Thursday, August 31, 2006

And another new blog!

Well, now another best friend has decided to catch the blogger bug! I have listed her link to the side as well (My Family Zoo). She is a dear, sweet lady. Enjoy!

And don't forget to read Danielle's most recent post on oral contraceptives and the wonderful comments that people have added. Good reading. Even better food for thought!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Discussion Down Den Way

Jacob has been bugging Nicole to share the flute and give him a turn with it for at least, oh, the last 10 minutes.

JACOB: Nicole! WHEN will you give me a turn with the flute????

NICOLE(quite emphatically): After I say yes!

Oh, gee.

New Blog

You will notice I added a new link to the side over there. Queen of the Castle. It is a new blog started by one of my best friends and mom to four little boys.

Thought you'd enjoy adding this to your reading list.


Your favorite, tastiest slow cooker recipes!!!!!!

Let me know and you can email me personally. Thanks.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The First Day!

Well, it was a success - all around. I managed to get up and get going and that really ehlped things to get off great! Jacob was so excited to begin. He asked so many times during the morning when we would begin. And after breakfast, clean up, etc. we finally did. Lessons went smoothly and, shall I say, quickly. There is that nice little homeschooling thing where you can move on when or if you know your child has "got it" or if to do a particular activity would just belabor the topic or make it boring! I like that. There really is no need to review red, green, blue and yellow 3 times with Jacob! Others might need it, but like I said he's "got it." But on the flip side, he was having trouble recalling (immediately after reading it) what God created each of the first four days of Creation. So we spent a little longer there and even made a little picture chart we could review with. I really do like that aspect!

All said, it took us about 2 and 1/2 hours to complete everything - that's into account readin storybooks not in the plan and several breaks. We began at 9am and had quite a lot done by 9:20. :) So I'm not even sure 2 and 1/2 hours is accurate for actual work time. I am sure it may take longer in future weeks/months, but it is nice to have a slow (quick?) start.

We are looking forward to another day. It is early (6:30 - been up since 5:40) and time for me to go get ready for the day. May yours be blessed as well.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Kindergarten Days

I can't believe it. I have been looking forward to the day we would "officially" homeschool our children for years. That day is almost here. We have been counting down, with much excitement, on a white board I bought for our school corner. This morning it says, "1 day until school begins." 1 day! How did we get here? How could it have come so soon? I know. It has come with day after day of living, loving and lots of "unofficial" homeschooling.

As Monday approaches, we all look forward to this new beginning. I am excited all on my own (Brian has always teased me that I was so excited to homeschool that I was just going to rip some child off the school bus one afternoon and start homeschooling THEM). But I am also excited because Jacob is excited. He knows, too, there is a lovely globe hiding somewhere in this house - the globe he so ardently requested for his first day of school. Honestly, I can't wait to break it out, either.

As for our plans for Kindergarten, we are the choices we have made will work well for Jacob, but then that is the beauty of homeschooling - we can change it if it isn't. We plan to do school at home 4 days a week (M-Th) and then we will attend a wonderful co-op on Fridays from 9-12. Hopefully we will be able to complete most of our school work in the mornings before lunch, but I know that will have to be flexible at times. If anything I can work with Jacob in the afternoons while the other 2 are napping/resting. Of course that just so happens to be my rest time too. :) As for errands (hopefully not many) and extracurricular activities, I have tried to schedule most of these for after 3:30 or so in the afternoons. We have been doing that for a while now anyway and it seems to work really well. Things like minor shopping, weekly library visit, ballet and, soon, horseback riding for Jacob. We also have a weekly park day with our local Catholic homeschool support group. I do grocery shopping Monday nights after the kids are in bed (with my best buddy) and that is both an outing for mommy and a help to limiting our need to shop during the day. I have come up with a basic daily structure, which we already kind of do, but hopefully this will aid me in keeping on task. One thing I will have to do is turn off the computer during the day (after an early morning check) so that I will not be distracted. I hope all this works - again, we can always adjust if need be.

As for curriculum, we have made the following choices.

* I am using as a base the Kindergarten Syllabus from Laura Berquist's Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum. I really love this as the grades progress and will probably use more of her suggestions each year. This year I have taken only the parts on poetry memorization, art appreciation (using Child Size Masterpieces), and Religion (mostly Bible reading and narration/illustration). My philosophy thus far, I believe, tends toward a mix of Charlotte Mason and Classical. I love them both and I do believe they can both be combined.

