I am the youngest child of 8 siblings. I have 4 brothers and 3 sisters. In this picture we are not in chronological order, so their birth order number are next to them. Starting from the left we have: Mary Kay (4), Karen (3), Kurt (1), John (7), Kent (2), Mark (6), Me (8) and Genie (5). Between the eight of us we have 17 children and there are 8 great-grandchildren.
My parents celebrated their 65 wedding anniversary in December of 2011 and they are both 89 year old.
Although we all look alike, the eight of us are SO, SO different, that sometimes it's hard to believe we were raised by the same people. We had such different experiences depending upon when we were born.
Kurt was the first born son and a miracle for my mother, since she was originally told she would probably never have children. Boy, was that doctor wrong! He was in the Air Force, now sells cars, is married and has 2 grown children, Ryan and Julie. Julie has 2 children, so he's a Grandpa too!
Kent was born 2 years later. He attended the Air Force Academy too but then joined the Marines. He now works for Home Land Security. He is married and has two grown sons, Peter and Steven.
I have never known Kurt and Kent very well, but know that if I ever needed them they would be there for me.
At the end of WWII, my mother spent two weeks on a ship with those 2 boys, sailing across the ocean to join my father when he was stationed, with the Navy, in Japan. When Kent was 2 years old. My mother gave birth to Karen in Japan. She is married, works in marketing and has 3 grown children, Scott, Sandi and Stephanie. Scott has 2 children and Sandi has 3 children. So, she is a grandmother to 5!
Mary Kay was born 4 years later. She was a secretary, but is now a wife and stay at home mommy. She has two daughters: Hannah (my God-child) and Carly.
Genie was born 3 years later. She is a secretary, is married and has two grown daughters: Heather and Jillian. Her daughter, Heather is pregnant with her first child, due in July.
We are sisters, some close, some not. There are many miles and many years between us, but we are sisters, none the less. I love them all.
Mark was born 1 year later. He was in the Air-Force too and is now a general contractor. He is married and has twin daughters: Abigail and Mae.
John was born 18 months later. He is a COO of a company that sells the 4G parts for cell phones. He is married and has 3 grown kids: Jeremy, Zachery and Amanda.
Mark and John are the closest of us all. I love their relationship with each other. They are in the top five of the best men I have ever known.
I am the youngest. I was born 5 years after John. I am a teacher, married and have one son, Samuel.
The first four were little, when the Big War was still fresh in everyone's minds and my parents were still very young. The last four of us were born after my father was out of Navy. I was an extra 5 years after John which made a big difference in my upbringing altogether.
To make a long story short(er) we are so very different, but a lot alike too. We always have a ball when we can get together. Each one brings something special and unique to the table. We are an amazing family.