Sunday, December 20, 2009

A blogging I will go...

It seems that PERHAPS I've slacked on my blogging, and several people have gotten onto me for it. So much has happened since I blogged last.
My hubby graduated from paramedic school, AWESOME JOB HONEY! My glorious children have been their normal wonderfully challenging selves, my pupper is still a Jack Russel, but amazingly wonderful. I had gastric bypass surgery. I officially stopped doing cakes for hire (I will still be doing friends and family, but no more hectic weekends doing cakes). I started subbing at the school where my children attend. We traveled to Tennessee for a week (it was awesome). Sarah rode in a show and won several ribbons.....the list goes on and on. SO I'll give a short update and some photos. We'll try to follow an orderly fashion here.

Jamie's school:
He CONSTANTLY amazes me with all he does. He finished his Paramedic this fall with his usual stellar grades. I believe in all the years I've known him and the many classes he's taken in that time he's made one B. I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of him.

My glorious children:
They are continuing to do great in school. They fight, but all siblings fight, it makes them no less wonderful to me! Gabe is doing great in scouts, he's about to earn his Webelos badge. Abi is starting to read, and Ms Sarah rode in a dressage show and won three ribbons this month.

Sarah and Maggie

Well, I had gastric bypass. Those who know me know I am NOT a small girl, but I'm striving to be. Not just for me, but for my family. I need to be healthy to be around for these kiddos. So far I've lost 90 lbs. I've got more to go, but 90 sure seems like a good number to me. (some was lost by doing a protein drink based diet pre surgically) I've decided to start loving cake decorating again I must stop doing them for hire. I am going to just do cakes from here on out for my family and friends, so that it can become fun again. As such, my girls and I made cheesecakes the other night and it was a blast, so I'm thinking I have made the right decision. I love subbing at the school, and at some point may return to college to get my degree in education.

Good Golly Ms Molly (the aforementioned pupper)
Poor Molly, she's the queen of the allergy. SO..after much food trying, medication, deliberation we've gone to the RAW diet. Basically it means she eats raw meats, with the bone. As animals in nature would. I know there are people who think this is weird, odd, strange, wrong etc, but...I've researched it, and it's a GOOD THING as Martha would say. She's ALREADY doing better.

On to the fun things:

For Thanksgiving we went to Tennessee, where I had never been. What a gloriously beautiful place. God must have been in an awesome mood when he created the mountains, b/c they are inspired! We did go to Dollywood, we weren't all that impressed (we're Disney spoiled). The time we spent in the mountains was my favorite time. We hiked to Laural Falls and Cataract Falls and Klingman's Dome as well as doing some driving tours. All the pictures from the mountains are on Jamie's laptop, so I'll share some later. We also visited the Ripley's Aquarium, very nice place!
Amazing bird show at Dollywood, that was the big highlight there for me:

Tuesday we leave to spend Christmas at Disney. I know it seems like a lot of traveling, but those who remember or know me know that last year this time I lost my Dad(s). You can read those entries if you like here and here. I decided at that time that we would be going away for the holidays this year. We were very lucky and a friend gifted us a condo for a week to go to Tennessee, so we are able to go away for Christmas also. We broke down and told the kids, after keeping it a secret for a year. Someone leaked it to them at school b/c I had told their teachers when questioned on what we were doing for Christmas and didn't do a good job of telling them it was a secret. They are excited. We're cleaning and packing today.

SO...a few photos, and I'll feel caught up. I hope you enjoy! I promise to blog Christmas when I get back! Love you all and hope you have the happiest of Holy Days. Christmas has lost a lot of it's meaning in this world we live in, and I pray daily that people remember it's reason of celebration. Merry Christmas to all of you.

