Thursday, May 3, 2012

Turning Ten

At the end of March, our niece, McKayla, came to visit.

We always look forward to seeing McKayla, but this time was particularly special because McKayla got to meet her 3-month-old cousin, Noah, for the first time.  

It was also a memorable visit because McKayla stayed with us for two full days.

Before McKayla arrived, Brian and I had discussed what we wanted to do while she was here.  At the top of my list: Taking McKayla to Coloma since she's currently in fourth grade.  (A field trip, if you will!)  I also wanted to bake cupcakes and present her with 10 wrapped gifts in honor of her forthcoming 10th birthday.

These planned events were super fun, but just as exciting were the more spontaneous activities.  Like when Brian came up with the last-minute idea to present McKayla with clues for a birthday gift scavenger hunt.  I think McKayla loved the "hunt" more than the actual gifts. 

This is what I want to remember from our time together.  

I want to remember baking and frosting cupcakes with McKayla.  (For the record, McKayla did nearly all the work; I just helped with the oven.)

I want to remember how McKayla and I talked about teachers.  McKayla said she wasn't fond of strict teachers.  To which I replied, Well then, I don't think you would have liked me as your teacher.  She laughed and I did, too. 

I want to remember McKayla creating homemade cards--one for Noah and one for a friend--as she listened to her favorite singer, Bruno Mars, on Pandora.  (I'm not going to lie: The cardmaker in me was so excited to see McKayla's budding interest in cardmaking, and my long-neglected cardmaking supplies were shouting, Hooray, hooray!)

I want to remember how excited McKayla was when she learned how to use my Xyron machine.  

I want to remember how McKayla and Brian made a delicious taco pizza for dinner. 

I want to remember McKayla panning for gold in Coloma.

I want to remember how initially McKayla didn't seem too interested in learning about the discovery of gold in California.  (It may have been that the museum was a tad bit boring.)  But once we visited James Marshall's log cabin, from there on out, she stopped and read every. single. sign. 

I want to remember that when McKayla learned that the Coloma school children during the Gold Rush era never had any homework, she said, "What?  That's not fair.  Why do I have homework and they didn't?"  
I want to remember how much McKayla enjoyed searching for her 10 birthday presents in and around our house.

I want to remember how McKayla enthusiastically read each clue, ran (not walked) to the appropriate destination, quickly searched for her gift and then made a pile of presents in the family room. 

The clue that sent her to the washing machine said, If you had dirty clothes, where would you go to wash them?  

The clue that led McKayla to the car said, Six years from now, you’ll be able to drive one of these…as long as you pass your driving test!

I want to remember how McKayla opened all of her gifts at the end of the scavenger hunt and then made a wish and blew out the candles on her birthday cupcake. 

We hope to make more happy memories with McKayla in the future!


P.S.  In case you are curious, here is what I selected for McKayla's ten gifts:
1) 10 pictures of Noah (in a small album)
2) 5 pairs of socks
3) $10 gift card to iTunes
4) 10 $1 bills
5) 10 stickers
6) 10 pieces of bubble gum (I totally forgot she has braces, so we swapped out the gum for candy.)
7) 5 pairs of earrings
8) 10 Peeps candies
9) 10 plastic bracelets
10) 10 mechanical pencils

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