Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First day of school

Howdy Friends.

I have been super busy with kiddos. 
Funny how that happens.

Thought I would share a few first day of school pictures.

Little Sis is now a big bad first grader. 
She LOVES her teacher this year.
What a relief.

Little Bro started kindergarten. 
Sniff Sniff
Here he is with his sister waiting for the bus.
One picture they are sad to start school.
The other they are....happy?
He has adjusted just fine to the schedule.
His teacher is pretty great too.

Then there's this girl.
A freshman.
How this happened is beyond me.
She of course loves school and loves her friends and loves everything.
Now that she is in high school she is allowed to be a teacher at her dance school.
So she officially has a job and teaches 4 and 5 year olds ballet and tap once a week for 45 minutes.
Just once a week.
Nothing too serious.
But she loves it and she's very good at it.
I love watching her take charge and be a responsible young person.
Seriously I could NOT have asked for a better daughter.
Smart, beautiful, and responsible.
Not to mention she has AWESOME hair.
Sorry, I couldn't resist bragging on her for a minute.
It won't be long and we'll be packing her up for college.
There is no chance this one will stay home after high school.
I'm already devising plans to keep her in her room forever! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

6 Layer, Ombre Cake. MY first wedding cake.

This past weekend my cousin married the cutest girl. I didn't get a single picture them with my camera, because I only brought my phone.  And the memory was full. Which means I only was able to delete enough pictures so that I could  take a picture of the cake I made them.

They served pie as the dessert for the reception, but they wanted a cake that they could cut for pictures. She wanted something simple and rustic looking. That sounded like something I could do. The brides favorite color is pink. So I decided to do an ombre color sort of thing with the layers of cake.

I made six layers of pink cake.
I had to dye each batch a little darker than the last.
I baked Friday night and wanted to assemble and frost the next day.
I had to build a cake fort for the overnight storage.
Here are the six layers all leveled and ready to be assembled.
The container next to the layers is full of the tops of the cakes.
Cake balls for next weekend!
Six layers of cake stacked and ready to be dirty iced.

Much better. That's a nice crumb coat.
This cake is suppose to be rustic, so I wasn't overly concerned about a smooth crumb coat.
Finished cake before the flowers are added.
I was also unable to center the cake on the cake board.
It's one of my many faults.

 Here is the finished cake.
I had a local flower shop make the flowers for me. I hated them when I first picked them up. I am not sure why I didn't say anything. When I saw them in the coolerI remembering thinking that had better not be my cake topper. When she pulled it out I wanted to puke. I know the lady knew I hated them. I should have spoke up. Oh well. They grew on me after a while. 

My biggest mistake with this cake is that I put sticks in the middle to support the flowers and to keep the cake from sliding if it was too warm in the barn. I cut the sticks right at the top of the cake. This was a big mistake because I was unable to press the flowers down into the cake so that they were level with the top of the cake. That's why they look like they are up kind of high.  Boo for me! No matter how hard I pressed them down they did not budge. So I made a super sturdy cake. Don't look at that cake board. Grrr.
Here's a picture of the inside of the cake.
I think I should have reversed the second and third layer. 
It was super delicious though. 
There wasn't any left by the end of the night.
I love making layered cakes, because I think I'm pretty good and getting them level.
I discovered rustic cakes are my faves.
You don't have to be perfect.
I can handle that. 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Parenting Fail #325

I love it when good intentions as parents come back to bite us in the rear.

We planted a tomato plant in a pot. Lil' Sis brought it home from school and I thought we should at least make the effort to grow it.

Well, not being the gardening type and hating all things related to yard work, I accidentally set the pot under the edge of our roof. This meant that when it rained for 21 days straight the water fell directly into the pot. In my mind I thought, awesome I don't have to remember to water the plant. Well, my mind was wrong. It was so much water that it couldn't drain fast enough. The stalk of the plant started to grow these white sprouty things from it and the entire thing turned yellow. Awesome.

