Thursday, January 24, 2013

Forever Friends!

Monday (Jan. 21) was one in a million for the Sipes children! We got up early and headed to Southaven, which for my children is the land of dreams. So many fun things to do and "toys" for all ages, including access to a very cool 4-wheeler. The best part about our infrequent trips to Southaven is the awesome friends we have there. The Penas will be family friends forever, and that's not an exaggeration. God knit our hearts together while we served in Brazil side-by-side(the bonding started before that but was cemented during our short year together south of the equator). Several pairs of friends exist between our family and theirs, starting with the parents. Tim and Jason were on staff together at Broadway Church about 15 years ago, and Cara and I had a few conversations once I stayed home with my little ones. Our time in Brazil together drew Cara and I close so that we understand each other's hearts. Much time goes by and we don't talk as much as we'd like, but the depth of our friendship keeps us coming back together.
Ty and Taylor are great friends who seem to have so much in common, except where they live. :( They both love to play football and basketball and love all kinds of hunting and fishing. They never have enough time together. The past couple of summers they have worked out a way to spend a week together by going to camp or World Changers together. This summer we're hoping Ty will be able to go to FUGE with our church. Ty's sincere heart and love for the Lord make me so grateful Taylor has him for a friend.
Tate and Lindy have always been friends, but not quite as easily as the boys. Yesterday as I looked at just how different they are and wondered what they find to talk about. . .I remembered the rocky start their friendship got off to. They were both two years old when the Penas came to Brazil. Lindy was still the sweetest child ever and didn't know yet how to be mean. It didn't take her long, however, with Taylor for her big brother and Tate for her only friend. The poor child eventually learned to defend herself. One Sunday night in particular, we were at the Penas for our weekly pancake supper after church when somehow Tate ended up on top of Lindy biting her right around the nose! Lindy ended up with a full set of teeth marks around her poor little nose! They got past that, though, and have enjoyed a fun friendship over the years. They stay in touch via instagram mostly but now they both have cell phones, texting is easy. They have very different personalities, but due to the length of their friendship, Lindy still calls Tate her BFF.
Marlena does have a "Pena partner" in Rowdy because he is about 7 months older than her, and when they were small, they were friends. As they have gotten older, they cease to pay any attention to each other, and Rowdy joins the play with Taylor and Ty as much as he is allowed. Marlena hangs around Lindy and Tate until the Smith kids come over. (Christie Smith was a "Gross" and was a good friend of mine when we lived in Southaven.) Her daughter Jordan and Marlena have found that they enjoy playing together during our last few visits. Yesterday they spent most of their time outside in the creek!
The pair that are the closest in age would be Jay and Hudson; they are only 6 weeks apart! They have always enjoyed our visits, although they never lived in Brazil together. The first year of their lives we were nextdoor neighbors in Southaven after Brazil, but they were a little young to play together much. Through all of our visits and lunch dates at Chick-fil-A in Jackson, these two have become good friends. Tal usually runs around with them, too, since he is only a year younger but somehow I missed him during my photography session yesterday. They were jumping on the trampoline with Jordan's little sister Josie at the time.
Schaeffer is the one who does not have a close buddy because as of yet, he and Treader have not hit it off well. Treader seems to be quite a perfectionist when he plays and Schaeffer isn't at all. I think one day they will learn to play together. Schaeffer did play some with one of the Smith boys, Jeven, and they had a big time near the creek. (The date that we went to Southaven was MLK, Jr. Day, Monday, January 21, but this blog did not get finished until Jan. 24.)

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