The Rosa family: Randy Rosa attended Lodi and Galt High Schools, Oregon State University, and Georgetown Law School, works as an elder law attorney in Lodi. His wife, Christie, attended Stagg High School, California State University, Sacramento where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees, and works for the Lodi Unified School District as a speech therapist.
Children: Edwin Rosa, 18, attended Lodi High School and will be going to University of California, San Diego, this fall. Megan Hawley, 18, attended Lodi High School and will be going to the University of Southern California this fall. Becca Rosa 15, attends Lodi High School as a junior. Caitlin Hawley, 14, attends Lodi High School. Maryalice Rosa, 3, attends the Little Methodist Preschool.
How they met: "Always the toughest question of all for every blended family, there are so many moms and dads," Christie said.
She grew up with Megan and Caitlin's dad, Steve Hawley, and they went through high school and college together. Randy met Edwin and Becca's mother, Ramona Swofford, in law school in Washington, D.C. Christie and Randy met as single parents on a field trip aboard the Thayer, a clipper ship in San Francisco Bay, when they were "tall sailors" (chaperones) for a fifth-grade field trip with Edwin and Megan.
Family activities: "We love to travel and have camped for three weeks, as well as traveled to Italy for almost a month," Christie said. "Half of us love to camp, and half love more of the resort experience. Thus, like most blended families, we take turns and compromise a lot. With five kids of such different ages and interests, we have to support each other in various sports and activities, knowing that the time will come when everybody gets their day."
Family Traditions: "We celebrate Advent Sundays as a family at Sunday dinners," Christie said. "We enjoy birthday decorations and breakfasts for every birthday guy or girl. The kids always make pumpkin pies during Thanksgiving. We attend the many wonderful activities in our downtown, such as the Parade of Lights, farmers market, the many restaurants, and the cinema."
Best cook: No debate here, Christie said. It's Beth Stoebner, their friend and family partner, who helps take care of Maryalice and the rest. Everyone has a particular favorite dish, but the consensus is her homemade pizza.
Family Ancestor of Note: Papa Bear (Christie's dad, Bud Corwin) is in the Rodeo Hall of Fame, and recently won the Seniors Roping National Championship. Randy's great-great grandfather, Dan Taylor, was a Union soldier who spent a night in a tent with Abe Lincoln.
"Abe really did sleep there," Christie said.
Best family feature of Lodi: "All the wonderful people of Lodi who have supported our children and helped us raise them," Christie said. "From the teachers, Scout leaders, coaches, civic leaders and ministers, to the parents and friends who give of their time and energy for our children. Also, all of our wonderful churches from the First United Methodist church to Calvary to First Baptist who have helped us raise our children in faith and values."
Families come in all configurations. To nominate a family for our Family Portrait series, even your own, call Panorama editor Julia Priest at 369-7035, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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