Archive for the ‘Birthday Interview’ Category

Anson: Nine-year-old

Anson’s birthday was a little over two weeks ago.  Given my record of majorly delayed interviews these last couple of years, combined with this being the day before we begin school, I asked Madeline to conduct Anson’s interview.  Not only would it free me up a bit, but I figured it would be neat to see how it went. 😉


So, how do you feel? Being eight I mean.


Oh yeah. Sorry. I guess I’m just used to an eight-year-old-Anson! So, what are some of your hobbies?


What else?

Hmmm. Soccer, basketball.

Well, that’s cool. What kind of things do you like to eat?



Donuts. Cake. Ice cream.

(This picture is from last year, but it shows Anson’s love for ice cream.)

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I’m not surprised.

Five Guys.

What else?

Zaxbys. Sonic. Chick-fil-a.

Well, okay, but you’re going junk-food.

Mmmhhhhmm. How about this: Caesar salad.

We’ve made a small improvement.

A pretty big improvement. How’s that?

That’s better.


So, I would like you to name something about all your family members you enjoy.

(Seconds pass. He puts his head on the table and bangs it gently. He’s thinking.) Well… funny, funny, funny, funny, funny, and funny.

That doesn’t count.


Do it again.

But everybody’s silly in our family.

Fine, but we all have different things we’re good at, or… you get it.

(Kieryn says to Anson, “Like you. You’re good at climbing!” They proceed to copy lines from Despicable Me. Then they get silly and start whispering lines! I love it when they interact.)

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Guys! Let’s get moving. We only got a little bit in.

(Kieryn says, “But that’s a lot Madeline!” Then she begins to read the previous conversations.)

I’m serious. Let’s get going again. Anson, what do you like about being neighbors with our friends?

You’re supposed to say, “friends” he says in a southern accent. (He’s imitating our neighbor, Hadassah, who is Kieryn’s age. Then Kieryn begins to sing, “Friends, friends, friends!” Then they get up from the table and start running away, pretending they’re penguins.)

Anson! Come back! Okay, let’s try this one more time. Anson, okay, come here. You’re going to like this one! Tell me some fun facts about an animal.

Mmmm. A crocodile can get to be twenty feet long.

Wow! Really?

Yeah. Do you remember seeing Gomech? Imagine him three feet bigger!

Was Gomech a croc or gator?

Oh, definitely croc. He was a salt water crocodile.

Oh. I thought he was a gator. He was massive though! I bet he could’ve fit just about ten of me in there! What else do you know Anson?

Well, can I keep talking about this for a second?

Sure, go ahead.

Okay. Gators are much smaller than crocs. The biggest gator gets to be about 14 feet long.

And you say the crocs get to be even bigger?!


I didn’t know that! What else do you know? On another animal this time.

Okay. (He says sadly) I was going to say something really quick.

Well, go ahead I guess.

Thanks! Do you remember how tall was his head to the ground?

No I don’t. How tall?

I’m guessing probably how tall I was then.

I’m guessing you’re probably right.


Hey! Do you want to say what we found out Eden could do yesterday?

Yeah! She can walk!

Not just with our help though right?

Yeah! All by herself!

It’s very cool.

Yes it is.

Little Eden’s growing up.

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Anson, I have another question for you.

Okay…. (He says it hesitatingly.)

You have a blog about animals, right?


Okay, what is it’s name?

Animal wow! Capitalize “Animal” and “Wow”

Actually, you don’t capitalize it.

No. I’m saying please do.

Oh, okay. Let’s see… Animal Wow. There.  So, do you want to link it?

(He nods) Yes!

Okay, here:

There. That’s done. What do you want to tell readers now?

(He thinks for a minute) I’m not sure.

Well, let me help you. mmmmm. Do you want to say something else about animals?

No it’s okay. They can go to my blog.

Okay, then. Umm. Do you want to say something that you like doing with Daddy?

Ummm. (Seconds go by.) Playing LEGOS. (He says, “No Madeline. It’s capitilized: LEGOS.” I capitalize it but the computer doesn’t recognize. He says, “What??!”)

What else?

I don’t know.

How about this: Ouch. (My wrist hurts from typing so much.)

(He says, “Ouch?”)

Well, let’s wrap it up soon, okay?

Okay! This interview is over!

