{ About }

Thank you so much for stopping by Our Front Porch! We’re the Barth family and this is our little spot where we chronicle of the adventures of our fun-loving and sometimes too loud, homeschooling family of 6!

Grab some sweet iced tea and stay a while as we’re seeking the extraordinary in the everyday ordinary… sharing life experiences as a Christian, 2nd generation homeschooling family… and hopefully inspiring others to realize that looking within can keep us from feeling as though we are without!

If you’d like to know more about us specifically, you can start with our little fairy tale and if you’re interested in knowing more about our kids’ early days, you can read about our little blessings.

In the meantime…

I’m Sherri

I’m the one who started this whole bloggin’ thang way back when my first babies were infants, at a site that was called Babies Online, which was set up for parents to share with long distance family and friends the precious milestones of their little ones’ lives. Eventually I moved on to Blogger and finally here to our very own site.
I was born, raised, and still live in the same zip code. Although I attended public school from Kindergarten through the first semester of eighth grade, my parents brought me home for the rest of my education and I became a homeschool graduate in 1998.
I’ve been married to my college sweetheart for fifteen years and we’ve been blessed with four lovely children here on earth (2002, 2005, 2009, 2010) and two angel babies at the feet of Jesus (2013.)
I tend to describe myself as a “Jane of all trades and master of few…” because my self-diagnosed ADD blows my interests with the wind. I did however manage to earn a Bachelor’s degree and now all “those trades” come in quite handy while I’m living out my days as a second generation homeschooler, educating our four curious little people!

 

That’s Danny

He’s the love of my life. Even though when I first met him, he was an awkward, lanky, often-smelly member of our university’s landscaping crew, time spent together eventually knit our hearts together and his kindness, compassion, and do-anything-for-the-person-he-loves spirit greatly overshadowed his awkward, lanky, smelly self!
Although he spent most of his career in retail management, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Danny now works as a Service Manager for a national industrial surface preparation specialist. He loves woodworking and is my right-hand man when it comes to DIY projects around the house.
Even more than woodworking, Danny is one of those rare breed of men who actually enjoy their children. If he’s not working or serving our friends and neighbors in some way, he’s most likely to be with our children… Playing with them, teaching them, reading to them, or experiencing some new activity together, he invests as much of himself as he possibly can in each of their lives. And it is a truly beautiful thing…

 

Sammi {Our Oldest}

I hesitate to even start writing about this firstborn of mine… because once I start, I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop. She means so much to us.
Our 9/11 baby, Sam was conceived just one month following that tragedy, after we decided for ourselves that we were no longer going to wait for things in our lives to be “perfect” or “stable” before we start fully embracing it. And for us, that embracing of life, meant the welcoming of new life into ours.
We’ve teased her about having been our guinea pig and that we owe her dearly for all the on-the-job training we did as parents with her. But remarkably, the Lord has managed to bring out of our many parenting missteps, a beautiful young lady that shines a light for Christ wherever she goes! Humble, caring, nurturing, and servant-minded, she is both an incredible blessing to our family and to all those who know her.
She loves music and singing, she loves books and reading, and even though she still adores her American Girl dolls and regularly spends time dressing them up for tea parties, she also has a wonderfully adventurous spirit that takes American Freestyle Karate lessons, is a second degree orange belt, includes archery in her list of hobbies, and can more often be found outside than in.

 

Lawrie {Our Prince}

Our only son, Lawrie may be a bit outnumbered, but it has developed in him a tender, caring heart with great empathy for others. As a baby, he was so calm and laid back that he had us totally fooled?! Until he began walking, we felt like we had this two-kid thing in the bag. But, uhm… promptly after he started walking, he pretty much went right to running, and he’s never. slowed. down. since!
Rough and tumble, boisterous, loud, daring, and adventurous, Lawrie is pretty much the epitome of the All-American Boy. Baseball? Home run hitter. Soccer? Top scorer. Swimming? More ribbons that I had room for. Taking things apart and reassembling is one of his favorite things to do… along with LEGO building, drawing, and his own haphazard version of parkour. In addition to all that physicality, Lawrie is so bright and easily picks up on most any subject or topic and this year we discovered that he also has a beautiful voice and a knack for memorizing hymns, during his time in our area homeschool choir!
It would be easy to describe Lawrie as our “difficult” child (and many do that for us…) but in truth, he has shown us both the best and worst parts of ourselves, and helped us to grow more as parents than anything else probably could have.

