Thursday, February 26, 2009

February's Enrichment

Ever wonder what happens when a bunch of women gather around chocolate?

So what started out as 2 or 3 interested sisters turned into 12-15 signing the sheet, and ended up as 25 Sisters in all!!! I had enough cake, barely enough caramel and hot fudge, and almost enough icing. Wow. It was definitely an interesting experience for me, and hopefully a fun experience for them!
This is our hostess, Sister Gilbert, who graciously allowed the event at her house. We had to set up 2 extra tables for all who attended.This is Christie (works with me at my day job). She does professional catering and cakes also so we have a lot to talk about. She provided the munchies. Let me tell you, that little cucumber sandwich was to die for! Here are pictures of the Sisters with their cakes. No two are alike, cakes or Sisters, and they were all a lot of fun. Everyone got a 2-layer 6" cake to practice on and take home, while I did the full size 4-layer 8" cake.

If you're interested in the recipe, check it our here on my cake blog!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Scripture Study

Now that we have a little more control over our schedule, we finally implemented family scripture study. We started in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi. We start by reviewing what we read the night before, then Tim reads 3 verses, I read 3 verses, and Audie and Chloie each read 1 verse. We usually do about 2 rounds before bed and so far we've made it into Chapter 3. Audie and Chloie are really picking up on the wording and are even recognizing words like "Holy Spirit", "Lord", "Nephi", "commandments", and "unto" which are not common words taught in public schools. I'm constantly amazed how well their reading improves with this. Last night Audie's verse was so smoothly read, I almost thought an adult was reading.

Tim and I are also reading as a couple (we read while the kids brush their teeth). We started in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 1. We alternate 3 verses a piece and have made it into Section 5. I like having this quiet time together doing something spiritual. It seems that so much focus is on the worldly things... making dinner, going to work, cleaning the house, etc.... that we aren't as spiritually focused on days other than Sunday. I'm glad it's a change we're making in our lives.

New School

Audie and Chloie started at Back Creek Valley Elementary yesterday. Both were excited. I took them into school so I could get them registered... wow. Not only did I have paperwork to fill out at the school, but they sent me home with a packet for each that took me over an hour to complete. One of the forms I had to fill out 4 - count them FOUR - times!

Anyhow, BCVE uses an apple system to encourage good behavior. Green is good, yellow for the first warning, red for the second warning and 15 minutes of recess lost, and brown is the final warning with all of recess lost and a trip to the principal's office. I'm happy to report that both of my little apples have been green for the last 2 days (they send a calender home for the parents colored with the behavior's color). They seem to be adjusting well. Audie remembers some of the kids from Inwood Primary, and both Audie and Chloie know kids from church that attend the same school.

I even got to meet the principal and Chloie's teacher. Thankfully Chloie's enthusiasm is welcomed here. Tim and I are still considering talking to the family doctor about the possibility of ADD, but I'm not too worried about it at the moment.

Yesterday, Audie and one of his class mates got to read the announcements in the morning. His first comment about it was, "Are you proud of me?" Um, YES! my little guy is growing up so fast!

Dougie is doing well at Sister Stollings house during the day. She says that all of the kids are well behaved while she has them. I'm glad they get their terror out of the way at home! We've decided to wait until Saturday to take Dougie to get his staple removed. I want to give it an extra couple days to heal (PMM surfacing again).

We're slowly making progress unpacking. I've managed to file all of our paperwork away in the shiny new filing cabinet Tim got for me. He's managed to put away all of the movies. I didn't realize how many we actually had. We've made a list of what rooms we want to focus on first and in what order to proceed. I'm hoping to accomplish as much as possible this weekend. I'd like to go to the Gardening Seminar on Saturday, but we have so much to do around the house that we've decided to stay around the house and maybe go grocery shopping later on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The house claims its first victim...

It was a busy weekend.

... Oh, wait, were you expecting something resembling "it was a dark and stormy night"?

