Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fall festival cake





Every year our ward has a 'Fall Festival' rather than a Halloween party. Families come with soups, and we eat dinner and dessert and then we have a talent show and they have a table set to display talents. I was asked to make a cake for the display, so I made a two tier, butter cream, fall cake. Everything is decorated in butter cream including the mum, the rose, and the pumpkin. And no, the pumpkin isn't a big ball of frosting; I used part of the core of the ten inch cake, rounded it with a knife and then frosted it in orange. And I didn't use a chocolate butter cream recipe to get that dark brown color, but I did have to use the entire bottle of color to get it as dark as I wanted, so I may use chocolate frosting the next time I want a dark brown color.

Whenever I make cakes, someone asks me about how long it took me to decorate. So I thought I'd spare you all the curiosity by documenting it here. I started baking Thursday morning and finished Friday afternoon around 3pm. I probably spent 8 hours on the cake if you include the time it takes to mix and bake the cake, make and color frosting, cut and stack the cakes and decorate them. And Scott helped me make and color frosting Thursday night so I should probably add another hour for his help. Thank goodness I take pictures of them because it gets eaten up so fast I think I would be depressed if I didn't have a picture to look back on and remember what took up so many hours of my life. I know I posted a lot of pictures of the same cake here, but I like to have pictures of my cakes at different angles. And in reality, I took A LOT more so if you knew how much I narrowed it down, I think you'd actually be impressed that I was able to choose four.

Canning applesauce


Last week, someone from the neighborhood stopped by with a big box of apples from their tree! Our family LOVES applesauce and eats it just about every day, so I decided to turn our apples into applesauce. I borrowed this cool little apple corer and slicer gadget, and things went pretty quick. I only had 8 pint jars so I thought I'd fill them all with applesauce and then save whatever was left in the fridge, but that whole box of apples actually only made 7 jars! I was surprised. But I guess once you core them and slice them and then boil them down, everything gets smaller. And I did save a bag of apples for us to eat raw over the week. The kids wanted to eat it all, right when I finished, but I told them they couldn't, that they at least had to sit on our shelf, in their beautiful food storage jars for at least a week, so I could get some satisfaction during that time out of seeing the canning I'd done.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Little clown

Annabelle is our little clown. She loves to do things for a smile or to make someone laugh.
Elisabeth wanted in on the picture taking, too.
Annabelle being silly with her blanket.
And being silly after a short potty training period(not really a potty training period, she just said she wanted to go poop in her toilet so we let her try. She didn't end up pooping in the toilet, but rather, on the tile floor. At least we're making progress!)
I was taking pictures of Elisabeth and Charles doing something cute, and apparently Annabelle felt left out; so she put this on her head and came up to me and my camera saying, 'Cheese!' I think Annabelle has learned that sometimes you have to go to great lengths in this house to get some attention.
Oh, yes. And our silly big teeth from Aunt Jolene. She does look pretty funny with them on, how could you see her with these, and not laugh?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Super-size snacks

One of Elisabeth's favorite snacks are crackers and cheese. She likes to stack them up high and eat it like a giant hamburger.

The other day while I was making soup, Charlie came in to watch and I'm pretty sure he was hungry. Here's how our conversation went:
"What are you making?"
"Cheesy potato soup"
"For dinner?"
"No, it's actually for Super Saturday tomorrow."
"What's that?" he asked, pointing to the giant stalk of celery I pulled out and began to cut.
"Celery."
"Can I have one?"
"Sure, just let me wash this one off and cut it into sticks for you."
"No, I want it big like that."
"You're going to eat the whole thing?" I questioned suspiciously.
"Yeah."
"Alright."
I gave the giant stalk to him and he took a bite and chewed it. While he chewed I asked if he'd like some peanut butter on top. He asked if it was good like that, and I told him that I thought it was. He agreed. So I filled the little celery tunnel(don't know what else to call that thing) with peanut butter. And he ate the whole thing. Good job, bud! Way to enjoy a healthy snack! Oh, and I cannot get him to smile a 'natural smile' for me on camera. He always ends up making these really odd facial expressions. See what I mean.

All boy

Charlie, for the second time now, has kicked down his closet door. Why? I don't know. He was in time-out and was bored and thought that kicking the door would be fun? And I don't think he really cares about things like doors, and keeping a room looking nice.