So fast forward a month later and the plant is still sitting in our backyard. Lil' Sis was examining it up close and told me there were tadpoles swimming around in the water that was pooling at the top. When I went to examine it a little closer I saw little white worms of some sort floating around the bottom. I told her to keep her hands out of it in case they were parasites that would go up her nose and grow inside her brain.

Yes I said those words to my six year old. You have to know her. It takes scaring the poo out of her to make her listen to you. She hates germs and freaks out if you think about taking a drink out of her cup so I knew this would work to keep her hands out of it until the hubs could dispose of it.

Well fast forward another week. The plant is still there. Last night Lil' Sis came running in screaming and crying hysterically. Bro' was chasing her and she was doing everything in her power to avoid him. I thought he must be mad at her and is trying to hurt her. She runs to me, wraps her arms around me and says, don't let him touch me! Apparently Bro had touched the parasite infected plant after Lil' Sis told him not to. Then he proceeded to chase her to try to touch her with the parasites. He thought it was the most hilarious thing ever. Lil' Sis not so much.

Oops. My bad. Sorry Lil' Sis.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Freebies from Teachers Pay Teachers

Teachers Pay Teachers offers a ton of free downloads.
Some are only available for a limited time.
So make sure to check them out right away.

Below are a couple of great free downloads.

Guided Reading Prompts
Description: This resource includes 24 eye-catching prompt cards for during guided reading. During reading breaks, a student can choose a card and complete the task or answer the question. These prompt cards will increase student engagement and foster comprehension during reading.

Handwriting Galore
Description: Handwriting pages for all letters of the alphabet! Each page has practice lines for capital and lowercase, capital and lowercase identification boxes, and pictures that begin with the letter.

Skip Counting to 120
Description: Grab this FREEBIE and practice skip counting by 2s, 5s and 10s.

I will continue to provide my favorite finds from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Hope everyone is enjoying the summer!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Writing Prompts

Sorry this is kind of long. 
Make sure to read all the way to the bottom for an awesome Freebie!

One of my daughters favorite school activities is journaling.
Is journaling a word? Hope so. I use it a lot. 
Throughout the year she spent a lot of time working on this.
I do believe her favorite part is drawing a picture and then writing about the picture she drew.
This summer I decided to really work with her on this.
Her imagination soars when she is able to draw her own picture then write about it.
It is a great way for her to practice sounding out words.
Journaling also helps with spelling, grammar, writing, and creativity.
I love anything that encourages my kiddos to be creative!

Here is a list of some ideas or writing prompts to encourage journaling.

Who is your best friend?
What is your favorite animal?
What is your favorite summer activity?
Tell me about your family.
Tell me about your pet.
Why do you like living in your neighborhood?
Describe your house.
What is your favorite sport?
What is your favorite thing about your bedroom?
What is your favorite family activity.
Describe your favorite food.

We use anything we can find to journal in.
Our Dollar Tree has the lined paper that is perfect for her age group.
The pads of lined paper are $1.00 each.
You can't beat that. 

I have also ordered the Draw and Write Children's Journal from Lakeshore Learning.
I love this journal because the pages are a nice thick paper. 
My daugther likes to keep this in the van and draws with her markers everywhere we go.
The markers don't bleed through the paper.
Driving in the car will sometimes provide me with more ideas for writing prompts. 
We might say why is wearing your seatbelt important? 
Why do we stop at red lights?
What is your favorite movie to watch in the van?
Where is your favorite place to visit with your family?
You can find the notebooks on Amazon. 
(Sorry, shameless plug for my affiliate account. Don't hate. I'm trying to save for a fun gift for my family)
They are also available on the LakeShore Learning website. 

One Last Thing: Freebie Alert!
I found a blog today on Pinterest called Krazee 4 Kindergarten. 
She sells a ton a great printables on Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook.
You can currently find a FREE printable that includes 50 Writing Prompts.
They include a space for drawing a picture and lined paper below the picture box.
Some of the awesome topics are:
If I were a rockstar
If I were a baker
If I were a ZooKeeper
You can find the link by clicking below:
Visit her blog too. She has a ton of freebies and great ideas for kindergartners.
Reading her blog makes me wish she was in my school district! 

