So we started off his birthday with no school. Because when you are homeschooled, you never have to have school on your birthday. And your siblings get the day off, too. Everyone wins. For breakfast, Edwin requested that we have German apple pancakes (dutch baby). Everyone was, of course, happy to have that instead of the usual oatmeal and eggs.
After morning chores and some lunch packing, we all headed off to the botanical gardens.
First we visited the peacocks. Why there is a cage full of peacocks there, I have no idea, but the children love to visit the beautiful overgrown chickens. There is something mesmerizing about watching peacocks.
Everyone was delighted to discover that peacocks, being overgrown chickens, like eating grass. The kids spent at least half an hour pulling up grass and offering it. Eleanor didn't have much success with rocks and pine needles, but the leftover chunks of snow were pretty well received.
Then we had a picnic lunch. We had been snowed on the weekend before, about five or six inches, but the weather cooperated with our picnic plans and gave us a beautifully sunny day in the upper fifties. There are some things about Dushanbe that are pretty awesome.
After lunch, everyone enjoyed playing on the random exercise equipment scattered around while I sat and read War and Peace.
That evening when Brandon got home we had Edwin's choice for dinner, schawerma, and then dessert, lemon meringue pie.
And then, of course, presents. One grandmother sent him a dinosaur book.
The other a lego set.
His sister gave him a bag full of candy.
And his parents two dinosaurs, which, according to Edwin, were his "best birthday present in his whole entire life!!" It's always great to see that you've guessed right for presents.
On Saturday, for Edwin's birthday Saturday (instead of a party we do something that the birthday child gets to choose), we went sledding up in the mountains. I wasn't sure if we would get to go sledding this year, but the weather has cooperated enough for us to get at least one trip in, even if the snow got a little muddy by the end.
Everyone had a good time.
We finished off the day with our traditional Christmas gingerbread house, homemade pizza, and Elf.
After going through a rough few years (the same rough few years that every child goes through), Edwin as turned into a great child to have around. He's great at getting the job done even when he doesn't like to do it. Most mornings I can count on him to finish his chores while I'm stuck nagging everyone else to get them done now, and he always gets his school work done before he runs off to play. Now that he's learned how to read, you can usually find him reading something about dinosaurs, and if he isn't reading he's building legos. He and Joseph can usually get along together, and he's very much looking forward to his very own buddy's arrival in less than two months.
We're pretty happy to have him as part of our family. Happy Birthday, Edwin!