O C T O B E R 1 9 9 9:
Little, tiny me entered this world. On the 14th of October, at 10:14 A.M.
I was given the name Daminika, and so began the life of me.
2 0 0 0:
I turned one. I got my stuffed donkey from Grandpa and Grandma Warnke and he was named Cinnamon by oldest sister. I got a blue plastic rocking chair that stayed with me until I was 16. I didn't want to let it go, because it's still the most comfortable (and fun) rocking chair ever. But downsizing our house forced me to say goodbye. And then Nana Sue came to the rescue - she took it for the grandkids to play with when they go visit her and Grandpa. So I didn't really say bye, I just passed it on to my little cousins for them to make great memories with. (*whispers* and I do sit in it every chance I get)
2 0 0 1:
A baby joined the family - our one and only boy. I remember Grandma taking us when my parents went to the hospital. And while we waited, she took us shopping and bought us three matching sweaters. I remember that I didn't like seeing my mom in the hospital bed, and that all I wanted was a hug but they kept showing me the little bundle they called Chancy.
I turned two.
9/11 happened though I was too young to know it.
2 0 0 2:
We went to the rodeo for the Fourth of July - the first Fourth of July after 9/11. I don't remember much about it, but home videos help with things like that. *winks* I remember it was exciting.
My aunt got married and we traveled to Canada for the wedding. I remember the hotel. Great-Uncle O'Neil singing in the lobby and people walking by would stop and listen. Then they opened the pool after hours just for us because they enjoyed the music so much. The lobby had a fire place in the middle of the room. We kids colored and played games on the tables that were on one side of the room while the adult sang and talked on the other side of the room. The pool had a huge slide and I remember my dad taking me down it, then holding me above his head so I wouldn't go under. I also remember that he wasn't fast enough when taking LaKaysha down and she went under. I remember the wedding. How it was really small, and everything was white - the floors, the walls, the tables, the chairs, the mints...
We moved into a little house.
I turned three.
I got an American Girl Doll for Christmas.
2 0 0 3:
Grandma Warnke's cancer started growing again.
My uncle got married and we went to New Hampshire for the wedding. I remember that we got new dresses for it. I remember the snow. And not being able to make it up my aunt and uncle's driveway because of the ice and we had to walk to the house. I remember that the wedding was small.
We went to the Ranch for the Fourth of July.
We moved to a bigger house, with a barn and a huge play house.
I loved Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Ponies. For my birthday I got a play horse that I still have. I named him Spirit.
I turned four.
(the fact that I remember more about 2002 than 2003 is kinda weird *laughs*)
2 0 0 4:
My uncle got married.
My mom was pregnant and was very sick. Like VERY sick. I remember that Felicity made us macaroni and cheese in the microwave for lunch everyday. And to this day she hates macaroni and cheese. I remember our days were quiet and dark because my mom was in bed. People brought us meals and came over to clean. I remember knowing my parents were very stressed.
And so Liberty joined the family. Our baby to this day. I remember staying at my aunt and uncle's and we were watching a Barbie movie when my mom called to say she was born. And Chancy was mad because he wanted a brother. But he loves her now. *winks*
I learned to ride my bike. Practicing only once. The second time my dad came out to help me practice, I just took off down the driveway, giggling my head off because I even surprised myself.
I started Kindergarten.
I turned five. With more Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony things.
I dressed up as Shirley Temple for our costume party.
For the Stenersen Christmas we drove four hours and visited my aunt and uncle. I remember that Colten slept with a tape player. We took turns sleeping in a bed. And when it came our turn I bit my glow-stick and got the glow stuff all over. In my mouth, on the bed... I remember Kirsten giggling, and I my dad coming to "save the day". In the middle of the night.
I remember we each had a stocking with our names on them. And we made towns out of rocks on the patio outside. Until my aunt bought us chalk. I remember me and Dustin had two gifts and everybody else were jealous - but that's what comes when you have awesome Godparents like I do. *winks*
2 0 0 5:
I started First Grade - at private school.
