You are amazing.
It would take too long to list everything, so we each have a list of our top ten things that we love about you.
Thank you so much for...
10. Letting us make things
9. Letting us go places
8. Getting duct tape for us
7. Getting books for us
6. Letting us do lots of really fun things
5. Giving us tools on Christmas and birthdays
4. Reading to us
3. Letting me not have very much school
2. Making read-aloud fun for me
1. Making lots of yummy food for us~From Gloria~
10. Making Circle Time fun for everybody
9. Making school fun for me
8. Buying clothes for us
7. Paying for music lessons
6. Letting us do Bright Lights
5. Letting us do TLC
4. Giving birth to all of us
3. Being very nice
2. Buying tons of things for us
1. Making food for us
~From Thor~10. Feeding us
9. Being a wonderful cook
8. Clothing us
7. Being a wonderful cook
6. Not giving up
5. Being a wonderful cook
4. Taking care of us
3. Being a wonderful cook
2. Teaching us
1. Being a wonderful cook
~From Cecily~10. You put up with our insanity
~From Knut~10. She lets us eat cookie dough :D
9. She gives me cubes
8. She lets me have more cake
7. She puts up with us
6. She pays for FTC
5. She gives me chocolate
4. She homeschools all of us.
3. She directs two choirs, plays the organ for church, and she is on the SCCCHE leadership team.
2. She cleans up after everyone
1. She cooks us food
10. Putting up with us!
We're a hard lot to put up with-all extremely stubborn, impossible to keep under control, literalistic, teasing-yet you do put up with us, and you're even willing to be seen with us in public! I'm not sure how you do it!
9. Teaching us.
Not just homeschool, but everything. You're always teaching (true, I only learned to cook after you "gave up" teaching me, but you were still around to answer the flow of stupid questions or rescue dire situations).
8. Your willingness to let us do things.
TLC, FLL, Bible Bowl, FTC, Drama, field trips, and the list goes on...it's a sacrifice for you: it costs you time, money, and a lot of extra work. But you let us do as much as possible, regardless of the cost to yourself.
7. The little things you do on a day-to-day basis.
The things we never recognize. Laundry. Budgeting and couponing and researching bargains so you can feed all the eight of us. Cooking. Cleaning. All the countless little things that no one notices unless they're not done.
6. Giving so much up for us.
You gave up your organ playing for us for years. You gave up a possible career, lots of your freedom, another salary, and so much more.
5. The way you take time to do the "unimportant" things.
Thank you for not being too busy to read thousands of books to us when we were little. Thank you for baking things that no one else home-makes anymore: cookies, pies, bread, and so on. Thank you for insisting that we have a group school time, even if it makes school a little harder, because it does bring us together and form a "family culture."
4. Homeschooling us!
I know that there have been days when you've thrown up your hands in frustration, thinking you were an utter failure. I know you've threatened to send us off to public school because it seemed like we weren't learning anything and it wasn't worth the sacrifice. I know that, year after year, your perfect schedule has flopped and we've dropped subjects or finished late. I know we've complained...and complained...and complained...and thrown your hours of hard, frustrating work back in your face.
Mom...I'm so sorry for those times, and thank you so much for not giving up on us. Thank you for persevering for twelve years. Because you've taught me how to learn and love it. You've taught me the value of hard work and hard study. You've taught me how to excel. Every bit of academic success I have ever attained or ever will attain, I owe to you.
3. Your "laid-backness".
You don't freak out if "your baby" has to drive in the snow or stay out later than expected or dash off to an unscheduled/unexpected babysitting job. You just go with the flow and let us cope with our own challenges. You give us freedom and expect us to use it in a responsible manner as you've trained us to do.
2. The example you set.
Mom, I can't tell you how much you've influenced me. If I can ever be half as faithful and loving a servant as you are to your husband and children, I'll be one amazing wife and mother! I'll never even attain that "halfway mark," but if I ever learn to love at all, it will be because I was watching you. You have pushed me closer to the Lord, taught me patience (I know, I have a long way to go) and selflessness (or at least, showed me how I should be doing...), and provided a picture of the "as-close-to-perfect-mother-as-you-can-get-on-earth."
1. The way you're always there for us.
We may not express how much we appreciate this, but it is THE most wonderful thing that you could ever do for us, and you do it to perfection. When we have a problem, you try your best to find a solution. When we're stressed, you have help. When we're busy and forget about stuff (*cough* Bright Lights snacks *cough*), you're there to cover for us. No matter how impatient we are to you; you always love us and do everything you can to serve us and make things easier for us. When we do stupid things, you have a solution ready...even if you warned us about the stupid things in advance and we didn't listen to you. You follow and serve Christ, and you then point us to Him in the most powerful way you could: through your actions.
Mom, thank you for being the most wonderful mother on the planet (and the most forbearing, and the one who puts up with the most from her utterly crazy kids)!
Happy birthday! :)