As you all know at our house you get to pick your own birthday cake. If the birthday person wants one shaped like a car I do the best I can to accommodate them.
December 24th is Sean's birthday. After Thanksgiving he gets down my cake books and slowly flips through them deciding on what kind of cake he wants. So far he has chosen malted milk chocolate, last year was burnt sugar cake. Both worked out great, and thank goodness were just regular round cakes. (I am dreading the year he wants a crazy shaped one.)
This is the book he has picked out all his cakes from.
This year the fates were against me. This year his cake decided to not cooperate with me. The edges were full and tall but the centers fell. They were like brownies... only not.
The centers were literally goop. I cooked them the correct time, I tested them with a knife and it came out clean. I say this as a disclaimer to my abilities as a baker. I FOLLOWED THE DIRECTIONS!! Maybe it was the high altitude. Yeah, that's the ticket. It was the high altitude. (wink wink)
After dumping that cake I turned to my shelf of trusty cookbooks. Ah ha, Pillsbury will save me!! Chocolate Sour Cream Cake. Worked like a dream.
So, now we have Sean's Chocolate Peppermint Layer Cake. Hope it tastes good or I will just sit down and cry.
Liam and Simon love to vacuum. Me, being the sly mom I am, decided to use this to my advantage. The boys room was a mess yesterday and I am sick of being the one to clean it all the time. So... why not get the boys to do it.
Our vacuum cleaner has a handle that can raise and lower. When it is in it's lower position it is the perfect size for my little boys.
Once I got them to pick up all their stuff. After a lot of complaining that it wasn't their mess (yeah right!) The fun began.
They took turns and I think that carpet got vacuumed about 3 time by each of them. Oh, well they had fun and their room is FINALLY clean. Now maybe it will stay that way since they were the ones to do the work!
I keep talking about our house to anyone who will listen and they keep saying I need to post pics. So here you go. Sorry I don't have before pictures of the dining room. We weren't sure if we were going to have enough tiles but were pleasantly surprised that we did!
In the hallway we took out a big cabinet. All of you are invited to come and see it. I am conducting tours!! When we get carpet it will be even better! I will try to be better and post our progress!
Last night for family night we decided to go to the Pumpkin Walk. We got there and there was a line through the walk, out the door, down the sidewalk, and to the street. We decided to pick up pumpkins, hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls instead.
Simon fell asleep on the way home so he missed out on the party last night so he missed out on the fun.
Liam thought it was the most disgusting thing to reach into a pumpkin and pull out the "guts".
Grace did a lot of planning for her pumpkin. She was quiet most of the time looking at the side of the pumpkin wondering what to choose and waiting her turn with Dad and the knife. That of course didn't stop her from posing for a picture...guts and all!
Patrick did his own thing. He is old enough to wield a knife. He did manage to poke himself in the thigh but it was just a prick and blood and Halloween go together so no real harm done! (He is OK, it was just a little poke)
This morning after we took Liam to school it was Simon's turn to carve. I don't have any pictures of the process since I was the master carver but we lined them all up on the porch. He looks so proud of himself!!
From left to right the pumpkins go, Liam's, Grace's, Patrick's, Simon's and the man himself!!
It was a fun family night and everyone is now ready to light the way into Halloween!
Saturday night we headed over to my brother's house for a party. A lumpia party. We have eaten lumpia since we were kids. For those of you who don't know what lumpia is, it is kind of like a mini wonton roll. Veggies, meat the usual. Anyway we headed over to Aaron and Amy's with all of the kids to make a batch and pig out.
Grandma was the meat distributor so that the kids didn't over stuff the wrapper. Even little Abbie got in on the action! It was so fun watching the kids work on folding them just right. Liam was the perfectionist, Simon worked solo, Grace and Patrick worked with Austin and Andrew.
Simon and Sean had their own little factory going at the end of the table. He was so proud of himself for folding them on his own.
Ashley thought the raw meat was "disgusting" so she worked at the fry cook.
Of course Aaron had to pick on Patrick a little bit.
Over all it was a great party. The kids had fun wrapping the lumpia and the adults had fun eating most of it! I am thinking this should become a tradition.
Liam started preschool on Tuesday. He was ready!!! Backpack in hand, he was outta here. He has been excited for weeks.
He is going to a school that is run out of a home. A friend in our ward, Kristy, runs a preschool with her sister out of her sister's house. Some other friends have sent their children there and said it was great so we thought we would give it a try. After a week I have to say they were right. I think Ms. Lynn and Ms. Kristy will get Liam ready for kindergarten!! They have been great in getting him excited about school. During the summer they had a water party and invited Liam and for the 24th of July parade Liam was able to join them on their float. He had a great time and when it came time for school to start we just walked in and waved bye to me and was off. GO LIAM!!!
Simon on the other hand was a little mad. He wanted to go to school too. Thank goodness for the public library. Programs at the library are great. Support your local library, they are a great resource and have wonderful programs for kids and adults alike. OK, I am done with my spiel but if it wasn't for our library poor Simon would have been totally left out this year.
Story time has saved us. Once a week Simon gets to go to school. We call it his school at the library. He has his backpack just like the big kids, and he gets to get a name tag just like Liam did last year, and he gets to tell mom bye for a whole half an hour while he listens to the teacher.
