Thursday, April 30, 2009

Choo Choo Cookies

I wanted to give something other than toys for the party favors for Jack's party. (Besides, what mother would want her kids coming home with a train whistle? You can thank me later.)

I really wanted to give Thomas the Train trains as party favors but have you looked at the price of them? Times the number of children at our party. Equals not in my party budget.

So I settled for train cookies. I had a ball making these, figuring out how to make royal icing that hardens this century and then bagging them up cute.

My children loved the broken ones. So did my husband. Oh, who am I kidding? I loved them, too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm No "Ace of Cakes".

Are you familiar with that show on The Food Network? I've watched it a couple of times and thought to myself, "what's the big deal?" Yeah, well. I now have a new-found respect for people who bake and decorate beautiful cakes.

I decided to try my hand at it for Jack's party. While shopping online for plates and napkins, I found this cute train pan. I read about it, looked at the pictures and thought I would add it to my cart and see what I could do.

I wanted to do something for his party that was different than the typical cake that matches the napkins or cupcakes (saving that for his sister's cupcake party). So a train cake it would be.

I wrote last week that I had a cake dress rehearsal to see how it would turn out. So glad I did. I ended up making several adjustments and figured out that I was decorating the cake backwards. (Only I would do that!) So decorating the cake for the real deal went much smoother.

I think the most fun was mixing all the icing colors. I felt like I was playing with grown up playdoh.

I wish I had taken pictures of the process for you. But honestly, I was so nervous, that I didn't have the forethought to do so. Instead, here's the finished product.

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Dear Boy is Two

Yesterday was Jack's big day! He's two years old and I can hardly believe it. Where is the time going? (I feel old just saying that line!)

We had such a fun train birthday party yesterday afternoon. The weather was perfect, windy, but nice. All our friends came. Everyone took turns riding the train and the kids played. I know mine had a ball.

I successfully baked and decorated a train cake. And didn't trip as I walked it from the dining room (where it was hiding from my nosey children) to the back patio for the party. I think I held my breath the entire time. I'll post details about baking the cake in a separate post.

Jack has a love affair with balloons. So today after his two year checkup at the doctor, we played outside together and he carried balloons around and had a blast doing it. Who knew balloons were so fun?

(I have uploaded 170 photos from yesterday's party. Needless to say, I'm dying to share them. I'm creating a photo album on the Kodak Gallery like I used to (for those of you who weren't in the loop back then, I used to email pics out once a month for more than 2 years!). So, leave a comment and let me know if you want to see them. Otherwise, I won't bore you with all these pics!)

Happy birthday, my sweet little boy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stage Fright

I want to make a post, really I do. But I don't have much to say (or am I running low on energy and that's why I can't come up with anything?).

I've spent the afternoon making a "dress rehearsal" cake for Jack's birthday party. I just thought it would be too cute to mess up at the 11th hour, so I wanted to do a trial run. Turned out decent, so I'm glad I did it. Now I'll know what to do to improve for the real thing.

Speaking of dress rehearsal, JA's ballet recital was this past weekend. Can I just tell you that I felt like I have been holding my breath for her all week long? I'm so glad it's over. (And I've since exhaled.) She did a fantastic job ----- at the dress rehearsal. At the recital? Not so much. She screamed when I left her, which made me cry, too. And then when her dancing debut came up, she stood there. Literally, just stood there. The night before at the dress rehearsal, she did 100% of the dance. On cue. Perfectly. I suppose she had stage fright. Or was a dancing diva drama queen.

Oh, but she was cute.

Didn't I start this post with nothing to say? Oh yeah. I did. I'm done now.

Off to enjoy peace and quiet tonight and do a little smocking. (I'll post pictures soon, I'm working on my second dress!)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Sweet Morning In The Park

We went to the park this morning and we were the only ones there. Jordan Ann had requested to go to a specific park in town -- "the one by Gammy's house with the fire truck". (To the girls who usually go parking with us, you were missed. JA asked no less than 14 times where our friends were!)

