I have three really great fathers in my life, whom I adore and love and am greatly blessed by....
First, my own daddy!!! He worked his tail off when I was a little girl and gave his all for us four girls and my mom. I never saw him enough, but that was because he was working hard and taking overtime hours to feed and support his wife (my momma) so she could stay home and bring us girls up. This was one of the greatest gifts he could have given me.... the gift of a mom who was present to me daily to teach me, love me, correct me, etc... and it meant so much to me, that Neil and I wanted to give this same gift to our own family. How blessed I am from his great example of working and loving us through this sacrifice that it now affects and blesses our daily life. I never knew that I would get all this wonderful time with him now!! He calls me many times a week just to say "hi", jumps when something breaks or needs fixed here, helps do regular work on our Big Red, and just got done remodeling our basement for us with one of his buddies, and so much more!!! As an adult, I appreciate this time so much more NOW that I ever would have as a child. Happy Father's Day, Dad, and I love you more than you know!!!!
Second, Neil's great dad!!! I love him for the man he created and the support and love he has given Neil and I and our big bunch of kids. He taught Neil that he will someday have a family to support and that he needs to get a good degree, good job and work hard to maintain that job. What a success this has been - all because of his example, support and encouragement. Neil went to the U of I and graduated with a degree in computer science, works at Deere and Co, and works his tail off now for our kiddos and I. Neil's Dad also jumps and helps out around our house too, and is our regular donut delivery man - the kids LOVE this part!! Having only two sons himself, he has graciously accepted the 16 (and growing number) of grandkids that God keeps sending his way and as silly as it seems, I think he is more calm now than when the first few arrived. Happy Father's Day - love you bunches, Ken!!!
Third, is this great man - my husband and father of our children!!! How can I tell of this man and his greatness as a father? I know I will never come close! Sweet Bridget did a great job describing the job of a father of many and almost everything she said applies to Neil as well - thanks Bridget for all your help! ;-) What a sacrifice these dads must make when they have more than the average number of kids - what is that - 2 kids?? Come October, we are going to be four times that amount!! Neil loves his job as a father of many and does it so beautifully and gracefully. Like Bridget mentioned, most large family fathers - just like Neil give up a nice family vacation every other year for a hospital stay to bring home the next bundle of joy God has sent our way. He comes home from work and doesn't sit on the couch with his feet kicked up and favorite sports team playing, shooing kids away - instead, he comes home and helps a little girl with her phonics lesson or changes a dirty diaper or whips up a fast easy dinner to feed us (instead of asking and demanding "what's for dinner"). Of course, that meal is always lukewarm - feeding kids always comes first which means the two of us get to eat lukewarm meals on a regular basis. His "activities" always revolve around his family - he takes TKD lessons with all 5 big kids and earned his black belt with our two oldest last year, gets to go fishing and enjoy that hobby with his family and if he's lucky, gets to throw his own pole in the lake a few times, enjoys the outdoors and goes on walks with all of us, wrestles little kids and almost always loses, reads kids books to kids, watches his sports programs very rarely and always with all kinds of noises and questions and interruptions (he was so sweet and patient last night watching the USA win their most recent game in the World Cup), takes us all to Mass every weekend and helps feed and dress kids to get us there on time, and his list truly never ends... His life IS his kids and family and faith!!! Neil, I love you so much and fall in love with you more and more daily as you give your all for our children and I!! Thank you, dear!!