I was asleep on a Saturday when my younger sister, Vanessa Pike was starting singing in rhythm. She wants to be a poet and she's nine.

"Time to get up. It's a brand new day to do things all day. I always knew it's sunny out today," sang Vanessa.

"Oh, alright, I'll get up," I said as I got up.

I'm Mallory Pike. I'm the oldest of eight kids at age eleven. It's true that I have seven siblings. Vanessa is one of them. Let me tell you about the rest since I already told you Vanessa's nine and would love to be a poet. She also shares a room with me.

Jordan, Adam, and Byron are ten-year -old triplets. Byron is the quiet one plus he's sensitive and gets hurt easily if Jordan and Adam tease him. They share a room with eight-year-old Nicky who tires to play with the triplets, but none of them lets him play. He also hates girls. Seven-year-old Margo and five -year -old Claire are the last ones to share a room together. Margo gets motion sickness in a car or bus, on the rides, and so on. We're always prepared when that happens often. Claire is going in the first grade. She loves to play pretend and calls anyone name along with 'Silly Billy-Goo-Goo.'

That's the whole crew of my siblings. When I baby-sit them all, we usually get a second sitter. Sometimes my best friend, Jessica 'Jessi' Ramsey helps me out during the afternoon.

She only has one sister Rebecca 'Becca' and one brother, John Philip, Jr. 'Squirt.' She's also African-American. She and her family moved here from Oakland, New Jersey. Boy, did she have a hard time fitting in! After that, the family got settling in.

We're both the oldest in our families, we're talented: I love to write and Jessi loves to dance, loves horses, we're great sitters, we both feel that our parents treat us like children (it's true!) though we did get our ears pierced not long ago, and we have a hamster.

We're going to be in the seventh grade at Stoneybrook Middle School while our friends are entering the ninth grade at Stoneybrook High School. Our friends are Mary Anne Spier and her stepsister Dawn Schafer, Kristy Thomas, Stacey McGill, and Claudia Kishi.

At eleven a.m., the doorbell rang as I went to answer the door. It was Jessi. We had planned to go out for lunch with the others.

"Mom, I'm leaving!" I called to her.

"Have fun, honey," Mom called back.

Outside, Stacey, who happens to be my neighbor, came through the fence to join us.

"Hi!" exclaimed Stacey happily.

"Hi, Stacey," said Jessi.

She grew up in New York City with her parents (she's an only child). She first moved here by seventh grade on Fawcutt St. when her father's company transferred him here. She joined the club of the Baby - sitters Club (BSC more about that in a bit). Then about a year and a half later, her father's company transferred him back to NYC. That was when Jessi moved here right into the McGill's old house!

However, not long after that, the McGills decided to get a divorce and poor Stacey had to choose to live with- stay in NYC with her father or move back to Stoneybrook with her mother. She decided to move back here because she had a bunch of friends here. So now, Stacey lives right behind me! Isn't that awesome?

Another thing about Stacey: she's a diabetic, which means NO sugar or sweets. If she didn't stick with that diet, she could go into a coma. Plus she has to inject herself (ew!) daily. She's brave about it with that. Her parents used to worry about her too much until she proved she could them she could handle it herself. When we got to the diner, we spotted Claudia and sat next to her. Stacey sat at the end next to her. Like me and Jessi, they're best friends. Claudia is an excellent artist, but not a school genius like her sister, Janine even though she had C averages and she was able to graduate with the rest. She also loves junk food and Nancy Drew (don't tell her parents because they disapprove of them.)

"Hi, Claudia," said Jessi.

"Where are the rest?" I asked.

Charlie and Kristy Thomas are two of the four Thomas kids. Kristy has another older brother, Sam and a younger brother, David Michael. They used to live across from Claudia's and next door to Mary Anne's. Their father left not long after David Michael was born. Somehow Mrs. Thomas was able to handle all four kids on her own.

Then when Kristy started seventh grade, Mrs. Thomas met and dated a millionaire named Watson Brewer. He has two kids of his own from his first marriage; Karen and Andrew. Then a year later, they became a stepfamily and since the Thomas/Brewer family was getting bigger, the Thomas moved in with the Brewers. In fact, Watson owns a mansion!

They adopted a two-year-old baby girl named Emily Michelle. That was when Mrs. Thomas's mother moved in to help out. They even own a cat, a dog, a rat, a hermit crab, and two fish. Imagine living in a house, including a mansion, that is crowded?

"Hi!" I greeted her.

"Hi," said Kristy.

"Logan is joining us as well along with Mary Anne and Dawn," said Claudia.

Mary Anne and Dawn are best friends and stepsisters. Kristy is Mary Anne's first best friend. How did Mary and Dawn become stepsisters? First of all, Mary Anne only grew up with her father who raised her after his wife died when Mary Anne was a baby. I heard her father was very strict. Imagine seeing her as a twelve-year-old wearing braids and jumpers? It was horrible for her. Plus, she wasn't allowed to use the phone except it was for homework. Then, Mary Anne stood up to her father by proving him that she wasn't a little girl anymore and she was able to wear what she wants, styles her own hair, and was able to talk on the phone or hang out with friends when she wants to.

That was when Dawn came along. She had moved here with her mother and younger brother, Jeff all the way from California when the Schafer family got divorced. That was hard on the kids, especially Jeff, who moved back there. Dawn's mother, Sharon happened to be the old girlfriend of Mary Anne's father! They dated back in high school. They ended up dating again (with Mary Anne and Dawn's help) and here's the best part: they got married! So now Mary Anne and Dawn are stepsisters.

Since the Spier house was smaller, Mr. Spier, Mary Anne, and her cat, Tigger had to move from Bradford Court over to Burnt Hill Road to move in with Sharon and Dawn. Isn't that awesome?

Oh, Mary Anne even has a steady boyfriend named Logan Bruno who happens to be one of two associate members. He's from Kentucky. When Mary Anne first met him, she thought it was her favorite star, Cam Geary. They both had the same hair color: blonde and have blue eyes.

The Spier family is different from the Schafer family. Mr. Spier and Mary Anne are organized while Sharon is very unorganized. Mr. Spier and Mary Anne like regular stuff while both Sharon and Dawn doesn't (don't) touch any sugar, sweets, or meat. Sharon isn't a cat lover, but she loves Tigger (isn't that odd?).

Dawn likes music while doing homework while Mary Anne likes to have peace and quiet.

Mary Anne, Dawn, and Logan arrived. Mary Anne sat between Kristy and Dawn. Things haven't been easy for Mary Anne and Logan. See, Mary Anne is very shy and quiet. Logan makes the decisions for her. Mary Anne didn't like that at all, so she and Logan split up for awhile.

It was fine after they got back together. Mary Anne was able to make her own decisions and orders her own stuff. Logan knows she can speak.

That's everyone in the club.

"What are you doing after lunch?" Logan asked Mary Anne.

"I'll be going to the mall with my dad," said Mary Anne.

"Oh, I was going to take you to the movies," said Logan.

"We can do that tomorrow afternoon. The movies are not going anywhere," said Mary Anne.

"That's right," said Kristy. "Mary Anne is tired of you making decisions for her."

"Fine we can go tomorrow," said Logan.

"Now that's a good boy," Mary Anne teased as we laughed.