Putting up the Gingerbread house.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Catching, cakes and all that jazz

It's been a busy month, no time for blogging. We've been scouting, schooling, birthday partying and all that jazz.
The big event of September was Gabe's birthday. Celebrating their birthdays is bittersweet to me. It means they've achieved another wondrous year of life but it also means they've gotten another year older on me. I love my kiddos, at all ages, but I do love babies. There are NO babies in this house anymore!
So..on September 29 Gabe turned 9 big years old! Nine years of wonderfulness, filled with lots of moments of pure Gabe (which is grouchy at times but mostly great). He's growing into a fine boy, as tall as his sister who beats him in age by 21 months. For his birthday we decided to just celebrate with a friend, so we took one of his buddies to play laser tag, and then had some cookie cake with family. The morning of his birthday I was coming in from an over night event and stopped in for donuts here in Folsom (the best donuts to be found I hear, although I can't eat donuts while dieting). SO...we celebrated his birthday morning with a candle in a jelly donut, much to his amusement.

So with that, his cookie cake, and cupcakes for school and scouting, I'd say he got lots of goodies (and kept his mommy hopping). He also INSISTED we put a candle in his chicken breast that night at dinner, goober boy!
On with our Sarah update...Sarah's event of the month had to be attending the Arabian Nights show. It's a show done to raise money for a children's literacy program. All of the proceeds benefit this program, as it is run by volunteers. Lots of interesting riding done. A beautiful display by a local dressage rider named Ann Hornbeak as well as a reining demo by another local, Nicki Smith. These guys really impressed me:

Ann and her horse, who danced to the music doing dressage movements effortlessly.

Nickie and Catfish, who is superbly trained and ridden

A little cowboy trick riding!

Taking a bow!

I think this impressed the kids the most!! Jumping through the ring of fire!

The star of the show. This show centers around reading. Featuring the book "The Black Stallion" by Walter Farley (an incredible read if you haven't read it, there are about 22 books in the series)

Another big thing in Sarah's month was to start riding a horse she truly loves. Maggie is an adorably sweet mare that boards at Highlands where Sarah rides. Maggie's rider has been nice enough to allow Sarah to ride her for a while. Maggie has changed Sarah's who riding personality, she's becoming the confident rider she was before slowly but surely. Sarah also participated in our local fair with some breads and a craft, earning herself some blue ribbons.

Ms Abigail...since starting school her personality is beginning to come out. This month Jamie and I visited her classroom to do a fire safety presentation. She was SO cute, telling her class she was "show and telling" her daddy.

Ooh, I promised cakes too huh. Well, I will admit, I've made a few, but only took a picture of this one and the cookies that went with it.

SO..that's our little update. Not very fancy, not very bloggy, no life changing experiences, but, it's our life! Hope you enjoy the photos!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Retiring Old Glory

In Scouting, there is a beautiful ceremony in which old flags are retired. Recently we were invited to attend such a ceremony by a wonderful pack of Boy Scouts with whom we have become acquainted. I was so happy for those of our boys that were able to attend, they witnessed a very wonderful ceremony as well as being allowed to learn and have fun with the older boys.

Flag retirement is done when a flag becomes tattered or faded. If you have an old flag that you need retired, it is very likely if you search out your local Scout pack, they will gladly retire it for you with the dignity it deserves.

The Boy Scouts taught our Cubs the procedure as well as some wonderful skits. You can read about the procedure in the link above, but the long and short is that a flag ceases to be a flag once it is taken apart. We separate the flag into stripes and the blue star field. The reason we do not cut the blue star field is it represents the union of the fifty states and one should never let the union be broken. We were taught to seperate each stripe, I have seen it done this way, as well as the flag being cut into four peices.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Pack 110, their scouts and leaders alike. Nick, Alec and the Venturer girls (as well as some Scouts I do not know personally) worked with our boys a long time, and their time is not taken for granted. You provided our children with a wonderful experience, and we appreciate you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Changing mounts...

For Sarah that is. A few weeks ago we found out Dibbs, Sarah's stablemate of choice, is heading out to greener pastures to be a lawn ornament (as he well deserves). Sarah got one last good ride in on him last week, and this week began riding a new horse. She's such a nervous Nellie anyways, this is a hard change on her.
Mom was along (that being me) with camera in tow to take photos.
I'm so proud of her, she's hanging tough. Sarah's had the school of hard knocks with horse riding, she seems to be out of the saddle more than in, but she's coming around these days and staying tough. Today was no exception, she managed her ride, no nervous breakdowns, on the new boy despite some challenges. George belongs to one of the ladies at the barn, and she allows him to be used for lessons, and he's SUCH a love that Sarah couldn't resist his charm. are she and George, with no further ado

Here she is waiting, loving "her horse" as she told me when I offered to hold him.