My aunt got married and we flew to New Hampshire so I could be a flower girl. Along with my cousin Kaylee. I remember playing with her a lot. And Danita was jealous. *laughs* We sang in the wedding. Tyrel hit me when he was swinging on the swing. And the next thing I remember I was laying on a rock and Uncle Marlon was standing over me. Then he carried me to my dad, who was helping set up the wedding in the back yard. Marlon was my hero. *winks*
Us kids were sleeping in the living room and one night I couldn't sleep so I just sat up in the dark and looked at a book. Grandma found me that way and she gave us that book - we still have it.
We went to High Hopes Orchard.
Back home, we went back to school and I turned six.
2 0 0 6:
My uncle got married and I was flower girl again.
We moved again.
Grandma was slowly getting worse and change was slowly slipping into my life.
We went to the Ranch for the Fourth of July.
We took a trip to Disneyland.
We bought some land and started making plans for building our home.
I turned seven.
Grandma went to the hospital, and me being just a little kid, I started to become scared of her.
2 0 0 7:
Grandma went home from the hospital and life went on.
We once again went to the Ranch for the Fourth of July.
Grandma went back to the hospital and days were spent there. I mostly remember the sadness that was around me.
Grandma once again went home, and we started clearing our land.
I went to the kids campout at my great-aunt and uncle's. (Jack and Ann)
Grandma passed away and my world changed forever.
I turned eight. Celebrated at Chuck-E-Cheese's
Spent New Years at the Ranch.
2 0 0 8:
Got in a car accident.
We started building our house, and eventually moved in.
My aunt got cancer and my parents flew to New Hampshire.
We spent our days playing in our huge, empty, and muddy backyard. Building forts in the woods, turning our wagon into a covered wagon, playing baseball, flying our kite.
We went to the Ranch for the first time without Grandma. And this trip was just my family, with Grandpa and Marissa and Marita.
We bought our pool, and it's still holding well. *grins*
When school started, we didn't didn't go to private school, but my mom started homeschooling us again.
My aunt passed away, and my parents were gone when I turned nine. But they still managed to make my birthday special. Our babysitter took us to her parents house and we rode horses.
Had my first and only white Christmas.
2 0 0 9:
I started keeping a diary and have been ever since.
My Grandpa got engaged to Sue, and moved to South Carolina. I remember when we were saying bye, I just sorta gave him a hug and ran off to go play again, but my cousins were all standing around crying. That's when it hit me that he was leaving. He went out the door and started walking to his pickup, and I ran out sobbing. He picked me up and hugged me.
And I remember I was only wearing socks on the wet ground.
We stayed at my great-aunt and uncle's while my parents went to Grandpa and Sue's wedding. Staying with Chet and Carla are always great memories. And I remember Carla put the wedding going on the computer the day of it.
I was a wild kid. I ran around outside, singing at the top of my lungs, wearing my jean skirt, and t-shirt, and rubber boots.On the colder days I'd add my hand-me-down jean jacket with the "fur" collar. My hair was never neat and I loved to swing on the either the swing-set - which was the same one we had when we lived by Grandpa, and we had finally had room for it outside so we moved it there from Grandpa's backyard - or I would swing on our tire-swing that dad hung that year. That swing was a special spot for me. I would sit out there for hours, singing and spying on the neighbors. *laughs* Or I'd make up stories in my head. My parents must've thought I was crazy 'cause I spent so much time alone. And our cats. I think my love for cats began then.
After a hard couple years, my life started to get happy again. I was finally free to be a care-free child again. Though not having Grandpa was hard on us all.
Grandpa's house got emptied.
I turned ten. Had a tea-party/sleepover with my cousins. I must admit, I had a hard time with the fact that Grandpa was across the country on my birthday.
Then he came back with his new wife, and they actually moved in with us while they looked for a rental. They came just in time for Thanksgiving.
That winter was cold, no snow - which is normal here - but everything froze. Went ice skating for the first time.
2 0 1 0:
Slowly I started to get used to Grandpa being married and living in a rental.
My dad built us a tree house and our yard started looking like a yard finally. Still working and playing outside, life went on.
Climbed the Column for the first time in my memory. (I was too young to remember the first time) Spent my days in my pioneer dress.
Had a surprise campout for Emily.