Tim's parents finished packing on Thursday and loaded the truck. Tim went over while I was teaching the cake decorating class (more on that in a later post). I went over after class was done to take his mother a cake before she left and to visit before they left. The house looked so empty.

They left Friday, and we miss them already. After work, Tim and I broke down everything we could, then went to Chili's for dinner with the kids. I wasn't impressed with the waitress this time, but the food was excellent as always. I guess it didn't help that we had an hour wait. True to form, Tim ordered the Classic Nachos; we spent most of dinner trying to figure out how to make them. While we were in Winchester, we stopped by Steve's house to load up the dresser (beautiful!!! I'll have to take pictures for later) and take it to the house. We unloaded everything we brought with us and spent the night in the hopes that we could clear out the kids' rooms before we left to meet the Muellers at my parents' house.

We ended up stopping by Rob's house on the way so he could follow us, and barely made it there before Brandon and Grace did with the family and the truck/trailer. With all of the guys and older boys helping, the vehicles were loaded in a matter of minutes. Unloading went about the same. I had to stop for gas on the way, so the kids and I got there a little later than everyone else. Not even 5 minutes in the door, I heard Dougie crying and went to see what happened. The kids said he hit his head (slipped on the hard wood floor in socks). I was about to tell him he was alright when I saw the blood...

... enter Panicked Mommy Mode (PMM).

We cleaned him up and looked at the wound, still bleeding a lot by my standards, and decided to take him to the emergency room. Before we left, I asked Rob to give him a blessing (a full recovery he said), and off we went with Amy driving and me in the back seat with Dougie.

We spent 3 hours at the hospital, during which Amy graciously allowed Dougie to play with Monkey. Actually, he was a real trooper and didn't even cry at all after the initial bonk. We also had a lengthy conversation about running on the hard wood floor with socks on. The nurse came in with a Novocaine gel that she put on a cotton ball and then onto his gash and bandaged to hold it in place, but not until she showed him first on Monkey. One staple later, we're on our way to Dairy Queen for ice cream and lunch (I believe any harrowing medical experience should be immediately followed by ice cream).

How cute is this??? To show you resilient kids are, 20 minutes after we got home he was running in socks on the hard wood floor again... go figure.

It's nice to have this much space. We are grateful to my parents for letting us stay at their house for the past year, and we're also grateful to Tim's parents for letting us stay in their house while they're in New York. Now all we have to do is unpack!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Women's Conference, May 2009

I have to tell you, I've been itching to do a cake in the likeness of one of the temples. I wasn't sure which one, but I loved the idea... itching I tell you, itching! I just couldn't think of an occasion to do one. I push the thought temporarily out of my mind...

Sunday I got the final word on the theme for Women's Conference this year... Joy and Happiness. I can work with that. Last year it was Hispanic themed, and it was a lot of fun! So, Joy and Happiness, what to do? Not putting two and two together...

Sunday evening we had the Richards family over for dinner and a movie; you know, good family/friend time. Rob and I were talking about his son's upcoming birthday, and being gleefully dubbed "the cake lady" at church has made me an apparent wealth of information. I can't wait to teach the class this Thursday!!! But anyway, we got on the subject of cake ideas and what I wanted to do in the future and that I couldn't figure out what to do for Women's Conference. Rob suggested.. get this... the Washington D.C. Temple.
We suddenly have four!

Lynnette, Rob, and I are going to work on planning out the size, assembly, and details of the temple for the cake. I haven't talked to them yet today, but they were going down to the temple on Monday and said they'd take pictures so that we can replicate the details as accurately as possible.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that this is the best idea. Consider this... where do you seal your family for eternity? in the temple. Where do you take the sacred steps toward your salvation? in the temple. Where do you work for the salvation of your past relatives? in the temple. Three major contributions towards... you guessed it, eternal happiness. What a better symbol of joy can be found? Even for those of us not ready to enter, the mere sight is awesome in the most fantastic sense of the word. I can't wait.