And their first ride together. He did get a bit spooked once and scared them both, but all in all they did great together, and she's happy. And since I have a soft spot for old George anyways, I am pleased they work well together.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fun cake for a friend

Last night I had some fun!! My friend and most awesome next door neighbor's husband's birthday and their wedding anniversary are this month, and she ordered him a big ole cake.
I haven't done a cake like this in a while, all the carving, and stuff.
So I thought I'd share.

Covered the board in fondant and did a wood flooring kind of effect. You can find a tutorial for this here. Then, carved my cake for the big bottle and made the other two from rice cereal treats. Covered it all in fondant to finish it up, and some love for my airbrush made the coloring happen! My favorite part of course was making the sugar ice, I love to do that. I made two sorts, a shard looking kind and then formed pieces. You can find a tutorial for that here at Melissa Dotson's Decorate the Cake.

Not a very great picture, b/c light at 2am isn't so great :) Hope you enjoy, and Happy Birthday and Anniversary my friends!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Discovering gems we didn't know existed...

Last Sunday we set out with the intention of having some fun with our kiddos. We wound up at the Baton Rouge Zoo. The Baton Rouge zoo is a part of the Baton Rouge Rec Center system, which is a huge amount of places to do and see in Baton Rouge. Typically, we visit the Audobon Zoo, and love it so much we are members, but sometimes you need a change. about a diamond in the rough. It's a small zoo, but you could NOT ask for a cleaner, friendlier or more child friendly atmosphere. Just enough animals to keep the kids happy, a very well thought out map to follow, and wonderful caretakers that were friendly to our children and talked with them a bit about the flamingos. Even more exciting was it was only $21 TOTAL for the five of us to get in!
Well, as we were pulling out of the driveway from the zoo, we saw a sign that said "Don't forget to visit our Cohn Arboretum, it's free!! So off we went. Acres and acres of the most gorgeous plants. I was in camera happy momma heaven. I had been trying forever to explain painted devil grasshoppers as we called them as kids to MY kids. This place was FULL of them. Ages ago, when I was young, my Gramps' yard was chock full of them, and he loved to scare you by putting them on you. I LOVED my Gramps, so it was a wonderful memory for me to see them.
Of COURSE I took a million pictures, and had a hard time choosing which ones to share with you guys, so bare with me.
I found it so invigorating to be walking around in the gorgeous outdoors with my kids, and to imagine it was all so inexpensive is amazing to me. When you have three children, doing things can be VERY expensive, and I was so pleased to see BREC working to enrich childrens lives so much.
First, some zoo pictures:

This one I find SO funny, it's TOO hot for soft serve in
Louisiana in July and August!!

My absolute favorite zoo mammal!!

and..a family favorite, we FLOCK to see the flamingos!!

My own two meerkats ( I insisted prairie dogs, they meerkats, too much Animal Planet!

And then on to the Arboretum

My "painted devil grasshoppers", I have no idea what they really are.

This fella was hard to get, I had to manually focus him in, but I LOVE this picture!

And..four of God's most perfect creations (all made for me, 3 with my help!)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A couple of special cakes

These two cakes I have had on the books for months! It's nice to know that someone loves these people enough to think about them that far in advance.
The smiley face cake has such a sweet story. Without sharing the personal story of my client, the smiley face makes the groom smile in remembrance, so she chose that as a theme. It was a HUGE smile, 14 inches round. Then we added chocolate covered strawberries, three pints of them! I love California strawberries this time of year, they're so HUGE and sweet. There were so many I couldn't put them all on the board so I sent them with my client. She bought this cake as a gift, so I'm hoping that it went over well with the bride and groom, I love cakes with meaning.
The 2nd cake I did this weekend was inspired by a cake that the client found online. I'd love to give credit where credit is due, but I don't know who the original decorator was. Originally, I purchased a mold for the topper, but found it was WAY too small. So..I got out my handy dandy $1 knife from Pampered Chef and some fondant and went at it, and I must say, I'm pretty proud of my eagle! I used my consultant's advice and put the blue background (that would be Sarah) under the eagle to make him pop some. The name and all I honestly admit I wasn't sure about, but it's how the original cake was, and I wound up liking it. I WAS wishing Sharon was here (my buddy at SugarEd) to roll my fondant, but I was pleased with how this cake came out all together, and my client seemed to like it also. GOTTA love the airbrush for colors like this, no way could I have gotten a clean fondant job if I had kneaded all that color into my fondant.
So...on to the pictures, which is what we know you really wanted anyway right?

