21. September 2012 · Comments Off on Happy Birthday Jacob! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Jacob turned 10 years old earlier this month. We had a small birthday party for him at the house, and Jacob enjoyed playing with some of his birthday gifts.

Thanks to everyone to recognized his birthday with nice gifts, and thanks to those who took time out of their busy schedules to celebrate with us earlier this month.

And if you’re wondering, NO, I can’t believe I’m now the mother of a ten-year-old. I remember when I was just turning 10 years old, we had just moved into a new house in Norfolk, Va, and I walked 2/3 of a mile in each direction to and from school, without parents, and with my Kindergarten-aged sister.

Jacob wanted a Harry Potter-themed birthday party, but with an inflatable slip ‘n slide. It was definitely a hybrid experience. These are Golden Snitch cake pops. You’re right, I wouldn’t have thought that either upon first glance…

A close up of the completed Golden Snitch. Don’t laugh. The wings are made of gum paste.

We need a cake for the candles, right? The Gryffindor emblem was printed on cardstock and laminated with clear packing tape.

We have really enjoyed having a backyard here large enough to bring in these big inflatables. We rented the tables and chairs for the AF Base.

It was breezy and I had a hard time keeping the candles lit…

Most of his gifts were LEGOs! Thanks everyone!

Jacob got cash from the Grandparents this year. He took the check from Grandma and Grandpa Fox and used to to buy a metal detector. He deposited Grammy and Grampy’s check in the bank and is waiting for a video game to come out to use it.


09. March 2012 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Last weekend Dave and I were invited to a birthday party!  It was an 80s themed birthday party and Stephanie (the same girl I went to Disneyworld with a couple weekends ago) knows how to throw a great theme party!

She decorated her house with vinyl records, cassette “mix” tapes and posters of 80s movies.  Her Pandora radio was set to the 80s channel, and even her birthday cake was a Ms. Pac Man!

Hostess cakes and Ms. Pac Man!

Stephanie had been accumulating vinyl 33s and 45s at thrift shops for $0.50 each!

Since I was will in a costuming mood from my Disneyworld trip, I had a good time coming up with an outfit that brought back memories of circa-1983 Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and Ferris Bueller all at once!

I don’t think my legs show up in any of the pictures, but I’m wearing black fishnet stockings with lacey ankle socks and stiletto heels. I have a huge fluffy black tutu ($8), part of the pink tulle skirt that I didn’t use with the Mulan costume from two weeks ago, a blank t-shirt with which I used iron on letters to say “Save Ferris” ($4) and Mardi Gras beads from last month. Dave’s shirt was a homemade iron-on of a Van Halen album cover from 1979. We bought his mullet wig, fishnet stockings and the black lace gloves and socks from Amazon for cheap.

The hair?  A scrunchie made from the bottom of my t-shirt, and LOTS of Aqua Net hairspray.

I couldn’t have planned this better myself!

The birthday girl and me!  Steph found this fantastic Dynasty-ish pink dress and she reminded me of Joan Collins!

Compare the gal on the left with this picture 🙂

07. November 2011 · Comments Off on Dave Update & Chuck E. Cheese’s Birthday Party · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

Good Monday morning to you!  Today is Dave’s one-week check up for his back procedure…most of what we’re going for is to get those staples above removed.  That entire cut is about an inch long and is healing very nicely.  But those staples are driving Dave mad and he can’t wait to get them out.

We’re starting to see a trend — Dave awakens in really good shape, he takes it easy during the day, with a walk or two up and down our street (about 1/2 mile at most).  Most of the day, he’s in decent shape and in decent spirits.  By dinnertime, Dave get very sore and his muscles begin to seize up.  He isn’t as debilitated as he was on his first day home from the hospital, but we’re hoping the evening discomfort eases up some soon.

Dave is craving visitors.  Big time.  He wishes he can sit at his model railroading workbench and work on all sorts of projects, but he can’t.  He wishes he could get going on the next block of his Air War College studies, but he’s on hold until they grade the test he took the week before his surgery (he can’t move forward unless he receives a passing grade on the test).  So he’s watching a LOT of TV.  Mostly movies on HBO and Showtime.