While looking for pictures and overhead photographs of the temple, I came across some nifty tidbits of information about the Washington D.C. Temple (you can go here for more info):

The Washington D.C. Temple was the first temple built in the East Coast of the United States.

The Washington D.C. Temple was the first temple to feature six spires since the construction of the Salt Lake Temple, which inspired the design.

Soaring to a height of 288 feet, the Washington D.C. Temple is the tallest temple in the Church.
The Washington D.C. Temple is the only temple outside of Utah to be built with six ordinance rooms. (The temples in Utah with six ordinance rooms are the Ogden Utah Temple, Provo Utah Temple, and Jordan River Utah Temple.)

The Washington D.C. Temple was originally named the Washington Temple.

The Washington D.C. Temple is one of five temples featuring an angel Moroni statue [18 feet tall!!!] holding the gold plates. (The other four temples are the Los Angeles California Temple, Jordan River Utah Temple, Seattle Washington Temple, and México City México Temple.)

The main lobby of the Washington D.C. Temple features a striking 30-foot-long mural depicting the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. An image of the temple was incorporated into the mural.
Following the completion ceremonies for the Washington D.C. Temple, in which a time capsule was placed in the northeast corner of the building, President Spencer W. Kimball conducted the largest press conference in the Church's history.

The highly successful public open house of the Washington D.C. Temple was attended by 758,328 guests including special guest Betty Ford—wife of then-U.S. President Gerald Ford. These tours resulted in over 75,000 missionary referrals.

During the ten dedicatory sessions of the Washington D.C. Temple, all but two of the Church's General Authorities delivered speeches.

Monday, February 16, 2009

About Valentines Day

Rob and Tim really out did themselves on Saturday!!! Oh, my!

They spent the week before getting music together, arranging food and decorations, and the day of setting up. It looked wonderful! And to boot, they had someone there to watch the kids and play movies and games while the adults got to be adults.

We spent the evening dancing to clean music that we actually liked! I didn't think it was possible. I had a great time... especially watching Rob, Tim, and Pat get up and dance to some 80's music. Dinner and a show! Even our Bishop got up to dance with his wife, and Brother Sister Cas got up and cut a rug while they were there (before their movie).

I'm looking forward to it next year. It looks like there were enough disappointed sisters in the ward (because they didn't get to go) that we'll be doing this every year. I can't wait. There were enough brethren asking about next year because their wives made them promise to take them, that I think we'll have an even better turn out next year!

Survey Says...

One of the blogs I follow is called Margarita Monologues. I boldly decided to participate in the interview chain, and her questions were:

1. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
- I don't think I've ever actually been on vacation. Tim and I went to Virginia Beach a couple years ago for New Years. We danced in a club until the wee hours of the morning and played mini golf a few times (my first time ever and whooped him so bad, hehe).

2. What famous person would you most like to meet?
- Absolutely Duff from Ace of Cakes. He's kooky and nutty when it comes to his cakes, but I love the show!

3. What is your favorite cake to bake and/or eat?
- Hands down would be the white chocolate strawberry cordial. I made it for my wedding cake. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE chocolate, but for some reason, yellow cake with white chocolate and fresh strawberries takes my cake.

4. Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
- I'm not sure if it will be in 10 years, but I'd love to have my own "little cake place".

5. What is the most exciting/meaningful present you have ever received and/or given?
- My husband proposed in a treasure hunt across our house that ended up with a dozen roses and a bunch of wood letters while one of our dear friends followed me around the house with a video camera as I deciphered clues. Once the remaining letters were added and the question unscrambled, it asked "Do you love me?" ( a pet thing or inside joke of ours like do you trust me (to do something unique)). After I said "yes" the question was mounted on a frame and now hangs on one wall of our new house soon to be surrounded with pictures of our family, a picture of the Washington D.C. Temple, and pictures of our wedding.