My smile (that made me smile):

And a retirement cake for a man who CERTAINLY deserved a cake!! Praise God for our men and women in the military,
they deserve SO much!

And..a little gripe...and warning for my caking friends. I used Pettinice for this cake. I opened a FRESH sealed package of it, to find 1/4 of it was dried out and hard and crusty. I thought I cut all of it out, but there were hard pebbles still in it that caused me NIGHTMARES, so, I'm off of Pettinice for a while if this is what it's going to do.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Some recent cakes...among other stuff

My computer has been broken for a while, so I'm not taking photos or blogging very much. As can be told by my bad typing, I'm using Jamie's laptop, bless his soul. I have done a few cakes, although they were quickies and not the best photos I've ever taken, they were all for people near to my heart, so I"m going to share them in a few. This is going to be a jumpy, confusing blog...updating everything for those who keep telling me I need to, ROFL.
Exciting things..a few of my cake friends, including my fabulous Sharon, competed in TLC Ultimate Cake Challenge, which will air in a few weeks. I can't wait to see the outcome and watch my girls on tv~
My kids are doing great. Ms Abigail will start Kindergarten this year, so I'll be without children at time to get a job. I"m going to try subbing, and possibly get my para certificate, I just want to stay near my children. We've had a great summer spending time with our friends, friends and family mean so much.
Jamie has been in school, and is ALMOST done~!! He'll probably kill me for this, but I"m SO proud of him, he's doing awesome! I can't wait to throw my Paramedic a graduation party, I need cake ideas all you cake girls. Jamie is SUCH an awesome student always, but I am overwhelmed when I think of what he has done taking on this class with a family and being D. Chief at the same time. (OK, I promise to stop crowing).
I"m excited to start our new Scouting year. We'll be changing our meetings to a new location, and hopefully growing our pack. We will also be selling first aid kits as a fundraiser to send our boys to camp, so anyone interested, please let me know!! Abi will be dancing again in the fall, and I'm trying to convince Jamie to get some chickens for Sarah to show for 4h, I REALLY think she'd enjoy them. On a good news on the Sarah front, her IBS seems to be doing fairly well this summer. I'm praying for a great teacher for her, b/c her teacher's personality affects her stomach so much, and Mrs Bond was SO awesome for her last year I pray she has a great relationship with her 5th grade teacher. She's overcoming some issues at riding as well, and I pray she figures out what it is she wants from her horsey relationship, b/c sometimes I"m not sure if she really wants to ride, or just commune with her four footed friends.
Ok, on to the cakes....and maybe I can find a photo or two of the gorgeous children who live in my house and seem to grow daily.
First, a baby shower cake. The shadows make this cake look terrible, but it really was cute. I'm not A on my caking game lately though, I'll admit that wholeheartedly. I wish these parents SO much joy with their baby girl, they are going to make awesome parents! The father is a firefighter with Jamie.

For my niece, they wanted something Hannah Montanaish

And my buddy Colby, who even posed with his for me...

Ooh, I remember more things when going through my camera, I do love this camera, it's my short term memory folder. Last week we went to the sprinkler park in Mandeville, kinda fun and a good way to cool off for the kiddos. I saw the cool bird while we were there, I'm thinking it's a hawk, but I'm not sure. Then...for 4th of July my Secret Pal on Ladycakes sent us the most awesome package with fun things for the kiddos and wonderful gifts for me, and I found the picture I took of them for her and never sent her poor gal. Then..there's a riding picture of Sarah and Dibs. Dibs is wet b/c he took a trip through a mud puddle and had to be hosed before he was even saddleable (hmm...that's not a word is it).