Today was my little brother's birthday. It seems a bit silly to still refer to him as my little brother, he's 21 now and almost a foot taller than I am. But he will always be my little brother.

I woke up to the sounds of John and Andy (my two brothers) laughing beneath my window. When I looked out into the yard I saw them standing there with my two sister, Becky and Brenda. The whole family was here and I wasn't even out of bed yet! I called out and asked what time it was. John said 4 o'clock. They always tease me because I sleep so late. I knew it wasn't four and I told him so. Becky yelled back, it's quarter to 3. I knew they were still teasing me so I half-unwillingly dragged myself out of bed to check. (I say half-unwillingly because I was really comfy in my bed and didn't really feel like getting up, but at the same time I was excited because my whole family was here!)

It was then that I discovered it was only 11:30AM and I immediately headed to the bathroom to start getting myself together. When I came downstairs mom was in the kitchen setting some snacks out and dad was out in the yard talking to a neighbor.

We spent the afternoon playing badmitton in the side yard. The dog kept getting in the way but no one cared, we were having too much fun. John's girlfriend appeared while we were in a heated match and she brought Andy's birthday cake, which she had made from scratch. Originally when my mom told me that Tracy was going to make the cake everyone was worried that I might get upset because I always make everyone's birthday cake. But I was really glad that she made it, it made her seem more like part of the family. Besides, it gave me an excuse to make my favorite fruit dip!

When we finally ate dinner it was such an awesome experience. There we all were: me, my 2 brothers, my 2 sisters, my mom and dad, and my two brothers girlfriends. There were 9 of us in total. I have always loved my big family and now it is getting even larger! Andy is the youngest of us all and now we are all legal drinkers. It seems so strange that we all can buy alcohol. We aren't big drinkers, in fact neither of us drink at all really, but still just the idea that if we wanted to, we could all sit down and have a's so strange. But I think I said that already.

After dinner we played crotch-it ball (or as most people would say, croquet). For the first time I can ever remember, I actually won! We played three or four games and I think we must have been out there for at least 2 and a half hours. At one point I heard my neighbor say, they're still playing? As a family we get pretty competitive and we don't even notice the time as it flies by.

But suddenly it was 6 o'clock. So we went inside to have Andy's birthday cake. It was tough to get the candles lit, until we remembered to turn off the ceiling fan. The cake was awesome! Then he opened his presents and we were all back in the yard playing badmitton again.

It's times like these that I realize how much my family means to me and how much I love them. Finally at about 9:30 everyone started to head for home. I can honestly say, I haven't laughed so hard as I did today in what seems like forever!