Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Latest Birthday Cakes

I really enjoy making birthday cakes, although I wish I would be a little better at it and am contemplating signing up for a class seeing as I taught myself. I have perfected a few things after 10 years but I have a hard time not modifying recipes and that is not always a good thing. I thought I'd share the three cakes I made in the past month. I typically find all of my ideas in books or online and then do what I want with them.

The first cake was for my good friend's daughter's 13th birthday. I made flip flops that turned out so cute that Missy Blue thought she wanted that for her party as well.

The next cake was what Missy Blue had really been asking for for months and that was a doll cake and of course in pink. At first I did not want to make that one as I don't care for the doll top, but alas, I gave in. My Mom had made this same cake for me and so I used her pan and the top that came with it. In attempting to make her a little more flat chested I ended up making her look a little heavier in the waist which one of my boys was quick to point out. I made sure to explain to him exactly why I do not care for those type of dolls. I inadvertently made the frosting more pink than I prefer thinking it needed as much coloring as blue does but pink needs only a little bit. Of course Missy enjoyed the bright pink.

The last cake was simple as can be and I was thankful I made it as Baby Boy celebrated his birthday with Missy. I may have found the idea on Family Fun or some such place but instead of doing a dirt cake I made it a trifle cake using my standard chocolate cake, adding chocolate chips, cutting it into chunks, and layering it with whipped cream, chocolate pudding, and toffee bits and put it into his birthday gift -- a new dump truck. For some reason I could not find a nice truck any smaller than this thing so it wasn't as full as I envisioned but that was okay.

Next batch of cakes comes in January. Pete and Re-Pete already have their order in and thankfully they want the exact same cake so this year they will share! Although I still have to find the idea for what they requested.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Blogger of the Week

We are halfway through the week already and I am finally getting around to posting. I found out that I am the HSB blogger of the week but have been busy with in-laws visiting, birthday parties, raising a litter of kittens, and the normal day-to-day that I haven't really acknowledged that.

If you are new to my blog -- WELCOME! As of late my blog has kind of taken a backseat to life as probably many of you can relate to. I very often have ideas to post but then never do get around to posting it until it is a month past and then what is the point. I began blogging as sort of a journal of our lives and to keep in touch with family and friends I don't talk to on a daily/weekly basis. There are many moments in our days that I do not want to forget.

I am a stay-at-home Mom to 6 blessings, five boys and one girl and I can't imagine my life any different! Our oldest turned 10 this July and our youngest will turn 2 in two weeks. We live in the Midwest and are enjoying beautiful color this fall, although below normal temps which is not my favorite. I love the heat which is something we did not experience enough of this summer. We live on close to 5 acres in the country with the state forest practically right out our door. It is the perfect place to raise our energetic boys with many places to explore and play and imagine. Our little Miss enjoys doing everything with her brothers although she is still very much a girl.

On the homeschool front I mainly use the Charlotte Mason method reading a lot of books and doing hands-on things. For history we are using Mystery of History. We are part of a homeschool group through an area church that is growing each year and offering more and more options of classes and field trips. I have found this year that while there are so many things that I want the kids to be involved in and while they are great opportunities, we can't do them all. We did join the Physical Ed. class that meets twice a month and on that same day are also meeting with a group of homeschoolers that are going through the book "Exploring Creation Through Astronomy" where we do the projects as a group.

Once a month we are part of a Nature Club that meets at various nature centers in our area. We are encouraged to take nature walks and journal what we discover. Last month we were able to go wading in a river catching various water bugs and fish and I also enjoyed putting on waders and trying my hand at catching something. Of course I caught nothing but my boys made sure to show me how it was done. :)-

Through our own church we are involved twice a month in an art class that as parents we take turn teaching. This year we are hoping to do more with an Usborne Art book that is full of wonderful ideas, although I have also found some websites with step-by-step projects that are beautiful. Today we will be finishing up a mixed media project and I can't wait to see the results! It involved watercolor and making a mosaic with painted eggshells.

That is part of our life and homeschooling in a nutshell. Please come back and visit! I love to get to know bloggers and have found through homeschool blogger many like-minded "friends" who I would enjoy knowing in real life.

Have a Wonderful Day!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Birthday Girl

Today Missy Blue turned 4 years old! She is our little sweetheart (and has taken to calling her baby brother "my sweetheart" in a sing songy voice). She most certainly is a girly girl but will get right in there with her big brothers. If they play war, she plays along but with her pink gun. If they play with cars, she will too driving the cars that are pink or purple. Thankfully they include her in most everything they do, except for maybe legos which is probably why she has asked for the pink box of legos for her birthday. :)

Missy can be a little bossy and Baby Boy gets the brunt of that but she is also is very loving and nurturing. Missy loves music, always bouncing up and down to the beat and makes up her own songs. She enjoys shopping which I am so thankful for, although, she is even slower than I am when it comes to looking at everything and that is not a good thing. We all enjoy the differences our little girl brings to our household of many boys and are so thankful that God blessed us with Missy Blue!

Missy at 1 year old.

A snow cone to match her beautiful eyes.

The boys liked this one as her hair was flying through the air as she walked toward me.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Show & Tell Friday -- Mom T-Shirts

While I am not a big t-shirt wearer I do enjoy a nice t-shirt that expresses some sort of sentiment or shows how I feel about something/someone. I found Mommy t-shirts online that I really liked but alas they only went up to "Mommy of 5" and so in searching more found another t-shirt that I enjoyed. I thought maybe this would help in deterring the question, "Are they all yours?" And after my dear friend (and Pastor's wife) gave birth to her 10th child last month I thought it was the perfect time to get a t-shirt for her and for myself. (They also were on sale which was perfect timing).

If you want a Mom t-shirt of your own and they have many varieties check out Couture Moms.

To see more Show & Tells visit Mary at Raising 4 Godly Men

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Motor Home Living

I was asked awhile ago where we all sleep in our motor home and so now that we are getting ready to put our motor home in storage before the snow flies, I am finally getting around to telling you. Our motor home is a Coachman Class C - 30 feet in length (if that makes any difference to you). We mainly use it during race season to tow the race trailer and then we stay at the track. We have used it at campgrounds from time to time.

John and I sleep above the drivers seats. He is near the front window as I get claustrophobic being closed in on all sides. There is a curtain that we can close but again, I don't like to be blocked in. We have a set of bunk beds in the back bedroom and that arrangement has changed from year to year. The big boys used to be in there but this year we put the three youngest in the back to hopefully let them sleep longer in the morning. That doesn't really happen though as it is quite bright in the mornings and no one is ever quiet.

We had two eating areas - one in the back bedroom that we only use for sleeping and the other eating area John removed this summer to make room for the boys to sleep up front on the floor. Now we try to eat outside on a portable table. It is cramped but it works, especially seeing as we only really sleep in it. 
Fortunately this season we did not have any race weekends with rain otherwise we might have been stuck inside.

The nice feature is a walk-through bathroom which means it is larger, not just a tiny room you get stuck in. Although we tend to use the portable toilets at the track since we don't have sewer hookups there.

Now that racing is over, at least in the near future, John is contemplating selling it, but we'll see. Just another decision to make. Ideally, if we want to continue this mode of travel, one bump-out would be really helpful as with constantly growing children, we won't fit much longer.

George is on the couch, Pete on the floor and Re-Pete on the cushions from the eating area.

Pack 'n' Play on the folded down table. Missy on the bottom and Tank on top. We used to have a blockade to use for a baby/toddler on the seating area but that doesn't work as well as they can climb out.
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