Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thanksgiving 2013 and Riley's 10th Birthday

We hosted Thanksgiving dinner this Golden Corral!  Best Thanksgiving ever!  The over-twelve crowd enjoyed unlimited turkey, potatoes, stuffing and pie, while the under-twelve crowd enjoyed mac and cheese, nachos, the chocolate fountain and who-knows-what-else. 
Dave, Amy, Katie, Kelly and Megan all came from Georgia.  The girls were in 'new' cousin heaven.  

 We got to celebrate Riley's 10th birthday while they were here.
Yep, TENTH!  

I do recall a time in my life when I made elaborate birthday cakes.
That time is not now. 

Riley is an amazing ten-year-old.  She is very mature and responsible, she is independent as can be, she gets all A's, and more importantly, she is a wonderful friend and a leader for good. She picks up on things quickly and is an excellent athlete. If there is one word to describe her right now, it would be courageous.  Sometimes that courage is used against me - she has a strong will, but usually her courage is a valuable character trait.  She doesn't get frustrated when playing sports. She gets aggressive...but she doesn't get discouraged. This year her D-league team never won, but she didn't let it get her down. She doesn't back down from playing point when it is almost inevitable the ball will be stripped from her.  She isn't afraid to take the last minute shot.  She volunteers to play goalie.  And she stands strong for what she believes. A few months ago her best friend scheduled her birthday party on Sunday at Owensboro Gym and Fitness (so fun!).  Her friend called and practically begged her to come.
Just this one time!  It is after church! 
I could hear Riley calmly but firmly reply over and over, "I know, but I am keeping the Sabbath Day Holy." She never cracked.  As I overheard the conversation I was on the verge of interrupting and saying, "Just go, Riley. It will be fine!"  It was breaking my heart that her friend wanted her there so bad. 
But I am glad I didn't.  Riley taught me something that day.  
Her friend ended up canceling the party at the fitness center.  She had a late-night with Riley instead.
I know that Riley represents our family and religion better than the rest of us.
 We are very proud of her!

Some random facts:
Her feet are huge.  Women's size 8 1/2 and growing every day
She has mastered curling her hair better than I ever could.
she is a Rainbow Loom Master 
loves to get her nails painted
 loves her iPod and Instagram
She loves mowing the lawn and the $10 that comes with it
She can't wait to babysit (she often stays home with the kids when I have to make quick trips to Wal-Mart and stuff, but she wants to do the real deal for other people)
Her besties are Haley Rowland and Gracie Campo
Favorite foods - steak and alfredo chicken
she just read The Land of Stories series and really enjoyed them

Every year at Highland each grade puts on an elaborate musical production. Fourth grade does the Renaissance Festival. They act, sing, dance and each student learns and plays at least one musical instrument.  I don't know how the music teacher does it.  It is amazing. And can I tell you how awesome it is to go to a public school performance and hear songs about the birth of the Savior? Downright awesome.

I expect a lot of Riley.  It has got to stink being the oldest.  
When she was 5 I expected her to act like she was 8.  
When she was 8 I expected her to act like she was 12. 
I am trying reeealy hard to just let her be 10. 

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