The kids and I took it easy yesterday morning, and in the afternoon I took the kids to our local Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Pensacola for a birthday party.  We were invited to a set of triplets’ birthday parties…for the first time, the girls were getting three small separate parties.  We go to church with the family and the triplets are in Timmy’s Sunday school class.  You could see their separate personalities come through even with the themes of their three parties: one at a bowling alley, one at a local pet shop and one at Chuck E. Cheese’s.  Since we live about an hour away, the boys chose one of the parties and we brought Littlest Pet Shop gifts for all 3 girls.

The birthday girl is in the hat, one of her sisters is on the far left, and I don’t know where the third sister is.  The little boy to Chuck E. Cheese’s left wasn’t part of our party.  

Now that I’m feeling better from my cold last week, I think I can start on my household to-do list: organizing closets, sorting through toys and clothes, and washing/waxing our vehicles.  I hope to take a Honda-Pilot-full of stuff to the Hurlburt Thrift Shop by Thursday or Friday for donation/consignment.

Tomorrow I’m planning a long-overdue recipe post!  Cincinnati chili made with ground turkey — a family favorite!

10. September 2011 · 4 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
The box on the right was purchased in mid-July.  I thought I needed two boxes of cake mix for something, but I only needed one.  The box on the left was purchased this morning.  Darned straight I took the box tops!  But note the size difference….did someone think we wouldn’t notice???

I’m baking Jacob’s birthday cake right now.  The final product is a surprise — even for me, since I don’t quite know what I’m doing yet — but I needed two boxes of cake mix for this.

I had a box of mix in the pantry from a couple months ago (the one on the right), and I prepared it as on the back of the box.  1 1/4 c. water, 1/3 c. oil, 3 eggs.

Just before I took the first cake out of the oven, I prepared the batter for the second part of the cake.  I was just about to add the same ingredient amounts as above, but I caught a glimpse of the instructions on the box on the left: 1 c. water, 1/2 c. oil, 3 eggs.

I fished the first box out of the recycling bin and placed them side-by-side: you see that photographed above.  Somewhere between July and now Betty Crocker decided to knock 3 oz (1/6th!) from their cake mix.  And I didn’t see a difference in a price.

Isn’t this the same thing that been happening with ice cream and salad dressing?


Thank you for letting me vent…time to get part 2 of the birthday cake out of the oven…yes, at 10pm!

09. August 2011 · Comments Off on Happy Birthday Dear Husband! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Who knows what that is on his cake??? Hint: it’s supposed to look like that…

This week my youngest son is celebrating his 6th Birthday. I won’t be specific about which day, but with family in town this weekend, I made some pre-birthday cupcakes to serve as dessert.

Last weekend we were at our local mall-like-shopping-location. It isn’t really a mall, since it doesn’t have that old-school enclosed building thing going on. It’s of those open-air places, where you walk outside between the pretty-people stores.  Each of the past 4 locations we’ve lived has had one nearby.  Most of you who live in suburban America know what I’m talking about, right?

We ventured into Williams-Sonoma — the lure of free samples usually attracts my boys. The thought of one day having a kitchen like what’s in their catalogs attracts me. There was a lovely display of Star Wars-themed kitchen supplies. Of course we were attracted to the display like white on rice!  There in the middle among the cookie cutters and pancake molds were these “cupcake decorating kits”.

My kids begged “Please? Please? Please?” for one of the kits, so I caved in and let my youngest son choose the kit.   I’m so glad he picked the Rebel Alliance kit instead of the Galactic Empire one.  I thought the set was pretty cute, and at the time I didn’t think anything of paying $12 + Northwest Florida tax for it.  How could I turn down classic Star Wars???

Tonight my mom and I made some cupcakes for dessert, using 1/2 of the baking cups and toothpicks.

That’s what this kit is: baking cups and toothpicks.  Probably about $1 worth of product, to be honest.

We devoured the cupcakes and the used baking cups went right into the trash, but I made a point to insist that no one lick the toothpicks and make sure to recycle them.  The pictures on the toothpicks are made of a slightly-waxed paper.  Not quite cardstock, but a little heavier than just plain paper.