*Math: The suggestions in the above-mentioned syllabus were a bit too basic for Jacob and we had already completed the workbooks she suggested. We went ahead and chose a complete Math curriculum for Kindergarten. There are many out there that homschoolers love, but in the end we decided on Horizons Math by Alpha Omega Publishers. I really like how it is put together and look forward to using it.

*Phonics/Reading: I began teaching Jacob to read back in January. He so wanted to learn and we began, knowing that if he really wasn't ready we would stop and wait. He was ready. I began using the Alphaphonics book and he took off. I am not sure at what level he is reading, but let me just say I am pleased with his progress. We will finish Alphaphonics, while at the same time working through some phonics workbooks (MCP Plaid phonics and Explode the Code). He can get lots of practice reading out loud from some Catholic readers I bought and some from the library. And lots of mom reading aloud to them, as usual.

*Handwriting: Pure and simple – D'Nealian Manuscript. I learned it. I like it. I am using it. For copy work Jacob is going to slowly work on copying some Litanies.

*Science: I wasn't sure what to do with science. I didn't want to get too over our heads in curriculum, but I also felt like I couldn't count on myself to come up with occasional science lessons that were meaningful and fun. Jacob (and Nicole) love science and nature, so I chose some premade science lesson plans for us to work from. I bought the Kindergarten Sonlight Science Teacher Guide on ebay for cheap and we will work our way through that. We know it is not the end of the world if we don't do it perfectly everyday, all year long. I just like the idea of having something to go off of and it seems to build in lots of reading and experiments. Springboard I hope.

*Religion: As I said above we will be doing narration from the Golden's Children's Bible daily. We will also do a couple of other things weekly. One resource we hope to make great use of is Cay Gibson's book Catholic Mosaic. It is a lovely resource using picture books to celebrate feasts, etc. throughout the Church Year. It is a must have! The other thing we would like to do weekly is the Who Am I? Catechism program. Nicole can work on this too with her age level workbook. I much prefer the Faith and Life series, but they don't have a Kindergarten book. So we'll just switch next year.

Well, I think that is it. It seems like so much all written out, but each daily bit is so little. I think one thing I like about homeschooling is that if something does not work for any one child, we can change it and pick up somewhere else. I hope and pray that I will be an attuned teacher and mom so that I can quickly pinpoint trouble areas if there are any.

Keep us all in your prayers. Tomorrow morning we begin another facet of this “Great Adventure.” Jacob is so excited. And me? Well, I am excited too, but also a little nervous. I know this is only Kindergarten and that thankfully we get to take off slowly, but it is a weighty thought to know that it is for rel now! I will provide pictures and updates on our first day as soon as I can.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


That last photo of Andrew should be turned, but I forgot. I won't be changing it, though, since blogger gets all angry at me every time I try to add or change photos on a previously published entry.

Also, I am planning an entry on the beginning of Jacob's Kindergarten year and what we will be doing here at home. It is not that I have any great wisdom to offer in doing so. I just thought it would be fun to share it all. Until then, you might enjoy reading some lists of what products, etc. other homeschoolers love over at Danielle's. Also, over at Trinity Prep School is a wonderful group of posts on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective New School Years.


Just a few more photos to keep you coming back!

Mmmm, Mmmm, Good!

I am not sure if it is a pregnancy thing or not, but I am on a soup kick. Not bad, huh? It could be worse - like donuts or brownies or pasta. Actually, all those sound good too. Anyway, I have been buying different canned soups each week at the store and enjoying them for some of my lunches during the week. Yum. There is a really tasty potato soup with basil and something else. On Monday night, I bought a can of Italian Wedding soup. I knew I had seen a recipe for this somewhere and thought I'd give the canned version a try. I also convinced my late-night grocery shopping buddy (a.k.a. best friend) that she also needed to purchase a can. Well, I ate it on Tuesday - mmmmmmmmmmmmm. I loved it! I spent part of that afternoon searching for Italian Wedding soup recipes. Found several - all very similar. I am so excited to try it next week. If any of my faithful readers has a good recipe they have tried, pass it on. Otherwise, I will try the one I've chosen and publish my recipe if it is yummy.

