This is the girl who made me a mama nine years ago:
NINE YEARS. Her last year in the single digits.
That's a little too much for me to contemplate right now.
As a fun outing for her birthday we checked out the Missouri Institute of Natural Science Museum that is full of fossils, gems, dinosaur bones and other neat cave discoveries.
Tucked away on a winding country farm road just south of town (with free admission), it was a fun little outing. We were the only ones there so we got a personalized tour from the guy who was manning the building. As a side note, they are apparently having a grand re-opening in January so I'm sure we'll be back to check out the improvements and take advantage of their hiking trails and fossil hunting spots.
It also happened to be her day to trek over to Grandma and Papa's house for a couple of hours of "learning to be a farm hand", and she loves it so much she insisted she wanted to do it on her birthday afternoon. This has been a fun activity her and William started this fall. We brainstormed the idea as a way for them to begin learning valuable farm skills from their experienced grandparents and *hopefully* be a help on the farm. The kids think it's great. We hope the grandparents do too ;-)
This also helps Margaret in her plan of saving up for a burro. She has been chipping away at us for years to let her get a donkey (a true horsewoman, always dreaming of something new to try). It looks like we finally caved this year - provided she can come up with the adoption fee and we can find the perfect one. She's working hard toward that goal. In the meantime she is also (most recently) deeply in love with Osage, the Haflinger mare her grandma is kindly allowing the kids to make use of. Every morning (as long as Osage is locked up) she goes out and adds more braids to her long mane and tail and whispers sweet nothings in her ear. And she loves taking turns riding her or Lady or Dan, as the opportunities arise.
She also continues to improve in cello -- still taking lessons from Jacque Trtan and participating in the all cello ensemble. At home she is slowly teaching herself piano as well (with some little guidance from me), and loves singing at Ozarks Academy's music class. After performing well at a cello competition last spring --when I asked if she had felt nervous -- she confided: "I think I was born to play in front of people."
|In her favorite "Hungarian princess" dress passed along through the Dey family.|
Thursdays at Ozarks Academy are generally the high point of every week. A day filled with good friends, fun teachers, lots of learning, and the ever favorite art class.
She is my number one helper, cheerfully chipping in wherever it's needed. Babysitting her little brother, playing with the puppy outside, or doing her part with daily farm and house chores. Honing her baking and sewing skills and working hard at school. Her free time is quickly filled with doing art, leading creative games with her siblings and reading. Or shinnying up trees. Or learning how to skip around on stilts in one afternoon.
|Joint photo shoot with her birthday buddy, Harriet.|
We ended her birthday evening with the traditional gifts in a pillowcase (McBride family style) and cake and ice cream. For fun I whipped up a little rhyme to present to her with her cake.
Here's to many new adventures together in the next year. We love you Margaret.