Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Baby Shower Cake

This past weekend, my mom and aunts held a baby shower for my brother Tyler and his wife, Emily. They have an adorable little boy and now are expecting twins. As if that were not exciting enough on its own, they are going to be moving soon after the babies arrive for Tyler to pursue business school. We are thrilled for them, and they will be very missed here in the land of Utah.

I realize the picture is not very good. I usually feel really lame taking pictures of the cakes I make, but then later wish I had done so. I will try to work on that in the future.

The idea for the cake was two peas in a pod. Since one twin is a girl, and the other a boy, I was trying to not be too gender specific in either direction. I did run out of time before I could get some flowers on the cake, but I think it turned out quite nicely anyway.

In case you are wondering, both cakes were gluten free and chocolate. The bottom cake had a filling of mint buttercream with crushed Andes mints mixed in, and the top cake had a filling of berry buttercream. I thought they were rather tasty.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. I know that I came up short in doing something for my husband, but I hope he had a wonderful day. Brady is a wonderful Dad who is fiercely protective of our children. He works hard to support us, allowing me to be a stay at home Mom. While still working his normal job, he also is attending school for his Master's degree as well. I am so proud that he is my husband and happy that he is the father of my kids. Happy Father's Day, honey!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Minnie Mouse Hairbows

While I have quite a few projects in the works, this is my first finished project for the cruise. Just because I planned them for the cruise though, doesn't mean that Princess is not enjoying them a little now. I had to chase her down while she was riding her bike to get some pictures.
I made the little Minnie Mouse heads last week while me and the kids were playing with polymer clay. After I baked them to get them hardened up, and let them cool, I sprayed them with varnish to make them a little shiny. Over the next few days was were this project hit a bit of a snag. Princess really liked the little Minnie heads, and carried them around with her quite a bit. Some of the ears needed to be glued back on, and I had to tell Princess to stop washing them after I found them in the bathroom covered in soap. By some streak of luck, they managed to hold up well enough for me to get them attached onto hair bows.
I used the tutorial at this website to make the bows. The website has a bunch of tutorials for different hair things, so you should check it out if you are interested in that sort of thing. After getting the hair bow all finished, I just hot-glued the Minnie heads to the bow. Now all she needs is a Minnie Mouse dress to match. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Visit from Brandon Mull

A few weeks ago, a woman who I know through the kids' playgroup organized a visit from Brandon Mull. In case you are not in "the know" about such things, Brandon Mull is the New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven series and The Candy Shop War, along with a new series, Beyonders, which he is currently working on. Being that he has had such success as an author, and that he is from our home state, his visit was a much awaited event for many homeschooled kiddos in this area.

The woman who arranged it all did a wonderful job. The event was sponsored by iVillage and PBS Kids, so we received some picture books and other small goodies when we got there. While waiting for the presentation, there were activities for the kids to do, such as making fairies out of clothespins, nature-inspired crayon rubbings, and making small books of their own. Spike did a cute little book about a dragonfly for Princess and Squirt.

Brandon Mull then spoke with the kids about what it was like to be an author. He did a fun exercise with them about using your imagination and talked about how important having creative venues in your life is. One important thing that he shared with all the aspiring authors in the audience was to not let someone telling them no stop them. He told the kids that he had sent Fablehaven in to other publishers and received rejection letters before being able to get his work published, and that other authors he knew had the same experience.

After the presentation, lines were formed for refreshments and author signings. We happily got both, even though Squirt was very ready for a nap by that point.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

School Celebration 2011

One thing that is surprising to many people is that our kids do take state testing, just like all other kids in regular school. Since we actually use a public school that provides our curriculum, it is mandatory that I take the kids in for scheduled testing days. I am certainly not complaining though.

After all the testing has been completed, the school throws several School Celebration parties across the state. The one closest to us is held at a place with some indoor rides, mini golf, and a roller skating rink. The school pays for pizza and activities for everyone, and the kids have fun meeting up with their friends for a day of fun.

Gizmo and Spike excitedly went off on their own when we got there, while I hung out with Princess, Squirt, and my nephew. This worked out pretty well since they mostly wanted to play in the big indoor playground (like the ones that are typically in McDonald's, only bigger). They did really want to try out skating when the big kids went. I spent about 10 minutes getting skates on both Princess and her cousin, and they skated for about 2 minutes before asking me to take them off. Neither was able to venture away from the benches in the carpeted area. It is unfortunate that I have not mastered using my camera better in low light, because it certainly was a funny 2 minutes.