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE it if you would share any writing prompts in the comments. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


It has been quite a while since I posted pictures of cakes. 
Thought I'd do a little cake round-up from the past year.

This was for big sis' birthday when she turned 14.
She is a HUGE Hunger Games fan.
So this seems kind of fitting.
Simple three layer cake with buttercream frosting. 
I cut the mockingjay out of fondant and lightly detailed it with some black food coloring. 
You have to look closely to see the details. 

I call this next picture "Cake on  Fire"

This was lil sis' birthday cake.
She really wanted a doll cake. 
I took this picture while we were driving 45 minutes away to my parents house to celebrate the girls birthdays. (They are only 8 days apart)
I had posted this on facebook, because I sat it on the floor of the van and it kept sliding around.
I was nervous the cake was going to tip over.
Luckily it survived the drive!

I made this super cute cake for my super sweet niece who turned 2. 
Her birthday is right between my girls birthdays. 
So we had one big super party.
Everyone has to have their own cake though.
Those are real googly eyes on the front.
I thought they made the cake look super cute!

Lil Sis had to take a treat to her class for being star of the week and it was right around Valentine's day.
I just piped two hearts on the top of a giant white swirl and let her add some red sprinkles.
We placed the cucpakes inside clear plastic drink cups and wrapped them in a baggie with a fork.
This way the kids could eat them with minimal mess.

This final cake was a school project.
Instead of a book report Big Sis was allowed to make a 3D project.
She decided she needed to make it out of cake.
Can anyone guess what it is?
If you guessed the arena from Catching Fire you are right.
We used three layers of 14" cakes. 
Stacked them up. 
This cake is probably 7" tall.
She covered the outside with pretzel sticks to look like trees.
It's kind or hard to see all the details, but each section was divided according to the zones that were talked about in the book. 
The white stuff is cotton candy that is suppose to represent the deadly fog. 
It's kind of rough, but she recieved an A+ for her hard work.
For the record this cake was sooo heavy. 
But she didn't bring any home and that was all that I asked.
Apparently the teachers enjoyed it in the teachers lounge!

Here are some of the products I used to make this cake.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Superhero Birthday Party

This past year Lil Bro turned 5 with a superhero themed birthday party.
I thought I would share a few pictures from his super fun party!

Lil' Bro ready for the party to start.
Superman and Batman cake. 
I had to search high and low on ebay for these cake pans. 
They are vintage and actually came with the face and chest symbols. 
This is the backdrop I made for the cake table. 
Just a simple tri-fold presentation board.
The buildings are made from black poster board and tissue paper.

The finished cake table.
Bro has the giant hulk smash hands.
I thought they worked great as balloon weights.
This game is made from the thick foam board.
I cut out the leters and other designs.
There are three different sized holes.
The kiddos threw bean bags through the holes.
I made all the kids masks and capes. 
I didn't get a picture of the capes.
I cut them from t-shirts.
You basically cut off the front of the shirt and the sleeves, but leave the neck in place.
They just slipped right over their heads and there was NO sewing involved.
T-shirt material is perfect for this, because the edges don't unravel or fray after cutting. 
I made red for the boys and pink for the girls.

We played two other games that I didn't get pictures of.
One was smash the villain. 
I cut out villain eye masks and taped them to balloons.
The kiddos had to smash (pop) the villains.
The other game I printed out pictures of different villains. 
I taped the pictures to cups and lined them up on the piano bench.
The kids threw small plastic airplanes at the cups to knock them off the bench.

Overall we didn't spend a ton on the party. 
I made everything including the cakes, food and decor. 
So that saved us a ton.
I usually only let my kids have a party every other year. 
The next party will be for Lil' Sis. 
No idea what that theme will be, because she's always changing her mind!

I am going to post a few more cake pictures of other cakes I made next week.
Happy weekend everyone!