But being there, just the three of us, was rather nice. It brought back memories of when JA was a baby and she and I LOOKED for places to go and things to do just us, because none of my friends nearby had babies yet.

It was a little chilly this morning and luckily I had jackets in the car (right next to the loose Cheerios and sippy cup with what used to be milk -- I know, nice!).

I was able to sit and watch them play, run, slide and hop around together as friends. When they needed a break, they came to me for a drink and handful of Apple Jacks. Then they quickly scampered off.

Even as I write this, I have tears in my eyes. I know that in they fastest blink of an eye, they won't be little anymore. They won't be calling out, "Watch me, momma!" every 45 seconds. Their legs will finally move as fast as their minds want them to and there will be no more clumsy falls.

Jordan Ann won't be wearing a white sweater buttoned at the top with a pink bow in her hair as big as her head. Jack's little New Balance tennis shoes will one day be bigger than my size 8 flip flops.

They will not be content running and playing, singing and laughing on a playground such as this.

Oh, but what joy and pleasure I have had today watching and listening as they tried climbing up the slide and laughed hysterically as they slid to the bottom.

And then that moment when I heard Jack say, "Hi 'Nan (which rhymes with "train") when she got to the top of the stairs where he was standing. She enthusiastically said, "Hi Jack" right back to him and put her arm around him for a sweet hug. Can I tell you that I almost lost it right there?

One of my prayers of many for their precious lives is that years from now they will share a very special bond of family and friendship just like they are showing me now as little children.

I realize that I have just rambled and shared random details for no other reason than to say:

I've had a full cup mommy moment with my children today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter From A Child's Eyes

We had a wonderful Easter filled with several egg hunts, parties and lots of candy! Here are a couple of pictures from a fun Easter Egg Hunt hosted at Mati Claire's house. (You can click here to see more details from Carrie's blog.) And every last detail was arranged at this party. Carrie, her mom and sister thought of everything.

Although my attempt at a decent a group picture was just a joke, I think these pictures tell the story of this fun Easter party nicely.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Would You Mind?

First, thank you for your prayers. I felt them for sure.
The appointment could not have gone any better. We were seeing a pediatric neurologist for a series of headaches she has been complaining of. Fortunately, the doctor did not find anything upon exam that concerned him. Our next step would be to sedate her and conduct an MRI, but before we go to that degree, we're going to wait and watch her. If the headache episode happens again, we'll get the MRI done right away.
Again, thanks for your prayers.

Good morning! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter Sunday yesterday. Ours was perfect.

But right now would you mind sharing your prayers with me today? Jordan Ann has a doctor's appointment today and while I'm hopeful that all things are just as they should be, I'm still feeling a little anxious. I'll update more when I can and after we get finished with the doctor.

Specifically, pray for bravery for her - she's so skittish in unfamiliar environments - and an outcome that is in line with God's will for our lives.

I love you, blog readers!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

An Attitude of Gratitude

With so many thoughts running through my head, I'm not sure where to start. Do you ever get those feelings that there's so much to think about that it all seems fuzzy? Blurry? Hard to make out? That's where I am tonight.

So, I thought I would stop for a minute and write what I know to be true.

I'm so thankful. Thankful for so many things . . .

1. That I have a Heavenly Father that listens to my pleas, and answers my every call. I see that He is at work in my life daily. It's humbling and I'm honored to be one of His beloved children.

2. Everlasting life, paid in full at Calvary, many Easters ago.

3. The husband and children that are mine to care for. And the home that we create together as a family. I just love it.

4. And then there's the trivial, but still important things to be thankful for. Things like Easter meals planned for our family, with groceries already purchased. Baskets and goodies for the kids. Eggs in the fridge to boil and color with two wiggly and excited children.

5. New and challenging projects to keep my mind from simply melting into a heap of "mommy brain."

6. Birthdays and birthday parties for my children within the next month. (Be on the lookout for some train and cupcake party ideas!)

