A Double-Digit Celebration

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My not so baby girl turned the big 1-0 at 2:21am on November 25! Despite being a complete wreck this entire year leading up to her turning 10, I held it together the whole day. While my princess slept in, I made her the Best Coffee Cake Everas her special birthday breakfast. After all you deserve to eat cake for breakfast when you hit a big mile stones right? Mr. C and I sang an obnoxious version of Happy Birthday with a dorky dance to boot. Karisa’s mortified look on her face confirmed that not only was she not impressed but she is indeed growing up.

After many long conversations about at what age she is old enough to be allowed to get her ear pierced (and asking every mom to a daughter and receiving every answer and reasoning across the board), we agreed, upon her request, that we would get them for her as her 10th birthday present. She was really nervous and scared but more than anything determined! So after her breakfast cake we all loaded up into two vehicles (along with grandma and my two nieces) and headed to the mall, ON BLACK FRIDAY. I didn’t think this all the way through but I figured all the real crazies were back at home sleeping by noon. Karisa picked out a pair of peace sign earrings. She was given a bear to hold and bravely sat as two women simultaneously punched holes in her ear while seven of her family members crammed into a small corner to watch! She did great and was so proud to have pierced ears.

As long as I have this bear, I will be brave!
As long as I have this bear, I will be brave!
Hmm...you mean there is more than marking my ear with ink.
Hmm…you mean there is more than marking my ear with ink.
Look Mom, I have pierced ears!
Look Mom, I have pierced ears!

Later that evening I slaved over her family birthday dinner to be ready by 6:30p. Just kidding. I picked up her free cake from a local grocery store (they send her a coupon every year). I put the Best Lasagna Ever I made on Wednesday into the oven , chopped up tri color bell pepper, onion, and carrots and added them to store bought salad, and Mr. C  picked up a couple of dozen wings for an appetizer. Phew that was rough, right!?

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Mr. C prayed and then we dug in. Thirteen people were fed, and fed well. I kept the party moving right along by having her open her presents to allow our food to settle before we ate cake. Before she opened a gift the person/family who gave it to her shared either their favorite memory with Karisa or something they love about her. I suggest you add this little routine into as many traditions as you can. The thoughts and memories are so random and precious all wrapped up in one. If you are super on top of things you might want to write them down ~ I forgot to do t hat. She received a comforter and pillow with the peace sign all over them, a peace sign bean bag, $20 and a Taylor Swift CD/DVD. Yikes! You know that meant an impromptu concert in our living room after cake.

Karisa’s double digit celebration was simple, sweet and memorable!

Do you remember your 10th birthday?

Are your ears pierced? If so, how old were you when they were pierced?

 

A Thanksgiving To Remember

Ready To Be Roasted
Ready To Be Roasted
Yum!
Yum!

Our Thanksgiving celebration actually started on Wednesday night. Aside from making the pies, we go to church. My step-son called and said he couldn’t make it because he had to work. Stinking responsibilities! My three nieces however came over to spend the night and go to church with us. Right before my sister left (I couldn’t convince her to come with us) she sprung the news that she (33-year-old single mother of a 16, 15 and 10 yo) is PREGNANT! Happy Thanksgiving Eve…

After church, while I was trying to figure out the sleeping arrangements (turns out kids grow and no longer fit two to a bed), Kaleb called and said he was off work and coming over! Sleeping arrangements had to be redone but I went to bed with all my kids under one roof, plus my three beautiful nieces and a very happy and blessed heart!

Thanksgiving morning started bright and early for me. I met a group of girls for our own Turkey Trot run. I only ran 4.65 miles but it felt good and it was a great start to my morning. I came home and gave Mr. C a 30 minute must be up warning. He is the one who actually cleans and preps the turkey. I get every thing cut up and the butter spread mixed but I have a slight gagging reflex when it comes to cleaning the turkey. In the meantime I made me a big mug of coffee and started chopping everything that was neglected the night before, still in my running skirts. I contemplated staying in my running skirt all day but Mr. C gently suggested I should shower and I reluctantly obliged.

I went from my running skirt to this! I tried to wear my turkey pants all day but Mr. C wouldn't serve our meal until I put on respectable pants!
I went from my running skirt to this! I tried to wear my turkey pants all day but Mr. C wouldn’t serve our meal until I put on respectable pants!

Everything else seemed to go along just fine. I had a little problem with time management mostly because I forgot to turn the oven on to bake the bread. It put us about 30 minutes behind but that gave us the perfect opportunity to pray. Mr. C opened us up in prayer and we went around and expressed what we are thankful for and I ended us in prayer and may or may not have shed a few tears. Okay it was more than a few but this to me is the best part of Thanksgiving. To see my brother, sister and their kids, knowing they have and still continue to struggle in life, and hear them give praise for things we take for granted is the best heart check.

This Thanksgiving was so relaxed and full of joy. I normally exert so much energy trying to make the perfect table settings and centerpieces and a kids table to be envied. I don’t know if you have been paying attention but I have been busy. This year I simply put table cloths on the table and that was it. The kids dressed themselves (shockingly they didn’t choose matching cute dress clothes). I didn’t even clean our back room. Gasp! This year we were just keeping it real. You should try it sometime. It frees you up to just be in the moment and enjoy your time with those who love you just as you are.

