Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Blue and Gold Banquet 2011

We attended The Blue and Gold Banquet last night for Audie's scout troop. Tim was even able to take his lunch to be there with us for a while. I was in charge of food for the event (in addition to cake), so we had a hot dog bar. We borrowed a hot dog machine from friends of ours to heat them up, had various toppings like mustard, spicy mustard, mayo, chipotle mayo, relish, cheese, and chili. We ended up with TONS of buns left over, but had just enough hot dogs, potato salad, chips, and cake. I love it when things work out like that. It means that I didn't have to take a bunch of left overs home. :) The scouts did skits for us, and there was an audience participation portion of the program. Overall I think they had a good time. I really enjoyed being there with Cindy and all 5.5 of our kiddos.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The baking continues

Last night I started the cakes for the Blue and Gold Banquet on Wednesday. I've got 3 beautiful cakes sitting on the counter right now. Tonight I get my first official helper/student to help me decorate them with fondant and the badges for Wolf, Bear, and Weeblo scouts. It should be a lot of fun, and it'll be nice to have someone there to help me. I can't wait! I've also got a fridge FULL of hot dogs and other fixin's for this shindig. Sometime tonight, I'm doing the potatoes for the potato salad. It should be fun. :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

My poor bamboo plant + the weekend

My sister sent me a message over facebook this past week asking what "a Sister/Aunt had to do" to get recent pics of my kiddos. Apparently it's as simple as sending a message. We had a busy baptism weekend. I played piano for Dylan's baptism on Saturday. I had the kiddos with me, and we visited my parents afterwards. Then we went shopping for the food for the Blue and Gold banquet on Wednesday. I also had to get new jeans because I'd managed to split mine. It took me 45 minutes to find something that fit and I'm up a size or two. Grrr! Sunday evening we attended Dusty's baptism. This time I brought cake.
The birthday boy blowing out his candles...
So my poor bamboo plant. Yeah. My dad bought me this plant 3 or so years ago for my office. at the time the leaves on top were only 4 inches high. I've kept it watered and fertilized, but over the years the stalks have died out one by one. It's now twice the height it was when he gave it to me, but the poor little thing looks so pitiful.
I've been trying to find information on bamboo care. One site suggests removing the old stalks and replacing them with pruned ones from the top of the display.
I think I'm going to print out what I can find and take it home on a warm day to see if I can't help it out.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm almost done...

It seems like I have survived the plague. The recovery is slow. I still have coughing fits every once in a while. My head is still stuffy, but at least now I can breathe through my nose. My right ear still feels and sounds like I've got a cotton ball in it. At least I'm not achy, tired, stiff, and sore.

Speaking of almost done... I'm helping Tim write a letter. A letter that's been two years in the making. A letter to the First Presidency. A letter so we can get the clearance we need to be sealed. FINALLY. Between his self admitted bad memory and ADHD, it wasn't worked on very much during the last two years. Last night, I sat down with the paperwork and what he started and drafted what I hope will be a letter completed and turned into the Bishop in the near future. Sunday would be nice. Sunday would be very nice. I'm tired of waiting and worrying that something will happen before we get sealed. I know our respective patriarchal blessings say we have plenty to do and plenty of time to do it in, but that still doesn't help my paranoia!

Soon... very soon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ruh, Roh

Yesterday I spent some time updating the website for graduation cakes and plugging a little for the auction on April 6th. I was so proud of myself for getting all of this done and up on the website. I even updated both my personal facebook page and That Little Cake Place's page with links to the website about the auction.

Now, I think I might have gotten it wrong.

When they first approached me about donating cake to the auction again this year, they mentioned that they were teaming up with our Scout troop. So in addition to the two cakes I did last year, I volunteered The 'Biod' (Eagle Scout Cake) for anyone who wanted to bid on it for their scout's Eagle Court of Honor. I probably wouldn't have done it otherwise. They're even having the auction on a Wednesday... a scout night.

Now I'm finding out that they'd decided not to team up... OK... so what do I do now?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bills, bills, bills

It seems that we do fine for a while, then things take another turn. I know that we are making progress towards paying off our debts (student loans, car loans, credit cards, etc.). I can see the balances going down every time I balance the checkbook. I also know that everything will be paid off at about the same time. It just happens that the payments and amounts worked out like that. I can't wait until we're able to save all that money and put it aside for, oh I don't know, a house of our own or something crazy like that.

At the moment I'm torn as to whether to draw the payments out a little longer so we can start building savings, or pay everything off first then save. Idunno. ...?

