Friday, December 5, 2008

My Siblings

Hello Everyone,

This post boasts the best photos that have ever made it on this blog. Unfortunately, I didn't take them. :-) Our family (the children) had their portraits taken not too long ago, and I am finally getting them posted. All those of you with siblings know what a blessing they are, and that life would be unimaginably dull without them! As I am writing this, I am surrounded by them: Conrad is digging in the drawer beside me for an envelope, Candace is pounding on the piano, now Mom is digging in another drawer to my right, Faith is ...well raising her voice in protest because someone (who shall remain unnamed) did something (which shall remain unmentioned), and I just got finished explaining to all those that were hanging over my shoulder that I can't write while people are watching me! Sound familiar?! If it doesn't, you are certainly to be pitied. Big, large, humongous, oversize families are one of the greatest things on earth! You ought to see our grins when someone stops us to comment on the size of our family; we simply thrive on people's consternation as they count, "One, two, three, four, five, six, Seven, Eight, NINE!!!

"Brothers and sisters, together as friends, ready to face whatever life sends. Joy and laughter or tears and strife, holding hands tightly as we dance through life."
Author: Suzie Huitt


"I smile because you are my sister;
I laugh because there is nothing you can do about it!"

Candace is one of those people that I could write a lot about! As it is, I have quite a bit for you to read about her. The following is an excerpt from a character sketch that I wrote for an English assignment. Please note, it was written with an attempt at humor and does include some hyperbole. ;-) Overall, though, it is fairly accurate. (Also, please bear with my love of big words!).


No one else would ever know it. Unless someone from our family told them, of course; and, when one of us does reveal it, casual acquaintances find it difficult to trust our veracity. Candace, so altered when in society, may blush crimson at our tales, but it does not change the fact: the real Candace is a fanatic!

To be sure she is only a fanatic in a few areas. These few, however, influence her entire existence. Though we shall be kind and not mention her name in relation to that of tight-fisted Scrooge, her fanatical thriftiness is no secret. One of her eyes is, at all times, focused on the financial affairs of the family, and she is not below using intimidation tactics to oppose “unnecessary” spending. As a result, lunchtime often resembles a session of Congress in which a budget bill is being debated. To her extreme vexation the vote is often nine to one in favor of extravagance.

Credit is due to Candace for practicing what she preaches down to the minutest extremity. For the worthy cause of “saving money,” she glories in enduring discomfort. Her monastic self-denial inspires her to take icy showers in a dark, unheated room; though, unlike the monks of old, her concern is the electric bill, not self-abasement to stimulate holiness. As long as these zealous and heroic sacrifices are imposed only upon herself, our family looks on benevolently, finds entertainment in her foibles, or, at most, rolls our eyes. But when we become the victims of her high values, our reactions are not always of a saintly sort. Discovering that the reason we have been shivering for the past half hour is that “a certain individual” has turned the thermostat back to fifty-five degrees causes us either to raise the temperature to a luxurious eighty degrees or to confront the aggressor with indignant protest. The latter method we often avoid, knowing that we will only receive the unsympathetic admonition to “Put on a sweater,” as well as a lengthy lecture on our sinful squander of fuel. Another annoyance we endure is having to screw the bathroom’s light bulbs back in before we can see to brush our teeth. She would argue that one bulb provides adequate light. The use, or rather overuse, of lights is to her a problem of monumental proportions. Since Thomas Edison is safely in his grave, she wreaks her revenge by rampaging through the house, switching off lights and muttering under her breath the whole time. Not all her energies are spent on energy conservation, however. Many other aspects of life require her strict management. Food, for example, cannot possibly be good unless it is cheap or, even better, free. A free box of stale rye crackers is perfectly delicious; a bag of chips at retail price is nauseating. The strange thing is that she eats them anyway. No one can be totally consistent it would seem.

A less laughable fanaticism of Candace’s is her insatiable appetite for work. Though the little girls would fall over dead if they were forced to meet Candace’s expectations for their industriousness, we all have to admit that we benefit from her intoxication with preserving a Utopian atmosphere. When the younger children bombard the living room with toys or invade the house with muddy boots and fail to clean up after themselves, she makes a bigger outcry than all Americans put together did about the Iraqi War! Because she herself is so motivated, she can hardly stand indolence in others. Seeing as apathetic sister’s garden suffering under the tyranny of weeds is more than she can take. Even though she doubts that it will help her sister to overcome laziness, she liberates the strawberries.

This is the Candace we know – and love! To other people, who know her only as the pleasant, slightly self-conscious young girl, this portrait of an eccentric zealot is incredible. If anyone would mention unscrewing light bulbs or any of her other peculiarities, however, the red tinge that would flood her face could leave no doubt: Candace is, undeniably, a FANATIC. -Published with the consent of the victim ;-)

In case any one got the wrong impression :-), let me tell you: Candace is an incredible sister and - more importantly- friend!


"A brother is a friend who was once a bother."

You can breathe a sigh of relief, I didn't write a character sketch on everybody, and I doubt I will have the patience to find a quote for all eight of my siblings either. Conrad is the next in line, and I had a reason for picking the above quote. Throughout most of our lives, Conrad and I have been mortal foes, competitors for the allegiance of our younger brothers and sisters! :-) One time on Conrad's birthday, Dad assigned us all to think of a reason why we are thankful for Conrad, which we were then supposed to share at the supper table. It was hard work and I racked my brains all day, only to announce at supper, "I am thankful for you because you kill bugs for me." That was then. Now, I kill most of my own bugs, and can honestly say that we are first-rate friends!


You see before you the future mother of eighteen children! Well, that is, she wants that many. For now, she is doing a wonderful job learning the skills she will need as a mother.


Faith, on the other hand, insists that she is going to be an old maid. Here is a paragraph to that affect that she wrote for school:
Goals for My Life
The one goal for my life is to be an old maid and help take care of my parents. I am going to cook and clean for them. I am going to adopt a little orphan girl. My brothers and sisters think it's bad that I want to be an old maid but Mom says it's OK.

Whether or not you can tell from the above paragraph, this sister of mine has an incredible imagination and a very unique personality! I know this is an over-used expression, but "Faith keeps life interesting" - extremely interesting!


Our family scholar - a very studious individual. Currently he is learning how to read, and I am sure he will be another addition to the many book-lovers in our family. So far the "Martin Academy" (what we call our homeschool :-) has utterly failed to turn out anything but bookworms.


This live wire is totally opposite from his brother. He is supposed to be learning the basic fundamentals of education under my oversight, but often, when I look up from my desk to check on his progress, I find that he has vanished!


Isn't she cute?! That is what everyone else says, and we tell her it far to often for her own good.


Here is our baby, the person with those fat cheeks which no one can resist kissing as soon as they pick him up!
"A perfect example of minority rule is a baby in the house."-- Milwaukee Journal

This post would not be complete without...

...Mom and Dad
I don't have a picture of them handy - isn't it ironic that the most important people in life are the ones that are often not in the limelight (i.e. not in the camera flash). All of we children owe everything to these two exceptional people. For starters, we obviously wouldn't exist if it weren't for them! What is even more important is that Dad and Mom have raised us in the Christian faith, which is what makes life worth living. Dad and Mom, thank you for everything.

And Last (Though Really First ;-)... me - your host for this post.
Thanks for reading this word-heavy post (if you actually did; if not, press the "page up" key and start reading!). I've tried to make my siblings as droll as possible so as not to lose you, but it can be difficult with such an everyday, normal, average family like ours.......

God Bless you all!