Friday, November 20, 2015

...And thick and fast they came at last
And more, and more, and more....

Not only can this apply to eager young oysters, it is also fitting for fall birthdays around here.
(Name that poem.)

Next in line was Margaret the eldest. Eight years old! I can hardly believe it.
Her birthday always comes as a shock to me because, as she is the oldest, we have never experienced parenting her age before. It's always new and exciting! 

Fortunately, she makes it pretty easy. 

What can I say about her that I haven't already? She continues to be sweet and artistic, silly and energetic, smart and helpful... Recently, as I battled a week long stomach flu, she cheerfully chipped in and became my number one helper, even more than usual. I couldn't have made it through without her! And she did it with her same sweet willingness and patience. 

She has shown more diligence and self-motivation in school this year. Working hard to get all of her work done on time and even remembering deadlines and assignments on her own! Math has seemed to make a lot more sense to her this year and she devours large chapter books at a remarkable rate. Her book light at bedtime gets a lot of use. Baking is another big skill acquired this year and I can now trust her to make various cookies & muffins (pretty much) on her own -- or even a pan of scrambled eggs! I'm liking this new phase.

This summer she also started official cello lessons with the cello professor at Drury (after taking a year of makeshift lessons at home with me learning along with her). She loves them and has really blossomed. Recently she learned "Allegro", which was my first violin recital piece -- how time flies.....

One day, as my mom was visiting, she observed Margaret, upon her return from cello lessons, settle down on the couch, content with a good book for several hours. Then, quite suddenly, she leapt up, ran out the front door, slammed the screen door behind her and promptly climbed up the elm tree in the front yard. That was a very accurate snapshot of Margaret. 

So thankful that our children can grow up in a lovely farm setting.
Happy country kids who don't know how good they have it!

Margaret loves her animals. Caring for Ellie the barn cat, and her gerbils every day. Riding her horses as much as possible. She can handle Dan & Lady out in the fields. Fritz & Chico in the arena.


This past summer she got good at lunging Fritz & Lady and got a good handle on riding the canter.
Her face when she trots & canters is priceless. I love it so much.

 This is pure bliss, folks. Pure bliss.

She has a special bond with Lady, it is a joy to watch her ride.

And I love watching her be a big sister, seeing her learn how to be an encourager, and to care for others. Being creative & funny, organizing games and projects, protecting and looking out for the little ones....

This picture does my heart good. I have lots of pictures of Margaret holding her littlest siblings, and running off to adventure with William, but somehow I don't often capture the sweet and special bond between these two sisters:

These white dresses that the girls are wearing were made by my mom for me and my big sister to wear in my Aunt & Uncle's (beautiful) wedding. It is a special, fond memory. Then my little sisters wore them in my own wedding.

And now I get to see my own girls start fitting into them. They were so ecstatic that I let them try them on, they floated along dancing and twirling.

 We got Margaret a new bike for her birthday -- making her complete a scavenger hunt before finding it in the barn at the end. The following day -- another idyllic autumn day -- we went for a family walk/bike ride around the local park to try it out. I think she likes it.


 It seems that being 8 is a special time in childhood. And it's definitely true that our 8 year old is very special. We can't wait to see and share in all the wonderful things she experiences and accomplishes this year!


  1. Wow - 8 years old already! That's the perfect age for building lifelong friendships! ;) Your photos capture Margaret's full personality so well. I especially enjoyed the pictures of her riding bliss!

  2. Wow - 8 years old already! That's the perfect age for building lifelong friendships! ;) Your photos capture Margaret's full personality so well. I especially enjoyed the pictures of her riding bliss!

  3. She is beautiful.
    Happy 8th Birthday to Margaret, the eldest!