Monday, October 30, 2023

Miriam is 14!


October has been a rather busy month, and Miriam was rightly particularly worried about the week of her birthday. Last Sunday the youth had their Worldwide Testimony Meeting. Miriam played the piano for that at our building. We also had to be at the stake center earlier in the day for a musical rehearsal. Miriam and I both participated in Women at the Well, a musical production by Kenneth Cope, and although most of our meetings were via Zoom (so we had a number of Zoom meetings to attend), we also had to get Miriam together with the soloist she played for.

That performance was this Sunday. Miriam played Daughter, Arise. I was a narrator.

Miriam (and Zoë) also had their fall festival for piano on Saturday, for which they both had to play a number of memorized scales and pieces. 

Also, we had our ward Halloween party scheduled for Friday night and a multi-stake dance scheduled for Saturday night. 

Also, the youth were in charge of games for the ward party, so on Tuesday night they were supposed to meet to continue preparing for their game stations. Last week they met and made monster posters to go over the corn hole game and talked about other activities they could do—like doughnuts on a string and things like that. 

Instead, they had their own little Halloween party this week because for some reason our ward party was moved from Friday night to Saturday night. They announced this on Sunday caused a bit of a stir because everyone had already planned out their weekend with the ward party on Friday evening. There was some discussion about whether or not the youth should "sacrifice" attending the dance in favour of running games stations at the ward party, but I told my older girls that was ridiculous and encouraged them to go to the dance. 

Serve others...and don't be a doormat. 

Like, there are only a handful of youth in our ward. It's good for them to get out and mingle with other youth in our church who aren't in our ward. If the conflicting dates had been a question weeks earlier, I might have encouraged my girls to be of service at the ward party, have the rug yanked out from under them mere days before the dance, when they'd all been excited about their costumes and everything? I don't think so. 

They're still kids and kids get to be kids. 

Anyway, we had all of that going on the week of Miriam's Miriam's birthday. And the fact that we were just moving the girls from Grandpa's house to our house. And the fact that we were still due to get our carpet installed. In fact, the carpet was scheduled to be installed on Miriam's birthday!

(Unfortunately, the installers' van broke down so they weren't able to make our appointment and rescheduled for the following day. Miriam is still counting it as her most expensive birthday gift, however).

Here she is standing in her freshly vacuumed room that has a real ceiling, fresh carpet, an actual closet, and a door. It's like a real room!

She and Rachel are happy about the upgrade—to think all it took was a couple of doors to turn this space from a strange alcove into an actual bedroom. It already had a window and air vents and a doorway...just no built-in closet or door.

Anyway, because of our busy week...and because Miriam's birthday was on a Wednesday, which meant that she and Zoë would be coming home late from music lessons, we had leftovers for dinner and birthday cake for dessert. 

This was okay because on Thursday (when Grandpa was able to come over) we had schnitzel with noodles as her requested birthday dinner...and leftover birthday cake! Miriam made the spaetzle (noodles) while Andrew worked on the schnitzel (pork cutlets). Alexander was particularly excited about this meal because schnitzel keeps coming up in his German Duolingo lessons. The rest of us were simply happy to sing about schnitzel with noodles

The theme for Miriam's cake was "oatmeal cream pie." Rachel made a lovely oatmeal cake with a marshmallow creme filling. The icing was buttercream coloured (and lightly flavoured) with molasses. It turned out a lovely golden colour and Rachel was rather proud of her dye-free cake design!

Here's Miriam with her cake (before we cut it, obviously):

And here she is getting ready to be sung to:

It's hard to believe she's fourteen already, and's easy to believe because clearly she's grown up quite a bit. She talented and beautiful and kind, wise, and strong. Just an incredible person!

After we finished eating cake, we sat around the table writing birthday balloons for Miriam...and Alexander...because we failed to make birthday balloons for him on his birthday. It was weird with the girls going back and forth between houses and...stuff. Alexander was gracious in forgiving our tardiness and Miriam was gracious to share her day with Alexander. In fact, she suggested that we read his birthday messages first and then read hers (since he'd been waiting for days to hear his birthday salutations). 

Here's Phoebe once again wishing it was her birthday so she could be even more of the center of attention than she already is:

Don't worry, Phoebe! Your turn is coming!

And here are some pictures of Miriam opening her gifts on her actual birthday, whenever she did that. Probably after we ate dinner...judging by Phoebe's outfit. We wrapped presents in brown paper, to continue with the accidental Sound of Music theme of Miriam's birthday (the kids painted on some of the paper to make it prettier):

Also, our wrapping paper was trapped in the basement and I couldn't/didn't find time to unearth it.

Phoebe allowed us to take a single picture of Miriam with her presents and then became very involved in the unwrapping process. Miriam sweetly let Phoebe do as much unwrapping as her little heart desired. 

Miriam mostly wanted knitting supplies—row counters, cable needles, little tidbits like that. My sister Kelli sent a knitting bag that can hold multiple skeins of yarn, which Miriam was super excited about as well. 

Phoebe has been practicing smiling on command. What you can't hear her say here is a long, drawn-out, "Eeeeeeeeee!"

Here are the girls working to open the knitting machine we got for her (thanks, Buy Nothing Group). Miriam was very excited when we stopped to pick it up after mutual a few weeks ago and said she would pretend not to know anything about it until she opened it on her birthday.

Earlier in the month when I was (angrily) unraveling a huge knot of yarn in one of our yarn boxes (that the little kids are not supposed to rifle through (because we have a box of "scrap" yarn for them), but which they clearly had because an unbelievable number of skeins were knotted together and random bits were snipped here and there), Miriam joked about how nice it would be to have that yarn-winding machine she requested for her birthday (knowing that I'd definitely purchased one for her). She and I actually spent a few hours in the basement this afternoon sorting through yarn and rewinding "cakes" to store nicely in boxes...and the yarn winder was a huge help!

Anyway, she got a knitting machine, and various needles and counters, a yarn winder, a yarn bag, safety eyes (to put on things like teddy bears, etc.), and a weighted blanket (which was also a Buy Nothing find). Plus, now that she's got her own bank account, grandparents on both sides put money directly into her account, which she was rather excited about!

Here's silly Phoebe:

And here she is letting Daniel Tiger see what's going on:

I hope it was a good day for Miriam, in spite of being a very busy week, and in spite of being disappointed about not getting carpet on her birthday. It was still wonderful when it arrived the next morning and the girls have appreciated being able to sleep in their own room on their own beds.

Here are Phoebe and Alexander making some "carpet angels" on the brand new, fluffy, uncluttered carpet:

(Phoebe is chewing on a motorcycle in this picture; Grandpa thought she had a granola bar—on my brand new carpet?! I don't think so!)

Happy birthday to Miriam, who is certainly one of my favourite things!

1 comment:

  1. Cake looks delicious! Room looks great! Miriam looks like she is getting older!!