John is the oldest. He was always a scholar, learning to read at an early age. He got to travel all the way from Nebraska to Arizona with Grandma, and he always knew things most adults never even thought of. He was always the neat and tidy one, and liked everything in it's place. He was content to be alone, but grew into a man who loves people, and above all helping people! He always knew what was current whether toys, electronics, or activities. I remember he loved electronic toys, but as soon as the newness wore off, he took them totally apart just to see how they worked, and if he could put them back together. I will not reveal how that worked for him. He loved magic. He spent hours with his magic kit perfecting it's tricks. He mastered Rubic's Cube, and can figure out almost any computer issue his parents have. Later as an adult, he became a collector of comics, classics of course, and other toys. He still can tell you what toys of the past are worth. He completed college, was always in plays, and musicals through high school and college. He is talented, creative, and yet adventurous to the point of bungy jumping! Today, he follows Jesus, and still ministers to anyone who needs his help. One of the memories that stand out was our trip to The Blackhills. After the a day or two, John's Grandma Mary noticed he was always carrying a small brown paper bag. She couldn't resist any longer, and asked him what was in it. Ultra cautious Mary was horrified to learn he carried his money in it. After her lecture on how unsafe that was, she bought him a billfold. I think secretly he preferred his brown paper sack. He is a writer, including doing a column for a local paper, and he is amazing doing anything in media, video, and advertising.
James is in the middle. He was the adventurous one. He was a boy of a million questions....on everything. If it existed, he wanted to know why, how, and what. He was always unique in many ways. Once when he was very sick, the only way he could rest was with his beloved blanket and Dad laying next to him, so James could twirl a lock of his Dad's hair in his fingers. James loved cars to play with, and he liked Cabbage Patch Dolls. The cool thing is that he has kept most of his favorites, and now his one year old son is playing with them. James loved remote control toys, and as he got older, he had a love for airplanes. We lived within about three or four blocks from the air port in our town. One evening, James disappeared. In a panic, we looked everywhere, but it was only when we remembered the air port did we find him. He walked across a busy highway, because he wanted to just be near the planes. He didn't care if they were landing or taking off, or just sitting in the hangar. Because he was so inquisitive, he sometimes got in trouble. All of us went to an antique show, including Grandma Mary. We warned all three children to not touch anything. After awhile James couldn't resist. He began picking up glassware of all things. Grandma Mary told him to put his hands in his pockets, so he wouldn't be tempted. Curiosity overcame that, so we decided to buy him something, to occupy his hands. We found a metal top, and gave it to him. Grandma Mary was looking at it, and discovered it was made by The Gibbs Toy Company. We immediately took it from James, deciding it was too valuable and special to be played with. His wise words of course were, "Next time you buy me a toy, make sure it doesn't have our name on it!" The scariest times for us was when James tried Bull Riding. Needless to say he was injured several times, got back on in true PBR (Professional Bull Riding) style) The last ride was a very serious injury and ended that career. Bike riding then became his passion, and still is including his little son and his wife.
Today, after many plays, musicals, and being a people person, James is a DJ. He is a devoted follower of Jesus, and adores his wife and son! He is a blessing to all who know him,
Last, but by no means least, is Juliane. She was our princess, our dancer, or creative one. I cannot tell you how many games of Candyland and Strawberry Shortcake we played. I do remember it was a hard lesson for her to learn to be a good sport when she lost. As the youngest, and the only girl, it was a joy to buy girly clothes, hair accessories, and shoes for her. She loved games, and her stuffed animal collection and dolls covered her whole bed. Each night they had to be moved just to find a spot for her little body. She too had a favorite blanket, and she sucked her thumb. We only got concerned when she was ready for Kindergarten, and didn't care if the other kids made fun of her or not. No reasoning would sway her. Finally at some point, she just quit. Our girl loved dancing more than anything. She started lessons at age four, and continued even after college. She loved recitals, and always was in several dances in each one. From the costumes, to the hair, and makeup, she was hooked. From the time she saw the movie, Annie, the music would find it's way into our living room often. I bought her an Annie dress, and she was Annie. We had to stop whatever we were doing to watch her entertain for us. Her one line I'll never forget was, "I was born to dance." She was in every school musical in high school and college. In college she also did choreography for the musicals. Eventually the foot and ankle injuries, and motherhood ended her dance, but I can replay the dances in my head. The absolute love of Juliane's life now is her children. Over the years she has loved taking care of little ones. God blessed her with three. She was a foster mother for several years, and dealt with situations most of us would not have the patience for. Another love that developed after college was hair styling. She went to cosmetology school, and has been doing hair ever since she graduated. She is a good Mom, wife, and friend. She still dances across people's hearts with a style only she has.
Three children, each very different, each very special. They have children that are growing up too fast, but they are involved in those lives. These children of ours have made their mistakes, shed