Sunday, October 14, 2007

Willow Tree Wedding Cake

Well, it's finally done! Elaina and Peter are now Mr. and Mrs. Scougle! I'm so happy for those two and what a beautiful wedding! I do hope though that someone caught the ringbearer's antics on film. What a little ham! If you missed it, he was up there squinting at the audience and scolding the flower girl for something. (I never did figure that one out.) The funniest part though was when he took his two fingers and did the "I'm watching you!" thing (you know, when you point the two fingers at your eyes then at the person you're watching.) Hmph, glad it wasn't my kid!

Oh wait, it was! That boy! lol On one hand I wanted to throttle him (I am the mom afterall!) On the other hand I was trying hard not to giggle! (Again, I am his mom!)

He was so cute (I'm a little biased but whatever! :) )

Okay, now for the cake. Peter and Elaina are diehard chocoholics if their cake is any indicator. They wanted a chocolate cake with bittersweet ganache filling. We had a few changes to the outside since they initially wanted ganache flooding the tops of the cakes. They changed their minds though and went with a bittersweet Italian Meringue buttercream for the top and a milk chocolate frosting for the sides. To get this effect I frosted the cake upside down.

No really, I did! I made a template for the size cake I was frosting then taped it to a sturdy surface. Then I taped a piece of parchment paper over that so I could see the template (a big cirlcle.) I filled in the circle with bittersweet frosting and built the cake on top of that, upside down. When I was done with all the cake layers I frosted it with milk chocolate and chilled it for awhile before flipping it over. Then I peeled off the parchment paper and Voila! A two tone cake that actually looked decent.

When we were planning it I realized that the only cake stand I had wasn't going to look good with all that chocolate since it was silver. So I asked my darling husband if he would build me something that would complement what I had in mind. Being the nice guy he is, he said yes and made this beautiful creation:

It was so chilly outside that the cake was pretty firm. It was a little difficult to cut because of that and the slices didn't all look very pretty but they tasted okay I think. Elaina liked it anyway and that's really all that mattered, right? She told me that when she tasted it she thought she'd died and gone to heaven. And I know she loved how it looked. Mission accomplished! Phew!

Okay, I posted two pictures because I wanted you to be able to see the tops of the cake but I also wanted you to be able to see how pretty Jon's cake stand looked. Oh, and those are truffles around the base of each tier.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Oops! I forgot this one...

I completely forgot to post Elaina's shower cake when I made it. I think it was my favorite combination of flavors yet! In fact, I liked it so much I don't think I will make it again for a looooong time! ;)

It was a yellow cake with rum flavored moistening syrup. The filling was white chocolate with toffee pieces folded in; and the frosting was milk chocolate Italian meringue buttercream.

I will be working on the wedding cake over the next couple of days (so don't call me! lol) I'll post pictures of that one Sunday or Monday (depending on how quickly I recover!)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Some helpful tips...

It seems that just about everyone I know is on a diet lately so I thought I would post these helpful weightloss tips. (I feel it is my duty to share my knowledge in this area since I am so obviously successful at dieting. :P )

I have personally tested all of these...

1.If you eat something and no one sees you eat it, it has no calories.

2.If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, the calories in the candy bar are cancelled out by the diet soda.

3.When you eat with someone else, calories don't count if you don't eat more than they do.

4.Food used for medicinal purposes NEVER count, such as hot chocolate, brandy, toast and Sara Lee Cheesecake.

5.If you fatten up everyone else around you, then you look thinner.

6.Movie related foods (Milk Duds, Buttered Popcorn, Junior Mints, Red Hots, Tootsie Rolls, etc.) do not have additional calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.

7.Cookie pieces contain no fat-- the process of breaking causes fat leakage.

8.Things licked off knives and spoons have no calories if you are in the process of preparing something. Examples are peanut butter on a knife making a sandwich and ice cream on a spoon making a sundae.

9.Foods that have the same color have the same number of calories. Examples are: spinach and pistachio ice cream; mushrooms and white chocolate. NOTE: Chocolate is a universal color and may be substituted for any other food color.

10.Foods that are frozen have no calories because calories are units of heat. Examples are ice cream, frozen pies, and Popsicles.