P.S. Brian mistakenly thinks it is called Italian Wedding CAKE Soup. I think he might bein for a surprise! :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Earlier this morning, I read a wonderful and always needed post on Elizabeth Foss' blog. I also read the article she referenced, but I much preferred what Elizabeth had to say about it all.

She discussed the problem of women being busybodies. She pointed out that we "need to be careful that we aren't so involved in the affairs of others--even when we think we're meeting an urgent need--that we neglect our duties at home." The article(s) also warned against idleness and how it is often disguised as busyness.

I can see how my tendency to always be doing (whether it be housework, organizing, computer time or keeping affairs in order) can keep me from attending to the most important things, or should I say people, my children and husband. I hesitate to say I am not too bad about being over-involved in other people's business (I do keep up with my two or three best friends and family and what is happening in their lives). I am sure I fall short in this area. But I see my main problem is in missing the moments of quiet and learning and sharing with my family because I am so busy with the affairs of the home. My home is clean and neat and the laundry and meals are for the most part well done, but it is the extra duties that clutter my day. Even personal interests and hobbies and my desire to seek them can get in the way.

This was so timely. Yesterday my daily meditation book focused on the Mass readings for the day, which were about the man who asked Jesus what else he must do, besides follow all the commandements, to inherit the kingdom of Heaven. This man turns and rejects Jesus' invitation to discipleship because he cannot sacrifice his "stuff." How sad and, yet, how me, how us. How human.

My meditation book (In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez) said the following:

"It can happen that the Lord will cross our path so as to invite us to follow him more closely, without leaving our place in the world, but with an unconditional surrender of our heart. ... This is what He asks of everyone, of each one in the place and state to which he is clled, in the particular and specific vocation he or she has received from God. Vocation is the most important aspect of our life. (emphasis mine) Once it is known, our vocation is the business that should occupy all our energies, with the help of divine grace, until the end of our days."

It TRULY IS all about my vocation. Food for thought. Whew, I'm hungry!

Monday, August 21, 2006

And it's only 9:15 (A.M., that is)

I was finishing up an email to my best friend a while ago and had made this list. Thought I'd share it. I have been up since 5:45 A.M. (well, 5:00 A.M. actually, but out of bed since 5:45). Had an hour to myself and then got going when I heard Andrew's 6:45 A.M. wake up cry (I mean, call).

Since then here's my activity report!

-fed Andrew
-fixed hair
-did makeup
-got dressed
-changed sheets on Nicole's bed and made it
-took off Jacob's sheets
-changed our sheets and made bed
-encouraged older 2 to get dressed
-changed Andrew
-made and ate breakfast
-had Jacob do dishes
-started sheet laundry
-worked with kids to fold towels, etc.
-made baby wipes

Not that I am wonder woman or anything, but I think it is amazing what we mothers can accomplish in such a short amount of time. No wonder I am already tired! :) I can promise you all that my activity list will slow down considerably as the day progresses, especially considering my present condition.

Have a productive and prayerful day!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Meme (I guess that means it's about me)

My blogger friend Melissa tagged me for this one and it was actually kind of fun to do.

3 Things That Scare Me

That I will mess up my children forever

Sleeping home alone at night if Brian is out of town (not too often, but oh, how I hate it!)


3 People That Make Me Laugh

Danielle Bean

Patsy Clairmont (really need to pull out that tape of hers)

Lucille Ball

3 Things I Love

My home

Quilting and anything to do with quilts

My Catholic Faith

3 Things I Hate


Toothpaste anywhere but on the toothbrush

Corn (only temporarily)

3 Things I Don’t Understand

What exactly it is my husband does to the space shuttle (I try) :))


How 5 people can make so much trash in the trash can and mess on the floor in one day

3 Things On My Floor


A blow-up plastic shark from Kemah

Various sticky spots on the kitchen tile

3 Things I’m Doing Right Now

Typing this me-me thing and hoping 2 awake children will stay happy just a minute longer

Thinking about what's for lunch

Watching the rain out the window

3 Things I Want to Do Someday

Make a pilgrimage to Lourdes

Really learn to play that guitar under my bed

Relax, knowing that I did my best to raise my children in a loving, Godly manner

3 Things I Can Do



Organize just about anything

3 Ways to Describe My Personality
(this is tough)




3 Things I Cannot Do

Make a pie crust from scratch

cook bacon (I buy the precooked kind now)


3 Things I Think You Should Listen To

God's will speaking to your heart

Your husband

Your children (really)

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To


The Media

Planned Parenthood

3 Absolute Favorite Foods





oh, and ice cream too

3 Things I’d Like to Learn More About

My Catholic Faith



3 Beverages I Drink Regularly


Water (and sparkling water)

Diet Coke (when not pregnant)

3 Shows I Watch


Mystery on PBS (occaisionally, but I do like anything Agatha Christie)

whatever Brian has on the evening - sort of

I guess I tag Kris.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Promised Photos

Here are the other photos that go with my entry on the Feast of the Assumption. I promise and I deliver, oh, faithful public!

