21 February 2016

My Family: Special Skills and Fatal Flaws

 I have a lot of family, from my large quantity of cousins to Angel's entire circle of relations, but for the purposes of this post, I'm just talking about my parents and all these siblings I grew up with:

  {2013. In the years since, #6 has moved up to 2nd place in the stairsteps, putting me, #1, next to #7}

Things my family does well:

- Looking exactly like everybody else in the family. Nothing like being mistaken for your mom and your sisters...all the time.

- Following Dad in airports. He knows where he's going, and we don't. It's a good strategy.

- Demolishing mountains of food. I always used to think our family ate so much because there were so many of us. Turns out, yeah, there are a lot of us, but we also have excessively large appetites. I'm shocked at the small amounts of food people eat when I eat with people I'm not related to.

- Speaking our own language. From invented words to random Bahasa and Chinese vocabulary to statements that would sound way too harsh when taken out of context--you have to be an insider--and even then, they're a little harsh.

- Quickly executing spontaneous plans. I've never met another large family that can move from the idea to go to the beach to being in the car on the way to the beach in under 10 minutes. I'm not exaggerating. We're fast. There's one slow one among us (*cough* Rebekah *cough*) but we usually threaten to leave her behind so it's all good.

-"Adopting" people. I can no longer count the people who claim to be part of my family who weren't technically born into it. But family is more than blood, isn't it? Totally normal that more often than not (literally) the people in my family's house aren't actually my siblings, right?

- Standing together to defend any one of our number. Professor refuses to make accommodations for hearing-impaired sibling, thereby breaking the college's own policies? He's going down. Sorry, prof. Next time, don't mess with one of us.

- Cooking. There is not one person in my family who can't cook. Maybe I'm exaggerating slightly, because I'm pretty sure my dad's skills are limited to boiled eggs and spaghetti--but even that's something, because I've heard some people don't even know how to boil eggs (which boggles my mind). Sarah isn't allowed to use the stove yet, but she helps with food preparation and dish washing, and the other six of us kids could prepare a dinner party for dozens without even consulting a recipe.

- Gaming. It comes in different forms. My brother is a computer gamer. Most of my family is really into various board games and strategy games. I prefer party games or games of knowledge, like Trivial Pursuit or Outburst.

- Fixing Stuff. Our parents went to engineering school and then owned a 100+ year old house. DIY is in our blood. I was 12 the first time I worked on a roof--I've worked on a good dozen roofs since then, and have only fallen off once. I put my high-school math skills to work the year I graduated figuring out how to cut each piece of vinyl siding to the correct angle when we sided our house. Angel fixes cars, so he fits right in. We're surprised when people don't know how to use a drill or a circular saw. Isaac's the computer fix-it guy. I'm the mender/alter-er of clothing. If something's on its last legs, chances are that one of us can figure out how to make it function for a little longer.



Things my family does poorly:

- Agreeing with the average opinions of the rest of the world. We find it too boring to be the 'same' as everyone else.

- Dressing casually. Unless there's a very pressing reason (i.e. working on a roof), it's heels and dresses and lipstick galore. You won't see a pair of yoga pants in our house.

- Remaining stoic, calm, and tear-free. Angel likes to say he's convinced that tears break out once a week in my family's home. This shocks him, because he and his brothers aren't big criers. I think the once-a-week estimate is definitely an understatement. None of us ladies are afraid of tears, and there are a total of 7 of us females, so...crying is normal. Happy, sad, angry, whatever. Tears.

- Playing Sports. The closest to actual sports any of us get is swing dancing. Somehow the talent for dribbling or kicking or batting or running didn't get into any of us. Plus, we pretty much all think exercise is boring unless it's purely for fun or social reasons. We'll play ping-pong with our friends, but only with friends who can wait while we go pick up the ball off the floor a couple dozen times.

- Agreeing on one activity that is fun for everyone. About the only outing that I can think of that everyone participating in willingly and with approximately equal enjoyment in recent years was a family trip to watch "The Lego Movie." And, oh yeah, eating food. But even with food there are lots of strong opinions (Korean food! No McDonald's never! No mushrooms! Yes mushrooms!). We have an odd mix of introvert homebodies whose idea of fun is not leaving the house and not seeing any people they aren't related to, and adventurous extroverts who constantly want to try something new just for the sake of trying it. It's pretty rare that we're ever all together, and when we are, we typically don't actually all do the same thing. A family fun night might look like half the family playing one board game while another contingent watches a movie or plays on the computer while another group plays cards. Sometimes we have 'mandatory events' that everyone is required to participate in, like last summer's 25th anniversary trip (hence all the '25' t-shirts) or the "Family Olympics" we staged.

Case in point for situations when we can't agree: When we're trying to decide on an idea to use for making our next video together. We usually disagree so heartily that we had to make a video about all the ideas that nobody wants to actually use:

Linking with #LoveBlog today!
Ali Hval said...

I laughed at the following dad in the airports--I, too, am not so good with airports and travel... the first time i travelled by myself (mind you, this was only a few months ago!) it was so unnerving for me! But I made it and was so proud, haha. Also--love that you're such an emotional family. I cry all the time, too! Over movies and happy things and even songs.

Sab Reads Books said...

Haha, dad's always seem to have a sense of navigation no one else does. And when they get lost, we're screwed.
It was great learning about your family, and you all seem so close. Love the post.

Susannah said...

Hahaha. Well, at least you all know what you are and aren't good at. ;-)

Cara (Kindly Unspoken) said...

Such a beautiful family! It's so nice that you all are so close-knited, and I think it's great that you always stand up for one another. The eating one, cracked me up my family seems to have rather large appetites as well. :)

AnneMarie said...

Your family sounds awesome! I think it's neat that y'all are a family of gamers; that's similar to my family! My 4 younger siblings love playing video games together (I occasionally join in), but all of my siblings and parents really love board games and card games. So, Christmas usually means lots and lots of board games!

Catherine Short said...

There must be something about large families and shared inside jokes. My husband is one of five (their cousin also lived with them for seven years) and when we first started dated I had to sit back a lot because I had no idea what was going on! Haha.

Unknown said...

This was awesome lol! I always love hearing how others families function!

Kim {Hope Whispers} said...

My dad could always get us through the airport in record time. Never missed a flight. Cut it real close sometimes though. You have a beautiful family! I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters and when we are all together, its crazy!

Cori Large said...

Very nice article. I love the "unless we're on the roof" comment. I'm the exact opposite. Hate being dressed up.

Ana said...

Every family has good's and bad's and that's what it makes special. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post with us!

Unknown said...

I love how close you all are - and you're right, you do all look very alike!

Rach said...

That video is hilarious! I love that there are so many of you and that you guys look so much alike! People are always shocked that there are five of us kids in my family (and that four of us are girls), I'm sure your family gets even more surprise! You ladies do ALL look alike! Such fun family photos! :)

Tiffany Khyla said...

This is such a sweet post! I love how close-knit you are to your family. It's so refreshing to see! That's so crazy that all of y'all get mistaken for one another. I've never had that problem. Y'all definitely do look very similar though. It's also awesome that everyone in your family is good at cooking! I'm sure family meals are always delish.

Charlene Maugeri said...

Ok, once again that video cracked me up. Keep doing what you're doing. Your family is awesome!

Anonymous said...

This is sooooo sweet! You guys are such a good looking family, too!

Jenny Evans said...

You do look so alike in your family! My husband still talks about the time years ago when our oldest daughter's classmate asked, "Is that your dad or your brother?"