Saturday, April 02, 2016

Happy Birth-Week, Anna!

Anna turned 10 years old on Monday, March 28!  Unfortunately, it was a Monday, which is the most stressful and not fun day of our week.  She did pick her birthday dinner, which was an easy one--Asian glazed meatballs over rice, stir-fried green beans, and a fruit salad with mangoes, grapes, and lots of different kinds of berries.  After dinner, she opened her presents and we ate ice cream.  She was very happy to receive a microplane zester (which she had asked for!), an earring box with little dividers, and a double-dutch jump rope.  One movie Bob bought (right before the big blizzard in January) was "Jump In", about a jump rope team, of all things.  Watching this movie several times has ushered in an era of intense interest in jumping rope here at our house.  Unfortunately, we only had a few short ones, but not any longer!  Now we are the proud owners of 2 long ones, so the girls can do "double dutch".

Since we were all pretty busy and stressed on Monday, we continued celebrating on Tuesday.  Anna and I got up early to go to Shoppers before TNT.  Shoppers has the most amazing "colossal doughnuts"--once you taste them, you will never be satisfied with a tiny little Dunkin Donuts donut!  She had written down her flavor choices so she could take them into her co-op class for a treat.  We got 2 dozen, since there are 14 in her class, and we got to eat the rest of the doughnuts, which made everyone happy at home.

At Rivendell, the McCs gave Anna this awesome scarf, which she has had a ton of fun with!  This is her Russian spy or perhaps Jackie Kennedy look.  Joel also gave her a bag of coconut, since he knew I wouldn't buy her any!
Tuesday night was really special--Bob took Anna out to Benehana, a Japanese steakhouse where they cook the food right in front of you.  Anna has been dying to go there ever since Grace went last year with Bob before a father/daughter dance.  She had steak (her favorite!), and she reported it was delicious.  She also really liked the Japanese strawberry soda she had, so afterward she and Bob went to Wegmans to buy some so we could all try some.  It really brought back memories of Okinawa for me because it really had a distinctively Japanese strawberry flavor.  It was good!
Friday night we brought dessert to Bible study to finish up our week of celebrating--and to start celebrating Micah's birthday, which comes next!  Anna had been looking through old Quick Cooking recipes, and she decided she wanted to make a cappucino mousse trifle.  I must say, that was never a recipe that I had ever noticed or been attracted to, but hey, I'm glad Anna is branching out and trying new things!  The recipe uses frozen pound cake, but we decided to make our own.  We used this recipe, although we baked it in 2 8 inch loaf pans.  We also didn't have any lemon extract, but it was still delicious even with just vanilla extract.  I think we will have to make the pound cakes again and have strawberries and whipped cream or something on top!
Right before serving the trifle after Bible study, Anna added squirts of whipped cream and sprinkled grated chocolate on top (grated with the microplane, which is AMAZING!  So sharp!).  It all looked so pretty, and it tasted so good too!  The reviews said it didn't have a strong coffee flavor, and they were right.  Part of that was probably due to us using an entire 16 ounce tub of whipped cream in the mousse filling, instead of just half, since the reviews also said there wasn't enough filling to go on all 3 layers.
I'm glad Anna's birthday week ended on such a high note!  She is such a special girl, and we're so glad she's in our family.  Cooking is obviously one of her big loves, and we all benefit from this hobby!  She is also a big help with cleaning.  Yesterday I came downstairs in the morning to find her removing everything in the pantry in our kitchen so she could wipe down the shelves and organize it all.  Especially this past year, I've started to see how it seems like a lot of the big families have older girls, and how helpful that must be.  I mean, I love having my 4 older boys, and they were a lot of help--but things like organizing the pantry were really just never on their radar screens, lol.  And today Bob took Anna, Faith, Micah, and Drew to Luke's rugby game, and Grace and I stayed home to clean.  We cleaned pretty much the entire main floor *and* baked a double batch of banana bread!  So I am really enjoying having older girls now too.  SO helpful!  

Anna is very excited about being 10 because now she can get her military ID card!  Of course, there is no easy, close place to do that here, so who knows when it will actually happen.  I have fond memories of getting my ID card when I turned 10 and we were stationed on Okinawa.  Big milestone!

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