James is the middle child. He was the one with masses of curly hair. When he was really little and in his stroller at the Mall, he was often mistaken for a girl. He was our inquisitive child. Especially in the car going somewhere. He was always asking questions. He loved Dukes of Hazard, and remote control vehicles. He too was very talented, and in numerous school plays. He loved listening to one of our friends on the Country Radio station in Omaha. He is the only one who loves country music as much as we do. We found out that he would stay awake to listen to her show, which was fine, except she was on late at night until morning. He would stay awake as long as he could, and then call her around 2:00 a.m. Just to talk while she was on the air. He knew from then on what he wanted to do. He has been a DJ on various radio stations as soon as he graduated from college. His other love was flying. He loved airplanes, and because we lived very close to the airport, he often spent his time there watching the planes and talking to the pilots. He took lessons for awhile, but they became too costly to maintain. He tried Bull Riding for awhile. Unfortunately the last injury he got was so bad, he gave it up, to his family's relief.
Juliane is the youngest. She started life as a preemie. She was an adorable girly girl that loved to sing and dance. We spent many times as her audience while she sang and danced across the living room. She often declared, "Dancing is my life!" Her favorite was Annie. We bought her an Annie dress, and she sang for us every chance she got. She loved Cabbage Patch dolls, Candyland, Strawberry Shortcake, and Care Bears. She was dresses, bows, and curls. She was our picky eater, and delayed eating her food as long as she could. Many times we put her plate away, and when she wanted a snack, we reheated her meal. She hated tomatoes, but loved ketchup. We tried to tell her that was tomatoes, but she never believed us. One summer evening we had company over for a picnic. We kept telling Juli to eat, but she kept saying she didn't feel well. Like any good parents, we insisted. She promptly threw up. She looked at us and said, "I told you I was sick." Lesson learned. She hated being John and James little sister. That's how their teachers referred to her as she got them also as teachers. She said, "I have a name you know!" She was in many plays and musicals through high school and college, and still sings for weddings and funerals. She is a talented hair stylist but also taught babies and toddlers in day care, and for awhile was a CNA working with the elders at a nursing home. She has infinite patience and love for both ends of the age spectrum.
There are so many stories about our three but some just stand out! John disappeared one night and the usual panic set in. He was a teen, and level headed, but still, we had no idea where he would go late at night. Turned out he simply was suffering the usual teen problems, and went to sit in the back yard to think. When James disappeared, we soon learned he simply crossed a busy highway a block or two from our house to go visit the airport. Then there was the time at a huge auto show in Omaha, where James wandered off. In a packed multi level auditorium, we walked endlessly looking for him, and trying not to lose the other two. Then John decided to go look on his own, then we had two lost. We did find the boys, hang on to Juliane, and managed to see most of the car show. We never lost Juli, but she did come close to drowning. We were on vacation with my parents, on our way to Denver. We were at the motel pool, all close to the pool, but talking. No one noticed when Juli went under and did not come up right away. We all saw it at the same time, and her Dad jumped in and got her out. After a hot shower, and lots of cuddles, she was fine. We are proud of how they have all come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. They all have children they have raised well, and they are caring and honorable adults. Of course it gives me great pleasure to think on their childhood, where the Three J's always made life special. There was never a dull moment, they were and are each unique, and each loved for who they have become, and who they once were!