If you would like to play along here are the directions:
1. Leave me a comment & your e-mail address saying, "Interview me." If you dare.
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. The first five 'askers' get the interview!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Angels Explained By Children

Aren't kids cute?

I only know the names of two angels, Hark and Harold.
- Gregory, 5

Everybody's got it all wrong. Angels don't wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it
- Olive, 9

It's not easy to become an angel! First, you die. Then you go to Heaven, and then there's still the flight training to go through. And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes.
- Matthew, 9

Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something else.
- Mitchell, 7

My guardian angel helps me with math, but he's not much good for science.
- Henry, 8

Angels don't eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows!!!
- Jack, 6

Angels talk all the way while they're flying you up to heaven. The main subject is where you went wrong before you got dead.
- Daniel, 9

When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten. And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there's a tornado.
- Reagan, 10

Angels have a lot to do and they keep busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes through your window and leaves money under your pillow. Then when it gets cold, angels go south for the winter.
- Sara, 6

Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who's a very good carpenter.
- Jared, 8

All angels are girls because they gotta wear dresses and boys didn't go for it.
- Antonio, 9

My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth.
- Nicole, 9

Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets. And if they don't make the animals get better, they help the child get over it.
- Vicki, 8

What I don't get about angels is why, when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them.
- Sarah, 7

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I *heart* you

We're getting close to Valentines Day... the day when eating chocolate is perfectly acceptable... the day when cut flowers perfume the air... the day when you find out your kids are growing up.

Hold the phone... kids growing up? You heard me.

This morning Audie said that he needed to do one more valentine. I guess Tim started him on it last night. So I'm going through the list to figure out which one he's missing, and I find that one is bigger than the others...

Is this someone special? He nods. "Can I put some extra hearts on it, Mommy?"

Oh, dear. There it is. He likes a girl.

I rue the day when Chloie starts this, but then again she'll put extra hearts on anyone's valentine if I give her the stickers.

I should mention that my mother got the kids those boxes of valentines (thanks, Mom!). Dougie got first pick and chose the Pixar box with Wall-E and Nemo. Chloie (of course) picked the Disney princesses; Audie chose Spiderman. We're going to work on Dougie and Chloie tonight after family home evening (more on that in a minute). For Chloie we'll work like we did with Audie, making one valentine for each person in her class including the teachers. Then, all three will make valentines for Gammy and Happy, Grandma and Grampa, (maybe Mommy and Daddy), and I'll try to do some for JD to mail to Arkansas. I think he'd like that.

For Family Home Evening, we're a couple days late (I know), but we've been a little busy. Audie is excited because he gets to teach. I guess they were talking about temples and "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". They made trumpets like the Angel Moroni atop the temples. This evening's lesson should be quick, but nonetheless it will be a good experience for him and a wonderful opportunity for him to show us he knows and loves these principles.

... wow. Did I really say that? It seems that a year and a half ago, I wouldn't have.

*warm fuzzy moment*

Preach My Gospel

I thought this cake was so cool, I had to post it on both blogs...

For those familiar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, you'll probably recognize this next image...I volunteered to make this cake for the Missionary Zone Luncheon on 2/5/09 where all of the missionaries from the tri-state area get together for lunch. The image is from the cover of the missionary handbook Preach My Gospel and depicts the Savior just before his baptism with John the Baptist.
Up until the night I decorated the cake I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I had an impression that it should be "Preach My Gospel" related, but I didn't know exactly what. I ended up painting the image onto rolled fondant with brown food coloring and a paint brush. The cake itself was a butter yellow recipe and it was iced with plain white butter cream.

I had to drop the cake off at Carolyn's house for transport to the luncheon. Believe me, I was disappointed that I couldn't be there (I have a day job *groan*), but Carolyn tells me that the missionaries loved their cake... they wouldn't let anyone cut it until they took pictures.

I thought this was an awesome opportunity to do something for the church (besides playing piano). It was a lot of fun, and I got to try out some new ideas for decorating. If nothing else, this is a tasty way of spreading the news!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

What is this stuff anyway???

