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Tiana really looks up to her cousin, Alana. My niece has two brothers. Like Tiana, she has no sisters. So it’s been great to have Alana around for Tiana to play with and identify with. Alana is a very nurturing and feminine person. She takes after her mom, my dear sister in law, Jenny. Even though Alana is only 4 years old (a very tall one), she has the maturity to look out for and baby-sit my little Tiana (with some supervision).

I credit Jenny for this. Jenny is a homemaker-extraordinaire, beautiful inside and out, and a hands-on mom who really mentors Alana. So Alana is growing up to be just like Jenny.

Tiana benefits from this because she has a good example to follow in Alana. Well…except that she thought a glitter glue stick was lipgloss and started eating it. She learned about lipgloss from Alana.:) But for the most part, Alana teaches her how to play with dolls and stuffed animals. Alana acts like a big sister to her. She combs her hair, carries her, and cuddles her. It’s very sweet to watch them interact with one another.

On Edric’s side of the family, Tiana also has a girl cousin, Audrine, who is a couple of months younger than she is. When we get together with Edric’s sister, Denise, and her kids, they also have a whole lot of fun together. Tiana gets to be the “ate” to Audrine.

Living in the Philippines is such a blessing for our children. We are near family so our kids get to be with their cousins alot. They are all best friends. Every time people ask me about homeschool kids and their social lives, the answer is easy! By virtue of living in a country where families stay close to one another and see each other often, kids have plenty of interaction with other children. And the wonderful thing is their loyalties are turned towards family members first.

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