11. Foods eaten while watching a major event on television do not count. Major events include: Superbowl, Hockey Finals, Indy 500, Jerry Springer show.

12. Powerbars and other type energy bars make you thinner. In all my years of exercising (at least three times a year) I have only seen thin people eating energy bars. Ergo (therefore) they must make you thin.

13. Snickers is the same as an energy bar (see #12)

14. Tasting other people's food does not add to your calorie count.

15. Containers of food that list the number of servings as greater than one are lying. Every container includes one serving. Half gallon of ice cream, box of cereal, bottle of soda, bag of chips are all one serving.

I hope these tips help you all in your quest for weight loss. Now I must go finish the cake for the wedding shower I'm going to this evening (see number 5 above).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What's for dessert?

Well, those of you who know Cora know how much she likes spaghetti. So much in fact that every time we go to her house for dinner, guess what we have? Yep, spaghetti!

Now, this is okay as she makes it very tasty but the last time we went over she promised; no spaghetti. What's a girl to do? It's tradition to have spaghetti at her house!

So, here's what we had for dessert:

Spaghetti and Meatball cupcakes! Don't worry, the "meatballs" were ganache rolled in graham cracker crumbs, the "sauce" was red food gel and the "noodles" were frosting. The kids had a good time helping me make them too.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Scripture Exchange!

I was reading my devotional this morning and it was talking about celebrating God's word in your life; how it's impacted you and that type of thing.

So I thought why not host a scripture exchange?

Now if you were at my house I would have a plate of cookies and some tea. We'd all write out a verse on a card and put it in a hat then take turns pulling one out and talking about how that particular verse had impacted us.

But we're not at my house so here's what I'm going to do.

First, go get a cookie if you have one! :)

Second, I'm going to type out a scripture that God is currently working on in my life and share a little about that. If you want to play along you can comment on the verse I've posted (what He's done with it in your life). Then you can post a verse of your own and the rest of us will do the same. If you've already posted a verse you don't have to post another when commenting on someone else, but you can if you want to.

I hope this doesn't seem silly. I just thought it would be a good way to see how God's word has impacted our own life and maybe even gain insight from another. (And hey, it's a good excuse to eat a cookie!) I'd do this as a blog tag but I'm not quite sure how that works.

Here's my current verse:

"A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger."

Proverbs 15:1 NIV

Lately I've noticed I've been a wee bit snappy. (Okay, convicted is the word! I don't like the sound of my own voice!) I was praying about it and this verse popped into my head. I'm sure it was the Lord instructing me on how to respond when I feel like being snappy. So that's what I've been working on, and trying to impress on my kids (because they model my behavior whether I like it or not!)

It's amazing how well this works. :)

With my kids and my husband both I've had opportunity to choose to say something gentle this week. I admit, it was something I had to choose at first because my inclination was to snap back. But after seeing the immediate impact gentle words made they come much easier!

You can literally watch the tension drain from a person when you respond with gentleness and kindness. When we're snapped at and respond in kind we end up creating an argument where we could have avoided one.

Practially, here's how this is playing out in my marriage: When he comes home from a long day and seems a little grumpy I'm making the decision not to take it personally. The amazing thing is, my doing this seems to wash away the grime of the day and he suddenly seems refreshed. His mood improves and he's actually happy to see me!

Proverbs 31:10-11 says, "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain."

That part about the "heart of her husband safely trusts her" is, to me, the most important part of the whole Proverbs 31 woman section. I can buy stuff, sell stuff, have a clean house and well dressed kids but if the heart of my husband doesn't safely trust me then I don't think I've succeeded in being a good wife.

Answering gently (especially when he doesn't deserve it) is part of that.


Okay, your turn.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Audrey Hepburn Wedding Cake

This one was made for a friend of my sister in law. Her son was getting married and they liked the other cake I did well enough that they wanted me to do the one for their son's wedding. The wedding was patterned around Audrey Hepburn (the bride loves her). The bridesmaids wore green dresses with black tulle peeking out of the bottom. The men wore suits and fedora's and the bride was beautiful in her white dress. I didn't get to see the wedding itself but what I did see was very cool and I loved it.