No, I said, “SOON.”. Do you want to tell readers what kind of games you like to play with your siblings?

I don’t know.

You know Anson, we have 695 words right now typed up. Amazing?


Do you want to say what’s happened recently with Memere?

She’s in Florida.

For how long?

I don’t know.

Why is she there?

Cause Grande-memere had a stroke.

Right. Are we and you specifically praying for both of them??


(Here is a picture of mom and Anson playing chess while we were visiting Grande-memere in Florida)

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That’s very good. Now…. Okay, let’s change the subject to more happy things: What time is it right now?

(He looks at the clock) 9:05

pm. or am?


That’s right! How have things been going with school?

I don’t know. We haven’t been doing school. We start it tomorrow.

Right! That’s funny. Okay, well, before we close-

Can we try to get to a thousand words?

Yeah! Sure! That’d be a fun thing to make as our goal. I’ll see if I can hold up until then. Right now we have 831 words. How many does that make to a thousand?

I don’t know.

Oh, common, Anson!


How much is 831 words to a thousand words?

(He thinks for… not all that long actually.) 279.

Okay, let’s go check a calculator. Will you grab one?


(He gets up and is trying to find it.) Finally, he shouts, “I can’t find one!” Then he and Grandpa talk about calculation.

So, what is it?


Aw. I see. Okay, well, we still have-

Ninety words to go.


How much is 831 words to a thousand words?

(He thinks for… not all that long actually.) 279.

Okay, let’s go check a calculator. Will you grab one?


(He gets up and is trying to find it.) Finally, he shouts, “I can’t find one!” Then he and Grandpa talk about calculation.

So, what is it?


Aw. I see. Okay, well, we still have-

Ninety words to go.


We’re there!

Wow!!! You’re right!!! We’re at 1013! That’s awesome!

Okay, just one more question……….. Two more: what bible verse has proved to help you when you need it.

Isaiah 41:10.

Recite it real quick.

Do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am you God. I will strengthen you and help you and uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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Good job! And what about your sleepover?


But nobody knows anything about it, so tell them about it.

I had a sleepover at AJ’s house. For two nights.

(Below is a picture of Anson and AJ at a field trip a few months back.)

AJ and Anson

I’m sure it was very fun. Alright, well, he’s eating oatmeal so we’ll wrap up now.

Bye! (Simeon says, “Bye!”)

Including this paragraph, we got to 1160 words without stop. He has grown into a handsome and wise young man. I encourage all those who read to comment on him and congratulate him and his parents for being raised and raising such excellence!

Kieryn: 5 years old

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Oh, babygirl, Kieryn… Tell me about yourself.

What do you mean about myself?

(Okay, maybe that question  is still a bit too open-ended for a five year old.)

Well, tell me how you like doing school  now that you are a kindergartner.

Well, I like doing school, because I get to read books, and make books, and color.  I get to do science.  I get to count. (She proceeds to count to 20.) And that’s why I like school!  And I like doing Starfall.

(I must say, she is my best student so far.  Where Madeline had a bit of trouble accepting direction, Kieryn has none.  Where Anson struggled with motivation or discouragement, Kieryn has not.  She is eager to learn, and doesn’t crumble when I tell her that her 5 is backwards. It’s been a very exciting time as a teacher, especially considering that I was a bit concerned about what life would look like to incorporate a third child into our school day. She’s made it easy and fun!)

Tell me what your favorite book is.

Mox the Fox, because there are cakes in it.

(Yep, she’s still our Sugar Queen.  The others reach a point of being unable to finish a big treat, but not Kieryn.  She offers to finish what the others cannot.)

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What is your favorite book to read for bedtime? Like one that Mommy or Madeline reads to you.

I like the one, “How Can it Be Worse?”

Tell me what that story is about.

So, there’s a mom and a dad. They had a lot of kids.  They were making noise, and noise, and noise.  They didn’t want that.  So, they went to a person who told them, “Bring in the donkey. Bring in the cow. Bring in the goats.” And then they brought them in.  And then, I think, Miriam said, “It’s even worser!” So, they let all the animals out, and then it was quiet.

So their kids didn’t make noise anymore?

I think. (Madeline corrects.  “No, the parents just thought it wasn’t as loud.  The animals made extra noise, so when the animals went away it sounded quieter, and they realized it could be worse.)

What kinds of things do you like to do when it’s not school time?