The Crowning.

The Prayer.

The Red Heart Art!

The Loveliness of Elegant Simplicity in the Kitchen

Recently, Elizabeth Foss announced a series of Loveliness Fairs to be hosted by different "lovely" bloggers around the internet. The first Loveliness Fair was on the topic of the loveliness of elegant simplicity in the kitchen. A sweet lady named Meredith hosted this first fair. It was a really wonderful opportunity to read the submissions of the different women who had something lovely to say about how their kitchens, to them, are both elegant and simple. I think I learned that elegant doesn't always mean lace doilies and rosey teacups and that simple doesn't have to mean starkness or without adornment. It was a lot of fun to both read and look at photos.

I thought of submitting an entry (I DO LOVE my kitchen), but didn't quite manage to submit my entry early enough. So, instead, I will go ahead and make my entry here on my blog without submitting it to the fair. Maybe next time. Thought you all might enjoy.

I also would love to see what some of you, my other blogger buddies, have to say about your kitchens, even if it has nothing to do with elegance or simplicity. :) If any of you makes a post, let me know so I can link it here.


As I already noted, I love my kitchen, not because it is anything spectacular (it is not), but because it is a place that makes me happy. My kitchen is an average, ordinary kitchen. Not too big. Not too small. It has a great window and doors overlooking one of my other favorite spots, our backyard. It has plain old pre-fab cabinets, off-white formica countertops and a trusty stainless steel sink. We've replaced the range, the microwave, the dishwasher and the faucet. And my dear husband replaced the worn out vinyl with tile. Nothing state-of-the-art. Nothing that Architectural Digest is going to be knocking down my door to do a spread on. But I love it dearly.

I think the reason(s) that I love it are not so much in it's design or basic contents, but because it is mine (ours) and because I believe I have made it a place that we can enjoy and find "home" in.

I do not consider my kitchen to be what I would generally think of as simple. In the past I thought of simple as meaning minimalist, but maybe not so. In some ways though it is simple. It is simple in that it is not overdone or ostentatious, but homey. It is simple because it's workspaces are mostly free of clutter. It is simple in it's setup. It is simply my favorite space!

I also would never, ever in a million years - I mean NEVER - label my kitchen as elegant. NEVER! I decided to look up "elegant"/"elegance" in the dictionary. It said things like "refined grace," "tasteful richness," and "dignified gracefulness." Still those words don't seem to describe my kitchen, but the more I think about it, I believe I can see where it might have some of these elements - some gracefulness, some tastefulness.

More than being simple or elegant, it is warm, inviting (I hope), interesting and says a lot about the decorator. I know it is my family's kitchen, but it is a reflection of me and the things I love.

* the reds and blues
* the antiques and old things
* my old Coca-Cola collectibles (and some new)
* my lamp that glows warmly in the evenings and on cloudy days
* the light streaming in
* my favorite soap and candles
* the well-used utensils I reach for time and again
* and so on and so forth

One thing that I believe contributes to the elegant simplicity for me is the uncluttered, tidy feeling. I try to keep the kitchen cleaned up so that when I look at it I feel happy about it and not frustrated. That doesn't mean there aren't things on the counters during the day or toys spread across the kitchen table. There are - plenty of them! But at the end of the day I try to get it back in order so that it (and I) are ready for the next day.

I hope my kitchen is always a place of warmth, love and welcoming. It is certainly the center and heart of our home. I pray it gives off a little bit of my heart. It is where I cook and clean for and serve the ones I love most of all. Enjoy your kitchen! And if you don't, maybe reading over the submissions at the Loveliness Fair will give you some ideas of how to make your kitchen a wonderful place.

