Every once in a while, someone requests that I put up a page listing all the animals, with their names and links to their stories, to help them keep things straight. That’s a big project, so I decided to break it down into “Cast of” posts. Cast of Goats. Cast of Sheep. Cast of Chickens. Etc. I decided to start with the people, mostly because it gave me an opportunity to dig up these photos from last fall that have never seen the light of day and also to prove once and for all that I actually have three children, not two.
Readers are often confused and think that Ross and Weston are the same person. I’ll post about one or the other, and people think I’m talking about the same boy.
Ross is my oldest. He’s the one who graduated high school last year and is going to boot camp in just a few weeks (June 17!) to become a Navy nuclear submariner. Last October, knowing Ross’s “childhood” days were numbered, I force marched them all into the woods on our farm for a lovely autumnal photo shoot with all three of them together as they might not so often be again.
Turns out, it’s just as difficult to photograph three teenagers as it is to photograph three toddlers.
It’s almost impossible to get them to all smile at the same time, look at the camera at the same time, not pinch each other at the same time.
Weston is just finishing 11th grade and he’s a football player. He’s the one with the cute vegan girlfriend. Morgan is….Morgan. She’s such a hoot and a troublemaker with her brothers, can’t you tell?
She’s also an adorable little photo poser. When she wants to be. Everyone loves her. She’s never met a stranger. She has the best personality of anyone I’ve ever met. She lives a charmed life. Except for the part where she has to be put up with me as her mother.
If you’re still confused, Weston is the one on the left in this photo (below). He’s a real nutball sometimes. He’s also brilliant. He is in the running to be one of this year’s semi-finalists for the National Merit Scholarship. Ross is the one in the center, wishing this photo session would either end or he could die. Ross is complicated and competent. If you must be stranded on a deserted island, take him with you. He can do MacGyver-type tricks. And he really does smile sometimes, and when he does, he has adorable dimples.
He’s not very patient, though, and because the photographing still hasn’t ended and because the experience is causing Ross such indescribable pain, Weston and Morgan are laughing at him. Because that’s what brothers and sisters are good for.
While I occasionally post about other friends and family members, I most often post about the following handful of people closest to me.
I often mention my cousin Mark, his wife, Sheryl, and sometimes their son, Madison, who is graduating high school this month and is one of Weston’s best friends. My cousin, Mark, is like my brother and he fixes my car and brings me antique butter churns and pasta makers from thrift stores. I bring him pepperoni rolls and cream cheese and let him make fun of me. His wife, Sheryl, is my best friend and like my sister. My dear friend, grandmother, guardian angel, pet, and nemesis is Mark’s mother, Georgia.
People often ask why I call my cousin’s mother “my cousin’s mother” instead of my aunt. Mark is actually my second cousin. Georgia isn’t my aunt. (Another mystery solved!)
I’m very lucky to have a lot of wonderful people in my life!
Oh–and then there’s me. But you already know all you need to know about me, right? If you don’t, there’s a whole page about me here. Sometimes I don’t wear pants. And this is my favorite photo ever taken of me.
You can read all my Country Living stories in my Country Living archives. (Try the “People” section for many of the stories about my friends and family.)
Nancy in Iowa says:
Thank you! This was fantastic. I love your kids, and I feel as proud of their accomplishments as you do – well, maybe just almost as proud! And I know Ross smiles sometimes.
Thanks for sharing your friends and family.
On May 23, 2010 at 1:41 am
Julie B says:
I love that your cast of characters are all so real. Really real. No pretense kinda real. LOVE it! I’m from the south where we say people are a “real character” when they’re real. I like all your “real characters”! Especially that Georgia! A really great post Suzanne about the special people in your life! Your kids are awesome!
On May 23, 2010 at 1:43 am
What a handsome family! :fairy:
On May 23, 2010 at 2:16 am
😆 Ross was ALMOST smiling in the first picture…then it went all downhill from there! 😆 A great family you have Suzanne. Very real as Julie says.
Would Georgia be your great aunt, though?
On May 23, 2010 at 5:20 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
No, to be my great aunt, Georgia would have to be my dad’s (or mom’s) aunt. Georgia is the wife of my dad’s first cousin, which makes her the wife of my first cousin once removed.
On May 23, 2010 at 7:18 am
Hi Suzanne! I think you should take a day off and let the kids write a post! Would they do that? I’d love to hear their perspective on the life you all lead.
On May 23, 2010 at 7:21 am
Nice looking kids you got. It is hard to get a teen to let you take a picture of them. I have one and once in a great while she will let me take a picture of her that she is poseing and smileing. I treasure those pictures. I think one day she will not mind again. She was a ham when she was little and I could take pictures all day long. But I did not have a digital and could not. Now I have a digital and she runs and hides. lol.
As always thanks for shareing your family with us.
On May 23, 2010 at 7:31 am
Suzanne since I am fairly new to your blog it was nice going back and meeting the wonderful people in your life. Now the mystery is solved about 52. He always seems to come to your rescue and spends a lot of time looking for just the right gifts. I am now glad to be able to associate a face, a nice looking face, with such a wonderful man.