Really, I'd be happy if I could get Tim to stick to our budget. He was "really bad" over the last couple weeks (his words), and it wasn't until I reconciled the checkbook that I found out how "really bad" he was. Why do I go grocery shopping and plan meals to save money if he's just going to go to Wendy's, Taco Bell, Dairy Queen, Sheetz, Chick-fil-a, and more for dinner every night? If all feels kind of pointless at times.

Sorry, just needed to get that out there somewhere.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Settling down

Things are starting to even out... I think.

Having Cindy and the kiddos in the house certainly fills the open space and fills the rooms with sounds of being lived in. All 5 kiddos in the house now play nicely for the most part. Mine keep forgetting that there are rules they still have to follow, but other than that they do well. I don't think I'll ever get a turn on the Wii again!

The ward choir gave their first performance Sunday in sacrament. They did very well; I'm so proud of them. A little snag when I/we missed the count-in for verse 2, but it's OK. And the A Capella... Oh, MY! It was gorgeous! We started working on the song for April. So far it sounds really good, though we only managed to get through the first of five pages in practice.

And cake! I have 4 cakes within the next 10 days! Not to mention the one I delivered Saturday to the new Spanish Branch's Relief Society meeting. In case you're wondering, the "SS" where the "RS" usually is stands for Sociedad de Socorro.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

As promised, pictures of the afghan I finished for my cousin's first baby.This was done in a hexagon pattern using Caron Simply Soft in Purple, Lavender, and White. It was really soft and only took me 3 weeks to do (working mostly at night for an hour or so). This is one of the chocolate butterflies on the cupcake roses I did for Elena's birthday last Sunday. I think my favorite here was the extra chocolate. :)
I drove to Baltimore yesterday to pick up my SIL from the airport along with her 2 kiddos. Traffic wasn't bad at all, but we got lost trying to get out of the airport and ended up driving towards DC for a 20 minute detour! No worries, because we made our way home with little trouble. We talked the whole way home while the kiddos passed out in the back seat. I've missed Cindy SO much! We're going to get every one settled in today and see what we need to get for her apartment downstairs for the time she's here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I just wanted to drop a quick note here on the blog to say that I haven't died... *yet*

Whatever this plague is, and we're thinking it's "only" the flu, I'm feeling better today than I have in 3 days. With no voice, I was a pitiful mess in Primary on Sunday, and thankfully the choir did all the singing for practice. For only having 8 people show up for practice, they sounded pretty good.

I've spent the last 2 days home from work trying to rest and recover. I'll let you know how it goes. I also have some pictures of an afghan I finished over the weekend and cake pictures that I'll post soon.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Post # 200 !!!

Wow, that's a lot of typing!

Speaking of a lot of something... we have a lot of water. When Tim got home last night after 11pm, he said that the water was *close* to the road, but not on it. That's happened before and the water receded before it became a problem.

Not this time.

The bridge to our house wasn't flooded this morning when I started to work, but the low-level roads on the other side were. I got through the first "puddle" (18 inches deep) only to find another flooded stretch of road. I couldn't even see the end of it. Instead of risking it, I turned around and started on the alternate route through Glengary and warned 2 other vehicles on my way.

Then I got lost.

Yep, I missed the turn onto Route 45 and ended up going all the way to 522. I finally called Tim to get it all straightened out. I even had to stop for gas. So this morning I clocked in an hour later than expected. Grrr!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blue and Gold

Last night we had my MIL over for dinner. This was our only night to see her before she goes back to NY. We finally found the apple quilt she's been looking for... I didn't know it, but Tim had it hidden in our room and was hesitant to give it up.

I took Audie to Scouts after dinner and was "drafted" into sitting with one of the Young Women's groups for 30 minutes because their normal chaperon was at home sick. It wasn't too bad, and I got to do some knitting while I listened to their planning discussion.

I had a meeting after Scouts with the rest of the parents/leaders for the Blue and Gold Banquet on 3/30. I'm in charge of food. At the moment it's a toss between Hawaiian haystacks and sandwiches. I'm leaning towards the sandwiches simply because I know what goes into a sandwich. I also get to do a cake (or 3) for the occasion. I've decided to do 3 square cakes - one with the Wolf badge, one with the Bear badge, and one with the Webelo badge. What I hope to be my first future employee of That Little Cake Place (excluding my sous chefs) will be there to help me that evening. :)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Don't stop the music!

It's March now, and that means a new song in the Primary program. This month we're working on Stand for the Right. It's a really short song. We're going to sit while we sing it and stand at the end when we sing "stand for the right". Once we learned the song, I brought out a stop sign. Each of the kiddos got to stop us at any time through the song, and we had to pick up where we left off. They had fun stopping us in the middle of "prophet" and half-way through "stand". Some of them stopped us after every word, so I had to help them calm it down a little.

