Happy 9th Birthday, Josiah!

The end of June brought another birthday.  Josiah is our quiet yet goofy, contemplative, introvert extreme.  In other words, he is his daddy’s mini-me.  I think the only thing he got from me was thick hair.  We enjoyed having a day where we could celebrate all things Josiah.


Josiah asked for a Minecraft birthday theme.  He also asked for doughnuts.  What better way to go Minecraft with doughnuts than to have square doughnuts…and then make faces out of them.  And these doughnuts are ah-maz-ing.  The kids compare all sour cream doughnuts to mine and pretty much say there is nothing as good as this recipe I use.  My highest compliment.

He also asked for a diamond ore minecraft cake.

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I delivered to the best of my ability.  It wasn’t my most favorite design but I think it came out okay.

dsc_5647 Oh look!  A minecraft gift…surprise, surprise, surprise.dsc_5630

Josiah’s buddy enjoyed helping.

Josiah.  It just seems like yesterday he was toddling around.  And now he’s growing in to a tall and fun young man.  I can’t wait to see what the double digits will bring us.

Super Cake


Given our exciting and super hero filled passed two years with Super Ems,  I knew I wanted her second birthday to be super hero themed.  When I mentioned it to my friend, Tracy, she said, “Oh, and you could have the super hero emblem with an E instead of an S.”  Um, yeah, but I would be the one who had to make it like that.

After a  lot of thinking, and youtube tutorials, I came up with a plan.

Sketch the design on paper.



Then, I traced the design on parchment paper and cut it out.


Using a utility knife (clean blade, of course), I scored the fondant with layer after layer.  Then, I ever so carefully did the “E.”  I did not want to have to re-trace the “E.”  I think I held my breath the whole time I cut it out.


First try!  Phew!  I slapped the pink onto a purple background and then stuck it all in the freezer to harden and stay that way before the party.  Then, I realized I had extra fondant and borrowed a neighbors star cookie cutter to cut out star decorations.


I think it turned out really good and is one of my prouder projects.

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Emmie seemed happy with it too!  Well, at least eating the frosting part.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Emmie!

We celebrated Emmie’s birthday just a few days shy of her actual birthday.  She didn’t seem to mind too much.  Since she could get in water with a swap of neck braces, we decided to head to a local park along with about ten other families who had the same idea for a party.  Thankfully, the park is big and we found a wonderful spot under the shade of a tree.DSC_4963 This girl thought she was pretty hot stuff! Okay, we all did.DSC_4966 Papa and Grandmere came over to help us celebrate.DSC_4967 DSC_4970 DSC_4976 It looks like she has bodyguards.  Well, she does. I guess this picture is pretty accurate.DSC_4978 Yeah, I don’t know.  Teenagers!DSC_4982 Cake and picture time.DSC_4989 DSC_4999 DSC_5007 We kept the guest list small inviting our church family, our “family” family and our close friend family.DSC_5008 DSC_5016 DSC_5023 I thought this cake was pretty fun. While I was decorating it, I saw the idea of icing the center in atlernating colors to make a polka dot effect.  Um, yeah, that was cool.  I’ll post more on the cake tomorrow.DSC_5028 Emmie was still getting used to her neck freedom and was a touch shy of the water.DSC_5033 DSC_5040 Papa and Grandmere present time!DSC_5052 DSC_5086 She loves her new “home” that she got for her birthday.IMG_20160524_212508554Taking a peek at gifts from Ge and Granddaddy.

Happy 7th Birthday Ceili Rain!

Seven years of our CeiRai! She definitely marches to her own beat and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

She asked for a chocolate chocolate chocolate cake.  I made it trim healthy by using a recipe in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.  Then, last minute came a request for chocolate chips and marshmallows.  She was a happy girl.


Ceili Rain requested a crochet set.  I couldn’t find one for 7 year olds that had just what she needed.  So, I made her one.  Including a bag to hold it all in.  She was thrilled.


Ge and Granddaddy made her day with a knitting loom.DSC_4796
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She asked for a girls’ day.  We spent the afternoon at a ceramics painting place and then watched Cinderella.  Mark set up a laptop with another move for the boys who just couldn’t handle Cinderella but most everyone eventually made it in to the living room to watch.


Happy 4th Malachi!


Malachi is our first immediate family birthday of the year.  Malachi is our resident four year old going on 40.  He always has something wise to say but can quickly follow it up with a fit because his shoes were not tied just so.

He fulfilled my dream this year by requesting a cake with cars on it.  And no.  I did not coax him in to it.  It was all his idea (as it typically goes with him).


He was super happy with his race car cake.  And I was super excited to find race car candles!