Go outside and ride bikes with Simeon. (This is one of her primary activities when I am doing school with the two oldest.) Play with Anson’s cars with him. Or play babydolls with Madeline.

What else do you like to do with Madeline?

Feed her fish with her. And go outside with her.  And, um… Play babydolls.

What about drawing?

Yeah! Draw with her. Color with her.

(Madeline gives her drawing lessons, and will sometimes draw pictures for Kieryn to color. They have a very sweet, close relationship.  I’m not sure she knows it, but Madeline is her best friend.  Madeline washes her hair when they shower together and will help pick out her clothes and get her hair brushed and done up.  Sometimes they come out of the room after a long getting-ready-session and they both have fancy dresses and abundant accessories. They make sisterhood look beautiful.)

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What are you favorite dolls or stuffed animals?

Lamby is my favorite stuffed animal. I think Emma is the best doll.  I think so.

What is your favorite color?

Probably red. I really like red.

So, it’s not pink or purple anymore?

I don’t think so.

(Well, they say you learn something new everyday.  This is my something for today.)

What are your favorite things to eat?

Caesar salad with croutons, potato soup, juice, broccoli with Ranch, waffles.

What is your favorite thing God made?

Oh dear. Is this an animal thingy?

It could be.

Flowers, animals, humans, and trees and plants.

What is your favorite day of the week?

The Shabbat day and the days that we go on dates!

What is your favorite thing about Daddy?

That he lets us go to the park, and he lets us eat ice cream, and he lets us go to services. And he lets us see Johnny and Katie and lots of things.

(An interesting assortment of highlights!)

What is your favorite thing about Mommy?

Oh! You help us do school, and you help Daddy make money for us.  You cook breakfast and dinner and lunch for us. You have babies and that stuff.

(“You have babies and that stuff”… Yes, I guess I do.)

What is your favorite thing about Madeline?

That she draws with me.

What is your favorite thing about Anson?

Playing cars with him. And then what’s my favorite thing about Simeon?

Yep, that was my next question.

That we go and ride bikes together.

And what about Eden?

Oh, I like to hold her.  She’s cute.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

(She echos) What do I want to be when I grow up? …Um… Riding a horse and having a dog.  (“That’s not something you can be,” Madeline says. So, Kieryn adjusts.) A farmer.  Or making a shop and then people buy stuff and I get money. Now what, Mommy? Is that all?

What else would you like to say?

I like colorful leaves and flowers.

And with that, she’s done. She has grown so much over this last year.  We don’t see the abrupt mood swings that were so prevalent last year.  On the occasion when she gets sullen and draws inward, feeling inadequate or unimportant, she hears and responds to the truth we tell her. More and more, we find her settling into her role as a big, important part of this family. We are eager to watch our Elohim continue to grow her into a girl who will one day bring joy into darkness.

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Anson: 8 years old

In customary fashion, we are conducting our birthday interview slightly late.  Almost six months late, to be more precise. Nonetheless, here’s our eight year old boy.

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What is your favorite animal at eight years old?

Every animal.

Every animal? Name them all.  In alphabetical order.

I can’t name them…

What about your favorite animal? If you had to choose one, what would you choose?

I would leave the room.

Too many animals?

Yes, I like all animals.  Even mice. People look at the down side of them…

If you could be one kind of food what would you be?

I’d probably be… burnt gasoline, because nobody would eat me.

(The other kids have been sitting on the bed behind Anson until now.  But this was evidently too much for them to handle quietly.  Erich tries to reign them in.)

No comment from the peanut gallery, please.

Oh, good point! I’d be rotten peanuts! Then nobody would eat me.

(At this point, we pause the interview to reassess the interview direction. We resume, but it still takes a while for us to get to some really good stuff.)

What are some of your favorite things to do at eight years old?

Ride my bike, play soccer, play more soccer after that, play basketball, a little more basketball, come inside to watch tv, do a little not-so-fun school, jump on the trampoline…

Let me ask you a little bit about school.

Uh oh.

No. No bad attitudes about school. What is your favorite subject?

Oh dear… Maaa…. Grrrr…. Probably geography.  Well, actually, my first is science, but not the human stuff as much.  The animal stuff.

Do you have a least favorite subject in school?

Probably phonics or grammar.

You don’t like to label sentences much do you?

