This is my family. My dad, my mom, me (big sister), Eric, Patrick, and James, peeking out from behind my mom in the blue Batman shirt (photo 1). We're a little quirky, awkward and dorky but we love fun, games and laughter. As kids, we were a creative, energetic and imaginative group. Eric was my “partner in crime” and he and I invented all sorts of games together. Patrick was mellow and shy but incredibly creative and smart, and James was the little mischievous brother who was always yelling the loudest, running the fastest. We were homeschooled for a majority of our childhood, which allowed a little more time for us to spend together as a family. We all started reading at an early age and loved books. There were many camping trips and road trips to see family, homeschooling groups, going to the park or a visit to the zoo; these are some of the things my parents did when they could afford it. Living in Southern California, there was never a shortage of things to do outdoors. My parents were both educators in the public school system, and they worked hard to make these family outings educational as well as fun. It was an enriching way to learn about the world around us, and while homeschooling did have its drawbacks later in adult life, I am so grateful that it let us spend as much time together as kids. Me and my three brothers were close. Lego, Harry Potter, computer games, dinosaurs, drawing, writing stories about dragons and heroes in a made-up universe…we all played within the same world together. We could pick up where we left off in whatever chapter we were in our games and adventures like we were all reading from the same book. These were happy times, and some of the most precious to me. I carry these memories around in my head like a tattered journal that’s been opened and written in to the point of falling apart. In my head, these times would last forever and only get better.