Birthday #14

Another birthday this week. This time our oldest daughter is now 14!  This year will be a year of changes for her as goes off to Honduras for seven weeks in just 35 days!!! She jokes that I’m not going to cry when I drop her off because her and I are A LOT alike and butt heads often.  Not true… trust me I’ll cry.

I am curious how 14 will change in other ways as our homeschool begins to look a little different in the fall.  She is going to go to a co-op one day a week for three classes.  I think it will be great for her. There are other things, all great things, so who knows what I’ll be writing about her in the future.

I pray that she listens for God’s voice as she travels with Teen Missions and that together we follow the path he has set for her, in the fall. We may have our differences at times but I love you dearly. Use that stubborn spirit for good dear child.

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Nineteen!

Wow… we have a 19 year old in our house today.  How can that be???  This is an exciting time for him as he takes the fire exam next week to officially be a fireman!  He has passed the schools test and loved every moment of class this semester.  Next up is EMT school in the fall and then onto Paramedics.

My dear boy is finding his way in the adult world while learning lessons along the way.  I think it’s harder to be a parent of an adult than a two year old, but I guess each stage feels the hardest, yes?

Happy birthday Mr. J!  Looking forward to what this year has in store for you.

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Happy Birthday Ms. S

Eleven.

I have such a hard time believing that the baby is eleven.  I think we all do.

She remains the fashion forward princess she has been for years.  Her day is not right without the outfit being perfect.  She notices things about dresses and clothes that I would not think of – like how the bodice lays or the way they added something.  If she doesn’t do something in the fashion industry in the future I will be shocked.

She has added ballet to her list of things she does this year.  It fits her so well that I think the violin will be set aside to focus on this.  I’m not sure how I feel about that, but we’ve always allowed our children to lead the way in what areas they want to focus their energy.  Violin was something she started because her best friend does it, but ballet is something she does because she loves it.

Happy birthday to my sweet daughter.  You have a gentle loving spirit that I’m sure God has amazing plans for someday.

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Another Teenager

Today our third child turns thirteen.  Where has the time gone?

She has been planning a party for this day for two years at least – turning 13 on the 13th.

Ms. A has a strong personality that can make for interesting days.  Her and I are much alike in that way.  She can also be super sweet.  She plays the flute and loves it.  One of her favorite places to be is the library and enjoys reading the many books she brings home with her.

I wonder what the future holds for her and the paths she will follow.  Unlike her brothers she has never known for sure what she wants to do.  She loves little people and hopes to start babysitting one of these days.

Happy birthday Ms. A.  I pray you will allow God to mold you in the coming years, that you will listen to his voice, and that you will follow the path set before you with confidence.

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Eighteen Years Old

I can hardly believe that my oldest child is 18 today.  Where has the time gone?  He was born after 36 hours of labor {water broke… nothing happened…ended in a c-sec} on Mother’s Day.  What a perfect present.

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He was a sweet little one with the blondest hair.  Loved all things tractors – especially John Deere’s when he was younger.  He could spot them a mile away as we drove along the country roads around our home.

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He graduated from our homeschool this past October and took some time to work and begin saving money for the next stage of life – becoming an EMT.  Since he was 14 he has worked with the fire station though the Fire Explorers and riding along when they would allow him in our city.  He has seen his share of trauma and has handled it well.

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At 11 he started his own business {lawn care} and just last year stepped away to work for a more regular pay check.  He, with his brother, has built a tree house.  He has gone to Northern Ireland.  He has owned two cars paid for in by himself.  We are proud of the young man he is becoming even though the bumps in the road.

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Happy Birthday Josh.  May you follow closely to the path God has set before you and seek him daily in the little and big decisions.  We love you!

{Senior pictures taken by me}

Sweet 16

You know when you have that sweet little babe in your arms and you dream of their future… a future that seems so far away.  Let me tell you it passes quickly.  In a blink of an our second child has turned 16.  Oh, but his dimples remain strong and his curls are still amazing…

He had a great day… best birthday every he said.

It started with a 7:15 wake up call so that he could take his driver’s test.  He passed and then posed with his Dad’s car that he hopes to inherit in the near future.  I don’t know why as it is my least favorite car.

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We opened presents and then he drove all by himself for the first time to have lunch with my parents.  We went over directions because, well, that will be his biggest hurdle in driving.  Directional challenged… but he made it and enjoyed talking about what was going on in his life and just visiting with them.

Next he wanted to go on a hike.  He is so easy to please.  Doesn’t need any big parties, thrills or presents.  Time spent is the best gift. Now hikes with him are never boring.  He hikes off the trails, climbs places that don’t seem possible and treks though water.  We went to a nearby place that has cliffs, ledges, caves, and waterfalls.  We spent about 2 hours exploring.  I’ll share some pictures as the week goes on as it was a gorgeous place.

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We ended the day with dinner at Cracker Barrel and then homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Pie.

Hard to believe he is 16.  Sweetest boy you’ll ever meet.  Happy birthday Mr. C.

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Double Digits

While my computer was being brought back to life our youngest turned 10 on December 29th!

I told her she wasn’t allowed but she said it was going to happen “but I’ll always be your baby!”

On her birthday she decided to get her hair cut off.  She has been thinking about it for awhile and a special birthday seemed like a good day for it.  I didn’t realize how short she wanted it but it looks adorable.  EIGHT inches cut off.  I couldn’t believe she had that much! {she wore the dress to the hairdresser too}

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On a side note… the dress Ms. S has on she got for Christmas and then found out her best friend got the same exact dress!  I had no idea.  Last week they called each other so they could wear it to church on the same day.  Adorable.

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Happy birthday to our stylish ten year old!