Cousin  Christmas 

First family gathering of the season done and in the books.  Wish I had some pictures, but the third generation was a bit of a pain in the ass…you know, the generation that are constantly taking pictures of themselves with their tongues sticking out!  They didn’t want their pictures taken and were acting in a way that would have gotten our asses paddled with the belt when we were kids at Old Ma and Grampa Petersen’s.  I don’t recall my brother, my sister or myself getting in trouble or being paddled at Petersen Christmas, but I recall a few of my cousins being taken to the bedroom and getting their butts reddened by acting up.  Thankful tonight that our child behaved, at least in our presence. 

Was really looking forward to this gathing of cousins, it’s been years.  Old Ma’s last Christmas she said she wasn’t doing it.  2007 was the last Christmas the family gathered and the last family gathering that hasn’t been a funeral.  It was decided to be a Cousin Christmas, our parents could be invited if we chose, we figured they did Christmas for us for so many years that it was our turn to do all the work.  The sister was the only sibling to show, two of the brothers said they had no want to come, that they keep in touch with the family they want to and the one brother wasn’t welcome by his children.  

Only six cousins showed, seven didn’t.  Six live too far away to have been able to come on such short notice.  

It was actually a really great time.  We talked about Christmas’ when we were little, going caroling and freezing our toes. One of the cousins who was able to make it is a couple months older than me, there are three of us girls who are five months or so apart in age.  We visited about how we often had our yearly picture taken together, the year we were given matching sweatshirts and how we always had to sit at the kitchen table with our mothers…Old Ma assigned seats.  

I got my camera out to gather some memories and one of the next generation bellowed, “don’t take my picture”.  His mother only said, he really doesn’t like his picture taken.  Nothing was said to him.  I said okay and tried to get some shots of the adults at the kitchen table but that was next to impossible without half of each picture featuring the back of people’s heads.

I tried getting a shot of our foursome, we have four 14 year olds within nine months of one another.  The cousins daughter said, absolutely not.  I tried to get Leo and my two nieces, Leo and LuLu were agreeable…Sister Mary had a temper tantrum about my calling her Sister Mary and got down right nasty with me.  I’ve called her this for as long as I can remember.  She goes to Catholic school and with everything about her, she’s always made me think of Sister Mary Frances, a nun.  I wound up leaving the room, telling her she was acting like a real bitch and slamming the basement door.  Yes, I was taking the high road and acting like an adult we all see on the political shows on tv.  She made me so angry, her mouth just wouldn’t stop, I tried having a rational conversation with her but her mouth was so smart assed and all knowing and this is going to be my way or the highway.  I felt my blood pressure rise, you know the feeling of your eyeballs feeling like they are going to pop right out of their sockets.  

I’ve told her time and again how when I was a little girl the uncles on both sides of my family calling me Minnie or Minnie Mouse.  I absolutely hated it.  The more I told them not to call me that, that I didn’t like it, the more they seemed to call me that.  I never even noticed when they stopped.  Maybe 10 years or so ago, on rare occassions, my uncles started on occassion calling me Minnie and I have to say, I absolutely LOVE IT!  I’ve tried explaining that to Addison, and that I don’t know why, but the nickname just hit and seemed to fit…she just needs to ignore it, it’s not going to change.  If she quit throwing a fit each time I say it, maybe at some point it would go away and be forgotten just like Minnie was.  

The past number of years since the child has found her calling of being an amazing basketball and softball player, she can do no wrong.  Ask her mother, my sister, she will tell anyone within listening range that Addison rocks, she is the best athelete ever and can do no wrong.  She’s been allowed to act out and say what’s what and she gets away with it.  She thinks she can pull that with me and that’s just not going to happen.  I don’t play that game.  She had not been taught to resepecct her elders.  

Anyway, I’ve gotten off topic.

My Aunt Judy brought me some great family pictures of ancestors.  She also brought me an aebleskiver pan she’d found in her kitchen and didn’t use.  A beautiful cast iron version that I absolutely can’t wait to give a try at.  

However, I’m thinking if we do this again, we need to stick to the older generations!


Thursday 24. November 2016

We had us a beautiful day in Iowa today for Thanksgiving.  It was a bittersweet day, a day without all the family, but a great day of love and family!


The two hour drive to my cousins’ couldn’t have been much better, it was gloomy and gray, but we didn’t need to bundle up in coats and didn’t have to fight any snow.  Couldn’t ask for much better than that.  

We were missing a lot of people this year.  Uncle Gene of course, but he was there, as we were leaving this afternoon there was a cardinal in the front yard tree, just one, the first one they’d seen at their place.  Felt like a sign to Aunt Kate and Cousin Sara.  

Mom and dad stayed home.  Mom works at an assisted living center not too far from here, she offered to be on call being the manager’s father is 92 and in the hospital and not doing well.  My brother and his kids went to a cattle show in Nebraska.  One aunt and uncle and four cousins and their families didn’t make it.  


The family made a great feast and we all absolutely ate way too much.  One of my cousin’s little guys said he just couldn’t eat anymore because his stomach was feeling squishy, so that wound up being the word of the day!  

The absolute treat of the meal was the goose…it’s almost like Uncle Gene knew he wasn’t going to be with us…Before he passed away the end of July, he’d ordered a goose for Krueger Thanksgiving.  Amazing!  He loved taking care of and treating his family!