Not very much.

(But as his teacher, I must report that he does very well with them. On the days when he works with a good attitude, he zips through it pretty skillfully.)

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I want you to tell me just one thing you love about each of your siblings.  Starting with Eden.

She is so cute and she can crawl really quickly.  And I hope she can eat food soon.


Because then she’ll be able to eat my green beans for me and stuff.

You’re going to feed her your vegetables?

I like Caesar salad, and sometimes I eat asparagus.  But I can feed her black olives and stuff.

What about Simeon?

He’s funny and sometimes tricky.

What about Kieryn?

She’s funny. And now it’s Madeline.

Okay. What is one of your favorite things about Madeline?

Um… I like to play with her and she’s funny too.

We have a very funny family, don’t we?

You’re funny too.  And I love mom. And she helps us and cooks for us.  Well, usually.  Yesterday we made breakfast – the kids did.

(They did, indeed.  Every now and then, Erich and I wake to the sounds of clanking dishes.  We smell breakfast smells.  Then, the bigger ones send a smaller one into our room to make sure we stay put until they summon us. When we come downstairs, we find an empty, dark room. Suddenly, the lights come on and kids hop out of every corner shouting, “Surprise!”  We have cool kids.)

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What is your favorite book of the Bible?

Revelation.  Or Genesis.  Maybe the Psalms.  I also like to hear about the kings.

Tell me about the tapes you like to listen to before bed.

(A college-age friend of our family passed on her set of Bible story tapes from her childhood. Our kids listen to them almost every night.  It’s actually the primary motivator to get our kids ready and in bed by 8:30.  If they don’t get into bed in time, they don’t get a tape.)

The one about Elisha and the army of Assyria.  Their army was surrounding the city Elisha was in. Angels smit the army with blindness and Elisha took the Assyrian army into the midst of Samaria.

Is that your favorite story?


What do you want to be when you grown up?

Probably a police officer.  Maybe I want to have a job at home.  Something I can do at home that doesn’t take very long, but that I can get paid really well.

(He gets this kind of ambition from his dad.)

Tell me about what chores you do.

I clear the table, wipe the table, brush my teeth, and feed the cats.

What is your favorite meal?

Probably chicken fingers with Zax sauce. That’s reallly good.

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What are your favorite colors?

Green and blue.

Tell me about some of the hard things have happened this year.

I remember school. It’s just hard. Well, some school. (Madeline whispers something.) Oh yeah.  It’s been hard about Wild Kratts.

You have a pretty incredible testimony about taking authority over the enemy.

(He has a wonderful testimony of victory over the enemy, but he’s not ready to share it.  Though we have explained that we all sin and that our God’s greatness shines forth in how He redeems us from our sin, he gets very sad remembering some of the harsh, untrue words he said.  We were able to record his telling of the story for historical record, but for now, I just wanted to say here that our God is faithful and good.  Anson is on his way to becoming a warrior for the kingdom.)

(Around this time, we get off track again.  Erich says something about Anson’s favorite movie being How to Train Your Marsupial. Anson puts his eyelids inside out. And the children erupt into a wrestle-fest… We do another reassessment of the interview.  This time, we decide to send the other kids out and to wrap up with just Anson.)

What are you really good at?

I’m good at soccer, and I’m good at thinking.

What else?

I’m good at… What am I good at?

Do you want me to help you think of other things?


You’re good at building things out of Legos and learning facts about animals or states. Actually, you are great at learning all sorts of facts.  You learn memory work faster than everyone else. (He can rattle through bones of the skull, parts of the eye, and dozens of scriptures with ease.) You are great at Hebrew, especially making the “chet” sound. (Although when he gets exuberant with it, it’s a little scary…) You pick things up quickly and are a fast learner when you put your mind to it. (That seems to satisfy everyone, so we move on.)

What do you like to sleep with at night?

I like to sleep with Snoopy, Puppy, Bane, and all my animals.

Once again, things get off track. Erich and Anson end up getting involved in some kind of Buffalo game where Anson uses his head to try to shove Erich off the bed.  This time, we’re not going to reign it in.  We’re done for the night, and that’s probably a good thing.

You are a boy with immense potential, Anson.  We are excited to watch our faithful Abba continue to grow and mature you!

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Madeline: 9 years old


Phew! You have only one more year until you are into the double-digits! That makes me feel a bit old.  How does it make you feel?

