Now the sibs, starting with the oldest and working down to Baby David.
2....Jan - My only "Big Sis", she was an exemplary big sister as we were growing up. More outgoing than I, she included me in her activities as if I were just another friend, not the pesky little sister. As adults, she married before I did and gladly and generously shared the little tips about homemaking and parenting that she learned before I did. She is a strong, loving Christian and moral compass for me. She has made a life study of what makes strong families and how people can build strong and supportive family relationships. You can read some of her thoughtful and helpful professional writing at Concerned Women for America, where she is a writer and speaker on topics such as human trafficking, sexual mores, parenting, and other topics related to family values.
3....Terrell - He was born after I had been the baby of the family for 5 years! He took my "babyhood" and made me play the role of jealous older sibling. We have a large number of interesting childhood stories based upon his stubborn nature! He was what has become known since then as "a stong-willed child." In adulthood, he is a singer of local acclaim and a frequent performer in community theatre. His gregarious nature and contagious and enthusiastic enjoyment of life is a joy and encouragement to me. He is a talented, much-requested, public school teacher, whose kids always love him. This is natural since he teaches like he lives - with joy and vigor. He whole-heartedly throws himself into the job and guides each child he teaches with a paternal desire for each one to realize his/her potential. He blogs at Alone on a Limb.
4....Carol - Carol is my oldest younger sister! As we were growing up, she and my younger sisters were closer in age to each other and shared bedrooms, friends, and activities. I shared bedrooms, friends and activities more with Jan because of the proximity of our ages. Carol is the sister who is most like me in personality (she and I share a reserved nature with our mother, whereas our other siblings are more inclined to the gregarious nature of our father.) In the last few years, I have come to really admire and respect the strength of character that she has shown when she has dealt with difficult life situations. She is also an outstanding public school teacher who works hard to give her students the best possible chance of success in school. She has written and published numerous magazine and newspaper articles and currently authors the blog The Median Sib.
5....Debi - This sister is probably the most out-going of my sisters. In addition she is the consummate maternal figure. Although she holds a masters degree in Early Childhood Education, she has spent her life so far raising her own five children and nurturing all the children with whom she comes into contact. In our church, children always run to her for hugs and affirmation when they see her; they know she loves them and listens to them. Indeed she talks about these children almost as if they were her own. She greets each child individually as they leave the adult worship service to go to children's church each week. Debi is a published author whose books have dealt mostly with parenting; but she has also co-authored biographies with her author husband. Check out Mother in the Middle for a starting point to research her writing.
6....Beth - Beth is my youngest sister, 12 years younger than I. I remember clearly going into the hospital when she was born and bragging to anybody looking at the babies in the nursery that "that pretty one right there is my baby sister!" As a teenager, Beth did a lot of entertaining as a singer. She had (has?) a beautiful contralto voice. I regret that she didn't keep up that interest and talent. Had American Idol been around then, she would have been a natural for a contestant. She is an adventurous spirit who is a combination of the extremes of our family personality types - gregarious, accomplished, responsible, but somewhat more reserved than some of the others. She has used her degree is social work in several different settings through the years and has been a strong advocate for children whose life circumstances have given them a difficult road to travel. She is currently in transition, waiting for her next great challenge, and devoting a lot of time and energy to her high-rated political and military blog, Blue Star Chronicles , partially in support of her son who is serving in the US Army in Iraq.
7....David - David is the baby in the family. I remember his birth rather vividly too. My mother stayed up almost all night a few days before he was born making me a prom dress! Being a typical highschooler, I was somewhat embarrassed to have a pregnant mother and did not help make the pregnancy easier. As a teenager, he taught himself to play the piano and guitar. As an adult, he learned all about computers on his own and has worked himself into very responsible and rewarding positions based upon his own drive, determination and intelligence. David has been an inspiration to me, as all my siblings have. He is an outstanding father; and he remains a constantly supporting and loving son, calling Mother at least once a week. You can find out something about his work at 3Datum Software .
My life is richer than it could ever have been otherwise because I was blest to be born into the same family as these seven blessings!