Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Our boy

Me:  So, "middle child" of ours....is the middle a good place to be in our family?  What are the advantages?  Disadvantages?
Nate:  I used to hate it, but have really learned to like being the middle child.  It's nice since I am not the guinea pig oldest child, and also not the last to do everything.

Me:  Ever wish you had a brother?  Or are you cool with two sisters?
Nate:  I used to ALWAYS wish I had a brother, and sometimes, but rarely, I still do.  I now love having two sisters.  They're great.

Do you have any nicknames from the family?
No.  Except when Danae gets mad at me, she always calls me by my full name, "NATHANIEL KIRK!"  It's hilarious.  I guess you, (mom) call me "Natey-Boy" every now and then.

What advice do you have for those younger than you?
There's a quote I came across recently, "Be yourself, everyone else is taken."  I would say to live by this.  I tried way too hard in elementary school and middle school to try and get other people to like me, and by doing that you really lose your identity, I would tell them to never try and impress others by acting a certain way, and like the quote says, "just be yourself".

What's your favorite website?
It's an even tie between  Youtube and Facebook.

Do you think it's ok for middle school students to be on Facebook?
It's hard to say, I think if it was me in middle school I'd want to, so I would probably say yes. I don't think it's ok for them to be on MySpace, since that's not as safe.  But I think the parents of those kids need to closely monitor their middle schoolers on Facebook.

What advice to you have for parents of middle school and high school students?  Especially if they have sons?
Leave them alone!  They WILL come to you for help when they need it.

Who are you more like....mom or dad?  What makes you think that?
Well, you have made it clear that I'm a lot like you, and I'd probably agree with that.  Mostly because I'm more introverted, especially when I'm in a new situation.

You endured a pretty tough surgery over a year ago.  Sometimes we learn things about ourselves in tough circumstances.  Did you learn anything about yourself at that time?
I guess I just learned that it is possible to get through really tough times all right.  God really helped me through it, and I know that sounds cheesy, but He really did.  Prayer was a huge help and comfort.  I also was able to see what a blessing good friends are.  Maggie and Holly did so much for me in those weeks following the surgery.  Tons of things to help cheer me up, and I am forever grateful to them for that.

You and me....we're introverts.  I've learned over the years how to force myself to be more extroverted in social settings.  I think I see you doing the same.  How have you done that?
I think I've gotten a lot better since I started going to school in Winona, since it has literally forced me to.  I also think that's what I need is to be forced to do things, unlike a lot of people, I take well to being pushed into doing things, since it helps me to be more outgoing.  Other than that, I guess I have just put myself out there and used the whole "grin and bear it" thing, and usually in the end, I'm glad I did take the risk.

What do you look for in a potential girlfriend/spouse?
A girl who believes in God and Jesus Christ as her Savior.  She would also have a good sense of humor, and can laugh at herself (and my lame jokes).  I also like it when a girl can be goofy and have fun and doesn't have to be so clean and prim and proper all the time.  I like it when a girl can let loose and just be comfortable.

Were you "Sweet 16" (and never been kissed)?
If you don't count a juvenile game of truth, dare, double dare, which I don't.  Then yes, I was.  But I dont' like calling it "Sweet 16".  That's for girls!

Have you ever stood up for what you believe, even when it was very hard?  Explain.
Yes.  There have been a couple times when I have been ridiculed by friends for my belief in God, but I just try to explain as best I can, why I believe, and no matter what ...stand by my faith.

What are the things you admire most about your father?
That he can fix almost anything, whether it's the kitchen sink or the car.  He can do it.  He can fix it.  I think that's amazing and I hope to one day be able to do that as well.

How 'bout me?  What do you admire most about mom?
That you are always interested in your kids' lives.  Plus the fact that you're like me, and so you can give me insights on our personalities that I had never thought of before.  Also, I like how creative and organized you are.

What's the best part about having two sisters?
That they let me know when I look stupid in what I'm wearing.  A brother would never tell you that.  Even though sometimes I don't listen to them, because I don't really care, I still appreciate it.  I also like that they are affectionate and sometimes I really like that.

You have a really nice singing voice.  Why dont you sing louder at church?
Because I don't think I have a good singing voice.

What is the most adventuresome thing you have ever done?
Going to Europe last summer, for 3 weeks with three of my friends.  It was the realization of a dream that I've had since I was really little.  I loved every second of it, even the "unenjoyable" moments.

Who are you closest to in your immediate family?  Why?
I would probably say Danae.  We get along pretty well, and always have.  I don't know why, maybe because we have opposite personalities so it just works.

You attend a small group Bible Study at Winona....what are you "studying"?
We discuss whatever the leaders come up with.  My favorite discussion topics, however, are on the book of Revelations, which is my favorite book of the Bible.

You also attend Intervarsity.  That's a pretty big step for an introvert!  What keeps you going?
I guess just the striving to make good friends here at Winona...which I have.  Plus, they tend to have really good speakers.  The music aspect could really use an upgrade!  I guess I'm just spoiled by the amazing music at Crosswinds.

You are a major movie buff.  What's your favorite?
I don't think I could EVER pick a favorite movie.  I love all the ones I currenly own, and I have no idea how many that is.  A few favorites are:  Kill Bill (vols. 1&2), the Goonies, Elizabeth:  The Golden Age, Murder By Death, and Donnie Darko.

