We've put the books away. Another semester is done and in the books, so to speak. Now we get to enjoy our annual three-week birthday/holiday vacation. No more soccer practices until mid-January. Do you hear the collective sigh of relief coming from our home.
Mary turned nine on Saturday. Wow, I have a nine-year-old. Next year I will have to actually use two digits on her birthday cake. We actually celebrated her birthday on Friday. It just happened that everyone was available to come over and have a family celebration. We will have her big sleepover party in January after all the holidays.
I think she had a good night. Her grandparents gave her a big surprise, a GameBoy DS Lite. Something I had told her absolutely not to expect as it went way over our birthday budget this year. I didn't even know that they were giving it to her until the day before. Along with it they gave her the Brain Game, which she has actually enjoyed playing quite a bit. Great for sharpening those math skills.
We gave her some more art supplies and clothing that she had asked for. I don't think she believes she can ever have enough of those athletic shirts and fleece pull-overs. My mom gave her more Legos and a Mandala coloring book with a HUGE box of colored pencils.
My mom came to visit for Mary's birthday and we took the kids to the Marble Museum on Friday. My mom had never been there and the kids love it. We had fun, but they had scheduled several school groups all for Friday and it was very crowded. Robbie was fixated on the ambulance and it was hard to move him away so the rest of us could visit the other stations. Mary found the woodworking bench, with real tools, and had a blast trying to build herself a bird feeder. Katie was thrilled to see that the visiting exhibit was Magic School Bus Weather. Emily would have been fully satisfied had we just left her at the water table for the entire day.
On Monday Mary and Katie are going over to their grandmother's where they will be making gingerbread houses and other Christmas crafts. I'm going to take Emily and Robbie to play at their preschool for a few hours while I run errands to pick up some last minute gifts and try to clean the house. Thursday we are traveling to visit my family for the weekend. My mom turns 60 on Thursday, then Emily's fouth birthday on Friday and our family Christmas on Saturday. It is a good thing I will have a few days to recuperate the next week before Chistmas.