Saturday, December 3, 2011

Must change security settings

Dearest friends,

Due to an unfortunate incident, I am going to have to restrict access to my blog. If you really love me (and really who doesn't) and actually know me, then shoot me an email and I will send you the passcode.

Sorry for the inconvenience!!

Love ya!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

By the Numbers

In one week, we'll be celebrating James's 7th birthday.

In two weeks, we'll be packed out and on the road.

In three weeks, we'll be visiting family.

In less than four weeks, we'll be in GERMANY!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm torn.... like REALLY torn!

I guess you really *should* be careful what you wish for!

As you know, this move to Germany is HUGE. I've been DYING (DY-I.N.G.) to go to Germany since Hubs and I got married. Ten whole years! And just as I thought we'd be stuck HERE for the rest of his career, our dream comes true!


Things are finally falling into place for the kid. He has the "perfect" teacher for him. She is Ah-MAY-zing. He has a diagnosis and is on a med that is really seems to be making a difference. We have gotten approved for ABA therapy to help him with his issues and we are in the process of getting him an IEP at school. I feel we are being taken seriously and his school knows him and he has history there.

I'm so torn! I know that it is best for our marriage for us to stay together as a family. The separation won't break us (we've been apart before, as you know), but we've already missed so much time together that it seems wrong to CHOOSE to be apart, you know? Do the needs of the individual trump the needs of the family? And it's not like he's severely handicapped, but he does need help and I'm not sure we'll be getting the same level of help where we are going.

*sigh* Why can't this be easy?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

First Day of School!!


You hear that?? It's the sound of time flying by!

Another first day of school... another year gone by. My baby is a 1st Grader now! He is officially a Big Kid. He no longer has to play on the "baby" playground, there are no toy stations in class and he doesn't get snack or quiet time in class. He. Is. Thrilled! lol

He loves his school and his teacher. We met her yesterday when we brought up his school supplies and he charmed the pants off of her. "You are even more beautiful in person than you are on the computer!" he said to her, lol.

I really love our school. His Kindy teacher and the principal went to extra pains to make sure James had the "right" teacher this year. And Mrs. Crader seems to be a perfect fit! She has really thought ahead to having James in her class and has strategically placed him with the right kids in the right area of the room, so he can be himself, but not be isolated. I really appreciate that. I wish we could take her to Germany with us!!

Anyway... I'm sure you are not here to listen to me babble, but to see pics of my gorgeous boy! lol So here you are!

By the big ole tree (*sniff* our last 1st day pic by the tree!!)

Oooooo look... I must stomp it!

Handsome guy!

At school

At his desk (I took these yesterday at the Meet N Greet)

*sigh* Where does the time go?

As I do every year, I'll give you a brief retrospective of 1st days past:

Kindergarten (5 going on 6):


Pre-K 5 day (4 going on 5)


PDPS 3 day ( 3 going on 4)


Part day Preschool 2 day (just 3 yrs old!!)


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Big News!!!

We're Blowing this popsicle stand!!

We're gonna move to GERMANY!!!!


We have a report date for Mannheim in October of this year.

I can NOT wait!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It all goes by so fast!

Tomorrow is my Baby's LAST day of Kindy!!

How did that happen??

After this summer, I will no longer have a "little kid" in my house. I will be the parent of a "grader".

I don't know if *I* am ready for this! lol

Since August, The Kid has gained 11 pounds, grown more than 3 inches and became a year older. He's lost at LEAST 2 teeth (forgive me, but the Tooth Fairy has a bad memory!). He's had surgery (and Mommy survived!) and got a new belly button. He's said goodbye to several friends, including Christina (That's the girl I'm going to MARRY, Mom!) and made several new ones. He's played soccer (and scored in every game except 1!) and worked really hard on his swimming (He can almost do an entire lap without stopping!) He's ridden the BIG person roller coasters, spent countless hours outside and mastered Mario Kart.

*phew* That's a LOT of stuff! I think I need a nap!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The world has let out a great sigh of relief.....

I am sitting home alone. James is snug in bed and Hubby is still away at school. I have run the gamut of emotions over the news. I am shaking and am in tears. This whole thing is just overwhelming. OBL's actions have defined, in some way, all but 4 months of my marriage. 9/11 changed everything in our lives. We lost over 2 years of our marriage to this war. We've lost friends/acquaintances. And now it's all different. I don't know what we will be facing tomorrow re: threat levels, ect. It's a balance of relief/terror/remembrance/ect that I can't even explain. His death hasn't changed anything.... and yet.... it's changed everything. If nothing else, we, as a nation, can have closure over 9/11 and the healing can truly begin.