The cake was fun to make even if it was a lot of work. We were going to put green hydrangeas on it but they are poisonous so I piped 250 apple blossom flowers and then glued them (with more icing) to wires. Then I used floral tape to put them in little bunches (I was trying to make them hydrangea like). I didn't end up using all of them so if you need a green flower (or many!) I have some to spare!

If I were to do this one over again I would make the design a little closer together and near the bottom (not so spread out) but I was mostly happy with the look of it. The mother of the groom was very pleased so I'm happy. :)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Finally a Princess...

She's been waiting, and waiting, and waiting....

She's been so excited that she would go into her room and take her clothes off. Then she would come out to the living room in her panties and I would ask, "Where are your clothes?!"
"Annie Kimmie nake it! Pwincess dwess!"

Aunti Kimmie did make the princess dress and Gracie finally got to wear it Saturday.

She was so cute the photographer couldn't keep her camera off her!
Arielle looked beautiful in her princess dress too. And Josh looked very handsome in his vest. Jessica of course hid from the camera at all costs so I don't have a picture of her to post but she was very pretty too. (And a great help to me with that cake!)
The wedding was Saturday, it is now Tuesday and every morning Grace gets up and puts her dress back on! As I type, she's laying behind me on my bed, a poofy pile of pink princess!

Here are my lovely children...

I love this one...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

It's only cake...

I've been planning and working on this wedding cake for a couple of months and this past week I was pretty much immersed in it. I'd be working on some aspect of it, start thinking ahead to what I still needed to do yet and quickly get overwhelmed. I finally told Jon, "When I start to freak out over this cake would you please remind me that it is only a cake?"
That's how I made it through.

It's only cake...

Friday night was the rehearsal for Saturday's wedding. By the time we got home and into bed it was around midnight but I already had the cakes all frosted, decorated and waiting in the refrigerator to be loaded up and assembled.

Saturday morning we were up at 6 AM getting ready, loading the car and driving off to North Bend. When we got there I found out that the pearls the bride had wanted on her cake had all been used up on the flower arrangements. I also discovered that apparently nobody had ordered flowers for the cake!

It's only cake...

Soooooo, I had to fake it! I was worried and nervous about it but I figured if I didn't do it the cake would look a bit naked and the bride wouldn't have what she'd envisioned. So fake it I did!

After it was all done I kept going over and looking at it because I couldn't believe I'd made it! lol

I can't tell you how much I prayed about this thing. It may seem silly because it was only a cake but it was important to the bride and groom and it was important to me that it be as pretty as I could make it. I was reminded through this whole experience that the Lord is into the details of my life; and my cake. I seriously prayed over every detail of this thing; from the scroll work, to the taste, to the flowers that I didn't know how to do.

And He answered.

The bride told me it was perfect; exactly what she'd envisioned.

There is no better compliment than that. :)

In the grand scheme of things it really was only cake but I asked the Lord to help me anyway and He did. Nothing is too silly or small for Him to care about. How comforting that I can ask Him to partner with me on something like that and know He will. Whatever He asks me to put my hand to I can be reassured that He will come along side me and give me what I need to accomplish it well.

Drumroll please...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Practice cake...

This one is a practice cake so I could try out the scroll work on the side...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Another Cake...

Friday night Jon and I went and listened to a friend from church as he played an outdoor venue in Marysville with his brother. The guy can sing! He's not too shabby on the guitar either! Then his daughter got up and sang a couple of songs with him and Wow! She can really sing too! Makes me sound like a gerbil in a blender by comparison! :P

I have another friend who can paint these beautiful pictures that make you want to live in the canvas. My mom can quilt like you wouldn't believe and my husband does amazing things with wood. They are all very artistic with what they do.

It may not seem like an artistic talent but baking is what I love to do and I love to decorate cake even more. I love the entire process; from mixing up the ingredients to frosting and decorating to watching someone I love take a bite and roll their eyes in ecstasy at how it tastes. Every opportunity to bring a cake, I do. Not because I want to show off (I'm not good enough for that! ) but because I want to decorate as much as possible and not gain 500 pounds!