Grandpa started remodeling his house, and eventually moved back in. Even though I was just a kid, I didn't like the idea of the house that had been his and Grandma's being different. But let's face it, life would've changed anyway.
We went through some of Grandma's stuff and I got what was on the counter full of tea when she was alive. Now I have it, and I keep tea in it. <3
My cousin got married and tons of family came out from New Hampshire.
This was when I seen Kirsten for the first time in five years. She came bouncing back into my life, and I haven't been able to get rid of her since. *winks*
The wedding happened to be four days before my birthday, so I got to have a huge party with lots of family, just like we used to. Grandpa and Grandma Stenersen were even there. Kirsten, Danielle, and Danita... it was a great birthday. Grandma made supper on my birthday and that meal has been one of favorites since.
I remember my dad talking about how awesome it was going to be, and he said, "This is to make up for that birthday that we were gone."
And so I turned eleven.
The next day we went to the Zoo. I could tell you what I wore, but I'm sure you don't care. *winks*
2 0 1 1:
With my aunt in the hospital and having a baby who didn't survive, the beginning of this year wasn't too great.
Life in our huge house was great, though. Just so you know, the house we built was "the house that built me".
Went to a Civil War Reenactment and dressed up.
Spent my time playing with our cats and kittens. In the tree house, in trees, on the swings.
My mom and dad went away and we spent another couple weeks or so at Chet and Carla's. Riding horses, four-wheelers, and dirt-bikes. Also playing the wii, watching movies, and just living life in the mansion.
My dad left for a stay-away for nine weeks. Only coming home on the weekends.
Thankfully, my birthday fell on a Friday that year. I remember that this was when I started to "turn into a girl". I no longer ran around like an Indian. I tried to keep my hair nice, and wear clothes that matched.
I curled my own hair on my birthday, and went running outside when I seen my dad's pickup pull into the driveway.
We sold our four-wheeler and I thought my world ended. I remember when a lot of change was happening I told LaKaysha, "It all started with selling the four-wheeler. Life just went down hill from there." dramatic kid. *laughs*
I got my first pair of skinny jeans, though I didn't call them that.
Amanda and Tim had moved back to the state and came down for Thanksgiving. (see what I mean? Kirsten was stuck in my life *winks*)
2 0 1 2:
My aunt and uncle moved out of state and my close cousin/friend became a pen pal.
And it was this year that Daminika-the-boy-crazy was born. *laughs*
My aunt and uncle, and another uncle surprised us by showing up one day. And we spent a great two weeks with our New Hampshire family. Even Amanda came down with her kids to visit.
I fell down the stairs and broke my foot. Marlon was once again my hero. Marlon and Tyrel. Because if Marlon wasn't there to carry me around Tyrel did. And Marlon bought me Hugs, and Kirsten bought me an Arizona and pixie sticks. Even Tyrel bought me an Arizona.
After family went home, life quieted down, and got kinda sad for me. Having a cast on was no fun, and guess what - I didn't get to go swimming at ALL that summer.
Then my Grandpa and Grandma came out to visit - and I had my cast on. So lots of family got to sign it. *winks*
We spent most our time, taking trips to the store to get Arizona's, and playing Hang-Man in my aunt and uncle's basement. Good times with cousins. <3
My aunt and uncle who had moved away came back for a surprise visit.
After my cast was off we even went to visit them. Went hiking... wasn't a good idea since I was still wearing the boot part of the day. *shakes head*
My aunt, Marissa moved in with us and having her around became a normal thing for the next three years, and still to this day, seeing her in the corner of our living room, reading a book, is a normal thing to see.
I turned 13. I got my first camera. *whispers* also I started wearing makeup and drinking coffee sometimes.
I was bubbly and boy-crazy. Spending my days laughing and giggling and listening to music, while crocheting my life away.
2 0 1 3:
I hopped in with Grandpa and Sue on one of their trips to Baker City, and surprised my cousin. Spent a long weekend there, getting caught up with her. It felt like forever since they moved away!
I still crocheted a lot, and spent most my days doing so - with music going of course.
We took a family road trip. Stopping to see my aunt and uncle, then visiting Idaho, and then to another aunt and uncle's house. The vacation ended in a way that I'll never forget.
