Last year I encouraged the kids to be mellow for their birthdays. Instead of parties, we had quiet, family-style celebrations. But that strategy only lasted one year. The girls felt they had some make-up work to do this year. For our older daughter, we decided on hosting a sewing class at our local downtown sewing center. They all got to sit together for a couple of hours and create homemade stuffed pillows. The instructor was kind and helpful, and all of the kids walked out with a new knowledge of sewing machines and cozy creations - complete with appliqué!