Michael Ray turned three today. Though, he doesn't act three. No, he acts much more mature than your average three-year-old. As you gathered from the picture, his favorite thing to do is mow the lawn. Or pretend he is mowing. He's a busy little fellow and is as sharp as a knife!
Emily has been teaching Michael, along with the twins, Brook and Briar. He knows his ABC's, can sing the song flawlessly, and can point the letters out on pages. Though this trait is not so welcome during a game of Scrabble.
A few interesting facts about Michael...
He was talking almost full sentences by the time he was two
He just here recently potty-trained himself. Yes, you read that correctly. We just stuck big-boy underwear on him and told him that until he was out of diapers he couldn't ride on the end of the cart. So...it clicked and he doesn't wear diapers. Except at night of course.
He makes friends wherever he goes.
And he's the light of the house.
For his birthday today, Uncle Larry and his girlfriend, Diane came over and gave him his gift.
He's been singing the Happy Birthday song all week long. He was absolutely delighted when we told him it was finally his birthday today. He immediately knew what to do after we had finished singing to him. :)
He enjoyed opening the presents that were given to him. Especially the bag of balloons that Corrie presented him with. :)
Today is my younger sister Corrie's birthday. And as you guessed from the title she is turning 13. I simply cannot believe that she is actually a teenager. That makes three of us. :)
Corrie is one of my best friends. I love the girl to death.
Some unique little quirks about Corrie are:
She is an avid pack rat, but she keeps it all organized.
She is thorough. You can always depend on Corrie to have the job done complete and to your liking.
She loves audio books and listens to radio theatre dramas all the time!
Some things she collects are dolls, hats, purses, miniature things and the like.
She likes to get up at ungodly hours even though sometimes she hasn't had much sleep.
She looks up to me. I find this a little un-nerving sometimes. She is looking up to me as an example. She told me not too long ago that she watches us older girls make mistakes and gleans from them what she can. I find that quite remarkable.
She is a servant. She will take the initiative when others just sit back and do nothing.
She absolutely loves children and claims that she wants to have twenty of her own. You go girl! :)
Another aspect of Corrie is her amazing character. She is more mature than most 13-year-old girls that I know. The key to Corrie's awesome character is the fact that she spends time with God. She is seeking Him day by day. For a girl of 13, that is amazing.
Happy Birthday, Corrie!!! I love you bunches!!! :)
It's been said that if you can get along with your siblings, you can get along with anyone in the world.
Sisters are great. Especially when you have six of them. But along with having six sisters comes what people call relationships.
Most folks don't realize just how important it is to have a good, solid relationship with not just your sisters, but your brothers too.
I didn't realize it myself until about a year ago. Your siblings are the friends who will always be there for you. They won't ever ditch you. You're family! There's that strong tie to hold you together.
But before you get that good relationship... The construction must come first. You cannot simply expect to wake up one day and you and your sister or brother are best friends for life and nothing else will go wrong. That couldn't be further from the truth. I know this to be true from my own experience.
When I was much younger I couldn't seem to get along with anyone in my family! That's frustrating! Some of you may know what I'm talking about. You are constantly at war with everyone and no one seems to care that you are human too. :P
But then, I realized that the reason my relationships with my siblings was in shambles was because of my nasty, ugly pride. Once I came to that realization, and I feebly tried to humble myself, the building process with my siblings began.
The first siblings to become my best friends were my two older sisters, Stephanie and Emily.
From left to right; Emily, me, Stephanie
"The Three Older Girls", as we are known in our family, are an epic trio. I have to say so myself. We go almost everywhere together and we share the common thread of being the three main singers in our family's singing ministry. We have a special relationship between the three of us. We trust one another enough to spill our guts to each other, and we know that when we share our struggles we will get sound advice. It's quite awesome how close we are. These two girls are my treasured best friends. I know that we will carry on this special relationship even after we are all gone from the house and married.
I have to admit though, we have not always been that way. To make you feel better, we use to be terrors with each other. It's not like we hated each other, but we certainly were not the best of friends. But as each of us has gotten older we have grown closer. As a result we have each made an effort to strengthen and build each other up.
My other siblings fall into place after. :)
MacKenzie would be next. She's my best friend as well. Our journey into best-friendship-hood has not been exactly the easiest road to travel, but we are slowly but surely making it to the glorious land of best friends. We have our occasional spats of course; you can't escape those lovely little things. They will arise while you are growing together. The trials and mini hardships are what makes your relationship stronger.
Me and Corrie
Corrie Beth is my newest best friend. Corrie and I have a sad history. Well it's sad to me. We both really didn't like each and therefore a lot of problems rose between us. It was mainly my nasty pride. And I mean it when I say that. But I've come to realize that Corrie needs me to be her best friend. She is at that age where she is trying to figure out just who she really is. With that stage comes the need for a close friend. And the best candidates our your siblings. Trust me, I know. :)
So, yesterday morning, we had a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of tea party out in Mom's herb garden. I wrote Corrie a little note the night before saying that she needed to be down at mommy's garden by six the next morning.
I got up at 4:30 and frantically scrambled together some tea, pretty china that we have, a small table, a cute table cloth and runner, (I'm not going to tell you what it really was.) and some tasty little treats.
I ended up having to wake her up, but it turned out that her tardiness was a blessing.