7. The joy of "child chatter." Hearing JA play in her imaginary world of princesses and pirates while Jack begins to string full sentences together brings me so much pleasure. I love listening to them play.

8. A quiet home filled with comfort and peace that only comes from our Father.

Give thanks to the Lord. His love endures forever.
-- Psalm 107:1 --

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Not much time today for a real post, so I'm posting about a couple creative blogs that you must see.

A Little Loveliness - she's written a letter to her little girl about the heirloom dress she is creating for her. Oh, how it brought tears to my eyes.

Fly Through My Window - I think I'm one of her biggest fans. She has posted about the Holy Week cookies she's made with her two girls. I had originally planned to do the same activity with JA this Easter, but have just run out of steam/time/energy/thoughts to plan and do it. (She'll be thrilled to color eggs just the same.) Since Darby did this one and took adorable pictures of the process, I'll let her be the inspiration this time.

Check out these sites if you get a few minutes. You'll love them, I know it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

7 lbs. and Cadbury Creme Eggs

Remember my post from my old blog about going to the doctor for a check up and getting the "heavy scale"? Yeah, well. How could I forget?

Today was a follow up. Just a regular appointment every three months (for those of you who don't know, I have rheumatoid arthritis.) Anyway, I was pleased that I wasn't put in that same room.

So, the results? Down 7 pounds! Hooray! I'm just trying to eat better, in moderation and drink lots of water. I think I've consumed more water in the last 4 months than I did the entire year before! This is a good thing.

That, plus the gym. I took a few days off because of snotty noses and bad coughs (who wants that in the kids' playroom?!) but I'm trying to get back on track now.

Let's just keep it up, right? I'm trying.

But as you know, Easter is this weekend. And can I tell you how much I LOVE Cadbury creme eggs? It's my mother's fault (sorry, mom) but we just can't resist them. I'm ready for the season to pass so I can go grocery shopping without seeing that cardboard aisle display piled high and the sign: two for $1. Makes me want to grab a handful. Or else "accidently" bump into the display with my buggy.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kelly's Kids Party

I'm hosting a Kelly's Kids Party on Sunday afternoon. If you're interested in coming (and are local!) please let me know. It's a "come and go" from 2:30 - 4:30. I'd love for you to come.

These clothes are just adorable. I've been flipping through my catalog and have more pages dog-eared than not. Oh no!

Plus, these Sun-N-Sand sandals are $28. (Last weekend, I saw them at Stride Rite and Shoe Choo Train for $33.50). I think we have these in every size and the white and red ones that were JA's are now Jack's. They're great!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

We're Expecting!

Baby birds, that is. {But did I get your attention?}

Several weeks ago, Jordan Ann pointed out that we had a bird in our geranium right outside the window. We watched as the bird assembled a nest, and wondered if we would really see her laying eggs. Days went by with nothing new except the perfectly built nest.

Two days ago, Jordan Ann was doing her regular check on the nest and found a surprise! There were eggs in the nest. Later, we saw the mommy bird tucked in, keeping her eggs warm.

Since then, JA has checked on the mommy bird hourly from the time she wakes up until she goes to bed. Yesterday she asked if she would be able to see the baby birds after her nap.

How long does it take for birds to hatch? Are we going to be checking on birds for days, weeks or months? And if you're a bird watcher and can tell us what kind of bird we have here, leave a comment please. I'm dying to know!

{Does anyone besides me find it ironic that I redesign my blog using birds and am now, days later, making a post about birds in my geranium? Very, very strange.}

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Here are a couple pictures of my first smocking project ever. Well, not a project, really, more like a sample practice piece. Don't look too closely because it's not perfect. In fact, I've had to resist the temptation to take out the mistakes and redo it, but have to patiently remind myself that I'm learning.

I'm thrilled with myself to see that I've finally learned to do something I've wanted to for years. It's tough and going to take practice, but is there anything worthwhile in life that doesn't?

Are you learning something new? What is it?