God Bless those Navy Seals who risked all to carry out this mission.

And God Bless and Keep all of those Soldiers/Sailors/Marines/Coast Guard/National Guard/Reserves/ect who are still over there in harms way. My heart and prayers are with them and their families.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wilton Final "Flowers" class and a mini disaster.....

I had my final "flowers" Wilton class Thursday night, and decided that instead of just doing ONE cake that I would throw all the flowers/techniques we learned on (you know how it is when you have a cake and it gets cut into, right.... you gotta eat it from there! and guess would would be eating all that freakin cake....), that I would make some mini cakes (3 inch rounds) and have them each reflect a few techniques/flowers that would be more elegant and "photobook" worthy, for if/when I decide to start selling my cakes. I had to bring James with me to cake class. He was mostly a doll, playing in the other room with another child and leaving me in the main room to work.

I was doing some precise piping on the side of my 2nd mini cake and my teacher suggested that I put my turntable up on a box to pipe, so I could rest my elbow on the table and keep my lines very neat. When I was 1/2 way through, James ran up to me and gave me a big hug while I was doing some piping work. I told him thanks nicely and hugged him back, but to please not do that while Mommy was working on the cakes. After he left, I said to the other ladies that he was my tiny tornado, Senor Destructo and how I usually waited until after he went to bed to decorate the cakes.

Not 1 minute later, for absolutely no reason that any one could see..... the turntable slipped off the box and the cake flipped off and landed on it's side on the chair and stuck. *sigh* Karma will get you every time!! And laugh like a loon while she's at it!

Mini cake before it got decorated:

Inspiration photo:


And after, lol




There was just no saving it! lol

So here are the other cakes I did in class.....



This little cake is obviously not finished... I would have to put grass in the basket and around the bottom, hide the eggs under the daffodils, add more daffodils on the other side, ect to finish it..... but don't you just LOVE the mini peep and the eggs??!?!



Cake Disaster part 2:

It was so cold thursday night (like 35 degrees) that, since my fridge was full, I was going to leave the 2 finished, one 1/2 finished and smooshed cakes out in their box in the car and I would retrieve them in the morning.....

You see where this is going??

I totally forgot them this morning and didn't remember until about 2 pm when we were in the midst of our long awaited warm up! lol It was 65 outside and probably 85-90 in my car! The blue cake with the flowers was frosted with "decorator" icing (not buttercream) and was looking the "worst" for wear, sagging limply in its lovely pool of oil that had managed to run off the board and seep through the bottom of the cardboard box (not cake box... just plain cardboard, *sigh*) onto the seat of my car. The other 2 fared better in the looks department (having been made will really nice buttercream with expensive butter, and the chocolate held up the best of the bunch) but I wouldn't touch them with a 10 ft bottle of antacid now. It hurt me, but I tossed them all in the trash. I had to.

So to recap.... plan: 4 mini cakes so I can freeze them and don't have to eat one big cake in a sitting or give them away to Zero cakes, a destroyed kitchen, a 6yr who will never forgive me for throwing away cake! and a cleaning bill for the big oil slick on my passenger seat where the shortening piddled through my cardboard box, lol

Coulda been worse, right?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mizzou Cake Competition Cake 2011

Here it is...

the long awaited,

much anticipated,

swoon worthy

(ok... it's just cake people... )

Mizzou Cake Challenge Cake!!! By Me!!! Your favorite procrastinating blogger!!

~cue cheering crowd~

(apologies now for blowing up your computer with pics.... I hope all of this loads for you! lol)





Don't miss Beetle Bailey behind the rose bush!!

And to answer your questions:

1. No, I didn't win... I didn't even place in my division.

2. I can only assume the judges were NOT blind, but I have a call into Duff's opthamologist, just to make sure! lol

3. 55 cakes, 15 professional and 40 amateur.... guess which section *I* competed in! lol.... if you want to see the winning cakes you can go HERE and if you want to see ALL of the cakes you can watch THIS VIDEO My set up time was 8:40 am. The judging was from 10:30 to 11:30? approx and the cakes were on display to the public from 12pm to 5 pm. We picked it up at 10pm.