Great-Uncle Jimmy died. Shocking the whole family.
So we headed back home, with heavy hearts. Soon my parents, along with Liberty and Aunt Amanda, flew off to New Hampshire to attend the funeral.
We were left alone. Other aunts and uncles flew off too, and their kids were also left alone. With no adults around except my Grandpa - who happens to live 30 minutes away.
We managed to make fun out of the ashes. Inviting cousins over and playing games. Watching The Rifleman and listening to Ricky Nelson and Johnny Crawford - feeding my boy-crazy-ness. If I remember right we even had a potluck supper with just us kids one night.
Made another trip to Baker for Memorial Day.
I have lots of crazy videos from this time in life. We did lots of singing and dancing, and were just a happy bunch of people in general. *winks*
There was a Stenersen Reunion and we had the best Fireworks show for the Fourth that I've ever seen. Or ever will see - I hear they were better than even the professionals!
Evelyn was my Tootsie-Roll.
Had a huge sleepover and played a loud and crazy game of Apples to Apples.
I turned fourteen.
That Thanksgiving dinner was held at our house with family from both Stenersen and Warnke sides.
Grandpa and Grandma Stenersen were even there. Grandpa gave me a hug from behind, and whispered in my ear that I was beautiful. *melts* I am thankful for that Thanksgiving we had together. 3,000 miles is too far. <3
We once again had a cold winter, and I got to ice skate some more.
2 0 1 4:
Life went on. With visits from cousins, spending time at Chet and Carla's like we always had.
We made a trip to the Ranch, a short and stressful one. With Cousin Abi being in the hospital and all.
I became obsessed with Celtic Thunder and Damian McGinty.
Conventions were in the area that year and I went to my first youth gathering.
Went swimming at midnight and stayed up till two.
There was a West Reunion.
My Great-Grandpa died, and the next day my dad informed us we would be leaving at 4 the next morning to drive across country and get to New Hampshire in time for the funeral.
So we rushed off to town to get some clothes, because I had none - not much has changed in that area of life. *winks*
We left on our road trip - and it was horrible. We sleep only a couple hours each night, and we did it in four days. They had moved the funeral to a different day, so we made it there in plenty of time.
I was in New Hampshire, and I had fun. But I hated the thought of driving back across the country to get home. I hated it so much, I decided we should stay there forever.
I hung out for the first time in my life, with cousin I always knew but never really hung out with (Ryan, Roger, Savannah, Zackari, Jeremy, and such).
There were a lot of us staying at my Grandpa and Grandma's and the house was always hopping. With two great aunts and uncles and cousins all over the place. Even though the kids of Jack and Ann didn't stay at my grandma's, they were over a lot. And it became normal to walk upstairs - in your pajama's and bed head - to find "scary" adult cousins eating breakfast, even though they weren't staying there.
I seen Natasha for the first time, but I was scared of her and hid in the basement whenever she and her mom came over.
Then the horrid four days home... but we survived. (it was that trip that started my love for NH)
Back home, life went back to normal.
I turned fifteen. That for some reason was the hardest birthday ever. But a couple days after my birthday I visited Aunt Amanda and Uncle Tim, along with my sisters.
And this time, I grabbed Kirsten - she's stuck in my life forever. She can go ahead and try to get away, but she ain't goin' no where. *winks*
Chet and Carla moved to Texas and so killed my social life.
2 0 1 5:
Fifteen was a hard age for me, though I don't know why. *shrugs* But I lived through it. *winks*
I started blogging.
We started doing things without parents - like go to the beach and such.
Took one last trip to Baker City to help my aunt and uncle move again. I ended up terribly sick, and I still to this day don't know what was wrong with me. Probably a mix of stress, dehydration, and elevation.
Trips to Bugerville, Sunday walks... then we sold our house.
Our home of seven years, and we packed up and left.
I remember that moving day didn't hurt as bad as it should've. But I've since made up for that.
We moved in with Grandpa and Sue while we waited for our rental to open up - my great-aunt and uncle were living there at the time, but were moving to SC.
