Let's introduce you to Justin's Family!
Meet Justin's parents, Elmer & Annette or soon to be Grandpa & Grandma. They met after high school and have been married for 38 years. They've worked along side one another on their family farm, since day one. Together they had Justin and his 4 other siblings, Correy, Darrin, Rachel & Mitchel. They are both still active on the family farm and live just a mile north of us.
Justin is the oldest of his 5 siblings. The next in line is his brother Correy, who met his wife Kellie while attending college. Uncle Correy & Aunt Kellie have 4 children, Austin, Emilie, Adalynn and Anthony. Correy farms with his father and youngest brother Mitchel. Kellie works off farm as a seed dealer. They live a couple miles from us but will be moving closer in the next year, as they make the move to the families home farm.
Next up is Uncle Darrin. Fun fact, Darrin and Ellen attended college together. Darrin and his partner Romelle live in New York City and both have amazing jobs in the beverage and makeup industries. We don't get to see them a whole bunch, but love spending all the time we can with them when they are home for the holidays.
Then comes Aunt Rachel. Aunt Rachel and Uncle Tim have been married for 7 years and together they have Wyatt & Olivia. Uncle Tim farms with his family and is a seed dealer, while Aunt Rachel works off farm and is a Human Resources Manager. They both live in Wisconsin but we do get to see them quite a bit as it's only a couple hour drive between us.
The youngest is Uncle Mitchel. Uncle Mitchel married Aunt Sammy just over a yearn ago. They're currently expecting their new bundle of joy, due any day. Uncle Mitchel works on their family farm and Aunt Sammy is an Occupational Therapist. They both live within a couple miles of us, and we try to get together whenever we can.
Christmas in the barn: Every other year on the first Sunday in Advent, Justin's family opens up their barn for the entire community. They gather friends, family and church members to perform a live Nativity scene complete with animals. We will make all sorts of treats, have hot cocoa and coffee available for fellowship after the performance. This has become a highlight in our community that everyone looks forward to attending. They will do just one performance but will have over 100 people in attendance.
Thankful kernel of corn: Every year at Thanksgiving, we pass around a bowl of corn that has been harvested off the families farm. Each person will grab two kernels from the bowl. We then take turns going around and saying what we are thankful for.
Birthday plate: Grandma Annette has had this tradition since all of her kids were little. She has a special birthday plate, that is set out for the special person celebrating a birthday at the family gathering. It's just an extra way, to highlight the special birthday boy or girl. This is a tradition she has passed along to all of us. In fact she gave us our own special birthday plate, when we were married so we could eventually carry on the tradition with our own children.
Family Calendars: We have a family calendar that is put together by Aunt Kellie every year. This calendar contains photo's compiled from all our families throughout the previous year. It also has everyone's birthdays and anniversary's, so they are sure not to be missed.
We have one remaining Grandparent and she is on Justin's side. Meet Great Grandma Marian, she is Grandma Annette's mother. Great Grandma Marian started dating Leroy a few years after Great Grandpa Rodney passed away from cancer. Fun fact, Leroy has been around Ellen's family for a number of years. In fact, he used to help deliver milk for Ellen's Grandpa many, many years ago. Great Grandma & Leroy live about 45 minutes from us, but we do see them often. Marian and Leroy enjoy going to all their great grandchildren's programs, going out for meals with friends and dinner theatre bus trips. She has a special gift for hosting get togethers and especially enjoys hosting everyone for the holidays. We're so lucky to have them in our lives!