3a. in the trunk of the car unassembled

4. Duff's really funny, but no we didn't get to hang out. I just got to meet him for less than a minute. I managed to get an autograph, a picture and my fragile cake ego crushed when he didn't remember my cake at all *sigh*

5. James was really good... even when he had to sit through the almost 2 hour talk that Duff gave and then waited for almost 45 mins after so Mommy could get her autograph and ego bruising! lol

6. We ate a few bites of it... but after it had been in the trunk of the rental from here to the hotel 3 hours away on tuesday, and on display all day wednesday, and back in the trunk of the rental on thursday and driven all the way to Kentucky, it just needed to be tossed. We didn't even cut into it until friday night and i had covered it with fondant on the previous Saturday or sunday? Those 3 weeks are all kind of a blur....

7. He says never again.... I say maybe. The boys were getting tired of eating sandwiches in the living room! lol Hubby also quipped one day that it's a good thing you can't get "Contact Diabetes" lol, because of all the sugar that was in the air and all over the kitchen. He also said that one of the pluses was "sugar coated Sharon kisses".... I didn't have the heart to tell him that by that time, I had QUIT even tasting anything and was just oozing the sugar out of my very pores.

8. Yes, I was very very tired of cake! lol After Hubby and I went and set up the cake, we had a snack at the hotel. James gave me a his donut. I took one bite, made a face and said "Blech... I can't eat this... it tastes like CAKE!" lol. I was CRAVING protein... You know it's bad when all you want to eat is a hard boiled egg!

9. Yes, I have made cakes since!! lol... I was in the middle of a cake class and couldn't avoid making frosting and cake! I just finished that class yesterday and will blog about it soon.

Ok... back to the cake.

Everything is hand made and edible!

I started with white fondant. I hand tinted or hand painted all the color you s on the cake. All the flowers and leaves are made with a gumpaste/fondant mix, all hand cut, formed, painted, steamed and dried. I believe the cake ended up being around 23-25 inches when it was stacked... but I didn't measure it all together. This was the first time I had EVER stacked a cake.... or worked with modeling chocolate.... or made leaves and flowers..... or worked with royal icing.... or made "water"...... and so many other things, I can't hardly count! lol

Ok... working from the top down, Close up detail work (you can click the links for bigger pics, if you want... or if you don't want to sort through all the pics, you can WATCH THIS VIDEO It gives you a great idea of the scale of everything and you get some nice close ups)

Spire: 2 in approx, fondant gumpaste mix


Jesse Hall Dome: From bottom to the tip of the spire almost 10? inches tall, Rice Krispie treats (I tried to make it out of cake... I really did! But after the 3rd time it fell over, I gave up!) covered in fondant, hand painted and piped with royal icing. Columns/MU bushes/ Gates: hand formed, sculpted and painted, gumpaste/fondant mix.



The Buildings on the sides: Both are hand painted (no edible images on THIS cake!! That's cheating!!) with a mix of icing colors and vodka and applied with a paint brush.




School crest (3 in round) is layered gumpaste/fondant mix and piped with royal icing.



Tiger tracks!!


Marble colums (5 in tall) are gumpaste/fondant mix and the signs are modeling chololate with gold glaze writing that was done with a paint brush.





The cascading "water" in the fountain is brushed gelatin (NOT plastic, like you were thinking!! That's cheating!! lol) and the water in the basin is tinted piping gel. The plaque behind the water is 1 x 3.5 and the inscription is hand written (edible images?? We don't need no stinkin edible images!!)



Tiger and brown column are made/carved out of home made modeling chocolate and the Tiger Plaza column is the gumpaste/fondant mix with modeling chololate with gold glaze writing.



Some "in action" shots that show the scale of the work:



You like those bricks?? I didn't have a brick mat, so everyone of the lines on those puppies was drawn by ME with a small ball tool (looooong line..... loooooong line..... looooooong line...... short line.. short line.. short line... loooooooong line...... ect) ...... and THEN each brick was HAND PAINTED! You want to talk insanity?? Yeah... paint teeny tiny bricks for more than 4 hours and then call me! lol












P.s. This is the tiny kitchen that I made this cake in... that counter space you see and the kitchen table was alllll my work space. I had to stick stuff in the laundry room to dry as I was working.... James was forbidden in there for any reason and it made it REALLY hard to wash clothes when there were leaves all over the closed lid of the washer! lol