Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Queen Takes the “Throne”

If you could see me now you would wonder why I’m grinning from ear to ear. Well, I can’t wait to tell y’all. Oh, this is just the best news a mom could share!

My baby…my 19 month old baby… just used the potty!!! Whoop! Whoop!Party smile

(And for all of you who were wondering, it was #2 . Impressive, I know!)

It went something like this…

Lucy walked past me tonight, and let’s just say that I got the idea that she might have a dirty diaper. Only it wasn’t dirty just yet, so I asked her, jokingly, if she needed to use the potty. Well, she headed straight for the bathroom saying, “Potty. Potty.” After I turned the bathroom lights on for her, she backed up to the toilet and waited for me to pull her pants down. So I helped her up on the “throne,” and she immediately got down to business. It only took her 2 or 3 minutes to finish the job, which I thought was extremely impressive considering she’s never done this sort of work on demand before.

Sorry, but I don’t have any pictures of this milestone to share with y’all. Winking smile (And the world takes a collective sigh of relief.) I’m also not gonna share about how Lucy ended up slipping off the toilet seat and landing in the “you know what.” Nope. I won’t say a word about that.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More Cake

I almost forgot to show y’all the other cake I made last weekend. This one was for Garret. It’s a chocolate cake filled with vanilla buttercream. The court is rolled fondant that I scored with the back of a knife to look like a wood floor. I piped the lines on the court with royal icing. (I was having a little trouble keeping my hand steady while I was piping, so the lines are a little more “wiggly” than I would have liked.)

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For the goals, I “cheated,” meaning they aren’t edible. I used foam board for the backboards and wooden skewers for the poles. The rims are made out of gum paste, and the nets are pieces of cheesecloth.

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You might have noticed that I did not put a boy slam dunking on this cake. Hey, I’m not a miracle worker. With two cakes to make for the same party, I knew that attempting such a task would make me absolutely crazy. Instead I focused on making a neat, clean basketball court.

Both boys loved their cakes! I think the guests had a difficult time deciding which of the two cakes they wanted to eat.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Just Dancin’

Last night the Tool Man and I had some of our foster kids over for some fun. It’s nice to get to know these guys apart from the restaurant, even though they are a bit weird!Winking smile

We had a big feast of BBQ chicken and ribs for supper. You could tell from all the finger-lickin’ and tooth-pickin’ that everyone really enjoyed their meal. (These kids have no shame!)

The after-dinner entertainment was a lively game of Just Dance on the Wii. We had the best time playing this. It was quite humorous, indeed!

Here’s a picture of the Queen and King of the dance floor. For real, though. I was undefeated for the night. Oh, yeah! This baptist girl has some moves.

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Kristie and Logan had so much fun that they are starting a “Just Dance Fund” to purchase the game for themselves.

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Lucy absolutely loved all the dancing. Her favorite move was to spin round and round until she was so dizzy she could no longer walk a straight line.

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When Lucy finally wore herself out, she took a rest on top of her Pillow Pet.

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Zach and the Tool Man got airborne on this song. Look out, Lucy!

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Ty was with Reese and Faith for most of the evening, but when he finally got home, he quickly joined in the fun.

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After Ty changed into some more comfortable dancing clothes, he and Logan did some “Rollin’ on the River.”

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After all that dancing the kids worked up another appetite. So they turned to my homemade chocolate pie and peach cobbler.

Something tells me Hannah and Zach really, REALLY, liked my chocolate pie.

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See, I told you they were weird!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Slumber Party

Ty’s been giving us a countdown for the past 17 days, and finally the big day arrived. Reese and Faith are in town for a visit!!!Party smile

Reese and Faith have been here before, so what’s so special about this time? Well, since the upstairs is finally complete, Ty can have them over to his house for a sleepover. With all that empty space up there, you can imagine how much fun that can be for a bunch of kids. Meanwhile, downstairs I was beginning to wonder if the ceiling might fall in on me.

The kiddos decided that they all wanted to sleep in Lucy’s side of the “cage,” so the Tool Man drug the mattress over there. Reese and Ty arranged the mattresses how they thought was best. (My little undie-clad hero has no shame.)

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Faith and Lucy enjoyed getting to play with each other. Sometimes boys can be a little too rough for the womenfolk.