We had a visitor in primary named Timothy. I introduced myself and said hi, but he was so shy that he barely shook my hand. By the end of singing time, he was giggling and laughing just as much as everyone else. I think that was one of the most fun lessons I've done so far. Even the senior primary wanted to do this game, and usually they're "too old" to do the fun stuff.

Because this is such a short song, I'm going to start working working with the senior primary on their solo song Praise to the Man. I'm going to teach them the parts for their performance, so I think we should use all the time we can get even though it's not in the program to learn until May. Considering they've moved the Primary Program up from October to September, it gives us less time to practice. I know these kiddos will do splendidly!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Spring cleaning early

My Sister-in-law and her 2.5 kiddos are coming to live with us in about two weeks. We've been working on setting things up for them for when they get here.

Then again we still haven't taken down the Christmas tree.

It seems like the only time we have that isn't busy is the time something always comes up. At some point this evening, I think I'm going to insist we take down the tree. Maybe even finish going through the boxes in the quite room and bring down the second stove and the mattress for my SIL to use while she is here.

We might even get crazy and start planting seeds for the tomatoes.

Ah, spring! I see you just around the corner.

Thursday, March 03, 2011


The pain in my back is better today. I can at least move more easily and get up from my chair and sit down again without too much discomfort.

I realized yesterday that there was a blood drive at work. I'd signed up, but completely forgot to put it on my calender at work. As a result, I forgot to make cupcakes for the donors. :( In addition to that, when they tested my iron, I was too low! I've never been too low. I started at 11.6, and they said I had the option to be tested by the supervisor on duty because sometimes air bubbles can cause a low reading. I gave them the OK and the pricked my other finger only to come up with an 11.2! Sorry folks, no blood loss this time.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Ow, Ow, OW!!!

It started innocently enough, a twinge here and there, usually after standing too long at the counter making cake. Then it increased ever so slightly, finding relief in the form of a chiropractic crunching. A twisting adjustment here, a back rub there, maybe a soak in a nice hot bath of Epsom salt.

Now it just hurts.

The jerkiness of my movements coupled with the stiffness and waddling is almost comical. I've even included Tylenol in my regular diet because two of the uses include "muscular aches" and "backache" and switched my chair at work back to the ergonomic thing. Tim has crunched me more times in the last 3 days than I care to admit, and yet all of these attempts are only temporary.

I now understand how my mother feels on a daily basis. The inability to reach low objects, pick up things from the floor, get off of the couch, etc. is almost as painful as the pain in my back. When you "over do" it just by "doing". Ouch!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

And now for the main event!

This weekend we did the Pinewood Derby for Audie's Scout troop at church. Because there were only 10 boys, they competed against each other. They had some circular bracket system that provided each scout 2 races in each of the three lanes of the track. First place of each race was awarded 3 points, second received 2 points, and third received 1. At the end, scores were totaled and the top 3 raced against each other in 3 races to allow them a full rotation through the lanes.

Audie was a little disappointed that he didn't win, but he did receive a certificate naming his car the Car-ma Chameleon (after the song) and a participation medal. Ashton was our first place winner, and as a special treat, we raced his car against mine from the cake.

I started with a piece of green floral Styrofoam the same size as a pinewood derby blank and carved it into this shape. Then I covered it in fondant and had Dougie pick the colors and design the paint job. I used real pinewood derby wheels.The whole thing was 1.2 ounces under the max of 5 ounces, so Ashton's car already had a clear advantage. As his car was crossing the finish line and mine was 3 feet behind it, the front 2 wheels flew off and the car skidded to a halt. It wasn't meant to be a serious race, more for entertainment, and everyone loved it.
This last shot was on the table at the derby. I was also asked to coordinate food for the event, so in addition to cake we had chips and dip, a veggie tray with ranch dip (that I totally rocked, BTW), and taco bites.
After the race was over and clean-up complete, we headed down to Winchester to see my newest nephew, Matthew Vinh. I got to hold him, so tiny, and snuggle, look at him, look at Tim, look at him, look at Tim and smile, and hear, "No, we already have 3!"

Tim even held him... and I have PROOF!!!

All you see is a little fuzzy head and then Tim's ARM!
I want one! OK, reality check. I'm satisfied to snuggle and coo at this little guy. In the mean time, I was the first on the Whitcomb side that got to hold him... Nanny, Nanny, Boo, Boo!