Another Teenager in the House

July 17, 2000, our second child, Ruth Ann, was born. We named her Ruth after one of my favorite women in the Bible. We chose the middle name Ann because we had several family members that had Ann as their middle name and my name starts with “An.” I call her “Ruthie Annie” for short. All of her siblings at some point in their lives have called her “Woofie.”


Ruth was born two days past her due date. We lived near McAllen, Tx at the time. My parents had driven all the way to visit us before she was born. Since we didn’t know how many days it would be, they left and took Joshua with them. Just a couple of days later, Ruth was born. She was my smallest baby at 8 lbs. even.

My water had broken on a Sunday night and 4 hours later on a Monday morning Ruth was born. She was a calmer baby than her big brother. She cried when she was born but as soon as she heard her daddy’s voice talking to her she stopped and just looked around at what was going on.

When she was about 4 years old she told me that she wanted to be a princess when she grew up. She wanted me to check out a real princess book from the library at the time. I named off some real princesses like the Princess Diana, or the Princess Anastasia. She said, “No! A real princess like Cinderella!”

Ruth also loves animals. As a little girl she was shy around people but never seemed to be afraid of animals.


I love this picture of Ruth sitting on a horse wearing a tiara. Her two big dreams.

I love this picture of Ruth sitting on a horse wearing a tiara.

I remember when Ruth was about 3. I would hold her in my arms and ask her, “Will you always be my baby?” She would enthusiastically agree.

Then the day came when I asked her that question. “I’m not a baby! I’m a big girl.”

But even though she is now 13, Ruth is still my little princess.

Okay, she may roll her eyes about the “little” part. It won’t be long and she’ll be as tall as I am.

In our home for several years now we have called Ruth “the second mommy”. If anyone needs holding while I’m busy helping someone else, Ruth is right there willing to cuddle a baby or give a little brother a piggy back ride.

Both Elijah and Elisabeth wanted Ruth to hold them. Who else can protect them from the dogs?

Both Elijah and Elisabeth wanted Ruth to hold them. Who else can protect them from the dogs?

She is the big sister that can give advice on clothing, read books to siblings, comfort a crying child, or help conquer their fears.

Whenever she gets overwhelmed with attention, I try to give her plenty of breaks. It’s a tough job being so popular in a big family.

In fact on her 13th birthday, Ruth and Joshua were away at teen camp. It was definitely different not having them around to help corral children. The rest of us had a renewed appreciation for all that Ruth and Joshua do in the family.

2013-04-07 23.02.06

Ruth is still my beautiful princess. I’m glad that where we are right now, she is able to ride horses and reach for her dreams.

She plans to own at least three or four horses when she grows up, so I can come over and ride with her one day.

She’s such a sweet girl!

Right now, as she is growing up. I want to encourage her to reach for her dreams. Yes, someday if she still wants them she can have horses. Someday she’ll be able to teach her children how to take care of animals. It’s not impossible. 



I show her the current obstacles that might stand in her way of her dreams but then I encourage her to find ways to overcome those obstacles.  

Her birthday presents this year consisted of a new phone, stuffed horse, a cowgirl hat, boots, jeans, t-shirt with a horse and a thermal mug.

Ruth will soon have pictures in a new riding helmet that we are getting for a late present.

Ruth will soon have pictures in a new riding helmet that we are getting her for a late present.








Were you ever encouraged to follow your dreams? Do you encourage your children to fulfill theirs? Please tell me about it in the comments.



And for my Ruth:

“The LORD recompense thy work, 

and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel,

under whose wings thou art come to trust.” ~Ruth 2:12

You are still my beautiful princess, Ruth.  I love you!


~♥~ Mommy ~♥~




About Anastacia Maness

Anastacia Maness is a preacher's wife, homeschooling mother of 6 blessings, and writer. When she's not busy counting her blessings she's writing about them right here on her blog, encouraging and strengthening families.

12 Replies to “Another Teenager in the House”

    • Anastacia Maness

      Thank you, Kathleen! No, the foal belongs to our neighbors about a mile from where we live. My son is working as the an apprentice on their horse ranch. My daughter takes riding lessons from them in exchange for helping out.

  1. Shelley DuPont

    Unfortunately, I was never encouraged to do anything but “be good”. I didn’t know there was anything in life that included me. It took me years to discover it, so I’m definitely a late bloomer. It also meant my older children, didn’t get what they should have either. I am saddened over that (but they turned out pretty awesome). You are a wonderful mother.

    • Anastacia Maness

      Thank you, Shelley! I’m glad that you are reaching for your dreams now. It’s never too late. I imagine your kids are still watching you and learning from your example that it is never too late to dream big. 🙂

  2. Sylvia Jones

    Nice post! Our children do grow up so fast. Our daughter Candice is 32 and will always hold a special place in my heart as the first-born. She will always be “daddy’s little girl”. We always encouraged her to follow her dreams. She is a fifth grade teacher.
    Our son Cliff is 25 and did attend school to become a video game designer, but was discouraged by all the math involved. He is still trying to figure out Plan B, and is dealing with some health issues.

    When I was growing up, I had NO IDEA what I wanted to be when I grew up…sometimes I feel like I am still searching. My parents did not have the finances for schooling and knew nothing about applying for student loans. I ended up in the medical field and opened my own business as a nurse entrepreneur. The business was short lived due to the economic down turn. I work as a caregiver/companion part time now, and continue to pursue my creative “dreams”……….

    • Anastacia Maness

      Thanks, Sylvia! I’m glad you encouraged your children in pursuing their dreams. There are often so many challenges to overcome along the way. I had the same problem figuring out what I wanted to be. I’m glad you are now pursuing your creative dream and sharing them with us.

  3. Christa Sterken

    Happy Birthday Ruth! What a beautiful young lady. This is a precious gift to give your daughter, your words. I was always a dreamer, but didn’t feel particularly encouraged to follow any. My mother has deep regrets over that. She was a loving mother, but tells me she didn’t know how to dream herself. It wasn’t part of her childhood landscape. I see her dreaming now. She, and I, together

    • Anastacia Maness

      Thanks, Christa! I was a pretty big dreamer in my younger years but lost it somewhere pursuing academics which I wasn’t always the best at. I love how you and your mother are dreaming big together. That’s beautiful!


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