Kaet wasn’t able to make it home for the day.  Last year her boyfriend came here to spend the day with us, so this year they spent the day with his family.  They were going to hit the road after his family function and come here to spend the weekend but they were so tired that they wound up staying out west and weather permitting, they’ll head east in the morning.  Hoping!  

Hope everyone was able to have a blessed day as well!


The Trio

The last of The Trio turned 14 today.  Happy Birthday to my LuLu!


LuLu, Bubba and Sister Mary

2002 was a busy year, Bubba was born in January, Sister Mary Francis was born the first week of September and LuLu the last week of September.  LuLu is my brother’s youngest and Sister Mary the third of my sister’s kids.  

The Trio have recently gotten to the age of being irritated by our clumping the three of them into a group…someday they may change their minds~hopefully.  

I’m one of a trio/quad cousin group myself.  It’s unique to our family and I’ve always loved it.  Then again, the four of us are all girls…no boys included!  

Britton was born first in September 1972, our grandfathers were double first cousins (their parents were siblings, the husbands were siblings and the wives were sisters).  Heather was born next in October 1972, Angela in November and I bookended in January 1973.  The three of us are the daughters of the three brothers.  


Me, Heather and Angela

Unfortunately, even though we all lived close, none of us graduated together and that was something I had wished could have happened.  The three started school together, at least were able to go to school together for a number of years.  I tried so hard the past couple years of high school to be able to open enroll to the school the three started in and one still attended, it was only a mile further than the school I went to…I wanted to graduate with one of the group.  No such luck.  

Family gatherings were always so much fun, it was the only time the three of us really had the opportunity to spend any time together.  Dad’s side of the family never were the type to get together unless Oma ordered it.  We would be inseparable at Christmas.  When we were little I hated being the youngest, of course now that we are older, I’m tickled to be the baby of the group!

As great as it was to have that special bond, there was a downside.  I remember being told many times that Heather was an A student, Angela was an A student, was on varsity ball teams from Freshman year in high school.  The end of our Freshman year Angela’s mother passed away from breast cancer.  After Aunt Kay passed away, Grampa and Oma then added that Angela was great because she not only was an Honors student, awesome at athletics, but she was able to do all that while taking care of a home.  There were many years in high school and into my first year in college where I didn’t feel like I was as good as Heather and Angela.


l-r  The Petersen Girl Cousins

me, my sister, Bobbie Sue, Juli, Angela and Heather

I have made a conscience effort over the years to not compare the kids.  I try to as equally as possible compliment and encourage them all so they don’t get the feeling like one or two are better or worse than the other one or two.  I felt for many years that I wan’t as good as the other two.  My brother is good about it too, not just saying his daughter rocks but that all three do.  My sister, not so much…her kids are the absolute best at everything and she makes sure we all know it.  

Being one of a special group such as this is a great way to grow up.  Of course not the same as being an actual twin or triplet, but there is a special something about it.  An experience I wouldn’t trade for the world and hope that the current trio will feel that way as well someday!



Holiday Crazy Lady

We’re about to Easter, one of my favorite family holidays. When my siblings and I were littles we had big time family gatherings each year at Easter with mom’s side of the family.  There were a crap ton of us Krueger cousins and we were all always there! Gramma, four siblings and their spouses and all their yahoos, it was a full house each and every year.  Great memories!  

SO, all these years later and sometimes I feel like I’m the only one in my direct family who cares about the family getting together on the holidays.  

Guess it started a few weeks ago, Kaet and I were talking about spring break for college being combined with Easter this year. She said she didn’t really want to come home for break (she has a boyfriend out in NebraskaLand).  Okay, fine…don’t come home for Easter…that’s fine, let your mama not have both of her children with her for such an important holiday.  Later she came back and said she would come home this coming Monday and head back to NebraskaLand on Friday.  Well, that brought out the mama bitch, I was an rip for days and couldn’t stand myself let alone anyone else…why come home at all?  

A few days later I was talking with my mom and mentioned Easter.  She didn’t think she wanted to do anything this year. SERIOUSLY?  What in the hell is up with my family?  Kirk and Leo are both of the mindset of “whatever, just tell us what you decide”.  My dad is the same way.  My brother is more like me and my sister doesn’t really care one way or another, her husband’s family do the big time family thing for Easter.  

Mom must have thought more deeply, a few days later she said she was up for Easter, we could have it at her house and I can cook, sister too if she and her family came, my brother always brings all sorts of food.  Kaet finally must have realized just how much having her home meant, so she and her boyfriend are coming home.  You know, I feel that I would have been okay if she stayed out their if she’d said they were doing the holiday with his family, but it sounded like their would be no holiday gathering with his family.  Easter is just such a big thing for me, what it stands for, and just feel that it’s such an important time for family to be together, you know?  

So, now we are meeting at mom’s.  Sister and her family are doing the other side of the family.  Haven’t heard from my brother or his kids yet.  I have the ham and the turkey and mom is going to cook them and I’ll do the rest.  

Very excited to have the family, or at least part of the family together for a big meal on one of the most important days of the year!  

Now if I can talk my husband into having a get together with his family, that would be icing on the cake!  I learned years ago that I can’t push him when it comes to him family, so it’s a take it as we go kind of thing.  

Best wishes to all!