On May 23, 2010 at 7:51 am
What a fun idea, I’m looking forward to reading all of your cast of character posts. And I can’t believe your boy has dimples and isn’t always smiling and showing them. Dang, I’ve always wanted dimples:)
On May 23, 2010 at 7:52 am
In the south it is common to call our elders aunt or uncle out of respect even though they my not be family at all. It seems Georgia would make a very good “aunt”.
On May 23, 2010 at 8:05 am
Miss Becky says:
Suzanne you have a lovely family. And a lovely life :heart:
On May 23, 2010 at 9:28 am
You are so blessed! What a beautiful family. And, surrounded by wonderful friends. Not to mention your farm and all the animals. You truly are fortunate.
On May 23, 2010 at 9:40 am
Love the pictures. It brings back wonderful memories of all four of mine still at home especially now that they are scattered from Alaska to California to South Carolina. Congratulations to Ross on his upcoming naval career. Weston, Morgan, keep smiling. You are all great. Thanks for the update on the major cast of characters.
On May 23, 2010 at 10:56 am
What a beautiful, beautiful, family! I’m as proud of my family (hubby, kids, and animals!) as you seem to be of yours. And BTW, my youngest daughter was a one-eyed daughter till she was 19! (You’ll eventually get to see her other eye…I’ll bet it’s just as lovely as the other one!) :wave:
On May 23, 2010 at 11:07 am
That was a fun post to read – thank you!
On May 23, 2010 at 11:11 am
blessed one says:
Suzanne, I’ve missed seeing and hearing about Ross. It was so good to see him again today. He’s a very handsome young man. What has he been up to since graduation? How did/does he like farm/small town life? When will you (and your readers) be able to see him again after he leaves for boot camp?
On May 23, 2010 at 11:55 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
Ross worked at a construction job for about six months after he graduated. He experienced a bit of a painful breakup with his longtime girlfriend, and after signing up in the Navy, he decided to take some time away in Texas living with his dad. He’s been working at Taco Bell there just to pass the time and make some money. He’ll be back in West Virginia soon to prepare to leave for boot camp, so I’m very excited about him coming home! Can’t wait to hug him around the neck. So, there will be some new pictures of him soon, then he’ll be off to boot camp and two years of Navy training before shipping off to a submarine. I’m not sure when I’ll see him after he leaves for boot camp! (sob) I’ll have to work that out later when I know more about where he’ll be and when. I’m hoping to go to his boot camp graduation, but I don’t know for sure yet. (I don’t even know what day it is for sure yet, and it will involve numerous arrangements–and money–for me to be able to go, but I’m hoping.)
On May 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm
Beautiful bunch of kids you got there Suzanne , and I think Morgan looks even prettier with both her eyes showing. They all look very happy.
On May 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm
Thank you for the wonderful update. What nice kids. Your photographs are great. You have given them such a good start in life. God bless you all.
On May 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm
Suzanne, the offer is still open if Ross would like a homecooked meal while he’s at nuke school!
On May 23, 2010 at 12:25 pm
😀 I love this post. The kids look awesome! The country air is obviously doin them good!! :purpleflower:
On May 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm
THANK-you for sharing this cast of characters. I know some people (like my DH) are weird about putting photos of real people on their blogs, but I love to put faces with the well-loved people I read about. Ross is a hunk, smile or no, and I can see how 52 charms the pants off you. 🙂
On May 23, 2010 at 1:25 pm
It’s so good to see them all together. They all look so happy! :airkiss:
On May 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm
Susan at Charm of the Carolines says:
They are preciouse! You are very blessed.
On May 23, 2010 at 10:07 pm
Susan at Charm of the Carolines says:
I meant precious… can’t spell this evening.
On May 23, 2010 at 10:07 pm
Such a beautiful bunch of people to have in your life. You are blessed.
On May 23, 2010 at 10:10 pm
So….how did you and 52 meet?
I’m wondering if Ross will be coming down my way when he joins the Navy. We got lots of Navy folks here (Norfolk-Virginia Beach area).
On May 24, 2010 at 1:52 am
Suzanne, I love the picture of you and 52 with his birthday cake! Why don’t you crop and post that picture of yourself insead of the one you use? You are SO PRETTY and the picture you use does not do you justice!!! Sorry if I stepped in where I shouldn’t. Love your blog.
On May 24, 2010 at 11:38 am
What a trio of good-looking teens! You must be very proud of them. The very best wishes to all of them, especially Ross as he readies himself for this new journey.
Best wishes to all!
On May 24, 2010 at 9:45 pm
Just read this post from a year ago. I read your son was going into the Navy. My brother is in the Nave and he was (is?) a sub mariner. He went in to the Nuclear program and was on a sub in Bremerton, WA for a few years. Now he is an “instructor” at the Nuclear prototype base in Ballston Spa, NY. He’ll be done, after 10 years, on July 1, 2011.
On May 25, 2011 at 10:23 am