Well, older than I was when I was five. And six. And seven.

True. Do you like being nine so far?

Yes! I didn’t discover that 10 was actually double-digits until I was almost nine. So, that’s kinda funny.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Okay! Um… I like horses… (Thinking silently…) Uh, when I need thoughts I can never get thoughts!  (She returns to thinking.)  I like to play with my siblings.  And we have a new baby coming.  This time, this baby is going to be half my baby.

Explain that “half my baby” thing.

Oh, okay.  Well, it started when I wanted a baby, but I was a little bit tired of pretending my baby dolls were babies.  So I figured that when you have a baby I can help take care of it a lot.  Memere said that she was kinda like a mom to Uncle Jimmy.  And Miss Myrna said that her big sister took care of her when she was a baby.

So, will you help me change stinky diapers and wake up to feed the baby in the middle of the night?

Yes! Most of the nights, anyway.  Some nights I’ll be tired.  But most of the nights I’ll help.  I need to practice for when I’m actually a mommy with my very-very own children.  Now that I think of it, I’ll never have my very-very own children, because I need a husband to have children, so they’ll be his too.  This baby will be yours, Daddy’s, and mine.  And my baby in the future will be mine and my husband’s.  So I’ll never have my very own baby.  It’ll still be mostly – like half – my baby.

Well, I can tell you from experience that sharing a baby with a husband is the best. It’s nothing to be sad about.

That’s good.  I didn’t say I was sad.  Just that I’ll never really have my very own baby.  So, now I really won’t worry about it at all.

Good call. Now tell me about things you enjoy doing.

I like riding bikes, and hanging out with Adeline, and going horseback riding, and camping.  I like it most times when I go to Memere and Grandpa’s congregation.  And I like jumping on the trampoline sometimes.  I like sleeping most times. I can’t think of other things.

What about cooking?

Oh, I love cooking! I totally forgot that!  (She is quite an able baker.  I enjoy being able to give her a recipe and letting her take care of the rest.  While she’s working on a recipe, she loves to pretend she’s on a cooking show. At some point, we’ll have to get some of that on video.) Wasn’t Kieryn cute when she was young?

Yes, random-girl.  (Apparently, she was looking at a picture behind me, so that wasn’t quite as random as I thought.)

Well, this is a birthday interview, so there are lots of random questions anyway.

Okay, so tell me a bit about school.

Oh, here comes the hard part.

Hard part?!

Yes.  We haven’t been doing school much lately.  (It’s true.  We’ve had the past three weeks off for Sukkot prep, Sukkot, and then Sukkot recovery.) But last time I liked writing and art.  I like reading Adam and His Kin, and doing special assignments that are fun.  I wish we did science though.  (Yeah, I need to work that subject in officially.  I’ve been counting random animal studies – like Wild Kratts – as science.)

Tell me some things you’ve been enjoying from your Bible reading lately.

Xander’s mom made up this game called Three Spies.

(I interrupt.) Does this have anything to do with Bible?


Okay, continue.

It’s about Rahab and the spies.  But were there two spies or three?

I thought maybe two.  But did she call it Three Spies or Two?

Three.  Anyway, you follow the Bible basically to play.  We used Legos – like a red Lego as the scarlet thread at the door of the Lodge.  We didn’t actually play it, but I think that’s what it was about.

Okay, so is that your favorite Bible story?

Well, not exactly.  It’s one of them.  I really like the one with David and Bathsheba, because he learned… It was kind of sad, but um… David learned something when he shouldn’t have committed adultery with Bathsheba.  The kind of good part was when they had a baby.  But I think the baby died, right?

The first baby did, but they ended up having…

Solomon (She answers with me)

Tell me about the prayer time you had with Daddy the other night.

Well, it started with Daddy praying for me for my dreams and stuff.  But my eye was hurting like when you get an eyelash in it. I kept pulling gently on my eyelashes to see if there were any loose ones, but it still kept hurting.  So, I told Daddy at the end of his prayer, and he prayed for me again.  This time, for my eye.  He prayed that God would heal my eye and give me more faith when He did heal it.  Towards the end of his prayer, my eye just stopped hurting. I told him afterwards, and he said, “That’s the kind of faith I’m talking about!”  We said goodnight, and then I fell asleep, I think.  That was probably the most recent miraculous thing that’s happened to me.