Next Monday the Loveliness Fair will be on the subject of the loveliness of elegant simplicity in learning spaces. Well, our learning space is, once again, not elegant, but definitely simple - white board and table. We're waiting on the chairs. :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

***More photos later***

Today we celebrate a beautiful day in the life of Mary, the Mother of God - her assumption into Heaven! (The link above is a great one that Danielle Bean had on her website this morning - thanks!) The children and I talked about it today and had a lovely time this morning beginning this special feast day.

Jacob helped me gather some fresh roses from our favorite rose bushes outside the back door. We trimmed the stems so we could float them in a bowl of water.

Then Jacob carried the roses to present to Mary and Nicole carried the crown to place upon her head (we borrowed Cindrella's crown).

Then we sang a "Hail Mary" and made a little procession to the kitchen table.

Nicole had the honor of crowning Mary as Queen of Heaven.

Jacob placed the roses in the bowl before Mary and we said a prayer.

Then Jacob decided we needed to make red hearts for Mary and decorate them. So we folded some paper and cut out some hearts. We decorated them with stickers and arranged them behind Mary.

What a beautiful way to begin our day. I know the children really enjoyed it and so did I! After an early lunch, we will be off to Mass to celebrate some more. :)

Thank you Mary for saying "Yes!" when the angel Gabriel made his request. Thank you Mary for providing for all of Jesus' earthly needs. Thank you Mary for being the perfect first Christian. Thank you Mary for being a perfect example of motherhood, servanthood and faithfulness. May we praise and honor your Son as we honor you. We love you Mary!

Friday, August 11, 2006

One more post for the day!

Now aren't I productive? Three posts in one day! The truth be told, I skipped my usual afternoon rest (a new thing since being pregnant) and it was good because I accomplished things. Bad because I am now feeling the drag and it is only 3:52. I still have dinner to reheat (thank goodness) and a homeschool co-op meeting to attend (until 9pm). I'm going to really need the ice cream by then! :)

The following is a story Jacob recently wrote that we just loved and thought you would enjoy it too! Hope you can see the photos. You might have to click and enlarge.

Great Expectations along this Great Adventure!

Well here it is! (Sorry it is the best I could do on the photo!)

Yes, you got it right. That is one of those things called an ultrasound! Not of my head or my heart, but of our precious little baby numero 4! Got our first photo on Tuesday when we went for a checkup to hear the heartbeat (which was great)!

So yes, we are expecting! Baby will be here on or around March 1st. We couldn't be happier, but if you really want to see excited and happy, then look to big brother Jacob and big sister Nicole. I am sure big brother Andrew would be terribly excited too if he could fathom what will be happening in about 6 months. :) The kids are so excited and mention it in some form daily. It seems so natural and expected to them and for that I am grateful to God.

We can't wait to meet him or her come February or March! Please keep us in your prayers, but most especially Baby. Yippee! Thank you Lord for your many blessings and the happiness that the little blessings called children bring!

You know you have a serious addiction when...

You spend 20 minutes on the phone with your mother discussing the Blue Bell ice cream sale at Kroger and all the wonderful flavors they have to offer.

You watch a snippet of Oprah that shows how the Dove ice cream bar came about and you and your oldest decide you must have some as soon as possible.

You eat breakfast as quickly as possible and then make a special outing to Kroger with all three kids just to buy ice cream.

You have been known to talk at length with the Blue Bell delivery man as he stocks the cases at Kroger. Where's my Birthday Cake ice cream?

You go to the self-check lane at said grocery store because you are just too embarrassed that the only non-sugar item in your cart is a bottle of baby bath soap.

You come home with Blue Bell Banana Pudding, Blue Bell Triple Chocolate, Blue Bell Hot Fudge Brownie, Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Private Selection (Kroger Brand) Cookies and Cream (my mom says it's the best by far!) and a very pricey box of 4 Dove original ice cream bars. Oh, and a bag of vanilla sandwich cookies (those darn kids just looked so sweet when they asked me for them.) AND the baby soap.

You put the ice cream in the freezer BEFORE getting the kids out of the car! :)) Well, sort of.

Yes, it is serious, but I could think of far worse! Right? Just don't mess with this family and their Blue Bell. By the way if you come from one of those very sad parts of the country where they do not have Blue Bell, I am so very sorry for you. You can't know what you're missing!

Have a happy ice cream weekend!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thursday in Photo Review (and a few comments too!)

