Aisha, 4yo, D, 3yo, J, 6yo, Brioni, 3yo, + Calista, 21 months old, January 2010
With the oldest six and the youngest almost two, this group of girls could have played happily all day!

Our visitors today came bringing gifts.

Now thoughtful gifts are always the best kind, and these were carefully chosen for each of my girls. Allison and her two daughters brought the presents when they drove down from the Sunshine Coast to catch up with us and meet Dell.

Delaney, 2 weeks old, + Allison, January 2010
Allison got to hold Dell, who obliged by falling asleep in her arms.

When Allison packaged up a little something (new clothes!) for Delaney, her two daughters each wanted to also give gifts to the three older girls. J remembered how nice it was to receive presents when her little sister was born, and she wanted to repeat the experience for our three older girls.

So J and D carefully went through their toy room and chose items they thought Aisha, Brioni and Cali would like. Because our girls had enjoyed dressing up during our visit last October, J selected three beautiful dresses — princess dresses with frills, lace and tulle. What girl doesn’t like dressing up? And D selected a couple of spare baby dolls. Our girls can never have too many babies!

The girls enjoyed opening their presents, and of course changed their clothes into the beautiful dresses right away! While Allison and I sat in the kitchen, the five girls followed each other inside and out, acting out elaborate games of make-believe.

Calista, 21 months, Brioni, 3yo, D, 3yo, Aisha, 4yo, + J, 6yo, January 2010
The girls all had a turn dressing up. It was delightful to see all five of them playing so well together! (We could have probably skipped lunch without them noticing...)

Aisha, 4yo, + J, 6yo, January 2010
Out on the back verandah, J tried out Aisha's drum kit while Aisha minded her new babies.

Their visit was way too short, as it always is with good friends. However, I’ve promised Allison that we’ll come up for a visit before leaving for NZ, and that’s something to look forward to!

And seeing how J and D were eager to participate in gift-giving inspires me to make sure I instill that great value in our children too.