Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another "Two-Cake" Week

A friend of mine wanted me to make her daughter's birthday cake this weekend. Something really similar to what I did for Christian's teachers.
Then, the guidance counselor at Christian's school asked me to make the "smash" cake for her granddaughter's first birthday. That same day, she asked me to also make a swimming pool cake.

Three cakes! One weekend! No babysitter!
But then, my friend had to cancel, thank the Lord. There's no way I could get all that done.

Here's the smash cake:

She asked if I could make the birthday girl and her two sisters out of sugar. So, here's the fnished piece:

Here's the birthday girl... notice the tooth?

I think it turned out really cute. I cut all those tiles (around the pool and on top of it) one by one, and had to glue them on individually.

It was a fun cake to make. Christian wants one for her birthday. Which is, you know, almost 300 days away!

What do you hide in your heart?

I visit many blogs. There are some really great writers out there. Not only do they entertain, they teach, inspire, encourage, rebuke, and love.

Visit Sheila Wray Gregoire at "To Love, Honor and Vacuum." She is a Canadian author and speaker, and she has a really awesome post today.

I wish the world were still like this.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Teacher Cakes

Christian wanted to make cakes for her teachers as a "Thank You" for all their hard work this year. She has two teachers that team teach their class of about 45, I think.

She measured the ingredients, mixed everything, and poured the batter in the pans. Once the cakes were ready to decorate, she cut out polka dots and glued them on. She also rolled out many, many balls.

We just delivered them a little while ago, along with a Thank You note.

I think they turned out cute... if a little busy! We definitely went overboard with the decorations!
The bottom tier is six inches, the middle is four, and the top is two. The whole thing is about a foot tall. They're a little Dr. Seuss-ish. I wanted each one to lean a little more, but didn't want cake to end up all over the floor.
Which just about happened, anyway. I gave Christian one cake to carry, and I had one... when the weight shifted. Luckily I saw and immediately grabbed her box before the cake flipped out. One of the pink "buttons" on the top tier came loose, but I glued it back in place, and off we went... me holding one cake, her rolling one cake in a chair!

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Nice Surprise!

Hubs came home this weekend!

He's been really homesick, so his dad bought him a plane ticket. He was trying to surpise me... but he's a horrible liar. Which I appreciate. :)

We had a nice weekend. Very busy, but nice.

We went to his parents' house on Saturday, and my parents' house on Sunday. He left early this morning.
Here's what I found Friday afternoon:

Monday, May 19, 2008

So I'm Lazy. So what?

I'm tired. I stayed up too late last night. How is that different from any other night, you ask? Shuttee.

Anyway, I decided to feed my kids cereal for dinner. Don't act like you've never done that.

I think in my laziness, I created much more work for myself.

So I'll be scrubbing every inch of him, his highchair, and the floor later.

Oh the joy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Life As a Semi-Single Parent... or, An Epic Post. You decide.

It's been such a busy week.

Monday I made the Princess cake. Tuesday Christian had a tee-ball game. After Bo got out again. The lawn guy must have left the gate open, and didn't notice him sneak out. Both gates were shut tight when I got home. Luckily, some boys from down the street found him, read his tag (thank you Jesus!) and brought him home! Wednesday... I don't remember. Thursday I took Christian to the dentist. That night, she had another tee-ball game. Friday I spent a few hours with my friends Amy and Tuffy, who were visiting from Chicago. I've known them since seventh grade! That night, one of Christian's friends spent the night. They stayed up late, and then woke up at six. thirty. in. the. morning. Hello. Saturday? The only day I don't have to wake up at six. thirty. in. the. morning. Then they woke Cullen up, and it was all over but the cryin'. For me, that is.

Saturday Christian had her last tee-ball game. Woot!

It was supposed to start at 2:00. We got there at 1:30 for warm up. Incidentally, how much warm-up time do six year-olds need? I mean, it's not like they're playing against Craig Biggio. The ball rarely even makes it to the outfield. Whatever.

