The birthday celebrations went well. Our family rule, suggested by a very wise friend a few years ago, is that a child only gets a party on an even number birthday year. With boys five years apart, and birthdays separated by only two weeks, this greatly improved my sanity when we implemented it. Before, with two parties, separate celebrations for homeschool and public school friends, and all the accompanying hoopla, I was not exactly joyful about the preparations by the end of November. Having them alternate the year that they have a party also helped slow down the toy accumulation.
This year it was the older child's turn, and he had a great time at a local laser tag venue. Up until last year, all the boys' parties were home or park parties. I'm glad we were able to give them a memory of a "fancy" party, (I still remember my McDonald's party when I was a little girl) I'll be glad to get back to our outdoor, homestyle parties next year.
On a year when a child doesn't have a party, he gets to go somewhere special with one friend. Younger child had a great time on his special day, and got to be included at his brother's "big kids only" party.
The boys' birthday weeks are quickly followed by Thanksgiving. Even though it's after the fact, I've added a list of some of our favorite Thanksgiving books to the side. While I often don't get organized enough to fully incorporate all the seasons and holidays of either the natural or church calendar, I love to try and have seasonal picture books available for us to peruse, and try to do some kind of coordinated baking or craft.
This year, per the younger boy's request, I made the cranberry bread recipe from our favorite Thanksgiving book, Cranberry Thanksgiving. Until preparing this post, I had no idea how expensive copies of this book are, and I feel extra grateful to have acquired one somewhere along the way. The bread was a big hit. As Mr. Whiskers would say, "How about some more?"