With that in mind here is the Hawaiian shirt cake I made for my friends Chris and Cora. (Chris was ordained and Hawaiian shirts are kind of the unofficial uniform of Calvary Chapel pastors so I thought it would be fun to make him one). I also did cupcakes with the Calvary dove on them. I had a lot of fun making all of these so thanks Chris and Cora for letting me. :)

And the cupcakes...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Arielle's Birthday Cake...

Well, Arielle is 11 now! Now we've got a teen and a tween!

I was telling Jon that it's a good thing I have some time to practice before she gets married because the birthday cake she planned was so elaborate I'm a little frightened about what her wedding cake might be!

She wanted three tiers (the original would have fed 150 people so we scaled that down a bit!) She wanted it to be vanilla butter cake with pink basket weave on each tier and rope trim around the edges. For the filling she wanted torted layers with vanilla moistening syrup, buttercream and sliced strawberries for the top and bottom filling layer. For the middle filling layer it was more buttercream (thin layers) and vanilla meringue disks! (Can this girl plan a cake or what!?)

When I put it together it got a little wonky because the meringue and berries weren't uniform in size and thickness so my basketweave was a little off too. I made up some Royal Icing drop flowers and buttercream roses and glued them on to try to make it look better. I wasn't thrilled with the final product but she sure was! That's all that matters I guess.

And Gracie loved it!! When I opened the fridge to show her she covered her mouth with her hands and gasped, "Oh Mommy!" Did I mention it was pink? lol

Here it is (and no matter what it looked like it tasted pretty dang good!)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independance Day!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Kid Cakes...

You know I've been doing some cake decorating and I think you probably know I have a wedding cake I'm doing at the end of July. Well, I didn't want to just make any old cake (because that's the way I am!) so I've been experimenting with different white cakes, frostings, fillings, etc.

Tonight we will be sampling the three finalists but to do that I had to bake three 6" cakes and prepare them exactly as they would be done for the wedding. The are all a white cake with vanilla simple syrup, bittersweet chocolate ganache (that I could overdose on!) and white buttercream frosting.

Since I had to do three cakes anyway I decided to let the kids each decorate one before we sample them. (Gracie decorated a cupcake and herself. ) Here are the results...

Arielle's is on the left, Jessica's in the middle and Josh on the right.

And the tops...

I think they show a lot of promise! (But then again, I am their mom so what else would I think? lol)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

There's only grace...

Today something happened that made me feel like my shameful past had come back to bite me.

How's that for a good way to start a post! ;)

When I was younger I was not a "good girl" to put it mildly. Even though I wasn't aware of it I carried guilt and shame from that type of lifestyle for a very long time. When I came to know the Lord He began to show me how it had affected me and I wept over what I had been.

Had been; those are the operative words aren't they?

Sometimes I forget. Not that I go back to that lifestyle, more like I forget that I'm a new creation and begin to feel the shame of it all over again. Most of the time these days though I don't really think about it unless something brings it up. Like what happened today. I'm not going to tell you what it was but know that I began to be pulled back into those feelings.

Feelings like I'm a sham and just pretending to be some sort of godly woman. Feelings like "if they ever found out what I really am they would be shocked and appalled!" Feelings like my poor husband got the short end of the stick when he married me.

I've made no secret of my past, I feel like those who may still be in it or just out of it might need to hear that someone else has been there. So why these feelings? I guess I just start to buy the lie again.

But then the One who rescued me in the first place reached down His hand again and pulled me out of it. I turned on the radio in my car and this is what I heard:

There is no guilt here
There is no shame
No pointing fingers
There is no blame

What happened yesterday…
has disappeared
The dirt has washed away
And now it's clear

There's only grace
There's only love
There's only mercy and believe me it's enough
Your sins are gone
Without a trace
And there's nothing left now
There's only grace

You're starting over now
Under the sun
You're stepping forward now
A new life has begun
Your new life has begun

An’ there's only grace
There's only love
There's only mercy and believe me…it's enough
Your sins are gone
Without a trace
And there's nothing left now
There's only grace…

And if you should fall again
Get back up, get back up
Reach out and take my hand
Get back up, get back up
Get back up again

Mathew West may have been the one singing but the Lord was speaking directly to my heart.

You knew exactly what you were getting but you chose me anyway.
Thank you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Baby Shower Cake...