Well, tonight Brian's brother, sister-in-law, and two nieces are coming in for a visit. The kids are really excited to see them tomorrow and begin having fun! I recently emailed my mother-in-law and volunteered the kids and I to bake cookies for the weekend. So today we baked and baked. At least 75-85 cookies! We baked peanut butter and chocolate chip. The kids love to bake and sample the ingredients as we go along.

After all the baking and a bit of errand running, I was tired and so I served up a gourmet dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit and leftover green beans. It was received well by all (minus the green beans). :) Of course it was! I didn't put any work into it. It seems it's always those lovely recipes that take all afternoon that result in questionable reviews (I don't mean Brian).

As I type Brian is outside waging war on ants. It is a bitter battle and one that is not easily won. I have been fighting for weeks now and Raid just isn't cutting it anymore. We can't drop food on the floor fast enough for these ants! Yesterday the most awesome of all ant feats occured. I am sure it made their evening news. Often times I will leave Andrew a few goldfish snacks on the bottom step of the stairs. He tends to make more mess if they are in a snack cup. Anyway, there were the 5 goldfish on the step. Just plain old goldfish. I walked by and noticed that one little fishie was covered in ants - no orange cheesy parts showing! I scooped them up and threw them out. Meanwhile, Jacob had located a toy hammer and was pounding away at the ants on the bottom step. Works for me! Next thing I know, I look across the kitchen and Jacob is straddling the gate at the stairs and climbing up. I politely requested he come down and he replied that he had more ants to kill. Of course, I uttered some typically motherly statement like, "OK, no you're not. Now come back down, PLEASE!" This was followed by "Mom, no really!" In an effort to end this argument, I walk to the stairs to make my point. And then what met my eyes was UNBELIEVABLE! Why I did not grab the camera, I do not know. There, in less than 5 minutes, these determined little ants had made one long trail from the bottom step, where the goldfish had once been, all the way up 6 six steps to the landing and through a hole exiting to the back wall of the house. It was amazing. I have never seen so many well organized ants in all my life. I looked at Jacob, quite dumbfounded, and uttered these profound words, "Honey, I think we have an ant problem." I vacuumed them up and then promptly phoned Brian to pick up more Amdro on the way home. All this over 5 lousy golfish! I'd give them a whole bag full, if they'd just go away. So that is where dear husband is now - obliterating!

The kids are in the other room playing so civilly and quietly. I know Jacob is anxious to hit the sack. He really wants it to be tomorrow so he can see his cousins. I could go for an early bedtime - for me, that is. So I guess soon I will have to be the mean Mommy and request that toys and books be returned to their proper homes. That might take a while - maybe we won't get to bed so early anyway!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cake anyone?

What a silly post, but just the same. This was brought on this morning because Nicole was playing with her Princess Belle doll while I was working on the computer. I asked if she remembered when the doll was a cake and she couldn't remember (that was only February but then she is only 3). So I pulled up the photo on the computer and she saw her cake. Then she wanted to see other cake pictures. Of course we have pictures of them all. I mean what could be more important that pictures of food, right?????

Looking at these photos just made me remember each special little party and how my babies have grown! It made me remember how much work each cake was, but what a labor of love they were. I dearly loved making each one. I laughed at myself as I remembered how I tend to start getting "cake visions" months before the party. Each cake presents a new challenge. It always thrills my heart when the kids wake up on the day of their party and see their cake for the first time. With comments like, "Mommy, it really does look just like the Great Valley!!!" Whew - I'm so glad. I'll keep making cakes as long as they are requested. I'll try anything. They don't always have to be challenges. I'd go for something simple if that's what they really want. I just love doing it!!!!

So here's to many happy birthday cakes!!!!

My very first and Jacob's too!

Jacob's 2nd birthday with a brown sugar road for Bob and crew!

The hardest, most tiring cake I ever did and the black icing tasted HORRIBLE! That's the last time I do one of those "easy" cakes using the formed cake pan and JILLIONS of little stars!

Nicole's first birthday. The grass was harder than I thought it would be.

Quite a challenge!

This one was fun! And Nicole really loved it! We all ate way too many Skittles.

This cake was scary. The Great Valley was a great difficulty! I was just praying that the mountain stayed in one piece!

This is the Princess Belle cake! Two round layers and a Hemisphere all piled up with a hole in the middle to shove Belle in! :)

And of course, Andrew's first birthday cake. I loved this cake. And you gotta love icing spray!!!!!