Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Photos

Happy Father's Day to all the men who read this. This year I'll just post some pictures of the Dads and Granddads in our lives and write something nice about them.

Let's start with my Dad, James Micheal Labiszak. He's always been a good provider, sacrificing his own happiness to insure the happiness of his loved ones. He's not the gushy type, but I always knew how much he loved me. I am his favorite daughter, after all.

My Dad was also blessed with the challenge of not only raising a silly and overly emotional teenage daughter, but also raising my severely disabled brother Todd. There's no other person in the world who makes Todd as happy as our Dad. We 're all grateful we can call him our very own.
How about my hot hubby? Is there anything more handsome than seeing your husband hold your child?

One of the reasons I married Jim was because I KNEW he would be an amazing father. I mean the kind of Dad who's never too busy to get down on his hands and knees and play with his kids.

Jim's one of a kind. I can't think of anyone else who can be infuriating and charming at the same time. I can't stay mad at him for the life of me. I want to, but he ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS makes me crack up right when I want to be the most angry at him. It's VERY annoying. . . and cute. DANG IT! Sorry, one last picture of Jim and Tralee. They're just too cute together.

Here's a picture of Jim and his dad Ross on the day Jim got home from Ireland. Jim and Ross have very similar personalities, which makes being around them, when they're together, a lot of fun. We love to go visit Ross and his wife Judy up in Canada. Actually, when we're up there I usually don't have a husband for a few days because he's so busy fishing for sharks, shooting gophers, playing golf, and doing other father-son activities with Ross. That's okay, I'm glad Jim and his Dad are such good friends.
Here's a two-for-one shot. To the left is Jim's Grandpa Jacobs and to the right it Jim's Grandpa Callister. Both of these men have passed on, but have left an amazing legacy for us to pass down to our kids.

Here's a family shot of my Dad's family growing up. The man in the lower right hand side of the picture is my Grandpa Eugene. I never met my Dad's dad, but hear amazing stories about his life. I'm excited to pass these down to our kids as well.

My Grandpa Stoehr is quite the man. He gives everyone a nickname, and never calls them anything but that name. I've been "Lessy" for as long as I can remember. My Mom (who's pictured with her father) has never been called anything but "Boom" or "Boomy" from this man. Grandpa Stoehr has always been a rough-around-the-edges farmer type. In fact, I remember him picking up a farm cat I brought inside his house, and chucking it outside when I was just a little girl. I don't think I ever brought another farm cat inside again, for fear of what he would do to it. However, Grandpa's rough facade could always melt away if just the right thing was said or done. For instance, he would pay me a dollar to brush his hair (or what was left of it). He would let me ride in the tractor with him, and he would always cry at the end of Hoosiers.
My Dad's Mom remarried before I was born, and I grew up with her second husband as my Grandpa. Grandpa John was quite the character. As soon as I hugged and kissed Nana after walking into her condo, she would say, "Go say 'hi' to Grandpa John." I obeyed and walked to the den where he sat in his easy chair. I can still feel his rough cheek, and smell the cigar smoke and aftershave. I must have kissed his cheek a thousand times. I'm glad I did, because Grandpa John faithfully accompanied Nana to every piano recital, choir concert, and play I was ever in. I'm grateful he was my Grandpa.

Jim's Mom re-married Jeff Larson. Jeff is a great guy, and we're glad he's in our lives. He's the first Grandpa that held Tralee. He also took her for a ride on his lawn-mower a few weeks ago. We appreciate all he does for us.

This last picture is of me, my brother, Great-Grandma Steinke and Great-Grandpa Steinke. Some of my favorite childhood memories include Grandpa Norman. He smelled of the earth, because he spent most of his time outside. He had one piercing blue eye, and one milky eye that was blinded in a logging incident. When he looked at you, it was as if he could see right through you. Perhaps one of my favorite memories of Grandpa Norman is of him taking me to Ruth Lake on the back on his ancient dirt-bike. I held onto him, and buried my head in his mossy jacket as he sped through the forest path to get us to the lake. He bate my hook, helped me cast, smiled when I excitedly reeled in my catch, and then took the fish off my hook for me. My only job was to have fun. When we returned back to his make-shift home, I sat on a stump or bucket as he scaled the fish and filleted it. We would usually eat my catch of blue-gills, perch, or rainbow trout for dinner that night. One time when we were fishing Grandpa passed some gas. He turned to me and said, "Oops, had to let one go, he couldn't pay the rent." Grandpa Steinke died when I was in fourth grade. He was a fun Great-Grandpa, and I'm glad I have happy memories of him to pass onto Tralee.

I couldn't find a picture of my surrogate Grandpa, Grandpa Lenz. He's a wonderful man, and was always present on my birthdays and other special occasions. I love him very much!!

Well, if you've read this far, thanks.


Boom said...

I'm sorry you don't have a picture of Grandpa Milt. We will have to fix that when you are here in July. That was an excellent post. Thank you!

Jim said...

Thanks Leslie - as usual, and excellent job!!


Crosland's said...

Great pictures! You have a lot of classics there. What a fantastic legacy you have for Tralee.