She was thoroughly excited to be having this tea party with just me. You see, the younger children put us three older girls in this category all by ourselves, as we are "The Older Girls". This status means we are somehow more special than the rest of them~?. Not sure how that works, but that's how their precious little brains figure us in. When one of us Older Girls pays attention to one of the Little Ones, it makes them feel really special. Corrie told me she felt special because of what I was doing. She also told me (and this threw me for a loop) that I am her ideal. She looks up to me! She is always trying to figure out how I do this, and how I do that. That both scared and thrilled me. Imitation is the best kind of flattery. But the biggest responsibility that comes with having an admirer, is you MUST set a good example. Corrie told me she is watching all of us Older Girls and learning from our mistakes. I'm glad I'm saving her the trouble. :) But she is so very wise to be doing that.
Anyway, when we were done she claimed me as her best friend. That made my day right there.
Sam, Isaac, Destiny, Michael
These sweet young'ins are my baby-cakes. We are still in the process of thinking about building our relationship, well they are, I'm not. They are a little bit harder to get along with, but that's okay. I understand that they don't understand just yet how important it is for us to be best friends. We're still working on it. :)
I hope this post has encouraged you to build your relationship with your siblings. I would enjoy hearing your experience in this area. :)
I know this is a bit late, but better late than never, right? :)
We first 'met' the Barnard family a year ago. Though we didn't meet in the traditional sense.
They had seen one of mom's article in the Above Rubies magazine and thought us to be a family they would like to meet. Mrs. Barnard sent my mom an email and told her that she had a daughter named Haley who was the same age as me! I was instantly intrigued and told mom to email the lady back and ask her if the Haley girl wanted to be my pen pal. I'm a sucker for pen pals. :P
The lady promptly replied and said that her daughter, Haley would. I was thrilled to death.
So we began writing letters back and forth. Soon our younger sisters began writing as well. Then the boys started writing letters too. That led to us calling each other once a week.
As the months wore on, both families decided that we needed to meet each other in person. The problem was, the Barnard family didn't have a van to travel down here in. So when they got their van, and after months and months of waiting and trying to schedule a time for them to come we finally nailed down a date. July 18th-the 21st.
The day finally arrived. We had 4-H projects to finish and turn in, and a house to clean up before they arrived. We got it done and anxiously waited for their arrival. They ended up getting lost...and got to our house at eight PM.
I have to say, it was wonderful finally getting to meet the family, in person, who had been our pen pals for a year.
We had dinner, and then started deciding where we would all sleep. Most of the children from both families slept outside in tents. That was a blast because the first night the Haley twins, Haley Barnard, and I, got an entire tent all to ourselves. With the exception of one-year-old Meleah, but she was asleep. :P
Here are pictures of each of us with our pen pals:
Me and my twin Haley Barnard
Aubrie Barnard and MacKenzie
Lucas Barnard and Isaac. Not sure what Isaac's problem was there....
Adalin Barnard and Corrie
Levi Barnard and Sam
Claire Barnard and Destiny
Meleah and Corrie
Elizabeth Porter and the lovely miss Grace Barnard
My dad and Mr. Barnard
On Thursday, we sent almost all of both families off to Brown County State Park while we (Emily, the Haley twins, Adalin and Corrie) prepared our surprise. The surprise was an elegant dinner. All homemade.
The adult table:
From left to right, back to front: Haley Barnard, me, Ben Barnard, Stephanie, Mr. Barnard, my dad, Mrs. Barnard, baby Sarah, and my mom.
The children's crazy table. :P
From left to right, back row, Michael, in the highchair, Levi Barnard, Sam, Judah Barnard , Isaac, Lucas Barnard
Front row, Corrie, Adalin Barnard, Grace Barnard, Destiny, and Claire Barnard
The lovely ladies who served the meal
Left to right:
Aubrie Barnard, Emily, and MacKenzie
The next day was my covenant ceremony. It was a huge blessing to have the Barnards there. They helped out tremendously! I honestly don't think we could have done it without them. Thank you all so much!!!!
Saturday. This was my least favorite day....because they had to leave. :( We had so much fun while they were here! It was as if we were one big family. :)
Yeah, that's a lot of people, but it makes for an epic time!!!
Today is my mom's birthday. She wrote her own birthday post, but that's her point of view.
I want to share with you my point of view of my mother.
My mom and I share a special relationship. We're buddies. We tease each other, and sometimes people think I'm being disrespectful, but my mom knows I'm not. :P
We share a journal. I mentioned this special journal in the post, Happy Valentine's Day
Through this journal, though we don't write in it that often, I've gotten to know my mom better.
It's funny because my mom and I are a lot alike. We look alike too. :P
My mother is unique, more than unique; she is superwoman.
She has ten kids, which is a complete miracle.
She describes herself as a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of mom. I agree. And she handles this bee-you-tifully! I honestly don't believe that anybody else could handle the way our family lives, like my mom does.
She handles stress amazingly.
She can write. Boy! Can she write! (I get my love for writing from her :))
She is currently working on her own book.
She has a very creative mind.
She's great at coming up with last minute projects. (She put together a play within 24 hours. Script, costumes, and all!)
She is my Spiritual mentor.
I love my mom. And I want to honor her by telling you all how much I appreciate her.
Her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Proverbs 31:28