Millie left for college at the age of 20, a few years younger than any of her half-sisters. Mal, who was 17, decided to stay home for a few more years.
(In hindsight, I really should have sent him, but that's water under the bridge now.)
Since the older pair were pretty much independent, Beata and Malcolm were free to focus more attention on their younger pair of children. Although she tried not to play favorites, Beata felt a special bond with her daughter Marion--perhaps because Marion was the only child she'd tried for and longed for. The others had all just sort of happened.
I just like this picture of Beata in her military uniform and Marion in her private school uniform.
Malcolm, on the other hand, focused on Margaret, the baby of the family. Beata was feeling her age and seemed kind of tired of the daily grind of motherhood, but it was important to Malcolm that all his children succeed--especially the little girl who was named after his own mother, who had died when he was just a child.
Malcolm invited over the headmaster for the third time. By that point the visit was hardly more than a formality.
The next day, Margaret trotted off to school in a hand-me-down uniform, looking exactly like her sister Millie.
About a year later, Marion turned 13. She started saying that she wanted to have plenty of fun and maybe go on some dates, but not get into a serious relationship. Her father told her she could do that on her own dime once she moved out. To please him, Marion got a job at the local science facility. She wasn't really interested in science, but that job paid the best, which would make her father happy.
Marion Landgraab, daughter of Beata Riedmayer-Landgraab and Malcolm Landgraab IV.
Lifetime Want: Have 50 1st Dates (Ay yi yi)
Astrological sign: Gemini
Malcolm was getting older too. He decided to stop bothering coloring his hair, since it was pure white underneath now.
He had reached the top of his career (all his wife knew about this career was that it was "business"; he didn't tell her what kind of business), so he could start winding down a little bit. He didn't bother to retire; he worked so few hours that it was like being retired but with better pay.
Pictured: Malcolm becoming Criminal Mastermind, his first top of career and lifetime want. He won't be reaching another TOC, since he's an elder. His new LTW is Own 5 Top Level Businesses.
Malcolm's favorite part of the day was still when Maggie would run out to greet him as soon as he got back from work, even though she was supposed to be asleep by then.
I thought the contrast between the Criminal Mastermind suit and the frilly pink nightgown was funny.
Meanwhile, Beata pushed herself to get the last few promotions she needed to reach her dream of becoming a general.
Pictured: Beata maxing her body skill at the Platinum Gym. (Fitness hobby lot.)
Meanwhile, Mal just tried to fly under his parents' radar as much as possible. He was still dating Theresa, and he took over the grocery shopping so he'd have an excuse to get out of the house and meet new people. One time he was out and ran into both his half-sister Francine and Millie's friend Blake Whitfill.
This picture is for jungfrun68, whose Sim Helena Landgraab has a stubby nose like Mal. Francine's very long nose, which you can also see in this picture, is the same as their mother's.
Since they had had to have a very small, rushed wedding, Beata was determined that she and Malcolm would have a blowout 25th anniversary party. To this end, they had a patio poured behind the house and set up all sorts of fun things.
(Yes, I know what a "golden anniversary" is. But it seemed more appropriate for a couple whose oldest child was in college to have a silver anniversary.)
Maggie, who seemed to take naturally to parties, led a huge crowd of guests in a smustle dance.
I hope you all appreciate my attempts to label a mob of people. All people without last names are Landgraabs. The parenthetical descriptions say how each guest is related to Beata.
I had Mal invite Theresa over separately from the inviting guests to the party interaction, and clicked "invite household" because I figured it couldn't hurt. Much to my surprise, Melanie and Gavin both came.
Some other guests admired the new rose trellises.
This picture is labeled just like the last one, but more coherently thanks to fewer people.
Then Mal led everyone in a toast to his parents, wishing them another 25 years of happiness.
Didn't even bother labeling this one.
After the party, everyone was tuckered out. Maggie didn't even make it inside; she just flopped down in the new hammock for a nap.
Unfortunately, having a party in winter meant that the flu got passed around, and most of the family spend the next week in bed.
With party planning out of the way, Malcolm started taking up a new hobby of robotics. Beata wasn't fond of that thing being in their bedroom, but there wasn't a whole lot of room with 3 kids still in the house.
Soon, Maggie turned 13, leaving her mother with no small, dependent children for the first time in 45 years. Maggie had apparently really liked that anniversary party, since she kept saying she wanted to have lots of friends and lots of parties.
Margaret "Maggie" Landgraab, daughter of Beata Riedmayer-Landgraab and Malcolm Landgraab IV
Lifetime Want: Have 20 Best Friends
Astrological sign: Gemini
You might notice that we have a bad case of Firstborn Syndrome here--Millie, Marion, and Maggie are all 100% identical, down to their preferred hobby. (Fitness.) Mal is different since he was born in the same play cycle as Millie. At least the girls are prettier than he is--though they have scary eyebrows that I always hide with their hair.
This is what the downstairs looked like. The Party Patio (as I like to call it) is the biggest change, and you saw that already.
Upstairs. Beata is working on charisma so she can get promoted.