I had so much fun making this thing! It's chocolate cake, whipped ganache filling, creme de cocoa moistening syrup and white chocolate buttercream frosting. I only put the syrup and ganache in the middle for one layer of filling. Next time I will torte the layers and put ganache between those too, making three layers of filling per tier. (You probably don't really care though! lol) Here's my cake...

BTW, the creme de cocoa syrup was non-alcoholic. I didn't want to use alcohol in my cakes but all the recipes for flavored essential syrups call for it. In a moment of inspiration I decided to use those coffee syrups instead. I bought some Davinci's flavored syrup and it worked perfectly! :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Seven Things...

Apparently blogging two or three times a year just isn’t enough for some people because Shannon tagged me with this “meme” thing to force me! (What the heck does “meme” mean?) I guess I’ve put it off long enough but I don’t know what seven things I’ll be able to come up with. You’ve been warned…

1. I was the reason my parents got married. Apparently I was on the way long before they considered getting married and I was conceived in the back seat of someone’s car. This is not something I ever needed to know about myself (or my parents!) I still need therapy over this one! :)

2. I really wasn’t sure I wanted to get married and if I did it wouldn’t be until I was at least 25 but preferably later. And I certainly didn’t want children! I figured I’d just mess them up. I was going to have a career and a nice black and white apartment in the city somewhere high up.

Reality: I got married at twenty (I guess I just couldn’t resist that trick he does where he pretends to take his finger off! Sigh, he’s so dreamy!) I have four kids and I homeschool them. I live in a rural town (example: my neighbor and I buried her dog in her front yard last week. You just don’t do that type of thing in the city! Yes, he was dead.) I’m some sort of hillbilly Martha Stewart or something and I still don’t know how it happened! (My oldest says I’ve been “countrified!” )

3. When I was a kid I could turn my eyelids inside out. It was gross but the boys thought I was really cool. I won’t do it now because it hurts.

4. My mom was a truck driver and I used to travel with her around the Midwest (she was long haul). I went to more bars when I was a child than I have been to as an adult. Traveling from city to city and sleeping in that little sleeper compartment was really pretty fun. I felt so adventurous (and yes, cool!) skipping school for a few weeks at a time to travel the country. Truck stops still have a special place in my heart because it’s there that I first learned of the miracle that is the Shirley Temple drink! I’m getting’ a hankerin’ for greezy food and soda! (Maybe that’s why my dreams of city life were doomed! It was those truck stops!)

5. This one is for Shannon. I once had a big cut on the back of my heel. I took a needle and thread and sewed it shut. Myself, Rambo style. With no medication! I didn’t get an infection and I don’t have a scar there. I didn’t even know how to sew! I don’t recommend it.

Two more?! I’m not that interesting!

6. I was a brazen shoplifter as a kid. You know those electronic things at the front of the store? They probably invented those because of me. I once went into a store, got a paper grocery bag and filled it with stuff (unpaid for) then just walked out. I had posters sticking up out of the top of the bag and no one stopped me. I also once stuffed umbrellas up the sleeves of my ski jacket and walked out of the store. That is the extent of my life of crime. I’m not on the FBI’s most wanted list or anything so you will get no reward for turning me in.

7. I wanted to be a Solid Gold Dancer. Do you remember that show? I loved those sparkly, flashy costumes! I would practice with my sister and our cousin in front of the TV trying to do those moves. I also loved watching American Bandstand! We’d dance to that show too.

Phew! I made it to seven! Anything I’ve said should not be used against me! (Or I will make all of you join me in a Solid Gold style dance expo at the chili cookoff!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lead me...

We skated in at the last minute for church tonight. I hate doing that but sometimes it’s unavoidable with Jon’s schedule. We did make it right before worship started but when that happens I’m all distracted and it takes me awhile to settle down and get my brain focused. Then, just as I started singing I got something in my eye! Grrr! I made several trips back and forth to the bathroom attempting to get whatever it was out. Finally, I found the culprit; one of those tiny, thin little fuzzies that for some reason are attracted to my eyes. I got it out and put some eye drops in then tried to rejoin the worship.

