope this isn't going to be all, it seems pretty likely. I would like to tell you about the four oldest today...

Nils is a 22yo who works for the U. of I. as a computer programmer/trouble-shooter. Nils, as the first of this great bunch, has always been respectful & kind, a friend to many, reaching out to the sad & broken-hearted, inviting friends, coworkers & acquaintances to meeting. He loves photography & back-packing through the mountains with my brother, Dan. Nils also has an earnestness of heart which is beautiful. I've never seen anyone who so longed to do what was right. He is my brother Kevin's oldest.

Britta is next in line at 20yo. She is a tremendous help at home in caring for her younger siblings but is always ready to help persons who need help in the community. Right now she is helping to care for the g'father of friends, who is dying, painfully, of cancer. She helps clean houses for elderly persons in the community who are unable to do this themselves. Britta has always tried to fight for the underdog; it's one of the things I love most about her! She is second in line after Nils, in Kevin's family.

Joe is Kevin's third oldest at 18yo. He became my nephew somewhat late, at the age of 15yo, after suffering the loss of his great-g'mother who had been his sole care-giver & his Mother at heart. He is a wonderful guy who is forever trying his best. One of the things I love in him is how much he tries to come across as a tough guy, but in reality he is a kind & sensitive man. He works up at the U. of I., & generally gets a ride to work with Jeff, my brother. They have a great relationship in which laughter plays an important part. Joe has a fantastic way of bringing out the "sillies" in people!

Josie is 17yo, quickly coming up to 18yo, & is Tim's oldest. She's a wonder with animals & crafts. Since she was thirteen or fourteen, she has both raised & bred goats & used their milk to make & sell soaps at a farmers market in the college town 20 miles north. Her reputation is fantastic in this town because she is so determined to provide a quality product! She is incredibly good at working with animals & hopes to one-day work at the U. of I. as one of their animal care-givers. Josie just came home from Ecuador after a two week stint learning Spanish intensively with my brother, Jeff. Her determination & courage is what I love best about her.

These are the four oldest of my nephews & nieces. I just felt the need to speak about them. I'll tell of the younger ones in the next few days.

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