My opinion?  $12 for this kit is a considerable indulgence.  My kids were smiling all evening from the cute toothpicks, and one could argue that doesn’t make this all a waste.  If you aren’t picky about the baking cups — considering R2, C3PO and Chewie were all on the bottom of the finished cupcake where no one will really see them — you might be able to get away with making the toothpicks on your own.

Consider how many different characters you could glue to toothpicks and stick in cupcakes!  Maybe this is what I’ll do for next weekend’s Mario Brothers cake that’s been requested for the party next weekend.

14. September 2010 · Comments Off on Jacob’s Birthday Cake · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

This past weekend my oldest son turned 8. I had a great time working on his birthday cake. Since his 4th birthday, I’ve always taken on his cakes as a challenge each year, and this year was no exception. Jacob’s first soccer game was this past weekend also, so I thought it would be fun to do a soccer ball cake.

I picked up this Wilton Sports Ball Pan with a coupon at my local Michael’s Craft Store. Looked like a fun cake to make…

But seemed sort of small, so I decided to make a field to sit the ball on…

So here’s the field, a 9″ x 13″ cake left in the pan (I’ll explain why in a minute).

From 2010 09 12 Jacob's 8th Birthday

Then I had to put the ball hemispheres on, one piece at a time, sealed together with some icing. You can see the 3 dowel rods I used to support the ball…so the ball wouldn’t smash down the field.

From 2010 09 12 Jacob's 8th Birthday
From 2010 09 12 Jacob's 8th Birthday

Next, I iced the ball with a “crumb coat” which is a thin coat of icing just to keep the artistic stuff from getting messy:

From 2010 09 12 Jacob's 8th Birthday

Next, I used the guides in the directions to trace the soccer ball pattern. This got a little messy, the crumb coat came up as I peeled the paper.

From 2010 09 12 Jacob's 8th Birthday

The plan was to pipe in blue and red pentagons, and all the hexagons would be in white. The blue icing wasn’t as well mixed, and clumps of powdered sugar kept blocking the piping tip. So I didn’t use the blue as much as I’d hoped.

From 2010 09 12 Jacob's 8th Birthday

The finished cake:

From 2010 09 12 Jacob's 8th Birthday

From 2010 09 12 Jacob's 8th Birthday

I kept the cake in the pan to make it easier to transport to The Amazing Pizza Machine, where we celebrated Jacob’s birthday with the family and two of his closest friends here, Dean and Drake.

Happy Birthday Jacob!!!

From 2010 09 12 Jacob's 8th Birthday
23. January 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
From 2010 01 23 Timmy’s Mickey Mouse 5th Birthday Cake

This is Timmy’s birthday cake (duh!). Due to a series of unfortunate events, Timmy’s birthday was reduced to having a friend over for cake and ice cream after dinner tonight. We were planning a trip to the local indoor water park with the same friend, but we have some behavior issues earlier this month and Timmy lost that privilege. We may go later this winter, just not as a birthday thing.

I was thrilled that this cake was made with materials I had in the house already, from the cake mix and powdered sugar for the icing, to the colors and cake pans. The weather has been so absolutely lousy, I’ve only been heading out for essential errands, such as taking the boys to/from school and picking up groceries about every 4 days. Non-essential shopping trips and visits to the gym have dwindled down to a minimum.

Click on the link underneath picture to see the full album that covers some of the steps taken to make this cake.

05. January 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,

This is a Pre-Birthday cake for Timmy. We’re going to do cake and a couple gifts tonight, mainly so Mommy gets her chance to sing “Happy Birthday” to her almost-4-year-old. Dad plans to have a few friends over for cake and ice cream closer to Timmy’s actual birthday on the 26th.
But the cake! Where do I begin??? First the icing base coat fills with crumbs, making the icing layer appear all mottled. Then the spray-on yellow square has some bleed off. Then I run out of icing before I can really finish Spongebob. I had planned to dress him, at least.
But look on the bright side: I don’t think there’s any doubt in who that is, right??