Charles loves to kick and wrestle and run and jump and play with sticks and balls and cars. He also loves playing with Elisabeth, so they do a lot of make-believe play where he is the 'prince' and they enjoy reading lots of books.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Our princess

I always forget to upload pictures for awhile, and then I have a ton to do all at once, which is what's going on right now. So I have several posts in mind that I'll probably put up over the next week. I have so many pictures of the kids that I'll be dedicating a post to each child to simplify things for me. Here's to Elisabeth, our little princess (she LOVES princesses, acts like one, dresses like one, watches and adores them; so this title seemed fitting).
We curled Elisbeth's hair one day with my curling iron, so she really felt like a little princess.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

First snow of the season






We had a little snow storm today which we were all excited about! The first snow is always so fun. Elisabeth and Charles went outside three different times and played for awhile. I took Annabelle out twice, and she seemed to like it well enough. It's so fun to watch them play and laugh and it was great watching Annabelle warm up and adjust to the wet, cold, and beautiful white snow. Charlie liked eating the snow. I'm not so sure how clean it is, hopefully it won't make him sick.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Elisabeth is on a three week break right now, from year round school, so I've tried to plan some fun things to do while she's with us all day. Every Monday at a theater near by, they show a "Mom" movie which means whatever children's/family movie they have playing at their theater, on Monday during the first showing of the film for the day, they'll allow children 5 and under in for free. So today during Scott's lunch break(he took a long one so he could come with us), we went and saw Where the Wild Things Are.

We have this book and love it, and we read it just before the movie started, so the kids were pretty excited. In the beginning of the movie it was fun for them to see who Max and all the Wild Things were. But then the girls grew tired of it. And honestly, I really didn't care for the movie either. There are some movies I see where I think, 'wow, this is really good, I wish I could sit here all day and watch and that it would never end.' Now of course, if it really did never end, I wouldn't like it, but I think you know what I mean. This movie was not like that. And in fact, after sitting and watching for about 5 minutes I thought to myself, "oh boy, I hope this gets better, and I hope the camera man stops shaking the camera so much" But it didn't. On a positive note, it was fun to see the different parts in the movie that were similar to the book: the costumes for the wild things were great, they really did a fantastic job on them so that they looked like they came right out of the book. But the story was sad and everyone was so angry and it was a bit dark. I just really didn't enjoy it. And I know the wild things were supposed to represent the way children are and their behaviors etc., but I really didn't care much for it. And Max's family life was a little uncomfortable which wasn't what I imagined from the book. I imagined for one, Max being much younger, more like 3 and not 10 or however hold he was in this, and I imagined he had a very nice family life, but that he got sent to bed early one night because he was being a little too wild, but then his mom calmed down once she had a minute to herself and apologized for her quick reaction and brought him dinner. So anyways, not what I imagined, a bit disappointed, and I felt a little sick after sitting through it because they kept shaking the camera's around, maybe to make things look a little more wild and crazy? I don't know.

Charles sat and watched the entire movie and seemed pretty interested, but about half way through, both Elisabeth and Annabelle started to get bored and Elisabeth started moving around a lot more in her seat or on our aisle, and Annabelle got up completely and walked around the theater...good thing it was a 'Mom' showing and so there were several other kids doing the same thing and it felt okay. But I'm sure the kids didn't understand the message of the movie;The movie seemed like it was more for adults, but then, it's hard to say if adults would really care for all the monsters and childishness either. I've read mixed reviews on the movies as well, so I guess some will love it and support it and others will not. I'm just glad we didn't actually spend money on the kids to see the movie as well. Next time we want to see a movie in the theater, I think we'll wait for it to come to Red Box(unless it's a Twilight or Harry Potter movie, of course).

Family photo video by Grandma Smith

Let's see if this works. Click the link below to view:
Photo slide show with music from Frank Sinatra

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wonder Mill Electric Mill

If any of you, like me, have been hoping and dreaming of getting the wonder mill electric mill(wheat grinder) for Christmas this year, I have some good news. They have a $30 rebate that will be good if you purchase it before November 25 and send it in before December 15th! Wahoo! Granted, it'll still be pretty expensive, but I was going to pay full price(this one is quiet, not messy, and fast and just an all over really good machine), so this was a pleasant surprise. And Scott, you don't even have to do any work for this Christmas gift because I've already printed out the rebate form and it's sitting on our counter; I'll even do the shopping. I'm so excited to have fresh white wheat for whenever I'm baking!

Monday, October 19, 2009

2009 Family Pictures

We had our family pictures taken just over a week ago by my friend Lindsay, and we got the proofs back today! They look so good! My problem is that I can't decide which family photo should be the one that I frame, so I was hoping to get a little help over the blog. If you don't mind, look at the first 4, numbered family photos, closely(blow up to enlarge), and tell me which one you personally like the best. Hopefully this will help me decide. I'll post the family photos first and then I'll post other pictures(individual, couple and sibling) that I love. Thanks Lindsay! You are amazing!

1.

2.Black and White

3.Same one but in color
4.
And now, some others that we really love!

Other family shots:
Elisabeth's kindergarten photos(she's very photogenic so it'll be hard to narrow it down to one):
Charles(Charlie on the other hand isn't so camera friendly. We only got one really good one of Charlie smiling, but I thought these other ones were cute too):

Annabelle(She also didn't really like posing for the camera):

Sibling shots:
Couple shots:
brown:
color: (can't decide which one I like better)


and the color version