My Josh sat right behind me tonight. This little boy has said for a very long time that he wants to be a worship leader so he can praise the Lord. We’re trying to do what we can to help him by providing piano lessons and encouraging his practice. We’re also trying to teach him that to really worship the Lord it has to be with your whole life, not just a thing you do on Sunday or Wednesday. We’ve told him that he should be the lead worshipper, not just a worship leader.

As he sat behind me tonight I listened to him sing, “Jesus draw me close, closer Lord to you. Let the world around me fade away….for I desire to worship and obey.” And then a few minutes later I heard him sing “I will praise you, O my Redeemer!”

He sang with gusto! He sang with vibrato and emotion in his voice! I snuck a peak back at him and saw his eyes were closed and he was smiling as he sang. He worshipped the Lord and my heart smiled. Being late, getting kids into class, pulling fuzzies from my eye; they all disappeared like a mist when the sun comes out. His singing was so sweet that I couldn’t help but praise the Lord.

He may only be seven but tonight he led me into the presence of the Lord.

Tonight, he is a worship leader.

"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" Matthew 19:14

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Most Incredible Cake Ever!!!!

Okay, I have here the most beautiful cake that has ever graced my kitchen!

You may not agree when you look at it but I have my reasons.

I frosted the cake itself and planned to put some flowers or something on there to dress it up but before I could, help arrived in the form of one seven year old boy. He was peppering me with questions about the different tips I have. He rearranged them all quite a few times and even made a couple of towers out of them.

I have to admit I was getting a teeny, tiny bit irritated! :) But it finally dawned on me that this little boy just wanted to be involved with what I was doing. I had an idea that I'm sure was inspiration from the Holy Spirit.

I handed over the frosting bag.

You would have thought I just gave the boy the keys to Disney Land!

"Really!?" He squealed

"Yup." I said. "Do you want me to show you how to make a star?"

I gave him some instruction and let him loose. He found some pretty creative ways to use that star tip! After awhile I changed the tip to the one that makes "grass" and we had some more fun. He made grass, piles of spaghetti and "string decorations" as he called it. Then he tried the leaf tip; butterflies, leaves and looooong squiggly lines abound!

The frosting on top is probably almost two inches thick and I may need medical attention after all that sugar but have you ever seen anything more beautiful?

I know I could go a hundred different directions with this post. There are bunches of things I could say, parallels I could draw between this instance and our relationship with the Lord. But I'm not feeling very profound at the moment. All I will say is; don't let yourself get too busy for the important people in your life. Jesus was never to busy for the people who needed Him, even when they interrupted His plans.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths."

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I'm afraid I've been thinking....

It’s snowing again! I have to admit I’m ready for spring but what can you do? It’s hard to be grumpy about the snow when it’s so beautiful and the kids are doing such fabulous happy dances! When the girls were smaller I hated letting them do anything that would cause them to get dirty or worse, get my house dirty (like playing in the snow!) Not too long ago though I made a conscious decision to relax about stuff. Maybe it was when I realized that I was quite a messy person myself? (Shh, don’t tell anyone I said that! Lol)

No, I think it was actually when I realized that my little ones weren’t quite so little anymore. My time with Jessica and Arielle is dwindling and I know from experience that the time with the other two will fly just as fast. So, I’ve determined to enjoy them, messes and all! It used to be that I wouldn’t allow them in the kitchen without hovering over them (which meant nagging them about everything). Now I send them in there to make their breakfast or lunch, the girls cook dinner sometimes and Jessica has become our designated cookie baker. And trust me, that girl is as messy as her mother when she’s creating something!! Arielle is learning to cook and bake too but she’s not quite ready to go solo yet. Sometimes I’ll go in there and supervise but more often I let her go at it and just make sure I’m available if she has questions (I’m usually sitting at the kitchen table pretending not to notice the flour on the floor or the butter she splatted on the wall when she cranked the mixer to mach two!)

Even Josh can make his own scrambled eggs on the stove now (he is a manly seven year old you know!) Gracie seems so small to me but I brought her into the kitchen and baked cookies with her last week too. She made a mess but she was so proud and happy that she baked cookies with mommy.

I want my kids to be able to figure things out and troubleshoot when something gets tricky. If I give them the basic understanding of how baking and cooking works then they can create beyond the basic recipes (and they will because their mother can’t stick with a recipe to save her life!) If I give them the freedom to make mistakes without making them feel stupid but then lovingly help them figure out what they should have done won’t they be better off in the end?

