Monday, April 26, 2010

Eat Cake.

I'm not a huge cake fan. I mean, I'll eat it, if it's there. Because, well, it's made of sugar. But it's not really my dessert of choice.

In fact, I have only ever made two cakes (well, except for this and this which, um, are amazing). I only make cake at Grace's request.

Because Grace most definitely is a cake fan. She loves the taste. She loves the looks.

Her favorite forms of entertainment are Ultimate Cake Off, Cake Boss, and Ace of Cakes.

Grandma Betsy has recently become a cake show fan herself. So, while visiting her house last week, after enjoying an Ultimate Cake Off marathon, she decided to host an Ultimate Cake Off of her own. I was reluctantly roped into it.

Grandma made the cakes while Karlee and I went shopping for supplies. We returned to two very excited little munchkins, and two cakes. Red Velvet and Rainbow Chip.

Before I post pictures, please keep in mind the following very important facts:
  1. None of us have taken any sort of cake classes whatsoever. None of us had any clue what we were doing.
  2. The children (Claire and Grace) had full creative reign.
Don't forget.

This is my youngest sibling. Her name is Karlee. She began by rolling out fondant.
She promptly quit. It's a hard job.

Karlee was obviously skeptical of Claire's fondant rolling abilities.
As she should be.

Meanwhile, Grace is eating gum paste.
We experimented making flowers with the gum paste.
We were bad at it.

Mom. Frosting cakes.

Grace loves pink fondant. And eating it.
It tastes worse than gum paste.

Karlee taught Claire (and herself) to make fondant cut-outs.

This white fondant had to be rolled out approximately three times. It kept tearing.
One of those times it got red velvet cake in it.
Surgical removal of the cake from the fondant was attempted.
But was obviously unsuccessful.

However, this is my favorite stage of this cake. I would have preferred to leave it like this.
I call it Chicken Pox. With rash.

We made a really big mess.

But it all led up to (drum-roll, please).....
These cakes!
Please note the wrinkled fondant.
And red polka dots with hot pink flowers.
Seriously stylin'.

Look at us! We made cake!

So, we discovered that we are not natural cake decorators. But it was fun. And they tasted good. Once you tore off the fondant, anyway.

If you're ever looking for real cake decorating, check out my in-laws. These cakes may have been semi-attractive had I paid more attention to their mad skills.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Don't Ask.

I don't do belly pics.

Not that I don't love other people's. Because I do. I love them. I love looking at my friends' cute little tummies.

But I don't do them. I don't post them. I don't even take them.

Because no one wants to see a lumpy, overgrown eggplant.

Don't be too disappointed. It's better this way.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Grace is a pretty huge fan of these Old Testament videos. She was watching the story of Abraham when she turned to me and said, "Wait. I don't have to watch this video of Abraham! I have this video!"

And she ran to the bookshelf to retrieve Veggie Tales' version of the Biblical drama.

I was glad she had made a connection and realized that these were two versions of the same story. But I still felt the need to clarify an important point.

"Grace, you do know that the real-life Abraham was not a cucumber, right?"

Grace laughed. She answered gleefully, "Silly Mommy! Abraham is a pea!"

Oh, of course. Silly Mommy.

[As a side note, let me add that it is a shocker to realize you need the spiritual message coming from your child's cartoon. Well done, Veggie Tales. Peas, cucumbers, gourds and all.]

I do not exaggerate about flooding.

There is a great park here in town that we frequent. It's awesome. Lots of slides, spongy playing ground, cool equipment.

Here's what it usually looks like:

(photo courtesy

Note the pretty pond. And its [safe] distance from the park.

Here is the same park.


Say hi to the ducks.

I grew up in Washington State. I'm supposed to know rain, people.

Apparently I don't. I mean, I have. never. seen. anything like this until we moved [slightly] East.

Apparently what I really knew were gutters. And storm drains.

West Texas doesn't have these. No, I'm not kidding. There aren't even little indents on the roadside. You're lucky when the road slopes outward.

This means floods and road closures are a typical occurrence about the same time every year.

All because of water.

Are you not astounded? Amazed? Awed? I always am.
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Friday, April 16, 2010

A Day Out

It has rained here for the past two days. Straight. And in our neck of the desert, when it rains, it floods.

Kind of like this.

We are inside our apartment most of the time anyway. The rain doesn't make much difference. But today we got the chance to go to an art festival here in town. Grace was stoked. The main exhibit was a showcase of Lego art. On top of that, there were crafts for the kids, elaborate toy train sets, and community shows.

After the Home Depot Build a Bank craft, I asked the girls to hold up their work and smile. In other words, I requested they pose.

We all know how that goes.
"Thank you, Grace. Claire, look at the camera!"

"Thank you, Claire. Can you smile now? And Grace, look at the camera!"

Grace: "Claire. You smile like this, see? This is how you smile for the camera."
Claire: [fish face.]

Grace: "Good, Claire, that's good trying."

Yes, I believe that is Claire's real attempt at a smile.

And... that's as good as posing gets around here, folks.

It was her design call. Not mine.

When you see this munchkin around town, try not to wince. By allowing the kid to dress herself or to choose against having her hair combed, her mother is teaching her self governance. Agency. Independence.

At least that's what I tell myself.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is allergy season really that bad?

Grace's prayer last night went like this:

"Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank Thee for today.

Thank Thee for Mommy and Daddy and Claire.

Please bless us tomorrow

that we will survive.