Extended Family

We have supportive family and friends around us. We both come from great families who we love to spend time with. We've also been able to make wonderful friends from college, from our church, and from jobs. I have several friends who I grew up with who live nearby, and it's been exciting to see their families grow.

Camille's family:

I am the third of four children in my family. I have an older brother and sister and a younger sister. All of my siblings are married and live close enough to visit on a fairly regular basis. On my side of the family, we've got four nephews and two nieces--lots of cousins for Shalya and Ivy!

My parents are great people. My mother grew up on a farm with a large family and learned the value of hard work. My dad also taught me that it takes dedication to reach goals. Growing up, my parents stressed rules and tried to treat all of us fairly. They also instilled in us the importance of working for things that we wanted. Whenever I got into trouble, my parents came to talk with me about what I'd done wrong and helped me to realize how I could do better. We also had a lot of fun growing up! My brother and sisters loved to make up games—like one we called “Green Ghost” which basically meant rolling around on the floor until we hit each other (not hard). We also went on trips to visit relatives and see new places together, and those times are a lot of fun to look back on. My parents always showed lots of love to their children, and I have always felt like an important part of my family. From my parents, Michael and I have learned some things we want in our own family. We also want to teach our kids the value of hard work, give them boundaries to help them make good decisions, and create lots of opportunities to have fun and enjoy being together.

Michael's family:
I am the oldest in my family and have three younger siblings: two brothers and a sister. My sister is married and lives with her family in another state. I have one brother who is married, and he also lives out of state with his wife. My youngest brother got married to a great girl last August, and they are going to college.  Shay and Ivy have four cousins, three nieces and a nephew (including a set of twins!).

My parents are also wonderful people. I actually grew up in my dad's hometown and his parents still live there with many of my dad's extended family. So, sometimes we get to see some of my aunts and uncles and grandparents when we visit. My parents have always been there for me. I remember when I got cut from the junior high basketball team. It was hard on me, but it was just as hard on my mom. She knew how important that was to me then—she wanted me to be happy and reach my goals, and she shared in my disappointment. My parents continue to show that level of support today, and they still answer important questions about life and come up with great advice.

My family has taught us some important things about what a family should be. We want to be able to teach our children how to get along with people and how to forgive and love others. We also want to teach our children to be generous and giving and to find joy in helping others.