As a mom I don’t want my kids to remain dependant on me (okay, well maybe just a little, teeny bit!) I want them to grow into adults who can manage life without me. If I don’t let them handle things themselves and learn from it they won’t ever feel confident enough to go it alone.

Taking this out of the kitchen, I want them to learn to seek the Lord for themselves too. Am I training them to search the scriptures for themselves when they have an issue? Do I direct them (and show them by my example) that prayer should be as common to them as breathing? Do I live out Proverbs 3:5-6 the way I want them to? Do I model repentance when Psycho Mommy makes an appearance? (I really don’t like her!)

As a mom I have made just as many (probably more) mistakes as my kids make. I’ve made a whole lot of messes over the course of my life too! But God is loving and patient with me. He waits for me to realize I’m in a mess and gently cleans me up. He never mocks. He never belittles or shames. He gently points out where I went wrong and shows me how it should have been done.

I want to be as gentle and loving as He is; with my husband, my kids and all those He's entrusted to my care don't you? If we look around and see someone making a mess of things are we gentle and loving with them? Or are we to busy noticing the mess they've made? Every mistake is an opportunity for learning and growth; mine, theirs or both. My prayer is that my life, all of it; public and private, would reflect His gentleness and love, especially in my family.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Valentines Day Cake...late

Well, Jon was fasting so I waited a couple of days to make my cake. When I did do it I got the frosting waaaaayyy more pink than I wanted. (I was going to do a pale pink but I only had red tint and got too much.) Being the newbie that I am I will learn a new lesson everytime I decorate a cake.

Lesson one, don't use red to get pink!

Lesson two; frost the whole cake before coloring any icing (otherwise you may barely have enough to frost the cake!)

Lesson three was kind of throw in a few days later but I will mentally file it away for when it matters.

Lesson three; when your husband builds a rip snorting fire in the woodstove and the house gets up to 80 degrees the frosting will melt and slide right off the cake! (I will keep this in mind for the summer months.)

Lesson four; melted frosting still tastes good. ;)

Okay, here is a picture of my cake. I got a little carried away with the roses but they were working this time! All I can say is, it was a very bright cake! Whatever, it tasted good (white cake with apricot filling and buttercream frosting).

Saturday, February 03, 2007

More Cake...

Well, I missed the last class so I didn't get instruction on how to make a rose. I had the cake in the freezer all week and finally had a chance to decorate it today. So, I tried the roses myself. They aren't that great (I think my frosting was a little too stiff) but they look like flowers and you only get better with practice. My kids picked the color for the flowers so don't be surpised if they aren't a traditional color. ;) Okay, here it is. Be nice...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Week 2: Figure Piping

Okay, I wasn't very motivated to do figure piping. The class project was clowns but they have some other options if you don't like clowns.

I don't.

I made a bear instead; quite a goofy looking bear too I might add! I'm sure that at some point I will want to know how to do the figures and there are quite a few cute little animals you can make.

But for the moment, I'm not in to them. Keep that in mind when you look at my cake... :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A New Hobby...

I have wanted to take a cake decorating class for a very, very long time. Unfortunately, getting my money and my time together at the same time is very tricky! (I don't think they like each other.)

Until now.

For Christmas this year my very sweet husband bought me a Wilton starter kit and signed me up for cake decorating classes! Last night I decorated my first official cake. (Okay, so I've done cakes in the past but they were usually things like a cowboy boot. I have a picture of that one too. Maybe I'll tack it on to the end of this post).

It should be obvious to you that I have the attention span of a two year old. I stayed on track with the teacher and brought home my cute little cake. However, this morning I couldn't stand it and just had to try the basket weave that is for course two (I'm in course one). It's not the best looking cake ever but it's a start and I'm pleased with my first attempt. If I practice, it can only get better from here, right? (Please tell me I'm right!)

The bonus of all this is that my kids (who hate handwriting practice!) are now seeing me have to practice. I love it when I can show them that if you want to get better you have to work at it! It doesn't hurt that I've told them if they practice their handwriting they'll probably be better at writing on cakes than I am. Gives them a goal to work toward! lol