We get caught up in a conversation about the physical and spiritual parallels in life.  It was too involved to catch it all on here.  But I love being able to have adult-like conversations with this little girl.  She’s pretty cool!  When we finish, both of us are kind of worn out with the birthday interviews. But we’ll try to do them on time next year so that they’re spaced out a bit better. 🙂

Kieryn: 4 years old

Again, I am quite late getting this interview done.  I guess two and a half months late isn’t the end of the world.  She’s roughly the same girl now that she was on her actual birthday. 😛


So, how does it feel to be a 4 year old girl?

Like how I was three.

But you’re older now.  And taller, too.

And taller?  Well, I was tall when I was three.

But not as tall as you are now.

Yeah.  Can you do a birthday interview with some breakfast?

What do you mean? It’s almost dinner time.

(She puts on her whiny face and voice.  Madeline looks at her and chuckles, which causes Kieryn to declare angrily, “I’m SERIOUS!”  Then her baby brother comes over to reclaim his sock, which Kieryn had been playing with.  Kieryn then begins calling him “Socky-pants” and laughing.  I guess that little attitude-time is over.  We’ll just forget about the breakfast thing and try to move on.)

So, Kieryn, what are some of your favorite things?

What things, mom?

I don’t know, like what is your favorite thing to eat?

Um, waffles.  Now what?

What else do you like to eat?

Broccoli and ranch.  Pasta. Um, donuts, ice cream, and chocolate chips.  (There are real answers I was looking for.  This girl is a sugar-queen.  Thankfully for her health, we make only healthy treats, and those only on weekends.)

What is your favorite color?

Purple, yellow, and pink.

What is your favorite movie?

Turbo.  (She takes a quick bathroom break.  Now she’s ready to continue.)

What is your favorite thing God made?

Hmm.  Snow!


Yes, snow! You can make snow-castles. You can make bears, and snowmen.  You can pretend you’re making God and a person.  You can make everything!  You can draw a new baby, Madeline, and me.  Or a house.  Now what?

What is your favorite animal?

Animal? (She pauses to think…) The fastest animal in the world is (she pauses for effect)…. a…. cheetah.  (Madeline corrects her by saying that’s the fastest land animal.  The fastest animal is probably a peregrine falcon.  Kieryn is sticking with the cheetah, though.)

What is your favorite day of the week?


Why Wednesday?

A’cuz it can snow or something.  Or Aidan and Adeline can come or something.  Or the baby can come out or something.  (Interesting line of thinking…)

What is your favorite book?

The Dora book I use for school when Madeline does school with me.

Okay, well, what’s your favorite thing about Daddy?

Him working here. And playing with us.

What’s your favorite thing about Mommy?

Having a new baby.

What do you think this baby is going to be – a boy or a girl?

A girl.

Will you be sad if you have another brother?

No, then Simeon and the other baby can be twins.  (“Well, you have some big plans there,” says Madeline.)

What is your favorite thing about Madeline?

Giving me things.  (“Hey!” Madeline protests.)  Sorry, she already typed that. (She is such a spunky little girl.)

What is your favorite thing about Anson?

Sometimes he gives me things when he used to be a girl.  I’m joking!

So what’s something you like to do with Anson?

Play with him.

What kind of things do you like to play with your siblings?

Tag, Hide and Seek, I Spy.

What is your favorite thing about Simeon?

Playing with me.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A mom.  (So sweet!)

Who is Yeshua?


What did he do for us when he was a man?

Die on the cross.

Why did he die on a cross?  Was he bad?

No, he just had to. (“He didn’t have to, Kieryn,” Madeline quickly corrects.  “He just chose to.”)

So, he chose to die to bear the punishment for our sins, right?

Yeah.  Can I go outside and play now?

Sure, baby.

And that concludes this girl’s first birthday interview.  She is a fun one to get to know, though her moods can change rather quickly.  We’re learning how to guide her through all that, which means we’re growing in the process too.  We love you, sweet girl!

Anson: 7 years old

I did the first version of this birthday interview shortly after Anson actually turned seven back in July.  But I was in first-trimester-land and felt pretty lack-luster about how it went.  So, I left it in hopes that I’d get back to it to add in some more fun details.  It took until now, but we finally finished it up satisfactorily.