We ate, we laughed and we ate some more. That my friends is how we will remember Thanksgiving 2011.

How was your Thanksgiving?

 

A Thanksgiving to Remember

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Our Thanksgiving celebration actually started on Wednesday night. Aside from making the pies, we go to church. My step-son called and said he couldn’t make it because he had to work. Stinking responsibilities! My three nieces however came over to spend the night and go to church with us. Right before my sister left (I couldn’t convince her to come with us) she sprung the news that she (33-year-old single mother of a 16, 15 and 10 yo) is PREGNANT! Happy Thanksgiving Eve

After church, while I was trying to figure out the sleeping arrangements (turns out kids grow and no longer fit two to a bed), Kaleb called and said he was off work and coming over! Sleeping arrangements had to be redone but I went to bed with all my kids under one roof, plus my three beautiful nieces and a very happy and blessed heart!

Thanksgiving morning started bright and early for me. I met a group of girls for our own Turkey Trot run. I only ran 4.65 miles but it felt good and it was a great start to my morning. I came home and gave Mr. C a 30 minute must be up warning. He is the one who actually cleans and preps the turkey. I get every thing cut up and the butter spread mixed but I have a slight gagging reflex when it comes to cleaning the turkey. In the meantime I made me a big mug of coffee and started chopping everything that was neglected the night before, still in my running skirts. I contemplated staying in my running skirt all day but Mr. C gently suggested I should shower and I reluctantly obliged.

I went from my running skirt to this! I tried to wear my turkey pants all day but Mr. C wouldn't serve our meal until I put on respectable pants!
I went from my running skirt to this! I tried to wear my turkey pants all day but Mr. C wouldn’t serve our meal until I put on respectable pants!

Everything else seemed to go along just fine. I had a little problem with time management mostly because I forgot to turn the oven on to bake the bread. It put us about 30 minutes behind but that gave us the perfect opportunity to pray. Mr. C opened us up in prayer and we went around and expressed what we are thankful for and I ended us in prayer and may or may not have shed a few tears. Okay it was more than a few but this to me is the best part of Thanksgiving. To see my brother, sister and their kids, knowing they have and still continue to struggle in life, and hear them give praise for things we take for granted is the best heart check.

This Thanksgiving was so relaxed and full of joy. I normally exert so much energy trying to make the perfect table settings and centerpieces and a kids table to be envied. I don’t know if you have been paying attention but I have been busy. This year I simply put table cloths on the table and that was it. The kids dressed themselves (shockingly they didn’t choose matching cute dress clothes). I didn’t even clean our back room. Gasp! This year we were just keeping it real. You should try it sometime. It frees you up to just be in the moment and enjoy your time with those who love you just as you are.

We ate, we laughed and we ate some more. That my friends is how we will remember Thanksgiving 2011.

How was your Thanksgiving?

 

Happy 10th Birthday Karisa

Life is wonderfully busy at the moment.  I will back later to recap our Thanksgiving feast and our amazing day of celebrating Karisa’s 10th birthday.  In the meantime here is a little  time line of Karisa’s first nine years.  I have been an emotional wreck~in a good way.  She is truly the blessing I never knew I wanted and is the reason my life is what it is today!

Happy BIRTH day!
Happy BIRTH day!
karisa 10 002 - Copy
I’m ONE
karisa 10 003 - Copy
Couldn’t get her to sit still for her TWO year old photo…This will have to do!
karisa 10 004 - Copy
She was in LOVE with those boots!
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This is the best age!
karisa 10 006
I’m a big girl now!
karisa 10 007
She donated her hair to locks of love! Six years old~First Grade
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Seven years old~Second Grade
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Eight Years Old~Third Grade
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Nine Years Old~Fourth Grade
I'm TEN!
I’m TEN!

 

~HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY KARISA~

 

Thankgiving Prep

Today might just be busier for me than Thanksgiving day itself! However, I find that if I could have a successful day of prep, I get to enjoy Thanksgiving day. It allows me to spend time joyfully cooking with my children and family with less time in the kitchen. It also allows me to just be in the moment, as opposed to concentrating on getting things done.

On the agenda today: COFFEE

I need to make:

Two Pumpkin Pies
One Apple Pie
One Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Corn Bread
Two Lasagna (For my daughter’s birthday on Friday)

And

Shred a rotisserie chicken
Chop up onion, celery and green onion

And

Portion everything out in a labeled container.

And

Clean my entire house, set out tables, chairs, and décor

And

Go to my kids Turkey Trot from 12:40-1:40 at school

And

Do laundry making sure everyone in our family has an “outfit” for the next three days.

And

Rearrange our bedrooms to accommodate my Step-Son and my three nieces who will be coming over today and staying through Sunday

And

Go to church at 7p

And

Make Dinner (Hello Five Dollar Pizza)!

And

Get a good nights sleep for my early morning run the next day!

Phew! I think I can, I think I can. In all honestly, I may get a little overwhelmed but I truly enjoy every single minute of it. I will make the lasagna first, followed by the shredding and chopping. This allows the kids to “help” me make the pies when they get out of school. The rest is done as a family and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What does your day before Thanksgiving look like?