Thursday, August 9, 2012

Uncle Russell

Russell, Erin, and their beautiful family (I think I put this picture on Erin's birthday blog last year:)
Russell is in the middle with the mircrophone -- singing karaoke at a family reunion.
Russell is married to my husband's sister Erin.  Russell and Erin have five children and another should be born sometime in October.  They had three girls first (like Derek and me) and then two boys (again like Derek and me) -- but they are going to break our pattern and have a girl sixth.  Once Russell told me, in a complement to Erin, that Erin could find surprising energy for their children.  I'm not quoting that right -- but I thought he was saying -- Erin loves her children and finds energy for them even when she is tired.  I like that about Erin, and I suspect Russell is like that too.

Russell is a very caring and talented person.  He will literally spend hours helping people he cares about with projects.  This includes Erin (of course!) who loves to have variety in the rooms of their home.  Russell has likely painted about every room, some of them multiple times.  He has put up bead board and done other projects that help their home look nice.  It is always fun to visit and see his and Erin's handywork. 

I do not know how Russell manages to find the time for all of the nice things that he does.  He is a good Dad, he works, he makes our reunion videos, he has taken our mom and dad in-law's old family videos and put them online to preserve them, he helps buy or set up family computers when asked, and he does other computer projects and home projects too.  Derek sometimes jokes that Russell is his (Derek's) mom's favorite son.  This is because Russell is a very attentive and thoughtful son-in law.  Russell also spends hours every week serving in the church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).  Serving seems to be a way of life for Russell.

Russell is very musically talented.  He has a terrific singing voice and he uses it at church, and reunions for the benefit of those of us who get to hear him, or sing with him.  He has also taught himself to play the guitar, which he does very well.  I love music, and always enjoy when Russell shares his talent with us.

Russell is very interested in people, and he takes the time to get to know them.  This is a part of what makes him such a good uncle.  I asked Kayli what she likes about Uncle Russell and she said, "He is easy to talk to.  I like him because he is interested in me and my life."  I believe that is a direct quote, and I suspect my other children (at least the older ones) would say something similar.  Russell is a good listener, and he is appreciated for it.  I am very thankful to Russell for the attention and caring he gives to my children.  It is a blessing to them, which makes it a blessing to me.

Happy Birthday Russell!

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