Dysfunctional. That's the typical adjective I use when I think of all those families in TV land nowadays. For a time, my dad and I watched this show called "No Ordinary Family." While the show itself was interesting, it seemed that someone in the family had to lie every week. Nobody could tell each other the truth. And they rarely made up or admitted their wrongs. Luckily, not all families outside the TV world are totally like that. I don't consider my family to fit in the "dysfunctional." While we have had our down moments (and will probably have more), we have been able to hold on to each other through it all. This Valentine's Day, I would just like to share who my family is and what they mean to me. Starting with the youngest, I will mention each member of my family and give profiles and other interesting information.
ABIGAIL CAROLINE KIEHN: The baby of the family, Abigail (affectionately called "Abby") is an eight year old bundle of joy, though her name means "blessing." She was born on August 18th, 2003, and remains a delight. I was actually hoping for a brother when my mom was pregnant with her, and you can see my face fall slightly on the videotape when my dad informs me and my other sister, Anna, about her birth (selfish punk). However, I couldn't be more happier with her as a sister. Abby is a total goof sometimes, saying some really ridiculous things when you least expect it. She's a fun kid and has an insatiable desire for fun, usually asking me near the end of the school day if I'm done with work so I can play with her or have her watch me on the Wii. She has quite the love for stuffed animals, and her frequent entourage includes a few baby dolls, a monkey, and a duck, who all have different personalities. I also have to admire her educational strengths. This third grader is very good at math and memorizing things, which has enabled her to do well at AWANA. The girl can rattle off verses like nuts. An absolute cutie, Abby has also garnered the nicknames "Absie," "Absigirl," and "Abs." She's a real sweetheart and my love for her will never outgrow her.
ANNA JO KIEHN: My first sister, Anna is an eighth grader who is not your average teenage girl. For one, she's not a huge Justin Bieber fan (miracles happen). Secondly, she has a tomboy streak in her. Her birthday is April 11th, 1998, and the first time I held her I subsequently hurt her, causing her to cry (my luck with newborns is not that good so far). Fortunately, our relationship has grown since then (though I did call her a "bad baby" once and we have had our occasional spats), to the point where she is one of my best friends. For a long time, we shared a bedroom and would spend time at night talking together...until our parents told us to shut up and go to bed. She now shares it with Abby. Like with Abby, I spend time playing with her, mostly videogames. But a lot of times we just chat. I tell her of story ideas, interesting conversations, and imaginative scenarios I've devised. She tells me about...well, the same really, minus the stories. I have had the pleasure of introducing her to many good movies and games, and she has shown me the world of UTube on her handy-dandy iPod Touch. Does she love that iPod! Sometimes it irritates me, especially when I want to do something with her, but it can also be a source of entertainment for both of us. She also has a big love for stuffed animals, probably more so than Abby, and she also has an affection for animals, particularly tigers and dogs. That same affection can be applied to littler kids, and she helps out with some of them at church on occasion. Where other girls get googly-eyed and drooly over boys, Anna gets like that over animals and little kids. She has her own mannerisms (or, should I say, "mannaisms"), such as saying to me "I like you. You're interesting" every so often. She and I have developed our own language of phrases, such as things we steal from UTube and other lines. An incredible sister, she's a treasure I will never give up.
BARBARA JO KIEHN: My mother is awesome. I mean, even after giving birth to perfection, she tried to repeat it TWICE! What dedication. No, seriously now, I really love my mother. Everyday, she works to make sure our lives are as easy as possible. She cooks, does laundry, washes things, and teaches on top of all that. Very often we don't give her the credit she deserves. She is very good at offering advice and instruction. She edits papers for me. She teaches me math. When you think about it, she does a lot more than I think she does. But just because she works doesn't mean she doesn't know how to have fun. We haven't done this in a while, but my mom and I have played many games together. All sorts of games. She wins some, I win others. Usually, there's not really one person who dominates one game...and that's because we don't choose games we know the other will dominate at. We've spent many hours, usually during the summer, playing games. She also enjoys her naps and can often be found lying on the couch or in her room in the afternoons. Hey, being the world's greatest mom is tiring stuff! I don't know how the other moms even manage! Yes, it may be hard for me to cross the generation gap and understand how hard it is to be a parent. Yes, I may not be able to see all that my mom does for me, how she struggles at times. But I know that, no matter how hard it can get sometimes, my mom will never give up loving us.
SCOTT ALAN KIEHN: Though his name is "Scottish," my dad is a total American. He's a hard worker who does a very good job at making sure we have what we need. His job provides us with clothes, food, cars, and money. He's the guy you call when your yard needs mowing or your computer needs fixing. He's very loyal to all of us, making sure we're safe at night by checking doors to see if they're locked. Though he's gone most of the day for work, he does make the effort to see us at lunch and comes home before dinner, so we can spend the evening as a family. The time I spend with him is enjoyable. Most of the time, I think of hanging out with him means watching a movie, going out somewhere, watching a football game, or playing games. However, even having conversations with him is nice at times. He likes to know how my day has gone, making me appreciate that he's interested in how I'm doing. He also makes a point of just asking me certain things, whether it's related to something we learned in church or just what I'm thinking. As well as that, he and I both have the chance to serve at the AWANA program at our church as leaders. This Dynamic Duo (knowing him I had to make a comic book reference), father-and-son team makes sure no verse won't be heard, no section won't be accomplished. A super Bears fan, my dad has taught me the rules of this American game, which includes the all-important rule of not liking the Packers. It's amusing to see his reactions during a Bears' game, especially when he thinks the guys on the other side can hear him...which I think they do sometimes. A wonderful father, I'm happy to think of him not only as my dad, but also as a friend.
Dysfunctional? Not us. I think the Kiehn Team is a family closer than PB&J. As a little ending, I would just like to quickly thank each of my family members for something they mean to me.
Abby: Thank you for being an awesome little companion. Playing with you or having you watch me do things-plus the commentaries you add-makes the experiences that much more enjoyable.
Anna: Thank you for your listening ear and witty tongue. Talking to you and hearing you talk makes me realize what a special relationship we have.
Mom: Thank you for your sacrifices. Through your teaching, shopping, and working, you show us how much you love us and your desire to take care of us.
Dad: Thank you for your determination. I know work may not be fun, but you plug away at it anyway to make sure we have what we need.
Thank all of you for being the four most wonderful people in the world and the best family ever. Happy Valentine's Day.