Anyway, around 2:15, my dad starts grumping about when the game's going to start. It was about that time we noticed our team was the only one on the field warming up. What??? Turns out, the other team thought the game started at 4:00. So everybody left, with instructions to return at 3:30 for the second warm-up session. Ugottabekiddinme. We didn't leave; instead, we chased Cullen around the park (during which time he got into fire ants. Twice.) and tried to placate him. It was a beautiful, cloudy day, which kept the temperature near a tolerable 78 degrees. Until the game started. Then the clouds disappeared, and so did the cooling breeze, as temps climbed up to around 88. Translation: we all got a mild sunburn.

They won their game (all three games this week!) and then we went to the end-of-season party. It was like Disneyland. They had a Texas Train (which is a home-made train... made out of barrels with seats bolted in and wheels bolted to the barrels, and pulled behind a four-wheeler... it's actually really fun!) a jumping castle, a swing set, a tree house, a trampoline, and at the end of the night, a fire pit complete with a marshmallow roast.

Cullen found the dessert table. He got a cookie, walked about five feet, which was the distance it took him to stuff said cookie into his mouth and swallow it, then turned around, went back to the dessert table and got another one. Repeat this process five times, and you have a picture of Cullen's time at the party. Wait. I forgot the part when I lifted him up on the slide, and then slid him down about five bazillion times. He loved it. He also found himself a little girlfriend. There was a baby girl (I think she was about a year old) with just the reddest hair you have ever seen in your life. We all turned around, and there they were. Standing about a foot apart, just staring at each other and smiling. It was about the cutest thing you've ever seen in your life. Oh yes it was.

Christian and Cullen had a blast, and threw a fit when it was time to leave. Luckily, my stepmom had given him a bath and put his jammies on him (yes, I took him to a party in his jammies. it was 8:00 at night. stop judging me.) so all I had to do was throw his butt in bed when we got home.

What a week.

I'm so glad it's over.

And it all starts again tomorrow.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Princess Cake

My brother's mother-in-law's office has a monthly birthday party for anyone whose birthday falls in that month. This month, she's responsible for providing the cake.

There's only one person celebrating a birthday this month, and she loves pink, loves roosters, and they all call her Princess. Apparently, when the office has a get-together, Princess sits with her feet up and sunglasses on and observes the preparations/clean-up.

So this is what I did:

I really, really hate my camera. I just can't seem to take a good picture with it.

The "Princess" is holding a scepter... which is half the size it was last night. Cullen almost didn't live to see today, but that's another story.

I sculpted two pink roosters, but left them out of the picture.

The cake turned out really cute, but it just wouldn't be one of my cakes if I weren't wishing I had done something differently!

I just hope it makes the trip... the party is 30 miles away!

My brother's father-in-law picked it up an hour ago. When he told me he didn't think it would get too messed up in the bed of his truck, I just about fainted. Now that man is a great husband! Cooks dinner every night (talk about mad skillz, I'm saying good food, people) and cleans up and does the dishes afterward!!!

I just wish he'd write a book.

Teach a class.


Hubs, are you reading this? ;)

Is this thing on?



Friday, May 9, 2008

Record Player Cake

Christian's teacher's church is having a fund raiser for a missions trip to Massachusetts. She said there's a town (I forgot the name) that has fewer evangelical churches than anywhere else in the nation. She said they are going there to spread the story of Jesus with people who have never heard of Him before... right here in America! That blows my mind.

Anyway, it's a 50's themed fund raiser, and she asked me to make a cake. I think it's for an auction, but I'm not sure.

This is what I came up with:

I really hate my camera! These pictures don't show the patterened cake board I did, or the sparkles... or any detail, really. The little girl is wearing saddle shoes, and has a tiny flower belt buckle on her tiny black belt.

Here's a close-up of the record label before I put it on the turntable. It's entirely chocolate.

This was another chocoholic's dream cake. It was chocolate almond cake that I soaked in vanilla-almond syrup, with vanilla buttercream under the marshmallow fondant. Unfortunately, I have some cake left over from leveling the tops. I guess I'm just going to have to eat it. It would be a shame to throw it in the trash, right?