What are your best memories/times with our family?
I loved all the times we went camping, and all our trips out to NY to the cabin and to Vestal (where we lived).  I am very proud of being born in NY, and I love going back there whenever possible.  I think it's a lot of fun to revist my family's origins WITH my family so we can all enjoy it together.

Tell the readers about our family reunions.  Both sides of the family!  What are they like?
Organized Chaos.  I love them.  On Dad's side they are probably a little more subdued, unless all his aunts and uncles show up, then it's redneck heaven!  Haha, really...I love them all.  On mom's side of the family, it's just one noisy room after another, and everyone just kind of falls into their "roles" in the family.  The moms (sisters) always are cooking something it seems, the dads and uncles are in front of the computer or TV, and the kids are all hanging out with each other and everyone is just having fun and a good time.

What are your most precious and deeply embedded values?
I really value the whole "no sex before marriage".  I think it's a very God-honoring thing you can do, which leads into the whole honoring God all you can.  I think that is incredibly important and is very embedded into my values.

How would you describe yourself to someone who has never met you?
I would say that I may seem quiet when you meet me, but to be warned that once you get to know me, I'm very outgoing.

You are a junior at Winona State University...majoring in Elementary Education.  Why are you pursuing that career?
I chose this career because I love kids and I think that by being a teacher I will have a very fulfilling job - as I will be teaching kids valuable skills and giving them knowledge they will use the rest of their lives.  I also hope to make some kind of impression on at least one student to inspire them to do something great with their life.

Who are some  people in your life (other than family) that yo'uve learned from over the years?  Mentors, if you will.
There are many.  Thinking back to the first few in my life, I'd say Grandma and Grandpa Cramer and Taylor and Susan Hays.  Later on in my life I'd have to say Jon and Tracy Linden were a huge part of my life.  Most recently, Dennis and the late Joan Schmnidt, and the rest of the Schmidt family have taught me a lot.

What did you learn from each of these people?
Both the Cramers and the Hays' showed me the kind of love that you usually only get from your parents and family.  They treated me like one of their own kids and I am forever grateful for that.  I believe that being loved by others is a feeling that is unlike any other. 

Jon and Tracy  were very influential in my spiritual growth = they were young and cool, and showed me how to be myself and be liked for who I am, even during the hardest (middle school) years, and later into my high school years  -- all while honoring God.

The Schmidt family has been an ENORMOUS part of my life in the last five years or so.  Right away, Joan always seemed happy whenever I saw her despite her many "so called" handicaps.  She was one of the strongest people I had ever met, in faith and in character.  Joan died of breast cancer shortly after I met the family, and I was amazed at their continual strength and perseverance.  I was able to draw on that a few  years later when my Grandma died.  The entire Schmidt family has taken me in as one of their own..and have accepted me 100% for who I am, and NOTHING can replace that.  I love them all.

What does your faith (or following Jesus) mean to you?
My faith means that I need to try and honor God by living as close to the way Jesus lived as possible.  It means so much to me because I find it so amazing that no matter what you do, God will ALWAYS, ALWAYS love you no matter what.  I also can't even fathom how someone could love me more than my parents, but He does!  I love that I cannot wait to meet Him.

What's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?
Ooh, that's a tough one.  I would probably have to say the moment I walked into St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City in Rome.  I had never seen such an opulent building and such attention to detail, especially at that scale.  After wandering around for a couple minutes the weight of that place truly hit me.  I started to realize the kind of unfathomable faith and love it would have to take to build a place of such beautiy and scale and detail. 
I was literally brought to tears at the thought that pure faith in our one true God built this place.  Then I realized that as great as the Basilica is, God still listens to people who pray in a small wooden chapel in the middle of a poverty-choked neighborhood in Central America, and loves them just the same as the people wearing the expensive and intricate gold and jeweled robes in the Vatican.  I was hit with such an incredible feeling of love and awe for God, and had never and haven't since felt anything like it.

What life event has changed you, if any.
My jaw surgery two years ago.  I am so incredibly happy I went through with it, but I'm not sure if I can entirely explain why.

Thanks Nate!
I'm sure others will enjoy seeing your heart as much as I have!


  1. Nate i loved your honesty!!! I Love seeing you come out of your shell and that i've gotten to get to know you better as we've gotten older, and that you LOVE getting affection from your sisters....LOVE and Miss you tons :)

  2. Anonymous9:36 AM CST

    Thanks for the great interview and sharing your thoughts and beliefs. What an awesome young man you are.
    Aunt Sandy

  3. Good job Nate -- I'm going to have to work on a nickname :)

  4. so great to read :) learned a lot that i didn't know! :)

  5. Enjoyed hearing what "your boy" had to say. Nate is a great young man, and he WILL be an awesome teacher !

  6. Awww...Nate...such a nice boy! Be yourself...everyone else is taken is my favorite quote of all time! Tell him he should come and sing with me at church...I, for one, would love it! Cheri ask me some time about my experience with Dennis and Joan when she was in hospice. I'll probably cry when I tell you about it, but ask me anyway...

  7. Loved getting to know you a little bit more Nate! I remember how great you always were with Cole when the Dietzmans were his home away from home all those tues/thur nights so long ago.


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