So, Anson, tell me how it feels to be seven now.

AWESOME!  And Simeon is copying me.  I’m glad that you’re having a new baby.

Okay, random-fish.  Tell me a bit about your seven-year-old self.  What kind of things do you like?

Toy cars, Legos, and airplanes.  And I like car washes and balloons.  I got a balloon and a car wash for my birthday! I like states and countries too!  Maps… Hmm… What else?

How did you discover that you liked states and maps and stuff?

Well, a long time ago we did state worksheets for school. (We recently finished a year of American History/Geography.  Towards the end, he got hooked.)

What is your favorite state and why?


Tennessee?! I thought it was Alaska! 

Hmm..  I changed my mind.  My second is Alaska. (This boy was hooked on Alaska for weeks! He built paper versions of Alaska covered with cotton balls.  When he and Madeline made dessert for Shabbat, he lobbied to create an Alaska cake with whipped cream on top.  He even had plans to move to Alaska as an adult.  I’m actually glad to hear he’s lost some of that Alaska fervor.  It was just a few years ago that he promised me he’d live across the street from me when he grew up so that he could see me everyday.  With Tennessee as his favorite state, I can re-kindle that dream.)

So, then is geography your favorite subject in school?


Tell me a bit about how the rest of school is going for you.

I don’t really like it.


Because I like being outside and playing. Having to do math isn’t really fun.  But state worksheets are my favorite.  I like stuff like art.

Now you’re reading much better. That’s pretty fun, right?

It’s good that I’m reading better, and it’s fun reading when I have books like dog books or any animal books.

You’re still a big animal fan, aren’t you?

Yes I am! I really like animals.  That’s why I like to watch Wild Kratts.  They teach me about animals, and dad does too.

What’s your favorite animal now?

(Slaps his head and grimaces.) I don’t have one.


I like every animal! It’s hard to pick one that I like the best.  I have a different favorite animal every day. (Kieryn asks, “Well, what’s your favorite animal today?”) Cheetah.  (That’s been his long-time favorite.)

Mom, how about you ask me what’s my favorite color or favorite movie?

Okay, what’s your favorite color?

Well, it’s the same as my favorite animal.  It’s different every day.

Well, what about today?


What about your favorite movie?


What about your favorite meal?

Probably chicken salad sandwiches with apple juice.  (When I first asked this question to him back in July he said, “Pancakes.  Probably pancakes.”)

What about your favorite day of the week?

Definitely the seventh day.

What about your favorite Bible story?

The one where David fought Goliath.  My second favorite is the story of creation.

What’s your favorite story about Yeshua?

Well, the story of creation is about Yeshua. (He makes a great point. But I’m interested in how he’ll clarify that.)

How is it about Yeshua?

Because Yahweh made the heavens and the earth. (He goes on to quote the rest of Genesis 1:1 then says…)  It’s all about Yeshua.  (Well, it’s not very specific, but I still agree.)

Okay, so what do you want to be when you grow up?

Can it be something that I made up?


I want to be a vet.  (Back in July he said, “Somebody who drives and looks out for animals. Not wild animals.  Lost pets.”)

Okay. What else, monkey?

I’m not really a monkey.

Yes, I’m aware of that fact. But you’re our family monkey.

No, I’m not. I am a crocodile!

Hmm…Why a crocodile?

I’m trying to think… Because I like crocodiles! (Madeline says that’s not a very solid answer.  Anson gives a frustrated sigh in response.)

Since we’re quite a bit behind with the birthday interviews this year, we’re going to go ahead and close this one out now.  We’re so happy to have this boy in our family.  You are maturing in great ways.  We love you, Anson!

Madeline: 8 years old

We did this birthday interview a little differently.  Erich did the interviewing this time and videotaped the whole thing.  We’ll have the unabridged video interview available for viewing in a few days. 


Madeline, how old are you?


How old do you want to be?

(She’s confused.  And for good reason.  Daddy isn’t your traditional interviewer.) Well, I want to be … eight!

What are you most excited about over the next year of your life when you’re eight years old?

Hmm…That’s a tough one. It has to be …. it has to be my next birthday.

So the thing that excites you most about being eight is turning nine?

(Giggles) No!

If your brother were an animal…(Erich pauses either for effect or to figure out exactly where he’s going with this question. Anson takes advantage of the moment and says, “I would attack you!” Erich continues.)…What kind of animal would he be?

