Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Skousen Youth Hostel

For two nights during Christmas break, we had six adults and two children crammed into our little house. I know the family resemblance is hard to see, but these people are Abe's siblings. (They are all Abe's siblings, but they are not all of Abe's siblings: he has six more.) They are, from bottom right, moving clockwise: Abe (31), Quentin (26), Hillary (24), Briar (19), and Merritt (22). Hillary and Briar currently live with us, Soren and Liam's maiden "Hanties" who help with childcare, cooking, and cleaning. Quentin comes home, with a bundle of dirty laundry, for holidays and long weekends. And Merritt was just stopping by on her way to BYU-I when this picture was taken, but I imagine she'll be making holiday/weekend appearances as well.

We are a bit of a Skousen Depot, the halfway stop on the way to and from other places, the home central where the unmarried siblings crash for days, weeks, months, maybe even years.

People often ask me, with a horrified expression, "How can you stand to have so many in-laws around all the time?" And I wonder if there's something wrong with me, because the truth is, I generally don't mind it at all. In fact, I (usually) like it. I like having a home where people feel welcome. I like having the extra help around the house and with the kids. I like the added opportunities for human interaction. I like the flavor that extra people add to our household. And though they baffle me to the point of madness sometimes, I just plain love the members of that crazy other-family of mine.

12 comments:

Nick Wheeler said...

I love this about you. Everything about you is a haven for me. Your friendship, your home, your family. This (among many other things) is why I love you. And hopefully the Skousens do, too.

Holly said...

I enjoy that Skousen clan. I am glad you get to enjoy them regularly, too.

Natalya said...

thanks, rachel. i am glad you cleared up the mystery of how-can-you-stand-this.

Karen said...

Glad it's the Skousen Youth Hostel and not the Skousen Youth Hostile. That would be much worse.

Also, you're right, the family resemblance is almost non-existent.

Karen said...

p.s. Love the new look :)

heidi said...

I love, love, LOVE the new photo! (You look so beautiful in it.) And I love the new look (of the blog)!

I also am terribly smitten with the sentence: "Everything about you is a haven for me." What a transcendent thing to have had uttered about oneself. I mean, you.

This post and all connected sentiments are just so lovable. (I mean that!)

XO--H.

Natalya said...

re: the family resemblance thing. It is funny to read opinions about how they all look nothing alike. All growing up we all looked very similar, sort of like we all had the same mom and dad. People have stopped siblings on college campuses and said, "Are you a Skousen?" because the family resemblance was so strong. I think maybe this photo disguises the resemblance because of the round robin approach and the glasses and people's individual hairstyles and that loud yellow shirt. And of course everybody's older I suppose.

Rachel said...

Oh, Natalya! Both Karen and I were totally just joking about the family resemblance thing. You guys all look so much alike.

Nana said...

I admire you and your acceptance of the situation. You are truly a "saint"
Get those older ones out the door and finding work! Glad Merritt is close by. We will try to come up and see you all when we return from Arizona. Keep smiling!

Kate said...

I have tried and TRIED to get some stray family member to come and live with us for awhile, I would LOVE it. Unfortunately, Texas isn't much of a stopping off point for . . . anyone.

I would love to have some of those Skousens, the ones I know at least are so very enjoyable!

Natalya said...

i feel sheepish that i didn't pick up on the sarcasm.

you need to put a new post here.

heidi said...

Natalya--I didn't pick up on the sarcasm, either! And, I'm highly suggestible, so, I had myself not really seeing the family resemblance. Until the clarification. So then I started feeling like maybe I DID see a resemblance.

But mainly I'm just confused and not sure what (or who!) to believe.

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