Just one of the hazards of cake-making.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Don't bad things come in threes?

Because we seem to have had more than our share lately.

I mentioned the kids' vomit spells last week, and the refrigerator/freezer yesterday.

What I didn't mention was that the dog got out Saturday night. After dragging the trash can to the back yard to clean the rabbit's cage, I forgot to close the gate. We had to get dressed and leave for the birthday party (the dump truck cake party) as soon as we woke up Sunday, and when we got home late Sunday afternoon, we all took a nap. That evening, my neighbor came over and mentioned that when he had gotten home from a fishing trip that afternoon, he noticed the gate was open. He went into the backyard and looked around, but couldn't find Bo.

So Christian and I drove around the neighborhood, calling for him, and asking anybody we saw if they had seen him. Only one person had, and that was late Saturday night. We went home, and put food and water on the porch, in case he came home.

Neither of us slept much that night. I kept getting up and checking the front porch, hoping I would find him curled up asleep in front of the door.

We got up and got dressed, and I took her to school. She asked if we could drive around a little before school, so we did... but didn't find him. I dropped her off, and was about to head to the nearby highway, thinking he had gotten hit by a car. The Holy Spirit led me in the opposite direction instead. I was driving down a busy street in our neighborhood, near tears, when I looked to the left. There he was, picking his way through an overgrown field, one street over and about six houses down from mine.

I slammed on the brakes (and then remembered to check the rearview mirror to see if anyone was behind me, which they weren't, hallelujah!) and jumped out of the truck, yelling for him. He looked exhausted, but ran to me, and I hugged that big stinky dog, and opened the cab of the truck for him to sit up front. I was barely able to drive around the block to my house, for all the tears. I praised God the whole way back, laughing through my tears. My husband and I have been married for 11 years, and we got Bo a couple weeks after our first anniversary. I never realized how much I would hurt and miss him...

I also didn't mention our boat.

Hubs loves to fish. No, that's not quite true. Hubs lives to fish.

He has an exceptionally stressful job, and that's his outlet. That's what calms him down, relaxes him, and helps make life bearable. He doesn't get to go too often (and Honey Bear, if you're reading this, that doesn't mean you get to go more often!) but he's a country boy and absolutely is at home on the water or in the woods.

A couple years ago we were blessed with a brand new aluminum bass boat. He was sooooo proud! He'd had a really old, really run-down, always-breaking-down bass boat, and never really thought we'd be able to afford a new one... but we did.

So, since he's going to be gone for so long, near (from what I'm told) great fishing waters, he towed that boat all the way to Quantico! The day he got there, the other NA attendees were ecstatic that "somebody brought a boat!!!" They all wanted to go fishing. He's gone just about every weekend. He even entered (and won!) a tournament with the 14 year old son of somebody he met up there.

He's been fishing a couple of times with Carlos Hathcock, III. Carlos Hathcock II, was a USMC sniper with 93 confirmed kills and more than 300 probable kills during the Vietnam War. The North Vietnamese Army even put a bounty of $30,000 on his life for killing so many of their men. Rewards put on U.S. snipers by the N.V.A. typically amounted to only $8. His most famous accomplishment was shooting an enemy sniper through his scope, hitting him in the eye and killing him... but I digress.

Last weekend he went out fishing on the Potomac, alone, and something went wrong with the boat motor. He had to be towed back to the dock. He found a marine mechanic, and took it in. Today he got the news that the motor is destroyed. Apparently a part failed, and to repair the motor will amount to nearly $4,000. That's four. Thousand. Dollars.

I don't know about any of you, but we don't have $4,000 just waiting around for us to decide how to spend.

Hubs is absolutely sick over this. For the last six+ years, he's had foggy visions of the future that include him taking the kids fishing, while I relax in a spa somewhere, sipping raspberry tea and getting a manicure while someone rubs my feet with sweet-smelling emollients. Okay, so maybe part of that is my foggy vision.

