Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Today is my husband's birthday.  He isn't big on birthdays but I am so the kids and I have been fussing over cleaning the house and making his birthday cake all day.  We usually do a homemade (from scratch) cake simply decorated.  This year we did something different.

My middle daughter is interested in everything baking.  She actually wants to own a bakery one day.  A month or two ago she took the first two Wilton cake decorating classes at the local Michael's store.  I believe there are two more classes but the instructor went on maternity leave so we will wait until she returns to finish up the series.

In the meantime, she bakes cupcakes every chance she gets - great for me as I am always trying to watch my weight!   We have experimented with different recipes and decorating techniques.  Today, we did a semi scratch cake I found at "cakecentral", an online community of cake experts.  Basically, we added extra ingredients to a box cake.  It was quite delicious.  My husband and eldest daughter commented that is tasted like a bakery cake.  I think we will keep this recipe around.

We then attempted to do a football jersey cake.  We used a homemade buttercream icing and Wilton fondant.  We have never worked with fondant before as this is taught in class #3 with Wilton but we thought we would give it a try.  Pumpkin did an excellent job coloring the white fondant to match the Redskins burgundy & gold colors.  I was responsible for the name and number we added to the jersey.  I had to do this freehand.  I will be sure to pick up letter and number cut outs for our next project.  This makes for a more professional looking cake.  We forgot to make sure the icing had crusting ability - which only means something to you if you know cake decorating lingo.  This made a challenge to create a finished look but we did the best we could.  We made the sleeves out of homemade rice krispy treats to avoid the difficulty of cutting cake to look like sleeves.  This turned out to be a great solution for sharing the "cake" with some gluten free eaters.

I asked my daughter if she was really prepared to do this 8-10 times a day to fulfill cake requests at a bakery.  She said "yes, I won't be the only one working."  It remains to be seen if this will turn into her life's work but just for was all worth the effort.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Better To Give than to Receive

"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ " (Acts 20:35)

 I briefly mentioned in a previous post that my daughters entered Landry Academy's "helping people" contest.  My oldest child won so we had the privilege of using the cash prize to help others this month.  It was hard deciding how to use the money as there are so many needs around us.  Her essay mentioned helping widows based on Deuteronomy 14:29.
“...the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.”   I began to pray to ask God where we should use the money and he directed me to a nice lady in the dentist office the morning of that prayer.  We talked about many things that morning as we waited in the office.  I gave her my phone number as she wanted to contact me later to give me an answer to something we were discussing.  It wasn't until that phone call that I realized that she was to be the recipient of some of the prize money.  It was so strange to ask a person if there was something she needed assistance with as I was in a position to help.  She broke out in tears as she began to tell me what her prayer had been recently regarding some needs in her life.  She was a widow raising two granddaughters and definitely needed some help.

I met her at her small church that next Sunday morning where I was put on the spot to come to the front with her to tell the congregation what God had done for her.  I realized while speaking to the congregation that they were also the recipients of this blessing.  I saw how encouraged they were by what we were saying, most of all that God still answers prayer and you never know where your blessing will come from.  

This past Friday our family volunteered at an emergency shelter preparing and serving meals to the families living there.  The day started with grocery shopping for the items we needed for the meal then Princess made 25 sandwiches to leave at the shelter for lunches on Saturday.  The shelters mission is to provide relief, foster hope, and self-sufficiency to area neighbors in crises due to hunger, homelessness, and personal violence.  We enjoyed lending a helping hand to these folks.  

I can't help but think we probably would never be able to do something like this if we weren't homeschoolers and what a HUGE blessing we would be missing out on.  There are life long lessons that are being learned as we serve others.  

Head over to weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers to see what other moms were up to this week.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Museum of Fine Art

So it is my goal this year to get out of the house more.  We were slaves to the curriculum in the Fall because I just had so much I wanted to accomplish.  But January - May/June is a long semester and we just have to break up the monotony of the routine.  First I had the younger two join a musical drama club which puts on a production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat in March.  Ohhh.... fun.  They had to audition last week but I wasn't able to see as no parents were allowed in the audition room :0  They practiced with me so I did hear the audition at home.

Gift Shop
Second attempt to get out more included visiting the Art Museum yesterday.  We got a personal tour of the Indian & European art collections.  The program was titled Art 101.  I was expecting more, I'm not sure why I thought there would be a hands-on component.  I asked the girls if they thought the visit was a waste of time and I got a resounding "yes."  However they enjoyed being out and they enjoyed the gift shop. 

My only regret was not trying to find art pieces by Monet since we studied him a few weeks ago.  We were all tired and had a 2 year old in tote.  It all made for a rather exhausting day. 

Indian Art Sculptures

this sculpture weirded everyone out

Glass Sculpture


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