Thursday, October 24, 2019

Four Birthday Cakes

We have finally wrapped up the fall birthday season. While I realize we still technically have 3 more birthdays this fall, they are more spaced out and only one is a kid's birthday. So that means it's time for a birthday cake post.

I have two disclaimers for those who haven't ever read my birthday cake posts. 1.) I am not a cake decorator, nor do I play one on television. I am a busy mom who strives to make cakes her kids like. This means my cakes look homemade and unprofessional.  2.) One of these cakes is not a cake because I let my children pick their birthday dessert. Usually it is cake, but sometimes we have different.

First up is the "not a cake." My new 12-year-old wanted ice cream sundaes for his birthday (which was on a Sunday!). We stuck candles in a bucket of ice cream, and began the melting process.

First "cake" was easy-peasy.

Re-lighting sparkler candles + ice cream = melting ice cream

The second birthday was just one day after the ice cream sundae one. We drove from home after the birthday party to my parents' house where I promptly went to the hospital and spent the evening there with my mother. Then I went back to my parents' house and baked cake. The decorating came the next morning because the new 4-year-old wanted to help.

Can you tell a 4-year-old decorated this?

My dear little daughter wanted "chocolate cake with sprinkles and chocolate chips," and I think we totally nailed it! 

Stunning side view
I did have to inform all the eaters of the cake about my little one's cake decorating method; after placing each chocolate chip on the side of the cake, she carefully licked the frosting off of her fingers. Such a hygienic child.

The third child was my new 14-year-old who ordered, "a chocolate cake." When asked to elaborate, he clarified that he wanted neither chocolate cake nor chocolate frosting. He further clarified that he wanted vanilla cake with green frosting and cherry, blueberry, and strawberry filling.

He was happy with homemade cherry filling. We also added a shimmering pool of homemade cherry filling on the top of the cake. The pictures don't do this "chocolate cake" justice. 

Do you see the shimmer?

A blurry picture showing the many layers with cherry filling

And finally, the new 6-year-old wanted a cake like his brother's from the previous year except with a "P" instead of an "N".  And blue instead of green.

One book cake coming right up!

Lovely antiqued pages

A spine which will make it easy to find on the shelf

And that wraps up our busy birthday season and its cakes. It was a bittersweet season since it surrounded my mother's death, and I was so thankful for the distraction of parties and the happiness of celebrations.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

In Case You Were Wondering. . .

We haven't turned our heat on yet. Last week we had one cold day and night when the wind was blowing. I got all worked up and actually wrote a game plan on our whiteboard because I did NOT want to capitulate earlier than last year (which happened to be today, October 22nd).

Yes. A game plan.

What is a game plan for the heat game? Well, I listed all the things we could do to warm up inside the house instead of turning on the heat. Baking squash, putting on more blankets and socks, and lighting candles all made the list. I won't even embarrass myself by listing out (for the whole world to read) all of my great ideas. Let it suffice to say that the entire whiteboard was covered.

So what did the kids do? They ran outside to play and left the door open. Seriously. Some of them didn't even wear a jacket. They did, however, like the baking cookies idea.

Since then, it hasn't felt too cold in here. I'm hopeful because we will have close to a gazillion guests at our house this weekend, and that means lots more body heat and lots of cooking heat.

I am soooooo prepared this year for my heat game. Anybody else playing along?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Five on Friday

1.  Things Kids Say, Part 1. After reading a fairytale ending picture book (at the got married and lived happily ever after part), my 4-year-old said, "I would punch him in the stomach!"

Surprised, I asked, "Why? Don't you want to get married when you're older?"

Her reply was, "When I get married, it will be to somebody who is nice and kind and drinks coffee with me!"

I can't say I don't agree with her.*

2.  Things Kids Say, Part 2. Let's go to the other end of the age spectrum. Overheard recently, "Great! My least favorite-- negative cosines!"

I can't say I don't agree with him, too.*

3.  Misheard Lyrics. I found out Sunday night, thanks to the display on our van's dash, that The Marshall Tucker Band sings the song "Heard It in a Love Song"-- which I always thought was "Purdy Little Love Song."

I was inexplicably so let down, disappointed, etc.

4. Black Beauty.  Although I used to watch the old tv series on Nickelodeon early in the morning when I was a kid, I'd never read the book. Since we own it, I thought several years ago I might use it as a read aloud, but somewhere on the great internet I read how snooze-worthy it was. It remained untouched by me until we chose it as a homeschool book club pick.

This week I picked up the book and enjoyed it. Was it my favorite book? No. Was it a little bit preachy? Yes. But still, it was enjoyable.

5. Random Picture. Because I think I'll never catch up on what I want to post on this blog, I'll throw in a random picture that's been waiting on the desktop.

Amazing lightning storm in summer

*Yes, these are things I wanted to share with my mother. I am so used to grabbing the phone when the kids say or do cute things. I don't think I'll be saying this with every blog post because 1) you'll think I'm depressed, 2) I want to focus on a few things that aren't tinged with sadness, and 3) it will get old real quick-- BUT there's a whole lot of sadness blanketed over everything for me right now. If I'm not missing my mother, I'm missing our dog Calvin. 

Sheesh. I can't stand it when life throws the bad things at you so fast. It was about 17 years ago that both of my grandmothers passed away on two consecutive days. Throw in a couple more deaths that year, and it was just no fun. 

So why am I telling you all this? Well, I guess I know life goes on. Somehow God will carry me through it all and fill me up with joy. Eventually. If you're in a similar situation in your life, hang in there; He won't fail us.