He already told me he'll start looking around to find out what he can get for the boat, with the motor blown, so that we can pay off the boat loan, and be boat-less. Never in my life have I been boat-less. My dad always had a boat while I was growing up, and hubs had one since before we were married. It's fun to just ride around the lake, or read for an afternoon while they fish, or play on a sandbar.

I know it's dumb, but I'm really sad. Just today Christian was telling me how much fun we had last summer on the lake, and how she can't wait until Daddy gets home so we can take the boat to the private beach we found on the lake shore.

I've already prayed for a miracle. I know the Word says He will give us the desires of our hearts. I also know there's a Scripture that says something about the Devil having to pay back 7 times what he steals... but I can't remember the reference.

If any of you can remember the reference, I'd really appreciate it.

I'd also appreciate some prayers in this direction when you think about it! I'm ready for the good and perfect gifts. I'm ready for Hubs to come home.

We all are.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Drama, drama, drama

So the phone rang the other day. I went to the bedroom to answer it, since that was where the closest one was. Lo and behold, there was no phone on the base. I looked and looked, but couldn’t find the bedroom phone.

Christian was at my MIL’s house for the evening. When she got home, I asked her if she knew where the phone was. She got a panicky look on her face and said, “I forgot it.”

Me: “What do you mean, ‘you forgot it’?”

Her: “I took it to Grandma’s house, so I could call you whenever I wanted.”

Me: mental head slap. My in-laws live about 20 miles away. I can’t be sure, but I’m thinking cordless phones don’t work 20 miles away from the base units.

On another note, as you know, my DH is out of town for three months... and when does our fridge/freezer go out??? Last night. When did I realize it? This morning. So who had to tearfully call every repair man in the book today? That would be me!

Could I stop myself from opening the doors to check how cold it was even though everybody told me to leave the doors closed as much as possible???

That would be a no. Big no. Heck freakin no.

The popsicles went first. Which is fine with me… but when the cheesecake starts to defrost, it’s serious. I mean, I can’t just let that go, right?

Most places I called couldn’t get out here until Monday. Monday??? Hel-lo. It’s my freezer, people! And the fridge! I would have to, like, not cook, for, like, six days. I have cakes to make… I can’t be without my fridge/freezer! I finally found a repair man that could come out today… after lunch sometime. Sometime???

I was getting desperate, so I called one of our friends, who drove up with 30 pounds of dry ice, just minutes, literally minutes, after the repair man got here. An hour early. This man’s got mad skillz. It took him all of twenty minutes to fix it. I am happy to report that the temperature is going back down as I speak, and everything within has been saved.

I know this because I have been diligently opening the door to check.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Braeden's Dump Truck

I am happy to report that nobody in my family is contagious!!! I'm still fighting a sore throat and
fatigue, but that's really about it. Now, for the fun stuff:

I've been wanting to make a vehicle cake for quite some time... and here was my opportunity.

My friend's son is turning two, and she's doing a construction-theme party. She told me I didn't have to make it 3-D... but if I didn't do it I'd miss my chance to try! Sooooo many things I wish I had done different; live and learn! Hopefully the next one will be better.
The cake is chocolate almond, with Mexican hot chocolate filling. Christian and I tasted the scraps, and I don't mean to brag, but this is one delicious cake! Definately for the chocolate lover!

The tires are sculpted chocolate, and the little sign on the back is piped chocolate. I piped two signs, one for each side of the truck, but it ended up looking a lot better on the back. The dirt is leftover scraps of cake.

I would be chewed out remiss if I didn't tell you that my dad helped me on this cake. I was rolling yellow fondant for the trim, and he took a few passes at it. Didn't he do a great job??? He also got in the way helped roll out the black for the front bumper. His yammering opinions were invaluable to me. He suggested making the bumper flat, instead of a tube, and made some suggestions about colors and placement of things. The "CAT" on the roof was also his idea. He just really, really wanted a logo somewhere!

Thanks, Dad! I really enjoyed having you here while I worked... and I really do appreciate your opinion.

Now, go get Pat to help you turn off the computer. ;)