What’s In A Decade – A Birthday Celebration

What Comes to Mind When You Think of a Decade

When you think of the word ‘decade’, what thoughts come to mind? Do you think of it as just a word, or a phrase, or do you have more of a ‘feeling’ about it than words? I asked myself this question a few days ago and thought about the significance of a decade in a little more detail a couple days ago.

A decade = 10 years = 3,650* days = 87,600 hours = 5,256,000 minutes = 315,360,000 seconds. [*this is an approximate number as I haven’t included the extra leap year days, sorry, but I’m no Mathematician ;)]

That’s how old my middle child, Azkarah, turned a couple days ago. That’s quite an amazing age for such a young one to have reached. My daughter is a decade old. It sounds ancient, sort of, but then I’m more than a decade old so I guess that makes me super duper ancient haha 🙂 Anyway, enough of all of this philosophical soliloquy.

A Busy Week

This week was pretty busy with quite a few events happening and three family members having their birthdays all within the same week. My kids’ cousin had his birthday on 31st October, followed by their aunt’s birthday on 2nd November with my middler’s (middler is probably not a word but I like to think of my middle child as my middler, so it’s a word according to me 😉 ) the next day after, on the 3rd.

Preparation Towards Azkarah’s Birthday

It’s birthday celebration time, yay!!!

This year, Azkarah, asked to have a birthday celebration of sorts. Now I have to tell you that I’m not of the group of moms who faithfully bake or buy a birthday cake every single year, nor am I prone to “celebrate” my kids birthdays flamboyantly. Perhaps because I did not grow up having a birthday party every year, or a cake for that matter – I can only remember having one birthday party in my childhood days, and no, I don’t feel like I missed out in any way – I haven’t felt, and don’t feel the need to celebrate my kids’ birthday every year, but that is not to say that we totally ignore them on their birthdays haha, that would be something.  Mark and I, however, do often forget our own birthdays, and that is hilarious!  We’re a family who are pretty low key when it comes to ‘celebrating’ just about anything.  We believe in being thankful for every day and in celebrating every day that we live to see.  But with Azkarah turning 10 years old, and having not long ago moved to the U.S., I felt that a birthday celebration with her newly made friends would be a good idea and would help her to feel more at home here.

Making a Piñata

So, Azkarah and I set about planning her birthday, with her telling me what she had in mind for that special day, who she wanted to invite, what she wanted to do, etc. One thing she really wanted to have was a piñata. I had never ever heard of a piñata, in all of my several decades of life, until just a month or so ago, so I was quite unprepared when Azkarah said that instead of spending money on buying a piñata, she would much rather we made one. Galee!!! Make one?!? How do you make a piñata? It’s in moments like this when I’m all for buying something if it means avoiding the time and energy and mess that it would take in actually making that thing – yes, that’s pretty ironic considering I’m a home-educating parent; no need to rub it in, I know! To my surprise and delight, making a piñata proved to be a very fun and interesting experience.  I found, and we followed, a really good YouTube video, which showed us step-by-step how to make a Mexican-styled piñata.

Star-Shaped Balloon

Paper Party Hats for the Five Corners of the Balloon

String with Scissors

Also needed is some old newspaper cut into, approximately, 2-inch strips:

Newspaper Stacks

 

Cutting Stacks of Newspaper into 2-Inch Strips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water-Flour Mixture

 

Each 2-inch strip of newspaper is dipped into the flour-water mixture until the strip is completely covered, then with two fingers on either side of the strip, the water-flour mixture is slowly rubbed off and then placed on the balloon starting in the centre and working upwards and downwards.

Wiping off Water-Flour Mixture

Sticking Strip to Balloon

 

 And the final touches:

Tada! 😉

In Goes The Candy

The Actual Birthday Celebration

The day of Azkarah’s birthday celebration arrived and I spent most of the morning baking grain-free muffins ( cupcakes) and an almond and coconut cake, whiles my girls together with a friend of Azkarah’s, who had spent the night at ours, helped with the final touches of decorating our living room and finishing up the piñata. Azkarah’s girlfriends arrived on time and there followed a couple hours of telling jokes, which none of the girls thought funny, eating, jumping outside on the trampoline, piñata hitting session, blowing out birthday candles and enjoying a slice of Azkarah’s birthday cake, and finally opening all of her presents and expressing her thanks as she opened each present.

 

The highlight of the afternoon, of course, was hitting the piñata which we hung up outside, and all the girls making a grab for all the candy that spilled out once the piñata fell down and was trampled upon by several small feet.

‘Guy Fawkes’ Day’

Our week ended with a bonfire evening in commemoration of ‘Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night’, an English celebration of sorts of the failed attempt to burn down the Houses of Parliament in November 1605.

Kezia, my oldest, had asked a couple weeks ago if we could have a bonfire evening on 5th November and if she could invite over some school friends. We thought that a great idea and found it rather humorous that we were going to celebrate Bonfire Night, something we never ‘celebrated’ when we lived in the UK. We did love to watch the fireworks, though.

Despite warnings of stormy weather later in the day, we went ahead with our ‘celebration’ and started a fire going in our backyard and simultaneously started a fire going indoors, so we could enjoy a blaze if it started to rain, which it did.

In addition to Kezia’s 3 school friends, we had invited over friends and their family, as well as one of our neighbours and their family. All in all, it was a pleasant time. I had made pizza; yes, I make and love to make our own pizza, rather than buying it, although that is not to say that we never buy pizza, just saying 😉 .

I think making the piñata was perhaps the highlight of my week, too! It was a fun project and it afforded me a time with my two older girls, who both enjoyed the project very much. The ‘lowlight’ 😉 of my week are my painful and tired feet from all the standing in the kitchen the last couple days, baking and baking and baking.

 

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4 Responses to What’s In A Decade – A Birthday Celebration

  1. Mary says:

    Lots of celebrations! We enjoyed our first Guy Fawkes day with your family! Also, my kids would love to make their own piñata! Great idea, Azkarah! It is definitely easier to buy things but precious family moments were created while making it together!

    • admin says:

      Hiya Mary,

      thanks for stopping by.
      We’re glad you made it for our bonfire evening/night, even though it was at such short notice.

      Making the piñata was really a fun experience with my girls. They were both very much involved in the whole process from start to finish. And I think, following the YouTube video I found made for a fairly easy but quite messy experience. But fun messy. 🙂

  2. Vivian Yang says:

    What a lovely birthday!! Happy birthday to Azkarah!

    I can almost smell the delicious cakes and candies reading your journal.

    This actually reminds me of my birthday parties when I was little. I used to invite my schoolmates to have dinner and watch Disney cartoon movies together at home. And each year we have a different movie to watch. How happy we were by then!

    I didn’t understand fully why we need to create happy memories as much as possible and take good record of these moments when we were kids until now. Because when I search my memories for happy moments, I can only recall a few of them, many of them are very fuzzy. I just wish I could go back in time and cherish my childhood a little more. Maybe I could take more pictures or make more handcrafts to store my happy memories…

    • admin says:

      Hi Vivian,

      thank you so much for stopping by, and apologies for taking so long to respond to your comment!

      Even though I don’t have pictures or videos of many cherished memories from my childhood, they are, and will be, forever stored on my heart. Of course, it’s great that we live in a time when memories can be captured and stored for a future date, and that’s all thanks to technology, however, I also think that other memories not kept with the help of technology are just as precious. When we reminisce with family and friends, we can share laughter and tears of past memories just as well, and we get a multi-dimensional remembrance of that memory.

      Visit again, please!

      Judith 😉

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