So the cold that has made its rounds through the family has finally made it to "Mommy". At times I wish I'd get sick first so I could get it out of the way, but a friend from work reminded me that mothers always get sick last so that they can take care of the family while the family is sick.

It's lousy luck, if you ask me.

So things that have been going on with the kids...

Audie is a smart cookie. He won't tell you right off the bat, but he is. We had a meeting with his teacher last week... she confirms for us that he can read... he can read very well... he's not as dumb as he tries to make us believe. It could very well be that he was shy when they did the testing, but at least we know it's not in our heads. Knowing this, we agreed that he didn't need the after-school program anymore.

Chloie made a 100% on her last word test! Proud Mom and Dad have already posted the paper on the fridge for all to see. We're working on the "W" words now. She still has a little trouble distinguishing between "where?" and "were". I can see why. Over all, she's doing very well.

Dougie got to take a trip to the doctor's office yesterday for his eye. It looked like someone had punched him in the eye and his lids swelled. It wasn't enough to swell closed, but enough to make me worry. Dr. Dave said it was a common thing (I don't know how common it is if I've never seen it), but that there are essentially infected pores or hair follicles inside his eye that caused this grief. He gave us a prescription for an antibiotic and told us to put a warm compress on it and it should go away. Here's hoping.

Hubby and I are still trying to get everything we can moved to the new house; we've got most of it there already. I'm still collecting boxes from work to aid in the packing and movement of everything in both houses. Next week we plan to get the school and daycare set up in the hopes that this will be a somewhat seamless transition. This Saturday we're planning on going over and unpacking and sorting through as much over there as we can so we'll have less to do next weekend. At least we got the kitchen done last Saturday... whew!!!

This Sunday is Ward Conference, where the Choir will sing "I Heard Him Come". I hope my cold is gone by then so I can participate. I've been working on the hymns for this Sunday's Relief Society meeting. I'm also excited about the upcoming "mini-enrichment" on 2/19/09 (Thursday) at 7pm. We've nailed down the place (Sister Gilbert's house) and it looks like we'll have 12-15 (maybe 20) sisters and friends in attendance... Looks like I'll be baking a lot of cake! So far the reigning favorite is the Triple-C so at least it's an easy cake to bake. :-)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

More stuff from the email archives

Male or Female? You might not have known this, but a lot of non-living objects are actually either male or female. Here are some examples:

FREEZER BAGS: They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.
PHOTOCOPIERS: These are female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again. They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong Buttons.
TIRES: Tires are male, because they go bald easily and are often over inflated
HOT AIR BALLOONS: Also a male object, because to get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under their butt.
SPONGES: These are female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water.
WEB PAGES: Female, because they're constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on.
TRAINS: Definitely male, because they always use the same old lines for picking up people.
EGG TIMERS: Egg timers are female because, over time, all the weight shifts to the bottom.
HAMMERS: Male, because in the last 5000 years, they've hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.
THE REMOTE CONTROL: Female. Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know which buttons to push, he just keeps trying.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Oooo... Krumpe's

My sister 'enlethe' has blogged about them...

My parents swear by them...

Everyone craves them...

Krumpe's Do-Nuts. The fresh warm delights are beckoning to me from home... "eat me"... I can not resist the goodness.

OK, fix met by eating a few do-nut holes. Mmm. Yummy! If you haven't had Krumpe's then you should. Trust me. They're better than Kripsy Kreme. Mom and I were in Hagerstown last night shopping for fabric and cake related items when she turned to me and said, "Lets go to Krumpe's." Knowing we hadn't had any in a while, I enthusiastically agreed.

I was surprised to see that they've started merchandising. Mugs, travel mugs, T-shirts, and now Mother Krumpe's Bread. *pauses to wipe away drool* I'm also told that the line for fasnachts can be up to two hours long before lent. (click here for more info)