The extended family







Carol Ann Mentzer is my paternal Grandma, but I call her Memaw.  I love to go to her house because it’s like a giant toy box.  She is a pro at playdough, motorcycle riding and playing with all kids.  She volunteers at a women’s and children’s center once a week and is a really cool grandma.

What I learned from her: “What the heck world is that?



Mitchell Gittler is my grandpa, but I call him O’Mitzie short for Opa Mitzie. Opa means Grandpa in Dutch.  O’Mitz loves boating, going for long drives, and disagreeing with solid logic and I love doing all these things with him.  He takes me out on the boat  when the weather is nice and makes me crunchy salads for dinner every Wednesday.

What I learned from him: “Uppie, Oy, and I can’t believe it”…


Marlene Tjon-A-Tai is my maternal grandma.  I call her Oma, which means Grandma in Dutch.  She loves to cook and I love her noodles.  She calls me Pookie-Pook and wants to feed me (and the rest of the family) all day long.

What I learned from her:  “Huh?” and that my penis is NOT for show-n-tell

Cousins Joey Let's play Legos!  Perry's favorite "Lego-maniac".
My Pets Ethel

Ethel is O’Mitzie’s Dog.  She likes to slobber on me and if I am not careful, she takes my food.  She’s the only dog that Mama likes.

What I learned from her: “Whooff”

  My Fish Eew, poop; that catfish is mean
  Penny  Where did she go?
My Aunts Tante Hein

Helen Citino.  I call her Tante Hein but it often sounds like TantHein.  Tante means Aunt in Dutch.  She is my own personal clown and I start giggling as soon as I see her.  She gives me the biggest lollipops in exhange for the biggest kisses, she’s “like that”.  She also buys me cool presents, like cars with rockets and hungry hippos.  I think she’s the best aunt in the world, because I can skip naps when I am at her place and have all the candy I want.  My parents disagree, so TantHein gets monitored all the time!  Poor TantHein!

What I learned from her: “How to bribe with kisses”

  Tante Mar

Marjorie Dijokromo.  Don’t worry, I can’t say the name either, so I call her Tante Mar which means Aunt Mar.  She loves big kisses, is the world’s best shopper, and bakes the most amazing cakes in the world.  I sometimes call her cakemaker…giggle giggle.  Check out her cake website.

What I learned from her: “To go right for the icing on the cake….forget the flour.”

  Tante Mesh

Merline Dhanilal.  I call her Mesh, but everyone corrects me to say “Tante Mesh”.  When I was a baby, she took care of me and I called her “Ma-Mesh”.  She calls me “Kaboomie” and strikes a good balance between spoiling me and “keeping me straight.”

What I learned from her: “How to chew with my mouth closed very early on…thanks MaMesh, but can you teach some of the grown-ups the same trick?

  Tante Sandy

Sandy Hamdaan.  My aunt in Saudi Arabia.  Since she lives in Riyadh, I don’t get to see her often enough to tell you more. L  But I do talk to her on the phone occasionally.  She calls me Perriuchi!

What I learned from her:  "halawa" is Arabic for candy

  Aunt Lisa

Lisa Peltier.  I call her Aunt Lisa and she’s Papa’s only sister and calls me "little man" since the day I was born.  She is always laughing with and at me because she thinks I am funny and get all the jokes.  She lives in West Virginia and is the source of a lot of jokes just because of that..but I don't know why?

What I learned from her:  all the goofy tricks she did with Papa when he was young

Uncles Uncle Jeff Jeff Hartman.  I call him uncle because he earned his title after many long hours teaching me to drive cars, got my first German made bike (and adjusted to specifications), and is always watching and protecting me from O'Mitzy's goofiness.

What I learned from him:  having a good bike is half the job and saves peddling effort (from his many years of biking)

  Uncle Mike  
  Uncle Steve  
  Om Ivan  
  Om Eric Where's my dog?