He would be a pig! A pink pig! (Anson laughs and elbows her. “I’m not pink! And I’m not a pig!” Meanwhile, I’m beginning to regret having relinquished the questioning job to Erich :-P)

Anson, if your sister were an animal what type of animal would she be?

A hippo, because they spray their poo.  Remember, Madeline? (Madeline: “That was dirt, Anson!  That was dirt!”)

Okay, enough poo talk… Kieryn, if your sister were any kind of animal, what kind of animal would she be?


A pin?

Uh huh. (Anson: You mean a pig, Kieryn?) Yes. (A bit more three year old silliness ensues, and then probably the family highlight of the night. Once the full, unabridged video interview is posted, you may want to consider checking out the interaction between Kieryn and Anson that happens around 4:45. It’s classic! But for now, back to the interview…)

What is your favorite subject in school?

It has to be history.

History is fun. What in history that you’ve learned has been most exciting this year?

It should probably be… Well… The Indians and the Pilgrims.

Did you learn about a particular Indian?

Squanto. And I learned about Leif Ericcson, and Vikings, and Captain John Smith, and Christopher Colombus.

Very nice! What year did Christopher Columbus sail to America?

(Silence) Umm…

Would you like a hint?


Columbus sailed the ocean blue in…

Anson: 1492!

Petsible, (Erich’s nickname for Anson) is stealing the show! Alright, so here’s another question for you: What is your least favorite subject in school?

That is definitely math.  It is hard and I do not like it one bit. (I think she’s exaggerating a bit here.  There was a point where she found math to be hard and didn’t like it one bit, but lately, she’s been doing really well.)

Well, there you have it. You all have been doing Bible time.  Is there a particular Bible story that you’ve really liked lately?

Kieryn: Gen-sis!

Who is Janice?

(Madeline translates: Genesis. Then she proceeds to answer.) I like the Bible story about Solomon.  Yahweh gave him the wisdom and he chose which woman the baby belonged to.  It’s my favorite so far.  And Judges and Ruth and Esther I like a lot.

What about the New Testament? Is there anything in the New Testament you enjoy?


Just the whole book?

The one where He says, “I am the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it on a basket.  Instead, they put it on a stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Actually, Yeshua says, “YOU are the light of the world.” But I’m impressed that she still remembers this one.  We memorized it over a year ago and haven’t recited it in a while.)

And the one in Luke where Yeshua is born.


What do you want to be when you grow up?

Well, I want to be particularly two things, author and artist, so I can write and illustrate my own books.

That’s a fantastic idea!

I think I’m already growing up to be both.

You’re already a very good artist, and you’re already a very good writer, so you’re well on your way! (She smiles. And she really is a great artist and author.  She has already started writing about five different books. We just need to work on her follow-through. The stories start out great, then just dangle unfinished because a new idea comes along.) What about a chef? (That has been high on her list in the past.)

Yeah, that one too! Actually, I’d rather be more of a baker than a chef.  You never know! I particularly want Yahweh to choose, but if He lets me choose, I’d choose one of those.  But I think the author and artist might win in the end.

Do you have a favorite song?

Is that a trick question?

No, it’s not.

You mean like a kids’ song?

Any song.

Well, I have a lot of favorite songs. The train one and the other one.  And the one you were playing when you put the CD in the van. When you guys were working on the roof.  All the songs from that guy that sang.  (She’s referring to John Mayer.) I think that guy was my favorite singer.  And then there’s the Solomon one. (She proceeds to sing, “Make me wise. Make me wise. Let me see through this world’s lies.”) That one is the one I like, too.

Is there anything else you’d like to add, baby?

I think Adeline and I are going to start a book club where we write our own books and present them next time we see each other.

Did you know that usually a book club is where you read other people’s books and then talk about them?

I know, but this one’s different.

Fair enough.

And I think Aidan should be the president because he’s oldest.

And do you have anything else to add?

Yes. This has been a fantastic birthday and I’m glad that I was even born. I’ll tell you three people you should thank: Yahweh, Yeshua, my dad, and my mom. That’s all for this birthday interview!

We, too, are glad this amazing little girl was born. What a magnificent gift she has been to our family these last eight years! May our heavenly Father bless and keep this precious one so that she does mighty things for His kingdom.