I am really surprised he went in. He still won't go to nursery alone, well without a big production about Mom and Dad leaving him. (We also started potty training this week. Think that deserves it's own totally embarrassing post later.)
These two boys really love each other and are having a bit of a hard time being separated but they are doing great and are so happy to see one another after their 2 hour separation. I am glad they can find a best friend in their brother.
I am late with this I know. I was going to wait until Liam started pre-school after Labor Day to do this post but changed my mind. I figure leaving home for the first time garners it's own blog entry.
Patrick started the 7th grade. This is his second year at Mount Logan Middle School. Can't you just see how thrilled he is to be going!!
I think it might just be that he is sick of having the camera in his face at 7:30 in the morning.
Grace is now in the 3rd grade at Wilson Elementary. She has Mrs. Stauffer (who was Patrick's 5th grade teacher) and so far is loving it! She is really excited because Mom lets her ride her bike to and from school (a whole 3 blocks) by herself. Unlike Patrick, Grace is thrilled to be returning to school. Can't you tell?!?
Maybe she was making this face for the same reason Patrick was making his. Hmmmm going to have to get the camera out more ;)
Well, a week in and everyone is still happy. Keep your fingers crossed. I will have more back to school happiness after the holiday! Talk to you then.
I just had to share this. Look at these boys. Are they not the cutest kids you have ever seen? (Besides your own of course!) Liam and Simon have always just worn whatever to church on Sunday. A few weeks ago they looked awful, truly awful! I decided it was time for some Sunday clothes.They were so excited to wear ties. They were the ones who said they had to have a tie cause it was church. People commented on how snazzy they looked and they blushed and ate it up.
15 years ago today Sean and I were married. It was August 20, 1994. The day after I turned 20. Sean claims he didn't marry a teenager. Here we are the summer we got married we went to the local K-Mart and they had a photo booth, they still do actually, but when I tried to get Sean to get in he refused. I guess since he isn't trying to impress me anymore he can tell me no! Look at how skinny I am and how much hair Sean has. Ahhhh, to be young.
Let us jump to the present shall we? This past weekend Sean and I took a trip to Salt Lake City. No kids, just us. Thank you Mom/Grandma for babysitting, we love you. We rode the FrontRunner train, hung out at the Gateway shopping center, watched Harry Potter #6, walked to the state capitol and checked that out. Heck we went to another movie and saw G.I. Joe just cause we could. It was great. Since we have passes to Lagoon we decided to go and ride all the rides together that we never get to ride when the kids are there. It was really fun. We went to Pioneer Village and had our old time picture taken. The shocker... it was Sean's idea. I know I was shocked too! Anyway, here we are 15 years later. More filled out, balder (even though you can't see cause of the hat), Sean can actually grow facial hair now, it has taken years but he can! It was a great trip and we had tons of fun.Here is to the last 15 years and to 50+ more.
Last weekend was the Cache County Fair. For years my friends have been telling me to enter some of my canning. Come on we have tons, and it is beautiful even before I put it in a jar. The only problem has been I never remember until it is too late to enter it in. This year I made it. I ran to the library that morning and ran into two friend who asked me if I had entered. I said no and was told I had until eleven o'clock to enter something. "Why the heck not?" I thought to myself. I had about 15 minutes to spare, I could do it. I ran home and got a jar of cherries, apricots and cherry jam. I took it over there and realized I needed 2 jars of each. I ran home and got another jar of each and made it with seconds to spare. It was fun and the kids were laughing at me cause I was like a chicken with it's head chopped off trying to get into the fairgrounds. Fair time came and here are the results:
I won 2nd for my cherries and apricots, and 3rd for my cherry jam. Granted everyone got a ribbon and most of them were red but I don't care. I got a ribbon. I got a ribbon!! It was fun to take the kids to the home and craft building and let them find mom's stuff. I learned a lot. I learned what I need to do next year to do even better. So watch out blue ribbon, here I come!!
The year after Patrick was born we decided we needed a second car. After Sean researching, and researching, and researching. (I am not kidding! The man does his homework before all major purchases!) We found our black Ford Tracer. It was used, had very few miles on it, and was in our price range. Look at how little Patrick is! I can still remember the date we bought it. It was one month to the day before Patrick's first birthday. April 21, 1998.
We never named the black car. We just always called it the black car or the Tracer. The Tracer got us through moving to Phoenix, Arizona. Grace came along while we were there and it was our main car. 3 years later we moved back to Logan and decided we needed another car. The Tracer became Sean's main source of transportation. The kids always thought it was cool to get to go in "Dad's car". About 6 months ago Sean's parents gave us their old car. It is much newer and bigger than the black car so Sean decided to sell. I felt no emotion at all when he said this. He posted it online and in the Herald Journal, the local newspaper. Well, he sold it this week. I didn't see any of the transaction. Suddenly I didn't want to part with the car. The night after it was gone I woke up in the middle of the night with the thought, "I hope the car is ok." I realized I was attached. I really hope I don't see it driving around town!!
The poor thing is much more beat up than the first pictures. I scraped the drivers door with the van pulling out of the garage, one of us hit the side of the garage door opening pulling out of the garage once, but this black car, The Tracer has seen us through fun and hard times. I know it is just a car but I will miss it.