He also requested breakfast pizza.  We’ve never had breakfast pizza.  So, I’m not sure where he got the idea from.  I coated tortillas in cinnamon, sugar and butter and broiled them.  Then covered in a cream cheese mixture and topped with the fruit.  Looks fancy and takes very little effort.


His birthday fell on a Wednesday which meant he go to share his cake with his friends at Awana.  I think he thought it was pretty cool that everyone sang, “Happy Birthday!” to him.
DSC_4751 This was a birthday of awesome faces too.  Ya’ll, he’s just too cute for words.DSC_4745 DSC_4734 DSC_4731 DSC_4729



The cardboard space shuttle was a big hit for everyone.


Ge won major brownie points with this pj shirt!

His birthday activity of choice was to go to our local indoor jump place.  Remember, the one he wasn’t going to jump in?  We went the following Monday since they offer family nights then (we all got in for one price).

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A Decade of Liam

We now have three children in double digits!  Our fiesty, fun and passionate Liam.  We can not wait to see how God will work in his life.DSC_4312 DSC_4321
DSC_4478 DSC_4489 He asked for a Minecraft cake birthday cake.  I thought it would be easy.  It wasn’t.  The squares and my type A desire for perfection were at odds.


He was happy with it and that made all the work worth it.


Even the red stained hands, extremely dirty shirt and powdered sugar in the hair.  To see that smile when he saw it the next morning…made it all worth it.

Welcome to the Teenage Years

We blinked.

And just like that she went from this:

Zoe in her stocking

to this:

She has graciously accepted the roll of first-born-guinea pig.  She is challenging, cautious and so extremely smart.  She loves her brothers and sisters fiercely and wants to see them grow up to be strong men and women of God.  We are so blessed that God gave us Zoe and we can not wait to see what these teenage years will hold!IMG_20151220_134012649

Zoe’s “Dad!” look.  After church, we ate at IHOP.  We had a quiet and small celebration this year in hopes that her present will come very soon…more on that later.


She found a caramel apple cake she wanted me to try.  The cake turned out fine but I had to scour to find a icing that would work best.  When all was said and done, it was well received!

Early Mid-Life

Since today is the day we celebrate the day I came rushing in to the world (mom reminds me that I was in too much of a hurry to get here and she did not get the proper pain relief), I thought I would share how my “getting closer to mid-life” crisis adventure.

Awhile back, I mentioned to Mark that I loved the color hair fad but I didn’t want to be in on a fad.  Because he is used to my crazy ideas, he told me to go ahead.  But, I decided to wait.  Then August happened and happened and happened.  And I got tired of waiting.  I found a good groupon deal and decided I just needed to do it.

Although, I admit I had my trepidations.  Especially when the hair stylist said, “So you want highlights over all your gray.”  Um, no, but thanks for pointing out my hair of wisdom.  Blue and Green please.  I know.  The stylist thought I lost my mind.  Until he finished.  Then he wanted to do highlights everywhere.  Mark, however, asked me to just keep the partial highlights.  Anyway, blue and green for Neurofibromatosis colors.

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I absolutely love it!  It’s subtle (well, as subtle as blue and green can be) and fun.  Mark absolutely loves it too.  He was so sweet and said he knew he would love it when I told him how much I liked it.

And for those of you who are shaking your head in bewilderment.  Please know that I am not new to hair coloring although I am new to professional highlights.  When I was a senior in high school my hair was purple (not that bright purple…it was supposed to be red bu my dark hair made it purple).  And Mark still asked me out!

Happy 5th Birthday, Bryant!

Ack, suddenly my big baby boy is now 5.  Not sure how that happened so fast.DSC_2236My little man went easy on mama for his cake request:
DSC_2259 Ice cream cake.  We made plans on his date night.  He knew exactly what he wanted and he was thrilled when he got it.DSC_2260 Over the course of birthday discussions at the beginning of the summer, we realized that Bryant had never built a bear.  This, my friends, is how we create traditions.  We decided that 5 years of age is a great age to build a bear and so, subsequent five year olds in our family will be able to create their own stuffed animals.  This suited Bryant just fine.IMG_20150723_170058670 IMG_20150723_170312073 IMG_20150723_170648616

He chose a Superman bear with a Superman outfit and the Star Wars theme song.  Oh  yes he did.

Happy Eighth Birthday, Josiah!

In my haste to get caught up, I almost forgot to share Josiah’s birthday pictures!  This boy.  He loves his baby buddy, Emmie and is, definitely the spitting image of his daddy.  He is quiet and sincere and he is very tender to everyone.DSC_1820 DSC_1824 So, when my boy requested a specific Ninjago cake, I about cried.  I really wasn’t sure I could do it.  But, I am not one who wants to disappoint my babies.  So, I had a go at it with a little bit of help from the birthday boy.

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He approved.  Phew!  One down.  Three to go.