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This is one goofy girl. Poor thing was acting just like her dad. She took a front row seat while I was decorating the cakes this weekend, asking tons of questions. She just couldn’t figure out why I was making cakes for people I don’t really know. Finally she said, “So you’re like a bakery lady, huh?”

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We got the kids in bed about 10:30, and the Tool Man turned a movie on for them. I think they went to sleep about 11:30, which is perfectly fine with me ‘cause I’m a night owl anyway. However…they were up at 6:30!!! Ew!

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I’m so glad the weather has been warm and pleasant for them this weekend. (That way they can stay outside…where kids belong!Winking smile) These kids have had a blast roaming the countryside, playing in mud, stalking deer, riding four-wheelers, washing four-wheelers, watching movies, playing Wii, etc. etc. etc. They make me tired just watching them.

Have Your Duck and Eat It Too

I’m so excited to share my latest cake with y’all. I have to say that I think this is one of my coolest cakes ever. I used several different techniques to decorate this cake – piping with buttercream and royal icing, fondant, painting, and poured sugar. Whew! This cake was a workout!

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Looks pretty real, doesn’t it?

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The duck is “swimming” in a lake of poured sugar. The cattails and leaves are royal icing piped onto wires. Once those hardened I used chocolate fondant to create the tops of the cattails.

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To make the duck, first I drew its silhouette on a piece of paper. Then I used the paper as a template to cut the duck’s shape out of a fondant/gum paste mix. Once the fondant had hardened, I used decorating gel colors thinned with vanilla flavoring to paint the duck. That was so much fun for me, sitting in a rare moment of peace and quiet with a brush in hand creating something beautiful. It was just like painting with oils on canvas, something I used to do way back in the day. I should really pick that up again, don’t you think?

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I'm linking to these parties...

Just Something I Whipped Up

Motivate Me Monday

Making the World Cuter

Show and Tell

Strut Your Stuff

Hookin' Up with HoH

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chicken Love

Hasn’t the weather been great this week? I’m not a fan of winter, so this warmer weather has been quite a treat for me. Yesterday we got to get outside and start a little garden work. The Tool Man broke the ground to get it ready to plant some potatoes. We made a good little crop of red potatoes last year, and I’m hoping for another one again this year.

While we were outside yesterday, Ty let the chickens out to pillage. (Actually, I think he let them out because he likes to chase the poor dears. He can catch one faster than you can say “scat” with your mouth open. That’s another Nickie-ism by the way.)

Here’s one of his victims. “Mama, look at her toes. Get a close-up of her toes.”

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The Tool Man encouraged him to kiss the hen on the beak. Ew!

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It’s not everyday you see someone holding a chicken like a newborn infant. At one point Ty had her lying down on the ground on her back, rubbing her belly, just like you would do a puppy. She might not have liked all the special treatment, but she escaped unscathed.

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Sunset on “Big Creek Farm.”

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Baby Shower Cake

Here’s a picture of my latest cake. It was for a shower welcoming baby Jude. Once again I forgot to bring my camera along, so I had to use my phone to take this pic. Sorry the quality isn’t so good, but you get the picture. And anyway, most of you saw (and ate) the cake firsthand.

Jude Baby Shower

As for the inside of this cake, I used a recipe I saw in this month’s issue of Better Homes and Gardens. “The only cake recipe you’ll ever need,” the article read. Well I’m not so sure about that. I think I’ll continue my search for the perfect cake recipe.

This weekend I have two birthday cakes to bake. Two little boys are having a joint birthday party. One wants a mallard drake cake and the other wants a basketball court…with a guy slam-dunking a ball if at all possible. We’ll have to see how that goes. I made no promises.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mildly Rude Humor

I was cleaning out my inbox this morning and ran across the funniest thing. My very serious, all-business father sent me this goofy picture roughly 3 years ago. (What?! She’s still hanging onto e-mails from 3 years ago??)

Now, you’ll have to look closely…

Zoom in if need be.

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It’s not everyday you run across a photo where 75% of the people in it appear to have their fingers jobbed up their noses. My dad’s caption for the picture was

“Must have been nose-picking day.”

I don’t have the foggiest idea as to who these people are or at what church this picture was taken. I can only hope these folks aren’t aimlessly surfing the web one day and find this picture of themselves “digging for gold.”

Anyway, I thought you might could use the laugh.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Helloooooooo Kitty!