 

Ellie {Our Gift}

All of our children are gifts, it’s true… But I’ve dubbed Ellie that specifically because she came to us after a painful bought of unexplained infertility. Although we’d never made any hard and fast decisions on how many children we would have, we did find ourselves better educated on the effects of birth control and decided to discontinue it when Lawrie was about 2 years old. Based on our past easy-peasy conceptions, we thought we’d be celebrating another three year span between children, but that was not to be the case. We pursued some testing, more out of concern than out of a desire to proceed down any road of fertility treatments, but when the only thing that came back was that I was anemic, we resolved to leave it all in the hands of God.
So in December of 2008, when we got a positive pregnancy test, we were ecstatic!
Ellie is such a bright light in our family! She is a bubbly bundle of energy, who nearly always has a smile on her face. Even at just 6 years old, she is driven, focused, and determined… as long as it’s on something that she wants to do.
Ellie is empathetic and kind, caring, and a true friend. She regularly puts others’ needs and desires ahead of her own and I really think that deep down, she feels much older than her 6 years. She’s a leader, with a take charge personality, while simultaneously possessing a deep desire to please those around her and see them happy.

 

Emme {Our Wonderful Surprise}

With a deeper understanding of the effects of birth control and having gone though an emotionally painful period of infertility, we made definitive decision that we would no longer employ birth control and would leave our family size up to the Lord. And although that was the case, I won’t lie, we never anticipated in a million years that we would be seeing another positive pregnancy test just 5 months after Ellie’s birth!
After we recovered from the initial shock, we kind of enjoyed shocking the rest of our family and friends with the news.
Emme could also be referred to as our Little Princess, because she is totally that! The apple of all her siblings’ eyes, she has been treated like a princess from birth. Emme’s also the girliest of girls. She loves all things kittens, puppies, ponies, and pink. Still, being the baby of the family hasn’t impeded her individuality and independence! She virtually potty trained herself at 27 months, was able to match outfits by age 3, and could paint her own fingernails quite well by 4! Emme never ceases to amaze us and keep us entertained.

 

Quin & Noel {Our Angel Babies}

After three years of what seemed to be another round of unexplained infertility, we were thrilled to see another positive pregnancy test in July, of 2013. But our fifth pregnancy would later end is miscarriage at 8 weeks, 5 days. I shared in detail our steps through that heartache in this post, if you’d like to read about it in more detail… Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day: Our Story.

Then in October, we were absolutely blown away to discover that we were pregnant yet again! And this, we believed, was our “rainbow baby.” Once we reached the “safety” of the 12 week mark, we excitedly shared our news with the world! Just days later however, I found myself experiencing what were now frighteningly familiar symptoms of miscarriage. At 12 weeks, 6 days, we said goodbye to our rainbow baby on December 17th. This one gutted us. It took me a year to be able to write about it, but I did… One Year Ago Today: Noel.

*Our memorial images are courtesy of the amazing CarlyMarie and her ProjectHealSeashore of Remembrance.

 

We’re happy to have (virtually) met you and hope that you’ll feel free to search for anything you may be looking for here on the blog. Don’t hesitate to reach out and get in touch with us with any questions or comments!

Visit our “Contact Us” page.

 


 

Oh and just in case you were wondering… I swiped the title for our blog from the country song “My Front Porch Looking In” by Lonestar, which my husband Danny performed one year during The Long Creek Opry, a dinner show that our Church hosted. You can watch their music video of the song here… http://po.st/DXEGor

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