Those two weeks at Grandpa's were happy ones. I stayed in the attic - a room we call "Above-the Garage" with LaKaysha. We had our stuff up there - even my record player - along with stuff that had been in the house when Grandma was alive. I think that helped me a lot - having Grandma's things around me, and not moving straight into a strange house, but moving into a familiar place for a while.
The last week at Grandpa's house was spent in Confirmation class. And I got confirmed the day after we moved into our rental.
Our parents surprised us with a trip to New Hampshire that summer! They also wanted to surprise the people in NH, so we couldn't tell anybody. That was so hard! I was so excited that I wanted to shout it to the world!
So, we went there, surprised most of our family, and spent a wonderful two weeks there.
It turns out we were glad we weren't home much that summer. It was the driest year ever over here - and so hot Marissa and Marita spent most of their time in the pool while they were "house-sitting" our house.
We bought a house, in the country again, and began painting and stuff - getting it ready enough to move in. We really wanted to get back into the country.
I turned sixteen, and my friends threw me the best party. The fact that Kirsten came down for it almost made me cry. <3
Not long after my birthday, we moved into our small home - where we still live right now.
When we were packing up to leave, Haley Mills' voice kept running through my head, "We con't afford that horrid little house!? Mother that's wonderful!!"
We weren't moving away from the rental because we couldn't afford it obviously, but it was a horrid little house and I was glad to be out of it.
Because our house is so small, I didn't have a bedroom. Slept in the living room at first.
Also Marissa moved out. Our house being so small *winks*
We had snow on Christmas Eve, but not Christmas day.
So, I moved three times that year and decided I was gonna sit here till the house rotted around my head. Moving is so hard emotionally *winks*
2 0 1 6:
January came around once again. And we made plans for a wedding. Kaysha and Roger's wedding.
I only served the bridal table, so I wasn't really anybody in the wedding, but I ended up helping a lot with the set up, and flowers, and decorations. (I actually did the bridal table. So it was pretty because of me *smug*)
Kimberly surprised us with a two week visit.
The mall, the beach, reading, schoolwork, babysitting...
We went to the memorial day church campout.
I got a kitten and Kirsten named him Huck.
My mom and dad took Chancy and Liberty on a trip to Texas and us girls kept house for ten days.
I got pretty tired of sharing all my friends with LaKaysha, and I started writing Natasha. Now she's a huge part of my life and I'm so thankful for her!
I visited my aunt and uncle ... aka Kirsten. *winks*
I met Natasha.
I became a licensed driver.
Went to the Ranch twice that year, and they were the last trips I'll ever make there.
My dad built us bedroom and I no longer had to sleep in the living room.
I turned seventeen.
2 0 1 7:
I got my very first phone.
Then life went sliding down the side of the mountain I lived on.
I lost a cousin and dear friend to the world, and those days were hard.
My cat went missing, and I tried to get a job but all it did was stress me out so much I couldn't function.
I visited Kirsten again and snuggled adorable Kaaren.
My great-grandpa died and family came from all over the country for the funeral.
The Ranch got sold.
My Grandpa had open heart surgery, and I bought my first plane tickets.
I spent an amazing month in New Hampshire with my family out there. Making me feel much better about life. After the hard months in the beginning of the year, I didn't know if I could ever be happy again. So God sent me to Grandpa and Grandma's.
Felicity got a boyfriend.
Summer came and I had a good one.
I got a kitten and Tyrel named her Eponine.
I spent two weeks at Auntie Amanda's and Uncle Tim's.
The Eclipse happened.
I got a job.
Felicity got engaged.
I turned eighteen.
Now we're planning the shower and wedding, and it's kinda crazy around here.
I spend my days (when I'm not working) doing house work, and thinking about all that needs to get done. All the while playing music. *winks*
I've lived a full life so far.
Now I'm eighteen, and my sister is getting married in January.
It's crazy how much has changed since that day in October of 1999.
I am still finding myself. But that's okay.
One thing I know. God has always been with me. He has never left me.
And, Oh, the joy of knowing He never will. <333
Did you make it through this lengthy post?
*hands all who did a 1893 Pepsi-Cola*
Y'all gonna take on the world with me?