Ty’s pal Cassie had a birthday last week, and I got to make this cute cake for her. Ain’t it adorable?

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I remember Hello Kitty being popular when I was a kid. Anybody remember that store “Sanrio Surprises” that used to be in our mall? Loved that store!

Cassie chose a strawberry cake for her birthday. I iced the cake with my homemade buttercream rather than covering it with fondant. (I still think buttercream tastes waaaay better than fondant. Everything’s better with butter, right?)


The flowers and writing are made out of fondant, and I used a combination of fondant and gum paste to make Hello Kitty. The gum paste dries a little harder than the fondant so it really helped Miss Kitty to stand up nice and tall on the cake.

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I also made a cake for Cassie’s brother, Luke, a couple of weeks ago. Luke had an indoor “campout” party. Ty got to go, and he had such a great time. This was Ty’s first sleep over, and he did fine. Mom and Dad sure did miss their little monkey, though. (Aren’t we pitiful?) Luke’s not a big fan of cake and icing, so he wanted a cookie cake with a campfire in the center.

I tried out a new technique to make the fire. Poured sugar! I’ve seen people do this on TV before, but I’ve never tried it myself. So I researched the process and gave it a whirl. The result? It turned out perfect. Beautiful! It looked just like glass. Only one problem. I forgot to take a picture of the finished cake.Sad smile The Tool Man did snap a couple of shots with his phone, but the picture quality wasn’t blog worthy. So, alas, all I have to show you is the few pictures I got of the sugar right after I poured it.

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After the sugar cooled and hardened, I smashed it with a hammer. Great therapy for relieving a little stress!

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This technique was so much fun. And so easy! I’ll definitely be trying this again. I have to make a mallard drake cake in a couple of weeks, so I’m thinking about pouring a pond of sugar for the duck to swim in. Can’t wait to try it!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For

…and some of you, apparently, have been awaiting more than others. (I’m not naming any names here, but you know how you are J.D. Winking smile)

I’m sorry I left y’all hanging in the balance the last few days. I teased you with pictures of the nearly completed “cage,” and then neglected to update you on the finished product. I use the word “finished” rather loosely here as there are still a few things that need to be completed up there.

First things first. You remember the carpet fiasco, right? Well, thankfully the new carpet is 100% better! Thicker, softer, comfy-er. I took a few side-by-side pictures to show you the difference between the two. It’s a little difficult to tell from the pictures just how bad the first carpet was, but trust me, it was B-A-D!

The new carpet is on the left. Notice it’s a little darker too, which is a good thing since it is in the monkey cage after all.

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Ty hit the nail on the head when he observed that the backing of the new carpet was softer than the top of the old stuff! Really, it was.


Once again, the new is on the left, and the old is on the right in this photo.

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Now I have the task of decorating the rooms. Yikes! It’s a blank canvas, and I’m scared to death I’ll make a mistake. It’s a classic case of perfectionism leading to procrastination. Rather than risk hanging a picture in the wrong spot, I’ll just keep putting off hanging it at all. And six months later those pictures will be propped up against that same wall.

Uggh! I won’t let that happen. I will hang those pictures!

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A little history behind these hangings…

The one on the left is a children’s fabric book that belonged to my mother. I’m not saying it’s an antique, but………

The one on the right was stitched for my paw-in-law when the Tool Man was a little monkey himself. It’s a poem about fathers and sons.

The big one in the middle was my daddy’s. It’s a little cape he and his brothers used to wear when their father cut their hair. How neat is that?!

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Ty absolutely loves his new room. It’s so….roomy! He and Lucy have had a blast running and playing up there, rolling and spinning around, acting like, well, monkeys.

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Another bit of history…

This creepy little doll belonged to my mother. She named it Aunt Myrt, after, you guessed it, her Aunt Myrt. And I discovered the clown doll in my dad’s cedar chest.

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One of the unfinished projects…the bathroom flooring. I’m going to either paint or whitewash the wood. Haven’t made my mind up yet…

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Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed the little tour! Slowly but surely things are coming together. It just occurred to me that you may be wondering about Lucy’s room. Well, her side is empty so far. We did move her crib to Ty’s old room, though, and I am really enjoying not having to tiptoe around in my room while she’s sleeping. Thankfully, she didn’t have any objections to moving. She’s been sleeping like a….baby!

Ta Ta for now!