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  2007 Paula Baker
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My Family

For as far back as I can remember, I was always dreaming of being a Mom. When my friends and I 'played house', I wanted to be the mother. I loved my dolls, dressing them, fixing their hair, having tea parties with them. To those of us old enough to remember back in the 50's, the big thing was Tiny Tears. She did everything..... she could drink, wet, and came with a pink rubber bathtub! It didn't get any better. I wanted her so much. She was all I thought about. When my best friend got her for Christmas, my pleading became even more intense.
Money was tight but somewhere my mother found a doll who looked like Tiny Tears, even could drink and wet....even had the rubber tub! At first I was sad that my 'imitation Tiny Tears' wasn't quite like the real thing, but after I named her and cared for her for a few days, I came to love her very much. She was mine!

Although I moved past the doll phase, I never outgrew my desire to love and care for my own babies. I dreamed of the day I would get married and have a family. When I met Denny, I knew he was The One. We had the same values, the same love of family and children, and both wanted to raise our children in the country. We were looking forward to the day when we could get married and begin our life together. But Uncle Sam had other plans! After Denny was drafted and had gone through Basic Training at Fort Knox, Ky, he soon got orders to go to Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska. We were going to postpone our wedding until he returned home in 2 years but soon realized we just couldn't wait that long! So we began our life together in that incredibly beautiful place. It was a wonderful adventure, spending weekends exploring the mountains, the water, the glaciers and seeing all the different types of animals. We will always cherish our memories of that wonderful experience. We were young, healthy, and so much ahead of us. Our lives stretched out before us like a glorious sunrise.

Two years after our marriage, we had returned home, and our dream of having a family came true. Our son was born. What a blessing! Unlike my dolls from my childhood, my baby could love me back! We were ecstatic. And just when we thought life couldn't get any better, God sent us another blessing, a little girl!. We had the perfect family. There was just one thing missing....we still were living in the city! Not wanting that lifestyle for our children, we began looking for property in the country. Soon we had the land, a beautiful spot in a wooded area. All we needed was a house! Although I had lived my whole life in the city, and loved it, I also wanted the safety and privacy for our children. We decided to build a log home. When our home was finished, we moved our family out to the country where we could provide a safe place with lots of room for them to play and explore.

As the saying goes, "If you want to make God laugh, make plans" Such was the case when, 11 years later, we discovered we were going to have another baby girl. Excited doesn't begin to describe our feelings. What an incredible gift! To this day, much to her chagrin, our third child is still referred to as 'our bonus baby'. She has been a joy to not only Denny and me but also to our other children.

Of course much has happened since those happy years. Like everyone else, we have experienced joy, sadness, gains and losses. But we are, and always will be, filled with gratitude for the blessings in our lives. Not only are we blessed with our children but have added to our family, their mates and our 4 grandchildren! We are, as of now, The Baker Dozen!

We are fulfilled by our Faith, our family, our friends, and our work. We still live in our cabin in the woods, over three decades later. The house is empty, except for Denny, me and our cat Pansy. But when I go out into the woods or sit by the pond, I can still hear the voices of my children, laughing and playing, making golden memories for us to cherish and treasure always.

 

"Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege than the raising of
the next generation" ...................C. Everett Koop