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Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2002 10:00 pm

The Warmerdam family: Marc and Denise Warmerdam, son Brandon, 15, a sophomore at St. Mary's High School, and daughter Britnee, 13, twins Brett and Breanna, 12, and Brock, 6, all of whom attend St. Anne's.

The couple met while working at an agriculture supply store. Denise sold Marc some grape stakes. Three years later, they married.

Marc is a farmer and grows wine grapes and cherries on the family land. Denise works as the legislative assistant for Supervisor Jack Sieglock.

The family pets include two pigs the children are raising for 4-H, some goats, which double as lawnmowers, and a flock of chickens. Then there is Otis, the pug dog.

"Living with Otis is like living with an old man," Denise said.

Family activities: "We follow our children around and in my spare time I do laundry," Denise said.

But friends say they are very active in the community and in their children's lives.

The boys are active in sports, Britnee plays soccer. Young Brock sits on the bench waiting his turn. They love to vacation in the Fort Bragg area.

"It's an old fishing community, and there's not a lot to do there. That's why we like it," Denise said.

Family traditions: "We always have a big Christmas party every year, and invite all our friends and family. It's usually around 160 people. We have a live nativity and Santa pays visit, and we have horse and carriage rides for the guests," Denise said.

Best cook: "I am the only cook," Denise said. "We are working on Marc, and he is hoping to master basic can-opener skills this year."

A favorite is the homemade chocolate chip cookies they share after mass every Saturday evening.

Notable relatives: Marc's father, Al Warmerdam, wrote music marches and patriotic songs, and composed a special march for each of the military academies. His contribution to the Army was played by the U.S Military Academy Band at West Point, and he wrote some music performed by the Lodi Children's Choir. Denise said he could not read music, but that didn't stop him from composing several successful pieces.

Families come in all configurations. To nominate a family, even your own, for our Family Portrait, e-mail Panorama editor julia Priest at juliap@lodinews.com, or write to her at 125 N. Church St., Lodi CA 95241.


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